Sunday, 23 December 2007

Machinima Commons

There's been a thread of discussion recently on the SL Machinima list about whether it is necessary to ask permission before filming on someone else's SL land. There doesn't seem to be a clear answer on this... which tends to make me think that it is probably best to ask when in doubt.

Some of that doubt could be removed by agreeing a mechanism for Second Life land-owners to explicitly state whether it is OK for machinima-making to take place within a given region and, if so, what conditions apply (non-profit only, attribution must be given, etc.). Hey, it sounds a bit like Creative Commons doesn't it??

I wonder whether what we need is a set of simple Machinima Commons 'licences' (MC) which could be added to the in-world description of a region. I suspect that we only need two:

MC BY - This region may be used in machinima provided attribution is given.

MC BY-NC - This region may be used in machinima provided attribution is given and the resulting work is used only for non-commercial purposes.

My attempt at an MC icon is shown above. This is available in various sizes from Flickr.

MC licences (if they existed) would indicate an allowable use of a region of land. They are not intended to be used as the licence under which the resulting machinima is made available - Creative Commons or some other content licence would be used for that.

There is now a machinima-friendly page in the SL Wiki which can be used to indicate that you allow filming on your sim. My suspicion is that this approach will not work very well - it will only ever have partial coverage and, like many registries, will probably go out of date fairly quickly. In general, it is better to keep this kind of information as close to the content as possible.

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