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friday :: march 17, 2006
democracy: the free and open source internet tv platform

The Participatory Culture Foundation was born in February 2005 with a mission to facilitate a new, democratic mass medium through internet TV. Through free software and an expanding community of individuals and organizations, the Participatory Culture Foundation will be a catalyst for the democratization of online video, enabling a diversity of voices across the nation and the world.

The Participatory Culture Foundation (PCF) works with volunteers all over the world, including the open-source software community. PCF’s work has been made possible by seed funding from the Rappaport Family Foundation and Mitch Kapor’s Open Source Applications Foundation.

Problem: a closed-off video landscape for independent publishers
Internet TV is quickly becoming the next mass medium, as more websites feature video content, thousands of people tune in to daily video blogs, and millions of people watch “viral” videos online. Television is the defining medium of our culture and it is moving online.

But until recently, there’s been no easy way for individuals and grassroots organizations to fully participate in this emerging mass medium. Major software, web, and media companies are spending millions of dollars developing closed-off internet TV players that only accommodate proprietary video content and freeze out independent publishers.

Democracy: open and independent internet TV
PCF has built an internet TV platform that covers the whole equation, from publishing to viewing to sharing video, with software that is free, open-source, and open to everyone. For individuals and organizations, the PCF platform provides instant video capacity and dramatically levels the playing field, allowing anyone to publish high-quality video to 50, 5,000, or 500,000 people – with virtually no cost. It is crucial for the public interest that that the PCF platform exists as an open and independent alternative to closed and proprietary commercial players.

On February 21st, 2006, PCF conducted the full launch of our flagship product, the DTV video player, including new versions for Windows and Linux and an updated Mac version, with a new name: Democracy. PCF unveiled a supporting community website -- GetDemocracy.com – dedicated to the peer-to-peer spread of the Democracy platform. The Democracy platform is entirely free, opensource (VLC, Xine, Bit Torrent, and Mozilla just to name a few), and built on open standards.

In addition, PCF has done outreach to groups that need this video capacity the most: independent media, non-profits, grassroots organizations, community access television, citizen journalists, public education, independent video creators, bloggers, and more. Democracy: internet TV will birth new types of video programming and facilitate a diversity of voices and opinions in civic discourse. We’re working to ensure that the emerging medium of internet TV is open and independent, one where anyone can create and everyone can watch. >from *GetDemocracy site.

related context
indymedia. the independent media center
> you tube. broadcast yourself
> open source software for public broadcasters.
> ourmedia: do-it-yourself media. march 25, 2005
> urballon: an urban media space. october 8, 2004
> think tools for revolution > reclaim the streams!. september 17, 2004
> manifesto of urban televisions: open access television. april 23, 2003
> weblog, a new flow of information. may 15, 2002
> smart mobs: new uses of mobile media. october 3, 2002

escape from old tv: publish + view + share

sonic flow
enabling a diversity of voices [stream]
enabling a diversity of voices [download]

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   "active, informed citizen participation is the key to shaping the network society. a new 'public sphere' is required." seattle statement
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