Re: [videoblogging] copyright

As a long-time commercial software developer who has taken a strong interest in Open Source software ( I have a few comments on Mica's e-mail…

>I was really impressed with the creative commons idea initially. Clearly with
>digital media and prevelance of sampling, the old way is not going to work. It
>makes sense that one should be able to determine the restrictions around the
>use of their material but ultimately becomes what all copyright law is – One Big
>Grey Area- especially were creativity and art are concerned. Enforcing any
>copyright law comes down to who has a better lawyer.

Fortunately there are organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation ( ) that (on occasion) step in to protect "the little guy". It was EFF that helped the JibJab ( guys get the company that *claimed* to have the rights to "This Land is Your Land" to leave them alone. (EFF discovered the "This Land" was already in the public domain. —

Another thing worth considering is that in the blogosphere/blogger community, there seems to be a strong sense of ethics, and using a CC license makes it easy for the honest people to do the right thing.

>Its great to establish laws meant to protect the little guy (us) but these laws
>unfortunately work best when they are working against us.

The interesting thing about CC and copyleft ( is that they aren't newly established laws, but novel uses of the existing laws. In the software world, the GNU manifesto ( and copyleft were really a stroke of genius on Richard Stallman's ( part.

I believe there are three important things that everyone must do:

1) When creating content, make it clear how you would like it to be used
2) When using content, respect the wishes of the creators
3) Speak up about abusers of the "system" and also where the "system" needs
to be changed or improved.

There is fertile ground for videoblogging in the hypocrisy of Disney, or the irony of Ludlow trying to enforce a copyright on Woody Guthrie's "This Land" when Guthrie said things like:

"This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright # 154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin' it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don't give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that's all we wanted to do."

See Dan Gillmor's post ( ) for more on this.

> I know my take is
>perhaps defeatest, perhaps idealistic ?

Personally, I'm idealistic and optimistic 🙂

— Sean

M. Sean Gilligan : 831-466-9788 x11
Catalla Systems, Inc.