Economies of the Commons 2: Paying the Costs of Making Things Free
International conference, seminar and public evening programs
Amsterdam and Hilversum
November 11 – 13, 2010
Economies of the Commons 2 is a critical examination of the economics of on-line public domain and open access resources of information, knowledge, and media (the ‘digital commons’). The past 10 years have seen the rise of a variety of such open content resources attracting millions of users, sometimes on a daily basis. The impact of projects such as Wikipedia, Images of the Future, and Europeana testify to the vibrancy of the new digital public domain. No longer left to the exclusive domains of digital ‘insiders’, open content resources are rapidly becoming widely used and highly popular.
While protagonists of open content praise its low-cost accessibility and collaborative structures, critics claim it undermines the established “gate keeping” functions of authors, the academy, and professional institutions while lacking a reliable business model of its own. Economies of the Commons 2 provides a timely and crucial analysis of sustainable economic models that can promote and safeguard the online public domain. We want to find out what the new hybrid solutions are for archiving, access and reuse of on-line content that can both create viable markets and serve the public interest in a competitive global 21st century information economy.
Economies of the Commons 2 consists of an international seminar on Open Video hosted by the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision on November 11 in Hilversum, a two day international conference and two public evening programs on November 12 and 13 at De Balie, centre for culture and politics in Amsterdam. The event builds upon the successful Economies of the Commons conference organised in April 2008.
Confirmed speakers include:
Charlotte Hess (Syracuse University – Keynote), Ben Moskowitz (Open Video Alliance), Simona Levi (Free Culture Forum), Bas Savenije (KB National library of the Netherlands), Yann Moulier Boutang (Multitudes), Peter B. Kaufman (Intelligent Television), Harry Verwayen (Europeana), James Boyle (Duke University), Jeff Ubois (DTN), Sandra Fauconnier (NIMK), Dymitri Kleiner (Telekommunisten), Nathaniel Tkacz (University of Melbourne), a.o.
The first Open Video Conference was held at NYU Law School on June 19-20. Eminent speakers and practitioners shared their thoughts on the emerging open video movement. The impressive line-up included: Matt Mason (author of The Pirate’s Dilemma), Yochai Benkler and Jonathan Zittrain (both Harvard Law School), Xeni Jardin (Boing Boing), Peter Kaufman (Intelligent Television), Mike Hudack (blip.tv) and Christopher Blizzard (Mozilla Corporation). The conference was put on by Kaltura, Yale Internet Society Project, Participatory Culture Foundation, iCommons and the Open Video Alliance, in partnership with Mozilla, Red Hat, Creative Commons, Level 3, Akamai and many more. Open Images was also actively involved, as Sound and Vision and Kennisland hosted a session “Audiovisual Archives” that investigated how memory institutions could provide access their holdings in a way that enables creative reuse.
Today we’ll give an exclusive preview of the Open Images platform at the exiting Open Video Conference in New York City. This preview is part of the Birds of a Feather session on Audiovisual Archives we are co-hosting. Read more about this session here.
Other interesting cases presented during the session are:
You can read our introduction here.
The Open Video Alliance is now accepting proposals for panels, workshop sessions, demo sessions, and other programming for the inaugural Open Video Conference in New York. Join us and over 400 participants during our groundbreaking two-day conference and make your imprint on the online video space.
Visit http://openvideoalliance.org/proposals/ to make a submission.
Open Video Conference
June 19-20, 2009
New York City
40 Washington Square South (NYU Law School)
The Open Video Conference
The conference is a co-production of the Yale Law School Information Society Project, the Participatory Culture Foundation, Kaltura, and iCommons. The conference will feature talks from internet luminaries, panels and discussions, screenings of video art, and demonstrations of the newest internet video technology. We expect more than 400 participants. Here are some goals for the gathering:
1. Bring together stakeholders in the online video space (video makers, coders, lawyers, academics, entrepreneurs, etc.) for cross-pollination and development of the Open Video movement.
2. Raise public interest and awareness around the Principles for an Open Video Ecosystem, a community effort to define best practices in online video.
3. Raise the public profile of video creators and artists working in the online space.
4. Foster a narrative — why should organizations and individuals value openness? How does it affect their work?
What Types of Proposals are You Seeking?
We are requesting proposals and ideas for panels, presentations, workshops, and other sessions that will address how we can shape online video and the public debates around the medium. Proposals may be intended for the main conference track, or for more focused unconference-style sessions. Proposal topics may be legal, technical, or cultural in focus, though we encourage proposals in all relevant areas. The more complete and fleshed out a proposal, the more likely it will be accepted—but we welcome the submission of all good ideas.
We are also seeking submissions of video art to showcase the creative potential of artists in the open video space.
To submit a proposal or idea for Open Video, please visit http://openvideoalliance.org/proposals/. The deadline for submissions is March 19, 2009. If you have any questions about the Alliance, the conference, or the submission process, please contact Ben Moskowitz at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Why is Open Video Important?
YouTube and other online video applications are rightly celebrated for empowering end-users; however, online video lacks some of the essential qualities that make text and images on the web such powerful tools for free speech and technical innovation. Email, blogs, and other staples of the open web rely on ubiquitous and interoperable technologies that have low barriers to entry; they are massively decentralized and resistant to censorship or regulation. Video, meanwhile, relies on centralized distribution and proprietary technologies which can threaten cultural discourse and innovation.
Open Video is the growing movement for transparency, interoperability, and participation in online video. These qualities provide more fertile ground for bottom-up innovation and greater protection for free speech online. Many organizations are already taking steps to change the nature of video on the web: Mozilla is moving to support open video formats in Firefox, the Participatory Culture Foundation promotes open source and standards in video publishing and distribution, and Wikipedia has increased its focus on the open Theora codec.
Yet Open Video is more than just having a functional open source video codec. It’s all the legal and social norms surrounding online video. It’s the ability to attach the license of your choice to videos you publish. It’s about media consolidation, aggregation, and decentralization. It’s about fair use. In short, it covers the new media gamut—and that’s why this conference is guaranteed to be very stimulating.
About the Open Video Alliance
The Open Video Alliance is a coalition of leading organizations dedicated to fostering the growth of open infrastructure, tools, and standards for the online video medium. Yale Law School’s Information Society Project hosted a stakeholder meeting on October 31st, 2008; representatives from nearly 30 organizations convened to discuss common goals for technologists, maker communities, and legal experts.
For more information, see http://openvideoalliance.org.
This is a post to circulate our current research on the availability of open source software for video:
Open Source Video Software: An Inventory (OpenDocument Text file, 52 KB)
This inventory is the result of an ongoing effort at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision R&D Department at creating an insight in the current availability of open source software for video. The main reason for this research is the current development of Open Images, but it is also aimed at expanding our institutional knowledge and expertise, and to share this within research projects and (collaborative) software development. The goal is to get an overview of the available tools for the whole spectrum, from production to distribution and ultimately consumption. Next to this, we also consider processes involved with preservation, interaction and creative reuse of video.
The publication of this document is meant as a first step towards sharing this knowledge and transforming this research into a collaborative effort. We hope this document can become a starting point for a more comprehensive and elaborate inventory. To make this possible we have used an OpenDocument Text file for this document and licensed it under a Creative Commons license. So feel free to correct and/or add information to this inventory, or – for instance – convert the document into a wiki!
For the less ‘open’ readers, there is also a PDF version.