License to Remix! – Experiences from the Video Remix Workshop and the IPR workshop

By Kati Hyyppä, Sanna Marttila and Wietske van den Heuvel 

The License to remix! video remix workshop was organized in the context of the EUscreen project and the Remix Helsinki initiative last November in Helsinki, Finland. The workshop promoted creative, legal re-use of audiovisual media, and archival content in particular. Eleven young adults participated in the one weekend event, creating remixes with video editing programs and VJing equipment. Sanna Marttila and Kati Hyyppä, researchers from the Aalto University’s School of Art and Design, who organized the workshop in collaboration with their colleague Andrew Gryf Paterson, also interviewed the participants in order to obtain insight to emerging remix practices and challenges in legal remixing.
The workshop was overall a positive experience and showed that people are interested in using archival audiovisual materials creatively. However, the interviews with the participants revealed that it is not currently easy to find legal, relevant video and audio content for creative works. Licenses and terms of use are also experienced as confusing, and it is hard to determine which materials can be mixed together. The findings of the workshop thus highlight the need for an easy access to archival videos as well as clearly expressed terms of use.
The outcomes of the workshop were presented along with a framework of creative re-use of audiovisual content by Sanna Marttila and Kati Hyyppä during the Remix Cinema Workshop at the University of Oxford (UK) on March 24th. The presentation during the latter event, titled ‘Practices and Challenges in Re-using Archival Video Materials’, was received positively, and will be published later as an article.

The results of the first workshop were also presented during the internal IPR workshop at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (NL) on March 16. During this workshop, partners from the EUscreen consortium discussed about the IPR limitations they face when providing access to audiovisual content. These limitations still causes difficulties for partners and it affects their content selection policy. One of the goals in EUscreen is to develop examples of how a less restrictive legislation like CC-licenses can create better and more meaningful access to audiovisual content. This is especially beneficial for students, teachers, researchers, media professionals and other users that need to be able to re-use audiovisual content. In order to facilitate this, EUscreen will provide access to a limited collection of CC-licensed material during the next two years of the project. The workshop also showed that all partners see the potential in offering this kind of access and that they would be happy to open up their content more, if only they could.

BBC Research & Development launched Musical Moods sound experiment at National Science & Engineering Week 2011

Press release by the BBC

As part of National Science & Engineering Week and BBC Research & Development’s Multimedia Classification project, BBC R&D, the British Science Association and the University of Salford launched the Musical Moods research project.

To help produce a new way of classifying decades of programmes within the BBC digital archive, the BBC is conducting a pioneering online experiment asking the general public about the moods they associate with a range of past and present TV theme tunes.

In this experiment members of the public were asked to rate the moods of TV theme tunes from the BBC archive. Through these ratings, the BBC hopes to be able to identify the particular moods portrayed by the theme tunes.

Once the data is collected, they can then train computers to analyse different TV theme tunes throughout the archive and automatically determine what emotions and moods they convey.

It is hoped that the results from this online experiment will assist in the creation of an entirely novel method of classifying online content. This would allow users to browse and search the archives based on what is happening in the programme, rather than by using factual descriptions manually added.

An experiment to collect this type of data has never been conducted on this scale before; it is expected that the results will be of considerable interest to many parties so the data will be published in the public domain.

By listening to five randomly selected clips of TV theme tunes, listeners will be asked questions such as:

  • What is the mood of the theme tune?
  • What genre of TV programme is the theme tune from?
  • Are you familiar with the tune? or Do you like the theme tune?

Acoustic Engineer Trevor Cox from the University of Salford said: “As the pubic enjoy themselves on the website, they will be helping us answer some really interesting research questions such as how well theme tunes portray the mood of a TV or radio programme.

“There has been surprisingly little research into this. As well as helping us to understand theme music better, the public will give us vital data which will allow us to train computer programmes to identify the mood of theme music automatically.”

Sam Davies, Research Engineer from BBC R&D, said: “The BBC Archive records the BBC’s output over the past 80 years, in the form of TV and radio programmes, news reports, written documentation, sound effects, images, and programme listings. It’s a rich record of recent British history, society, and the relationship between the corporation and the public that pay for it.

“However, making the rich content available and accessible online is a difficult challenge. The Musical Moods experiment breaks new ground by examining how theme music might be used to make it easier to find material in the archive.”

Roland Jackson, Chief Executive of the British Science Association said: “National Science & Engineering Week is all about engaging as many people as possible with the sciences and engineering.

“Projects like Musical Moods offer a fun and accessible way for the public to become part of the science that makes the UK a world leader in the field.”

Music has long been used within television and film to heighten and develop the mood of the content, or to help set the intended programme’s tone.

Research suggests there are between 8 and 10 different types of mood that music can portray and the music before a film or TV programme can change our perceived mood of that film.

As little research has been conducted in theme tunes, a variety of theme tunes from across the breadth of the BBC Archive is selected, across both musical and TV genres for this experiment. Listeners will hear a range of tunes from across the BBC Archive and might find themselves taking a trip down memory lane!

Project Launch: “Erster Weltkrieg in Alltagsdokumenten” – The First World War in everyday documents

Press release by Europeana

Pictures, letters and memorabilia wanted
Berlin, 24 March 2011: “The First World War in everyday documents” is launched today with a call to the public in Germany to participate in building a digital European archive by contributing private memorabilia from the First World War. We are looking for photographs, letters, diaries, short films, audio recordings, objects and their stories. Following the launch of the project, four roadshows take place in Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Munich and Stuttgart. The project is a partnership between Europeana, the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek and Oxford University.

Call for participation
We ask everybody to bring World War 1 memorabilia to the roadshows. They will be digitised professionally and added to the online archive, along with corresponding descriptions. Independently of the roadshows, everyone can contribute their digitised images and information to the website. Until 2014, the year of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War One, we will collect memorabilia in digital form from many of the countries involved in the War. The project aims to save people’s family memories of this tragedy that convulsed Europe and make them accessible to the world.

The historian Prof Dr Gerhard Hirschfeld of Universität Stuttgart/Bibliothek für Zeitgeschichte, highlights the significance of the project: “It is vital that we hold onto private letters and documents to reconstruct the everyday life of wartime and the mindsets of those involved. We need to give a voice to those people who otherwise remain silent. Their experiences as well as their fears, hopes and fantasies are normally inaccessible to historians.” Memorabilia and stories are kept by families for a while, but after a century their significance is starting to fade. This First World War digital archive makes it possible to renew and share their significance.

“By inviting people to actively contribute to its content, Europeana opens up to users on a new level. To bring together family lore and the memories of those involved in World War One from different countries, who have experienced this time as allies or opponents, is a fascinating undertaking. World War One resonates in the collective memory, and this project will spark renewed popular interest and also scholarly research,“ said Dr Elisabeth Niggemann, Chair of the Europeana Foundation and Director General of the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, outlining Europeana’s aims for the project.

A new approach: crowdsourcing
One innovative aspect of the project is the application of crowdsourcing – collecting input from people at large and assembling a wide variety of family memorabilia which will be made accessible to the public and to researchers. In 2008, Oxford University produced a remarkable collection of 1914-18 papers, pictures, souvenirs and memorable stories, digitised by people across the UK and the Commonwealth in the Great War Archive 

The film
One of the stories collected by the British project is connected to Germany. A contribution to the Great War Archive records the friendship of RAF man Bernard Darley and German prisoner of war Otto Arndt. A short film about this unlikely friendship illustrates the project’s intention vividly. Luise Arndt, Otto’s great-grandchild, finds out more about her grandfather on the website and even gets in touch with Bernard’s family.

Public digitisation roadshows

  • Deutsche Nationalbibliothek,  Frankfurt am Main 31 March 2011, 10-20 hours
  • Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – PK 2 April 2011, 10-17 hours
  • Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, München 6 April 2011, 10-20 hours
  • Württembergische Landesbibliothek /Bibliothek für Zeitgeschichte, Stuttgart 12 April 2011, 10-20 hours

EUscreen welcomes a new associate partner

The EUscreen consortium is being expanded with the Nasjonalbiblioteket from Norway. With Norway included, 20 European countries are contributing to the EUscreen project. The Nasjonalbiblioteket has a collection of manuscripts, special collections of books, music, radio and TV programmes, film , theatre, maps, posters, pictures, photographs and newspapers that reflect the Norwegian culture. For EUscreen, they will provide content related to Norwegian television.

The EUscreen project is always interested in a possible cooperation with audiovisual archives and other cultural institutions. If your institution is interested, please contact EUscreen.

EUscreen has organised a workshop on IPR-issues

By Wietske van den Heuvel

Date: March 16
Place: Hilversum, the Netherlands

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) legislations are different in every European country. One of the major challenges for content providers in EUscreen is to make sure that they provide content which applies to all these different regulations. A lot of work has already been done in the consortium and partners have organised their own systems of clearing the rights. Still, there is a need for more elaboration on this subject and that is why EUscreen has organised a one day workshop for its members at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision in Hilversum on March 16. The workshop will contain discussions about the impact of IPR on a project like EUscreen and identifies potential challenges to support future access routes to audiovisual content. There will also be presentations about use cases elsewhere on education and open licences, which provide inspiration for the development of EUscreen.

Conference: Video Vortex #6

Date: 10-12 March 2011
Location: Amsterdam

The Video Vortex events come back to Amsterdam. Organized by the Institute of Network Cultures, and in a top cultural venue, Video Vortex 6 offers artist presentations (performances, screenings and talks),  hands-on workshops, the launch of the upcoming  Video Vortex Reader II, and a 2-day symposium:

Conference Themes

Friday, March 11
Online Video Aesthetics
Platforms, Standards and the Trouble with Translation Civil Rights
Online Video Art
Book launch: Web Aesthetics, by Vito Campanelli

Saturday, March 12
It’s Not a Dead Collection, it’s a Dynamic Database
The World of Online Video: Country Reports
In Conversation with artist Natalie Bookchin
Online Video as a Political Tool
Book launch: Video Vortex Reader 2

About Video Vortex

The Video Vortex project aims to contextualize these developments by tracing continuities and fault lines across recent decades in artistic, activist and mainstream activity. Contrary to the way online video is frequently understood and presented as something entirely new, it has long threads woven into the history of visual art, cinema and documentary production. The rise of the database as the dominant form of storing and accessing cultural artefacts also has a rich tradition that needs exploring. As a platform for artists, film and video professionals, and researchers, Video Vortex responds to this emerging field, and offers a crucial space for the exchange of knowledge and experiences.

Since 2007, Video Vortex events, conferences, workshops, and exhibitions have taken place throughout (and outside of) Europe, and includes the publication of the first Video Vortex Reader (2008), and the second one being published March 2011. With this program, the Institute of Network Cultures in Amsterdam, and its project partners, have been initiating and facilitating a deep study of online video in its diverse forms and uses, and further, its impact both on, and within, the information society.

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