Revolution remixed? The emergence of Open Content Film-making as a viable component within the mainstream film industry

Campagnolo, Gian Marco; Giannatou, Evi; Franklin, Michael; Stewart, James and Williams, Robin. 2019. Revolution remixed? The emergence of Open Content Film-making as a viable component within the mainstream film industry. Information, Communication & Society, 22(13), pp. 1871-1888. ISSN 1369-118X [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Our previous study of the Open Content Film-making (OCF) community [author paper (submitted) Revolution Postponed? Tracing the development and limitations of open content filmmaking submitted to Information Communication and Society] had shown how early expectations that Creative Commons (CC) licences would enable a viable alternative to mainstream film production, comparable to free/libre open source software (FLOSS), were challenged, in particular, by the difficulties experienced in establishing viable livelihoods with OCF. A narrative of the apparent failure of OCF may be premature, however. This paper reports on a subsequent study of how OCF practices became adopted as mundane elements in a film production and distribution system that itself has been, and continues to be, dramatically changed by digitisation. These developments broke down the dichotomy that had been drawn between existing commercial practices and visions of a new system of decentralised, non-proprietary, peer production. First, we show that OCF practices are conceptualised by our informants in relation to the mainstream independent film industry. Second, we account for how OCF tools and practices become adopted within the mainstream independent film production/distribution system. These observations highlight that limiting the scope of investigation (e.g., by only undertaking short term ‘snapshot’ studies, limited to particular settings or groups) may yield flawed interpretations based on narrow viewpoints and premature judgements. Instead, we flag the need to extend research – both longitudinally and across a range of settings/viewpoints – applying methodological templates from the Biography of Artefacts and Practices perspective (Hyysalo, 2010; Pollock & Williams, 2008).

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Digital media; cultural creation/film-making; copyright; open content/open source (FLOSS); Science and Technology Studies; Biography of Artefacts and Practices.

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Institute for Cultural and Creative Entrepreneurship (ICCE)


10 April 2018Accepted
14 May 2018Published Online

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Date Deposited:

18 May 2018 09:53

Last Modified:

10 Dec 2019 15:27

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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