Monday, June 12, 2017

The Internet Is Where We Share — and Steal — the Best Ideas; New York Times, June 6, 2017

Jenna Wortham, New York Times; The Internet Is Where We Share — and Steal — the Best Ideas

"In April, a photograph of Rihanna and Lupita Nyong’o taken at a Miu Miu fashion show three years ago began recirculating online. Their friendly body language and chic clothes (Rihanna wore thigh-highs, fur and leather; Lupita a plum jacket with a jeweled collar) caught the imagination of the internet. A Twitter user named @1800SADGAL suggested that “Rihanna looks like she scams rich white men and Lupita is the computer-smart best friend that helps plan” the scams. People began talking about an “Ocean’s 11”-type film written by and starring black women. Issa Rae was nominated to write the script and Ava DuVernay to direct. All four women chimed in on Twitter, announcing their support, though what that meant seemed unclear. Like any other online frenzy, it disappeared after a few days.

But a few weeks later, Entertainment Weekly reported that the social-media fantasy was actually coming to life: Netflix beat out several bidders at Cannes to buy the concept, which could go into production as early as next year. Viewed one way, this is a tale about how the web has collapsed the distance between audience and creator. But it also raises questions about ownership in the digital age."

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