Research Project on Open Video in India

Posted by Pranesh Prakash at Apr 05, 2010 06:00 PM |
Open Video Alliance and the Centre for Internet and Society are calling for researchers for a project on open video in India, its potentials, limitations, and recommendations on policy interventions.


Project Timeline

From mid-April to mid-July.

Summary of Outputs

  1. A 15-20 page paper surveying the online video environment in India and the opportunities it presents for creative expression, political participation, social justice, and other such concerns. The paper should deal with the structural limitations of the medium (e.g.: limited bandwidth, IP lobbies discourage re-appropriation of cultural materials, online video is inaccessible to the deaf, and so on) and how they can be addressed.  Recommendations should be bold but in touch with the real policy and business frameworks of present-day India.
  2. Several 1-2 page briefs on specific policy matters like: where is jurisdiction being exercised? what are the policy inflections? and, what interventions are needed to solve the structural limitations of the medium?


Survey Paper

The survey paper should describe the online video scenario in India, and  three or more policy tensions. The paper should focus on areas of intellectual property rights, network issues, standards, device freedom and interoperability, accessibility, etc. The Open Video Alliance website[ova] for a complete list of relevant issues.

Overall, it should paint both a qualitative as well as a quantitative picture of online video in India, and in which structural improvements are needed (if any) to empower individuals.This paper should not be viewed as a recommendation to policymakers but instead as a general interest document which will inform and appeal to many audiences. While we expect the paper to span several distinct issues, there should be a prevailing narrative to weave them together.

Basic Assumptions

We want online video to be a participatory and collaborative social medium powered by open source. We also value the ability of individuals to express themselves using these tools, and the ability of new entrants to challenge incumbents and innovate on top of existing technologies. No time is needed to be spent establishing these values—instead, through this  paper we try to identify structural improvements to the online video medium. How do we get from the status quo to the ideal open video environment?  What investments must be made? What protections must be put into place for users, producers, etc.? Further, we should be able to make some broad recommendations to governments, foundations, and big institutions.

Because the network and IP enforcement environment in India are still malleable, we want to stress that there are many possible shapes that the online video medium could take. Our goal is to shine some light on how a medium that privileges the values outlined above could take shape.

Suggested Methodology

First, you would need to carry out a basic survey of the literature. Second, you should talk to various organizations using video, discover what they consider the structural limitations of online video, and what might be considered open video practices: some are legal, some are technical. You would use this data to direct original research and weave your findings into an engaging narrative.

Next Steps

  • You send 2 writing samples, a CV, and letter of recommendation;
  • We'll discuss the unifying themes and identify a more detailed timeline;
  • We produce a contract;
  • We Pick a regular time to meet every other week, to track progress.