Tag Archives: culture

Zenith, a cyberpunk thriller licensed Creative Commons

I received a news announcement from VODO.net recently regarding Zenith, one of the new film projects on the website:

A father and son, separated by decades and a cataclysm that has upturned the world, track a grand and elusive conspiracy in this cyberpunk thriller.

In the hellish future of 2044, human beings have become stupefied by the state of permanent happiness they’ve been genetically altered to experience. ‘Dumb’ Jack (Peter Scanavino) offers relief via drugs that bring his customers the welcome phenomenon of pain. But when Jack receives a mysterious videotape of his dead father, he sets out to unmask the dangerous conspiracy that has created this dystopian world.

Of course, it’s not necessarily the most original representation of a dystopian world. But considering how many movies these days are (not) original content – it’s a marvel that people still pay for the content. That’s why I’m very enthusiastic about this project, because it aims to be crowdfunded (VODO makes it easy) with $10,000 USD per episode (≃7000 EUR). Not only is that in itself rather punk and DIY, which keeps the production cost effective, but the result is that it may very well work given the possible global fanbase and the resulting long tail.

Zenith really shows the possibility to produce something at least on a par with professional studio productions. Even the actors are satisfyingly good, which is uncommon even for the usual TV show. And the full production is awaiting 3 more episodes to be fully produced and released.

Another show worth downloading and even directly supporting the production is Pioneer One, also released/distributed through VODO.net. It’s been mentioned before in comments on my blog but I’ve never dedicated a post for it. It is too a very well made – though only recently initiated – video production. Pioneer One is in the form of a TV series and will be releasing their third episode on March 28th.

Should anyone who reads this go on and see either Zenith, Pioneer One (or take part of any other free culture) – I encourage you to donate support as well as talk and write about it. As with any Creative Commons piece of culture or art, it’s the responsibility of the commons to market it. Only the huge studios have enough money (and bad enough strategies) to waste time and effort on marketing and hunting filesharers. The professionality of much freely licensed material shows that the multibillion dollar industries are not a prerequisite for quality films or shows.

Three symbols of the philosophy of accessibility regarding culture in the future.

For Creative Commons and other free culture definitions to take off we must talk about copyright issues, consequences and future ways of distributing culture. One example is how VODO.net takes advantage of the free OpenBittorrent/The Pirate Bay tracker services to keep its distribution costs to a minimum. Another is encouraging content consumers to become content producers, in order to create a global society of cultural sharing, curiosity and acceptance.

In Umeå, Sweden, we have an organisation dedicated to encouraging and promoting free culture: Common Culture of Umeå

Redundans, samt färdlektyr till Vaasa

Jag har känt mig oerhört redundant på sistone. Samt matt i hjärnan från modeblogg-perioden som jag nog tog mental skada av. I vart fall har majoriteten ämnen jag varit intresserade av och läst kring och funderat att skriva om tagits upp av andra oerhört väl redan.

Bland annat har rsms klottrat ner oerhört läsvärda funderingar kring feministisk nätpolitik och även bidragit med mer tillfredställande analyser kring begreppet “kritisk distans”.

Vidare har jag diskuterat mycket afk gällande just ungdomars uppväxt, uppfostran, hur man ska bemöta dagens spurt in i vuxenvärlden (notera: ej vuxenlivet). Barn och unga springer idag rakt in en värld som gårdagens (dagens) föräldrar knappt kunnat föreställa sig när det gäller informationskritik, [kritisk] distansering och allt vad det heter.

Men så upptäcker jag att det här skrevs det ju helt klockrena tankar om redan vid början av 2000-talet!

Så nu är jag på resa till Vaasa. Jag ska försöka ladda upp till något slags originellt resonemang åtminstone. Hjälp mottages gladeligen. För er som vill hamna i liknande tankebanor rekommenderar jag följande lektyr, vilken jag nu gräver in mig i under en resa till Vaasa:

Copy_party! at the Umeå Art academy

Umeå Commonhood of Potlachs arrangerar copyswap! Awesome. Jag hoppas jag kan ta mig dit und so weiter. Även om jag inte orkar släpa med mig alla hårddiskar och crap, det lär ju vara en gemytlig stämning i allmänhet. Sharing is caring!

Let’s feed the dragons at the art academy!
Everyone is welcome to share and receive stuff.
Just bring your precious hard-drives, computers, cd/dvd´s and other stuff!

Wunderbar. Kulturspridning for great justice!

  • Start Time: Wednesday, 10 February 2010 at 19:00
  • Location: Umeå Art academy

För att ta sig in gäller det bara att ringa på dörren eller telefonera Eskil (073-5656805), som verkar ha någon slags insläppsansvarsroll. Allt enligt Facebook-eventet.

Most welcome!

Creative Commons and the Capital of Culture

Umeå municipality was last year elected to become “Capital of Culture” in Europe during 2014. Every year two cities are elected this position, which are in turn granted funds and encouraged to promote cultural activites. “Open source”, “participation” and “accessibility” are three of the guiding phrases Umeå have used to describe its cultural stamina. However, the actual meaning behind these words seem to be slightly disregarded.

Downloading this image from here is illegal. Umeå 2014 probably wants you to do it, though. Photo: Darren Packman

Today I was linked a spectacular HDR photography (all HDR pics look spectacular…) of the logotype Umeå uses for its Capital of Culture campaign. I know I somewhat praised Flickr in my last post on Creative Commons, but truth be told most material there is still monopolistic. Such as this photo of Umeå’s former town hall, elegantly positioned behind the 2014 logo.

However, the photograph is not licensed specifically and thus falls into the claws of copyright. No one is allowed to share it without permission, except to ones closest friends and family. Please also note that Sweden does not have “fair use” laws.

This is not a complaint, apart from my general nagging, but rather an expressed wish that the group behind Umeå 2014 really sit down together and think about what they want. What does one really mean when using the phrase “accessible” culture? Or “open source” for that matter. Participatory culture (“The art of co-creation”) is even the subheader for part 1 of Umeå’s proposed application, which is efficiently eradicated through the use of “All rights reserved”.

Co-creation is at the heart of the Open Source software movement, where users have full access to the source code and are empowered to make their own changes and improvements to it.

Now, that sounds all fine and dandy. Sure, it’s mostly a rip-off from Gävle’s their portrayed view of the freedom to roam cultural life (“kulturell allemansrätt” in Swedish), but that’s what is encouraged. “Rip-off” is just a negative word – it’s actually a “spin-off”, or “development” of the phrase. I’d like it if they weren’t just throwing words around.

Umeå attitude to Open Source isn’t just empty talk. Umeå has a proven track record of co-creation, and this has lead to pioneering modes of expression.

…is how the application formulates it. Though none of the projects listed (operas/librettos, closed source library applications, architectural design, Cultumea.com) below really specify what one is actually allowed to do with the immaterial creations. As mentioned above this means the works are defaulted to a restrictive copyright which bans sharing, participation and even consuming. The only reflection on legal rights to works I can find is the mundane statement on Cultumea.com’s ToS: “Check that you have the legal right to post for example texts, images or audio. A lot of material is copyrighted and may not be uploaded to this site without permission from the copyright holder”.

My interpretation of actions taken by – despite the phrasing – are that culture is something one consumes. However. the slight glimpse of hope I can extract from the documents by the Umeå 2014 group is what I really support. The fact that culture is something one participates in. My definite recommendation is the use of Creative Commons licensing both as a means to an end, but also to be true to the written word. The fact that it might also encourage others to use the same sort of licenses is a purely good consequence.

The day I can proudly say that material produced by, for and during the Umeå 2014 campaign is encouraged to be shared (through its licensing) – not even the most bitter of cultural accessibility proponents would complain. Please, Umeå 2014, take into account that the nature of today’s copyright impedes cultural development. If sought for, I’d be happy to hold lectures on the possibilities of Free cultural licenses. Give me coffee for the evening and I’m yours. You can even copy my presentation and share it with anyone – legally.

The Authors Guild discriminate against the handicapped

Apparently Amazon now caves on the retarded outburst from Authors Guild head Roy Blunt, Jr. Amazon will now implement technology to prevent people with for example eye-sight deficiency or other reading difficulties to enjoy good litterature. Not in general though, it’ll be left up to the authors to decide whether to .

Therefore, we are modifying our systems so that rightsholders can decide on a title by title basis whether they want text-to-speech enabled or disabled for any particular title.

In Sweden, fortunately, there are exceptances to copyright law which aids people with disabilities to consume culture. There are certain restrictions to what the copyright monopoly can restrict in regard to making available texts as audio. This because people who have a hard time reading books also have a right to consume culture. I have a hard time thinking that anyone in Sweden could publicly accept the collateral cultural damage Amazon’s actions will cause.

We’ll see how the various unavoidable Kindle-style devices that are soon to sprout up in Europe and Sweden handle the issue. Hopefully the European Union won’t fall for the same threats as Amazon and issue federal laws that discriminate against less fortunate citizens. Because then we might as well say goodbye to public culture as we know it. Because of copyright-monopolistic maniacs.

Fuck you, Authors Guild.

Kommentarer till mina medbloggare

Clown Quartet - Triohatala (by Stimmhorn)Först hade jag tänkt börja kommentera vad jag skulle vilja kalla skandalen kring Norrlandsoperan och dess kissande artist.

Inte för att de ska ha en kissande artist. Visst, det känns lite töntigt när man säger det så att en massa skattepengar går åt till att finansiera en festival som tror sig spränga könsbarriärer med lite kiss… Men det är inte vad jag vill prata om.

Jag tycker snarare att det är högst löjligt att våra kommunpolitiker gör en sådan sak av det. Kom igen. Nog har väl kommunen beslutat kring mer meningslösa saker med sina pengar? (heeellooooo det kommande badhuset!)

Det verkar som att ni slutat upp vid det här laget, men jag vill ändå uppmana er att inte fortsätta lyfta ämnet. MADE har ju inte gjort annat än lyckas med sin marknadsföringsidé – provocera & bli omtalad. Wabam. Inget mer med

Resten av festivalen blir väl lika bra eller dålig oavsett om en kissande artist står på scen – övertala istället vilken del av kommunen som nu finansierar dem att besluta utifrån helheten om man ska fortsätta.
(jag hoppas förvisso personligen på att få chans att träffa Stimmhorn, de som gjort musiken till den underbara ‘musikvideon’ med Clown Quartet för Stimmhorn – Triohatala)

För det tredje. Digital-TV. När ska jag som bor i en bostadenlägenhet i centrala stan bli uppkopplad på fiber?? Jag bara undrar!

//Pernilla Djärv, 3/4 -07

Well, det du. Nog för att rätt många Bostaden-lägenheter har fiberuppkoppling (alla sedan 2000 eller något? kanske fler?), men där slutar det roliga. (visst snackar vi bredband-fiber?)

Bostaden har ju monopol på sin utrustning. De tillåter _endast_ sitt dotterbolag Kommunicera att sälja uppkoppling via kabelmodem och fiberanslutning i de lägenheter där det finns. Man kan således inte välja fritt på något som helst sätt – om man inte tar sig an en ADSL-uppkoppling som jag gjort personligen.

Frågan är om du ens skulle kunna använda uppkopplingen för IPTV och liknande, Pernilla. Antingen skulle det ta på din 12GB gräns per månad i trafiköverföring (utanför ‘NorrNod DMZ’) eller så skulle du behöva vänta på att Bostaden _själva_ börjar erbjuda IPTV. Om det nu var det du snackade om.

Nåväl, vidare…

‘Under torsdagen hörde jag ett radioreportage om de smutsiga toaletterna på skolorna. Det finns ingen annan utväg där än att ungdomarna själva tar det största ansvaret. Bevakade toaletter känns ingen möjlig väg att vandra.’

//Lennart Holmlund, 10/4 -07

Ey, Lenn’.
I hear ya! Dagen vi bevakar toaletter (vare sig det är själva toastolen eller utanför, som det visserligen troligen talas om) är dagen vi slänger oss ännu en hästlängd närmare ett övervakningssamhälle.

Vad jag undrar dock, innan jag börjar babbla på om mina åsikter här, är vad du har för argument eller tankar kring just övervakning i samhället i övrigt. Någon kort utläggning vore högst uppskattad!

Jag diskuterar detta mer än gärna med folk i övrigt, om någon har tiden för
det. Det är en viktig fråga och konsekvenserna av felhanterad övervakning kan vara mäkta dryga vill jag påstå. Släng gärna iväg något mail till mig på mmn@hethane.se om ni läsare har åsikter i frågan.