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Collective Intelligence, Participatory Culture, Remixable Media & IP

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Presentation from readings by Henry Jenkins & Lawrence Lessig

Presentation from readings by Henry Jenkins & Lawrence Lessig

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    Collective Intelligence, Participatory Culture, Remixable Media & IP Collective Intelligence, Participatory Culture, Remixable Media & IP Presentation Transcript

    • Collective Intelligence Participatory Culture Remixable Media & Intellectual Property
    • Key Players: Pierre “Collective Intelligence” Levy Professor of communications @ University of Ottawa Canada Henry “Participatory Culture” Jenkins Professor @ University of Southern California, USA (Director of the MIT Comparative Media Studies Program Lawrence “Free Culture” Lessig Academic, Standford University USA, Copyright Activist & Creative Commons Board of Directors
    • New media Old media Writer/Reader/ Writer Writer/Reader/ Reader Writer
    • Pierre “Collective Intelligence” Levy writes: “Not only does the cosmopedia make available to the collective intellect all of the pertinent knowledge available to it at a given moment, but it also serves as a site of collective discussion, negotiation and development”
    • Collective intelligence refers to the pool of knowledge (knowledge community) as a whole as opposed to shared knowledge which refers to knowledge each individual in a group possesses equally.
    • Q: Is there a difference between ‘Hive Mind’ and Collective Intelligence?
    • A: Yes, according to Levy, The Hive Mind suppresses the voice of the individual, allowing only the mode of a group to be heard. Collective intelligence celebrates multiple ways of knowing
    • This is made possible online as traditional power structures lose traction as they can no longer depend on a tightly controlled flow of information. Collective Intelligence is more than the sum of its parts. How?
    • The digitization of information has changed the way in which information is exchanged and this impacts upon the economies of value. Instead of information value being defined by things such as the alienation of labor and the disconnect between media producers and consumers, online information value is much more of a social commodity, where social interaction increases the value of any piece of information.
    • Within a knowledge community “no-one knows everything, everyone knows something, all knowledge resides in humanity” – Levy
    • Henry “Participatory Culture” Jenkins theorizes that collective intelligence can be attributed to media convergence and a new participatory culture. He uses online Fandoms to illustrate this.
    • The New Economic Participatory trends: Culture integrated media Technology DIY Media and Production New Tools
    • Technology and Time & Space. New Tools High speed networks have changed the expectation of Fandom communities. Now converstaions are instant and the only way to demonstrate true devotion is by participating in discussion even before the episode has aired around the world. This makes Fandom a much more effective platform for consumer activism.
    • DIY Media Production Network computing has also transformed fan production. New forms of fan cultural production, or REMIX have emerged.  Buffy vs Edward
    • Economic Trends The super fast emergence of fandoms online means that Fandom itself has moved from cult status to mainstream. Producers of the original centralized content are now often providing a range of support material online aimed at rewarding the enhanced competencies of fan communities.
    • Commodity Culture vs Knowledge Culture Commodity Culture places value on ownership of the commodity, for example the Producer of a TV series has ownership which allows him to profit from distribution to consumers. Knowledge Culture attributes much more power to the consumers, blurring the distinction between author and reader. A Knowledge Culture relies on a two-way conversation.
    • How do a Knowledge Culture and Commodity Culture co-exist? In a legal and economic system designed for Old Media, they clash. The current system is designed to protect corporate interests, which could ham-string paticipatory culture.
    • e.g A producer who engages heavily with the collective intelligence of an online community and then creates a product which benefits himself economically, is at risk of accusations of plagarism.
    • This clash of cultures (commodity & knowledge) drives debate around Online Intellectual Property. There is a massive power struggle between old and new media structures. How can marketers harness the power of the Fan yet not lose control over their intellectual property?
    • Lawrence “Free Culture” Lessig is a huge believer in the positive effect Remix Culture has on creativity and innovation. “Remix is a critical expression of creative freedom that in a broad range of contexts, no free society should restrict”. Critically, Lessig argues that Remix Creativity does not compete with or weaken the market for the creative work that gets remixed. These markets are complementary not competitive.
    • Media is easier to produce, publish, mash-up, remix or reuse and the tools with which to enact these processes (software and networks) have become much more pervasively available.  Jonathan McIntosh Remix  Atmo: Read My Lips
    • The Open Source movement best exemplifies this re-orientation of knowledge and power, from the individual to the collective. By creating a culture of free software, a recursive public has developed. Problems arise when archaic laws are applied to this newly democratised, recursive public.
    • Lessig supports a Read/Write (RW) culture as opposed to a Read Only (RO) one. RW Culture encourages people to connect with their culture by listening and interpreting. They also add to this culture by building upon it, so that the remixed work creates a new form of art. This, in turn, leads to the social benefit of a more diverse creative culture, and this diversity will better inspire creators.
    • Lessig takes a polemic view that all copyright should be opt-in rather than opt-out (as it is currently), supporting the deregulation of amateur remix. Currently The USA relies on the Fair-Use Act, and in Australia there is a similar ammendment for the allowance of parody and satire. Lessig was instrumental in the set up of Creative Commons to provide an alternative licensing system for intellectual property.
    • Why is Fair Use necessary? Lenz vs Universal Case Study  Let’s go crazy
    • However what if eradicating the fair use Act opens up the possibility that many more un-fair remixes are created? An Alternative: “The Norm of socially accepted and somewhat encouraged amateur remix” which is so prevalent in Fandom culture.
    • Which begs the question: Have social norms developed because amateur remix is predominately fair-use, or is amateur remix predominately fair use because social norms exist? Is Fandom after all, the ideal cosmopedia?