“What is Free Culture?” (2013)

This was a re-mix video I cut together from interviews, documentaries, conference videos, and actual free-culture film/video productions to present the concept of “Free Culture” as a broad movement, with a variety of different perspectives and factions, but a unified…

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This was a re-mix video I cut together from interviews, documentaries, conference videos, and actual free-culture film/video productions to present the concept of “Free Culture” as a broad movement, with a variety of different perspectives and factions, but a unified consensus of a more-free media culture. I did get some objections from some of the people whose opinions are depicted, to being presented alongside others with whom they disagree, but presenting the variety of positions was part of my goal in making it. This video presents the heritage of the free-culture movement as a generalization of the free-software movement. I also wanted to address the principle objection to free-culture, which is basically, “Won’t we all starve if we give away our work for free?” And so the middle of the video focuses on business models compatible with free-culture. And finally, it ends with clips from some of the current and in-progress works (in 2013, when I created this video). Possibly it’s a bit too much for a seven-minute video, and it’s not quite as coherent as I would like. Perhaps I will make a better version someday.
This was previously available only on YouTube, but it does not make it easy to get a download link for the video (which is why most of my current videos are on Vimeo now), or to correctly present the license as CC By-SA 3.0 (which it is — although you should be aware that some of the clips are “fair use” from documentary films that are not free-licensed to my knowledge).
Voices in the video:
Nina Paley – Animator and Free-Culture / Copyright Abolitionist Advocate who created “Sita Sings the Blues” (and other films).
Gabriela Coleman – A Sociologist who studies the free-software community.
Richard Stallman – Founder of the Free Software Foundation. Authored the GPL v1.
Eben Moglen – Lawyer and Founder of the Software Freedom Conservancy. Collaborated to create the GPL v2 and v3 licenses which are the primary free-software licenses in use today.
Karen Sandler – Speaking as a representative for the Free Software Foundation, she addresses the issue of embedded software in medical devices.
Natasha Humphreys – An open-source programmer, who describes some of its pragmatic benefits.
Lawrence Lessig – Founder of the Creative Commons organization and free public licenses for artwork, and an advocate for copyright reform (rather than abolition!).
Amanda Palmer – Singer and performance artist who has embraced non-commercial sharing of her work, extensively, and is a successful innovator in free-culture-friendly business models and crowd-funding.
Neil Gaiman – Comic and science-fiction author who has also embraced the economic benefits of sharing his work.
Peter Sunde – Best known for his involvement in Pirate Bay, but also for founding Flattr, a microfunding platform that worked well with many free-culture works.

Of course, if you find this subject interesting, you may want to look up some of the source videos it’s based on:

The Revolution Will Be Animated
https://vimeo.com/8768785

The Digital Tipping Point Archive
http://archive.org/details/digitaltippingpoint

Steal This Film 2 (Interview Footage)
http://footage.stealthisfilm.com/

Neil Gaiman Interview on Orgzine
http://zine.openrightsgroup.org/features/2011/video:-an-interview-with-neil-gaiman
(I’m not too clear on what license is on the original video, but as I’m using a small quotation, that should be a non-issue anyway)

Amanda Palmer TED Talk, “The Art of Asking”
http://www.ted.com/talks/amanda_palmer_the_art_of_asking.html
(This is under a non-free CC license, but also a small quotation)

Nina Paley’s HOPE Talk
https://vimeo.com/14739677
(I’ve also used a couple of her original slides)

Peter Sunde’s 2010 talk at Re:public
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyGCsCpofVk

I also heartily encourage you to follow the film projects I reference:

Blender Open Projects
http://www.blender.org/features-gallery/blender-open-projects/

Question Copyright’s Minute Memes
http://questioncopyright.org/minute_memes

Morevna Project
http://www.morevnaproject.org

Tube
http://urchn.org

Lunatics Project (Anansi Spaceworks — That’s Us!)
http://lunatics.tv

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