Reframe Moving Images

An interesting new parternership has been formed, Reframe, brought to my attention by my colleague Barrie Howard, at DLF. Reframe’s web site will launch in September 2007.

The Reframe project is a new initiative of Renew Media in partnership with Amazon and with major support from the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which promises to offer exciting solutions for the dissemination of important media arts and the preservation and accessibility of our visual heritage.

The Reframe project will help connect audiences of independent media to a robust collection of media arts via an integrated, resourceful website. Reframe will aggregate content from individual filmmakers, broadcasters, distributors, public media resources, archives, libraries and other sources of independent and alternative media. Serving as a both an aggregator of content and a powerful marketing tool, Reframe enables content-holders to digitize, disseminate and make available their content to a vast potential audience via a powerful online resource.

Renew Media will create a specialized Reframe website, which will interact with the Amazon storefront, to assist institutions (universities, libraries or museums) and consumers of niche content in browsing, finding, purchasing or renting Reframe content. Reframe website visitors will find it easy to locate relevant content through a rich menu of search and retrieval tools, including conventional search, recommender systems, social networking tools and curated lists. Reframe will allow individual viewers to rate and discuss the films they have seen and to sort titles according to their popularity among users with similar interests.

Reframe also discusses future developments:

Because it spares rights and content holders the enormous costs associated with digitization, Reframe can also be expected to stimulate interest in clearing rights for important older works for digital delivery. Renew Media will work with content holders to identify important bodies of work in need of additional rights clearance or preservation work, and jointly seek funding to address these issues. Quite literally, this project aims to digitize and make accessible our visual heritage, including work stuck on the shelf due to rights and preservation issues.

Reframe will also include convenings of affinity groups – archives, distributors, public media – to collectively discuss particular concerns and needs in the transition to new technologies, as well as collaborative strategic efforts to address issues affecting these transitions, such as rights concerns, preservation, cataloguing and new possibilities such as alternate licensing concepts and open media movements. Future projects include the development of new licensing schema, clip library capacities, and delivery of content via new and specialized formats, such as in online courseware, as components of games, in Second Life environments and through mechanisms not yet invented.

The recent National Archives and Amazon agreement also utilizes CustomFlix. The if:book blog has a critique of that agreement.