Ian Heifetz

Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2011

Capstone Advisor

Richard Breyer

Honors Reader

Jason Kohlbrenner

Capstone Major


Capstone College

Public Communications

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories


Subject Categories

Ethics and Political Philosophy | Film and Media Studies | Other Film and Media Studies


Free Culture is a documentary short that aims to promote user-autonomy in the digital age, with a focus on culture proliferations. The film takes a look a critical stance against the Digital Millennium Copyright act, arguing it is unenforceable through either legislative or technical means. To support this viewpoint, interviews with Yochai Benkler of the Harvard Law School and Fred von Lohmann, Senior Copyright Council to Google, are provided. While threats to the DMCA, such as piracy, are often seen as illegal criminal action, they signify a changing environment. One man taking advantage of this is Benn Jordan, a.k.a. The Flashbulb, an established musician who has toured around the world and also composes tracks for film and television. Benn’s story is unique. In 2008, he discovered his music online, unaware and unpaid. After contacting Apple multiple times and sending them Cease and Desist letters, Benn pirated his own album. The response was overwhelming and his story went viral. Divorced from the industry, Benn harnessed the power of the internet to start his own label. In our conversation he mentioned that he makes more money now selling 3,000 albums than most artists make selling 25,000. Key to his success was free access to information. To explore the effects of this, I traveled to the Wilson Park community center in Syracuse, NY to see how a tech center in a poor community is changing the lives of children. This film created from found footage, interviews, and animations I created.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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