Brian Newman on Online Distribution and Creative Licenses

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Listen to Brian Newman, Executive Director of Renew Media, on the Workbook Project, an online forum devoted to the issues facing the ever-changing media landscape. In this half hour podcast, Newman and director Lance Weiler discuss net neutrality, copyright, fair use and other key things to consider when deciding to put your work online.


ReNew "thought about how to fund media artists’ work up front. Stipulation of funding was that the work had to transfer to an alternate licensing (Creative Commons, etc.) scheme after 5 years. In asking that question, they found that filmmakers and other media artists’ are open to those ideas.

They decided to give money to artists saying, “we’ll give you money up front” to make a short piece under a CC license. They got some great works which they premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. They have a contest that allows people to remix the work.

ReNew has contracted with Intelligent Television to study the economics of distribution. With the goal of finding out how much filmmakers are actually making, because there is no information here. Brian says there are really only about 4 or 5 people every year who are making money off of independent/documentary films. (