Film: “Who Owns The Content”

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Short film “Who Owns The Content“. Directed by Subhashish Panigrahi & Produced by O Foundation (OFDN) This film is about the ownership of indigenous-language content? The narrator shares a real story of a Colombian young man who was orphaned at an early age. While he was away from home studying in a city, he found out about a a box of cassette tapes containing his late father’s interview which were recorded by a researcher in Europe. The tapes contained folk songs and stories from the father’s childhood. The young man thought it would be interesting to digitize the tapes and share them online, and he did that. Soon after his siblings saw the recordings online and they did not like the recordings going online. The question—who owns the content—is complicated. The narrator leaves the audience to wonder who it could be—the researcher who recorded them in the first place, the late father, the children, or the community themselves whose songs and stories are recorde



Eddie Avila, Director, Rising Voices (recorded during Global Voices Summit 2017, Colombo, Sri Lanka)


Mayan trumpet played by street artist, Recorded by Subhashish Panigrahi. CC-BY-SA 4.0 Sound effects from Harmonica.wav. kristinhamby CC0 1.0 crowd ext cheer encore spanish.flac. kyles. CC0 1.0 cassette open.mp3. gggtrew. CC0 1.0 Hip-hop_beat_1_95.wav.-zin-. CC-BY 3.0 drum, voices spanish.wav. macpator. CC0 1.0


Veethika Mishra & Subhashish Panigrahi from Museo de Culturas de Populares, Mexico City CC-BY-SA 4.0

Additional video:

Audio Tape Rolling – Green Screen Animation. Nissim Farin. Footage Island. CC-BY 3.0

Story & Direction by Subhashish Panigrahi. Produced by O Foundation. 2019. CC-BY-SA 4.0 Iternational
Update (October 11, 2019):

Who Owns The Content” made it to the “13th Native Spirit Indigenous Film Festival – North Americas” with a screening in London on October 12, 2019, hosted by Native Spirit Festival with collaboration with SOAS World Language Institute.

About the author(s)

Subhashish P. is one of the founding members of O Foundation and founder OpenSpeaks which won him the MJ Bear Fellowship and a grant from National Geographic to digitally-document threatened languages.

A documentary filmmaker, Open Culture Advocate, and community catalyst over a decade of experience leading community building, outreach and partnership across Asia Pacific at Internet Society, Mozilla, Centre for Internet and Society, and Wikimedia Foundation.

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