These guys are dust: the birth of the queen of Internet.

There were a lot of memorable moments during “Chosen” the final episode of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. In my top favorite moments of that episode is a brief line profered by a newly minted red-head slayer, empowered by the special abilities bestowed by their calling, with a new level of confidence to face an giant army  of Uber Vamps.

If you don’t know Felicia Day yet, at some point you will.

She’s the creator, star and writer of the Internet sensation web series The Guild. A very clever show, that had a first season that was maintained with the help of donations from fans. Now in it’s 3rd season, they have found a sponsor on Xbox, which guarantee all people involved are paid and have created a very neat distribution structure of the show, that not only keeps it free aspect for the whole audience, but have also found a very interesting way for the sponsor to actually get something back from their sponsorship, not just simply slapping a logo somewhere in the show.

Tomorrow, you’ll probably see her with Neil Patrick Harris as they bring in another big thing from the Internet to the mainstream big tv audience of the Primetime Emmy awards, with something related to Dr. Horrible Sing-Along-Blog. But before that you should maybe check out great music video below:

Do you want to date my Avatar?

Liked it? The new season of The Guild has just started recently, and you can watch it through their website: http://www.watchtheguild.com

BONUS
Check out the Second Life avatar version of “Do you want to date my Avatar?”

Dr. Horrible is Back. Dr. Horrible is here.

Remember the Master Plan?

It must’ve changed, cause Dr. Horrible is not only back online through Hulu.com, but it’s also available to be viewed for people anywhere in the planet. Hulu did a great work to make it not only accessible, but as you might notice, the video and audio quality are also even better that the previous time.

Better yet, the video is embeddable, and if you watch the full version you have only to endure 3 short ads (and for people who’s be unable to contribute through itunes purchase, this is quite a friendly alternative), which is a lot less that you have to go through in traditional media, and you’re helping pay the great work the Mutant Enemy crew did.  Well, as we anxiously await for the release of the soundtrack CD and also the DVD, we can rejoice on watching this for free. So let’s bring back the laughs and tears, because Dr. Horrible is HERE.

Dr. Horrible Act 1 Alive

http://www.drhorrible.com/act_I.html

The First act of the 40~50 minute long internet production, went live Midnight on US’ Eastern Daylight Time, with some trouble for all people outside of the US, and it took the great efforts of Jed Whedon and his Dr. Horrible crew a few hours (5~6 on my count) to solve these issues and made it available to the rest of the word.

The result is simply nifty, or dreamy like Joss calls is.

It present us with 3 quite enjoyable main characters, and I can’t wait to watch the following 2 acts that concludes this special presentation.

Just like the songs from the Buffy, musical episode “Once More, With Feeling”, the songs from Dr. Horribleare quite catchy, and you can’t help but start to hum together at first, and even start to sing along (heh, it’s the Dr. Horrible Sing-along Blog…) on second viewings on.

And it just so good to see “Mutant Enemy” back on the screens…

Favorite lines:

“Sarcasm, that’s original…”

“The Status is not quo.”

“Look, I’m just trying to change the world.”

“I love the air”

“with my freezeray I’ll stop the world.”

“Whateve.”

Hoist the Colors… Part 3

I’d like to start this hopefully conclusion part of this really long topic post, by fowarding you to two articles that just arrived to me merely minutes ago through Twitter.

Judge Orders YouTube to Give All User Histories to Viacom.

Elite Torrents admin Dove faces 10 years.

This is such a complicated matter, that you can’t completely blame the companies for wanting to protect their investments. Rights that laws from each country seek to protect.

Protection is an important word in this subject, US’ Copyright laws or Brazilian Authorship laws (as I’ve touched on before here)  were written to protect the owners and creators, creating obstacles for people with bad intentions. Problem is when those obstacles created for protection, become some big blinding wall or sluggish chains that will bind any tipe of flexibility.

A great part of interactivity possibilities that the internet allow nowadays, is that no one is really isolated anymore, despite sometimes social abilities developed through technological resources sometimes only applying to that certain environments, sharing became a requirement, even if sharing is for a selected number of people.

The thing is legally speaking, there are things you can share, and there are things you can’t share, the in between area between them is what make all things so blurry and gloomy. The p2p networks which is based on broaden the reach of lending something to a friend, into another level, have both bright and dark sides. Content providers, are investing on being active in new tech, but are weary on really distributing that content, creating mechanisms to limit its distribution. It’s frustrating as I pointed in part 1, when you can talk with everyone anywhere around the world, but you can’t get the same content through similar online resources, because the content provider won’t allow it. It bothers me that still audiences are treated by them as mostly receivers of content.

There has to be a new solution. Things have started to change, but not fast enough.  Some examples include initiatives toward creating immersive experiences, playing with public participation into fictional worlds. But still most of those proposals are limited by country boundaries, with limited interplay by audiences from any country in the world.

The Creative Commons project is a very interesting initiative that attempts to unify a license that can be used anywhere in the world, it never really stops you from also licensing your creation through specific protective channels in your native country, and it works is a lot of countries. Trouble is, sometimes create ambiguous situations, in which allowances provided by Creative Commons, are completely negated by local protective laws. Flipping it a bit protective devices provided by local law, become at some levels questionable.

A real middle ground has to be found. What sickens me is that instead of looking for a middle ground, we have people reaching exactly for the opposite road, such initiative include the Brazilian Senator Azeredo. Which is pretty much making what the New York judge just forced Google do for Viacom’s sakes, sound like small joke, since every such action will become the standard procedure in Brazil.  It simply chains up, an already quite narrow law structure, it almost takes us back to the times of military dictatorship, but instead of crazy military dudes playing gods, we’re just getting closer to a business run reality, in which BuyNLarge (have you seen Wall-e?) or Blue Sun type corporations with run the life of everyone in the world. Professor Sérgio Amadeu through his blog, has been doing a great coverage about this alarming issue. Even if you have to rely on translator to get the general idea, is worth checking it out.

A modern poet, once sang:

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Maybe there’s a small part of my soul is one of those pure anarchists, that thinks that chaos is necessary, despite my rational thrive for order.

Maybe, I’m such a dreamer, that someday chaos and order are at the end only one, and in such chaotic harmony, things will just be figured out freedom will really be guaranteed, but creation will also be protected.

Then, you start to question, what does it mean when companies start endorsing messages that stimulate actions for people fight against those same limited laws. That was the message I got from Pirates of the Caribeean, and for such reason I wanted to start this too long discussion, quoting one of the movies, with a line that sought exactly to expose this fight, this struggle. What does this mean?

Well, we’ll see as the story progress.

Hoist the Colors… Part 2

Won’t be providing the content I promised at the of yesterday’s post, instead I’ll do it tomorrow, and point to the same discussion elsewhere.

Basically, I’m switching the gears a bit here, I’d like to point the few readers here, to follow me to a certain Whedonesque thread, where important issues about this are being discussed. Well, at the end of the day I was going to tie everything up with the release of Dr. Horrible after all, so better early than late.

http://whedonesque.com/comments/16770

I think I might actually post a few more comments there, before coming back here. But, stick around for part 3, where I’ll attempt the distill a few more words in this really long discussion.

Hoist the Colors…

From the words of Elizabeth Swann from “PIrates of the Caribeen: At World’s End”: You will listen to me! LISTEN! The other ships will still be looking to us, to the Black Pearl, to lead, and what will they see? Frightened bilgerats aboard a derelict ship? No, no they will see free men and freedom! And what the enemy will see, they will see the flash of our cannons, and they will hear the ringing of our swords, and they will know what we can do! By the sweat of our brow and the strength of our backs and the courage in our hearts! Gentlemen, hoist the colors!

I know, it’s hard to take someone seriously, when this someone is quoting a fictional character from Pirates of Caribeean, instead of some academic, with some text that says mostly the same thing. But, bare with me, there’s more to it than meets the eye.

How much did it bug you when, after reading some interesting post from a blogger about a very interesting subject, but then you find an embedded video from hulu.com that’s essential for the post setting, and you try to watch it, but end up bumping into the non-availability message.

hulu error

Let’s see what they tell us…

For now, Hulu is a U.S. service only. That said, our intention is to make Hulu’s growing content lineup available worldwide. This requires clearing the rights for each show or film in each specific geography and will take time. We’re encouraged by how many content providers have already been working along these lines so that their programs can be available over the Internet to a much larger, global audience. The Hulu team is committed to making great programming available across the globe.

I don’t blame Hulu for it, as they deal mostly with content provided from mainstream providers, it’s just some mind warping issue regarding legality, which I’ll try to assess today. I’m no law specialist, but I like to reflect on the amount of frustration. I won’t try to discuss ethical issues pertaining disrespecting the authors and creators of the content, as it will take another ten pages of endless discussion.  Won’t try even to start to consider online trolling, into the equations, as online social environment, is another long endless subject. I’ll stick to the corporate view.

The access to content environment has changed a lot in the recent years. The Youtube explosion is only the best example of a sucesss of the .flv protocol for video proliferation, as there are other hundreds of other websites (I’ve been using the download helper add-on for Firefox, and there’s even a ranking), that try to emulate it’s approach, or prefer to be explore specific types of videos focused towards a specific public. Despite rules against it, it’s not only about getting people access to original content created by the users, but also, allow people to get content otherwise unavailable, even when it means breaking the terms of use, by posting copyrighted material which was not created by the user. How many times have you caught yourself reminiscing about some childhood memories though a show or cartoon (or even only the opening), that someone did upload to one of these websites. A lot of times, the easy access to these tool, just provided easier outsource channels to grassroots movements that have existed for years.

Science Fiction and fantasy fans from all over the world, might be the ones most experienced into this field, as years ago was even harder to get content from the things you are fan of.  Fansub is a common word for Anime fans, as it is defined as an unofficial video tape release of an anime that has been subtitled to a western language by fans.  Technically illegal, it was born as a grassroot movement, in which fans weren’t getting the content from anywhere else, and found a way to do it themselves. Most experienced Fansubbers follow the strict rule, that they’d stop distributing a fansubbed production, whenever an official distributions arises. Profitting from it is illegal, but fans do try to compensate the hard work that’s put into it.

Nowadays, fansubbing can even be considered to be a much wider movement, with fans from around the world, translating and creating subtitles for movies and simply every tv show which is ripped daily. A simple google search can get you access to lastest bittorrent file for the most recent episode of Battlestar Galactica, Lost or even Law & Order. Another simple search will get you to websites providing with the subtitles for the episodes, for those who are not native speakers, even then, sometimes people from the US, have trouble to understand slangs and quirks from british english.

Is any of this legal? Not at all.  Mainstream content providers face a major issue, in which they are simply uncapable of keeping up with the beat required on the web, as people around the world can get an episode a few minutes after it been shown for the first time in it official time slot.  Well, some international viewers might even get to watch something, before US viewers on pacific time zone. What happens to the market when country borders become a major obstacle. When official channels, still provide blocks to international viewers, to access the content, the only solution available is to seek for illegal sources, which and the end of the day, even friedlier, because they are for free.

What happens when internet is a major issue?Just like time has pretty much hurt news coverage, time is also an issue here. Fans (which are exactly the type of people who will and have the income to invest on what they enjoy) don’t want to wait another month or on worst case scenarios over two years to get content that’ll be discussed hours later in message boards around the globe. In such context, users try to treat each others as equals, even as people on more high end points of tech saviness attempt to include tech newbies. Problem is, from the market point of view, they’re not equal. How do you sell a show time slot to companies when the market share becomes a blurry concept. I expect another several long years for any possible initial agreement towards rights, monetization and how this will affect content distribution. It won’t be something that will be solved in a day or two.

(to be continued… tomorrow I’ll be back with more about why this “us against them” thing is what’s hurting the market, why change is needed, I’ll come in with my 2 cents about a polemic project from a old minded senator from Brazil, and try to conclude this long post on why the hell I quoted Pirates of the Caribeean on the first place).

Teaser trailer for “Dr. Horrible Sing-Along Blog”

Weary times, tend to make people creative. Well, when Joss Whedon is not creative? The man who says himself, that vacation time for him, is just more time to do different things. It all began as a side project from Joss and some of his family and friends, started during the WGA Strike late last year, and it turns out as it will be some innovative experiment of how mainstream entertainment will be able to earn revenue playing with new media, not in the sense of a extension of traditional media, but creating new content.

Teaser from Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog on Vimeo.

From SciFi Wire.

Whedon created Dr. Horrible during the recent writers’ strike. “We got this amazing crew,” he added. “Everybody just sort of said, ‘We’ll just jump on,’ and in six days we shot this 36-minute, three-part oddity, which I think is the most fun I’ve had in about seven years.”

The next step, Whedon said, will be to find a venue to air Dr. Horrible so that it can earn its money back and he can pay the crew. “We’re literally just finishing it,” he said. “And then we’re going to show it to my people at CAA and a bunch of other people and discuss ‘How do we go about this? Where is the venue for this?'” Whedon anticipates that Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog will appear first on the Internet, followed by releases on iTunes and DVD.

Whedon admits that one of the cast members from Dr. Horrible should take some credit into inspiring him into this endeavor, The Guild, a award winning web series created, written and starred by Felicia Day, showed him the potential of what web distribution and production can bring.

How well Dr. Horrible performs, not only by the amount of clicks and buzz it will generate, but also through the numbers it will be able to sell through DVDs (which will contain extra non-online content) and iTunes, will be something to watch, not only at the entertainment standpoint, but also the future for the business.

If you’ve just happened to stumble on this blog post, without any previsou knowledge about the production, check out the following links, which will give you a broader idea of this production.

Whedonesque

Dr. Horrible generates Internet Buzz