I’ve often heard (and sometimes said) that there are three possible outcomes to the copyright wars:

  1. The Content Cartel manages to stuff the djinni back in the bottle and reinstate themselves as gatekeepers. The Internet dream gets twisted back into pay-per-view with email.
  2. A citizen revolt against congress’s constant erosion of fair use, free speech and free market to keep the Cartel’s lobbyists fat and happy. We regain the rights to our own culture, but only after much blood has been spilled on the field and in the courts.
  3. The Content Cartel keeps their pocket congress-critters and enact even more draconian copyright laws, only to discover that the more restricted a medium is the less it can compete with the new liberated content model.

OurMedia.org (just released in Alpha) is another step forward towards making the third scenario a reality. It’s a new web service that’s offering to host any sort of creative media (including audio & video). For free. Forever. You own your own copyright, you choose your own license.

This is similar to what The Internet Archive does, and in fact the IA is providing free storage and bandwidth for OurMedia’s media files. OurMedia is focusing much more on the general pro/am community though, and includes a free blog & Wiki (all based on Drupal), community-based rating and comment systems and plans for many more social-network support plans.

(Thanks to Seth Finkelstein at Infothought for the link.)