omdb (open media database) is a free database for film media. There is no set editorial staff, but rather a large number of movie addicts and lovers who volunteer their time to provide material and develop the site. Anybody can add or change existing information on omdb once they have done the quick and simple task of signing up for their user login name. Films will thus be represented with equal opportunities hence Blockbusters, Soap Operas, and a college thesis film will each have their own place on omdb.
omdb is a non-commercial project. All the contents of the site are published under the Creative Commons License. The databank is therefore represents a contribution to free knowledge on the Internet. The information does not belong to a company or person but rather to the general public (more about the CC-License). omdb consciously stays away from commercial related information with an objective to provide a self-contained film database.
Most online databases gladly accept contributions by their users and demand the right to use them commercially and often to sell them to third parties. The users themselves however get only permission to use (even their own!) contributions for personal, non-commercial purposes. This is explicitly different at omdb.
The basic principle for this project is to create a working ‘data model’ with the basic idea of storing and networking film data (for example a films production year, producers, actors, genres, or specific plot keywords etc.). In addition to these preexisting guidelines, the site in it’s entirety will accumulate to be a comprehensive film encyclopedia with information about specific films, people, originations, stylistic devices, genres, film jobs, and so on.
The relational data as well as the texts are entered by omdb database users. Since the ability to correct information by users is possible the information provided will become increasingly reliable. By contrast a data model with an editorial department does not have the ongoing support of the community as they are in the position of finalizing, or freezing specific information and thus making future development difficult. omdb’s concept permits the relational data and texts stay forever free to be edited and to evolve with time. This ensures a higher level of quality as users are encouraged to evaluate and revise other users’ text in the omdb community that may be incomplete or contain false or outdated information.
In the long run omdb should not only be a medium for film but also for books, CD’s, video games, etc. There is the possibility this project may actually be required to generate income sometime in the future to cover its running costs. The reason for this is that, like other free encyclopedias, merely relying on donations as a financial foundation cannot entirely support the work required to maintain the database. However the fundamental idea of omdb’s free content and free license form will stay unchanged.