A host of organizations announced their support today for the Open Video Conference in NYC, a high-profile event to explore the future of online video. The event, slated for June 19-20 at NYU Law School in Manhattan, brings together partners from all over the online video spectrum to ensure that the medium continues to develop characteristics of openness, interoperability, and decentralization.
The Open Video Conference brings together creators, entrepreneurs, technologists, policy-makers, hackers, academics, and others to share their insights on how open video enables creative expression and technical innovation. Speakers include professor Yochai Benkler, who has been called “the leading intellectual of the information age,” best-selling author Clay Shirky, and filmmaker Nina Paley, whose self-produced film Sita Sings the Blues highlights the creative potential of small, self-distributing producers. Mozilla, a major conference sponsor, will showcase its commitment to open video with new video features in its popular Firefox browser. A full schedule of presentations and workshops will be announced in early April.
Conference participants will also examine the challenges that keep online video from reaching its full potential. For one, online video playback is beset by a mess of proprietary formats, license fees, and plugins that segment viewership and complicate self-publishing efforts. Unlike blogs, email, and other staples of the open web-which rely on open standards-most online video content is delivered through proprietary codecs and player technologies. Some say such concentration is harmful to the long-term health of the online video medium.
“Internet video can flourish as a central front of Internet innovation, creativity, and political expression only if based upon the open infrastructures that have been the hallmark of the Internet,” said Laura DeNardis, Executive Director of the Yale Information Society Project. “Changing these Internet principles now will slowly strangulate innovation and restrict online expression.”
Yet “open video requires more than functional open standards,” said Dean Jansen of the Participatory Culture Foundation. “The Open Video Conference is also about the legal and social norms surrounding online video. It’s about giving creators the ability to specify the rights they reserve to their content. It’s about fair use of copyrighted works. It’s about a lot of things, which is why this conference is guaranteed to stimulate.”
In addition to talks from internet luminaries, screenings of video art, and demonstrations of the newest internet video technology, the event will serve as the inauguration of the Open Video Alliance, an umbrella coalition dedicated to furthering best practices in online video.
The conference is a production of Yale Internet Society Project, Participatory Culture Foundation (creators of the open source Miro internet TV player) and Kaltura (developers of a full open source video platform), in partnership with Mozilla, Creative Commons, and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.
“Kaltura is excited to help coordinate a conference that will bring together, for the first time, hundreds of people that care about the future of open video on the web,” said Shay David, co-founder and VP of Business and Community Development at Kaltura.
Full details and conference registration options are available online at https://openvideoconference.org.
Open Video Conference June 19-20, 2009 New York City 40 Washington Square South (NYU Law School)
On the web: https://openvideoconference.org