November 21, 2006 · Lessig
(But first, yes, I am so sorry about the aol-crap player. I posted the last post as I was rushing out, and didn’t realize the proprietary junk till I got home to show my wife on her computer. It is one of the very great things about the real video services out there — YouTube, etc. — that they embarrass the creaking 20th century giants (AOL, e.g.) by showing them that you can run a video service that any computer can run, without the insanely badly-coded platform specific proprietary stuff that marked video 1.0. )
Yesterday was a real transparent society day in my house.
My kid’s been sick, and was really wound up. So as a deal to get him to take his medicine, I promised him we’d look for Donald Duck on the web (yea, I know, but he loves Disney. And anyway, have you watched Bambi recently? No major media company could release content like that today. It’s brilliant: the single evil element in the film? Man. It would be FOX-ed out of existence were it released today.)
I had just shown my wife the Michael Richards clip. And my son and I then tripped on a Donald Duck video. It was 7 minutes of Donald Duck as a Nazi. Someone had uploaded to YouTube (god bless that company) an off the air recording of this war time Donald Duck cartoon that
of course you could never buy today from the current copyright owners. Update: I was totally wrong (and unfairly so) about this. As pointed out in the comments, this cartoon is available here.
Then, before bed, I wandered a bit more through the Michael Richards story, and found this insane thread at CNN of comments by people about the Richards event. Unvarnished America, teaching me more about my country in 5 minutes than 40 hours of TV would ever teach anyone.
And then finally, the announcement by FOX that it was pulling the OJ Simpson book/show.
So add it up:
Elements of the 21st Century/Transparent Society: Richards tape, Donald Duck revealed, CNN thread — in each case, access to something that the 20th Century would have filtered out for appropriateness. My evidence for that?
Elements of the 20th Century/proprietary (in two senses of the word) society: FOX pulls the inappropriate OJ stuff.
I’m not pushing to one side or the other here. Just notice how these fit together.