Michelle Sullivan Communications

PAB2007 continued

The previous PAB2007 postings were live, or almost live. Then the hotel wi-fi connection died on us, so I continued writing in Word. The following Day 2 excerpts are time delayed. Let’s see how much I retained… or retained correctly anyway.

PAB2007 – Day 2, Topic 3 – Licensing

The unveiling of the Canadian Podcasting Legal Guide happened today at PAB2007. Andy Kaplan-Myrth of Creative Commons explained that copyrighting happens automatically for all creative work, including podcasting and therefore gets default protection. Only the copyright owner can distribute, copy and modify their work. When you write All Rights Reserved in your work, you are being redundant in emphasizing an automatic right. Sampling excerpts of podcasts, or sharing a podcast through a site that is not that of the creator is an infringement of copyright. Especially if money is involved.

Creative Commons licenses works out as ‘some rights reserved’. It is a tool that allows podcasters to distribute their work more broadly. Six different standards of licences exist, with different configurations of what is permissible.

A Canadian version of the license is available, and has been customized for Canadian law. Kaplan-Myrth encourages Canadian podcasters to choose this version in order to benefit from greater protection.

Kathi Simmons takes over to explain that the guide is an educational resource and legal roadmap to help podcasters navigate Canada’s complex legal waters. Copies of the guide are made available to PAB2007 participants. A downloadable version will be online shortly and a wiki is in the works.

PAB2007 – Day 2, Topic 2 – Podcasting as a Community

Today’s second presentation also talks about the space podcasting occupies in the modern landscape.

Ted Riecken of IslandPosting.com compares podcasting communities to medieval cities and frontier culture. According to Canadian anarchist George Woodcock, medieval cities were liberatory zones, attracting people who were excluded and who came together to survive. They joined together to avoid servitude : were independent, free thinkers. Riecken states that Libsyn, LibriVox and CFR are contemporary equivalents to these medieval cities. They are free and accessible – open and libratory spaces. Common interests come together through podcasts and they represent authentic, realistic alternatives for learning and sharing. Riecken is excited by the fact that podcasting exists in a mostly unregulated space.

Riecken also draws a parallel between podcasting and frontier culture : both are emergent, transitory, evolving, accessible. Both use limited and alternative forms of commerce. There is a common emphasis on freedom, opportunity and growth. Like the medieval city, frontier culture operates on the periphery. Again, the same can be said for podcasting, which sits outside the mainstream.

Riecken has attemped to categorize the podcasting community present at today’s PAB2007. Most are in the education and learning category of podcasting. Another large group is what he calls regional culture : podcasters talking about life as it is lived in their part of their world. Storytelling and personal blogs also occupy significant space.

Riecken emphasizes the importance of diversity, critical inquiry and thought.

Marshall McLuhan’s ghost is very present in the room this morning. Both speakers have evoked him and his impact on the media landscape, which now permeates podcasting. I wonder what Canada’s favourite media guru would think of the podcaster revolution.

Contributions from PAB2007 participants :

Zoominfo.com – directory to check out

Facebook – ‘a supersaturated solution to crystallize interest around podcasts’

PAB 2007 – Day 2

It’s a testament to how interesting the first day of the PAB 2007 conference was that I didn’t get a chance to blog about it until this morning.

Yesterday, Tod Maffin regaled us with great radio clips meant to illustrate different storytelling tips. Some great stuff in there. The PAB2007 organisers treated us to a boat cruise, then took us to The Merchant Taps pub for some good times and music. Tod had me play this great little game : Zerts. Heard of it? Pretty cool.

I’m here at PAB2007 for my ‘culture générale’, as they say, but now also with another mandate : to see how feasible it would be to launch a podcast in the fall for Canada’s Telecommunications Hall of Fame. To his credit, my client is open to the idea. This weekend will help me make a final decision about whether or not I want to go forward. I have a feeling I will.

Today’s first speaker : Arthur Masters (OttawaLocal.com) speaking on ‘Context is King’. He’s talking about futurists. He’s proposing that we’ve now moved from radio’s Content is King maxim to Context is King. In a 1993 edition of Wired Magazine, Alvin Toffler predicted specialization : podcasting seems to be the manifestation of this vision, with the huge variety of podcasts and niche subjects they encompass. Today’s podcasters are in a socialist or communist movement, according to Masters, acting not out of profit but of passion, with the democratisation of the tools and the means of production. This is a Marxist 21st Century’s electronic factory. Masters also broaches the topic of online communities taking the power away from hit makers : referrals now come from many sources now that the tools of production are accessible to everyone.

As I listen to Masters, I can’t help imagining him as a 19th century revivalist preacher, espousing hope and a new way of finding salvation through podcasting. During the Q&A session, Julien Smith nostalgically talks about Masters’ idealism, reflects on what podcasting used to be about and yearns for a return to podcasting’s sources. I guess I missed something by jumping on the bandwagon at this stage. But hey. We can’t all be pioneers. It’s certainly nice to be able to absorb the wisdom, now.


I’m here. Tried to keep up during a very-tech intro presentation and now Tod Maffin’s up.

He says I’ll get more out of his conference if I don’t blog at the same time, so I’m going to follow his recommendation.

Catch ya later.