[Foundation-l] REMINDER: Skypecast - Wikipedia Conversation from Florida

Gregory Maxwell gmaxwell at gmail.com
Fri Aug 25 19:23:53 UTC 2006

On 8/25/06, Austin Hair <adhair at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 8/25/06, Gregory Maxwell <gmaxwell at gmail.com> wrote:
> > As someone who lives in the US I can not legally use the free software
> > MP3 software.
> Of course you can.  Hell, it's even included in the base Debian
> repository (not non-US/non-free).

Have you consulted with an attorney on this? Because I have and the
advice I received with respect to the MP3 patents is different than
the advice you're providing.

> > Most of the Wikimania audio on the site
> > (http://wikimania2006.wikimedia.org/wiki/Archives) is only available
> > in MP3,  and the few vorbis files available that I've heard are very
> > low quality (due to transcoding a lower quality MP3 into a lower
> > quality Ogg).
> They're not on that page, but they do exist; I'll ask around for you.
> Or you could get one of your non-free friends to transcode them.

It's inappropriate for us to make the files second class citizens, the
transcoded ones are fairly low quality. It was a mistake to record
directly into MP3 format...

I have made several request to obtain copies of the DV tapes for the
sessions that were video taped so that I could make Oggs of the high
resolution video and the uncompressed audio. I have offered to pay
duplication costs.  My requests have been ignored.

and as far as the files go, they don't effectively exist if even *you*
can't find them without asking.

> > We have people in our community who have experience with large scale
> > streaming and media events using both free software and proprietary
> > software...  I'm not sure why we seem to be doing such a poor job
> > delegating.
> It's not a matter of delegation, it's a simple cost-benefit analysis.
> Our arrangement with HLS AV gave us much better coverage than last
> year, and at no cost to us.  We could have taken our $10,000 budget
> for bringing Wikimedians from elsewhere in the world and sunk it into
> providing live Vorbis streams of every room, but what would that have
> given us?  A warm, fuzzy feeling for being slightly Freer?

How much money would you have required?
$10,000 to get all the audio and video from our sessions into
completely free formats for both archival and available live use?  I
could have gotten you that. No one asked.  Kyle was standing the the
conference *offering* to record unrecorded sessions, I brought
microphones and recording gear (with the hopes of doing a wikimedia
choral session, but that didn't end up happening).. and no one could
confirm that we had *permission* to record the sessions.

> It would have been nice to have live coverage of every room, I'll
> grant, but a delay of a few hours isn't that bad, and the program team
> was very good about putting events of particular interest in rooms
> with video.  Believe it or not, your soul will not burn up if you use
> Helix player.

Considering reals trackrecord for spyware on windows, I'm supprised to
see anyone advocating their software with a straight face. ...
Although the helix player software is not deserving of that, it's
still surprising.

I curious though, what incentive do you have to promote propritary
software when there are reasonable free alternative available and
people willing to invest their time and money into making them work
for us?

> > As we've seen with the (lack of) success with today's skypecast,
> > simply using whatever proprietary toys we have laying on our desks is
> > probably not a good solution.
> I had to leave before the skypecast, unfortunately, but from what I
> saw it didn't work out very well.  In the future, we should certainly
> leverage all the resources available to us; this said, Andrew was good
> enough to open up his interview in the first place, and we should
> applaud the effort.  If this were an official WMF Q&A, planned by the
> Foundation and billed far and wide for live community participation, I
> would naturally have a different view.

Yes, it's was a good idea. Hopefully next time more of the details
will be considered. :)

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