Plenty To Think About at IF

by John LaFollette
The ‘Ville Voice correspondent

This year’s Idea Festival is just barely more than halfway finished, and the presentations so far have been far-reaching, well-attended, and largely topical.  If you haven’t made it down yet—it’s one of Louisville’s most interesting annual events, after all—you’re due for a check-in.  Here’s a redux run-down of the ideas being pondered:

Tiffany Schlain — “Connected: A stream-of-consciousness ride through the interconnectedness of humankind”:  The founder of the Webby Awards—the international awards honoring excellence on the internet—and independent film maker is working on a new project called “Connected: A Declaration of Interdependence,” excerpts of which were screened at the opening event of IF 2009.

The film itself, done in Schlain’s distinctive documentary style, discusses the inter-connectedness of systems in nature, the social sciences, and in human behavior.  Into the documentary, she weaves an intensely personal story of her pregnancy with twins during her dying father’s final months battling brain cancer.

The film is still looking for financiers.

Kembrew McLeod –– “Copyright Criminals”:  The most interesting issue raised at IF so far—copyrighting culture.  McLeod’s new documentary “Copyright Criminals” examines, through the prism of sampling in hip-hop, the question of whether artists should own what they create.

The film highlights the problems with American copyright laws—under which the sampling royalties for the drum beats in a particular James Brown track are awarded to the record company that released the song and not to the drummer whose creativity launched the song in the first place—as well as the hypocrisy in claiming that artists across time cannot legally influence each other.

Brilliantly arranged, and boasting a bumping soundtrack, the film will appear on PBS’s Independent Lens next year.

Read More After the Jump…

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Big News: WHAS11 Copyright Infringement Resolution Reached

Thousands upon thousands of people have closely followed an incident involving WHAS11 and Page One/The ‘Ville Voice over alleged copyright infringement. (Yes, we’re surprised by the sheer numbers.) On October 25th someone at WHAS11 wrongly filed a complaint with YouTube which resulted in the removal of video excerpts our media operation was using for purposes of important discussion and criticism, protected by federal Fair Use laws.

It turns out this is a case of much ado about very little. That’s not to diminish its importance. After a meeting last week, WHAS agreed to allow the videos to reappear on YouTube. We agreed to do a better job of linking to their website when we post their videos.

To recap, on November 7th the mainstream media jumped on our story. Louisville Eccentric Observer ran a feature news story about our battle for the freedom of speech in new media. We welcomed and encouraged the publicity. We love publicity. Any news is good news – that’s us.

The problem, as we understand it, was that our video excerpts were attracting a significant audience, web viewers that some at the station believed could have been watching the same video directly through WHAS11.com. We’re all competing for eyeballs on the web, so in their eyes we were a threat. And, one of our videos (like this McConnell story, for instance) did attract more than 22,000 views. So they were probably right to be concerned. Of course, a closer look at the traffic statistics shows that about 65% of our readership comes from outside the Louisville media market– not WHAS11’s core.

Read more…

Major Press: WHAS11 Copyright Story Gets Mainstream Attention

LEO’s Jennifer Oladipo delves into the WHAS11 Fair Use mess as the paper’s feature News story. You’ll recall that two weeks ago someone at WHAS11 wrongly accused us at Page One and The ‘Ville Voice of copyright infringement. The accusation resulted in the loss of major video that was making a national impact and we were left scrambling in the midst of a breaking political scandal.

We’re glad the mainstream media is finally giving this story the legs it deserves. When the printies write about an issue it actually starts to mean something, right? So please take time to read the story and spread it around the blogosphere. And encourage your friends to pick up a copy from newsstands. Sticking up for new media is of major importance to us all.

Update: As a result of this story WHAS11’s management have approached us. We’re optimistic that a resolution is just around the bend!

www.YouSue.com: WHAS-TV goes after Louisville bloggers for posting its video. How far will the station go?

By Jennifer Oladipo

Right now on YouTube, you can find clips of WHAS-TV newscasts, everything from a story about a boy who died from electrocution by a garage door to an interview with the grown-up members of Hanson or footage of a cute but nervous puppy hurling on the anchor’s desk. Keying “WHAS11 video” into Google brings up hundreds more hits.

But there are 10 clips you won’t see, those posted by Louisville blogs The Ville Voice and Page One Kentucky, both published by Full Signal Media. The clips were used in commentaries about news coverage and other issues at WHAS. Page One co-owner Jacob Payne said he believes that’s made them a target: Two weeks ago, the station filed a copyright infringement claim with YouTube against Page One and Ville Voice for using those clips.

Click here to read the rest…

WHAS11 Fair Use Update: Day 7

We were informed last evening, October 31 at 6:31 P.M., that our counter-notification to WHAS11’s wrongful copyright infringement claim has been forwarded to the station.

Oct 31, 2007 6:31 PM
Dear Jacob,

Thank you for your counter-notification. It has been forwarded to the
party that sent the takedown notification. If we receive no response, your
material will be restored between 10 and 14 days from today.

Sincerely,

Harry
The YouTube Team

WHAS11 has 14 days to do the right thing or further stifle free speech and criticism in that they have as many days to contest our counter-notice. Should be noted, however, that nearly all blogs and publications that have undertaken similar battles have won their cases. Freedom of speech in the Fair Use form of discussion and criticism is crucial to our society as a whole and we intend to go to court if that’s what it takes.

Stay tuned to Page One and The ‘Ville Voice for updates to this story.

WHAS11 Fair Use Update: Day 5

There are over 2,000 WHAS11 videos on YouTube and more than 45,000 Google results for “WHAS11 video.” Surprising, isn’t it? If so much of that station’s footage is allowed to virally spread across the internet, why on earth would anyone at that station single us out for a mere ten video clips? What’s with the hypocrisy? What could possibly need to be covered up so badly? This behavior is obviously in retaliation for our criticism. And we must have struck a chord.

Over the past 24 hours we have heard from numerous reporters, producers and employees at WHAS11 and BELO both expressing outrage at the situation and supporting our right to use video clips under Fair Use. Two other local television stations and one in Lexington have offered support.

Click here to read the rest of this story…