Steal this footage

The league of noble peers has just made available the raw footage of 19 interviews filmed for steal this film 2. the footage is not only available online but also fully text searchable based on the transcripts of the interviews:

Thanks to the magic of 0xdb and Pad.ma, plus the hard work of a number of Peers in transcribing STEAL THIS FILM II footage over the last six months, we are able to offer a full text search of the base material from which we made the film. If your search term is found, you are taken to the frame/s at which it occurs and given its immediate context. Try it out! You can also browse the whole list of clips, if you don’t know what you’re looking for in advance.

Even better, the entire material on footage.stealthisfilm.com is available in the original resolution (1080i HDV) and under a Creative Commons Attribution Share alike license. As far as i can tell, this is the first time such a comprehensive set of raw materials for a film has been made available under a open content license:

We are making this footage available in high quality format (HDV 1080i), having cleared permission from the interviewees to release it under an attribution share-alike license from Creative Commons. Practically this means that you can use this material for your own projects, including commercial work, provided you credit us and make your work available in turn under a share-alike license.

It will be interesting to see if this really works. my hunch is that there will be very few filmmakers who have use for these interviews (although most of them are quite informative if you are interested in the politics of information) and are willing or able to release films that incorporate footage from these interviews under a CC-BY-SA license themselves. Personally i would assume that it would be more useful/realistic to ask others using parts of the interviews to make available (parts of) their footage as well (instead of the finished film). This would be in line with how free software licenses operate: if you use freely licensed source code (footage) you have to make available the resulting source-code, but you can do whatever you want with the binary code (finished film).

Rright now that does not seem to be possible as it would be very hard to define which part of their footage downstream users should make available (and making all raw material available is pretty much impossible given the enormous amounts of bandwidth/discspace/work this would require). Given this the attribution share alike license does not seem that bad of a choice and of course filmmakers who, in exchange for using some of the STFII footage, do not want to make available their films under a BY-SA license can probably just pay jamie/ the league of noble peers for separate permission…

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