Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

Sep 3-4 in Paris: Foundations of Open Media Software developer workshop

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

The Foundations of Open Media Software developer conference (“FOMS”) will take place in Paris on September 3-4, 2012.

This is the first time in its history that FOMS will take place in Europe, after 2 years in New York and 4 years in Australia/New Zealand.

FOMS has been a part of the Open Video Conference OVC in the past two years. It is an important meeting point for open media developers building out the web multimedia stack.

If not for FFMpeg, VLC, Xiph, Blender, GStreamer and similar projects, publishing audio and video would be much more expensive, restrictive, and difficult.  Developers of these and other open source projects are building the foundations for our essential communications infrastructure.

Over the last year, huge progress has been made in open source media software, codecs and open standards for media, in particular around
HTML5. FOMS provides a unique environment where web developers, browser vendors and open source media software developers meet and
discuss open media platforms.

This year, FOMS takes place in conjunction with the VideoLAN Developer Days to open access to an even broader range of open source
media developers.

The FOMS 2012 call for proposals is now open. If you would like to see a particular topic discussed at FOMS, you should prepare a submission. A submission contains a title for a discussion topic, and a brief session description.

Please submit your registration and potential session ideas here.

Continuing the Fight against SOPA / PIPA

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

sopa strike newsprint -- post imageYesterday we joined the largest online protest in history, adding our site to hundreds of others that went dark in a statement against SOPA and PIPA. We blew up twitter from 106,500 mentions of the term “SOPA” to more than 3.5 million today (cool visual here). Politicians took notice, and even Orrin Hatch removed his co-sponsorship despite receiving almost $1.2 million from large media companies and pro-PIPA groups.

As you likely know by now, SOPA and PIPA attempt to combat piracy at the expense of massive changes to the way the web works. For a refresher on the problems SOPA and PIPA pose, check out these great multimedia explainers or this breakdown from the Washington Post. You can also read about the bills, including viewing their full text, on OpenCongress: SOPA and PIPA.

The blackout effort was designed to educate users about the power these bills have to completely shut down sites that may contain one problematic page or link among thousands. While public opinion has turned on this legislation and support for SOPA is waning, the fight is far from over. The PROTECT IP Act, a.k.a. PIPA, is still up for a Senate floor vote on January 24. Though SOPA itself may be shelved for the time being, we’re likely to see it, or perhaps a more palatable form of the same problematic legislation, reappear in the future.

Clay Shirky at SOPA rally in NYCThat’s why we need to keep up debate and discussion of the underlying issues driving SOPA. While some assert that lawmakers and content creators simply don’t understand the way the internet works, it’s also arguable that supporters of this bill do understand what they are potentially creating: a “consumption-only internet” that “locks down this emerging ecosystem” of openly available, user-driven content. Maplight offers a breakdown and infographic demonstrating the disproportionate financial support coming from the entertainment industry compared to funds from Silicon Valley opposing the bill. These purveyors of traditional forms of content and content delivery have yet to comment on changing public opinion towards SOPA, with MPAA CEO Chris Dodd instead opting to bizarrely slam blackouts that simulate the potential outcome of a censored internet as “abuse[s] of power.”

The Open Video Alliance seeks to support free expression over heavy-handed copyright regimes that trump creativity and shared cultural resources. At the time of last year’s Open Video Conference, tech entrepreneurs and activists were just beginning to respond to PIPA. Meanwhile, we covered topics at the conference like alternative copyright education (session notes here) and defensive patent licensing (session notes here) — constructive alternatives to protecting creative work that keep the web open for makers of all kinds.

Check back over the days to come for more information and statements from Open Video Alliance members on SOPA and PIPA. Join us in the comments and on Twitter with your thoughts on this legislation and suggestions for action.

stop american censorship june 24 -- post image