Case Studies/Sony eyeVio
Sony eyeVio is an Internet and mobile service in Japan that offers high quality platform for users to upload and share video. Described by Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer as a primary element in the company's ‘quiet software revolution,’ eyeVio strategically complements existing Sony Group assets and businesses. Launched on 29 April 2007 as a Japanese-language video-sharing platform, the eyeVio site makes use of DHTML, AJAX, and a selection of web 2.0 techniques, with content divided into recommended videos and channels. A key feature of eyeVio is the ability to connect directly with Sony hardware devices, such as mobile phones, the PSP and Sony video Walkmen. Highlighting interoperability, users are able to upload files in a wide variety of formats, and are able to specify who can view their content, and how long a video will remain available on the service.
Unlike most video-sharing sites such as YouTube, which relies on a policy of ‘wait-and-see,’ eyeVio’s staff monitor and review every upload to the site and delete any material they consider to be in breach of copyright laws. This is a significant selling point for businesses in assuring the legitimacy of the content, thereby minimizing their exposure to risk.
eyeVio’s approach is to let users directly apply any one of the the six Creative Commons licenses to their videos. In point of fact, the site requires a content creator to apply Creative Commons licenses in order to enable the site's video download functionality, which has spurred rapid adoption since the project's launch. To date, nearly all downloadable videos on eyeVio use CC licenses.
In practice, the use of CC licensing has mostly enabled two types of sharing. For eyeVio, submitted content is more easily shared between members of their online community and beyond without ambiguities in the permissions and limitations on use. For the individual consumer, Creative Commons has also enabled sharing between multiple Sony devices.
Takeshi Honma, one of the original co-founders of eyeVio and Chief Producer at Sony Corporation, stated in an interview with Creative Commons that the target usage for eyeVio was primarily sharing of video noncommercially among "friends and family." This shaped the two aims that Sony intended to achieve by adopting CC licensing. First, to make it easy for average consumers to use and load content onto their devices, Sony was searching for a way to avoid the copyright management issue faced by many user-generated content services. Second, Honma pointed out that without free available content there would be "nothing" to go on the various players, mobile devices, and other products offered by Sony. In both cases, Creative Commons suggested itself as a useful option.
Moreover, Creative Commons provided eyeVio with an alternative that provided a better balance of permissible activities available to consumers and creators than a more traditional "all rights reserved" model. In short, while it gave media consumers the freedom to take content across devices, it also provided the flexibility to allow media producers to keep control of their creations.
Since the site's launch in 2007, the eyeVio site has become a large aggregator of user-generated, liberally licensed Creative Commons video. The content available ranges from short-format amateur footage to longer shows and podcasts. This includes entertainment oriented material, as well as more serious, educational media.
One notable example in this latter category is the Daily English Show, a popular CC BY licensed internet show based out of Niseko, Hokkaido, Japan, that provides learning materials for English students. Some past episodes of the show are viewable on EyeVio here and here.