IP and fashion industry paradox

This is a fascinating paper on the fashion industry. It argues that the fashion industry’s seeming ‘tolerance’ of copies and derivatives actually assists in the growth of creativity within the industry.

Why, when other major content industries have obtained increasingly powerful IP protections for their products, does fashion design remain mostly unprotected – and economically successful? The fashion industry is a puzzle for the orthodox justification for IP rights. This paper explores this puzzle. We argue that the fashion industry counter-intuitively operates within a low-IP equilibrium in which copying does not deter innovation and may actually promote it. We call this the “piracy paradox.” This paper offers a model explaining how the fashion industry’s piracy paradox works, and how copying functions as an important element of and perhaps even a necessary predicate to the industry’s swift cycle of innovation. In so doing, we aim to shed light on the creative dynamics of the apparel industry. But we also hope to spark further exploration of a fundamental question of IP policy: to what degree are IP rights necessary to induce innovation? Are stable low-IP equilibria imaginable in other industries as well?

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BurnStation is a cool new art project meets Copyleft . . . . .

BURN STATION is a mobile copying station which – as it travels through suburban spaces – supports the free distribution music and audio. It is software as well as a local network. But above all BURN STATION is a social event which congregates people together to listen, select and copy net label and net radio audio files with a Copyleft Licence. BURN STATION is an open source and a non-commercial project involving the new means of free networked distribution. It is based on the BURN STATION software which was developed by Platoniq and Rama as a 100% Free software. BURN STATION aims to establish links between the media space and the physical space of the city.

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Sampling 101

A very simple and easy introduction to the issues around sampling in music/art. Some great comments by Matmos and Lessig, QBert etc.

Very watchable.

Copyright/OCL Interactive Media

Copyright Review Submissions

THere’s some very interesting reading to be had here . . . . all the different interest and lobby groups are hard at work pushing for or against the proposed changes to Copyright law here in Australia.

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DIY culture

Nice summary of points from one of the speakers at a recent ICA event.

* The concepts of a ‘mainstream’ and an ‘underground’ are laid to rest by networked culture. There are only open and closed networks. Everything is flat.
* Top down control structures (like major labels) are unable to assure quality control in the same way bottom up structures can. In networked culture, quality bubbles up from the bottom, and the role of large entities (like major record labels) as arbiters of taste is undermined as a result.
* Collaborative filtering in trust-based networks is the way in which networked culture will deal with information overload.
* The printed press’ hallowed notion of ‘genre’ is under threat through the processes of user-generated metadata that describe Folksonomy.
* The concept of DIY is less relevant to networked youth culture today as it was when we grew up (with movements like Hardcore). DIT – Do It Together – which finds it’s roots in the Open Source movement’s model of production, is a far more relevant paradigm today.
* Bit-torrent is currently the most powerful distribution technology thrown up by the web.
* DIY culture was always about control, from production through distribution, performance and promotion of cultural product. It enabled people to have control over the end-to-end process of communicating through cultural products. A network of trusted people could be used to oversee all aspects of production/distribution/retail.
* DRM – Digital Rights Management – is a survivalist legal attempt from a desperate culture industry to preserve a revenue model (content ownership) which is at odds with a new medium for culture (digital networks).
* The new revenue model for cultural content in digital networks involves syndication of content with embedded, trackable advertising.

Copyright/OCL Digitisation

Google Print Podcast from OpenSource Radio

If you have a long journey home then download this great 1hr podcast on the Google book project. It is a good discussion and covers some essential areas around the privatisation of knowledge and the Copyright conflict over Google’s activities.

Copyright/OCL General

Copyright Takedown Notice Abuse

An interesting report on Chilling Effects and DMCA takedown use/abuse.

Copyright infringement on the Internet is a serious issue— distribution of valuable works can occur in a flash, and value may be difficult to recapture—and the idea of a simple, inexpensive process to handle takedowns is a beguiling one. But at what cost comes this benefit? Our data reveal an unfortunately high incidence of questionable uses of the process. Copyright questions are often very dependant on individual facts. Even a sophisticated and careful sender may send a notice with claims that should be reviewed by a court before the target’s material is removed. In many instances, questionable uses may be unintended: deeper investigation of individual notices reveals that some notice senders simply seem not to understand the parameters of copyright law, and why should they?
Copyright law is an especially complex, nuanced and fact-specific body of legal rules. A clear, rigid, ex ante process such as 512 seems mismatched with a body of law that derives much of its value from flexibility and nuance.

Policy concerns related to questionable takedowns seem likely to increase in importance—however successful or problematic the process is, our data show that its use appears to be rising. Some notices are certainly sent in order to accomplish the paradigmatic goal of 512— the inexpensive takedown of clearly infringing hosted content or links to infringing web sites. But our data also show the process is commonly used for other purposes: to create leverage in a competitive marketplace, to protect rights not given by copyright (or perhaps any other law), and to stifle criticism, commentary and fair use.

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Documentary film making and fair use

Interesting article about a rally for sensible fall backs on fair use provisions for documentary film makers who are being shafted for background music and images that they have no control over.

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The New Laws Of Television

This article is essential reading.

Broadcasting is facing a threat that’s not economic – it’s attention-based. Those giant networks are providing a media experience which is personal and immediate, something a broadcaster can never offer. They’ll change the face of television as well.

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Don’t Copy That Floppy!

Browsing the Internet Archive I chanced upon this, a 9 minute anti-piracy short from the mid 80s called Don’t Copy That Floppy. Its has a certain ‘old world charm’.

It contrasts nicely with the 3l33t speak of YT Cracker.