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More Fun with the Public Domain

A Trip to the MoonIn a mostly-copyrighted world, it’s really hard for media makers to find work that’s genuinely public domain (uncopyrighted), but a new project is making it easy.

The collaborative online video marketplace Pond5 (you can upload your own footage to it and sell it there) is launching a library of public domain content that includes 10,000 video clips, 65,000 photos, thousands of sound recordings, and hundreds of 3D models. Read more...

6 Reasons Why Indie Filmmakers Still Care If They’re on TV

POV DocsDoes anyone still need broadcast TV to reach an audience? I mean, hello, YouTube, and hey there, Amazon Prime.

That’s the question that hit independent documentary filmmakers across the country in late December, when it looked like the two public TV series that carry indie docs—Independent Lens and POV—might get moved to the programming equivalent of Siberia. A 1,200 signature petition changed WNET and PBS’s minds for the moment, and prompted a nation-wide listening tour. The first event on the tour, in San Francisco, packed a room with more than 200 people, speaking about how indie film on public TV makes a difference to soldiers, moms, vets, immigrants, young people and more.

But in a cord-cutting world, why are indie filmmakers so passionate about public TV? Read more...

Public TV Listens to Viewers, Indies

IndieCaucus.orgFollowing a dramatic show of support for the Indie Caucus Change.org petition, WNET has delayed its decision to pull documentary showcases Independent Lens and POV from its main channel. Starting today, January 5, Independent Lens will air at its previously scheduled time slot, 10 p.m. Mondays on THIRTEEN along with other stations across the country. Meanwhile, WNET and PBS agreed to embark on a "listening tour" over the next four months along with representatives from ITVS, Independent Lens, POV and member stations. Read more...

Breaking Down the Impact of "Blackfish"

BlackfishIn January 2013, the documentary "Blackfish" premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, telling the story “about Tilikum, a performing killer whale that killed several people while in captivity,” according to the official film synopsis. Nearly two years later, the film’s impact continues to ripple out.

According to a December 2014 Washington Post story, the stock price of Tilikum’s home park, SeaWorld, has declined by 60 percent since the film’s July 2013 theatrical premiere. A California state lawmaker proposed legislation in April 2014 that would ban California aquatic parks from featuring orcas in performances, although the proposed law is now on hold pending further study. And, in June 2014, inspired by "Blackfish," the U.S. House of Representatives expressed official interest in studying the impact of captivity on orcas and other marine animals. Read more...

Indie Caucus Petitioning WNET Over Schedule Changes

WNET POV ILWNET is making headlines over pulling documentary showcases Independent Lens and POV from its main channel. The Indie Caucus, an informal group of independent filmmakers organized in support of the public media mission, responded with a statement and Change.org petition. Read more...