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Creative Commons = Common Sense

When I produce a documentary it is because I feel that the story is important. I think that’s the primary motivation for most documentarians. Budgets are often tight and we have to get creative when it comes to finding cost effective and ethical ways to stretch the limited dollars we have access to yet still incorporate compelling photographs, video and music. That’s where Creative Commons comes in.

A grant funded project I worked on for a Wisconsin Technical College required that all materials created with project funds were required to be licensed through Creative Commons as a CC BY. What does that mean? Well, it means that those materials and their individual elements could be used as is or in a reworked form – for free - as long as the original creator receives credit. Pretty cool, huh?

But it’s not just educational products that use Creative Commons. Many photographers, musicians and film makers also license their work through Creative Commons as a way to further spread the word about their work or topic and reach a larger audience.

I am currently working on a documentary about a tuba player whose career spans more than 6 decades, and I intend to search for CC BY licensed materials to incorporate in my project.

Click here for a video at this link will give you more info about how and why film makers and other artists are using Creative Commons licenses. Click here to search for Creative Commons licensed materials. While you’re there, take some time and look around. There’s all kinds of great info and resources to explore.

Susan Reetz, of Clear Focus Media, LLC, is a writer/director/producer for film, video, web and print. Her scriptwriting and producing work has earned numerous local, national, and international awards. She also writes feature articles, brochure copy, news releases, web copy, and other promotional materials. She can be reached at 715-212-6239 or Susan@ClearFocus.Media.


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