The non-profit Participatory Culture Foundation
launched Democracy, the world's first comprehensive open source internet TV system. As components of the Democracy system have been released over the past few months, the undertaking has become one of the most popular and blogged about projects in the technology world.
"The days of waiting for internet video to buffer and watching it in a tiny box are over," says Participatory Culture Foundation co-founder Nicholas Reville. "With Democracy, internet video is ready to play when you want to watch it, like TiVo, and it fills the entire screen."
Democracy takes advantage of open internet technologies to redefine the online video experience, surpassing the user experience of proprietary systems from even the largest tech and media corporations. As Mozilla's Firefox does for web browsers, Democracy sets the standard for a beautiful and intuitive open-source replacement to proprietary video players and is building momentum with bloggers, videomakers, and technologists to push the online media revolution forward.
Democracy builds on cutting edge RSS, Firefox, and BitTorrent technology to empower anyone to watch, share, broadcast and download video over the internet in a way that enables higher digital resolution, full screen video playback, continuous non-buffered play, and an open standards environment free of adware or spyware -- a much more TV-like experience than traditional web video, and with far more diversity and freedom than traditional TV.
"The Democracy Internet TV system levels the playing field between commercial media and technology companies, independent video publishers, and millions of people who deserve equal and free access to one another's videos," explains Participatory Culture Foundation co-founder Tiffiniy Cheng. "While every major media corporation in the world is trying to find a way to lock users into closed and proprietary technologies, we want to ensure that video on the internet is as open and accessible as websites and blogs."
Cory Doctorow, from BoingBoing.net -- the internet's most popular blog -- notes, "The revolution will indeed be televised -- thanks to the judicious combination of ethics, technology, and imagination that this project embodies."
The Democracy Internet TV system is being supported by private donors, including two of the world's leading technology visionaries, Silicon Valley venture capitalist Andy Rappaport, and Mitch Kapor, Lotus founder and chairman of Mozilla Foundation (makers of Firefox). "Because it is based on open standards and open source," notes Rappaport, "this is the first time that a large-scale internet video creation and distribution platform will be available to everyone."
The Democracy system launched publicly with the release of the Democracy player for Windows. Other components of the system include its Broadcast Machine, software to publish high quality video for thousands of recipients from an ordinary website with almost no hosting costs. The system also includes a program guide of hundreds of channels of available video, and Video Bomb (http://www.videobomb.com), a community-rated shareable guide, or automatic feed, of the internet's freshest free video. Democracy will not interfere with a computer's use of any existing video software.