Full Star Wars movie... 15 seconds at a time

Last updated 05:00 19/07/2013
Instagram Star Wars

NEW HOPE: A screenshot of instagram.com/starwarsmovie.

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With new tools come great ingenuity. With great ingenuity came A New Hope for Instagram video - until it was taken down.

Instagram user Scot Pansing, a 38-year-old tech-worker in California, had taken it upon himself to push the boundaries of coolness/nerdiness, by using the social media site's new video-sharing function to post the entire Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope online - 15 seconds at a time.

But within hours of catching media attention, his Star Wars Movies user profile was removed from the social media network, along with all the clips. The full film had been close to completion, but Instagram disabled the account as it violated the terms of service.

The Instagram terms of service include a copyright clause, which states users must own the content they post, and must not "misappropriate or infringe on the rights of any third party, including, without limitation, privacy rights, publicity rights, copyrights, trademark and/or other intellectual property rights."

The idea came to Pansing, a lifelong Star Wars fan, while driving to his job one day. The tedious work of splicing the film into shareable 15 second segments was done manually after his children were put to bed - he stood in front of the TV with his iPhone and recorded the clips, noting the timecode on his DVD player each time.

He started at the beginning of July, and was up to 439 posts, or just under 110 minutes, presuming each post was the maximum-allowed 15 seconds (we haven't watched them all - yet), and had less than 100 clips to go until the whole movie was online.

Pansing said he was proud of his work and had originally hoped it would become part of the body of fan-made content "that seems to generate the most excitement these days," rather than pander to the commercial Star Wars publicity machine.

"As someone who works in the technology and media businesses, I can see why it was taken down - it violated Instagram's terms of service, and of course it was a way for people to consume the film on-the-go for free, on a non-monetized platform," he said.

"But as a lifetime Star Wars fan, of course I wish it were just considered a cool mash-up where people could consume little lo-fi bits of the film, like little digital scratchy singles."

The clips were posted from the end of the film to the start so, if it had've been completed, the start of the movie would have appeared at the very top of their Instagram profile page, making the user both a brilliant and courteous "lunatic", according to tech news site Gizmodo.

Instagram, which is owned by social media giant Facebook, expanded from its hip, filtered photo sharing roots into the world of video about a month ago, after rival service Twitter started video-sharing via Vine.

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The video-sharing function limits users to clips that are 15 seconds in length - compared to the six-second limit on Twitter's Vine.

- FFX Aus


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