With all this talk about Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) one could be excused in thinking that the more protection available over the Internet for artists and creatives the better - but is it?
It's not that often we stray away from the mainstream media channels or our addiction to Facebook: Brenda's latest fluffy kitten pictures, a visual band-aid to compliment our coffee break, between running-the-sums on a data entry spreadsheet and a trip to the toilet. But, if we were to peel ourselves away, we might find an amazing amount of talent out there. Those whose work is screaming quality. And without people with a passion for it, and the resources to spread it, such extraordinary workmanship might indeed be lost. As for the motivation that creates such: not to drown in the shit one is forced to stomach; the side-dish to a promotional spot for Colonel Sanders Kentucky Fried Popcorn Chicken is motivation enough.
It is thus, websites like Youtube and Vimeo manage to fill a gap by offering user generated content and the options to share it, this idea inherently skirts the lines of IPR in its attempt to spread innovation and new media; that which, in its own right might just change the way we view the world around us.
The fact is that if you have something of quality to share, share it, it will in its own way attract attention, whether exploited or not. And where genuine interest is formed and networked, then a true assessment of its appeal can be garnered. And the more chance positive creativity has to be rewarded and returned. The problem is not in the sharing of intellectual content, but in the mismanagement of the financial rewards attributed to it.
I'd like to share with you today three animated movies hosted by Vimeo.com. A platform from which creative new media projects are able to be shared and viewed by anybody - to give you an idea of what we might be missing out on if SOPA was to become fully enforceable:
Story: The Backwater Gospel from The Animation Workshop on Vimeo.
As long as anyone can remember, the coming of The Undertaker has meant the coming of death. Until one day the grim promise fails and tension builds as the God fearing townsfolk of Backwater wait for someone to die
Story: Slimtime from Slimtime on Vimeo.
While his wife is undergoing slimming treatment, André goes on a discovery tour of this very unusual center...
Story: Trainbombing from The Animation Workshop on Vimeo.
Train Bombing is the story of a young graffiti artist who by an unlikely series of events accidently creates the masterpiece of his life.