Wednesday 11 February 2009

Today's bright idea

If you want to skip a post that's essentially about copyright, why don't you skip over to this slideshow of works from the Rodchenko and Popova show at Tate Modern ...

This morning I was poking around in YouTube, looking for a copy of Len Lye's 'Rhythm' to play for a colleague. And it occurred to me - the web is full of Lye's film works, but there doesn't seem to be a legit place to watch them, or to download them from. While the Lye section of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery has info about buying copies of Lye's film work, you can't watch any of it online.

The role of the Len Lye Foundation is to "to provide for the conservation, reproduction and promotion of the works of Len Lye and to make facilities available for research." It also administers the copyright for much of the material in the Lye archive. So my bright idea for today is this: how about you (the Foundation) make Lye's film works available online using a BY-NC-ND Creative Commons licence? This would allow people to freely share the films (by, for example, dropping them into blog posts, or playing them in the classroom) as long as Lye is credited as the creator of the work, but doesn't allow for remixing of the films, or for commercial use of the films. Surely this fulfils your mission beautifully?

Even better, but perhaps a step too far for comfort, would be using the BY-NC-SA licence. This maintains the condition of attribution, but would allow people to build on top of Lye's work, whilst also placing them under the obligation of making the work produced in this way available under the same licence.

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