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Lights, camera, web standards! Netflix releases algorithmic film “Meridian” under Creative Commons

Open Culture
Photo by Bryan Gosline CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo by Bryan Gosline CC BY-SA 2.0

While it will probably not be the next Netflix hit original, the twelve minutes of Creative Commons licensed content that make up “Meridian” will have a major impact on the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) by sharing resources to make the open source standard Interoperable Master Format (IMF) more usable across the web. The content is experimental and strange, but when developers get their hands on it, these twelve minutes may change the future of content distribution forever.

As Variety writes, “Netflix is using a Creative Commons license for the release of “Meridian,” which is new for an industry that isn’t used to sharing a lot of resources. ‘They are in the business of exploiting content, not of giving it away,’ [Chris Fetner of Netflix] said.”

What this means is that in this global movie business, the SMPTE will find it easier to release subtitles and locally specific content for a global audience, releasing content faster and more accurately than ever before. Developers can access the Meridian codex or work with Netflix’s hundreds of open source projects to create a better IMF standard with the company.

This usage of the license is exactly the kind of usage we hope for: a more agile workflow through open licensing and a spirit of cooperation that creates better technical standards. By using the CC license for this project, Netflix is saying lights, camera, action to the dream of a more innovative world.

Posted 16 September 2016