Skip navigation.

anarchist in the library


I'm not sure if this is something everyone already knows about, but YouTube and MySpace are in trouble with copyright laws. They rank 2nd and 3rd for the most videos shown per day (next to Yahoo (?)), and many of the videos posted by users who don't have the rights to do so. YouTube is throwing cash to Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group in order to avoid a lawsuit, and MySpace has some deal with Snocap I'm sure could be better described by our class MySpace expert (sorry I'm bad with names, no sarcasm intended). As we've seen with the South Park videos, YouTube is working on technology to keep users from posting copyrighted material.

achoo! (i just sneezed and can't think of a title)

other people have touched upon this in Vaidhyanathan's work, but one of the things he talks about that i find really interesting is how people are taking films and creating their own edits and interpretations, like the Phantom Edit, or Puchkov's goblin dubs. What I liked about this was the idea that usually when people think about art, but particularly with film since production is such a process, what people view is often seen as a finished product. With what these folks are doing, they're asserting that art is never finished, and can always be reinterpreted, retinkered with, etc.

One theme we've talked about in class while discussing authorship, is one does the role of intention play. Does it matter what the author intends at all? As Vaidhyanathan writes, "an author cannot control how a character, idea or plot will be read, refasioned, or criticized".

I Heart Scientists

"Science is the most successful open and distributed communicative system human beings have ever created" (Vaidhyanathan 131).

In The Anarchist in the Library, Siva Vaidhyanathan looks at the controversies over intellectual property. This is particularly difficult because the product is intangible, and it is particularly important because information processing is the main labor to sell and buy in the current age. Powerful transnational corporations that control culture and finance government have the monetary incentive and the political connections needed to make sure they get paid.

a book i read

Siva Vaidhyanathan's Anarchist in the Library spells out a lot of problems that the United States and United States copyright law specifically, are facing today. One story that I thought was really interesting was that of Alice Randall. She was the woman who wrote The Wind Done Gone. She and Houghton Mifflin were sued by the estate of whoever wrote Gone With the Wind because it used their "property." The Supreme Court ruled that Randall's book was a parody of the original work Gone with the Wind. Parodies are apparently allowed under current copyright law.

Siva sums it up perfectly at the end of this story though when he begs the question, what if Randall did not have the help of a major publisher? Would she have won this decision if she were less important to a huge company financially? I may be skeptical of the US court system, but I tend to think she would not have. I think if it was the estate of a famous American writer, versus some woman who "stole" most of her story, the courts would side with the estate.