Our Project on IPR

In recent years the discourse around Intellectual Property Rights has both intensified and simultaneously become less visible in the Public Domain. The intensification has to do with the emergence of new digital environments and low cost methods of replication and proliferation that have transformed contemporary media experiences. However, the other simultaneous development has been that much of this discourse has tended to remain, and become, invisible to the public in general, paradoxically for the same reason i.e. rapid development of technology that is transforming the mediascape and how meaning is produced.

Magic Lantern Foundation as a knowledge center for arts and cultural production resides at both ends of this contradictory spectrum. As filmmakers, we have been involved in creating content. However, given the limited powers of circulation and hence viewership that documentary films have always been afflicted with, how could we as a distribution network rethink the nature of information circulation, ownership and authorship? This research project through its exploratory nature, has clearly made some of the complexities easier for us to decipher. One of the few initiatives that has emerged from the study is that we no longer maintain an exclusive copyright on the films that we distribute. But, even as we compile this massive wealth of resources, the field of Intellectual Property Rights continues to change before our eyes owing much to the altering notion of the Internet. So much like our film collection, the way we look upon distribution itself will continue to be under construction.