Submissions/Reclaiming the Public Metadata Commons, Starting With Video

From Wikimania 2010 • Gdańsk, Poland • July 9-11, 2010


This is an open submission for Wikimania 2010.

Title of the submission

Reclaiming the Public Metadata Commons, Starting With Video

Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)


Author of the submission
  • Kurt Bollacker
  • Richard Martin
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Country of origin


Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (please use no less than 300 words to describe your proposal)

Wikipedia represents a profound cultural archive for the world, created and controlled by all of us. However, there are many other collaboratively created repositories of media in the world that are controlled by a single (usually private commercial) entity, such as Flickr, YouTube, or LiveJournal. These entities control the distribution (and often the survival) of the media they host and even have a reach beyond it. For example, if a piece of media is removed from a site, usually any metadata created by others (e.g. tags, commentary, classification) on that site is lost as well. A single company can impoverish our culture because it controls the primary conduit by which we enjoy some of its artifacts.

To reverse this trend, we believe that it is time to create a "Metadata Commons" for all of the media of the world, especially for that which is restricted by copyright or legal entanglements. In particular, we believe that on-line video is a good early candidate to benefit from such a commons.

As a first step, we have created Ocularium, a semantic video tagging system. Ocularium allows users to tag points or intervals in time of Internet hosted videos (e.g. at YouTube or The Internet Archive) with topics in [Freebase]. All of the tags are saved in Freebase, and thus are Creative Commons CC-BY licensed. Anyone can anonymously query for and download tags to use in almost any application. Perhaps more importantly, we can now preserve the "cultural context" that the tags represent, without concern over copyrights or Terms of Service.

This presentation will demonstrate the video tagging tools in Ocularium and bring up the issues of how we should organize and develop a metadata commons in a way that helps bring us out of our digital dark age.

Track (People and Community/Knowledge and Collaboration/Infrastructure)

Knowledge and Collaboration

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  1. Kocio 01:33, 4 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]