Steal this Film II revisited

So Felix (make sure to check out that splash page!) has posted an really good review of Steal This Film II to the nettime mailing list. If you still need a reason/excuse to download and watch STFII i suggest reading his review:

This experience reinforces the main point of the film: file-sharing – a technologically super-charged, deep cultural practice – is beyond the point where it can be stopped. The old media industry has lost control over the distribution of content, radically reducing the power of the current gate keepers to determine who can access the archives, who can produce new works, and who can reach an audience with those works.

The film’s premise is that file-sharing is transforming the basic mechanism of how culture and information is distributed with consequences as profound as the transformation brought about by the printing press. Now, for anyone who remembers the late 1990s, this introduces a certain deja-vu, since this argument was pretty much what fueled the boom back then. But here, it is delivered with a twist. It’s not the happy venture-capital infused entrepreneurs who turn the wheels of change, but the pirates who expand the scope of the possible for the masses, and the teenagers who have already claimed this new space as their natural cultural environment. This is not a top-down revolution.

Meanwhile Jamie has written up some thoughts about the amount of donations The League of Noble Peers is receiving as a result of their call for support. Seems like suggesting to donate a higher amount of money ($15 as opposed to 1$ as they did for when they released the original Steal This Film in 2006) works rather well. In his blog post Jamie is combining these first experiences with research about the spread of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (a gonorrhea epidemic to be precise) to come up with the expectation that it is perfectly possible to produce profitable documentaries based on voluntary donations:

What is also necessary is a spreading of the "generosity virus", not just for STEAL THIS FILM (although boy, could we use it!) but for all independent creators who've dispensed with the restrictive, punitive, retrograde commodity model and chosen to work with a new, more far-sighted paradigm. In these first days of distributing STF II, we have learned that by setting aside the artificial barriers of DVDs, cinema tickets and pay-per-download, the way is cleared to a new world of voluntary, supportive donations. The sooner we all stop moaning about how "no one is going to make any money" after P2P, we can get on with encouraging each other to look after our cultural environments. No one is saying we're there yet, but like the man said, we're beginning to see the light.

Read the rest of ‘The Future Doesn’t Care About Your Bank Balance, But the 1/1000 Do!

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