Wednesday, 18 January 2012
Deader than Elvis #SOPA #ACTA #filmmaking
As someone who makes films, I'm supposed to be very concerned about copyright and piracy. I was once, but now I'm not. I have come to understand that IP is deader than Elvis and ultimately, while conglomerates and politicians seek lockdown over the internet and copyright enforcement, the reality of how media will move away from that notion and into a more access based system founded on usage, will be tested and implemented, not only by web techs and innovators but by people like me in the indie film world. We are the ones at the bottom of the food chain who will really evaluate and trial the new platforms that are sculpted for us and sort the wheat from the chaff as to what will make the new distribution mainstream as the shift to a new paradigm happens. In fact, we've already begun.
It's been interesting today to spend time on the internet to see people's absorption with how this could become much harder for us with the issue of the bills like SOPA, PIPA and in Europe, ACTA and whether people are disinterested, confused or outraged by the proposals, or have blacked out their websites for the day or not, seems irrelevant to me. These bills if not passed in to law in their current forms I think will return in another form, because conglomerates, afraid to let go of the system they make their money from without a proven alternative will carry on pushing to protect their interests. Nobody stops dialysis with just the hope of a new kidney.
The good news is this resistance to change happens every time there is an adjustment in the way media is distributed. With radio, the music industry was horrified at people listening to music for free but it turned out to be the best thing ever causing a boom in music revenues! Video repeat fees were only given at a far lower rate than television broadcast because studios had no initial idea whether this new innovation would be profitable or not. Again when internet streaming, webisodes and download sales began residuals took a hit as the fear kicked in that the medium wouldn't work. We all hope a way forward will be found so that crazy laws don't damage our wonderful system of global connectivity, and I'm glad that today awareness was raised so that people can think about the web and what they want it to be because I believe censorship is a far more dangerous thing to content creators than piracy is. Also, as protests go it wasn't the most effective way of making a point but at least it's hard to club websites with batons or tear gas them so it got people talking while being trauma free.
I think the web can be a much better place for us than it currently is and I do believe there is room for everyone's interests on it to be served. I'm hoping to be a tiny part of the shift towards making that happen and that's what I want to be focused on, not worrying about the problem of what might become of the web because of legislation, but doing the small bit that I can do to help the transition to a system that makes that legislation irrelevant and implements something that serves everyone, as any society should serve all it's participants, even the ones who don't understand it very well.