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Thanks for attending OVC 2011

Monday, September 26th, 2011

What an incredible weekend. Nearly 400 people came face-to-face to work on the biggest issues in developing an open media ecosystem.

It’s going to take some time to unpack the Hadron Collider-style interaction and collaboration that took place at #ovc11—so let’s get started!


Each session shared a collaborative space to ease note-taking and future work. Links to all the session notes are listed at:

A lot of rich material was created, covering a range of topics. For example, there’s enough to get started on serving your own YouTube style Video CMS, building an open video editing platform, or syncing up video with interactive web elements.

You can read up on advanced video forensics, and the struggle to remain anonymous in a world of overwhelming surveillance. Learn about your rights as a mobile device owner and the limits to free expression online. There are now ways to keep your film alive past its release date, keep it preserved past your lifetime, and compensate your work through new experiments in digital currency. If you’re an educator, there are now advanced ways to use video in the classroom. Also, for good measure, a few strategies for counterbalancing hate speech on the internet.


We’re asking participants to give feedback on our short survey to make next year even more awesome.

As always, email us if you’d like to kick up a project, tweet with hashtag #openvideo, and look forward for updates on next year’s Open Video Conference!

Welcome to OVC 2011

Friday, September 9th, 2011

The Open Video Conference is an event about technology. But it’s also about how technology affects the world around us. This event convenes people from all over the web video space. Some attendees are developing essential technologies for video; others are ensuring universal access to high-speed broadband; still others are using video for social change. All are actively building the future of the medium.

It may seem strange to house such a diversity of perspectives under one roof. But open video is just as important for technology companies and entrepreneurs as it is for creators, educators, and human rights activists on the front lines of change.

Since 2009, the participants of the Open Video Conference have been threading a needle through a fairly big story. The first OVC took place at the precise time that images of Iranian election protests were reaching Western eyes through email, blogs, and platforms like YouTube. Today, cameraphone images from Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and elsewhere appear on screens around the world.

We’re still weaving this story. In just three short years, we’ve seen big shifts in network policy, broad transformations in public life, and constant changes in technology. The media is more read/writeable than ever before, but we’re far from the full potential of web video: a day when every person on the planet can express their world through moving images. Video will be most powerful as a medium when it’s as copy-pastable, accessible, and ubiquitous as text.

There’s much work to be done here on technological, legal, and practical fronts. A careful observer will find urgency even in quiet places like libraries—consider that in 2011, the Library of Congress still relies on RealVideo as its primary video technology (if this makes you shake your head, this is definitely the event for you).

This year’s event is designed to be more hands-on than years past. You’ll find few talks and panels. Instead, you’ll be meeting people, making things, and laying plans. There are over 30 working groups scheduled for you to explore and participate. And if you’re inspired at any time this weekend, you’ll find plenty of time and open space to start something big.

As you’re hacking, writing, filming, or meeting future collaborators this weekend, consider some of the emerging issues in web video. How will we retain control and sovereignty over our digital lives, when the devices we carry are increasingly restrictive of the apps and services we can access? How will we protect identity in a world of thorough surveillance and networked facial recognition? What are the new power dynamics in a world where anyone can make and share video?

These are just a few of the threads you’ll find in this expansive story. We hope that your experience at this year’s OVC will be productive, thought-provoking, and fun.

This is the foreword to the OVC 2011 Program written by conference directors Ben Moskowitz and Chris Wong – download a copy of the program here.

Tech Entrepreneurs Speaking out against Protect IP

Friday, September 9th, 2011

This weekend at OVC you’ll have the chance to meet up with plenty of entrepreneurs and startup developers in the video space. One pressing issue facing the future of video startups is the potential threat of the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA).

PIPA is designed to limit sites that are typically used only for infringing upon copyrighted works. However, a diverse array of tech entrepreneurs and human rights groups have critiqued the bill as too vague and thus potentially too far-reaching about what constitutes a site “dedicated to infringing activities.” This could lead to an unfair burden placed on businesses and sites that have many uses aside from “rogue” activity.

Web entrepreneurs are currently gathering signatures for a letter to Congress voicing their concerns. If you represent a video startup and are concerned about PIPA, consider adding your name to the letter.

This is just one of the ongoing debates that make our meeting this weekend so timely. We look forward to hearing our diverse group of participants weigh in on issues like these at OVC 2011.