Vlogs, the younger and wackier baby sister of blogs, create an interactive online video environment for viewers to watch programming, much like television, only shorter, without large budgets and no TV Guide. The vlog’s added feature that makes it different from tried-and-true television watching is that vlogging is interactive. The viewer can respond to the shows instantly, like reading a blog, through commentary and links to other sites. Vlogging software is not quite as user-friendly as blogging software but does not require much more technological skill to get a vlog site up and running. What’s required is a camera, a laptop or computer, broadband connectivity, video editing software, a host server, imagination and inspiration. Blog sites are numbering in the 70 millions and the ‘citizen’s journalism’ boom is thriving with the advent of the Video blog. At today’s count, Mefeedia.com tracks the vlogging revolution at 2,174,090 episodes from 22,744 video feeds from 13,561 websites. And counting.
This onslaught of new media and technology is burgeoning fast at the public on the personal consumptive level. Corporate America is shaking its head over the vlog and copyright conundrum faster than anyone can figure out what to do about all the potential red tape. Vlogging is free, it’s public, it doesn’t pass through (much) censorship, it isn’t edited by anyone other than the owners and authors who broadcast the information. Whether it’s aggregated news or videos of tweenies who make their own cooking shows complete with superheros being grounded, the only barrier, it seems, is imagination.
This is a time of great change and progress within Internet based technologies. A strange, scary place where vast technology has crept into user’s pocket and he or she is unsure of what will be pulled out, lint, loot or a lawsuit.
“The technology to capture what’s around you is becoming so prevalent,” Chuck Olsen, a documentary and filmmaker from Minnesota said. “It’s completely clashing with existing laws. I just think we’re in this weird growing-pains stage where it has to be worked out.” Youtube and other online video-sharing sites, have slack attitudes regarding copyrighted material, owing that the use of the material falls under fair use. One way to get around this safely is to use Creative Commons-licensed music to avoid the worry of whether copyrights are being infringed upon.
Vlogger, Randolfe (Randy) Wicker from Hoboken, NJ writes in a comment response about copyright laws and vlogging, “We are in the “Wild West Days” of Internet video. Wait and see! The “Status Quo” folks will soon have your videos deleted for having a few bars of copyrighted music ‘intruding’ on a scene and/or for your refusal/inability to produce signed releases from people walking by in the background. I think we are media pioneers, people in the street documenting all kinds of things “without a permit””. Writes a 69 year old vlogger, Randolfe (Randy) Wicker from Hoboken, NJ.
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