Sunday, June 21, 2009

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Open Video Conference in New York

My lawyer, Anthony Falzone, Executive Director of the Fair Use Project and a Lecturer in Law at Stanford Law School, used my trailer for The Search for Count Dante in his lecture at the Open Video Conference in New York this past Friday. He presented it as a case history for Fair Use and how it relates to the development of what is called Open Video.

This is from their "About:"
As internet video matures, we face a crossroads: will technology and public policy support a more participatory culture—one that encourages and enables free expression and broader cultural engagement? Or will online video become a glorified TV-on-demand service, a central part of a permissions-based culture? Web video holds tremendous potential, but limits on broadband, playback technology, and fair use threaten to undermine the ability of individuals to engage in dialogues in and around this new media ecosystem.

The Search for Count Dante Trailer 2 from Floyd Webb on Vimeo.

I have seen several postings from the Fall River crew about how they intend to bootleg the film and pirate it, etc etc. I guess they have not figured out that it doesn't scare me. It does not matter because I see very impression of the film as an advance of my vision. My purpose is to remain a working filmmaker because I love it, getting rich would be nice, but not likely. If I break even on my time expended I will be happy. I am confident that will happen.

The amount of time and sacrifice I put into this project contains an agenda of addressing old subjects in new ways, reinventing ways of seeing things we think we know so well. All the insults online, the court case, are in many ways minor in comparison to the impact of the completed film. I did not ask to be sued. I refused to pay $10,000 to look at alleged archival materials site unseen. I have fallen many times, but not off the back of a cabbage truck. :-)

They accuse me of copyright infringement but it is really about a payday for them. They tried to bluff me as they had many others over the years and it did not work and so here I sit a case history for Fair Use.

I have included a video below that explain what the conference was about. Fair Use is not theft, it is definitely free speech. Copyright abuse is as much a crime as copyright abuse and it is time people become aware of that.

The court transcripts convey Judge Mark Wolf's opinion on my Fair Use better than I dare explain.

It is so strange how I keep getting calls and emails with info that is mostly helpful and some that is dead end. I cannot imagine how someone built up such a legand in 35 years. I guess it is the irrepressible energy of youth.

Contrary to the belief of some, I do not claim to be an expert on anything but investigation. How can you be an expert on an illusive legend, an urban mythology. I am more interested in the world that brought John Keehan/Count Dante into being, the impact of his living experience upon his students, American martial arts and global popular culture.

He does not belong to anyone one of us, any one urban environ. He was a man ahead of his time and a product of it, a man steeped in that time and place. Hence, such an early demise. Or maybe he has actually fooled us all. I don't know yet. I am still looking.