Lawrence Lessig, the Internet’s favorite lawyer, gave a great talk at the OpenVideoAlliance webside chat on culture and creativity. You may have seen some of this before at his TED talk. He updates that talk and includes more commentary on the culture of creativity of today. You can catch it at blip.tv or watch below. It was is available on YouTube until it was taken down by with a DMCA notice. (Looks like YouTube’s copyright system took it down even though it was obviously fair use).
This weekend I finally started Lawrence Lessig’s Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy. It is a great look into our copyright laws and ideas to make it reasonable again in the world of “read/write” culture. I am not that far into it, but I had to share a great quote on page 79. He is discussing Japanese children and how their media culture encourages kids to engage in recombinant and user-driven content at a very early age. Here he compares with US culture:
American kids have it different. The focus is not: “Here’s something, do something with it.” The focus is instead: “Here’s something, buy it.” “The U.S. has a stronger cultural investment in the idea of childhood innocence,” Ito explains, “and it also has a more protectionist view with respect to media content.” And this “protectionism” extends into schooling as well.” “Entertainment” is separate from “education.” So any skill learned in this “remix culture” is “constructed oppositionally to academic achievement.” Thus, while “remix culture” flourishes with adult-oriented media in the United States, “there’s still a lot of resistance to media that are coded as children’s media being really fully [integrated] into that space.”
I am still letting that sink in. Are our students passive consumers of knowledge as he suggests? Part of me wants to think that is the traditional approach to education in a nutshell. It seems things are changing though. MLTI has brought so many different creative possibilities to the learning process of Maine kids. Now if we could just encourage the next step; creating a amenable legal environment that encouraged students to create new culture out of old. Yeah, I am talking to you congress.
Yesterday I was reading Martin Weller’s blog. As per my usual, I peruse many blogs everyday looking for tidbits and gems. In his post, Should universities break copyright law?, he posted a video I hadn’t seen before. It is a remix of an open source documentary on remixing and copyright. Here, take a look.
This is actually a Boing Boing remix of the full documentary. Interesting, yes?
I followed the link trail to Open Source Cinema where the original documentary can be found. The website gives you the tools to create your own videos and remix media. I may start to use the site on a regular basis for some projects here and there. However, that is not what this blog series is about.
The original documentary is broken up into 13 parts. I haven’t watched them yet. My aim is to watch each part and post my thoughts here on edutim. This could work. It could not. We will see.
As some of you know I am a big proponent of open source. Not just open source software, but the idea of freely available content. Free in both meanings of the word. Yes, there is the idea of no monetary cost. That is sometimes true, but tends to devalue the entire idea and reasoning behind “open content.” In my view, the more important meaning is liberty. The rights to use and reuse knowledge, or in the words of this documentary, remix. Hopefully, some of my ideas and thoughts will come out of the woodwork as I watch this movie.
If you want a primer on this entire issue, I highly suggest reading anything by Larry Lessig. I have talked about his genius before and never miss an opportunity to share his thoughts with people. He is one of the brightest minds out there in regards to copyright and technology. Luckily for you there is a great TED Talk by Larry Lessig where he presents some thoughts on how creativity is being strangled by the law.
With that, I will see you next time.