July 29, 2004

JibJab Jabbed by Lawyers

The owners of Woody Guthrie's song "This Land" are taking legal action, amazingly, against the creators of the brilliant parody of the song on jibjab.com (mentioned here a few days ago).

The publishers of the song seem to be completely ignorant of fair use doctrine. The jibjab creation is so obviously protected by fair use that it's totally ludicrous that anyone who knows anything about IP law would even consider a law suit against it.

Sounds like a classic case of lawyers who should know better, who probably do know better, but know they can clock in a few billable hours writing some scary letters that are totally without legal validity.

UPDATE, August 2: Today NPR's Neal Conan interviewed Arlo Guthrie, Woody's son, about the issue.

Posted by steev at 07:26 AM | Comments (0)

July 27, 2004

Intelligent Agent

The new issue of Intelligent Agent, Vol. 4 No. 2, an online magazine edited by Patrick Lichty, features 2 interesting items dealing with intellectual property: an article by painter Joy Garnet, of Joywar fame, and a panel discussion including Lawrence Lessig.

Posted by steev at 07:16 PM | Comments (0)

July 25, 2004

Fanfiction Roundup

An article in a back-issue of Friction Magazine has prompted this mention of the world of Fan Fiction.
Fan Fiction is writing based on popular media by fans of that media. It is often, technically, a violation of intellectual property laws, but many who do it or study it see it as a taking back of culture into the hands of the folk, in a world where increasingly our "myths" are owned by corporations.

Here are some pointers:

  • Fanfiction.net
  • An excellent, extensive essay by the fanfiction academic guru, Henry Jenkins, called "The Poachers and The Stormtroopers."

    Posted by steev at 05:46 PM | Comments (0)
  • July 22, 2004

    Wooster Collective

    A group called The Wooster Collective makes great "street art," and their site is a great display of what many members do. Of course street art (stencils, stickers, grafitti, etc) is frequently an avenue for culture-jamming, parody, logo appropriation, and other forms of cultural recycling.

    Posted by steev at 05:33 PM | Comments (0)

    July 19, 2004

    This Land

    This is a totally incredible Flash animation that parodies Woody Guthrie's song "This Land," making great use of cut-and-paste appropriative techniques and making some powerful statements about the presidential campaign, while being really really funny at the same time.

    Posted by steev at 08:26 PM | Comments (0)

    New Album by People Like Us

    People Like Us has released a new internet-only album called Abridged Too Far. The collection is work created via experimentation with or on radio. "This is not background music. It is engaging, inclusive and reflective."

    Posted by steev at 12:05 AM | Comments (2)

    July 10, 2004

    Eric Eldred Thrown Out of Walden Pond for Giving Away Free Thoreau

    Eric Eldred writes about his experience at Walden Pond Thursday, on the 150th anniversary of Thoreau's "Walden," when he parked his Internet Bookmobile and was letting people print out and take free copies of the public-domain book. He was asked to leave by the park rangers.

    (via Rick Prelinger)

    Posted by steev at 06:33 PM | Comments (0)