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K. Matthew Dames

02: Jan 2011

K. Matthew Dames is Syracuse University’s first Copyright & Information Policy Adviser. In this capacity, he provides education, recommendations and advocacy to members of the University community on copyright, licensing, open access and information policy issues.

Mr. Dames has been involved with copyright issues more than 30 years from the perspectives of law, music, visual arts, broadcasting, multimedia, journalism, libraries and higher education. His writings have been published widely in print, and he is executive editor of the online publications Copycense and Core Copyright.

A longtime disc jockey and music collector, Mr. Dames has earned graduate degrees in law and information science, and will complete his doctorate (which focuses on the framing of U.S. copyright policy) in 2011.

Mr. Dames participated in the January 2011 MediaStorm Methodology Workshop. He had the following to say about his experience:

It is difficult to emphasize how important the MediaStorm Methodology Workshop (MMW) in January 2011 has been to my development as a creator, scholar, educator who is interested in using narrative to teach and inform others about the importance of copyright and other legal topics.

MMW is at once exhausting and invigorating: for five consecutive days, all the participants shared, thought, and deliberated extensively about how best to sustainably produce and distribute important, compelling, and timeless multimedia packages. We did this eight hours each day, and often for another hour or two after each session. We critiqued video; we considered business models; we shared insights on techniques; we reviewed technology and gear.

If it seems like there are few public specifics about what a typical MMW will be like, you're probably correct. I don't think there can be a "typical" MMW, for two basic reasons. First, participants' experiences, goals, and talents will vary in each iteration. My session's participant group included mostly visual professional (i.e. photographers, videographers); in contrast, I deal mostly with audio. Yet, I never felt out of place or diminished. In fact, we spent a lot of the Workshop talking the importance of great sound and how to get it. Different Workshops may have a different vibe.

Second, almost all the participants and staff members talked about a variety of projects or business initiatives that were in development, and therefore not publicly available. Confidential and controversial issues were discussed. As a result, there is a sort of "What happens at MMW stays at MMW" aspect to these sessions. Still, I sensed an incredible amount of trust between MediaStorm personnel and my fellow participants; this trust allowed everyone to benefit.

MMW demands a lot of time and energy, both from participants and MediaStorm personnel. You must commit to being invested. But I believe these investments were well worth it. At the end, I thought everyone suspected this session could be one of the most important sessions of our respective careers.

If you have any interest in producing and distributing timeless multimedia works that will impact others, you owe it to yourself to attend MMW. I give the MediaStorm Methodology Workshop my strongest unqualified recommendation. The entire MediaStorm family and all my fellow participants were overwhelmingly candid, giving, genuine, talented and professional. For that, I thank them again and express my deepest gratitude.