This week, our Free Culture Book Club watches C-Man: Copyright Defender.

C-Man determines the direction of a copyright violation from his secret fire escape

To give this series some sense of organization, check out some basic facts without much in the way of context.

  • Full Title: C-Man: Copyright Defender
  • Location: http://ljudmila.org/film/c-man
  • Released: 2008
  • License: CC-BY-SA
  • Creator: Vasja Omladinac & Ustvarjalna Gmajna
  • Medium: Short film
  • Length: Approximately fourteen minutes
  • Content Advisories: Stereotypical geopolitics, coarse language, references to and footage from non-Free media

This should go without saying—even though I plan to repeat it with every Book Club installment—but Content Advisories do not suggest any sort of judgment on my part, only topics that come up in the work that I noticed and might benefit from a particular mood or head space for certain audiences. I provide it to help you make a decision, rather than a decision in and of itself.

Unfortunately, I have nothing to tell you about this film, because the creators don’t seem to have written anything about it or their lead character.

I can tell you that I’ve known about this short film for a while, but completely forgot about it until recently finding a reference in my notes to possibly using the character as a villain in a story about a team of Free Culture superheroes.

That said, I doubt that anybody will have much trouble figuring out the film’s political intentions.

What Works Well? 🔗

Your tastes may vary on this topic, but I at least find this funny. It nicely parodies the sorts of aggressive copyright protection that we’ve seen over the years, and making them the work of a single person makes it seem even sillier.

I also don’t believe that we have anything like this, Free Culture or not, a mockumentary about a local superhero.

What Works…Less Well? 🔗

What do we mean by less well? Free Culture exists as a special kind of idea. By licensing a work appropriately, the creator gives each of us permission, authority, and power to make the work our own. This section tries to remind us all of that, by indicating areas of the project where you, dear reader, might consider it as an invitation to get involved with the project.
And yes, sometimes complains slip through, too…

I feel like far too much of this short film goes to watching clips of a conference or showing copyrighted material. The film probably exists for that former specific purpose, and the latter probably made a point in the full talk, but it makes everything feel patched together instead of telling a cohesive story.

Opportunities 🔗

I don’t see anything resembling a community or contact information, even from about fifteen years ago.

What’s Adaptable? 🔗

Without even watching, you can probably guess that we have C-Man; he has a hand-held piracy alert, which he apparently doesn’t carry with him, but rather uses from his apartment to determine where the adventure will take him. But we also find out that pigeons have their own copyright laws that they adhere to strictly, and somebody had better get me that movie…

Next 🔗

Coming up next week, we’ll ring out September with Full Bloom, a short story by R.S. Mason.

As mentioned previously, by the way, the list of potential works to discuss has run low, so I need to ask for help, again. If you know of any works—or want to create them—that fit these posts (fictional, narrative, Free Culture, available to the public, and not by creators who we’ve already discussed), please tell me about them. Every person who points me to at least one appropriate work with an explanation will receive a free membership on my Buy Me a Coffee page.

Anyway, while we wait for that, what did everybody else think about the short?


Credits: The header image comes from the book’s cover, under the same license as the rest of the book.