MasterNewMedia.org has an article talking about ownership of media in the age of the participatory culture.
This is a fantastic area of debate, and one that has become more and more confusing to follow as the participatory culture, where “You” Make Media, has been embraced. The article cites parts of licenses in sites such as YouTube.com where they reference their ability to use your work all over.
For me, this isn’t the interesting side of the debate. I think we’re going to see some interesting legal battles in the future, surrounding around who is the actual owner of a work if many people contribute to it. One would at first thing this is a concern that Open Source software would have figured out, but they aren’t commercialized so it’s not an area they need to worry about too much (when it comes around to splitting up the payments).
Video podcasts such as Ze Frank’s theshow are based heavily on user-created content (for example the recent mashups of the “Ray” song – Ze fans know what I mean). Ze makes money from ads in theshow. Put two and two together – there may come a time where disgruntled fans ask for something in return.
I can’t see this happening in the immediate future but I have no doubt that time will come unless groundrules are laid out now, establishing who owns what. Is it the creator (almost always yes if it’s commercial, but not always if the entity is community-driven)? Is it the most active fan?
Not me. Not quite yet anyway.