Miro Internet TV Blog - Archive for August, 2008

YouTube Yanks Fair-Use Protest Video at Behest of International Olympic Committee

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

Last Thursday night, protesters projected human rights images including: monks being arrested, olympic rings turning into handcuffs, and so on, onto the side of the Chinese Consulate in Manhattan. Video of this event was uploaded to YouTube, and has since been removed at the request of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The video is a crystal clear case of fair use —it’s 100% legal and non-infringing— and the IOC has absolutely no right to force the video out of view.

The public sometimes takes notice when high profile political videos like this one get censored, but in most cases videos just quietly vanish from YouTube. More decentralization in online video and accountability from YouTube are the keys to avoiding this type of censorship.

Making internet video more decentralized is a first step. Decentralization makes it less likely that people will go directly to YouTube to for their video fix; they’re more likely to be looking across sites, which means they’re more likely to find the mirrored version of the above protest video, which is currently available on Vimeo. We can achieve this goal by supporting open standards (such as Media RSS) and making video files available for download (Nicholas and I even put together this page, advocating a more open and decentralized online video space).

A second key is to keep the pressure on YouTube — they have automatic video scanning software that highlights videos that may be infringing a copyright, and offers to remove the potentially infringing videos for content owners. So big copyright holders have great tools to make sure that YouTube doesn’t use their material illegally, but the rest of us don’t. We should pressure YouTube to put up a form for accepting DMCA takedown counter-claims (and making that last link easier to find).

I’m working to advance both of these issues (officially with Miro, and unofficially with YouTomb). Feel free to join me — you can start by choosing video services and publishing tools that promote openness (check out Show in a Box, blip.tv, and MakeInternetTV), making noise about incidences where legitimate YouTube videos are taken down, and of course recommending Miro as a way to aggregate video from all over the web.

Please comment if you’ve got an interesting takedown story to share.

Update: The IOC withdrew their DMCA request and the video was reinstated, after YouTube took extra measures to contact the committee.

Volunteer Position: Be a Miro Guide Moderator

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

The Miro Guide is growing super fast — we’re closing in on 5,000 channels! As new channels are added, we test them out to make sure they work properly. Usually a team of volunteers takes care of this stuff, but lately it has been exclusively handled by our friend Robb. He has done an awesome job as a channel moderator, but we’d like to find a few more people to distribute the work load.

The awesome part of this position is that once you’ve proven yourself to be a trustworthy part of the team, we can enable you to feature channels onto the front page. This is a very important function in the guide, so we don’t grant the ability lightly.

The channel moderator position requires a regular time commitment. We’ll be accepting 1-3 people, based on the strength of submissions. If you’re passionate about democratizing media, you should apply!

Application Guidelines

  1. You must be a reliable and responsible person who can get things done independently.
  2. You must have experience using Miro.
  3. You must have at least two hours per week to volunteer — not necessarily all in one block.
  4. Being a fan of the internet and web video is a big plus.
  5. Send an email introducing yourself: tell us what you do, why you’d make a great moderator, and share two of your favorite video RSS feeds or Miro channels (bonus if we’ve never heard of them and they rock).

To Apply: Please send applications via email to BOTH: dean [at] pculture.org and robbt [at] pculture.org

How to Make Internet TV: Site Improvements

Friday, August 8th, 2008

For anyone who hasn’t checked out our step-by-step guide to making internet video, visit MakeInternetTV.org. The website basically reads like a book and helps you pick a camera, shoot video, edit, and then publish — it’s pretty comprehensive and easy to follow.

For those who have already seen the site, you may want to take another look — we’re beginning to add new topics! Chris Markman, a PCF Summer Intern, recently added a tutorial for Tube Mogul, the awesome service which allows you to upload to many video hosting sites at the same time.

We’ll be announcing more MakeInternetTV.org improvements as they develop.

Note: If you have any suggestions for services, techniques, or guides you’d like us to cover, please mention them in the comments.

Top YouTube channels now on Miro

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

The jury’s still out on YouTube. A lot of things are imperfect: no simple means of downloading videos, the comments on videos are usually absolutely ridiculous, and the audio/video quality, in spite of recent improvements, is still not great. In some circles, they’re synonymous with internet video, making them the first—and sometimes last—destination for many video producers and viewers alike.

As a result of their massive size, there is a lot of tremendously popular content that is only available on YouTube; a strong network effect perpetuates a lock-in cycle between producers and viewers. Reducing that network effect, by combating centralization, is important for a healthy internet video environment. While regular YouTube embeds give the illusion of decentralization, they are still subject to being censored or removed at the source (YouTube). Miro channels (of YouTube content) on the other hand, can decentralize the video in a real way.

The majority of the most popular YouTube shows of all time haven’t been available in the Miro Guide—until now (we’ve added fourteen of them). Subscribe to all of them with this 1-click subscribe button:

Miro Video Player

Not all of these are for everybody, but they’re certainly all popular. Subscribe and see what so many people are looking at on YouTube!

PS: We’ll be adding all our personal favorite YouTube shows to the Miro Guide next. Got any favorites? Please share them in the comments!

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