i just got back from a day-long video-internet-related conference that was actually pretty engaging. most of these things are trade shows and schmooze fests with people standing around saying things like “how are we going to monetize this? i dunno, i’ve got 10 of my best monetizing guys working round the clock in shifts on that question.” this one mostly centered around the basic premise that television is the primary forum for discourse and debate in this country, and yet almost none of that material is accessible. The reason for this is strictly one of copyright law: brewster kahle and the internet archive organization have been recording and archiving 20 major television networks 24 hours a day since 1999, and could go live with this material on the internet without terrible expense or trouble.but they are prevented from doing so by the threat of lawsuits. yet the holders of the copyrighted material aren’t making the content available themselves. so the question of the day was: how can we go about changing this situation and making our collective cultural video history available online. this is a matter of critical importance to education, because without access to relevant historical news broadcasts, television shows, etc., our students can not be said to be provided with anywhere near the best research resources available. the technology is there, the cost is highly manageable, and yet the material is not available, or at least not legally.
so it was a day of very bright people primarily addressing this issue, along with general discussion of how the distribution and publishing of video online is unfolding and where it is going. and best of all, i RODE MY BICYCLE THERE.