Previously mentioned as aiming “to consolidate an audience for open movies, a first step in addressing the yawning gap in distribution and marketing for open, even where open production is feasible”, one of “two lean, scalable web-based interventions that have potential for realigning parts of the knowledge economy with openness.”
The sketch below serves as a preliminary high level description of the project, as as a potential proposal. The questions are from the Knight Prototype Fund application.
This proposal has been submitted. Comments, critique, involvement all still welcome: regardless of outcome, the proposal effectively serves as a project description for ongoing work.
PALflix (working title)
What is your project?
Create a new path for media creators and communities and stimulate an ecosystem for conducive to open policy by developing an as-good-as-or-better-than-Netflix experience for viewing and discovering premium (high quality long-form or series) and libre (open) video.
“Premium video” is driver for increasing centralization (e.g. cable, Netflix), lock-down (e.g. DRM in HTML5), and restrictive IP (e.g. MPAA); even pro-openness (e.g. Mozilla, W3C) players feel it necessary to comply with demands of premium video IP owners.
Open production of premium video is more feasible than ever (e.g. crowdfunding, collaboration tools, cheap equipment), but totally uncompetitive on the distribution and marketing side of the equation. This missing piece has resulted in the production, funding, cultural relevance, and policy impact of premium open video being far below potential.
- curate the best premium and libre video
- provide an excellent experience for viewing and discovering such video
- thereby aggregate an audience and patron base for open video
- thereby stimulate more production of open video and
- provide a centralized platform from which to launch marketing and distribution initiatives
- thereby make premium open video a point (and constituency) to be reckoned with in both technical and public policy discourse
What assumptions will you test?
- a good viewing and discovery experience can be assembled cheaply from existing open source web and video application components, and iteratively made excellent: better-than-Netflix
- there are enough existing and potential fans of open video to make audience aggregation in the form of PALflix self-sustaining and impactful
- peer production can be applied to the production of cultural relevance (e.g. marketing and distribution) as it has been to production of cultural artifacts
- a centralized platform for premium and libre video unlocks new paths for video creators (entertainers, educators, documentarians, journalists, storytellers…), strengthening the diversity of the media ecosystem
- vastly increased production of premium and libre video nudges policy discourse away from genuflection to premium IP owner demands and toward openness
Who is the audience/user of this project? How will they be impacted?
- fans of open video, initially drawn from existing free/libre/open/commons/wiki communities; their almost wholly unsatisfied demand will begin to be met and they will have platform to express and realize their demand
- creators of open video (small existing community, great growth potential) will gain a larger and concentrated audience, greatly increasing the chances of premium open video being funded and seen
- all who could benefit from a greatly increased supply of quality video that may be freely reused and repurposed, from open production communities (e.g. Wikimedia and Open Educational Resources) to general media literacy and production educators and students
- open policy advocates and organizations, who will gain a proof point and perhaps additional backbone whenever video is pertinent to digital policy issues and product decisions
What progress, if any, have you made on this project?
PALflix is currently in an early research phase. Candidate premium and libre video sources for initial curated collection are being gathered at https://d.wifo.org/t/list-of-premium-and-libre-video/70. Earlier work has been briefly analyzed at https://d.wifo.org/t/open-pre-proposal-palflix/88/5.
Immediate next steps include outreach to intended audience/users of project (listed above) and evaluation of technology implementation options, which together will inform how prototype is built, tested, iterated upon, and launched with appropriate partners.