It takes a daring photo stock agency to tackle the issue of authorship and piracy in a way that inspires creativity instead of stifling it. One such an agency is Getty Images, the Seattle-based stock photo and moving image powerhouse that just recently gamified (and approved) the act of sampling. Legally.
Mish Mash is a music/video remix competition launched by the agency that practically tells creatives: ‘steal from us!’ The contest is simple: pull from their stockpile of original source material, which is provided by (but is by no means limited to), Barcroft Media, Universal Studios and Warner Brothers Film, as well as a slew of niche film houses, and create wonderfully quirky, inspired, groundbreaking short stories, music videos, video art, adverts or mini-documentaries. The videos are then judged by an esteemed panel and the winner win cash prizes up to $5000 dollars.
This is a bold move for a content gatekeeper simply because, with all of the attention surrounding H.R. 3261 aka S.O.P.A. aka Stop Online Piracy Act, the valuation placed on authorship is being redefined and challenged in a way that is not only engaging on a cultural/macro scale, but also happens to be fun.
Hats off to Getty for getting the ball rolling at a time of such controversy within the creative community.
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