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May 04, 2009

Danny Choo's Tokyo CGM Night, Reputation Sharing Economy, and Creative Commons

CGM Night #4 P1010222

Danny Choo, the master of famous http://www.dannychoo.com/ hosts a series of monthly event called "Tokyo CGM Night" with Andrew Shuttleworth (Tokyo2point0 organizer).

CGM stands for Consumer Generated Media and in Japan the word CGM is much popular than the word UGM (User Generated Media) which common in the USA someway. The event attract bloggers, YouTubers, CGM service providers and just regular IT professionals in Tokyo, in the majority of who are mostly bi-lingual or foreigners. The event has been growing rapidly since Feb 2009 and the number of the attendee list reached to nearly 400 people, even while CGM Night is a private event that requires invitation or at least escorted with a previous attendee.

The mottoes of CGM Night are "No Smoking, No Nakedness, and Free from Portrait Rights Restriction". Thus attendees of the event can take as many pictures as they want and to be encouraged to upload it to own blog, Flickr, YouTube, or any other User Generated Media services as they like. Then Danny would generously post links on dannychoo.com site.

This is a very good example of Reputation Sharing Economy at work. Reputation is something that reside in people's mind but can be measured with technical aspects. Some of measurement markers are of course Page Views and Unique Users. www.dannychoo.com actually gets 20 Million page views and 2 Million Unique Users a month, as the site claims. The bloggers, photographers, or YouTubers who participated and made content about CGM Night would get some amount of traffic from links on www.dannychoo.com.

However, how to keep the traffic largely depends on quality, timeliness and point of view of the content made by participants. But there is a chance that good ones can grow their reputation with good content. And once they grew, they can start similar way as Danny is doing: to give someone a part of their reputation. Unlike money, reputation won't reduce by act of giving it. Instead, it is going to multiply.

To make these Reputation Sharing Economy grow, one foreseeable problem is Copyright issues. But this will be solved with Creative Commons license scheme. For example, when a photographer upload his/her photos of CGM Nignt to Flickr, they can choose Creative Commons license from the menu, possibly with CC-BY (means Attribution). So, someone who saw his/her photos of CGM Night and wanted to use it could easily do that just displaying the photographers name along with the photos. Thus, Creative Commons is an enabler for CGM/UGM into Reputation Sharing Economy.


Here's a bit of addition to clarify more. The reason why Copyright would become a issue with Reputation Sharing Economy in CGM/UGM is that the handling of copyright clearance and its volume. Current Copyright law in most of countries automatically set the creator of the Creative Work (texts, graphics, movies or other form of expressions) as the Copyright Owner, even without his/her knowledge. Thus, someone who may want to use such Creative Works has to contact the Copyright Owner for permission to use, if the person lawfully use the Work.

This clearance process was fairly simple in the old media publising realm because there were publishers and representative agents to handle the process in between. But in the CGM/UGM realm this process becomes growingly complex, especially in the situation for a content creator become famous. Such content creator is Copyright Owner who could get 10s of thousands of copyright permission requests from ordinary people who just want to use his/her Creative Works in CGM/UGM domain. We can imagine that to answer every single request could overwhelm the Copyright Owner.

With Creative Commons this process can be easier because Creative Commons is the system that Copyright Owner to express copyright permission upfront with variety of usage conditions. It displays how Copyright Owner want others to use the Work. Someone who wants to use such content creator = copyright owner's Work with Creative Commons license, just simply follow the condition of use and contact to the Copyright Owner will become unnecessary. That is why Creative Commons will become an enabler of Reputation Sharing Economy through Content Sharing.


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