Open Video, Open Knowledge

Read­ers of Open Cul­ture will appre­ci­ate how video has become, in many ways, our newest vernacular—growing in pop­u­lar­i­ty every day, and esti­mat­ed to reach 90 per­cent of world­wide web traf­fic by 2013. Yet so lit­tle of our mov­ing image her­itage is actu­al­ly online. As of Octo­ber 2010, just sin­gle per­cent­age points of the great col­lec­tions at the BBC Archive, ITN Source, Library of Con­gress, Nation­al Archives, etc., are actu­al­ly dig­i­tized and avail­able over the Inter­net! A new short film out this week from the UK’s JISC Film & Sound Think Tank makes the point with clar­i­ty. (Watch here or above.)

What if it were pos­si­ble to enjoy the world’s largest and most pop­u­lar infor­ma­tion com­mons and enable it with down­load­able video–video of great qual­i­ty, whose orig­i­na­tors, own­ers, and righthold­ers opened to reuse and remix by any­one for free?

Intel­li­gent Tele­vi­sion and iCom­mons have pro­duced a report–just out now–to help cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al insti­tu­tions under­stand and appre­ci­ate the pos­si­bil­i­ties pre­sent­ed by open­ly licensed assets for Wikipedia and the open web. Video for Wikipedia: A Guide to Best Prac­tices for Cul­tur­al and Edu­ca­tion­al Insti­tu­tions describes how Wikipedia is now open­ing its doors to video, and how lead­ing insti­tu­tions can par­tic­i­pate in what is, in effect, the newest knowl­edge rev­o­lu­tion.

The issues are sit­u­at­ed, of course, with­in the larg­er con­text of build­ing a free and informed soci­ety. For uni­ver­si­ties, muse­ums, archives, and oth­ers, bring­ing video online from our cul­tur­al her­itage (and equip­ping stu­dents to use it) has become a new cul­tur­al imper­a­tive. Open video on Wikipedia is not sim­ply a call for free media frag­ments to be stored online. It augurs a new vision of teach­ing and learn­ing, and a new cre­ative and polit­i­cal dis­course. Every­one is invit­ed to par­tic­i­pate in this con­ver­sa­tion just get­ting under­way…

This post was con­tributed by Peter Kauf­man, the CEO and pres­i­dent ofIntel­li­gent Tele­vi­sion, who shares our pas­sion for thought­ful media.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.