WEEK 9 – YouTube & Online Video: A Word On Overnight Celebrities…

23 May

For the Week 11 Tutorial Exercise I came across Lauren’s post about the rise of the YouTube celebrity; a direct response to one of the Week 9 Main Blog questions:

A) Burgess and Green argue that: ordinary people who become celebrities through their own creative efforts “remain within the system of celebrity native to, and controlled by, the mass media” (Reader, page 269).

I identified well with Lauren’s argument agreeing entirely that despite YouTube initially allowing amateurs to gain awareness and a following online, the individual cannot become a ‘celebrity’ without passing through traditional forms.
She provides an excellent example in her reference to Charice Pompengco from Glee.
Even though she initially became a YouTube ‘star,’ she would not have achieved the celebrity status she possess’s today if traditional mass media had not also embraced her and her talents; such as Radio stations, Magazines and tabloids, and of course, television programs and networks. \

http://laurengasparini.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/youtube-fame-fortune-not-possible/

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“Pirates With A Purpose: Promoting Participation in Global Productions.”

22 May

Medosch argues that: “piracy, despite being an entirely commercially motivated activity carried out in black or grey markets, fulfills culturally important functions” (Reader, page 318)

The ongoing debate regarding the issue of Piracy and remix culture in countries all over the world, has been severely exacerbated by the increasing flow of information and the development of Globalization in recent years. In a fast growing world of free software and digital commodities, questions of ownership are often unclear and  frequently disputed between parties, given the commercial appeal to individuals in being able to easily access “a public sphere of legitimately ‘free’ things that could be copied, used, and modified” to gain a competitive edge within the market (Medosch,2008). This largely resulted from the introduction of copyleft licensing systems aimed at combatting Piracy, (or perhaps just diluting and disguising its illegal form) such as the “internationally working non-profit organisation” Creative Commons, as well as the Free Software Foundation’s introduction of the “GNU General Public License”, which as Medosch states “had been adapted by coders worldwide…[and had even] made it into the mainstream of software engineering [by] multinationals such as Sun and IBM. (2008)”

GNU General Public License - 'Free as in Freedom.'

Given the growing desire of content producers worldwide to be – as Medosch (2008) describes – legally allowed to “participate in the free universe by packaging their work” with such codes, many, including Medosch himself decided to “support this legitimate universe of free software and the collaborative ethos behind it.” Medosch, like many others concluded that one of the benefits of an open commons was that it became no longer useful or necessary to be  “fighting the copyright industry with little provocations (2008),” not to mention the appeal to legally create “beautiful islands of free software, [and]  free media(2008).”

Medosch raises a sound argument for the necessity and potential benefits of remixed works and even full blown piracy when one considers that “large international vertically integrated media corporations stifle local production by completely taking over marketing and distribution channels (2008).” The most prominent markets for pirated goods tend to be in Eastern nations, in “economies that capitalist media tends to label as ’emerging.” In nations such as China, India, Taiwan, Brazil and many more, the production and selling of pirated DVD’s, CD’s, VCD’s and multitudes of other counterfeit goods are profound, and as Medosch argues, quite necessary in “giving access to cultural goods which otherwise would be completely unavailable to the vast majority of the people (2008).”

Trailer for “Pirated Copy.” Made in Malaysia, 2006.

An excellent example of how pirated goods benefit such cultures despite their illegal nature, is documented in the Asian film “Pirated Copy.” The film brings awareness to the “suprisingly strong interest the buyers of video CD’s and DVD’s have in ‘art movies,'” or alternative, non-mainstream works that unless circulated within the black-market, they would seldom ever get to view.

In concluding his point of view Medosch states: “In a grossly distorted world of free trade those who capitalism treats merely as cheap labour can use piracy as a counter-hegemonic force by giving them a chance to empower themselves through obtaining information, knowledge and sophisticated productions. (p.318)”

Piracy, in other words, empowers masses of under-exposed people to actively engage in and promote the diverse range of millions of works on offer from all corners of the globe, be it film, music, television, games or software, and therefore satisfies their previously neglected “sophisticated tastes and needs.”

540 Words

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OMG fact… Copyright enters the big wide world of Twitter.

16 May

http://www.theage.com.au/technology/technology-news/omg-twitter-kid-sues-as-rich-tweet-stream-flows-away-20110516-1eow0.html                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Found this articles particularly relevant to this weeks readings!
Enjoy.

“It may not pay to tell the truth: Unbiased Bloggers breaking big business.”

14 May

Russell (et al.) compares elite media and institutions with bloggers and ponders the following question: “Do bloggers, with their editorial independence, collaborative structure and merit-based popularity more effectively inform the public?” (Reader, page 136). Do you agree? Use examples to illustrate your point of view.

In the rise of new media and increased participatory networking, it is becoming evident that contrary to dominant mainstream media firms and large news corporations, individual bloggers and independent online diarists are not restricted nor shaped by many of the demands that determine how commercialized news firms operate.  How each of the two news sources conduct their business is significantly different; given that for each, the term “business” holds vastly different meanings. For one, news and its effective reporting is a profit-driven business – shaped by a drive to sell papers, meet deadlines, frame issues and news in ways that satisfy the media bosses of the respective companies, and finally to satisfy other stakeholders; including the general public. Bloggers on the other hand, have no such monetary incentives, instead relying on their popularity and number of followers to solidify them as a genuine source of news. Such online web-publishing platforms are therefore unburdened by the influences that control the mainstream media in their pursuit of revenue. In this sense, it can be argued that bloggers now have and are re-bringing to life the rare kind of journalistic freedom that has been taken from news journalists and reporters in modern mainstream arenas – who must meet the everyday demands of those superior to them. Such a freedom is of importance to the public’s knowledge when considering that non-profit driven news may in fact be more truthful – particularly when of political nature – as it often provides varying perspectives that the mainstream news agenda will not.

An example of this is the controversial yet ground-breaking Wikileaks, which “is a non-profit media organization dedicated to bringing important news and information to the public” and “providing a universal way for the revealing of suppressed and censored injustices” (www.wikileaks.ch, 2011). Like Wikileaks, other news blogs and political web-publishing platforms, arguably pose as a major threat to the credibility of major news networks. Russel et al. suggest this is fuelled by the public’s “increasing scepticism towards mainstream media,” which is what has “prompted readers to become active participants in the creation and dissemination of news” in the first place (2008).

Building on this point, Russel et al. note how “evolving digital communications tools and practices are clashing with those of traditional news media,” such as personal emails or photos of soldiers in Iraq contradicting how the media are portraying  the conditions at war. Despite the increasing support for the vast content on news blogs, the ultimate question remains, who does in fact inform the public better? I would argue that the mainstream media, despite their monetary motives and politically economised operations, may indeed be more efficient in delivering breaking news stories and quick facts to a mass audience, simply because they have the financial capabilities and distribution channels to achieve so. However, once this initial grasp on the particular story is held, media consumers are far better exploring the internet to further their knowledge, information and points of view, which, as a participatory network promotes discussion and debate on issues, and leaves behind the  “we write, you read’ dogma of modern journalism.” (Mark Deuze as cited by Russel et al. 2008).

523 words

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I Bet You Didn’t Know This…

14 May

I’m just a little bit fascinated right now!

To Share or Not to Share… My Creative Commons License.

14 May

Following week 10 tutorial’s exercise, explain why you chose the Creative Commons license that you added to your blog and discuss the relevance (or not) of adding the license.

The Creative Commons website was made accessible to internet users in December of 2002, with the primary aim to “counter shifts towards an intellectual property conception of copyright in American Law (Garcelon, 2009).” In an age where Lessig (2004) warns of a severe “narrowing access to creative works,” the founders of Creative Commons “strive to recover the sense of copyright championed by [Thomas] Jefferson.” In the 1700’s Jefferson, the “original architect of American Copyright Law, argued that ideas should remain in the public domain rather than bound by legal restrictions (Garcelon, 2009)”.  The Creative Commons initiative is one step towards the possibility to “break open the mass media system’s de facto control of copyright and much public discourse,” and given that the Creative Commons website “does record millions of hits,” Garcelon (2009) is confident that “the potential for such reform grows.”

I chose to include a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License to my Blog, which states that as a visitor to my page (as stated within http://wiki.creativecommons.org) any user is free to share the included information on my blog with others, which may or may not  involve individuals choosing to “copy, distribute and transmit the work” that I publish within a given post. The possibility to Remix aspects of information from my Blog is also permitted and allows visitors to my page to adapt my Blog’s content for their own purpose’s and information. This however must adhere to specific conditions; which include the user or ‘remixer’ of the content attributing the particular extract of my work in “the manner specified by the author or licensor,” me. Furthermore, the user must ensure that the attribution is not included in a way which suggests that I, the author or licensor endorses them or their use of my work.

The user must also be aware that the set conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License can be surpassed if the situation calls for a waiver — whereby “any of the above conditions can be waived if [one] get[s] permission from the copyright holder.” Medosch (2008) notes that Creative Commons “allows creators to choose and mix between different levels of freedom and protection…[where] authors [can] safely share their texts and music, yet still retain some rights.”

The license also does not affect works existing within the Public Domain “under applicable law.” Finally, additional specific rights are also not affected by the conditions of the license. These include the users “fair dealing or fair use rights… the author’s moral rights, and rights other persons may have either in the work itself or in how the work is used, such as publicity or privacy rights.”

I chose this license given that the nature of this particular Blog does not entail me uploading any personal artworks or images, music or other creative content that I would insist remain in its original state. If users wish to quote my Blog entries by all means they may, so long as the quotes are referenced accordingly to acknowledge myself and my page. I believe that this will encourage discussion on particular issues and topics discussed on my Blog and see no harm in others building upon or questioning my point of view for the purpose of healthy discussion and debate.

504 Words

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Wanna make a good YouTube video? Look it up on YouTube… Obviously…

29 Apr