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Call for peace-themed content for new online peace channel

World Peace day to launch new free web channel, although only on Joost

From Peace One Day founder Jeremy Gilley:

I am writing to you from the international film project Peace One Day, which I launched in 1999 to document my efforts to create the first ever annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence with a fixed calendar date. In 2001, Peace One Day achieved its primary objective. The United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution formally establishing an annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence on the UN International Day of Peace fixed in the global calendar on 21 September – Peace Day.
Since then, with the backing of world leaders, Nobel Peace Laureates, corporations and countless individuals around the world, Peace One Day has been working to raise awareness of Peace Day and to engage all sectors of society in the Day’s peaceful observance in accordance with the resolution. On 21 September 2006 there were activities in 200 countries, directly involving 27.6 million people.



Calls for Social Networks to open up

"Humans are migratory beasts and as soon as they figure out that they’ve been locked-in-they’ll rebel."
Marc Canter
friendster.gifAs Facebook faces a lawsuit from uni-peers of founder Mark Zuckerberg claiming he stole the idea from them, Wired publishes a debate of why Facebook - and other social networks need to be open. With social networks evolving into operating systems for how you stay in touch with your friends and family - as  well as share and consume media - the advantages of an open system (like the web itself) over a closed system, controlled by one company (like Microsoft) are pretty clear.

That said, given the size of the social capital which networks such as facebook and myspace create and earn from their users (through ads), it may only be a matter of time before the web creates its own more open alternatives, as Dan Farber suggests on ZDNet (who also points out that Marc Canter has long been talking about this). A campaign for 'transportable identity' has been started by Nick O'Neil on his unofficial Facebook blog. To paraphrase someone, information is like water, always running towards the biggest, most open ocean, corroding whatever stands in  its way. Personally I must admit to be a little addicted to the 'book, but I'm ready to move on if (when) it becomes part of some big multinational media behemoth. Sooner or later a user-owned and run system will evolve, and we can finally talk about web 3.0. If only someone, like a public agency, would invest in creating an open source / open standards social network, with the same sort of backing MyFilms received. (For those interested in trying to start one up, Wired has published a Wiki on how to build a Facebook using open tools).




Democracy arrives for Web TV with Miro Player

mirolaunchImagine having to use a different TV set to watch every TV channel - one for Channel 4, one for Sky, one for Viacom channels. Because every media company wants to control the user interface for online video, that's the current future we're looking at, with Amazons UnBox player for films bought from Amazon, iTunes for films downloaded from Apple, and so on. The only way round it would be if all of them collaborated on a single player - tho small producers would doubtless get left out in the long run. And even then, as Cory Doctorow rightly says, online video is too important to leave in the hands of one company. 

Miro, is a video player created by a non-profit foundation in America created under the open source GPL license, which basically allows anyone else to re-use it and adapt it for free. Better still it's an excellent video player. Search for and download YouTube videos? Manage video on your own machine and play and open ANY FORMAT? Subscribe to video podcasts and webisodes? Download legit BitTorrents. And because it's an open source system, there's lots of people building on it and improving it all the time (this system has been developed for years as 'Democracy Player') and you don't need to worry about hidden nasties like the Amazon EULA, which requests users to. The Participatory Culture Foundation, which develops it, has also created the Broadcast Machine, which makes it easy to run your own iTunes-subscribable video channel on your website.

Good news for anyone who is concerned about online video ending up in the pockets of one greedy media tycoon.




Not such a Cruel World for Vito Rocco with $2m feature funding

cruelworldVito Rocco's Goodbye Cruel World, produced by the UK arm of Partizan (music video whizzes and creators of The Science of Sleep and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), has won 60% of the vote in the MyMoviesMashup contest. Rocco will go on to direct his feature Faintheart with a £1m budget and guaranteed distribution. While not strictly an amateur, as MySpace sister paper The Times describes him, it's a cracking short film. I won't forgive myself for not getting an interview with Oscar and Palme D'Or winner Andrea Arnold while editing Shooting People's Wideshot magazine, but James did, thankfully, interview Rocco after I saw this film - supported by Film London and Screen East - win the Kodak Shorts audience award in 2003.


Write your own scene for Peep Show..!

The writers of Peep Show are handing the power back to the fans..

A competition has been created whereby fans are getting the opportunity to write their own scene of a romantic nature...

The best entry will be filmed and added to the series 4 DVD and be the ultimate Peep Show fan Prize...

Submit your story here

I've already started writing.....Catch Up!!


Doc Searls on the next target for open source: media distribution

Doc Searls, one of the authors of Cluetrain, has written an illuminating article on the missing linkdoc searls online between artists and audiences..

"Let's ignore the record companies for a minute. Instead, lets look behind them, back up the supply chain, to the first sources of music: the artists. Part of the system we need is already built for these sources, through Creative Commons. By this system, creative sources can choose licenses that specify the freedoms carried by their work, and also specify what can and cannot be done with that work. These licenses are readable by machines as well as by lawyers. That's a great start on the supply side.

Now let's look at the same work from the demand side. What can we do -- as music lovers, or as customers -- to find, use, and even pay for, licensed work? Some mechanisms are there, but nothing yet that is entirely in our control -- that reciprocates and engages on the demand side what Creative Commons provides on the supply side.

Yes, we can go to websites, subscribe to music services, use iTunes or other supply-controlled intermediating systems and deal with artists inside those systems. But there still isn't anything that allows us to deal directly, on our own terms, with artists and their intermediaries. Put another way, we don't yet have the personal means for establishing relationships with artists."

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