Machinima, copyright and schools

I had an interesting phone conversation the other day.

There’s an organisation that promotes art to schools here in Norway, Kunst i Skolen. It’s completely new to me, but it’s existed since 1948 (way to go Norway!). So I’m still kinda dazed about this – but from what I can gather, they have these travelling exhibitions for schools (and I think members – although, I’m not sure if the schools need to be members). They’ve got loads of great stuff to offer, including CD-roms of collections and art for teaching purposes.

So why am I getting into this?

I was asked on Tuesday if I could put together a DVD of some Machinima films and I also offered to write a little summary of what machinima is. Now – ofcourse I’m having difficulty. Since they’re an official organisation they need all the copyright details to be in order – and I’m struggling. The game companies certainly have come around the last couple of years – but the music industry – hell no. So when trying to present an art that’s all about reproduction of media – fan art – remediation – or whatever we’re calling it these day – what to do?

It’s frustrating, and in my opinion needless, ridiculous and depriving so many of some great art. But I take comfort that they can be found online – which is just another rant waiting to burst out of me soon – but another time.

Anyhoo – I’m in desperate need of machinima with copyright issues in order. I have to play catch-up on my machinima copyright laws, but if memory serves me right Blizzard and Microsoft are fair – leaving it up to the artist as long as they don’t make any money off it. I’m unsure about The Sims, though, but I’m thinking they’ll be alright. What about Take 2?

Please let me know if you have any good ideas and machinima to offer.

I have a time limit on this that’s insane – I basically need to send this in the post on Monday. But how could I refuse? Machinima in schools? Are you kidding me?! I love it!

4 thoughts on “Machinima, copyright and schools

  1. Anything done in Second Life will be fine, as the creators take rights in their creations in the world (provided, of course, that the machinimists asked permission of the areas they filmed in…)I spoke to Alice of wonderlandblog, and she says this:”She’s on the nose with this: Blizz and MSoft don’t mind as long as it’s not for commercial gain (and education usually isn’t). EA is fine with Sims (AFAIK, IANAL) in the same vein, and anything made with The Movies (cf French protest kid). Everyone else, who the hell knows! Still she should be able to find enough with that lot; WoW makes up the majority of machinima as is, with Half Life probably in second place. Valve are very progressive actually, I think HL movies might have some decent copyright allowances.In the US, fair use has to be defended, it’s not an absolute right (unfortunately) so while putting together these things for educational purposes would stand up in court, it’s not a guaranteed win (altho, jeez, 99.99% – assuming you can *pay* for the court case, which is where it usually falls by the wayside).”

  2. Anything made with Moviestorm to date should be fine ( In particular, my piece, “When We Two Parted” (based on the poem of the same name) recently hit the front page of YouTube – see

  3. Thank you so much – to both of you!Thanks Kim for the interest and insight. It means a lot.Hugh!Thanks I needed that!Right…more to come soon – I promise!

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