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Critical Commons Plumi Sprint

This post was previously published in the official Plumi blog

We are following up our sprint in Athens on the new skin with another sprint, this time for Critical Commons, a video site built using Plumi that is a collaborative online teaching tool for cinema studies, and a project designed to push the boundaries of fair use in an educational context.

On Critical Commons an educator can upload clips, attach commentaries and build lectures based on these clips. Other users can add commentaries to existing clips throughout the library. Clips can be embedded on other websites, and the site also forms a media repository for the Scalar open-source media-rich scholarly publishing platform.

Critical Commons is a non-profit advocacy coalition that supports the use of media for scholarship, research and teaching, providing resources, information and tools for scholars, students, educators and creators. Critical Commons also functions as a showcase for innovative forms of electronic scholarship and creative production that are transformative, culturally enriching and both legally and ethically defensible. At the heart of Critical Commons is an online tool for viewing, tagging, sharing, annotating and curating media within the guidelines established by a given community. (

Critical Commons was initiated by the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts Institute for Multimedia Literacy, and was officially launched in 2009 at the Digital Media and Learning and Open Video Alliance conferences. It was originally built by EngageMedia and Infinite Recursion on an earlier version of the Plumi free software video platform. Currently I’m working here in Athens with Unweb, in collaboration with Steve Anderson and Erik Loyer from Critical Commons, to produce a new version of the website based on the latest version of Plumi. Code we develop will be available on the Plumi GitHub repository.