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Lessig on Digital Barbarism

Lawrence Lessig has posted a review of David Halperin's recent book, Digital Barbarism.

Halperin, who authored the (in)famous New York Times article calling for perpetual copyright, has now compiled his ideas into a book. Lessig offers a much-needed critique, including citing misconceptions about Creative Commons (Halperin conflates it not only with "freeware" with software... more

Got Popcorn?
Rebecca Kahn, iCommons reporter (South Africa) · Dec 04th, 2006 8:43 am · 24 votes · no comments made
In this month's (not quite) '10 of the Best', we take a look at seven of-the-best, full-length open source films online. We didn't quite make the quota as this is still a growing genre. The costs and production demands of making a full-length film, either animated or live action are prohibitive, but as the list below testaments, creative people have come up with some very innovative solutions, from creative fundraising, to shooting in bedroom-studios.

There is some debate around the definition of open source film. Does it have to be made/edited with open source tools, or is it enough to just licence the film with a Creative Commons licence? Does it have to be remixable? All of these are interesting questions, and (hopefully) as the genre grows, answers will emerge.

Till then, get the popcorn, and settle back

Bloodspell (UK)
A full-length Machinima animated film, BloodSpell has been released over a series of 13 episodes. The final episode, number 14 will be available on December 6th. Machinima is a filmmaking technique that makes use of choreographed computer game action sequences, shot with in-game cameras. These are then edited together to create whole scenes.
In English, licensed under a CC BY-NC-SA 2.5 licence." href="">

Cafune (Brazil)
The first full-length film to be released with a CC licence in Brazil, Cafuné was released online and in cinemas simultaneously, and with different endings. Downloaders were also encouraged to remix the endings. Director Bruno Vianna told iCommons that releasing the film with a CC licence made sense, since the film had been made using public funding.
In Portuguese, licenced with a CC BY-NC-SA 2.5 licence.

Cactuses (USA)
A full-length film, made by 24 high school and 5 college students in Mantect, California, Cactuses was one of the first features to be released on BitTorrent and grew out of a collaboration between two NGOs - The Arc2 project and Give Every Child A Chance. A drama about a rebellious teenager and the older woman who becomes his role model, Cactuses was made with the intention of rising above the usual standard of 'student cinema'.
In English, licensed with a CC BY-NC-ND 2.5 licence." href="">
Elephants Dream (Netherlands)
A full-length, animated feature, Elephants Dream is made entirely with open source tools like Blender. The film follows two characters, Proog and Emo, as they explore the inside of a huge, futuristic machine. All the production files are also available for download and remixing. The film project was initiated by the Blender Foundation, with the dual aim of creating an animated film, and researching the usability and quality of open source projects. The production team included six different nationalities, while many more volunteers contributed coding and other services.
In English, licenced with a CC BY 2.5 licence.

Route 66 (Germany)
Distributed by German open source film netlabel Vebfilm, Route 66 is, essentially, a road movie, about three Germans who make their way across the USA. The English version was officially released in the CC Cinema on Kula Island in Second Life this August. Veb are currently trying to fund and finish their second feature, so have a look at their site and give them some support.
In English and German, licenced with a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 licence.

Starwreck: The Perkinning (Finland)
A full-length sci-fi parody, Starwreck took seven years to make, shot in a makeshift studio in creator/producer Samuli Torssonen's home on a Sony DVCAM. The Perkinning is the seventh in a series of Star Wreck parodies, which have gathered a cult following among Finnish sci-fi fans. Within two weeks of the movie's authorized internet release it was estimated that more than 1,500,000 copies of the movie has been downloaded, and current estimates hold the number of downloads at 4 million. In Finnish, with English subtitles and a CC BY-NC-ND 1.0 licence.
Universal Pictures have recently agreed to distribute Star Wreck. The visuals are being tuned up for the re-release, and Star Wrek: The Perkinning - Imperial Edition will be available in Scandinavia from December 13. Take a peek at the future release here.
Special Mention

A Swarm of Angels (UK)
Not quite a film yet, A Swarm of Angels is a halfway point between a top-down traditional film making model and a bottom up, completely user-generated content model. The aim of a Swarm of Angels is to get 50 000 people to fund a 1 million pound film, through paying a membership subscription fee to the project. This allows members (aka Angels) to participate in the actual making of the film, at various levels of the process. Viewers will be able to vote on an online forum for which one of two scripts will be used. They will also be able to contribute to the development of the film's script, donate various materials or work on the crew. Because the entire film is CC licenced, participants will be able to sample visuals from the project for their own work, and be able to feed them back into the production. If you're keen to become an angel, visit the film's webpage, and make a contribution. The final product will use a
CC BY-NC-SA 2.5 licence.

tags: international culture

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