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The birth of an idea

This week I have been following and participating in DS106 Remix weeks. As usual, there have been unexpected surprises and reflections. I expected to learn the difference between a remix and a mashup, but never expected to change my mind about what it means to own an idea.


  1. It all started with this Tweet:
  2. A number of interactions refined the notion of a film strip
  3. In particular @cogdog making the suggestion it should be 106 film format
  4. The result was the 'Gifachrome DS106' strip as seen here:
  5. Cory Doctorow GIFACHROME DS106  for Jona...
    Cory Doctorow GIFACHROME DS106 for Jona...
  6. I loved the idea of an animated gif photo strip, and thought:
  7. I discovered glitch art via Michael Branson Smith and put together an animated gif using glitch art a 'GIFAchrome camera' :

  8. Cory Doctorow, taken with a GIFAchrome 1...
    Cory Doctorow, taken with a GIFAchrome 1...
  9. About the same time @rockylou was posting more images on GIFAchrome DS106 film and some people where starting to ask which tutorial had they missed out on: ' Love this! I am so behind that I don't know what the GIFAChrome ds106 film is.'
  10. In learning about glitch art I watched this video and found it inspirational. It made me reflect on the nature of ideas and who owns them. In particular the idea that if I share an idea with you, I still have my idea. This is also true of digital files. I can give you the file and I have the same file. It is a non-zero sum game. The video refers to it as a non-rivalrous resource as understood in economics. I have 'it', you can have 'it' and many people can have 'it'. It can be reproduced at no cost. 

  11. Glitch Codec Tutorial [glitch art demo] full tutorial
  12. So who owns the GIFAchrome 106 camera and film?
  13. This may seem like a petty question to ask, but I think it speaks to all that is the landscape of Creative Commons and copyright. The technology offers something that our ideas of creativity and ownership do no easily accommodate. Or should I say our egos do not easily accommodate? 

    When we bring in economics, then this issue becomes more salient. Juxtapose what I have said so far with this:

  14. For as long as we are just having fun and no money is in the horizon we are happy to share and co-create ideas. Suppose that somebody wanted to pay us money to write a book on 'The GIFAChrome 106 Camera and its images'? For the sake of this thought experiment imagine that the sum on the table was an advance of say 100 thousand pounds. I ask again, who owns this idea? Importantly, who owns the images we have made with GIFAchrome 106 Camera and film?

    When we offer stuff on a cc by basis we emphasise keeping a trail of material we use, particularly if we are remixing. I guess this is in order to enable us to share the 'bounty' when the publisher comes with the advance…but how will we share our 100 thousand pounds? Who is included in the birth of the idea? What percentages will be paid to who?

    I thought I would count the people involved so far: @doctorow, @rockylou, @jonathan_worth @cogdog @nbriz @mbransons @mdvfunes and then we need to include Adobe and all the corporations that have allowed us to produce the output. I joked with Alan Levine this week that my images should be 'cc by Photoshop'. What do I own given that the image is of Cory, the photo was taken by Jonathan, the glitch art idea and tutorial was Nik's, the film strip idea was Rochelle's… you get my inquiry, I hope. The 100 thousand pounds pot looks pretty small by now, doesn't it? And at this point we would also see people's personalities shine through - Who would want to share? Who would want to go to court? Who would claim a greater percentage because 'their' contribution was more than that of others? And if the amount is increased to anything like the $ 1.2 million @foto8 reported this week, what would you do?
  15. Meantime, if you want to share our hypothetical publisher's advance, head over to @rockylou 's blog where she has shared all the templates she used for what she created this week.