Merchants of Venice 2.0

October 14, 2006


Spooky, I was telling Henry about The Venice Project on Friday.

This is going to be the BIG disruptor of 2007.

Details are slowly appearing on the latest project from the duo that brought us Kazaa and Skype; they are about to reinvent the media market place. I’m sure of it. And Google is going to be furious.

Project Venice is headlined as a Peer to Peer TV network – basically distribution of audio/visual media. Details have been really illusive since the Business Week article a couple of months ago. Today Techcrunch have raised the flag and announced that the duo have the software into a beta state.

A Project Venice website is up now and calling for beta testers..

Apparently, they’ve been in dialogue with media owners to secure media for the service – this will be really interesting to find out what the deals are. We’ve all seen the rise of YouTube and iTunes. This will kick back this traffic if they get the proposition right for the consumer – and their previous projects confirm they know how to deliver what the audiences want.

Will there be open sharing – Yes. Will there be media to reuse. I doubt it very much. I suspect the media will be wrapped in DRM so tightly that you’ll need a patience of saint to live with the system. The saavy market want to move their media from one platform to another – from Ipod to Desktop. How Project Venice will support this will be the turnkey solution that every media owner wants.

The thing is – it’s impossible. Trust me on this. I’ve looked at every angle on media reuse, and unless the content owners (the copyright owners) declare this in the concept of a production so that all contributors to the production also offer their input under a open licence, there can not be any significant downstream to media reuse.

Either way, Janus and Niklas will be the Venice Merchants of 2.0 – Ambassadors of media that was once designed for Broadcasting..

Worth keeping an eye on Janus‘s blog regarding developments.

Strange choice of image for this posting? Peer to Peer TV will be the renaissance for the medium; If Janus and Niklas get this project right, they will be bringing together the spirit and the commercial requirements to deliver a future to a failing industry, align the players and possibly bring a skewing death to Google’s ambitions of tracking human meaning. And every ad agency is going to kiss their rings.

The image is The Ambassadors by Holbein – and very much worth a Google/Read.

8 Responses to “Merchants of Venice 2.0”

  1. prashant Says:

    i guess chances of success are more as the y have taken content creators in confidence….DRM will be a major issue..but its worth wait and watch…

  2. Hi Prashant,
    I’m sure DRM will be on the top of every agenda of every meeting they have with content owners!

    They’ll either make everyone sick of it or ensure it has a future in publishing.

  3. […] Merchants of Venice 2.0 « Zero influence “The thing is – it’s impossible. Trust me on this. I’ve looked at every angle on media reuse, and unless the content owners (the copyright owners) declare this in the concept of a production so that all contributors to the production also offer their (tags: web-2.0 WMIMWYIM) […]

  4. The thing is – it’s impossible. Trust me on this.

    Don’t worry, I believe you. I’ve been trying to say the same thing for ‘cyberspace’ for years. You can’t have a distributed system AND control over content.

    Only last week I commented that if Google (or litigators against it) tried to lock YouTube down, you’d quickly popularise (or spawn) GnuTube or FreeTelly, etc.

  5. Hi Crosbie – good to know you read my blog!

    True – the point of control through distributed systems will always remain at the root, either through licence of concept of the rationale for sharing. What should be encouraged is sharing of ideas at the root level, and at that point the ethos to control the destination of media will seem absurd. How do we enable this sharing? How about collaborative networked productions? This means a new ethos in media production where all participants retain ‘some rights’ with the proviso that their contribution is shared downstream. With this, the producition already has a fan base and hopefully the collaboration will leave a long trail of production notes, perfect for indexing fodder. Perhaps we need to see the longtail of narration design before we see the longtail of productions?

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