Licence + protection

As a follow-up to Jorge’s post. I think he is right in this: licence and enforcement are two separate things.

Suppose a common scenario for documentaries. People accept that you film them because you have a certain relationship with them: they trust you. They trust that you will respect the meaning of their words and you will give a context sothat this meaning keeps its integrity.

As a documentary-maker, you feel therefore a certain responsibility. But they expect that you documentary-maker, on the other hand, reach an audience. To reach an audience means always to play the game of polysemy. As soon as you start talking, publishing, broadcasting, etc, the meaning you attached to your words/images/sounds will be interpreted and responded to. And you can’t control it completely.

Therefore as a documentary-maker, you are in a tension between the will to respect the trust people have in the fact that you will create a context which respects the meaning of their words(or their intentions) and the fact that the audience will always have room for interpretation and therefore distortion, etc.

This tension is augmented on the internet since the movies/texts/images/sounds… are easy to copy and to transform, republish, etc.

Your intention is to preserve the context around your movies. In my opinion, no license gives you the option to legally define such a thing. The best then is to go for full copyright, but nothing forbids you to add a notice on your site: “if you want to disseminate the movies, please contact me and we will find some arrangement. My motivation is not money but respect for people voices, etc ”

Although this solves legally the issue, you can’t forbid the visitors to download the movies and do whatever they want without your permission. They, then take the risk to be sued by you. The only way to forbid this would be to go for DRM(digital rights management) but then you will limit the access to your productions to certain systems and softwares and probably have to pay licences to produce DRM-protected movies.

There is no easy answer to this and there is no way to eliminate the tension between control and dissemination. Although stating clearly your intentions may help to solve preventively many problems.

Posted on: Monday, March 20, 2006 by: in category: AIAN, Copyrights and licenses