Author: camille

artspire logo

As part of the New York Foundation of Arts’ Artspire program,’s artist-in-residence Nina Paley will be teaching fellow artists about the principles and practices of free culture. Taking her highly informative piece “How to Free Your Work”a her point of departure, Nina will speak to the group about her experience distributing her award-winning film Sita Sings The Blues and her ongoing adventures in open distribution. She will particularly instruct the group in how to choose an open license, demystifying the many Creative Commons and other licenses available; how to make it easier for fans to support then; how to upload files to; how they can do less work on their own and enable your fans to do more; and how to use unlimited content to sell their stuff.

The workshop will take place on October 5, 2011 at 6:30PM at the NYFA office located at 20 Jay Street in the DUMBO area of Brooklyn. For more information and to register for the event, click here.


We were simply overjoyed yesterday to learn about The Future of Music Coalition’s Money From Music survey, which is part of their Artists Revenue Streams project. QuestionCopyright.Org challenges the industry line that states that strong copyright restrictions are in place in order to secure an important revenue stream for musicians and that peer to peer sharing has made it next to impossible for musician’s to make a living. We have long suspected that while an entire industry grew up around it, album revenue has long been only a small part of artists’ actual income, and according to Director of Programs of The Future of Music Coalition Jean Cook there are actually at least 40 different revenue streams for musicians. With this survey, they aim to find out which revenue streams are the most prevalent and also pinpoint emerging trends. We at QCO are eagerly awaiting the results. The survey runs from September 6, 2011 to October 28, 2011, please encourage every musician you know (including yourself!) to take the survey!

In addition to the survey, the foundation will be hosting artist workshops to educate artists about various revenue streams available to them and how to develop their professional careers; click here for more info.

ovc2011As we announced a few weeks back in our summer newsletter, took part in the 2011 Open Video Conference, which took place this past weekend at New York Law School in downtown Manhattan. We were invited to be part of the Saturday morning Creating An Alternative Copyright Education session, and our executive director Karl Fogel joined American University Center for Social Media‘s Pat Aufderheide, Electronic Freedom Foundation‘s Richard Esguerra, Pop Culture Pirate Elisa Kreisinger, and NYLS’s Katie Baxter (moderator) to lead a rousing discussion on how to build resources and tools to counter the industry line on copyright restrictions.

The audience was an intelligent and engaged crowd eager to share their experience and ideas about how best to promote open content online, while addressing the growing concerns of the creating and viewing public. Ideas spanned from web portals to key word optimization to plugin apps; while suggestions of how best to tackle the task varied, all could agree that a new kind of copyright education was imperative and that the effort would require greater cooperation between the many concerned organizations in order to promote more knowledge and less misinformation and to carry the message (and the demands!) to the most prominent content providers on the Web.

In addition to the great panel, every conference participant walked away with a tote bag full of goodies, every one of which included one of our Free Culture Five bookmarks and Mimi and Eunice’s Intellectual Pooperty minibooks!

We extend our thanks to Ben Moskowitz, Christopher Wong, and all the hardworking people that helped the 2011 Open Video Conference become a reality. is always  happy to be a part of reframing the debate around copyright and promoting free culture.

Creating An Alternative Copyright Education panelists (from L to R): Katie Baxter, NY Law School (moderator); Richard Esguerra, EFF; Karl Fogel, QuestionCopyright; Pat Aufderheide, AU Center for Social Media; and Elisa Kreisinger, Pop Culture Pirate


After the tremendous success of her first foray into Kickstarter (and the mounting pressure of everyone pestering her to make another movie), our artist-in-residence Nina Paley has returned with a new Kickstarter project, Seder Masochism: Phase I. Nina envisions this as the early stages of a possible (fingers crossed!) new film entitled Seder Masochism, which is to be “an animated movie telling the story of Exodus, narrated by recordings of real Passover Seders.”

Check out the video below and support the project if you can!


helpwanted continues to be a largely volunteer effort. Our volunteers have helped us build and maintain our website and expand our projects. We are eagerly seeking help with web development (we have a Drupal website and run CiviCRM ), graphic design, and fundraising efforts. Drop us a line, if you are interested (and see our most recent newsletter for what we’re up to lately).



QCO Artist-in- Residence Nina Paley will be speaking on a panel on October 1, 2011 at the Pages & Places Book Festival in Scranton, PA. The panel entitled “Free As In Freedom” will be a lively discussion between Nina and the founder of the free software movement Richard M. Stallman. Considering Richard and Nina haven’t seen each other since she issued her Rantifesto, which challenges the reluctance shown by many in the free software community to embrace free culture, it is sure to be a rousing debate! More details here.

Nina Paley, artist 

QCO Artist in Residence and Free Culture’s favorite cartoonist, Nina Paley, will be presenting at this year’s OKCon, the Open Knowledge Conference, in Berlin, Germany. Nina’s talk will focus on her personal story of freeing her artwork and the resultant flourishing of her life and career. She will also devote time to talking about non-commercial restrictions in popular licenses that purport to be Free Culture.

The talk will take place on July 1st 2011 at 16:00 in the Main Track space. Click here for more information about Nina, her talk, and OKCon .

Realizing the need for more introductory level information on Free Culture, we’ve created the Free Culture Fives bookmark.  It’s a great way to introduce friends and associates to the idea of Free Culture — spread the word!

Front                              Back

fc5frontsmall           fc5backsmall

(6/2/2011 – now also in Spanish!)


Frente                         Dorso

fc5spanishfront      fc5spanishfront

The bookmarks will soon be available from the QCO Store, but until then, click here to see larger images and download them for yourself!