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Growing internet access and a hyper-evolved societal awareness built in to the humor of our age have led to an explosion of Neo-Swiftian cultural critique in every area imaginable: art, literature, film, gaming, social networking, food, politics, business and even parody itself.
The Daily Show now provides our Modest Proposal every evening, Cervantes acolytes all over the world ruthlessly skewer our holy cows from their blogs, forcing us to laugh at ourselves and the institutions we create and support. While parody and satire are inarguably essential to humankind’s dialectic with itself, the same tools that have raise our collective voice are being utilized by powerful forces to squelch us.
Facebook is dragging offending sites into court with a vengeance. Celebrities sue bloggers with a regularity one can set their watch to. Even Blizzard Entertainment–of World of Warcraft fame–forced the pulping of tens of thousands of copies before the release of a satirical book.
So what do the jesters do when the giant doesn’t have a sense of humor? A balance must be struck between the rights of individuals and institutions and the rights of others to mock them.
The purpose of this panel is to assess the present health of parody in New Media (however broadly defined), discuss its evolving role in our discourse, and to develop a prognosis for its future that will enable to prescribe the right strategy to protect those who hold the mirror to a world of naked emperors.
Have you ever received a takedown notice for an MP3 or video you posted on your blog? Did you get clearance from a publicist only to have the label accuse you of illicitly distributing their content? Did Google delete your Blogspot blog? Are you scared to post MP3s on your blog at all for fear of being sued?
There's a lot of confusion and disinformation out there when it comes to bloggers' rights--especially where the nuances of copyright law are concerned. In this workshop, we'll teach you how to make sure you're in the clear when posting content on your blog, exactly what your responsibilities are as a blogger and how to fight back if you're wrongfully accused. The presenters--both of whom work for the Washington D.C.-based digital rights non-profit Public Knowledge--will bring a wealth of expertise from both sides of the issue to the table. In addition to overseeing Public Knowledge's outreach and new media efforts, Mehan Jayasuriya is a freelance music blogger and photographer who has worked with publications like PopMatters, Stereogum and DCist. Michael Weinberg is a staff attorney at Public Knowledge, where he focuses on telecommunications policy, in addition to copyright reform and entertainment law.
11th–15th March 2011