DMC Session 04: Online media sharing

Digital Media Culture / Digitaalinen mediakulttuuri (KDVCL01)

03: Torstai 04.12.2008 13:00 – 16:00

Online Media Sharing

WATCH: Sharing is Caring - Pro Piracy Commercial

Social Media are..
“the online tools and platforms that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives with each other.”

Social media. Introduction to the tools and processes of participatory economy
Lietsala, Katri & Sirkkunen, Esa, Tampere University Press, 2008

Which media types?
for example: photograph images, videos, computer games, media-messages, video-clips, digital images, mp3 music files, audio 'podcasts'

What are you using?
for example: Cassette, VHS Video, Micro-Radio Broadcast, CD, DVD, Flash-stick, Email, Blogs, Wiki, Facebook, Youtube, IRC-Gallery, DeviantArt, Indymedia, Jaiku, Flickr, MySpace, Streaming webcam,, Last.FM,

Internet, Mobile Message, Bluetooth,


Exercise: Sharing and Caring


'Video Republic'

Research by DEMOS UK, Published November 2008

Context: Price of digital technology is falling, prolification of broadband access is up

Outcome: Opens a up a “whole range of ways for young people to express themselves and communicate with each other in video. The internet is increasingly shaped around moving images. Video mash-ups, citizen journalism, vlogging, viral-video messaging, community film-making projects, happy-slapping.. we can see the audio-visual explosion everywhere.” p.11

res publica – public thing or public matter

video hosting sites..

“Since its launch in Spring 2005, it is estimated that YouTube has amassed 100 million videos on its servers, and they are now being uploaded at a rate of nearly 150,000 a day” (Wesch, 'YouTube Statistics) “It is the third most view site on the internet”

“During May 2008, French internet users watched 93 videos each – with 25.2 million French internet users (81 % of the total French internet audience) watched 2.3 billion videos online”

“There are roughly 40 other video streaming services all with a different slant on the same central concept of providing a place for people to watch video [Remember: Participatory platforms].. Tudou in China streams 15 billion minues of videos – five times more than YouTube. Europe has its own native video-sharing platforms. Daily Motion, based in Paris, serves 26 million videos a day, while RuTube, the Russian YouTube, serves 1 million videos a day from its base in Oryol. Videos on these sites can also be 'embedded' in any of the 35 billion pages on the internet, ensuring that video clips can accompany anything and everything we encounter online.” p.21

“Video-sharing websites tend to emphasise the connections between subject matter, at the expense of background information. The results .. tell us little about how those videos were made or why they were made.. In trying to understand the Video Republic, we first need to understand what it was that people did to place those videos into the public domain. Looking at the content or the message of a video will tell us little about how moving images are being produced or shared. We need to start by mapping how each video is made.” p.23

Figure 1, p.24-25: 4 different kinds of video

e.g. amateur filmmaking    |      e.g. mashup
               orginial --------------- recycled
          e.g. vlogging          |       e.g clip-sharing

Recycled and unedited
“The most basic content [bottom-right].. is almost exclusively footage that has been taken from other broadcasters, clipped and then distributed online. Today, a wealth of news reports, current affairs programmes, sports events and music are being published online by those who have 'ripped' them from the original source”

Recycled and edited
“This content has been appropriated from elsewhere, but has been combined with other content in new ways [top-right]. This includes 'tribute videos' to footballers, comedians and pop-stars celebrating the best of their skills, jokes and acheivements, usually set to music.. This type of contribution to the Video Republic is at its most powerful when it enables the creator to appropriate old content to make new meanings. The political 'mashup' is the primary example of this process.”

Original and unedited
“This content is recorded by the video maker themselves [bottom-left]. It has little or minimal editing. It is exemplified by the vlogging phenomenon, where individuals share their thoughts and feelings in a series of short online videos. This form of video tends to be confessional and intimate, generating very personal relationships between viewers and vloggers.. most online vlogging focuses on the everyday – the act of recording 'newsworthy' events (either deliberately or by chance) – also sits in this category”

Original and edited
“In technical terms this is the most complicated type of video making; it is the form which is closest to a traditional feature film or documentary. The majority of content is original and has been edited together to tell a story. Making such films can often involve experts and professionals helping young people to develo their skills. The video-sharing webstite Vimeo has become a popular place to view this type of content.” [why?]

Exercise: Video Republic Compass


“The power to influence people with video is being opened up to more people. By placing the power of the moving image into the hands of millions of people, the Video Republic is changing who has access to the realm of cultural influence. This is important because it changes how videos and the ideas it conveys become a public matter.” p.27

“The Video Republic promises a redistribution of power, it is unsettling the 'eco-system of influence' in the digitial age. It is not one in which the BBC, CNN, or Universal have disappeared, but it is a context in which these institutions are finding that they no longer have it all their own way. For a formal democratic system yearning for legitimacy, this creates new ways of connecting to people's everyday lives. For those trying to solve seemingly intractable social problems through influencing people's behaviour, it is also an opportunity to access a new space for debate. For those interested in increasing access to culture, it is a world of nearly cost-free distribution.” p.30


Video Republic's “Route-around Kids”

“Simultaneously turned off by representative politics and drawn into the expressive possibility of places like Video Republic, the 'route-around kids' have found new freedoms to express themselves and connect with others. They have built an alternative word of communication and connection, rather than mounting a direct attack on the channels we have already. They are playing with new roles as reporters, distributors, commentators and artists, drawing and appropriating the styles of those professions to make them their own.” p.32-33

Figure 2, p.39-40: roles in the video republic

                      artists        |      commentators
               orginial --------------- recycled
                   reporters       |        distributors

Route-around Distributiors
“The most basic act in the Video Republic [bottom-right]– taking a clip of pre-recorded footage and uploading it to a video-sharing website – places young people in the position of distributors of visual imagery. They select content as important and draw other people's attention to it.”

Route-around Reporters
“Recording concerts, social events and activities gives young people the ability to document events and share them with other people – often far quicker than the mainstream can.” [bottom-left]

Route-around Artists
“The Video Republic has given young people greater space to make, exhibit and share their films and music videos with one another, extending the creative activities that young people have always undertaken.. editing either their own content or reworking others to make a creative statement” [top-left/half]

“Taking content from other places and combining it in new ways to create a new meaning gives young people the power to assert their opinion and perspective. [top-right/half]. The mashup and vlogging phenomena.. is driven by this urge – to pass comment on an idea, news story, or incidents from everyday life”


“As young people adopt these different roles they permit an audiovisual public realm – the Video Republic – to come into being. But can we really consider these activities to be political acts? Zygmunt Bauman argues that 'politics is the activity charged with the task of translating private problems into public issues (and vice-versa)” [ref: Bauman, Liquid Modernity]

“Now young people are less likely to leave this process of 'translation' to others, prefering to do it themselves; expressing yourself in these public spaces is a political act, albeit with a small 'p'. What might have once been written off as mere entertainment, or mere culture, is undoubtably part of how people engage with the public realm. It is through processes such as this that young people are translating their private thoughts and ideas in to 'public matter'.” p.41


Example of Podcasting

'The Politics of Podcasting' (2008)
by Jonathan Sterne, Jeremy Morris, Michael Brendan Baker and Ariana Moscote Freire

More from FibreCulture Journal Issue 13: After Convergence


Legal and illegal sharing


Debate on pirate movement and copyright reformism


A documentary by Andreas Johnsen, Ralf Christensen, Henrik Moltke about the current state of copyright and culture (2007).


Links and Resources

'Steal This Film Part II'
(Historical print and copy culture: 0:04:45-0:15:00)

'C30 C60 C90 Go - Bow Wow Wow'

Don't Copy That Floppy (HIGH QUALITY version!) 1992.

Japanese Anti-piracy PSA

Sharing is Caring - Pro Piracy Commercial

Piraatti Liitoo (Finland)

Anti Piracy (Finland)

Pirate Byrån (Sweden)

The Pirate Bay (Sweden)

Pirate Cinema (Berlin DE)

'Pirate Cinema – yhdessä ja yksissä tuumin'
Valtamedia, 08.04.2008:

Pirate Cinema Helsinki
(Helsingin Sanomat, 17.08.2007)



"Fair use is a copyright principle based on the belief that the public is entitled to freely use portions of copyrighted materials forpurposes of commentary and criticism. For example, if you wish to criticize a novelist, you should have the freedom to quote a portion of the novelist's work without asking permission. Absent this freedom, copyright owners could stifle any negative comments about their work.

Unfortunately, if the copyright owner disagrees with your fair use interpretation, the dispute will have to be resolved by courts or arbitration. If it's not a fair use, then you are infringing upon the rights of the copyright owner and may be liable for damages.

The only guidance is provided by a set of fair use factors outlined in the copyright law. These factors are weighed in each case to determine whether a use qualifies as a fair use. For example, one important factor is whether your use will deprive the copyright owner of income. Unfortunately, weighing the fair use factors is often quite subjective. For this reason, the fair use road map is often tricky to navigate."

From "Stanford Copyright and Fair-use Centre":

More information from Wikipedia:

"A Fair(l)y use Tale [May 18 2007; 10.13 mins]":

From "Professor Eric Faden of Bucknell University":

"Remix Culture [Jan 2008; 03.51 mins]":



"Copyleft is a general method for making a program or other work free, and requiring all modified and extended versions of the program to be free as well." - From "GNU Operating System":

"Copyleft licences are non-restrictive and provide creators with greater control over their work, research and projects and a more reasonable remuneration for their work while also giving end users greater access to, and enjoyment of, works released in this way." -

From "Fundacion Copyleft":


Creative Commons (CC)


"Creative Commons defines the spectrum of possibilities between full copyright 'all rights reserved' and the public domain 'no rights reserved. Our licenses help you keep your copyright while inviting certain uses of your work, using a *'some rights reserved' copyright*."

"Creative Commons provides free tools that let authors, scientists, artists, and educators easily mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry'" - From "Creative Commons":

'Larry Lessig: How creativity is being strangled by the law'
[March 2007; 19.07 mins]


Recut, Reframe, Recycle

"The study, Recut, Reframe, Recycle: Quoting Copyrighted Material in User-Generated Video, by Center director Pat Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi, co-director of the law school's Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, shows that many uses of copyrighted material in today's online videos are eligible for fair use consideration. The study points to a wide variety of practices‚"satire, parody, negative and positive commentary, discussion-triggers, illustration, diaries, archiving and of course, pastiche or collage (remixes and mashups)‚" all of which could be legal in some circumstances."

From the "Centre for Social Media":


Further Resources

IFPI: What is Piracy?

Zeropaid (blog)

TorrentFreak (blog)


Other Clips

"Freedom of Expression®: Resistance and Repression in the Age of Intellectual Property": From "Kembrew McCleod":, 2007.

"Freedom of Expression (6 Min Preview) [Oct 04 2007; 06.55 mins]":
From "Challenging Media":

"Recut Reframe Recycle report [04.04]":
From "Chronicle for Education":

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