The Cobbler: A New Career Model for Artists and Entertainers

Laure Parsons

A media professional with several years of experience in distribution and production, Laure Parsons is a consultant and filmmaker specializing in new approaches and technologies. Most recently Director of Home Media Sale and Marketing at Zeitgeist Films, she has worked for National Film Board of Canada, New Yorker Films and Tribeca Film Festival. She can be found at xplusxfilms.com and infinicine.com.


In the past, high production and distribution costs have forced artists into a kind of gambling mentality. In order to reach audiences, artists had to rely on production companies and distributors, who in turn had to take a large percentage of revenues to cover the high costs associated with producing a film, making a run of books, or releasing an album.

Because distributors spread their risk across many different works, betting that a few will "make it big", artists too were led to a lottery attitude: your work either won big or not at all. If a work had the fortune to make it big, it could sometimes make money for the artist despite many middlemen taking their pieces — but if it did not, the artist was unlikely to make much money at all.

Final Version of "Copying Is Not Theft" Released!

The first official release of Copying Is Not Theft is now ready, with a new sound track arranged by Nik Phelps and sung by Connie Champagne:

Download the high-res version at archive.org.

Question Copyright's first Minute Meme is a response to messages that have tried to convince people that copying information is the same as stealing property, when it's an entirely different (and generally positive) thing. Until the air is cleared on that point, it's hard to have any kind of useful conversation about copying, sharing, copyright, or licensing.

The purpose of these Minute Memes is to give educators and commentators more tools to help clear the air. Copying is not Theft conveys its simple idea with a catchy tune, clever lyrics, and delightful animation by Nina Paley. Many thanks to Nik Phelps and Connie Champagne for a terrific sound track. We also thank the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for supporting this meme and others with a generous grant. Copying Is Not Theft is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license.

See the Minute Memes home page for more about the project. See the Copying Is Not Theft home page for more about this meme and for other arrangements, remixes, and mashups, based on the draft Nina released last December.

Brian Lehrer Live television interview with Nina Paley and Karl Fogel

Brian Lehrer renowned radio host at WNYC (New York Public Radio) interviewed Nina Paley and Karl Fogel on his CUNY TV show Brian Lehrer Live on February 17th.  The conversation ranged from Nina's distribution model for her film Sita Sings the Blues to the broader copyright reform movement, and they showed two of the Minute Memes as well.  The video is now available:

It's the middle segment of a three-segment show. The entire show is worth watching, too. The first segment is a debate about the ACTA ("Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement") treaty and how it tightens international copyright restrictions. If you follow copyright reform at all, you'll be frustrated at how resolutely the participants neglect to question the assumptions (for one thing, copying is not counterfeiting). We tried to come back to some of those points during the middle segment. The third segment is a fascinating interview with Jen Bekman and Jonathan Melber of 20x200, with artist Clare Grill joining by video chat. In all segments, the host, Brian Lehrer, asks good questions; he's obviously been thinking about the issues.

Tags: 

Pages

Subscribe to QuestionCopyright.org RSS