Rick Prelinger is the creator and curator of the biggest moving image archive on the internet offering material that can be reused for commercial purposes. Here he explains why he put the films, which he also sells as stock footage, online and what the results have been. He talks of his offline library without computers, and how that relates to the value of serendipity in the time of rthe query driven information environment.
The opportunity to produce culture, rather than just consume it, is the result of increased access to powerful computers combines with their networking in a decentralized architecture. Rheingold points out that the potential of technologies has often been realized through their reception by users rather than the manufacturers themselves. Those at the top of the media industry have a basic interest in resisting these changes. Their survival should not be what concerns us, but rather the health of culture, and the potential decentralized collaboration offers for the solution of longstanding problems.