Monday, December 24, 2007

New Media Yes New Morality Maybe

Bursting Silicon Valley's bubble through song - Los Angeles Times

This may be a reflection of why traditional news media is in trouble. This issue has been out on the web since at least the beginning of December and has been debated back and forth throughout the blogosphere. Not only is traditional media late on the uptake, it also seems to have a shallow understanding of the issues. Not that I or anybody else that I have found so far does much better.

The intelligentsia of the Internet seem to want to be unfettered in what they can offer on the web. TechCrunch took the position that

having Bubble 2.0: The Video , taken down because of a copyright notice sent to YouTube, seemed, “weird since it is obviously a parody and thus should fall under fair use.”

Later TechCrunch told us that “The Bubble” Is Back. According to TechCrunch it

“was down briefly when photographer Lane Hartwell complained via her attorney that one of her photographs was used without her permission. The offending (or non-offending, depending on which lawyer you ask and who’s paying them) image was removed and the new video, called v. 1.1, is now back at YouTube. The creators blog about the new version here, and give credit to all source material here. Everyone can now have fun again, and Hartwell and her attorney can sleep well at night knowing that her copyrights are unviolated and her photos unmolested (and unviewed).”

According to the LA Times article, though, that did not satisfy Ms. Hartwell and others on her side of the issue. It is far harder for a solitary artist not firmly entrenched in the web 2.0 world to effectively state their case but there are potentially thousands with artistic and proprietary content that they have to put at risk. It may be far too easy to cry Fair Use when it is actually free use that is the goal. I am not siding with Ms. Hartwell, though it may seem that I am. I am saying that a good deal more work needs to be done regarding this issue.

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