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.