Film, Licenses and Legal Formalities
Today we finished shooting in the San Francisco/Bay Area. Since my last report we had an intriguing conversation with archivist Rick Prelinger (and met his partner Megan Shaw Prelinger, designer of the serendipity organization of the Prelinger Library). The next day we shot a good interview with EFF attorney Fred Von Lohmann in Dolores Park near the Mission, and then continued on into the early hours of the morning with technologists Peter Eckersley, Aaron Schwartz, Raph Levien and Lisa Rein; suffice it to say that it was a wine-lubricated marathon that concluded with the hardcore falling asleep on the floor 😉 In the morning I woke up to the realization that whilst San Francisco may be sunny, it combines this with a schizophrenic coolness that goes right to the bone. That night we visited the Other Cinema, lair of the experimental and appropriationist politcial fimmaker Craig Baldwin (director of Sonic Outlaws amongst other works). His studio is a wonderland of curiosities and media ephemera, and we filmed him set amidst the piles of abondoned 16mm film that constitute the raw material for much of his media archeologies. Sunday was spent with a very thoughful Seth Schoen of DeCSS haiku fame, and intrepid investigator of media industry efforts to hardwire control into hardware. Thereafter it was further ruminations with the Eckersley.
Today was utterly mental as we packed in many missing elements: in the morning there was a visit (which I blamelessly missed) to Howard Rheingold, then it was a dash over to berkely for a cyclone speed chat with historian and agitator Iain Boal. After lunch we saw Brewster Kahle from the Internet Archive, before speeding back to Berkeley for a truncated meeting with lawyer Pamela Samuelson. Lastly, reeling with exhaustion, we returned to SF to visit Bram Cohen, inventor of Bit Torrent, in their spanking new offices in downtown.
Having overheated mentally this is not the right time to write. I would merely note that we are thinking a lot about the license under which the film will be released, and what we should do with the out-takes. Previously theoretical questions are now very immediate. Given that this work has some funding we are obliged to cross every ‘i’, including obtaining clearances from each of our interviewees. This poses some interesting problems and dilemmas regarding the licensing options. I will expand on this later this week. Worth noting is that the only person to look over the standard form attentively was Brewster Kahle, who made his signature contingent on the addition of a commitment to make the film available on the archive.org website – fair play Brewster!
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