We're interested in open content licensing at EngageMedia because we're interested in collaborative storytelling, and in moving away from restrictive copyright laws that enforce rigid ideas of individual intellectual property. — http://www.engagemedia.org/creative-commons
EngageMedia is an exemplary ‘Web 2.0’ video-sharing site focused on social justice and environmental issues in South East Asia, Australia, and the Pacific. As a platform for the production and distribution of documentaries, artistic, and experimental video works, EngageMedia seeks to create a community of film makers, artists, and activists who inform readers of local and global actions for social change. Emphasising open access and collaborative frameworks, the site supports the collection and dissemination of independent perspectives to challenge the enduring corporate dominance of traditional media. EngageMedia’s philosophy is one of providing tools and training for marginalised communities, thereby establishing a mutually supportive network of peers (video makers, educators, and screening organisations) working towards sustainable development.
EngageMedia is contemplating the future implementation of a donations-based micro-payment system, allowing members to contribute financially or on a voluntary basis to emergent projects. In the interim, material is indirectly exposed to revenue opportunities via festivals, competitions and broadcasts.
Based on peer-to-peer technologies, the EngageMedia site offers a comprehensive Guide to Digital Video Distribution. Underlining contributors’ ability to expose environmental destruction and human rights abuses through well-researched submissions, the EngageMedia collective states simply, ‘We want to build media that questions how the world works.’
EngageMedia was launched at the Earthling National Environmental Activist Forum at the annual This Is Not Art (TINA) Festival in Newcastle, on 30th September 2006. The forum explored broad ideas about the way in which individuals can be more effective activists through the tools they use. EngageMedia’s offices are based in Melbourne, Australia, and their collective currently comprises five new media specialists.
EngageMedia seeks to create a digital archive of independent video productions employing open content licences. The Editorial Policy of the site states:
The site allows users to select among the most recent unported versions of the Creative Commons licences. The workings of the licences are outlined in detail, where distinctions are drawn between commercial and non-commercial uses, and the options for derivative works. EngageMedia integrates a Creative Commons licence generator into the video upload process, thereby facilitating the distribution of films across the network. The site provides tools to enable videos to be embedded into other web pages, as well as an easily downloadable high-resolution version of each film. To encourage further development and distribution of freely available content, this video software is also available in an open source format.
Based on the philosophies of open access and sharing, the EngageMedia site embraces Creative Commons as offering a practical framework for compliance with copyright laws in many nations. In an interview conducted by CC Australia project officer Elliott Bledsoe with Anna Helme from EngageMedia, the site’s motivations to license under Creative Commons are clearly explained:
The growing popularity of Creative Commons licences has been a key incentive to implementing them on the site. Anna Helme believes that the commons have now reached a critical mass, with the licences proving themselves to be a very effective social tool for emphasising open distribution of materials. When asked about filmmakers’ motivations to upload their video on EngageMedia, Anna Helme opines:
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