There’s the relentless global economic meltdown, the lack of accountability, and the injustice of who is bearing the burden of financial crime and negligence. Then there’s steady degradation of the internet, from a space of potential liberation to one which feels more controlled and corporatized by the day…
Those seem like two fairly distinct issues, but this brilliant remix by Felipe G. Gil (who wrote La Fuerza Bruta that I referenced a couple days ago) captures the interplay against the backdrop of the Spanish 15-M Movement. You can catch the drift without understanding Spanish – I recommend full-screen mode:
In his contextual notes, Felipe informs us that YouTube would not post his video, probably because it samples the boring Tron sequel (he makes that film seem much cooler and more relevant than it really is). Yet another case where copyright law, claiming to be in service of protecting cultural creators, in effect is used to stifle dissent and relentlessly commoditize the culture in which we live. I’m reminded of David Kernohan’s recent post on The bubble of openness:
Giulia Forsythe paraphrases Lessig (via Jim Groom) to say:“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.”
Just because the majority of the media of our formative years (music, television, film, literature…) belongs to one or other of the big publishing conglomerates does not mean that it does not also belong to us. Part of the reason such intellectual property is so valuable to publishers is because of the value we (as readers in the widest sense of everything being a text) invest in it.
As dark as my mood gets, I recall that I once got a lesson on remix from Felipe himself (recorded for entry into the Platoniq Bank of Common Knowledge), which illustrates just how fortunate I am to be tapped into such an incredible network. There’s big fun to be had as we descend into the maelstrom.
For a somewhat more direct demonstration of the threat to internet freedom as it relates to the possibility of a reasonable human society, check out Lawrence Lessig’s presentation to the disturbing e-G8 Forum. To me Lessig’s key point, one that must not be lost on educators, is the importance of creators and mashers on the fringes to innovation and progessive change.
Thanks to Carla Melgar for turning me on to the Lessig video.