Monday, June 29, 2009

Open Video Conference Draws Thousands Via New Media

The Open Video Conference June 19-20 in New York City, co-organized by the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, was successful beyond expectations, reports ISP Executive Director Laura DeNardis. The conference examined the future of online video and new media.

Conference organizers said the number of participants—more than 800 in person—was itself extraordinary but that 4000 more attended via live streaming video (courtesy of Livestream), as well as on Twitter and Facebook. The event brought together a diverse group of media activists, entrepreneurs, academics, content producers, and others.

DeNardis explained, “The purpose of the open video movement is to ensure that Internet video, expected to soon make up the majority of Internet traffic, promotes democratic freedoms, open culture, open innovation, and participatory rather than passive consumption.”

Highlights of the Open Video Conference included:

  • A keynote discussion about independent and citizen journalism by Amy Goodman, host and executive producer of the news program, “Democracy Now!”
  • Keynotes by Yochai Benkler and Jonathan Zittrain, co-directors of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and Lizz Winstead, co-creator of The Daily Show and co-founder of Air America Radio
  • Presentations by Internet video entrepreneurs, including Mike Hudack of, Avner Ronen of Boxee, Jennifer Taylor of Adobe, Shay David of Kaltura, and Nikhil Chandhok of YouTube
  • Panels on the future of public media and transmedia activism
  • A discussion of fair use with Anthony Falzone, executive director of the Fair Use Project at Stanford Law School, and Corynne McSherry, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation

Joining the Yale ISP as co-organizers were iCommons, Kaltura, and the Participatory Culture Foundation. Partners included Harvard’s Berkman Center, the Information Law Institute at NYU School of Law, Creative Commons, Free Press, Columbia University’s Center for New Media Teaching and Learning, the Telematics Freedom Foundation, Big Think, The Workbook Project,, FGV Law School in Brazil, and Public Knowledge. Sponsors included Mozilla, RedHat, Intelligent Television, Livestream, see3, Pond5, Level(3), Sunlight Foundation, Akamai, and Safe Creative.

To learn more about the conference, visit More about the Information Society Project can be found at