As a part of the First Motion project I am trying to give some useful recommendations to what kind of distribution platform we should aquire for the Baltic Universe. There are many issues to be debated in this. For instance; -do we need DRM protection of the material or not? –What about copyright infringements? -Shall we use Torrent or stream technology? – How shall the viewer access the material? We will look into all these questions with thoroughness. But right now one other topic preoccupies my mind more than the others. How do we obtain it?? And to make one thing clear, First Motion is not a group of techies and computer nerds who understand everything inside a computer and the word wide web. We are film and content people!
In a couple of months we are set to place an order for the future of digial content distibution, and it will hopefully incorporate all the answers to the above asked questions in one fancy ”thingy”. To put it another way, this won´t be a presentation tool for Windows, but a online content vehicle that shall be able to deliver moving images, sound, feeds, chats and God knows what more to multiple platforms around our blue planet – instantly! I am for sure glad it is not me who will build it.
So let´s say we buy this software, load it on to a computer, link it to some servers and off we go. I can vividly imagine the first time the stream (or torrent) server crashes and I get 1000 emails of complains per hour from angry viewers who have paid for something they cannot watch. I also vividly imagine after two years Facebook or Google introducing a new user interface to their applications that makes ours look more like the graphics on my Commodore 64. What do we do then?? Who do I call when I need to get things fixed, and even more so; who pays the bill?? By the way, Google adds sevral new features and updates to their products, every single day!
Think of the distribution platform as a house…
Owning a house feels good. It is mine (or the banks, but that doesn´t seem to bother us all that much) I have control of it, and I can do with it as I please. I can rent out the basement if i please. I can change the facade and interior according to my taste. But I am also likely to pay the bill when the toilet breaks down or a window pops.
There is a price to pay when you rent a house, but the good thing is that you don´t have to worry the day hungry mice chew their way through the water pipes. You simply call the landlord and ask the person kindly to ”get over here right now”!
So, what is better for First Motion to do? Buy a platform from a developer and run it ourselves or buy a license to use a platform that someone else owns? I don´t know. But I hope this post will spark an interest in this debate!!