Web Off

Contrary to the suggestion I heard a radio host prissily make this morning Contrary to the prissy tweet I heard my very favourite Morning Edition host read on-air this morning* that Wikipedia shutting down for a day isn’t a big deal because we still have libraries: well, actually, yes it IS a big deal. It’s HUGE that a lot of websites are going dark today to protest evil U.S. copyright legislation that would, among other things, make it easier for idiots and bastards to censor Internet content they have no business censoring.

And confidential to CBC radio’s expert who said something like**, “you can’t use clips of other television programs to make your own program!”, what? Seriously, what?!? In fact, that technique can be totally legitimate, you idiot. You can absolutely author a unique creative work from the pieces of other work. In video it’s a mash-up. In music it’s called sampling. In old-fashioned painting and drawing and photography, it’s a collage. Duuuh.

This is exactly why people who understand how technology and the Internet and creativity and freedom of speech and expression are freaking out over the U.S.’ malignant Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA). They won’t work and they’ll cause a ton of harm to the free flow of creativity and information.

As PD designer Awesome Klassen says, “this legislation could ruin it not only for the Americans, but for everyone else.” So good on Wikipedia for taking a dramatic stand.

Want to educate yourself on the details? The tech-saavy blog BoingBoing lays the situation out in detail.

*I was very sleepy and frozen so there’s a chance that I misheard/misunderstood Sheila Coles, and she wasn’t actually scoffing at Wikipedia’s relevance–but if she did, that’s horrifyingly out of touch. And by prissy, well yeah. It did seem kind of Church Ladyesque. UPDATE: Sheila Coles says in the comments: “Uh just to set the record straight, the “prissy” comment you heard was me reading a tweet from a listener. You know, as opposed to ME saying it. Bit of a difference, yes? But thanks for listening!” I am very glad that Sheila Coles is not horrifyingly out of touch. I am sad that I am sometimes dumb.

**Again, assuming I heard this correctly in my alertness-compromised state. Didn’t catch the guy’s name. UPDATE: The CBC radio link here. And I did hear this correctly. The exact stupid fucking quote is: “You don’t have the right, for instance, to take footage from a TV show, mash [it] together, create your own show. That’s not really creativity. I mean it may be in that it takes creative skill to do that. But that’s not you creating something. That’s you taking something that someone else has created, and using it for your own purposes.”

Author: Stephen Whitworth

Prairie Dog editor Stephen Whitworth was carried to Regina in a swarm of bees. He's been with Prairie Dog since May 1999 and will die at his keyboard before admitting his career a terrible, terrible mistake.

29 thoughts on “Web Off”

  1. Shocking that someone ON THE RADIO would say something like “you can’t use clips of other television programs to make your own program!” Almost all electronic media, including radio, is produced through some level of mash-up.

  2. CBC has a link to their interview I was whining about. It’s been added to the post.

  3. Uh just to set the record straight, the “prissy” comment you heard was me reading a tweet from a listener. You know, as opposed to ME saying it. Bit of a difference, yes? But thanks for listening! Sheila “Church Lady” Coles #keepithonest

  4. Yeah, radio stations use unauthorized or unlicensed tv, movie, and music clips at a dizzying pace. Charles Adler’s show these days is 90% music montages that I doubt are cleared in the proper manner.

  5. @Prissy Church Lady: Thank you for the clarification, Sheila. I’m sorry I misunderstood and I will strive to do a better job of listening and not being a total half-asleep dope. And I’m VERY glad that wasn’t your view!

  6. When it comes to respecting copyright, some practise, others preach.

  7. Exemptions must be made, of course, to allow for “critical discussion.”

  8. Media in general should get a re-do, re: Internet, technology, conglomeration, hate radio. Let’s start over in 1980, and do everything differently. Let’s do it right this tyme.

  9. #22 How is a hug supposed to help? More pacification of a pacified middle class?

    #23 I liked those looks. So much better than the ultra-tweeked, clean-shaven looks of today.

    #24 He’s for it.

  10. #6 I’d rather use a C B. radio, than worry about twitter.

    #9 I agree 100%! CJME had the gall to play the “Spirit of the Radio ” riff right after all that obnoxious hyperactive 80’s keyboard non-sense.
    50% of that channel is commercials.

    #21 1978!

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