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Perhaps The Amazingest True Story of Sharing So Far (*and how google sanctions remix)

This story is great, and even greater during Open Education Week and the 25th birthday of the idea for the World Wide Web. Thanks to Dean Shareski for sharing An Oscar Type Moment.

Dean shared a message from someone who heard one of a Shareski talk; Preston Tyrrell teaches at Mother of Providence Regional School in Wallingford, Pennsylvania, and carries on the influence of his own mentor. Preston’s sixth grades students have a great collection of videos explaining how to shoot and edit with green screen effects, the series at Fun With Chroma Key includes six embedded YouTube clips.

One of these clips features how Preston and a student named Grace demonstrating filming her flying in front of a green screen like super girl

The amazing part was Preston discovering a clip from this video was used as part of a commercial for Google called “We’re all Storytellers” narrated by Pixar’s Andrew Stanton shown during the Oscars (Grace flies in about 0:40)

Yes, as Preston said in his message to Dean:

As I tell my wife and biggest supporter Kim, “You can never spend too much on electronic or LEGO’s, good things will come of it.”

I would so love to have this story in my collection of True Stories of Open Sharing and I just might put in an edit of the two clips because This Story is This Amazing. Along with another one that showed up this week, Catherine Cronin’s story about showing a photo from the 1960s in a presentation where someone in the audience recognized their father in the image.

Next month I hope to be presenting this, so if you want to do something for Open Education Week (or honestly for me), just narrate your story as a video, and send me a URL via It need not be a fancy video, just you telling a story.

For me this is still really important, its what makes the web magical still for me in my 21st year on the web.

And yet, there is something else. Listen to this story.

This kid had an assignment to create a one minute video. He had a good idea what to do, storyboarded it, honed a solid message, but it called for a montage of clips. Where would he get these clips? His teachers were always warning about copyright and he saw all those MIAA messages

But still, everyone else seemed to be downloading clips from YouTube. It seemed like Fair Use applied. After all, he was just using a few seconds of each clip. So he shrugged, found the most awesome clips, and edited the movie. He never bothered to give credits to the people who had made and shared the clips. Why? No one else does, and its a lot of extra work.

Everyone loved that movie.

That kid’s name is Google, and that kid’s project was a TV commercial.

Once more. Google owns YouTube. Google found clips in YouTube it put in a commercial message. I wonder if Google had to use whacky download tools to get the video. Preston’s clip was not even creative commons, it was Standard YouTube license. Google remixed clips belonging to someone else, never attributed them nor contacted them.

Of course Google can do that. Google can do anything. And its in the terms of service we all ignore.

Google, you wouldn’t steal a car. Google, you wouldn’t steal a handbag. Google, you wouldn’t steal a television…

So it’s not the legal semantics.

Google says its okay to remix other people’s clips to make a new message. Heck, its okay to mix up other people’s clips for a COMMERCIAL.

And yet, they allow the record companies and film rights owners to rampantly dismantle the work of YouTube users who are doing the same thing Google did in the commercial- remixing content to make new content.

I cannot think of a more clear endorsement of media remix that Google’s own video.

Okay Google, you can dismantle ContentID tomorrow.

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as


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