Creative Commons + Documentary Film

Here you can find the powerpoint presentation and referenced material from the presentation by Elliott Bledsoe at DocAgora, Australian International Documentary Conference. We have also included additional material that related to the presentation.

presentation files

below you will find the original presentation by Elliott Bledsoe and other related materials:

* powerpoint presentation – cc-aidc.ppt [download]

* New approaches to copyright for documentary filmmakers by Elliott Bledsoe [in drafting]

* Creative Commons (international site) section on video [external link]


CCau is the Australian arm of the international Creative Commons project. Creative Commons is a non-profit organisation that aims to promote flexible copyright options for creators. At the core of the Creative Commons project is a suite of standardised licences that are made freely available to authors and artists and which provide a range of protections and freedoms for their material. Creative Commons builds upon the “all rights reserved” of traditional copyright to create a voluntary “some rights reserved” system.

the licences

There are four CC licence protocols:

* Attribution – A compulsory element, which applies to all Creative Commons licences. This means that whenever a work is copied or redistributed under a Creative Commons licence, credit must always be given to the creator.

* Non-Commercial – this lets others copy, distribute, display, and perform the work — and derivative works based upon it — but for non-commercial purposes only.

* No Derivative Works – Lets others copy, distribute, display, and perform only verbatim copies of a work, not derivative works based upon it.

* Share Alike – Allows others to distribute derivative works only on the same licensing conditions that govern the original work.

Naturally the Share Alike and No Derivative Works options are incompatible.

By mixing and matching the above licensing elements, creators are able to choose a licence appropriate for what they want to do.

For more information on using the licnences, please see the licences explained section of Creative Commons (international site)

cc + documentaries

As was said in the presentation, there are four main ways CC is potentially useful in the documentary film sector:

1 as a viral distribution tool (digital + offline);

2 as a way of opening up access to your raw footage;

3 as a collaboration platform; and

4 as content to include in your film.

For a full analysis of these uses, please see the powerpoint presentation [download] and the article. For an overview of what the article will include, please see the entry on my blog.

presentation links

films referenced in the presentation are:

* Cactuses –

* Cafuné –

* Outfoxed –, and interview files

* A Swarm of Angles –

other CC films:

* Elephants Dream –

* Route 66: An American Bad Dream –,en/

* Sanctuary –

sources of CC film:

* Engage Media –

* Revver –

* FourDocs –

* Internet Archive –

* CandyJar –

sources of CC music:

* ccMixter –

* Opsound –

* Pump Audio –

* Magnatune –

* Jamendo –

* Freesound –

* SoundClick –

sources of CC photos + artwork:

* Flickr –

* Openphoto –

useful links + other resources

other websites:

* Open Source Cinema –


* Cafuné breaking the limits for Open Business models*, on

* *Heavy Discussions about New Media by Micki Krimmel about videoblogging and CC licensing

* Outfoxed Offered for Remix on Wired

* Giving It Away by Cory Doctorow, a good feature on about the economics of licensing for some reuse your content

Additionally, Professor Richard Jones offers a critical approach to Creative Commons and documentary filmmaking:

* Jones, R in Fitzgerald, B (editor) (2007) *Open Content Licensing: Cultivativing the Creative Commons, Sydney: University of Sydney Press, pp 99 – 108, also available on Sydney eScholarship