The First Enclosures took part in 15th=18th England, and refers to the loss of the common agricultural lands of the medieval peasantry; which set the stage for the emergence of capitalism: James Boyle has eloquently written about the Second Enclosures of the copyright era; especially its dramatic extension and the impoverishment of the public domain.
But it’s time to give a name to the new processes of appropriation which are more and more common on the free videosharing sites and most recently evidenced in the user agreement of the mashup project of the Washington Post. Let’s calll it the Third Enclosures of self created content! In short, participating in the project means that you are giving your intellectual property to the publisher. This is done because most people, and that includes myself, usually never bother to read the user agreements, or because we think that we can not make money anyway. So we are already happy to be published. This is a dangerous impulse, and we should insist that content creators own their creations, not the platforms, and choose those platforms, like Democracy TV or Ourmedia, which respects this.
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