At the Association of Moving Image Archivists Conference, Nov. 5-7

AMIA Conference 2009   panel

UPDATE: slides from the presentation are now available: problem-of-open-media.pdf or problem-of-open-media.odp (OpenDocument Presentation format).

Any copyright reformers in St. Louis? I’ll be attending the annual conference of the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) in St. Louis from Nov. 5th-7th, as will board members Jeff Ubois and Brewster Kahle.

On Saturday, Nov. 7th, from 10:45-11:45am, I’ll be on a panel entitled The Problem of Open Media, organized by Jack Brighton of Illinois Public Media, with Rick Prelinger (Prelinger Library & Archives), Suzanne M. Fischer (the Henry Ford), and Peter Kaufman (Intelligent Television).

It might be clarifying to call the panel “The Problem of Closed Media” or “The Problem of Monopolized Content”… but then, perhaps that’s exactly the sort of discussion to save for the panel! It should be a good session. Here’s the description:

The term ‘Open Media’ has gained currency with the explosion of online archives. Some media collections are open for people to download, share, mashup, and reuse. Others seek to prevent their works from being copied. To the extent that there is an “open media community,” it envisions a large and active public media commons, providing global access to historical, cultural, and other materials relevant, and in many cases vital, to the public interest. Meanwhile, copyright and intellectual property laws add layers of confusion and conflicting interests, while new technologies make controlling and monetizing media problematic for all concerned. How might we solve the problem of open media? This session will address some of the obstacles and opportunities, and suggest new business models that allow content to breathe freely while still paying the rent. We’ll also discuss the role of the archivist as key to an open media future.

Many thanks to Jack Brighton for putting it together.

Copyright has made it increasingly difficult to do what archivists do, as Jeff Ubois knows firsthand from his experiences in television archiving. I’m looking forward to gathering hearing some more stories at the conference, from those on the front lines.

Karl Fogel