tishaturk: (OTW)

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If you're reading this post, you probably already know at least a little bit about the ways in which the OTW has gone to bat for vidders over the years. I mean, yes, the OTW has done a lot of other great stuff too; I am endlessly grateful for Transformative Works and Cultures, I love Fanlore, and I hear there's also some big fic archive or something. But it's the OTW's work on behalf of vidders, AMV makers, and other fan video artists that means the most to me personally, as a vidder and vid fan.

I'm grateful not only for the achievements themselves but for the organization that's facilitated them. The OTW has enabled fans to collaborate on big projects, to pool our skills and expertise, in ways that would otherwise be difficult if not impossible. Without the OTW, I would still have been furious about DMCA-related takedowns of vids, but I wouldn't have known where to begin fighting back. I wouldn't have known it was even possible to file an exemption petition, much less known how to do so; I just don't have that kind of legal training! But because of the OTW, I've been able to participate anyway: to lend some tech know-how to the people who do have the necessary legal expertise, to bring a vidder's voice to the hearings in DC. I'm proud to be part of this work and grateful to the OTW for the opportunity to contribute what I can.


Speaking of which: This year's DMCA hearings have been scheduled for the end of May, so I will once again be joining Rebecca Tushnet and Francesca Coppa at the Library of Congress to explain, in the smallest words possible, why vidders need to be able to break encryption on Blu-ray, DVDs, and DRM-protected digital downloads. Some of the arguments on file have already yielded that special "oh my god you did not just say that" combination of hilarity and outrage that I have come to associate with the DMCA exemption process, so the hearings themselves should be... memorable.

I will also be going to several conferences in the next six months.

Gendered Politics of Production symposium

details )

Fan Studies Network conference

details )

Feminisms and Rhetorics

details )
tishaturk: (keyboard)
Vidders and vidwatchers! If you want to help renew the DMCA exemption we won in 2010, now's your chance: submit your comments in support of the exemption proposal by February 10th, 5pm Eastern Time.

You can send comments to OTW's Legal or Vidding committees, or you can send them directly to the Copyright office. If you're submitting directly, be sure to note class “7B” if your comments focus on decrypting DVDs or class “7C” if your comments focus on decrypting legally streamed or downloaded video where the video is not available on DVD. Or you can comment on this post and I'll make sure the comments get where they need to go!

Questions you might want to address (answer as many or as few as you have time for):
1. Why are you interested in making sure video remixing isn’t chilled by legal threats?

2. Why do you make videos? What message or statement do your videos convey? What audience do you want to reach? Or, if you're not a vidder: Why do you watch vids? What's valuable about them for you?

3. Why do you use sources that require decryption (such as DVDs, Amazon Unbox, etc.)?

4. How important is it that the video clips vidders use are high quality?

5. How important to you is getting timely video clips of current events?

6. Is there anything else you want to tell the Copyright Office?

In case you don't know the background on this:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) have put together a DMCA exemption proposal asking the Copyright Office to declare that breaking the encryption on DVDs in order to use video clips in primarily noncommercial videos does not violate the DMCA.

We won a similar exemption in 2010, but it will expire if not renewed. Plus, now we're asking for a new exemption for breaking the encryption on video from online download or streaming services (like Amazon Unbox) that’s not available on DVD.

Please signal-boost if you can!
tishaturk: (OTW)
The OTW Legal and Vidding Committees are preparing to propose a renewal of the DMCA exemption we won last time around--the one that makes it okay for vidders to rip DVDs--and we need input from vidders, AMV makers, and other fan video artists.

(For some background on the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, the exemption, and the Motion Picture Association of America's absurd proposal about how vidders should get digital files without ripping DVDs, I recommend this short clip, featuring audio and video from the 2009 exemption hearings.)

From the original post at the OTW blog:
If you vid or make other forms of fan video by ripping DVDs or Blueray discs; if you rip footage from a streaming service like Hulu, iTunes Streaming, or Amazon Unbox, please get in touch! You don't have to use your real name: Depending on your choice, we can describe you using your pseudonym or as "a vidder" or "a fan filmmaker." We are trying to compile stories of how fans work and what they need to make their fanworks.

We are seeking your own words about:
(1) Why vidding is a transformative and creative act;
(2) Why you need to circumvent (rip) DVDs or other sources such as Blu-Ray, Amazon Unbox, Hulu, or YouTube--we are particularly interested in cases where you were only able to find a copy of the source at one of the online services because the source wasn't available on DVD;
(3) Whether you've tried screen capture software and how it worked for you;
(4) Whether you could make use of the "alternative" proposed by the MPAA, which is that you set up a separate camera to record your screen as it plays the source;
(5) Why high-quality source is important to you, whether your reasons are technical or aesthetic or something else;
(6) Anything else you think we ought to know as we work with the EFF to put together our request!

So please contact Francesca Coppa directly (fcoppa at transformativeworks dot org) or use the Vidding committee webform.

We've already gotten some terrific responses--some blunt, some eloquent, all smart and valuable--and we would love more! I'm working on a formal statement that will be submitted along with the exemption, and the fan responses I've seen have a) inspired me and b) reminded me of some issues I might otherwise have neglected to mention, so, in addition to contacting the Vidding Committee, feel free to comment to this post if there's a point you'd like made or an issue you'd like raised.
tishaturk: (OTW)
I've spent most of the last couple of months wrapping up some older research projects that predate my work on vids (although one of them, I think, has ended up being much stronger as a result of my work on vids!). But there are two important things going on this week that I had to make time to post about.

First: OTW membership and donation drive! I am ridiculously excited about some of the new donation premiums, especially the tote bag, but mostly I am excited about the chance to contribute to the amazing work that the OTW is doing -- or, rather, that the OTW is enabling fans to do for ourselves by providing an organizational structure that helps us pool our energy and expertise, teach each other new skills, provide stable homes for the fanworks we produce and share, and much more. And, of course, donating means membership, and membership means the chance to vote in the upcoming board elections.

A second matching donation challenge has just been posted, so it's the perfect time to donate!

Second: Open Access Week! My own commitment to open access began with fandom and has grown through my work on the staff of Transformative Works and Cultures, the OTW's online open-access academic journal. Karen Hellekson, one of TWC's co-editors, has written eloquently about the importance of open access and online publication; like her, I'm proud to be part of a journal and a movement that are changing the way academics share ideas.

In that spirit, I'm making available .pdfs of my first article on vids, published last spring:

"Your Own Imagination": Vidding And Vidwatching As Collaborative Interpretation. Film & Film Culture 5 (2010): 88-110. [AKA the one about "Vogue" and "Ring Them Bells."] This is the article as it appears in print; unfortunately, some of the formatting came out a bit wonky and I confess I find the two-column format difficult to read because of the odd spacing, but it is what it is.

I've got another article in an anthology that should be coming out soon, which I'll share as soon as I've got the final version in hand!
tishaturk: (OTW)
In May 2009, I joined Rebecca Tushnet and Francesca Coppa to testify before the U.S. Copyright Office DMCA hearings; we argued for a DMCA exemption that would allow vidders and other creators of noncommercial remix video to rip DVDs for the purposes of making videos that constitute fair use of copyrighted material.

Today, we found out that the Copyright Office has released the ruling, and... WE WON!
Motion pictures on DVDs that are lawfully made and acquired and that are protected by the Content Scrambling System when circumvention is accomplished solely in order to accomplish the incorporation of short portions of motion pictures into new works for the purpose of criticism or comment, and where the person engaging in circumvention believes and has reasonable grounds for believing that circumvention is necessary to fulfill the purpose of the use in the following instances:

(i) Educational uses by college and university professors and by college and university film and media studies students;
(ii) Documentary filmmaking;
(iii) Noncommercial videos.

This ruling is amazing, and yet, having seen Rebecca Tushnet testify, I cannot say that it is totally surprising. She was on FIRE, people. I hope to be that awesome one day.

I am very pleased to have been part of such a terrific group effort. The EFF submitted the exemption proposal, the OTW submitted a reply comment in support of that proposal (shout-out to Casey Fiesler for the huge amounts of work she put in on that!), and then there was the testimony itself, the written responses to follow-up questions from the Copyright Office, and... a lot of waiting.

And now we all get to celebrate, because seriously, WOW.
tishaturk: (book)
Just over a month ago, I sent a proposal for a paper on vids to Film and Film Culture Journal, which had issued a call for papers for their special issue on Frontiers and Futures in Film and Digital Media. I heard back from them last night:
Your proposed piece fits well with the theme of the next journal and we would like to invite you to complete it for consideration by the 22nd January 2009.
There's no guarantee that the paper will get published; it will go out for peer review first, and acceptance is contingent on the reviewers having positive things to say. Still, I'm hopeful.

Of course, this means I have to actually write the paper. Now, 4000-8000 words (~11-20 pages) on vids is not going to be difficult; I can write that much in a weekend. The difficult part will be 4000-8000 coherent words that make sense to an audience that will be largely if not entirely unfamiliar with vids. But one of my colleagues has already volunteered to play Dumb Reader once I've got a draft, and I know I'll be able to find at least a couple of vidders on call to be their usual fabulous Smart Reader selves. It's good to know I'm not in this alone!

I'm not sure what this development is going to do to my research agenda between now and mid-January; I have two other papers that I'd hoped to get sent out by the end of the fall semester, but I need to start doing my homework for this new project. I've never written for a film studies audience before, so I need to do some investigating of what that means in general, and what it means for this journal in particular. I need to start reading at least a few of the dozens of books that have arrived in recent weeks (I ♥ grant money). I need to re-watch these vids in a more structured and focused way than I've done in the past. And I need time just to think and draft and change my mind and re-draft and discuss and ponder and revise; writing is not a particularly speedy process for me if I'm doing it well.

Anyhow. If you're curious about the proposal itself, it's under the cut. )

So that's what I'm up to in the next ten weeks, although I hope to continue posting about my other vidding research plans as well.

Oh, and speaking of representing vids, vidders, and vidding to the outside world: the MIT/OTW New Media Literacies documentary series on vidding that Francesca Coppa and [livejournal.com profile] laurashapiro put together is now online, and it's terrific. The audience, as Laura points out, is middle school and high school students, so bear that in mind as you watch. I'm delighted to have been able to participate in such a nifty project!


tishaturk: (Default)
Tisha Turk

November 2016

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