The Story of stuff is an easy to understand documentary about the material economy and consumerism presented in a series of cartoons full of good humor.
It is a very creative and effective movie that really makes you think and reconsider how your daily life affects the environment. The presenter, Annie Leonard, explains that we are living in a linear system, that is rapidly using up our planet’s natural resources.
I really like this movie because it is a powerful example of how you can use the Web as an open channel to present ideas. It is simplicity at its best, no over production here! In my view, this is one of the best documentaries that you can find on the net. Go ahead and watch the video below:
“Then you win” is a project from a voluntary association based in France called Loin de l’Œil. Using Creative Commons licenses, they are planning to produce three documentaries about Ekta Parishad in India, a mass organization based on Gandhian principles. This is an open content project developed with predominantly open source (libre) software.
It is possible to participate in the project by donating, helping to promote the documentaries, translating from Hindi, Tamil to English/French, and by editing using Cinelerra (a linux based video editing tool). Or you can join in other ways, through partnership, sponsoring and collaboration.
The promotion approach adopted by Loin de l’Œil is very interesting since they provide access to video ads in a variety formats (ogg, Flash) that you can embed in your blog from Dailymotion, Youtube and blip.tv. Here is the ad from YouTube.
Thanks to Creative Commons for introducing this project.
A 2007 report from the Singapore based Participatory Media Lab indicates that Japan was one of the early adopters of Creative Commons licenses. Within Asia, Japan stands out as having the highest volume of works covered by CC and the most liberal approach to licensing.
The report argues that this trend will gain even greater momentum with support from Japanese Corporations such as Sony (particularly through the new video sharing platform, eyeVio, which has adopted CC) and with the 2008 iCommons Summit planned to take place in Sapporo, Japan from 29 July to 1 August.
The report also indicates that the total size of CC content on the Internet was 60 million by 2007. That is absolutely amazing and a clear indicator that CC is fast becoming the “de facto alternative for any author wishing to license his/her output under more liberal terms.”
The Participatory Media Lab is hosted by the School of Information Systems at Singapore Management University. They “produce original analyses of media production, distribution and reuse practices, using well-known and new methodological frameworks, borrowing elements from information management, microeconomics, network theory, law and new media theory and practice.”
I subscribe to the Creative Commons blog and was recently excited to see two posts on Cinema 2.0. The first post introduces the idea of reusing footage from one film to create a new work with an entirely different purpose through the use of Creative Commons licenses. It is a topic that has been playing on our minds here in the UNU Media Studio as we struggle to produce documentaries under the existing scheme of things (i.e., respecting the copyrights of others) and try to do so in a open way.
The second post presents a collaborative film project in development called A Swarm of Angels. Team producing this film have developed 7 rules for open source media which I think are really useful. I have summarized them here and you can see how by adopting these rules it may be possible to collaboratively build and share digital media. They cover both the development process and the form in which you make your content available. So what are the rules?
1. Freely accessible
Available to stream, or download without a fee. 2. Freely available
Permanently available without DRM. The end user able to share the work without restriction. 3. Freely viewable
Available in multiple formats, and to be converted freely. 4. Giving source files
Source media, such as rushes and raw graphics files should be archived and available for other creators to work with. 5. Allowing remixing
Materials should be licensed explicitly to allow derivative work for at least non-commercial/artistic purposes. 6. Reveal the process
Allowing access to not only the final source media, but work-in-progress material and software files, adding another layer of transparency and documentation. 7. Open contribution
Adding ways to influence and participate in the creation of the original work through various types of community/audience involvement.
This approach is called Open Plus and is discussed more fully at the Swarm website.
Happy New Year from the UNU Media Studio team!
We have some new activities planned for this year and next. We are currently brainstorming on a project that looks at the interaction between climate change, peak oil and food security (to name some key issues). It draws lessons over the next few years on how societies like Japan are coping with these powerful trends and, for instance, how it may be possible to meet the targets set out under the Kyoto Protocol. We will tell you more about this as we further elaborate our ideas. By the way, the photo is from Grant Neufeld and covered by a Creative Commons license.
In the early part of this year, we will be working with the World Health Organization to produce an advocacy documentary on aging happily and healthily. We did some scouting at the end of last year and the production team will be doing some filming this month in Kobe (the case study site).
A lot of projects will remain as before. We will continue to support the UNU-Global Virtual University based in Norway and also UNU Opencourseware (a cross the UNU collaboration). The video conference based classes under the Asia Pacific Initiative will continue and grow. Our collaboration with REDMESO and the development of e-case studies (using Fieldtrip) and documentaries will also develop further over the next two years.
Promoting learning on social and environmental issues is a key component of what we do. We are exploring further the role of documentaries in raising awareness on issues and prompting action. Openness is a central facet of how we approach our work and of how we share what we do through open content, open educational resources and Creatives Commons, etc.
But we are also really excited about the prospect of using various web services (Web 2.0) and social media in order to promote more effective communication with our audience and partners. These are just some of the activities, with other new collaborations gradually emerging, for instance with the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and the University of Sydney. We will talk more on this later.
Lawrence Lessig spoke at the March 2007 TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Conference and explained how creativity is being strangled by the law. This is a very thought provoking presentation and although the focus is on the impact on younger generations and business, there are obvious messages for the global development community. To solve the world’s problems, we need to get creative and we need to be able to share knowledge.