Digital Creativity

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Portal:Digital Creativity

Narrative: Creativity and the Digital Native Edit Trevor looks like an average guy in his late teens. But recently he’s found, as he’s becoming famous, that he gets a lot more attention from girls at his high school. Turns out, he’s one of hottest hands on Revver, a new online video-sharing service. And he’s even making a little bit of money for his troubles, which only further enhances his sense of well-being.

Trev specializes in mash-ups. He started by digitizing parts of his favorite TV shows and posting them to YouTube, but he found that they kept getting taken down and he’d have to create new user accounts to keep uploading files. Plus, other people were posting regular TV all over the web, and he didn’t see the point after a while. Then he got a Mac for his birthday. It had the coolest suite of editing software. He started to shoot a bit of digital video, but mostly he would find clips other people made online. He’d stitch them together on his Mac, overlay a music track he liked, and post them online. He called himself the MashUpKing.

Trev specialized in humor. He liked to make fun of politicians, mainly, but other people he thought were stupid would do, too. He found that his videos had the most impact if he pulled together a bit of film footage, or an old ad, that people would recognize, and used a popular soundtrack, the impact of his mash-up would be greatest. A tiny bit of a Victoria’s Secret fashion show didn’t usually hurt, either. But the key was that it had to be funny, and maybe a bit weird.

Trevor’s videos started to get incredibly popular. His big break came when his mash-up, “Don’t You Love Me Anymore?,” a satire on the Tony Blair-George Bush relationship, showed up in the “Editor’s Picks” section of a big video site. From then on, every time “MashUpKing” uploaded a video on Revver or YouTube, he’d get at least a hundred thousand views. He got “favorited” by more users on one social network than any other video producer. Bloggers all over the web started to call him a “leading independent media artist” and Revver began to send him checks that had a couple of zeros in them.

And then his friends at school began to notice. Trevor had a hot hand.

What is Digital Creativity?

You are the star of the digital revolution.

According to Time Magazine, who named "You" the 2006 Person of the Year, this honor has been bestowed for "seizing the reins of the global media, for founding and framing the new digital democracy, and for working for nothing and beating the pros at their own game."[1] We have transformed the World Wide Web into an inherently social and collaborative world, heralding the Web 2.0 evolution and empowering the individual end-user to take on a role of participatory creativity. This transition from "passive" users to users who actively produce online content has demonstrated the rise in power o both individuals and communities.

Digital Natives include both sides of the spectrum. At one end lie the super-users--those who create mashups and animations, maintain daily blogs, and tag every article they read. The other end of the spectrum represents those Digital Natives who maintain an online presence in order to keep track of relationships and social life, or more simply, just to pass the time. Not all Digital Natives are active creators. Not every teen is parked in front of their computer creating mashups or updating their vlogs. All Digital Natives, however, have the option and indeed the means to be active creators. There has been a leveling of the digital playing field that has enabled Digital Natives to take on a more active role in political and creative processes.

The precursor to this movement and arguably a major catalyst in tearing down the Internet's previously high barriers to entry was the open source movement. The vast collaborative and voluntary movement (totaling over one hundred thousand person-years of effort) brought highly sophisticated and complex software products mainstream, including the Linux operating system, the Apache server software, and Mozilla Firefox. This unprecedented effort demonstrated that a broad range of innovations could be achieved in the new digital landscape.

Digital Natives are increasingly engaged in creating information, knowledge, and entertainment. Three common themes emerge regarding digital creativity: mixing and mashing, norms of sharing, and practices of social networking and community building. One of the biggest contributions to the digital world is what is known as the mash-up, illustrating that Digital Natives are interacting not only with their peers, but with content as well. Media files are easily manipulated, adding an entirely new dimension to the digital creativity. Collaborative fan fiction, sampling, and mash-ups exemplify the new "rip, mix, and burn" culture, to use the slogan that Apple has so appropriately coined.
Wikipedia is one of the clearest examples of the shifting trend in online culture from a world of consumers to world of creators. Wikipedia is written collaboratively by an army of volunteers using a simple, yet exceedingly powerful technology called a "wiki," or in other words, a website that functions somewhat like a Microsoft Word document that anyone can edit at any time. Six years after its inception in 2001, Wikipedia boasts over six million articles in 249 languages. All things considered, Wikipedia points to the double-edged sword of the Digital Natives' do-it-yourself online culture. The extraordinary collaboration and participation in a project of such great magnitude is contrasted with the concerns over credibility and plagiarism.

Second Life has taken the online world by storm. A virtual world focusing on social interaction rather than objective-based game-play, Second Life is an example of an MMOG, or Massively Multiplayer Online Game, that is in fact remarkably conducive to self-expression and creativity. Second Life's over three million subscribers use real money to outfit their own avatars, buy land, and start virtual businesses. Last year, Anshe Chung, a virtual land baroness, became the first real millionaire – in terms of real United States dollars – in Second Life. The volume of money that changed hands among players in Second Life reached $130 million. Content is also blurring the lines between the real world and the virtual world as digital creators connect people and content in a digital space.

MacWorld on Second Life (from

Critical questions emerge from this phenomenon. Does internet usage replace face-to-face interactions? Do we spend less time with real human beings the more hours we surf the net? What are the effects of internet communication on existing relationships with family and friends? Does it help us to build new relationships and communities? For the Digital Native, the Internet arguably fosters interaction, both online and through more traditional channels. Social software is changing the way we connect and interact with our peers. The prevalence of social networks has led to the proliferation of user-generate content in cyberspace, as more than half of all teens have created content on the Internet, according to studies done by Pew Internet. The unprecedented rise in digital creativity has changed the cyber-landscape as we once knew it. We must examine the implications that have arisen concerning the changing world of the Digital Native.

Motivation: Why Digital Creativity?

For the "true" Digital Native, information has become entirely malleable. For Generation X, the Baby Boomers, and the countless other generations that preceded this era of unprecedented connectivity, facts were simply facts. Albums were albums. Advertisements were advertisements. Art was art. Long before Wikipedia, encyclopedias were concrete, unchanging entities. Thanks to social software and a breakdown of traditional cyber barriers, user-generated content has become the norm for much of cyberspace. Where once information was stuck and unchanging, the new Internet and the Web2.0 evolution have provided an infrastructure for end-users to tag, add, edit, share, blog, create, and mash. According to a study by Pew Internet, more than half of all teens have created content on the Internet (not to mention one-third of adult Internet users as well). [2]

Blogs, chat rooms, newsgroups, social networks, homepages, and instant messaging have enabled users around the world to participate in digital content creation in their own cyber-cultures. What has spurred this rise of user participation and creativity? What motivates Digital Natives (and Immigrants, too) from Boston to Bangladesh to make mashups and maintain profiles on social networks? Is it simply a matter of available interactive software, or is this in fact a statement about our global culture?

According to Palfrey and Gasser, the wave of cheap, ultra-simple technology has fostered and ultimately powers the culture of the true Digital Native (Palfrey and Gasser, forthcoming). Broadband connectivity, available to half the people in the United States, Northern Europe, and East Asia, can now handle large video and audio files, allowing people to access and then remix digital content using inexpensive, readily available multimedia software. Other aspects of our current technological infrastructure are instrumental in the shift from passive content consumption to active creation. The open-source software movement has heralded such innovations as folksonomic organization (“tagging,” as it known more commonly), Creative Commons, and is in fact in itself an example of end-user collaboration and social sharing at the very core of this evolution.

It is clear that the technological infrastructure is well suited for the large-scale production and proliferation of information, knowledge, and culture. What then motivates Digital Natives to create mashups, film their own videos, contribute to an online encyclopedia for free, and lead a full life complete with real estate and raincoats in a virtual world? In an era of increased concern over privacy, why do people post their personal information on Facebook and MySpace profiles, tag family photos from a recent vacation on Flickr, and blog about every detail of their lives?

There are countless possible motivations that would lead an end-user, Digital Native or otherwise, to create content and share it on the web. The prospect of financial reward, whether immediate or long-term, is certainly a consideration as many budding journalists and writers begin with blogs that they hope will be spotted by editors at newspapers and magazines. Musicians set up fanpages on MySpace, which can turn out to be quite lucrative (for example, The Summer Obsession landed a Virgin Records contract after being discovered on MySpace). Future financial compensation is hardly a reason motivating many to create. A great number of the Internet population creates content for the pure sake of self-expression. Some people do it for fame or notoriety. Others do it for simple pleasure of enjoyment and the desire to participate in a collaborative environment. Others, still, do it for organizational reasons. With tagging applications such as Flickr or Delicious, your photos or collection of interesting articles can be pulled up from any computer with Internet access.

Inspiring Narratives from a Culture of Participation

Narrative 1: Chico Bongalar

"Chico Bongalar is a tubby twenty-something guy - real name Grant - and he likes making videos. At the moment Chico is the No. 1 attraction on Trouble Homegrown, the UK television channel's attempt to mirror the runaway success of web sites like MySpace and YouTube.

Chico talks about his life, getting a suntan and eats a slice of bread. Doesn't sound like much, but he created a bit of a buzz. Chico is part of a new wave of amateur video talent that includes the Beijing karaoke champs, aka the Chinese Backstreet Boys (sponsored by Coca-Cola), the folk singer Sandi Thom (now with a £1 million recording deal) and the Arctic Monkeys, who went from obscurity to the Brit Awards, all kickstarted by the web.

Chico and millions of others who upload amateur videos to the growing number of user-generated content sites such as YouTube have sent shockwaves through big media companies - and executives are sitting up and paying attention.

It's not just for the size of the audience; there's the increasingly contentious issue of content ownership and control.

Chico's video narratives are free online, just like all MySpace and YouTube content, because people like Chico create this stuff mostly just to share ideas and get attention. Until recently, online fame and the potential of discovery seemed enough, and the commercialisation of so-called user-generated content (UGC) sites was not an issue - because the sites were startups and below the radar of big media organisations. But that's all changing.

Sites such as YouTube are growing up. MySpace is now owned by News Corpora-tion. Trouble's Homegrown and MTV Flux have been created by publicly-listed, bot-tom-line-oriented media companies. They may be interested in nurturing new talent, but the MTVs of the world also want to profit from this new creative pool.

"YouTube and MySpace are all about community, and I don't believe that their initial plans were to commercially exploit uploaded material, but rather only to build busi-ness models based on ad revenues," says Alexander Ross, a partner at Wiggin LLP, a media and technology law firm. "Contrast that with an MTV and some others, who appear to be approaching the model more from a broadcaster's perspective."

Citation from "The Guardian: Whose Content is it anyway?" (2006)

Narrative 2: The Phenomenon of YouTube

"When two twenty-somethings posted a home-made video on YouTube last week they initially attracted more than 1.3m views, but they didn't earn a cent for their efforts. This didn't matter to them because the two in question, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, owned the company and had just sold it to Google for $1.65bn. But the fact that they didn't get paid is still a matter of some interest. We are at the start of a creative revolution on the web, enabling millions of people to publish their own videos, music, photographs, books, blogs or whatever, and it is important to make sure it doesn't turn into a rip-off for a new breed of intermediaries. Content is king, but the king has yet to be voted a stipend.

The curious thing about YouTube is that the people who ought to be paid (individual content creators) aren't actually campaigning for it, while corporate providers are threatening legal action over clips pirated on YouTube - even though normally they are only too happy to pay a media platform to show clips of films or TV shows to generate interest in watching the whole thing or buying it as a DVD.

The creators of YouTube have done a great service in bringing video creation to the masses. But it was not because their technology was superior to others in the field (it wasn't), but because they were in the right place at the right time when, unpredictably, YouTube suddenly attracted critical mass. This was a huge victory for garage start-ups over the likes of Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, which found to their cost that the mighty leverage arising from their big market shares in existing products buttered no parsnips in the new world of web creativity."

Citation from "The Guardian: We really need some discontent creators" (2006)

Narrative 3: Police track reckless Driver on YouTube

Police took up pursuit in cyberspace after a young Norwegian posted on the Internet video of his wild car driving. Following an electronic trail that he left online, police caught him and slapped him with real-life fine $1,300.

The Norwegian, identified only as a man in his early 20s, posted the video called "Driving in Norway" on Google Inc.'s popular video-sharing site YouTube. The recording showed the car's speedometer hitting up to 150 miles - 240 kilometers - per hour on a public highway near Oslo. "We're touching 240," a voice could be heard saying. "We know it will do it. This is a little nice."

The video was removed from the Web site after it made national news in Norway last week. Police said they could prove only that the man had driven an average of 86 miles per hour and based the fine, which the motorist accepted, on that speed. Norway's speed limit is as high as 62 miles per hour, though lower on most roads.

"It is disturbing that young people test high speeds on highways like that, and then, on top of it, use the Net to boast about the misdeed afterward," said Morten Hassel of the district police's traffic unit.

Literally citation from

Logo youtube.jpg

Narrative 4: Stevie Ryan

Stevie Ryan recently received her first Oscar, only eighteen months after moving to Los Angeles to become a movie star. She grew up in California’s high desert, in a town along the road to Las Vegas called Victorville. Her parents worked at calibrating truck scales for weigh stations on the interstate - a family business going back two generations on her mother’s side. Throughout her childhood and adolescence, Ryan harbored escape fantasies involving the Hollywood of her parents’ and grandparents’ generations - Lucille Ball, Audrey Hepburn, Buster Keaton, Clara Bow - but she never participated in high-school theatrical productions. She did attend her high-school prom dressed as Marilyn Monroe, down to the elbow-length gloves. (Her date wore a Mohawk and muttonchops.) After a brief stint in community college, she concluded that she was “too right-brain for school,” and followed her older brother to Huntington Beach - anything to get out of Victorville. Then she decided to move to L.A. and to see what happens.

The Oscar was delivered rather unceremoniously - not in March, at the Academy Awards - but in August during a three and a half minutes sketch that Ryan was filming while she was acting as Little Loca, an eighteen-year-old Latina from East L.A.. This was about the fortieth in a series of short homemade video sketches that Ryan uploaded onto the video-sharing site YouTube and had by then attracted over a million viewings.

“Damn, this shit is heavy,” Loca said, in a pronounced Hispanic accent, after accepting the gold statuette and waving it around. “I could knock somebody out with this.” Then she launched into an earnest acceptance speech. “I want to thank YouTube,” she said. “You’re so important in my life right now. And without YouTube there’s no way in hell Loca could have, you know, got something like this.”

In fact, YouTube helped Ryan to real fame. Over the previous three months, Loca’s fans, many of them Hispanic, had warmed to her story: spunky ghetto kid with an overprotective older brother, a 4.0 grade-point average, and her innocence proudly intact. (That gang sign that she seemed to flash at the end of each video was really a sideways V, for virgin.). During a recent trip to San Francisco, she had been accosted by a group of teens at a mall, wanting to know if she was “Little Loca from YouTube”. She also was now being represented by a Hollywood agency. “Seriously, if you Googled me, like, a couple months ago, you wouldn’t get crap,” she said, typing her name into the search engine. “I’m just a normal person. And now you actually get stuff. It’s, like, crazy. That’s more than I could ever ask for, just to be on Google.” The search led to a fan site for various celebrities; Stevie Ryan’s name and head shot were featured alongside Tom Cruise, Rachel McAdams, and Johnny Depp.

Ryan's show-business career begun six months ago when she started making videos with a Sony Handycam. They were mostly vintage-style silent films which she edited, with no formal training, using Windows Movie Maker. She experimented with uploading a few of the films onto YouTube, and only then discovered the site’s ruthlessly populist ethos: what people seemed to like was not pretentious art films with obvious Hollywood aspirations but the confessional blogs of usual people. Little Loca - a composite of the tough-talking, strong-willed kind of girls Ryan used to admire during her youth - was born.

Within a few weeks, YouTube became a full-time pursuit for Ryan. “It’s basically all I do,” she says. Ryan prefers to shoot Little Loca videos straight through, without editing, to create the genuine feel of a video blog.

The quest for stardom that had led her to Hollywood now pitted her against nonprofessionals in Toronto and Pittsburgh and Tasmania. Similarly as in Hollywood's real show-business, competition on YouTube is hard. “Four months ago, when I was first on YouTube, it was not where it’s at right now,” she says. “I think Little Loca was, like, No. 5 most-subscribed, and now, like, I’m No. 15 - because why? There’s all these other people they’re featuring on there. And it’s, like, bullshit.”

According to YouTube's CEO Chad Hurley, the company wants to democratize the entertainment process. "People want to be seen, and we're providing the largest audience for that" Hurley says. An exemplary case for YouTube as a "democratizer" is Peter the geriatric. Peter, a seventy-nine-year-old widower turned up his webcam and announced: "I got addicted to YouTube". He uploaded the video under the title "First Try" and it has now been seen nearly two million times. However, Peter was not a truly democratic star. Like an aspiring model who is spotted in a drugstore by a hot-shot agent, he had been plucked from the crowd and thrust directly into the spotlight. In contrast, Ernie Rogers, may represent the ultimate realization (and corruption) of YouTube's democratic ideal. Rogers is a twenty-three-year-old guitar player. Although on his user profile he bills himself as a "typical guy", Rogers has watched more than nine hundred thousand videos on YouTube since May. That averages approximately two hundred and fifty per hour, not allowing for sleep. What he watches, primarily, is his own guitar solos (or the first few seconds of them) over and over, to boost his view counts to levels that will make others take notice. His strategy seems to have been successful: One of his solos has been viewed two hundred thousand times - and only sixty thousand of those viewings were by him.

Despite of various career opportunities through YouTube, Ryan fears that YouTube was screwing her over. She believes that YouTube artificially suppress her page views and do not "feature” her the way they had featured Peter the geriatric. “O.K., seriously? They do not like me on here,” she said. “They hate my guts. I’ve never been featured, so I don’t watch the featured videos now. I’m really angry at YouTube. I don’t care what anybody says, they’re doing it on purpose. I have written probably like, I don’t know, a million letters."

A few weeks later, Ryan posted a new Little Loca installment. Less than forty-eight hours after Ryan uploaded the video, it was removed from the site, further fuelling Ryan’s suspicions. “They removed my video because YouTube always removes my videos”.

The real reason for her video’s removal had nothing to do with any personal antipathy toward her among the YouTube staffers. YouTube had received a Digital Millennium Copyright Act complaint from a third party. Apparently, Ryan’s mistake had been to edit her sketch too ambitiously, post-dubbing the Wu-Tang Clan soundtrack that was distinct from the video recording, and therefore digitally traceable. Had she merely played the song on her stereo while shooting the scene on the sofa, there would have been no way for anyone to detect it, short of watching every video on the site.

Shortened version from "The New Yorker: it should happen to you" (2006), parcially edited

Narrative 5: OK Go Band

ok go band

In pop music, synchronized dance routines have typically been the domain of boy bands, girl groups and the high-school talent show contestants who idolize them. But with the video for its single A Million Ways, the Chicago rock band OK Go has claimed coordinated dancing for a legion of semicoordinated hipsters -- who, in turn, have helped make it one of the most celebrated, and wildly circulated, Internet phenomena of the year.

Shot on digital video last April, the clip shows the band's four members performing an elaborately choreographed dance routine in the singer Damian Kulash's backyard. OK Go's most talented dancer, the bassist Tim Nordwind, lip-syncs the song, a slinky disco-rock tale of a barfly and the femme fatale whose fish nets he can't stop ogling.

The three-minute dance, which includes moves inspired by The Matrix and West Side Story, is at once a sight gag worthy of Spike Jonze (in terms of physical grace, even the bald and bespectacled Mr. Nordwind isn't exactly Justin Timberlake) and surprisingly competent. Overseen by Mr. Kulash's sister, a professional ballroom dancer, it took a week to choreograph and practice. We didn't originally conceive of it as a music video proper, Mr. Kulash said. It was supposed to be a routine to finish live shows, and this was just a document of us practicing.

Encouraged by their friends, though, Mr. Kulash and his band mates began handing out DVD's of the video at their concerts. As fans uploaded and swapped it, A Million Ways generated an online following, ultimately entering the pantheon of eagerly forwarded viral videos -- a category usually reserved for clips of President Bush mispronouncing words and overweight people falling into holes. By August, it was the most downloaded video at the popular Web sites and A publicist for Capitol, the band's label, said it has been downloaded more than a million times in all.

Capitol decided to release the video officially, and it's currently in rotation on MTV2. Last month the band performed the routine on the season premiere of Fox's Mad TV. We were going to do it on 'The Tonight Show' too, Mr. Kulash said, but they have a strict 'no lip-syncing' policy.

For Mr. Kulash, the video's Internet-bred success presents a strange paradox: it's the type of buzz major labels dream about, but it's also a sign that major-label publicity channels have become outmoded. This massive machine that used to shove music down people's throats has imploded, and nothing much has replaced it, he said. Still, Capitol certainly couldn't have minded the video's budget. It cost $4.99 to make -- $20, according to Mr. Kulash, if one counts beverages for the cast and crew.

Literally citation from "The New York Times" (2005)

Community Narrative: Helping Strangers

In Marion, a small town in southern Illinois with the slogan "Hub of the Universe," 58-year-old Richard Marchal spends four to six hours a day answering questions from strangers.

"What is the acid produced by bacteria on our teeth?"

"Would the density of water differ if it had a dissolved solid in it?"

"What should I do about a crush?"

"Is camping a fun family activity?"

Marchal has answered more than 6,400 such questions in little more than a year. He's the top-rated answerer on Yahoo Answers, a Web site where people pose questions and hope that strangers will answer them. His reward: the gratitude of the asker, if he's lucky. Oh, and Yahoo gives him "points," which serve no purpose but to rank him among other users.

"This way here I can be grandpa to hundreds," Marchal said. "A lot of people tell me this is the best advice they ever got."

Helping strangers for no tangible reward is a huge phenomenon online -- huge enough to have repercussions for the largest businesses. Yahoo sells ads on Answers, where visitors do most of the work, while other companies gratefully let volunteers provide online technical support.

Literally citation from Business Week: Online, helping strangers is huge (2007)

Community Narrative: Miss Norway

Karyn logged onto LegendMUD, a text-based virtual world, for the first time in 1996. Being the sort of person who makes friends easily, a law student from Oslo, and a former Miss Norway, she quickly became a popular character in the virtual community. It's painful to read the details of her life, knowing that it was about to come to an abrupt and tragic end. In 1998, Karyn and a friend were out test-driving a Porsche 911 and collied head-on with an other car. Karyn and her friend were killed immediately. Or was she? Karyn's death would soon become a cause célèbre in virtual world circles.

After a couple of weeks, the virtual community realized that Karyn was missing. E-mails were sent out, but she did not reply. Some friends decided to investigate and what they found shocked the community to its core. Posted on Karyn's home page was a newspaper article reporting her death and a letter from her parents. When the news of Karyn's death finally reached LegendMUD, the outpouring of grief was immediate and heartfelt. The message boards in every tavern quickly overflowed with expressions of sorrow. In response to player requests, the immortals decided to construct a "Garden of Rememberance" to honor Karyn's memory...

Shortened version from "Who killed Miss Norway?", parcially edited


Troubles in Second Life, LATimes article, 2007


Mixing and Mashing

Norms of Sharing



Principles for User Generated Content Services

Summary: Principles for User Generated Content Services

On October 18th, 2007 several of the world’s leading Internet and media companies announced a set of principles that will allow for the continuing growth and development of user-generated content online while respecting intellectual property of Copyright Owners. The Principles are outlined bellow:

The following document summary outlines the principles established by copyright owners (“Copyright Owners”) and services providing user-uploaded and user-generated audio and video content (“UGC Services”). UGC Services refers to services such as Soapbox, MSN Video, MySpace, Dailymotion and These Principles are meant to foster an online environment that promotes the promises and benefits of UGC Services and protects the rights of Copyright Owners.

Copyright Owners and UGC Services share several objectives:

• The elimination of infringing content on UGC Services

• The encouragement of uploads wholly original and authorized user-generated audio and video content

• The accommodation of fair use of copyrighted content on UGC Services

• The protection of legitimate interest of user privacy

1. UGC Services should include information that promotes respect for intellectual property rights and discourages users from uploading infringing content.
2. UGC Services should prominently inform users that they may not upload infringing content and that, by uploading content, they affirm that such uploading complies with the UGC Service’s term of use.
3. UGC Services should use Identification Technology with the goal of eliminating from their services all infringing user-uploaded audio and video content for which Copyright Owners have provided Reference Material.
a. If a Copyright Owner has provided:
i. The reference data for content required to established a match with user-uploaded content
ii. Instructions regarding how matches should be treated
iii. Representations in good faith that it possesses the appropriate rights regarding the content
Then UGC Services should apply the Identification Technology to that content to implement the Filtering Process. If Copyright Owner does no include in the Reference Material instructions regarding how matches should be treated, the UGC Services should block content that matches the reference data. UGC Services should permit Copyright Owners to indicate how matches should be treated.
b. If Copyright Owners wish to block user-uploaded content that matches the reference data, the UGC Services should use Identification Technology to block matching content.
c. If a Copyright Owner authorizes specific users to upload content that would otherwise match Reference Material submitted by the Copyright Owner, the Copyright Owner should provide to the UGC Service a list of such users (a white list).
4. UGC Services and Copyright Owners should work together to identify sites that are dedicated to the dissemination of infringing content. If a site is identified as a provider of such services, UGC Services should remove or block links to such sites.
5. UGC Services should provide searching and identification means to Copyright Owners registered in order to:
a. To allow Copyright Owners to locate infringing content in all areas of the UGC Services where user-uploaded audio or video content is accessible
b. To send notices of infringement regarding such content
6. When sending notices and making claims of infringement, Copyright Owners should accommodate fair use.
7. Copyright Owners should provide to UGC Services URLs identifying online locations where content that is the subject of notices of infringement is found.
8. When removing content the UGC Services should:
a. Do so expeditiously
b. Notify the person who uploaded the content
c. After receipt of effective counter-notification provide a copy to the person who provided the original notice, and, replace the content If authorized by applicable law or agreement with Copyright Owner
9. When infringing content is removed by UGC Services in response to a notice from a Copyright Owner, the UGC Services should notify the Copyright Owner of the removal. Also, it should permit the Copyright Owner to provide reference data for such content to be used by the Identification Technology.
10. UGC Services should retain for at least 60 days:
a. Information related to user uploads of audio and video content to their services
b. User-uploaded content that has been on their services but has been subsequently removed following a notice of infringement.
11. UGC Services should use reasonable efforts to track infringing uploads of copyrighted content by the same user and should use such information in the implementation of repeat infringer termination policy. UGC Services should prevent a terminated user from uploading and/or video content following termination.
12. In following the procedures outline by these principles outside of the United States, UGC Services and Copyright Owners should follow these principles to the extent that doing so would not contravene the law of the applicable foreign jurisdiction.
13. If a UGC Service adheres to all of these Principles, the Copyright Owner should not assert a claim of copyright infringement against such UGC Service with respect to infringing user-uploaded material that might remain on the UBC Services despite adherence to the Principles.
14. Copyright Owners and UGC Services should continue to collaborate to create content-rich, infringement-free services. To that end, they should cooperate in the testing of new identification technologies and should update these principles.

Principles for User Generated Content Services Full text

Relevant Research

Primary Sources

UCC Report

Yochai Benkler: The Wealth of Networks


The Guardian

Study finds Podcast use rising but small

Pew Study: Teens and Technology (2005)

Pew Internet Project, Generations Memo (US) (2005)

technolocigal and social context, p. 9 ff.

Emerging trends among primary school children's use of the internet (UK) (2004) [Chat&IM, P2P]

Pew Study: Content Creation (2004)

The Guardian (2006): Whose content is it anyway? [question of ownership, who gets the money?]

Pew Report: Teens and Technology (2005)[How teens use IM, personal expression, et seq.]

2007 Digital Future Report: Data on broadband at home, the wireless Internet, on-line media, user-generated content and, social networking (2006)

The Guardian: Digination - Research on our digital behavior (2006)

Social Tagging Panel (based on a dissertation on & Session Notes

UGC Generator Motivation Study (2006)

Nielsen NetRating: Podcasting gains

Comscore: More than half of MySpace users over 35 ItFacts: Demographic Comparison 2005/2006 Zephoria: Comscore data is misleading: Unique visitors vs. users

Pew Internet: Teen Content Creators and Consumers (2005)

Digital Ethnography: The YouTube Project

Secondary Sources

Deutschsprachige Wikipedia - 500'000 Artikel überschritten

Interview with T. Berners-Lee: Online life will produce more creative children (2006)

Various articles about cyber psychology, incl. topics about friend networking sites (NL) Police track reckless driver on youtube (police pursuit in cyberspace, fine of $1'300)

The Register: Second life equal with first life (2006)

NZZ: Die Festplatte ist überall voll, das Internet als omnipräsenter Speicher für persönliche Daten (2006), Datenschutz, Software für UCC, etc.

NZZ: Jeder ein TV-Mitarbeiter (2006)

The Guardian: We really need some discontent creators (2006) (about youtube, the future of creativity, etc.) As online viewing booms, the amateurs give way to big media (2006)

Who owns the money? (2006)DIY Media Blog

NYTimes: Web Content by and for the Mass

Technologies of the Childhood Imagination: Yugioh, Media Mixes, and Everyday Cultural Production (Otaku, 2005)

Motivation to Contribute

Rossi: Decoding the free open source software puzzle (2004)

Lerner/Triole: The economics of technology sharing: open source and beyond (2004)

Lerner/Triole: The simple economics of open source

Hars/Ou: Working for free? Motivations of participating in open source projects

Holmstrom: Mangerial Incentive Problems: A Dynamic Perspective (1999)

Weber: The political economy of open source software (2000)

Pagano: Legal Positions and institutional complementarities (2002)

McGovan: Legal implications of open source (2001)

A quantitative profile of a community of open source Linux developers (1999)

Han et al: Delayed returns to open source Participation (2002)

von Hippel: The sources of innovation (1988)

Kollik/Smith: Managing the virtual commons (1999)

Bessen: Open Source software: Free Provision of complex public goods

Lakhani/Wolf: Why hackers do what they do: understanding motivation efforts in open source software projects (2003)

Moglen: Anarchism triumphant: Free software and the death of copyright (1999)

The Economies of online cooperation: Gifts and public goods in cyberspace

Raymond: A brief history of ackerdom (1999)

Bergquist/Ljungberg: The power of gifts (2003)

Zeitly: Gift economies in the development of open source software (2003)

Cohendet/Creplet/Dupouet: Organizational innovation, communities of practice and epistemic communities: the case of linux (2001)

Bezroukov: Open source software development as a special type of academic research critique of vulgar raymondism (1999)

Franck/Jungwirth: Reconciling investors and donators - the governance structure of open source (2001)

Osterloh/von Wartburg: Open source - new rules in software development (2002)

Second Life

Real Estate Millionaire Business Week: Second's Life First Millionaire (2006)

Der Spiegel: Der Spielgel: Reichtum aus dem Nichts. Grossgrundbesitzerin im Internet (2006)


  • YouTube sets Music Pact with Independent Label

YouTube is broadening its efforts to legitimize music and videos posted on its video-sharing site through a deal that will authorize the use of hit music by several acts signed to a prominent independent label. The deal, with Wind-up Entertainment Inc. covers more than 225 songs.

Full Article: The Wallstreet Journal, 2007