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DMCA Shuts Down Fansite Run By Preschool Teacher

The Lumière Brothers

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On of the many super-cool niches out there on the web is the world of “fanedits.”

As defined by TorrentFreak:

“Taking famous movies as a base, faneditors spend huge amounts of time editing with sophisticated software in order to create improved or just plain different versions of existing movies. Most of the time, faneditors try to improve what is wrong or bad with a movie, using advanced techniques to create a new piece of art based on the original. Of course, faneditors love to share their work with others in the community, something the movie industry wants to bring to an end.”

Now comes word that one of the most popular sites for fans to share their edits is being shut down due to DMCA takedown requests.

Not only is it yet another absurd example of the major motion picture studios attacking the core fans they rely on for ticket sales, but, in this case, it exposed one of the horrible pirates they are trying to stop.

“I am boon23, faneditor and administrator of the biggest fanedits website in the world. I’m a preschool teacher from Europe and as faneditor I post under the name CBB (created by boon) and have so far created 29 fanedits, which is quite a lot. It is my hobby, my art, the thing I really love to do and will continue to do.”

Yup.  A preschool teacher.  Nice work, guys.  Go get ’em!

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Scion, Mercedes and the Battle for Gen-Y Drivers

Scion introduces the 2...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

There is a nice little post over on YPulse that takes a look at two very different new media approaches to marketing cars to young people.

Scion has been actively targeting youngins for a while now, making appearances in a number of AdultSwim cartoons including “Assy McGee” and “Frisky Dingo.” I guess they weren’t getting what they wanted from that relationship so they are now making their own branded entertainment which can be viewed oven at on their very own branded portal, here.

Their latest series, “The Fists of Oblivion”, features a bunch of Kung Fu puppets. And not a single Scion. Or much in the way of entertainment value – unless you really dig puppets fighting.  It isn’t clear how this will help sell cars.  Even more interersting is that “The Fists of Oblivion” gets exactly one unrelated return on a Google search, so god knows how anyone would even find it if they wanted to.

Meanwhile, Mercedes is taking a more high-minded approach:

“…by inviting an exclusive group of Gen Y consumers to www.generationbenz.com, a password-protected website. MediaPost (reg. required) reports that the site is an attempt to mine the select Gen Y sample for insight towards their “attitudes, lifestyle and brand preferences” through questionnaires, polls and live chats. Ultimately, the company “hopes to get a new group of consumers into the brand and shape the brand for the future.” (via)

Whether either of these campaigns will get young people to buy their cars is tough to gauge but at least Mercedes has a chance of coming away with a bit of useful data

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BuckCherry (worst band name ever?) Band Manager a Pirate

Singer Josh Todd o...

I love this story on TorrentFreak about the supposed pirating of a new single from the band BuckCherry.

Last week the band vehemantly denied anything to do with the leak and bitched about how much they hate those pesky pirates.

Well, something didn’t ring quite true about the whole thing so a little investigation ensued:

“It turns out that the uploader, a New York resident, had only uploaded one torrent, the BuckCherry track. When we entered the IP-address into the Wiki-scanner, we found out that the person in question had edited the BuckCherry wikipedia entry, and added the name of the band manager to another page.

This confirmed our suspicions, but it was not quite enough, since it could be an overly obsessed fan (if they have fans). So, we decided to send the band manager, Josh Klemme – who happens to live in New York – an email to ask for his opinion on our findings. Klemme, replied to our email within a few hours, and surprisingly enough his IP-address was the same as the uploader.”

Yup, the pesky pirate was their very own manager and the whole thing an ill-fated attempt to gain some publicity for a band that is not exactly screaming up the charts.

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Dead Tree Media on a Death March

Brookgreen Gardens in P...

Hardly a day goes by that somebody doesn’t write about the decline of the newspaper in America.  Micropursuasion sees a perfect storm forming to take out newspapers once and for all due to rising fuel costs impact on distribution, environmental concerns about wasting paper and:

“Last but not least we have the growing popularity of speedy 3G-enabled smart phones, including the new iPhone 3G. The devices are declining in price while offering a lot more sophisticated experience for reading news.”

Tough to argue with their logic and tough to imagine that the kids of today will be picking up the daily paper off the front porch in the future.

Of course, the end of newpapers doesn’t mean the end of news, or journalists for that matter.  I really don’t think that the dying off of newspapers is such a big deal.

The terrible tragedy is what will happen to the paperboys (and girls) of America.  Lost, with no papers needing delivery, kids will no longer have that key first job experience.  The domino effect will lead to a drastic decline in the value of an American worker and a massive increase in early morning, kid-related crime.

So, stop worrying about the newspapers.  Worry about the paperboys!

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Converse Takes Splatter Approach to New Media

Converse frente a un...

Converse has created over twenty unique websites each with their own URL and original content.  AdWeek says:

“Many of the Converse sites feature video vignettes with characters. “Out of Your League Girl” stars in five videos that give guys advice about how to get women. “Silky Steve” is an unlikely basketball star — he’s English and not particularly tall or athletic — waiting to get picked during the National Basketball Association draft.

Other sites veer toward oddity. At Kissingwithross.com, a bearded guy makes out with the camera (warning: he uses tongue) for over a minute. Oneshoestringfilms.com has shoestring puppets performing a short skit. Atleastyourenotlostatsea.com has film of a man lost at sea for eight days philosophizing on life. Atleastyourenotlostatseafor10days.com and atleastyournotlostatseafor13days.com continues the story.”

The reason for creating each site separately is interesting as it allows for any one site to take off within a community and allows Converse to reach a potentially broad audience.

Whether or not these sites, which have little or nothing to do with Converse products, will help sales is a completely different question.

This is the entry point for the campaign: http://www.thisistheindexpage.com

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Gawker Confuses “Indie” with “Paying the Rent”

Nick Denton 1

I’ve mentioned before that I think Gawker has become a misguided muddle of randomness.  They also have been posting a lot of stuff they probably think is “snarky” – a word that once defined all things Gawker – but is really just mean-spirited or misinformed.

Today’s example comes from a “takedown” of the singer/songwriter Greg Laswell who used what appears to be a ton of energy and ingenuity to get his music played everywhere from Marriott lobies to episodes of Grey’s AnatomySays wise Gawker:

“We should pretty much eradicate the word “indie,” which has become a total, depressing farce. In order to sell a single freaking song in today’s environment, musicians must rush around bootlicking every monster corporation of any type willing to give away some airplay and free promotion. It’s only a matter of time before Lockheed Martin is making bombs that play Pearl Jam songs on the way down.”

Yeah, you’re only truly indie if nobody has ever heard of you or your music and you have to spend 12 hours a day at some crap job when you could be making more music.

What is this obsession with hating on anyone who makes money from their art?

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TMZ Teaching the Old Dogs New (Media) Tricks

The Videos album cover

While I cannot say I am much of a fan of TMZ, the high-velocity celebrity gossip/video juggernaut that began as a website and is now also a nightly syndicated TV show, their process and approach is one that many in the world of video journalism could learn from.

According to CNet, Not only does TMZ uses less expensive equipment to shoot, but the scaled back gear makes them faster and able to go where many larger news orgs cannot.

Also,

“Traditionally, the segments of a TV news show were combined and assembled onto a tape, Stephens said. The show had to be completely finished by the time it started broadcasting. It wasn’t possible to change anything once the show started being aired, he said.

“Now, we’re editing individual stories and plugging segments into a video server,” Stephens said. “It’s very similar if you got an iTunes playlist. You can start the music, but you can also push new pieces into the playlist on the fly. Rather than having to have my story finished a half hour before the whole show airs, now I actually need to finish a couple of minutes before my particular segment of the show airs.”

This kind of flexibility is handy when your top news subjects can get busted for a DUI day or night.”

So, while the high-cost traditional nightly news struggles for relevancy, TMZ is tearing it up with little regard for pretty.

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