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Enclosing an open documentary on free culture?

With a few others, I participated in a series of interviews at the Free Culture Forum in Barcelona, which we were told would be part of a 'open' documentary.

According to one of the co-interviewers at the time, this material is in danger of being enclosed.

Here's the explanation by Pierre Marcel Racine

Contact him via isaac@isaacbcn.com

"Since we made that interview though, our project has taken a funny turn. At the end of November the producer surprisingly announced us that he had taken the decision to continue developing the project without us. Funnywise we are the authors of the project, the ones who brought it to him. During this whole year we worked for free, succeeding to secure development money for his production company to invest of that very project.

To make a long story short, his attitude, behaviour and posture are being absolutely unethical. He is claiming rights to the project using an option agreement we signed when it was time to apply for the grant money. We had signed that agreement in good faith, for the good of the project, and in order to get financing. But now he uses it as a legal device allowing him veto over the project. His pretexts are that our vision and approach are too radical. The fact is that for him it is no more than another business venture and he cares less about creativity and innovation than securing his investment. Apparently now that he has money to spend he no longer needs us. Since that happened we have asked him to renounce to the project but he refuses. We also asked him to renounce to the material we filmed at the Free Culture Forum but he also refuses. This conclict puts us in an ackward situation. We feel responsable towards you (and the other interviewees) as we cannot fully assume the final use of these footage, now in his posession.

After months of intents to negotiate a fair agreement based on common sense, we have not yet found any positive result. We know that we have very little chance to win the cause on a legal basis but we still wish to win it symbolically. Our goal is to pressure that production company to free the footage and interviews that we shot during the Free Culture Forum 2009 in Barcelona so it can be released under a CC license and be made available to the community. For us to be satisfied we want him to renounce to all exclusive rights to that footage.
We have included the names and e.mail address of the producer and line producer in the case you want to write a personal claim in defense of that cause. (If you do send to them please cc to isaac@isaacbcn.com)

We would be also thankful if you can also let your community know about this situation. So if anyone happens to hear from that company they shall adopt a reciprocal attitude and refuse to collaborate with them.

The name of the production company is:

POLAR STAR FILMS (from Barcelona) http://www.polarstarfilms.com/"

the above text was sent by:

Pedro Ballesteros
Isaac Pierre Racine

Views: 40

Comment by Natanael L on January 12, 2010 at 13:40
Seems bad. What rights did you keep? Or did you sign everything over to them?

Is it possible for them to finish it without you? Otherwise I think that's your biggest advantage - it would be a waste of resources if you refuse to help finishing it.

But if they have all the rights and can finish it themselves, the best thing you can do is to watch their every step and warn EVERYBODY who touches it about what they have done.

Tell EVERYBODY what they did, and make sure that nobody ever will pay them a cent for anything.
Comment by Michel Bauwens on January 13, 2010 at 11:04
It was an open license, it seems that both Pierre and the producer will be able to use it, but of course, the producer has the financial means and investment, and can use the free labour to his advantage, while the originators will have to find financing ...

Comment by Natanael L on January 13, 2010 at 15:41
Well, then it's not totally screwed up.
Why not ask the community (EVERYBODY you find) for help, and then name your version to the Community Edition? :)

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