There are twelve courses managing videos within CTools.
To date, 342 media files were uploaded, 181 videos were viewed. The average viewing time for videos in CTools is just over 6 minutes. You can preview how Kaltura and CTools works for this pilot in this 10 minute demonstration by John Johnston.
U-M News Service is implementing Kaltura's MediaSpace.
The result will be a custom-designed gallery channel, offering editors flexible content organization possibilities and improved back-end tools for access control, transcoding and tagging.
"Our goal is to improve access and provide a superior user experience for the both the university community and the general global public. The News Service regularly publishes companion video pieces, such as faculty expert interviews, to support its news releases. Our public facing content hosted by the Kaltura Media Space portal will now be available in a way that is easy to browse and search," reports Stephen Schram, Director of Michigan Public Media.
Schram listed other benefits for the new implementation. "Our results for consumption will improve from the advantages of comprehensive video search related to deeper metadata attached to each video (name, description, tags, and categories). It serves as an excellent organizational tool, enables easy display, and will also easily publish to popular social media destinations, such as YouTube."
The Steering Committee is drafting policy and guideline recommendations related to service costs, shared metadata, copyright access control and more.
"The video content management system we are rolling out has the potential to be used for many academic, communications and administrative services at the U-M, so we need to understand how our standards and policies for data management apply to the users of this new system," reports Laurie Alexander, Video Content Management Executive Steering Committee Chair and Associate University Librarian for Learning and Teaching, University Library.
"The VCM Executive Steering Committee includes project leads from each of the VCM pilot units: LSA Language Resource Center, University Library, CTools, VP of Global Communications, and ICPSR-School of Education MET Research Project. We have been working with units and offices across campus to develop a basic framework that meets our institutional standards for privacy and security of content, accessibility, copyright compliance and best practices for applying metadata — to name a few areas."
In the month of October, the Steering Committee will be evaluating proposals from working groups on the following:
I sometimes get asked about the need for a U-M-managed video content management system when free and widely-viewed alternatives like YouTube, Vimeo and UStream excel at delivering video to public audiences. My response begins with the acknowledgement that distribution services like these will always be an important way for many people to discover the richness of learning, research and daily life at the University of Michigan. We probably cannot do without them — when we want to share things with the widest audience these services make our videos easily discoverable by anyone with Internet access.
But what if the problem is that your uploaded video never even appears on one of these valuable sites? Video streaming services are under significant pressure from copyright owners (and their agents) to identify and block uploaded content that appears to infringe their copyrights. Many streaming services have agreed to aggressive practices, like YouTube's "ContentID" system, to demonstrate compliance. They contract with third-party vendors that process all uploads with screening algorithms designed to match new content against libraries of millions of recorded works to spot possible violations. A recent spate of what appear to be spurious take-downs of high-profile streaming video (e.g., the Hugo Awards ceremony, live coverage of the Curiosity rover landing) by unmoderated copyright policing algorithms prompted the following coverage: "The Algorithmic Copyright Cops: Streaming Video's Robotic Overlords" (Wired.com, September 2012)
The sheer volume of content and the complexity of the automated policing process make human judgment and intervention essentially impossible. These practices are especially hurtful to live broadcasts (imagine: a live U-M Commencement broadcast, or a web stream of a visiting poet laureate).
This is a very dynamic topic and it is only fair to point out that a few days after the above news story YouTube amended some of its ContentID practices (I'm not aware of any other services that have), described here (quotes from "YouTube finally offers a meaningful ContentID appeal process" (ArsTechnica, October 2012):
"…if an 'eligible' user disputes a ContentID claim, the 'content owner' will have only two options. It can release the claim, allowing the video to go back up. Or it can file a formal takedown notice under the DMCA."
"…Under the DMCA, YouTube is supposed to wait 10 days to restore a user's video after receiving a counter notification. Moreover, YouTube has a 'three strikes' system, which means that each time anyone submits a DMCA takedown request, its owner gets a 'strike' on his account. YouTube says that 'if you receive three copyright strikes, your account and all videos uploaded to that account will be removed'…"
While the revised YouTube policy is an improvement, it's incumbent on the video uploader to dispute the automated takedown. Think of the time spent by U-M faculty and professional staff processing the paperwork and responses to what may well be spurious takedown notices.
While it certainly doesn't protect all of U-M's content uses, having video delivery systems, like the VCM system we are piloting, enable us to do more than preserve our branding or protect copyrighted material in course sites. It seems essential that the proper legal use of our own content not depend on organizations driven to comply with commercial obligations at the expense of educational priorities.
John Merlin Williams is a member of the VCM Executive Steering Committee, the executive producer of the Digital Media Commons and the Director of the James and Anne Duderstadt Center.
Tell us about the different ways video is used in your unit. The information will help the project team identify unique scenarios to address before the VCM service is broadened across campus. Additionally, the information will help the project team with strategic communications and implementation planning.