This war on our kids has got to stop
When I read this announcement of Lawrence Lessig's forthcomming book Remix, the definition of the issues covered struck a chord on me, particularly point #1:
"(1) that this war on our kids has got to stop,
"(2) that we need to celebrate (and support) the rebirth of a remix culture, and
"(3) that a new form of business (what I call the "hybrid") will flourish as we better enable this remix creativity.
As a father, I think that it's an obligation for us parents to foster knowledge and creativity in our children, enrich their cultural experience, open them to the world, and teach them appretiate their background, their own unique culture (in the case of our Basque family, a tiny linguistic minority's culture).
How can do that without sharing, inter-crossing ideas, re-producing stories, mixing the worldbeat with the local heart? The Internet and new technologies have make much of those processes easier, and more exciting, so it's an opportunity that we cannot let our children loose.
The closed model of intellectual property works against all of that. And yes, the Remix definition for that phenomenon is very much correct: war on our kids. Let's stop that war. Let's free culture for our children.
This summer I have embarked in another little project: some movies with foreign soundtrack came into my hands. So I decided that I could produce Basque subtitles for them, and then show the movies to my children. I got subtitles in English and Spanish from the web, and translated them. Cousins and friends have gathered with our children more than once here and there in summertime, so the shows had quite an open audience. And, well, they loved it. Basque children of ages 9 or 10 can perfectly follow English or Japanese animation with subtitles in Basque. And I have enjoyed their experience so much... Besides, I think that this may help the children to improve their English (at least).
So, I've decided to share that, and I've set up a website for the exchange and promotion of Basque subtitles. Files for exchange and documentation in a wiki, so other parents and aficionados can share my joy. It's barely legal. But, as for Basque children, there's probably no other way to consume Basque versions of Pixar or Ghibli studios masterpieces.
Lawrence Lessig comes to the Basque Country on October the 17th, to talk about this book, Remix. I look forward to know and hear him in person.
Last friday, I took the chance to talk about this visit, and mention this idea from Remix, that "war on our kids", in the talk that I gave at this seminar. I gave my talk in Basque, and it was translated by interpreters into 3 more languages. But my presentation, at least, I prepared it in English. I know that a presentation out of context doesn't help much, but here it is, anyway.
Overall, it was an interesting seminar, and well organised by the people at the Basque branch of Unesco.