Making the Map: A Visual Representation of the Web Video Landscape

Session Type: Working group

Session Category: Policy, Technical, Creative

Session Leader:

Marvin Ammori (New America Foundation), Nicholas Bramble (Information Society Project at Yale Law School)

Confirmed Participants:

Andrew McLaughlin (Civic Commons), Kristin Smith (Rep. Denny Rehberg), Ashkan Soltani (independent privacy researcher), Leah Belsky (Kaltura), J. Skyler Fernandes (Centripetal Capital), Matt Frost (Google/WebM), Rebecca Wexler (film director and editor), Amanda Lyons (graphic facilitator), Alex Fowler (Mozilla)

Day: Sunday
Room: W300
Time: 11:30am – 5:00pm

Session notes


Our goal in this multi-part workshop is to make a comprehensive infographic with the help of a graphic artist. The graphic will illustrate how different layers of the open video ecosystem, from devices and bandwidth, to software and standards, and filmmaking and distribution, fit together—and what kinds of legal, competitive, or creative constraints are in place at each layer. As we draw this map, we will speak with a range of video makers, distributors, investors, and developers to address the following questions:

Who makes video? Who licenses video, and on what terms? Who aggregates and distributes video? How are different kinds of video encoded? How does video travel across the Internet and other kinds of networks? What roles do backbone providers and content delivery networks play in the process of transmitting video on the Internet? How much control do ISPs have over users’ ability to access video? Who is capable of exercising political control over video? And what can you do with video once it gets to a device?

The goal of these sessions is to map out the layers of people and technologies and licensing arrangements that video passes through on its way from the camera (or the computer) to the end user. In creating this map and refining our understanding of the economics and the infrastructure of the open video ecosystem, we will develop a better sense of how to interact with a variety of public and private design levers important to the future of open video.


This is a big project and will take place all day Sunday. But we encourage anyone with an interest, or something to contribute, to drop in at one of the following times:

11:30—1:00 / Bandwidth, backbone peering, cloud and device

2:00—3:30 / Logical, software, and standards

3:30—5:00 / Content and distribution layer