Digital Sharecropping

George Lucas is joining the Web 2.0 bandwagon and allowing fans to create mashups of Star Wars. Wow, what a guy? Impressed? Happy? Don’t be!!!

â??Star Warsâ?? fans can connect with the Force in ways theyâ??ve only imagined beginning May 25, when StarWars.com launches a completely redesigned website that empowers fans to â??mash-upâ?? their homemade videos with hundreds of scenes from â??Star Warsâ?? movies; watch hundreds of fan-made â??Star Warsâ?? videos; and interact with â??Star Warsâ?? enthusiasts from around the world like never before.

With an innovative, interactive site that allows users to navigate to multiple â??Star Warsâ?? worlds, a new video focus, and groundbreaking â??Web 2.0â?? features â?? including a unique online multi-media mixing platform from Eyespot â?? the new StarWars.com will unveil its redesigned website on May 25 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the â??Star Warsâ?? Saga.

Among the most compelling features of the newly redesigned StarWars.com is the incorporation of an online video-editing tool provided by Eyespot. It allows users to add their own video shots to more than 250 scenes and music taken from all six â??Star Warsâ?? films and create their own â??Star Warsâ?? movies to share with others.

Unfortunately the material the creative fans will create will not belong to them but will remain in the hands of George Lucas. The fan-created videos will run along with commercials profits split between Lucasfilm and Eyespot.

The idea of users being drafted, fooled, enticed into doing the work for someone else has been called digital sharecropping by Lessig. This refers to the situation where the work is carried out by poor day laborers while the landowners sit and reap the rewards of another’s creativity.

Read more about this over at the Volokh Conspiracy

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