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Jul. 14th, 2010

Vid Free! As Free As The Wind Blows...


So we don't vanish into obscurity

LJ purging inactive communities

Jul. 7th, 2008



Best Practices for Fair Use in Online Video

I'm happy to announce that the Center for Social Media has just released a new best practices document to help video makers and distributors navigate the world of digital and online video, and I'm also proud to say that I had a small part in it as a member of the committee who put the document together. I first learned about the work that the Center for Social Media was doing when they released a similar best practices document for fair use in documentary film making. This new document addresses practices of remixing and reposting in online video, and provides guidelines for the parameters of fair use in these practices.

The code identifies, among other things, six kinds of unlicensed uses of copyrighted material that may be considered fair, under certain limitations. They are:

  • Commenting or critiquing of copyrighted material

  • Use for illustration or example

  • Incidental or accidental capture of copyrighted material</li>
  • Memorializing or rescuing of an experience or event

  • Use to launch a discussion

  • Recombining to make a new work, such as a mashup or a remix, whose elements
    depend on relationships between existing works

See the full document here.

And if you haven't already, check out their video -- Remix Culture -- for a great visual overview and introduction to remix video.

It was a real pleasure working with Patricia Aufderheide, Peter Jaszi, and the other committee members in putting this together. I learned a lot from the collaborative process, and was much impressed by Patricia and Peter's ability to pull together the insights and expertise of a diverse committee into a super-solid document.

Feb. 5th, 2008



Tech details at the summit

Amazingly enough, the DIY Video Summit is starting this week! Registration for the academic track is full. We are still taking a few more people for the Sunday workshop day.

We've just put up a new web forum to connect attendees and others interested in the event.

The conference panels on Friday, and the panel-style workshops on Sunday will be webcast (Quicktime plugin needed) at:

On Friday, the panels will also be streamed live into Second Life at

We will have an irc channel set up on site for the backchannel lovers among you. #video247 at freenode.net.

Or if you prefer Twitter, hashtag #video247. You can post here if you want to connect with other 24/7 Twitterers: http://iml.usc.edu/diy/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=4

The tag we will be using for this event is "video247." Please use this for your blogs, video, and photos that you upload so it is easy to find and aggregate. And please post any content you have created about the event to the forum so others can find out about it -- blogs, vlogs, photos!

Nov. 1st, 2007



Registration is open for 24/7: A DIY Video Summit

Registration is now open for 24/7: A DIY Video Summit!

Over a year of planning and organizing has resulted in what I think is a fabulous program. Big thanks goes to our curators who have put together the video programs, and our panel organizers. Special thanks to Charlene, Mariko, and Becky and Chris for all their work in getting the web and PR materials together. It is super exciting to finally be able to officially announce the event and start to welcome attendees.

Spaces will fill up quickly for the academic program and the workshops. The hands-on workshops, where you can get practical tips on DIY video making and distribution have a very limited number of slots, so please register early if you are interested in those.

The video screenings are all free and open to the public, so for those, you just need to show up at the event.

This event has really shaped up to be something well beyond my wildest expectations. It has been hugely challenging but rewarding to coordinate a very diverse group of curators, speakers, workshop leaders, and industry participants to get together for this. It's very important to us that word gets out to a wide range of people who have a stake in DIY, Internet and viral video, so please help us spread the word. This is meant to be an occasion for people to have conversations across the boundaries that usually separate different creative communities, technology developers, policy makers, and academics.

Registration information is here.

February 8-10, 2008
School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California

Conference web site: http://www.video24-7.org
Blog: http://diy.video24-7.org/

Spaces are limited for attendance at the academic panels and the workshops. The video screenings are free and open to the public. Please help us spread the word about this event.

24/7: A DIY Video Summit will bring together the many communities that have evolved around do-it-yourself (DIY) video:
artists, audiences, technology providers, academics, policy makers and industry executives. The aim is to discover common ground, and to chart the path to a future in which grassroots and mainstream, amateur and professional, artist and audience can all benefit as the medium continues to evolve.

This three-day summit features:

On February 8 and 9, there will be screenings of DIY video that are open to the public. These will feature curated programs on design video, activist documentary, youth media, machinima, music video, political remix and video blogging. The video program will culminate in an evening program and reception on February 9 that will draw from all of these video genres.

Registered attendees will have access to the academic program on February 8 and 9 that features panels on The State of Research, The State of the Art, DIY Media: The Intellectual Property Dilemma and DIY Tools and Platforms. Featured speakers include Yochai Benkler, John Seely Brown, Joi Ito, Henry Jenkins, Lawrence Lessig, and Howard Rheingold.

On February 10, the day will be devoted to practical and hands-on workshops for registered attendees on topics such as intellectual property, media creation, distribution and new-media design tools. Attendees will also have the option of organizing their own birds-of-a-feather meetings to connect with other attendees.

Aug. 25th, 2007



Conference web site is up!

Our conference web site is up! Many thanks to Rebecca Malamud for the web design and Hector Catalan for the graphic design. The top page also includes an edited video from a meeting of video makers last winter that was part of the planning for the event.

We still have some work to do in finalizing parts of the program and the site but it definitely feels good to have the new web site up!

Apr. 2nd, 2007


Aram Sinnreich on Musical Regulation, Resistance, Configurable Culture

Aram Sinnreich succinctly astonished those who attended the DIY Media seminar at the Annenberg Center for Communication on March 22. The two mandalic powerpoint slides above were fractal crystallizations of his thesis in progress. In a little more than fifteen minutes, Sinnreich deployed an array of theoretical and empirical tools in pursuit of an issue first posed by Plato when he claimed "Musical innovation is full of danger to the whole State, and ought to be prohibited....When modes of music change, the fundamental laws of the State always change with them." (On the same slide, Sinnreich quoted The  Lord Mayor from Yellow Submarine right below Plato: "The Meanies captured everything that maketh music.")
Sinnreich is a graduate fellow and the co-founder and managing partner of Radar Research, a Los Angeles-based media and technology consultancy. He is also a Doctoral Fellow and Lecturer at USC's Annenberg School for Communication.  His thesis involves extensive interviews; analysis of that material is still in progress. The theoretical foundation Sinnreich swiftly sketched, however, added more dimensions to what we've heard from Henry Jenkins and others about a culture in which everyone has the tools to create music and other cultural content, and access to the Web as a global distribution medium. What does it mean, in terms of power, institutions, regulation, resistance, that people can sample, remix and distribute bits peer to peer? Sinnreich uses Plato's ancient claim as a lens for looking at the sites of regulation and resistance to contemporary changes in music. And Sinnreich switched to other lenses, from cognitive psychology to social network analysis to show how "levels of meaning emerge from levels of meaning. We are all filters for cultural information," and our biological, psychological, social systems change the meaning of cultural products like music when we experience them. Music, in this context, Sinnreich claims, is "cognitive-affective capital."

Again looking back in order to look forward, Sinnreich mentioned the "Follies of 1830," when Hector Berlioz claimed Beethoven to be a genius, while most others dismissed romanticism. By the time Berlioz wrote his memoirs, his view of Beethoven was prevalent. And around that time, according to Simmreich, "the modern framework, based on six binaries" came to dominate thinking about cultural production:

Art versus craft (one is high and rare, the other vulgar and common), artist versus audience (the one gifted creator and the many who can only listen), the original (of great value) versus the copy (of little value), performance versus composition, figure versus ground, material versus tools ("and associated concepts such as genius, uniqueness, aura, intellectual property, etc.")  constitute the modern framework These binaries that are widely understood are concrete examples of what Sinnreich is getting at when he says "the ontological framework supports and is supported by social institutions."

"But sometimes, social or environmental change can undermine a framework's foundations. Enter configurability, " emergently. "For the first time, communication is instantaneous, global, multisenory, archival, hackable, editable, networked, interoperable, and customizable." Configurability is more than remix culture, which is only an early manifestation of a larger change, "not continuous with traditional practices,  not limited to media and communication, not simply democratizing production or increasing consumer choice." Like Berlioz, who perceived the musical cosmos in a new way because of Beethoven, and his generation of musicians who came to dominate European musical culture, Sinnreich points out that "today's generations are steeped in configurable cultural practices."

"Was Plato right? Yes."  But exactly how, in what way, and how much? That's where the empirical research in progress comes in. Sinnreich's research, comprising more than 60 hours of interviews with sample-based musicians, music industry executives, and intellectual property attorneys is probing the dimensions of these changes by asking each of these actors where they draw the line between the old binaries and whether these binaries even exist any more.

Are much bigger changes afoot, beyond the conflicts over file-sharing and sampling? Sinnreich joins Taplin, Richmond, and Rheingold in pointing out how today's weak signals might foreshadow broader change.


Mar. 22nd, 2007



(no subject)

I'd like to start off this community with an announcement about an event that I have been working on with a team at the Annenberg Center at USC, a festival of DIY video. This has been in the works ever since we finished the Networked Publics event last spring, and we are finally at the point where it is starting to take shape and we'd like to officially announce that it is happening. We'll be posting news and announcements on our blog, but also cross posting here in this LJ community as well.

We are calling the event "24/7: A DIY Video Summit" and it will take place in Los Angeles on February 8-10, 2008. (Thanks to Anne Bray for the coming up with the name!) The goal of the event is to showcase and celebrate the very best in DIY, amateur, and non-commercial Internet video. We will be looking across a wide variety of existing video communities and genres, including independent video, political remix, machinima, anime music videos, live action vidding, youth media, video blogging, grassroots/amateur news and documentary. In addition to the screening of video works, we will also hold workshops and have an academic program.

Our motivation for planning this event is to bring together the wide variety of communities that have a stake in the evolution of Internet video. We are at a pivotal moment where we are seeing an explosion of new forms of video expression online that is disrupting existing models for media communication. Technology infrastructures, legal standards, and creative genres are very much up for grabs. We want to convene an event which will foster conversations across different creative communities, technology developers and service providers, academics, and policy makers. Our goal is to serve the interests of the broader Internet video community, but more specifically to support the public interest and noncommercial video production that is happening at a grassroots level.

The amount of interest and enthusiasm that I've received from people in the creative, academic, and industry communities has been overwhelming. Clearly this is an idea who's time has come, and I am super excited to be working on this together with a fabulous team of organizers and curators. I'll be co-chairing the event together with Adrienne Russell, and working with the conference committee and advisors which includes Steve Anderson, Wally Baer, Anne Bray, Charlene Boehne, Mariko Oda, Howard Rheingold, Aram Sinnreich, and Jennifer Urban, We have a group of rockstar video creators for this year's inaugural curatorial committee: Mindy Faber (youth media), Ryanne Hodson (vlogging), Paul Marino (machinima), Jonathan McIntosh (political remix), doki (AMVs) Eric Saks (arts/independent video), laurashapiro (vidding), Jon Stout (documentary).

The official conference site is still under construction, but is here. Over the next year, we will be working on curating our video program, setting up a "challenge" for soliciting new video works, finding industry partners and sponsors, and planning workshops and an academic program.

A big thank you goes to the Annenberg Center which has provided the seed funding for this event and the current seminar series, and supported the Network Publics event last year which was the precursor to this current effort.

We welcome feedback and suggestions from the diverse communities involved in DIY and Internet video as we move forward with the planning for this event, and hope this community becomes a discussion space for the event and related issues.