Sunday Links

Via Dr. Mabuse, news that the Visible Evidence community now has a list-serv. Visible Evidence is an academic community focused on the study of documentary images. They have an annual conference (next year’s conference will be in Bochum, Germany) and an associated book series published by the University of Minnesota Press.

Brian Flemming points to the YouTube interview with Phil de Vellis, creator of the Hillary 1984 video and raises an interesting point: “The weird thing is that YouTube is giving its implicit endorsement to a video that probably could have been red-flagged off of YouTube back before it was popular.” I don’t think YouTube’s behavior is that unusual here. Isn’t their usual practice to leave content online until somebody complains? No matter what, Brian’s larger point that such content should be protected under the fair use doctrine is the more important issue.

Ryan Stewart of Cinematical responds to Kristin Thompson’s discussion of A.O. Scott’s article on the future of movies. I’ve already written at length about the Scott article, but I’d like to address Stewart’s argument that “Thompson misuses Scott’s phrase ‘surviving history of movies.'” Stewart argues that Scott is talking not about all the ephemera–home movies, instructional films, etc–recorded by a motion picture camera but what Stewart calls “movie-movies.” However, even that category becomes unmanageably large when we take into account not only all of the independent titles but also the multiple versions of those titles (including versions subtitled or dubbed into other languages and versions edited for local censors). And as a film historian, I think it’s worth making a case that we should be saving the very films that Stewart dismisses as not quite “movie-movies.”

2 Comments »

  1. Joem Said,

    April 2, 2007 @ 3:12 pm

    I think that YouTube did the smart thing by allowing the controversial Hillary 1984 video to circulate. The video is probably one of the most popular presidential video clips in history.

  2. Chuck Said,

    April 2, 2007 @ 5:00 pm

    Joem, you’re certainly right. The only real concern is the danger that Apple might sue based on copyright infringement, and that doesn’t appear likely at this point. Thanks for the pointer to “I Support This Message,” by the way.

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