Video: Artist Cole Sternberg on His ‘The Content is Bleeding Through’ Installation

I interviewed Cole Sternberg (no relation) last weekend at the unveiling of his new installation. I love the theme and concept of the work, however, i can’t possibly imagine taking the time to rewrite such asinine content all over someone’s walls, ceilings and floors. Cole did it over the course of seven months at a back house on the residence of Normandie Keith in the Hollywood Hills. The 24-hour newscycle, gossip media, and technology such as Twitter has brought the future into our laps and shirt-pockets. Cole calls this a “vision for this apocalyptic moment when media and technology have pushed us so far that all the content blurs together.”

Video and interview below as well as photos from the event.

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Strategies for Curating Online Reading Sources

One of the rare non-Apple laptops seen in an otherwise cool park full of cool people How do you keep up with the blogs, news, and online publications you care about most?

This is a question that commonly comes up among friends and peers engaged in the business of content and discovery. And the answer changes as the web changes.

The algorithms, languages, and technology that enable users to curate an online experience that feels genuinely and uniquely personalized is fascinating. To me, it’s what the web is all about. I’ve long been hooked on RSS and its ability to deliver content of all kinds, from audio/video podcasts to earthquake alerts, almost immediately as published.

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Bono Bloody Bono – Ten for the Next Ten – NYTimes.com

Intellectual Property Developers

Caution! The only thing protecting the movie and TV industries from the fate that has befallen music and indeed the newspaper business is the size of the files. The immutable laws of bandwidth tell us we’re just a few years away from being able to download an entire season of “24” in 24 seconds. Many will expect to get it free.

A decade’s worth of music file-sharing and swiping has made clear that the people it hurts are the creators — in this case, the young, fledgling songwriters who can’t live off ticket and T-shirt sales like the least sympathetic among us — and the people this reverse Robin Hooding benefits are rich service providers, whose swollen profits perfectly mirror the lost receipts of the music business.

We’re the post office, they tell us; who knows what’s in the brown-paper packages? But we know from America’s noble effort to stop child pornography, not to mention China’s ignoble effort to suppress online dissent, that it’s perfectly possible to track content. Perhaps movie moguls will succeed where musicians and their moguls have failed so far, and rally America to defend the most creative economy in the world, where music, film, TV and video games help to account for nearly 4 percent of gross domestic product. Note to self: Don’t get over-rewarded rock stars on this bully pulpit, or famous actors; find the next Cole Porter, if he/she hasn’t already left to write jingles.

Bono’s insinuation that content must be tagged, tracked, and protected in the interest of the creator is an uneven (if not borderline fascist) suggestion.

The biggest problem with this is that bandwidth regulation affects not just entertainment (whether downloaded, streamed, for pay or for free) but everything else that operates in the digital space.

Which includes education, charity, government, and most ironically, the development, production, and broadcast of creative content itself.

Read up on Net Neutrality Bono. The movie industry is booming (in spite of a relative abundance of poor content). But the service providers aren’t just stuffing their pockets with profit, they’re limiting both consumers and creators by throttling bandwidth.

Don’t wage war on the Internet, Bono. Talk about putting your back up against the wall… please don’t go singing that song.

Please comment at ADigitalAge.com

Posted via web from Welcome to the Digital Age

Facebook’s Walled Garden a Gulag?

share on facebookOn February 4 Facebook revised their Terms of Service, removing a clause stating that user content would no longer be under license to Facebook.

Well, now the terms indicate that anything you ever upload or share to your facebook profile — regardless of whether your account is active — is Facebook’s property to do whatever they want with.

UPDATE: Facebook did an about face and reverted to its previous ToS per a blog post on feb 17.

Did anyone receive notification to review the new Terms of Service before someone finally stumbled upon it — an outrageous 11 days after the fact? What if major publishers decide to boycott by removing “share on facebook” links? That’s not happening, not with the increasing traffic these blogs/sites receive via Facebook referrals.

This is the Internet, folks, and this is nothing new and hardly a surprise from Facebook — it was only a matter of time that they reworded the terms of content ownership (check out my previous posts on Facebook privacy here, here, and here).

If you’re someone who openly shares details and content on the Internet (as I do), you’re only fooling yourself if you believe said content cannot be “stolen” or used against you. Think you’re pre-February 4th content is protected (if you have since deleted your Facebook profile? Not likely. Facebook is the model for a walled garden online network. Now we’ll see how far they go with their power to abuse, sell, sublicense and manipulate user data and content.

The key passages of the ToS are below (new ToS / old ToS)

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The Politics of Online Content

It’s often striking to note that the same rules and laws, from libel to copyright, apply online as they do in print. Until copyright laws are updated to reflect the Internet’s spirit of sharing, everything that is posted online is copyrighted by default. In backwards fashion, one must be *proactive* to indicate that sharing/lifting/reprinting of content, videos and photos is acceptable and *not* all rights are reserved.

The attitude of many publishers towards the Web, no thanks to Google/YouTube, is — “if it’s not fair use, what, are we gonna get sued?” And when a takedown notice comes through, the image, video, or other content is removed and usually the conflict is resolved. In other instances, however, a photographer is completely entitled to send a bill to a for-profit publication or organization that uses a photo or video without the creators permission. In the old days of print, I believe they called it “plagiarism.”

There are exceptions, of course. When user-generated content (UGC) is submitted through a module or service that requires agreeing to terms (i.e. checking a box without realizing what exactly you’re doing), the original producer of the content typically often signs off their rights completely on a non-exclusive basis.

In the case of Jamal Albarghouti’s infamous cellphone video of the Virginia Tech shootings, CNN contacted Albarghouti minutes after his submission was received to negotiate exclusive rights (for an undisclosed sum. Surely the creator was aware of the key terms and the key opening clause — submitting content meant no payment from CNN or its affiliates in exchange, automatically, for “a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide license to edit, telecast, rerun, reproduce, use, syndicate, license, print, sublicense, distribute…” (emphasis mine). Yahoo!/Reuters YouWitness News has similar terms, as do other sites, although to see a YouTube “exclusive” on CNN would probably be a first. In other words, no other UGC provider likely had the breadth of worldwide video distribution outlets (and cash) as did CNN (a Time-Warner company).

I wonder if any outlet has ever “bluffed” a claim of exclusive rights to user-generated content and/or how competitors could confirm the nature of their exclusive arrangement, but then again, the distortion of the term “exclusive” (not to mention “breaking news”) throughout the media is for another blog post / conference.

How do you know what you can post and what *might* get you in trouble? I use a Creative commons license or badge to indicate content that I’m happy to share for non-commercial use with proper attribution. In other instances, I’ll gladly accept cash or PayPal. NowPublic, AP’s UGC partner, was friendly enough to send me a message via flickr asking permission to use CC-licensed photos of mine on a couple occasions. Is a CC license legit? Well, your work is copyrighted whether or not you ever file or register a copyright and — after only 5 years of operation, there are over 140 million pages with CC licenses. Where can you find CC-licensed content? They’ve got a search tool.

* C-SPAN’s CC-style license.
* BBC’s Creative Archive Licence Group.
* Poynter’s David Shedden’s guide to copyright & fair use.

Originally posted in the Digital Political Communication class blog on April 20, 2007