May 18, 2012

Why this Ashok Kumar, Ashok Kumar, Ashok Kumar, Ashok Kumar di?

It's bad manners to read somebody else's diary.

(Cross-posted from the Rosegarden Television blog on Tumblr)

Bear with us here…

Earlier this year, one song from India — “Why This Kolaveri Di?” — spread like wildfire throughout India and in cyberspace.

Not as fortunate was the movie it was made for, called 3 (three).

The dust–up that resulted in the recent blocking in India of websites as different as Vimeo (why??) and the Pirate Bay has only made matters worse (and not just because we use Vimeo). And it raises troubling questions about the delicate relationship between fans and producers (and we wonder if some could in fact be both, in this age of Creative Commons, DIY film making, and yes, Vimeo).

Look at it this way, as per Lawrence Liang:

Apart from  the questionable logic of the film makers turning fans and enthusiasts against their own film what we  probably need to do for the future is to think of how  the investment of ‘excessive energy’ allows us to make claims of ownership and limit the hackneyed argument of a film being the private property of the film maker. This is a domain which necessarily takes us away from the usual focus either on the language of rights or even the language of openness and what we need is a  Political language of Passion and Enthusiasm which can supplement the existing languages of denial and access. The excessive response of the film makers in securing this order and in the blocking of the websites is plainly disrespectful of the excess that they thrived on just a few months ago.

Have a read, and feel free to respond. We need to talk about this.

[UPDATE 2012.6.22: The BBC reports that the blockage has ended. Finally.]