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Open Video Conference June 19-20 in New York City

The future of online video will be explored at a two-day event taking place June 19-20 at the NYU School of Law in Manhattan. The “Open Video Conference” is sponsored by Yale Law School’s Information Society Project (ISP), the Participatory Culture Foundation, and Kaltura, in partnership with Mozilla, Creative Commons, and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard.

The conference brings together video creators, entrepreneurs, academics, policymakers, and others to share their insights on open video and ensure that the medium continues to develop characteristics of openness, interoperability, and decentralization. Participants will also examine the challenges that keep online video from reaching its full potential.

“Internet video can flourish as a central front of Internet innovation, creativity, and political expression only if based upon the open infrastructures that have been the hallmark of the Internet,” said Yale ISP Executive Director Laura DeNardis. “Changing these Internet principles now will slowly strangulate innovation and restrict online expression.”

“The Open Video Conference is also about the legal and social norms surrounding online video,” said Dean Jansen of the Participatory Culture Foundation. “It’s about giving creators the ability to specify the rights they reserve to their content. It’s about fair use of copyrighted works. It’s about a lot of things, which is why this conference is guaranteed to stimulate.”

Speakers will include Harvard professor Yochai Benkler, co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society; best-selling author Clay Shirky, who teaches at NYU’s graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program; and filmmaker Nina Paley, whose self-produced film, “Sita Sings the Blues,” highlights the creative potential of small, self-distributing producers.

In addition to lectures and workshops, screenings of video art, and demonstrations of the newest Internet video technology, the event will serve as the inauguration of the Open Video Alliance, an umbrella coalition dedicated to furthering best practices in online video.

The conference is open to the public. The registration fee is $20 for students; $50 for non-profits and the general public; and $100 for corporate affiliates. Full details and online registration are available on the conference website.

The Information Society Project at Yale Law School, founded in 1997 by Professor Jack Balkin, has a well-developed research program on Internet video. On March 7, the group hosted an Internet Video Innovation roundtable that brought together leading thinkers from industry and academia to help lay out the key issues and recommend solutions. The gathering was made possible by a generous grant from the Kauffman Foundation. The Yale ISP is also a founding member of the “Open Video Alliance” and hosted a gathering of this group at Yale Law School in October 2008.