Case Studies/Following Alexis West

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Following Alexis West is a documentary film which examines the effect of New Zealand’s switch to a proportional representation system has had on its politics and culture since 1996.

Creative Commons is great for indies like me because we can still make what money off of our work there is to be made – while not denying other people the ability to spread it around and make use of it for non-profit purposes, without requiring meetings with lawyers. — Brian Boyko, Producer, Following Alexis West

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with divine retribution he will come to save you". - Isaiah 35:4

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License Usage

Following Alexis West is being produced independently, and will seek distributors for the film’s commercial release. The documentary project involves the production of three separate end-formats: a 90-minute feature, released to American and European film festivals; a 56-minute New Zealand-only separate edit ‘By Popular Demand’; and over 20 hours of raw footage. According to Boyko, the digitised raw footage will most likely be released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 licence, whereby it will be offered to the New Zealand film archive, the South Seas Film School, and the University of Texas School of Communication Radio-Television-Film program for educational purposes, as well as released online for further historical and other non-commercial projects. In addition, Boyko hopes to utilise the new CC+ licence for commercial use for non-share-alike projects.


Following Alexis West producer Brian Boyko says that he accepts Creative Commons as a normal, ordinary part of the day-to-day functioning of the web. Inspired by the release of Cory Doctorow’s writing under Creative Commons, and the Flickr licence integration, Boyko believes his work should be open to anyone who is willing to use it fairly.

‘If a kid wants to remix Sir Geoffrey Palmer into a rap battle with Eminem, best of luck to him. Creative Commons is great because I don't have to say up front who -can- use the material. Anyone can use the material with the guidelines provided; if you want to step outside the guidelines, well, it's possible, but we need to talk about that.’ (Email interview with Brian Boyko by Rachel Cobcroft, 28 December 2007)

On the issue of the implementation of Creative Commons licences, Boyko believes that their structure is simple and straightforward. If problems arise, he believes, it is due to education: ‘People often labour under the delusion that everything is “all rights reserved” or anyone can take it and use it, and that there’s no middle ground.’

Importantly, Boyko believes that Creative Commons greatly increases the utility of a creator’s works:

‘There's a chance Following Alexis West might rot in my attic, unloved and unsold. But even if the main work is a failure (and it's my first movie, so it might well be!) if there is a derivative utility to which my work can be used, I want people to be able to do so.’

Further information about the documentary can be found on the film’s blog.


Production stills are available on Flickr at