Asking yourself these four questions should help you when strategically planning digital storytelling projects:
1. how will you address consents?
Privacy laws in the UK are more relaxed than in other countries like France. Setting laws to one side, ask yourself: if that was me/my child in that story, would I be happy? What will be the wording of your formal release form or contract which makes the storyteller’s consent explicit?
2. who will own the copyright of the finished stories and will exhibition licences be explicitly attached and will they be exclusive or non-exclusive licences? You can have the intellectual property resting with the storyteller, with a licence granted to you (the facilitator) so you can exhibit the work; or you can ask to keep the IP and give a non-exclusive licence back to the storyteller so they can share their story on various platforms or outlets.
Seems such a simple question; explore Creative Commons.
3. which media form are you asking people to make?
Here’s one of the ways we modelled the BBC Capture Wales form of the digital story, mainly aimed at trainers: http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/audiovideo/sites/about/pages/howto.shtml
This is the Center for Digital Storytelling’s Cookbook: http://www.storycenter.org/cookbook.html
Whichever form you encourage participants to make, do try to publish and share the documentation under open licence. The beauty of defining a form is that others will be free to stray away from it, but they have a framework from which to begin.
4. is sustainability important to you? Do you want the people you help make a digital story to go on to teach others to do the same? Planning digital storytelling projects to think about training the trainers sessions from an early stage will be useful.
Disclaimer: seek legal advice if in doubt about any of the above because I’m not a lawyer
Credit: distilled from working as a member of the Capture Wales team.
Written and first published by Gareth Morlais on 25 August 2010.