Intellectual property: the oil of the 21st century

If you’re interested in media literacy and (more generally) information literacy, I highly recommend setting aside thirty minutes sometime to watch Steal This Film II, a movie about intellectual property and copyright.

It pulls in interviews with everyone from Brewster Kahle to Siva Vaidhyanathan to Rick Prelinger to Howard Rheingold to Elizabeth Eisenstein, commenting on how technological innovation has always threatened owners (and “owners”) of intellectual property, and how the recording and media industries of today are aggressively seeking to expand their rights over that property. Sebasian Lutgert of Pirate Cinema quotes Mark Getty (of Getty Images) as saying that intellectual property is “the oil of the twenty-first century.” Wow.

There’s a Steal This Film I, too, but I haven’t watched it yet. You can find out more about this great project to raise media literacy levels and awareness about intellectual property and copyright issues at the Steal This Film website.

This is a great video, clearly low-to-the-ground in terms of resources, but pulling in most of the big names in the field and using drama and perspective to make the issue real. And so of course I have to add: libraries looking for new ways to create online instruction could use this as a good model.


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