Re: [Videolib] Digital Distribution

Meghann Matwichuk (
Mon, 29 Aug 2005 15:56:32 -0400

Gary Daniels wrote:

> Cleaning out my junk mail folder and found an interesting ad for a
> service called Akimbo which other video producers might find
> interesting. It's basically broadband delivery of video content to
> your home television set via DSL/Cable Modem (it plays on your TV not
> your computer). You can download individual shows from CNN, A&E, HGTV,
> History Channel, National Geographic, etc. to watch on your TV.
> Basically all the big networks are providing their tv
> shows/documentaries, etc for individual download.
> But what I found really exciting was that basically any producer can
> provide content to this service. In other words, if you're a small
> documentary producer, your documentary would be as readily available
> for download as a History Channel documentary!!!! (They even have
> video blogs!) Basically, this is the tv version of the internet! And
> just as the internet leveled the playing field for e-commerce sites (a
> mom&pop store can compete with corporate giants), this appears to have
> the potential to do something similar for us video producers. (It uses
> Microsoft's Digital Rights Management technology to prevent
> piracy shouldn't be a problem.)
> It requires a settop box that hooks up to the tv and a (small)
> subscription fee. I went ahead and bought one just to check out the
> service before I submit any of my videos. (The coupon code AK008
> reduced the price of the settop box to $99). I think download time
> will be what makes or breaks this service. So once I get my box and
> try it out I'll give an update. (Oh yeah, you can offer your video for
> free viewing or charge a viewing fee.)
> Librarians should find this interesting as well because it provides a
> very intriguing look into the future of video distribution. Basically
> one box will provide you with the entire universe of video content and
> you don't have to store it on your own servers. Just download it when
> you need it. (Of course there are still rights issues but for those
> falling under the "face-to-face teaching" exemption, this should
> provide access to all those History Channel docs/etc. your teachers
> have ever wanted to utilize.)
> You can learn more at:

Sounds like a product that has lots of potential for the indie producer,
home users, and some educational settings -- but the box will never
provide us with "the entire universe of video content" for many of the
legal / rights issues that have been discussed on this list.
Unfortunately the face-to-face exemption doesn't cover all scenarios --
including distance ed., which would be the main beneficiary of such a
service. This sounds to me like it could potentially raise some of the
same issues that are creating so many problems in the scholarly
publishing / database world. No guarantee of long-term access, no
protection against cost-increases and changing subscription models,
etc. And let's not forget that long-term access is the hallmark of a
research / instructional collection. It will take a long, long while
for the rights issues (which are nothing to be shrugged off) to catch up
with the technology. Until then we'll be operating on the good old
media / playback platform -- I'm far from pitching my VHS tapes and DVDs
(and 16mm films, for that matter).

Meghann R. Matwichuk, M.S.
Assistant Librarian
Instructional Media Department
Morris Library, University of Delaware
181 S. College Ave.
Newark, DE 19717
(302) 831-1475
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