You are the DJ, the curator, the editor, the librarian. Find great content from the web and share it from space.



Every Project Empathy kit can get filled with content before we send it to a participating school. But once it's there, it can receive free content from space. It is up to you to decide what gets sent. Music? Textbooks? A science video?

This project is for finding work online that has been created by others (you aren't the author). Project Empathy encourages you to create your own material to share too - click here to do that.


What you will learn

  1. An overview of copyright:
    • What does copyright mean?
    • Why is it not alright to download any content on the Internet? 
    • What content is it OK to share?
  2. How to collect files to submit to Project Empathy. 
  3. The proper way to label your content and attribute the creators.
  4. How to submit your completed collection to Project Empathy.
  5. Where to look for your collection once it is broadcast from space.

1. Intellectual Property

Intellectual property is an interesting and very important aspect of law. "Intellectual property" is just like physical property, like a car or house or clothing, in the sense that you own it, but it is different because it is not a physical things you can hold. While you can hold a CD, or drawings, or a book in your hands, you can't hold a song, idea, design, or a recipe in your hand. Think about that: when you buy a CD, you aren't buying the song itself, you are just buying a physical copy of it for you to use.

Every country has their own rules about intellectual property and as soon as you create something you are affected by intellectual property. Whenever you hear a song, watch a video, read a book, or even drink a soda, you are dealing with intellectual property. Rules about intellectual property are constantly being re-evaluated as digital content influences how we view creative work.

For a quick introduction to intellectual property, watch this short video from Creative Commons:

Creative Commons has a bunch of very helpful information on different types of licenses and answers to frequently asked questions. Here are the important bullet points you need to know:

Every creative work is copyrighted by defaultThis is designed to protect creators (musicians, writers, etc.) in case they don't know about copyright law. If you are unsure about the copyright status of a work, know that it is copyrighted unless the artist chooses to change that status.

An creator must give permission for their content to be shared on Project Empathy. This is where Creative Commons licenses come in handy because the artist has already given their permission. However, we can also accept content from a creator who has given explicit permission for Project Empathy sharing. More on this later.

You must give credit to a creator for their work. We will show you how to properly do this for sharing content with Project Empathy. This is called "attribution" and even when it is not required, it is the polite thing to do.

Ready to start picking content? Let's go.


2. Build Your Collection

A good collection has to let the user know what you have mixed together. For that you need to create an index. This is like the Index or Table of Contents in a book - it let's the reader know what the book contains and where. The index also accomplishes another very important part of sharing creative work: attribution. 

Here is what a index needs to include:

  1. Name of the work
  2. Name of the creator
  3. Source of the work (the URL where you downloaded it)
  4. License for the work

Here are some additional things that you should include to give your collection more flavor, but they are optional:

  1. A description of the collection - what is the theme of the collection? Why did you pick these particular works?
  2. A quick bio of you, the curator.
  3. Cover art for the collection (if you use imagery from others, be sure to give them credit in the index!).
  4. Your Twitter handle or some other way for Project Empathy users to contact you. 

Please name this file "Index" and save it in either Rich Text Format (the file will end in .rtf) or Plain text (the file will end in .txt) and include it in the folder along with the songs you pick. 

Time to start collecting! We have assembled a bunch of great sources for content where the creators have given permission to share it.


3. Submit Your Collection

Alright, now it's time to put your songs into a folder and share it with Project Empathy. Project Empathy uses Dropbox to accept content collections. Note: you do not need to have a Dropbox account to submit content to us. 

Before you submit your collection, go through a final checklist. Make sure you can answer "yes" to the following questions:

  1. Did you create your index? Is it in the folder with the content?
  2. Do you have permission for all the content you are submitting?
  3. Is the total size of your collection less than 30 MB?

Once you are ready, go ahead and upload your collection:


4. Confirmation

You have collected some awesome content and submitted your collection to Project Empathy. Awesome! Here is what you can expect to happen next.

  1. Check the Project Empathy folder to make sure it got uploaded. 
  2. Everything (with a few exceptions) that Project Empathy broadcasts shows up in Outernet's web demo. Outernet is the service Project Empathy uses to send content via satellite. The Outernet web demo shows you exactly what using a Project Empathy kit looks like. If you see your collection in the web demo, that means we have sent it from space!
  3. Look for your collection in our library. Once a piece of content has been broadcast, we feature it in our library of broadcast content.

That's it, you did it!