Archive:2007 Workshops/Free Video and Open Media

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Schedule: Discussion 1 | Discussion 2 | Infinite Smallness | Lunch National FC discussion | Discussion 3 | Chapter & project reports
Workshop Session 1: Open Access | Free Software | Free Music & Remix Culture | Free Video & Open Media
Workshop Session 2: Digital Disobedience | Communication and Collaboration | A Vision for | Models for Creators
2007 workshop reports +/-

Leaders: Dean Jansen and Ben Weeks

Attendance: Ben, Dean, Elizabeth, Rebecca, Jacob, Zack, Annie, Brett, Karen, Sharon, Mika


Pressure online video outlets (esp. YouTube) to be more free

  • Offer source video for download, not just flash
    • is great in this regard, but their interface is TERRIBLE.
  • Post license information
    • Moving toward this with CC music videos?
  • Raise awareness among prolific YouTubers about CC/alternative licensing
    • They already have an awareness of media being less something to own than something to share
  • In the meantime...
    • We can't tell indie video producers to handicap themselves further by only using more obscure video sites. Use YouTube--just put your license info and whatever in the description.

The issue of channels

  • The movement back towards channels is somewhat troubling--do we want the Internet to become just another TV?
    • Things like Joost are fully proprietary
    • YouTube favorites, etc. are public, but limited to one site
    • Blogrolls, DTV etc. are better
  • However... There is no way one person can look through the 13,000 videos a day posted on YouTube (let alone anywhere else!). People already use filters formally (RSS feeds, favorites lists) and informally (links from friends) and they always will.
  • Also, there is a demand for a less fragmented experience, for a "flow" in your internet video consumption.
  • The important thing, then, that separates "Internet TV" from TV is the number of gatekeepers. Everyone should be able to make a "channel," not just five megacorps. The megacorps will almost certainly still be big (c.f. the New York Times as the #1 "blog") but the long tail should be preserved.
  • What if we created a video aggregator/"channel" to promote CC-licensed video works, along the lines of Antenna Alliance?


  • Virtually all the video sites out there right now use ads. Is this the right model?
    • Look at Tivo--people hate ads and will try to avoid them.
    • It's not too hard to take an ad-encumbered video, remove the ad, and repost it somewhere else...
  • Other models:
    • Video micropayments
    • Option of donation or ad

Artists as techies

  • Artists want to create art, not to spend their time uploading videos to Revver
    • At the very least, tech stuff and web marketing are not typically their area of expertise
  • Should their be an artist web promotion co-op? Is there any way to have a middleman relationship that isn't exploitative?
  • Or is tech literacy simply a component skill of being in new media?
    • Article on Jonathan Coulton and the music business model in NYT, "Sex, Drugs, and Updating Your Blog" NYT article (requires registration) Excerpt
    • "Fans do not want merely to buy (Coulton's) music. They want to be his friend."
  • We should help inform artists about the web/open source tools available to them and teach them how to use them effectively.

Open source development

  • The gap between industry standard video equipment (Final Cut Pro, etc.) and open source alternatives (Kino, Ubuntu Studio) is way too wide. This needs more work.
  • What if video sites included an open source video editor--either a web application or something downloadable? That would make sense...really make people consumer/creators.
  • Theora/open video standards need development and adoption
    • Firefox 3 will support?
    • Feature request: Have a "license" code along with the timecode, so you could differentiate between parts of a video that are fully CC'ed and parts that are samples of others, etc.

Line-by-line notes

What are each of us interested in talking about?

  • Sharon -- legal implications
  • Karen --distribution models
  • Annie -- documentary filmmakers, why aren't we talking about free video among the community?
  • Zack -- So much free and open media, you can almost drown in it; Models for video makers, sustainability; having people participate
  • Jacob -- avenues for distribution
  • Rebecca -- curatorial aspect; now that you have all of this content, how can people find things?; Democracy player -- channels/RSS feeds; funding and bringing people in to the free culture world; Are people using keynote and other FOSS editors?
  • Mika -- Making video classes; what are the problems about free video and how are people solving that?
  • Elizabeth -- PD film archives; reaching out to filmmakers/video makers to use it; raise awareness; getting filmmakers to use free licenses
  • Dean -- similar to Zack; free beer vs. free speech on video; ad-based models on the airwaves, but free of charge; resources for people who are transitioning to new media are supporting themselves and using new models
  • Ben -- reaching out to community of filmmakers; Aggregate information that is relevant;


  • Media is a cultural artifact that is created by "creators"; filmmakers, artists, people that produce media; transmitting culture for others to see and access; distribution is process after you've created something to "give it out"

What is/isn't working for people?

    • many people in workshop have put their video on the net
    • Karen--intro to video class; had to create short videos; tried to put them on YT, user reg wasn't working; put them on google video; edited with Final Cut Pro
    • FOSS video editing?; lack of good FOSS video editing; Kino; Ben--> New Ubuntu Studio
    • Agree as a group that we don't have sufficient free software video editing tools
    • Issues with Flash player; YT; Theora;
    • Dean--video tag in ffx 3 and new opera; video tag that supports ogg theora;
    • Issues of licensing w/ YT, Gvideo, source; Issues w/; Simplicity of YT; YT limits of 100mb/10min;
    • Dean--Flash may increase accessibility to some?
    • Rebecca--people want to embed video
    • Zack--more work to deal with different Codecs, etc.; need easier compromise
    • Sharon--all artists are facing problem of medium; help artists if they got together more and had a cooperative project where someone else could deal with distribution/platform issues
    • Rebecca--even once it's up, it's a lot more difficult to promote video than to upload it; wants to see more "channels"
    • Elizabeth--issues with aggregation; finding the "needle in the haystack"; how do you sort through thousands of videos?
    • Dean--answer may be partially in video blogs; they're not as good with blogrolls; they can serve as recommendation tools; blogroll is built on a more open architecture; with YT favs it's only limited to the site itself
    • Ben--some infrastructure may be there; YouTube users have favorites
    • Rebecca--users can also make their own channels; you want there to be far fewer channels than the number of users
    • Annie--do we want to recreate the model of TV with a small number of channels? new tool that was generally ranking users (does anyone know the name?)
    • Zack--paradigm issue; are we going to return to the system of channels? historical moment of the internet as a diaspora; "you have reached the end of the internet.."; that's an impossible thing; sprawling; is FC better off that model?; is it also more free?; as soon as we get into watching channels then we get into a "state radio system"; internet doesn't help us
    • Elizabeth--mentioning Joost; ARR and proprietary; trying to recreate TV for the internet; do we want TV for the internet or is it an inherently different medium?
    • Dean--there will be channels on the internet that will become huge; more potential for a greater voice than traditional broadcast mediums
    • Karen--you can't go without filters; right now they're not institutionalized; she looks at videos that her friends sent to her; friends are her filter; when people first brought up channels she thought of Democracy Player; doesn't see channel as a threat so long as anyone can make one b/c we need filters
    • Rebecca--channels can also be a solution as opposed to a threat; can limit the hassle of dealing with multiple sites and codecs, etc.; maybe you can upload your video to a channel that would then distribute it; channels as an avenue for collaboration between artists
    • Sharon--channels could be like a middleperson/agent; creators only have so much time even if the technology there and they'd rather spend it creating their work
    • Annie--money is always an issue and can be a limiting factor; if people had more funding they may have more time to deal with these issues
    • Karen--interesting NYT article; you make music and you update your blog; this isn't necessarily bad
    • Rebecca--channel frederator, curates 30 minute animation programs and distributes them online
    • Zack--do we need a hierarchical model for picking favorites?
    • Karen--as long as everyone has the ability to make a cut, things are fine; create a CC channel to aggregate CC videos

Models for Sustainability

    • Ad/revenue share --; revver;
      • Mika -- Blip was hard to navigate


    • Compromise is putting the license in the description