Digital Culture


I’ve been paying more and more attention lately to easy-upload video hosting sites like YouTube and Google Video. These two seem to have stood out from the crowd for ease of use and clean design…but I’m just baffled as to how they’re still around. If someone tried this business model (upload your favorites! we’ll host them!) with music, the RIAA would have gone insane. There are dozens of movie trailers up on these sites, which are owned by the studios. Why isn’t the MPAA going apeshit to get these under control? Isn’t it disingenuous of them to allow this, but complain about people sharing movies? Should we apply the legal resources of copyright evaluation evenly?

With all of that said, the point of this post: Democracy kicks ass. It’s a player/browser for video, easy to use, intuitive, and open. If you have a broadband connection, download this now and play with it. It’s addictive. Between the software and their open source hosting service, Broadcast Machine…this is my pick for “gonna be huge this year.”

By griffey

Jason Griffey is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at NISO, where he works to identify new areas of the information ecosystem where standards expertise is useful and needed. Prior to joining NISO in 2019, Jason ran his own technology consulting company for libraries, has been both an Affiliate at metaLAB and a Fellow and Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and was an academic librarian in roles ranging from reference and instruction to Head of IT at the University of TN at Chattanooga.

Jason has written extensively on technology and libraries, including multiple books and a series of full-periodical issues on technology topics, most recently AI & Machine Learning in Libraries and Library Spaces and Smart Buildings: Technology, Metrics, and Iterative Design from 2018. His newest book, co-authored with Jeffery Pomerantz, will be published by MIT Press in 2024.

He has spoken internationally on topics such as artificial intelligence & machine learning, the future of technology and libraries, decentralization and the Blockchain, privacy, copyright, and intellectual property. A full list of his publications and presentations can be found on his CV.
He is one of eight winners of the Knight Foundation News Challenge for Libraries for the Measure the Future project (, an open hardware project designed to provide actionable use metrics for library spaces. He is also the creator and director of The LibraryBox Project (, an open source portable digital file distribution system.

Jason can be stalked obsessively online, and spends his free time with his daughter Eliza, reading, obsessing over gadgets, and preparing for the inevitable zombie uprising.

One reply on “Democracy”

I’ve been relying on YouTube a lot to catch pieces of the Grammys/Olympics/whatever that I’ve missed, yet I don’t want to see the whole thing. The other day, I heard an article on Fresh Air (NPR) about YouTube and I thought, Oh no. Maybe it’s been under the radar, but now the media is picking up on it.
I commented to Kevin that I was baffled that these were still around. Google is playing by the rules a little more, but YouTube? It’s violating copyright rules left and right. I’d hate to see it go though. It’s a brilliant concept. But I think, like anything of this nature, it’s just a matter of time before the RIAA/MPAA decide to kill it.

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