How does a wiki work for videos?

Wikis for text documents

The concept of a Wiki was born in 1994 and the first wiki was put online in 1995, over ten years ago. By now, most people online know of the most successful wiki to date: Wikipedia. So, the concept of a wiki for text documents is well known, but how would a wiki work for a video documentary?

A question of license

One of the most important feature of a wiki is its usually Open license which give users the right to edit each other's content. For example wikipedia uses the GNU Free Documentation License. Wikipedia could never have had the same success with a traditional copyright protecting the "Intellectual Property" of the original author.

Creative Commons License
For this reason, Overshoot TV productions are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

This license is more or less the multi-media equivalent of the GNU FDL license used for documentation and text documents (e.g. Wikipedia), and of the GNU General Public License (GPL) used for scores of Open Source, Free software.

The video's building blocks

The Open licenses mentioned above ensure the right of any user to have access to the building blocks of the item of the license.

For texts documents, it's simple: users can have access to the original text with its original markup so that they can modify it. Basically, to take a wikipedia entry as an example, one only needs to click on the 'edit' tab to see the source text for a given entry in the encycopedia.

For a software, the GPL ensures the right of the user to have access to the source code of the software. Some computer software are written in languages that need to be compiled, and the output of the compilation gives a binary, executable file that is machine-friendly but unreadable by a human. Providing the source code is necessary so that the user can modify it and recompile a modified version thereof.

Similarly, a video wiki can work if the video producers provide all the source documents allowing other people to re-edit the film in a modified, improved way.

Those video building blocks include but are not limited to:

  • The script, i.e. the movie's screenplay.
  • Images and graphs
  • Raw, uncut, unedited video clips
  • Special software-specific files (e.g. the .xcf files for Gimp, the .kdenlive for a video editing project...)
  • The original scores for the soundtrack

Thus any person can take the same building blocks, add and remove a few, rearrange the sequence, adjust the script and re-edit the whole screenplay using her or his favorite movie editing software.