During our preparation of our news piece on the launch of OurMedia today, we had a quick chat with JD Lasica, that we thought you might like to see. It gives a glimpse of the future for Ourmedia.
DL: Is the site entirely bankrolled by Brewster Kahle (The Internet Archive) or are there plans to raise revenue through advertising/affiliate programs etc?
JD Lasica: The Internet Archive is providing free storage and bandwidth, and that won’t change. We’re also getting subsidized hosting from Bryght (a Drupal site), and Marc Canter’s Broadband Mechanics has kicked in some dough to pay for some programmers in New Delhi to get us across the finish line. Other than that, it’s been an entirely open source effort.
We plan to meet soon with some foundations. An infusion of grant monies would go a long way toward taking us to the next level. We have a very long road map of features and improvements we’re planning.
Marc and I are still discussing revenue models. We won’t clutter up the site with banner ads. But we are open to the prospect of corporate sponsors in addition to foundation underwriters. It certainly seems that the kinds of digital creativity we’re helping to enable would attract a wide swath of companies involved with helping consumers create personal media.
DL: Sadly, I imagine that scammers, spammers, porn merchants and ne’er do wells will be attracted to this venture like a moth to a flame. What measures have you in place to keep these undesirables at bay – or will the site remain a free-for-all with no censorship (past legal necessities)?
JD Lasica: It won’t be a free for all. We have a good-sized team of moderators around the world (including Britain) who will be watching everything that’s published on the site. The two big rules are: no porn and no copyrighted material (unless it falls within the scope of what we Yanks call fair use).
We won’t be the censorship police, so we expect a wide range of media that won’t be to everyone’s tastes. For those who violate our site rules, we’ll be relying on our team of volunteer moderators to shut them down, much as Wikipedia does.
DL: What measures have you taken in case of copyright disputes?
JD Lasica: Our site rules spell out the steps a copyright owner should take if he or she believes their copyright has been infringed. We respect U.S. copyright laws, so you won’t see Metallica mp3s winding up here — unless Lars himself uploads them.
DL: Is there a long term plan as such, or are you going to ‘go with flow’ and see where the venture takes you?
JD Lasica: We have a long road map of immediate features, functionalities and fixes that need addressing, and a longer-term plan for versions 2 and 3, which will incorporate more social networking functions, ratings, improved search, and so on.
DL: You mention that you will be getting involved with P2P – are there any other technologies up your sleeve?
JD Lasica: We’ll be looking at BitTorrent right away. I’m attaching a press release about some of the other things we’re doing.
One interesting item that will be rolling out soon: We’ll be working with Jon Udell and Doug Kaye to devise a standard for what we’re calling a media clipping service. Users will be able to cite a particular portion of a video or audio clip (a 2-minute dialogue that falls in the middle) rather than just point to the entire clip.
Here’s our version 2 roadmap as of this moment: http://www.socialtext.net/ourmedia/
DL: Thanks for sparing us time when you must be busy.
JD Lasica is co-founder of Ourmedia.org, author of “Darknet: Hollywood’s War Against the Digital Generation” (May 2005) and Senior editor of the Online Journalism Review.
He also writes the following blogs: