June 14, 2005 12:00 PM PDT

Video content set free on Web

Suddenly it seems that everyone on the Internet, from corporate giants to nonprofits, wants to host your bulky video content--free of charge.

For independent filmmakers and video moms, the trend promises to provide venues for distributing the videos that have made easier than ever to produce by a new wave of tiny cameras, inexpensive editing software and more powerful computers.

But the dot-coms and dot-orgs offering to host these works for free are in it for something potentially far more valuable--the chance to control a Web of the not-so-distant future, one that's overflowing with moving pictures the way that the online world of today teems with text and still images.

News.context

What's new:
Nascent sites abound for distributing video online, free of charge--as businesses and nonprofits look to ride the wave of the public's enthusiasm for podcasting and video.

Bottom line:
Ourmedia and others are hoping to make vast multimedia libraries and archives accessible through any number of social networks, blog tools and media-sharing sites--and to ward off a multimedia power grab by big computer and software vendors.

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"We see an opportunity to help kick-start the grassroots media revolution," said J.D. Lasica, CEO of recently launched Ourmedia, which hosts video for free. "We're still at an early stage of the multimedia-rich Web. The Web is not going to be Web logs and text; it's going to be people posting video and podcasting and taking part in the citizens' media that's just starting to explode."

Ourmedia's ultimate goal is not to amass a huge collection of video, but to establish open standards that will make vast multimedia libraries and archives across the Internet accessible through any number of social networks, blog tools, portals and media-sharing sites.

Ourmedia, which uses storage capacity donated by the Internet Archive, hopes to establish open standards in concert with other nonprofits and like-minded companies in order to ward off a multimedia power grab by computer and software vendors.

"We're ultimately competing with Microsoft and Apple," said high-tech veteran Marc Canter, one of the original developers of Macromedia Director, who spent somewhere south of $50,000 of his own money to get Ourmedia going.

Since its launch two months ago, the site has collected more than 5,000 videos. Founders say they're in negotiations with Google, RealNetworks and Open Media Network, another video-collecting nonprofit started by Netscape pioneers Mike Homer and Marc Andreessen that aims to establish common protocols for sharing media.

Ourmedia and Open Media Network are hardly alone in soliciting video from the masses. Google since April has been taking submissions for videos it will archive. America Online last year launched Member Movies for sharing short movies.

Yahoo disavows interest in amassing and distributing content produced by consumers, but its Flickr photo site acquisition suggests otherwise. Among start-ups, Brightcove is a video distribution site gearing up for launch.

Marc Canter
Marc Canter
Founder, Ourmedia

Lasica said that both his group and Google welcomed the multiple entries into the free video market.

"Google told us that they see a lot of these sorts of services springing up, and the more the merrier," Lasica said. "We're all in it, in a sense, for the same reason: to help enable the grassroots media revolution. I love Google and think they are doing this because it's not just a business opportunity but where the entire Internet is headed."

Google declined to comment for this story.

The free video bonanza comes as part of a broader shift toward free online storage of various content types. Where Internet companies like Yahoo and Microsoft once tried to get people to pony up $20 yearly subscription fees for a few extra megabytes of e-mail storage, for example, Google changed the paradigm and crafted an advertising-based business model by offering a gigabyte, and then more, free of charge.

Yahoo last month published Media RSS 1.0, an open protocol

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8 comments

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Big Brother Each Other
"videos that have made easier than ever to produce by a new wave of tiny cameras"

(from year 2037)

Dear XXXXX:

Good morning from your automated USV AI. Our records indicate that you failed to activate your personal USV unit on 2037.09.12. We are sending you this notice to remind you of your duties as a US citizen, pursuant to the New Patriot Act, section 5, subsection A.2.6: "All citizens shall wear their personal United States Video (USV) unit on a daily basis, and transmit the data recorded by said unit to the FBHS mainframe no later than 9:00 w.t."

Our nation's security requires your compliance. We never know when and where the latest threat to our way of life will arise, and it is URGENT that we receive footage from (and of) every person in the country for daily evaluation.

As a result of yesterday's violation, $240 US dollars will be removed from your private financial account (PFA #867S-0-HJ5490-KK), and your Web2 access will be denied for 1 week. To appeal this decision, contact your local Patriot Agent at Skype 865.568.960.0887.

Sincerely,
Agent Robert M.
Federal Bureau of Homeland Security
Posted by misterdevi0us (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
LOL!!!!
ROFL!

That was funny.

Wait, it'll get even funnier - the agents are on the way to your house to get you for high treason - you just gave out National Security details to the terrorists who undoubtedly read this website.
Posted by hn20 (8 comments )
Link Flag
Start with H.264 which is an Open Format
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.eetimes.com/in_focus/mixed_signals/" target="_newWindow">http://www.eetimes.com/in_focus/mixed_signals/</a>
OEG20030106S0035
Posted by technewsjunkie (1265 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I've been collecting these free hosts on a website
Yes, I've been collecting these free host sites on a website I own called FreeMediaGuide.com. There are differences consumers should be aware of-- many allow the general public to share your clips from their blog, etc., by giving the public access to the html code or link.

Nerissa
FreeMediaGuide.com
Posted by thevideoqueen (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
another video / audio hosting site
There's another video / audio hosting site I came across called
Neulio. www.neulio.com
This allows you to group multiple pieces of content vs. posting
single pieces of content separately. It's definitely worth a click to
check out!
Posted by jpapakalos (1 comment )
Link Flag
"One of our goals is to create an open format for video so that there are no more format wars" I hope to god this one day happens but know that it never will. Encoding the same video in 3 different formats all for the sake of making everyone happy (thanks a lot html5) seems so wasteful to me.

Ed
http://www.redwoodsmedia.com
Posted by eddiewu80 (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
"One of our goals is to create an open format for video so that there are no more format wars" I hope to god this one day happens but know that it never will. Encoding the same video in 3 different formats all for the sake of making everyone happy (thanks a lot html5) seems so wasteful to me.

Ed
<a href = "http://www.redwoodsmedia.com">http://www.redwoodsmedia.com</a>
Posted by eddiewu80 (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
"One of our goals is to create an open format for video so that there are no more format wars" I hope to god this one day happens but know that it never will. Encoding the same video in 3 different formats all for the sake of making everyone happy (thanks a lot html5) seems so wasteful to me.

Ed
<a href = "http://www.redwoodsmedia.com">http://www.redwoodsmedia.com</a>
Posted by eddiewu80 (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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