I’ve got a great two-video combo for you today that throws a spotlight on the current state of remix culture and values that are fundamental to the changing creative and cultural landscape of the social web. By fundamental, I mean that the values we chose to uphold when it comes to freedom, creativity and control in this new world of sharing and remixing content will dictate behaviors and culture that influence the direction and trajectory of the ecosystem. That’s a mouthful that means “for the sake of the community and the future, get the values right first”.
It’s important to realize that right now, we’re still figuring out how to handle platforms like YouTube and how to deal with copyright because it’s all so new. These nascent values (like fair use etc) are still up for debate, so we’ve got to work hard to understand what they mean for the ecosystem and how choices one way or the other might affect behaviors and outcomes in the future.
Now, I do realize that I’m asking you to spend 30 minutes here, which in the world of the web is an eternity, but here’s the thing….in my opinion, if you want to wrap your noodle around these issues, these two videos do a great job of getting you informed quickly. In the context of all the content that’s out there on this stuff and the density of a lot of the text you’re likely to come across, 30 minutes of video is pretty quick. Agreed? Ok, here we go…
This first video is quick (just 5 minutes). Margaret Gould Stewart, YouTube’s head of user experience, talks about how YouTube’s technology works and polices the massive number of videos uploaded to its site every day, as well as how they work with copyright holders and creators to foster creativity and mutual benefit in the ecosystem. It gives you a glimpse into how YouTube is thinking about remix culture and how to facilitate a system that seeks to reconcile creative freedom with marketplace competition. The scale of the technology is staggering. This gives you a nice macro view of the volume of content that YouTube’s trying to deal with.
In this second video Harvard professor Larry Lessig, an authority on copyright issues, takes a look at remix culture from the point of creators, society and community values. If you watched the first video, there are some great points where Larry cleverly paints a very different picture of what it’s like to be on the other end of YouTube’s system. Because you havent watched the video yet, I wont spoil it but (because it’s my blog) I’ll still say that I think Larry is really freakin smart and ask that you pay attention to the minutes around this quote:
“Freedom needs this opportunity to both have the commercial success of the great commercial works, and the opportunity to build this different type of culture. And for that to happen you need ideas like fair use to be protected and central to enable this kind of innovation…between these two creative cultures, a commercial and a sharing culture.”