‘Worth1000’: Artists 2.0

On: September 21, 2008
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About Arno de Natris
Finished the Master in New Media in august 2009. See for mor details about me on http://www.arnodenatris.nl


Products of post modernity, made by volunteers are gathered in a big online commercial community: Worth1000. Mash-ups, parodies, manipulations made by Photoshop are submitted in contests and are rated in this digital musuem of amateur art. With Photoshop, everybody is an artist and with Worth1000, everybody has a place in the 2.0 gallery of post modern art. Just don’t ask money for your work.

What is?
Worth 1000 is a community of digital artists created by Aviary, a New York company that ‘is on a mission to make creation accessible to artists of all genres, from graphic design to audio editing’. In this community you can participate in all kinds of contests. Although there are contests for multimedia and all kinds of texts (poetry, limericks, personal blogs), the Photoshop contests are the most represented. If you have a registered account, you can join the contests by adding your work and you can rank others. 
At this moment, about 500.000 people (Aviary calls them artists) have an account and submit the content of Worth1000 or vote on the work of others. The owners of Worth1000 determine the themes and the rules of the contests. Themes can be anything, from filmposters mash-ups to creating new animals, from modernising classical paintings to inventing new sports.
Web 2.0?
According to Tim O’Reilly, web 2.0 applications use the network as a platform. Users can easily add content on a website. Worth 1000 gives the users that platform. In fact, that’s the aim of the entire community: let the users become producers of art and let them share their work with others on an on-line platform. The contests are the most famous parts of Worth 1000, but there are forums, a chat part and Photoshop tutorials made by the the users as well. By clicking on the media you’r encouraged to send an email to someone including the link to the site and to Plime, a 2.0 news website.
For participating on Worth1000 an account is necessary. But not many things have to be filled in, just basic information like name, gender and birth day. You must be 18+ or your legal guardions must give permission, probably because of some sexual content on the site. You’re 18-? Just lie about your birthday. You don’t need an avatar and Worth1000 isn’t interested in your hobbies, your scholar, your favourite artist, your brand underwear, etcetera. If you like, you can choose for birthday wishes.
Because there are so many uploads, it’s interesting to see what the policy about copyright is:
‘We try to conduct our business in a manner that limits the instances where a user sells merchandise that may infringe the intellectual property rights of others. However, because thousands of users upload through an automated service, we cannot assure that the media may not, from time to time, infringe such rights.
Accordingly, we encourage intellectual property rights owners to contact us if they believe that their rights have been infringed by the upload of a user’s media using our service. If you let us know that your rights are being infringed by one of our users we will (in our discretion) require that the media be removed from the site, if the user continues to infringe your rights (or infringes the rights of others) terminate the user’s access to our services.’
So there’s no control on the media that are uploaded. You can find many examples of protected brands in the galleries. Here and here you see images with probably protected brands in it. Or here, you see brand parodies. The company behind Worth1000 apparantly don’t mind using illegaly brands and will only remove images when the right owners contact them. Ironacly, every media placed on Worth1000 is copyright protected. Worth1000 ‘will solely and exclusively own all intellectual property’. There’s no Creative Commons License, or something like that, on the content.

For this blog entry, I wanted to copy-paste one of the images into this text, but this seems to be impossible. So you can’t copy the content by this way.
Voluntarily labour
Although the website itself isn’t very flashy, the content shows great examples of post modernity with many mash-ups, parodies and humour.  With Photoshop it’s easy to manipulate existing images. You can shrink Pamela Anderson’s boobs, let an owl bark and make Fidel Castro a member of ZZ Top. Worth1000 gives an opportunity to show you creations to the world. It’s just a pity that Aviary makes money of your work and owns it when you have posted it, although there are some contests where it’s possible to win prizes. For visitors that only view Worth1000 it’s most of al fun.

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