Home Comment of the Day: R.E.M. Video = Open Source As In Linux

Comment of the Day: R.E.M. Video = Open Source As In Linux

Our 5th daily Comments Competition winner comes via a trackback. It’s from Risa Dickens of the blog Indyish, in response to our post R.E.M. Releases New Videos Under Open Source License. Congratulations Risa, you’ve won a $30 Amazon voucher, courtesy of our competition sponsors AdaptiveBlue and their Amazon WishList Widget.

Risa wrote that REM’s open source video is “a taste of open source in the much more potentially disruptive way of open sourcing advanced by Linux, then the pay-what-you-can but still copy-written version tried on [Radiohead’s] In Rainbows.”

Riza continued:

REM and Warner make a tiny but bold experiment with this one video, and it’s a hint of much bigger moves to come. For certain they’ll watch Supernatural Superserious closely to see how the video moves through distribution circuits that are not used to open source, and open source systems that are not used to them. My one humble suggestion so far would be to use open and standard protocols rather then proprietary software when trying to open source contentFlash navigation seems an unfortunate way to try and share.

Nevertheless, these tentative and awkward first steps have precedent in the world of software which suggests that the real innovations in the entertainment industry may lie along these exact lines traced by REM and Warner. No matter whether it’s large companies or independents who are making them, the future lies in seeking a balance between sharing and selling where both can coexist to expand ever wider and more sustainable networks of access and collective affluence… Maybe the future is even foreshadowed in REM’s own hanging, haunting question from 1986:

“What if we give it away?”

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