You don’t need permission to copy and share my film. But you can’t make money off it
The documentary TPB AFK:The Pirate Bay Away from Keyboard is a film about internet culture – and inevitably about sharing information online. The nature of the problem in the documentary is the paradigm shift of the internet, where the possibility to share information is out of sync with the right to share information. By using a Creative Commons license I am making it legal for the audience to copy and share the film.
Creative Commons licenses are created to help people share culture on the internet
Creative Commons does not substitute Copyright, it is based on Copyright. Instead of saying “All Rights Reserved”, it gives creators a tool to say “Some Rights Reserved”. This allows musicians, writers or filmmakers like myself to decide how people may use their work by choosing between a few licenses. I have chosen the license Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivs which means that people can copy and distribute the film for non commercial purposes, as long as they attribute it to our production company Nonami and don’t remix it.
When partnering with 6 TV-networks who had never used a CC-license it was important for them to secure that competing channels weren’t allowed to air the film. The Non-Commercial clause solves that. The clause is problematic however, since it also automatically classifies many small independent blogs that use google adwords as commercial. Therefore I have added a clause that let’s me waive the Non-Commercial term to a specific group of licensees on the condition that such a waiver does not infringe the broadcasters TV-rights.
I want people to remix TPB AFK
Since we bought and included around 4 min of archive news material from the Swedish Broadcaster SVT they wouldn’t allow us to use a license that allowed remix of the film. Since we love remixing and think it’s an important part of internet culture we will upload a remix-friendly version of the film without the archive material. This 4 min shorter version will be released under an Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike license. We will also upload the music separately from the video file and throw in our font to make it easier to remix. I’m looking forward to seeing my film in new contexts that will create new meanings and spread my work to new audiences.
To share the film will benefit me as a filmmaker
I make documentaries to change peoples’ perception of the world. But also to pay rent, and occasionally eat some Ben & Jerry’s. The more people that see my work, the greater the impact of the film. By sharing the film for free I’m also spreading my name, which I believe will help me finance my future films. Furthermore I believe the film will sell better if I make it available on the many platforms people want to consume it on – even if I give it away for free as well.
The internet should be used for audience participation
In a media landscape dominated by commercial media, an open license encourages a culture of audience participation and public conversation. I don’t want a traditional passive audience that just watches the film, I want an active audience that can take the film experience in serendipitous directions. A Creative Commons license will include the audience of TPB AFK:The Pirate Bay Away from Keyboard instead of excluding it.