Okay, so Alec Couros called me out for identifying the white elephant in the #ds106Radio room but still not actually discussing it.
I know Alec and I are on the same side of this issue but I agree that it is worth discussing and deconstructing. Clearly *someone* else does too, because he has pre-loaded the Auto-DJ in #DS106Radio with Negativland. When I started this post “Please don’t sue us” was playing.
Another motivator is that it’s conference season; I’ve heard a variety of the DS106Radio players present both in person (once) and over the radio (repeatedly). Every single time, the copyright issue is raised; it is answered to varying degrees, depending on who is giving the presentation.
At Northern Voice, when Mikhail asked Jim Groom to discuss copyright and #DS106Radio- he gave my favourite answer:
We need to think differently about our culture,
what our relationship is to it;
not simply augmenting our experience with technology.
This is changing the very relationships that we frame in this space.
This is McLuhan Shit coming to us live and we are doing it now.
We, right here, have changed a series of social relationships
that are going to be the framework and the blueprint
for what’s to come.
I really love this answer and from the recording you can tell that the audience does too.
Often, at other presentations, however, when the topic of copyright comes up, the presenter jokes, ‘next question!’ and then a short statement is made. But really we have not fully discussed this. Well, perhaps it’s been discussed so much, over, and over again…
Regardless, I think Copyright debates are fascinating, so I’m going to talk about it too; I’m going to address Alec’s point: was copyright material essential specifically in relation to DS106Radio and the building of community?
First things first, I’m going to go back to Alec’s original question:
Most @ds106’ers chimed in that the magic was in the /LIVE & original work. I repeatedly indicated that there was a lot of creative commons, public domain and remixed material, but eventually I had to concede that copyrighted material played a part, indeed probably a crucially important part. Especially in building community, sharing of stories as these songs frame our memories, our past. This is most true on particular on theme days- #musictogrowby, #firstconcert #roadtunes and on and on. It is difficult to tell a story of your youth using the music you grew up with, without playing that music.
Alec also asked this question:
I love how he’s asking Jim Groom & Alan Levine, but I feel obliged to answer. Probably because Alec was at my first impromptu Copyright Smackdown at a pub in New Brunswick last year. He was having a collegial conversation with Terry Anderson, Rory McGreal, Keith Hampson & Christian Blanchette.
Earlier in the day, Alec had given the keynote at Canadian Network for Innovation in Education and Rory got up and said, “well that presentation with all those tools is all very well and good, but did you get permission to use all those clips? Did you get copyright clearance? You know, soon using YouTube like that will be illegal in the classroom?!”
I was outraged. What? That’s ridiculous. Who was this guy??!!
So, when I saw Alec talking to him I told Grant Potter we were gonna have a Copyright Smackdown and deal with this right there. I marched over and somehow managed to get a seat for Grant and me to sit down and discuss.
I think I probably swore more than I should have in the company of a Vice President, but overall, it was a great conversation. I found out that we were all basically on the same side of the issue and Rory was just baiting the audience into outrage and hopefully into action.
I asked Rory what he thought we should do. He said, read Michael Geist’s blog. Yeah, I do that already. Write to your Member of Parliament. Done. (Twice!) What else can I do? Join the Facebook group. Sigh. Yeah, I did that. WHAT ELSE???
Fast forward to #ds106Radio. There is so much about Pirate Radio that I have to catch up on, but I am still really struck by Lawrence Lessig’s 2007 TED talk: Laws that choke creativity and Brett Gaylor’s RIP: REMIX Manifesto. Like Jim says, I believe this is OUR culture. We have a right to review, remix, and make meaning of the media we grew up with through the tools new media provides. I don’t think I can say it better than Lessig, Gaylor or Groom.
But does that answer Alec’s question? Does #DS106Radio bond through deviance? The secret naughtiness of it all?
I don’t think so.
Although there seems to be a strict rule about NO RULES.
NoiseProfessor had to work hard to convince the group that there was #Protocol and that wasn’t a law or rules but rather the genesis of culture. There is still some resistance to the idea of #Protocol but in practice, it exists and the boundaries allow the free form community to flourish. He suggests we refer to Steven Johnson: Where good ideas come from (here’s the link to TED Talk, but more importantly, there’s also a book).
Noiseprofessor writes about #Protocol as our emerging system that keeps DS106Radio in the “fertile zone between too much order and too much anarchy”.
For many reasons, it seems our collective idealism does not seem to consider copyright adherence a priority. I think there might be many reasons out there and I’m still trying to figure out my own.
So, let’s throw it out to the chaotic, liquid network:
- Is it like Jim Groom & Lawrence Lessig say- is this McLuhan shit? Do we ignore copyright because we want to think differently about our relationship to culture?
- Or, is it actually not illegal (yet) to stream music? (I’d stand on trial for that, too, for the record)
- Or does Alec have a point- did deviance play a role?
UPDATE: Two new audio responses have come in via #DS106Radio.