Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Lessig has a thoughtful post urging people to urge the RNC and DNC not to use restrictive copyrights on political debates. With more and more political expression being done in video, it is time we consider the importance of free speech in video. Video is covered by stronger copyright restrictions when it comes to citation and remix than text. Having politicians and political parties push networks to air their words under the most permissive CC license, the CC-BY license would greatly enhance the public's ability to participate in the political video dialog.

UPDATE: Lessig has an update with the crazy rules that NBC uses today for reuse of debate footage.


Yes! That is the way to go.

Actually there is a larger problem to consider here; the use of video clips being used out of context or edited to completely change the meaning. I'm not just talking about individuals here, I think the real news agencies are equally susceptible to the temptation to do this. Also let me make it clear I'm not talking about clear instances or parody, but intentional attempts to twist meaning. AFAICT none of the CC licenses cover this. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

PS: "remix" may not be the correct word here, perhaps you mean re-use? I know that all the cool kids like to say remix when they mean edit, but I want to be sure of what you mean here.

Chris: I think that taking things out of context is done by everyone either intentionally or not. The solution is not to disallow it, but rather to allow enough conversation so that the context is provided in aggregate. I think it's only when there is no dialog or just a single "version" of something, that the single context in which it is presented becomes the "truth" even when it's wrong. It is unfair that only the networks are allowed to present "the view" whether it is the Howard Dean "scream" or the toppling of the Hussein statue in the square.

I think it's more than just re-use, although I suppose you could replace "remix" with "re-edit". I think we're implying derivative use, not just sharing. I want to be able to rearrange and annotate. For instance, the clip that took all of the instances of the word "terrorist" from the RNC convention and strung them together was interesting. It was somewhat "out of context" but an interesting commentary anyway... and I don't think it was particularly misleading. It was "another view".

Here's the RNC remix on You Tube.