Workshop: Public Service Broadcasting in Europe in the Digital Age

Announcement by the Centre for European Governance, University of Exeter

Date: Friday, 1st July 2011
Location: Conference Room 2, Xfi building, University of Exeter

The workshop investigates convergence in the regulation of public service broadcasting in Europe in a comparative context. The focus is the European Commission’s role in policy transfer in particular given that Member States have to clarify the subsidy of public service broadcasting (psb) under state aid rules. We shall be looking at general definitions of public service broadcasting, examining the European Commission’s interpretation of these (and whether the UK model is being drawn upon as a benchmark), and implementation in the different national contexts.

Programme highlights

  • Public Service Broadcasting – theory, general principles and remit
    David Elstein, Broadcasting Policy
  • EU state aid rules: was the BBC public value test an inspiration?
    Anna Herold, European Commission, DG Information Society
  • Reforming public service broadcasting within the EU context: a comparison of the UK and France
    David Levy, University of Oxford, Reuters Institute
  • Germany: the ‘Drei Stufen Test’ and its consequences.
    Roberto Su E1rez Candel, Hans Bredow Institut Medienforschung
  • Public service broadcasting reform in Italy
    Chris Hanretty, University of East Anglia
    Marco Orofini, University of Milan
  • Soft governance promoting policy coordination: the case of psb
    Maria Michalis, University of Westminster

For more information and registration, please contact Dr. Alison Harcourt, http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/politics/staff/harcourt/

CEN Standards for Metadata about Cinematographic Works

Report on the Prague workshop, May 25-27 2011 by Erwin Verbruggen

While Prague was hosting the annual ELAG conference, where librarians gather to talk about linking and upgrading existing data models (“MARC must die!” was among the most popular tweets during the event), the Bohemian city was host to a parallel metadata gathering of film archivists. In the cosy screening room Ponrepo of the Czech National Film Archive, the European Committee for Standardization (CEN)’s standard models for film EN 15907 and its sibling EN 15744 were presented to an international gathering.

The audience consisted of a mix of institutions that care for audio-visual heritage ranging from television, media art and video to film historical collections. Some of them had already been experimenting with the standard in their daily operations (such as EYE Film Institute Netherlands and the British Film Institute). Others were undecided yet as to what model to use or had previously made that decision for themselves.

The model itself can be seen as a variant on the FRBR model, though with a few important differences. It is built up by a top level (the Cinematographic Work), a Variant level for the different versions, a Manifestation level, which separates the different media types and an Item level to describe the particular technicalities. All these different levels have in their turn Agents who influence, instigate or collaborate on them and Events that make them happen.

The group dynamic of the workshop resulted in lively discussions which caused the model’s developer, Detlev Balzer, to invite each and all to point out their needs and clarifications by collaborating on the project’s film standards wiki. The content of the workshop and a great deal of background information can be found on this wiki space.

A separate topic for debate was brought in by Murnau Stiftung’s restorer Anke Wilkeninck’s talk about the film elements of Fritz Lang’s Spione. She rebutted the assumption that when talking about the variants of a film, we need to look for a single Original. As silent pictures could come out in different colour or local versions with drastic differences in both montage and narrative, restorers can find themselves looking at several equivalent versions of a film that has no singular origin. The EN 15907 model is interoperable and thus capable of clarifying the multiplicity of such versions and, linking the different nodes that add up a film production to information bases within or amongst institutions and on the web.

In order to obtain the full reach of this standard’s goals, it wi’ll be key for some pioneering institutions to share their interpretations of the model. One example of how it can be used in a real life database is to be found at the Flemish toolbox for cultural heritage institutions, CEST, which wrote a guideline for its implementation (in Dutch) in the AdLib software. A second example will be highlighted in Paris, during the fourth workshop in this series (June 22-24,) where the BFI will perform a special session about their vision on and upcoming implementation of the standard. The next step is now for standardization bodies (such as the FIAF Cataloguing and Documentation Commission) to define some ground rules for cataloguing and for all interested parties to further evaluate and collaborate on the model.

More information: www.filmstandards.org

Digital Agenda: awards for creative reuse of open data

Press release from the European Commission

European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes awarded prizes to the winners of the Open Data Challenge and Hack4Europe! competitions at the Digital Agenda Assembly being held in Brussels on 16th and 17th June 2011. Companies, designers, programmers, developers, journalists, researchers and the general public from across Europe participated in the two open data competitions, trying out their ideas for creative reuse of information held by the public sector and open cultural data. European public bodies produce thousands of datasets every year – from how our tax money is spent to the quality of the air we breathe. This data can be reused in products such as car navigation systems, weather forecasts, and travel information apps.

Open data re-use is a key element of the Digital Agenda for Europe (see IP/10/581, MEMO/10/199 and MEMO/10/200). To make public data widely accessible and available in Europe, the Commission intends to revise the Public Service Information (PSI) Directive in 2011 to fully unlock the economic potential of re-using PSI.Ms Kroes said: “I am amazed by the creative ways I have seen today for public data collected by public administrations, the collections digitised by our cultural Institutions (libraries, archives, museums) to be put to good use. Public data at large is a valuable source for innovation, as today’s winners clearly show.”

The Open Data Challenge and Hack4Europe! competitions were organised in support of the Commission’s policy to facilitate the wider deployment and more effective use of digital technologies. The re-use of public sector information (PSI) and open data will be a key driver to develop content markets in Europe, which not only generate new business opportunities and jobs but also provide consumers with more choice and more value for money. The market turnover of public data that is reused (for free or for a fee) is estimated at least €27 billion in the EU every year.

The Open Data Challenge

Organised by the Open Knowledge Foundation and the Open Forum Academy under the auspices of the Share-PSI initiative, the Open Data Challenge invited designers, developers, journalists, researchers and the general public to come up with useful, valuable or interesting uses for open public data. It attracted 430 entries from across the EU. Entries were invited in four categories for prize money totalling €20 000. The categories were fully blown apps, ideas, visualisations and liberated public sector datasets. The winners were selected by open data experts, including the inventor of the worldwide web Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

Winners of the Open Data Challenge

Applications: Eva Vozarova of the Fair-play Alliance, Slovakia has developed an app to add transparency to the public procurement process of government contracts

Ideas: Jonas Gebhardt of the University of Potsdam, Germany has developed a mobile application which can help citizens learn more about urban planning in their area

Visualisations: Oliver O’Brien of University College London, UK has developed an app to visualise the current state of bike-share systems in over 30 cities around the world

Public sector datasets: Codrina Maria Ilie of the National Institute for Research and Development in Environmental Protection, Romania has developed an app that collects thousands of old historical geo-referenced maps.

Hack4Europe!

Hack4Europe! was organised by the Europeana Foundation and its partners Collections Trust, Museu Picasso, Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Centre and Swedish National Heritage Board as a series of hack days in London, Barcelona, Poznan and Stockholm running from 6 to12 June. It provided the opportunity to explore the potential of open cultural data for social and economic growth in Europe in an exciting environment. There were 60 participants from the creative industries. These included mainly SMEs like web design agencies, applications developers, software firms and other digital businesses. They were joined not only by developers from the cultural heritage sector, keen to create new ways to engage people with online cultural resources, but also by some larger players like the Google Technical Group and the Yahoo Research group in Spain.

Winners of Hack4Europe! 

UK: Michael Selway of System Simulation Ltd. who developed an app to obtain improved search results from Europeana using an Android touch screen. 

Spain: Eduardo Graells and Luca Chiarandini of Universitat Pompeu Fabra/Yahoo! Research Barcelona who created a “Timebook” for historical figures. The app integrates content from Europeana and DBpedia and presents it in an easy to use format with, for instance, posts for famous quotes, friends status for influential persons and photos of paintings. 

Poland: Jakub Jurkiewicz of iTraff Technology. Using Europeana dataset, this winner developed an app that processes a photo taken of any painting in a museum to give a description of the painting in a matter of seconds, translated into any EU language or even read out loud. 

Sweden: Martin Duveborg of the Swedish National Heritage Board who developed a fully functional geo-location aware search of Europeana for Android. Users can take photos and associate them with existing Europeana objects. Through an inbuilt function to overlay new pictures with Europeana pictures, a seamless “Then-Now” effect is created. The new photos are uploaded with the current GPS position so the app can also function as a geo-tagger tool for Europeana.What is the Commission doing to promote the use of Public Sector Information?

Promoting the re-use of Public Sector Information is a collective effort and the Commission itself is well aware it can do more to put its own data online. Recently, the European Commission published a Digital Scoreboard (see IP/11/663) to show the progress of the EU and Member States in delivering on the agreed targets of the Digital Agenda for Europe after the first year of its existence. In line with its commitment to an open data strategy the Commission has made its data sets and statistics in the Scoreboard publicly available online enabling anyone to carry out their own analysis and come to their own conclusions.

In a near future, the Commission will also put forward proposals for a pan-European portal to give a single access point to the data which is being put online by the Member States.

Over 13 millions records relating to film, television and radio accessed via pioneering search environment

British Universities Film & Video Council Media Release 

An innovative ‘all-in-one’ search engine allowing users to access nine online databases, containing more than 13 million records, relating to film, television and radio content has been launched on June 16 by Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL) and the British Universities Film & Video Council (BUFVC). 

The BUFVC federated search environment will allow researchers to search all collections from a single entry point and easily view collated results through a clean design and user-friendly icons.  The interactive online research tools offer ‘human-friendly’ result filters, intelligently generated ‘related records & searches’, and have a detailed user history and export function.

Increasing quantities of archive film, television and radio content are available, but the content is usually delivered as stand-alone collections, with users needing to know where to look before they begin their research.  The BUFVC federated search environment will transform moving image and sound resource discovery by replacing the need for researchers to locate and access various databases and collections through multiple channels. 

The BUFVC federated search environment benefited from extensive user testing by researchers, teaching support staff, librarians and academics. The multi-purpose search engine and interface will be released under an open source licence this summer.

The BUFVC federated search environment is the result of a collaborative project between the British Universities Film & Video Council (BUFVC) and Royal Holloway, University of London.  The research project was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) under the Digital Equipment and Database enhancement for Impact programme.

The BUFVC federated search environment can be found at http://beta.bufvc.ac.uk/

Broadcasting in an age of commercialism

Announcement by Middlesex University

One day conference
Thursday 22 September, Hendon campus.

On 22 September 2011 Middlesex University will host a European and comparative media law conference. This one-day event intends to highlight the risks attached to a profit-oriented broadcasting law and policy, both at EU and at national level, and to identify ways to refocus broadcasting regulation on its original public interest aspirations.

Speakers include Professor Nico van Eijk (The Netherlands); Professor Tom Gibbons (UK); Dr. Anna Herold (Belgium); Professor Bernd Holznagel (Germany); Dr. Irini Katsirea (UK); Professor Ian Walden (UK); Professor Vincenzo Zeno-Zencovich (Italy).

Please see http://www.mdx.ac.uk/broadcasting for full details, booking and programme.

PrestoCentre Training Course 2011: Long-Term Audiovisual Digital Preservation. Strategy, Planning and Tools

Press release by PrestoCentre

From 12-16 September in Paris and Bry-sur-Marne, France, PrestoCentre organises as part of its Professional Development Training Series a course in “Long-Term Audiovisual Digital Preservation: Strategy, Planning & Tools”. Participants in the course include large audiovisual archives, service providers and technology providers.

Training Course Summary
The audiovisual (AV) record of the 20th century is at risk, with digitisation being a solution, but this created a new problem: the preservation of digital AV content. Managers and technical staff of the AV industry need to be knowledgeable of, and understand how to use, the latest digital preservation technologies, in order to procure the safety of these documents of cultural heritage. Based on the experiences of some of the largest audiovisual and broadcast archives in Europe, this training will give a complete account of the tools and technologies available for the digital preservation of, and access to, audiovisual content, outlining strategies, workflows and architecture planning. In addition, the training provides a range of informative visits to a variety of relevant sites.

Course Topics
Strategy; preservation planning; OAIS; workflow; architecture; mass storage; formats; encoding; compression; metadata; preservation metadata; quality control; service management; risk management; rights management; partnerships; state of the art; support mechanisms; future developments.

More Information and Registration
Visit http://training2011.prestocentre.eu for programme, background and more information. Registration is limited to 40 delegates, so click here to register now.

About PrestoCentre
PrestoCentre brings together a community of stakeholders in audiovisual digitisation and digital preservation to share, work and learn. PrestoCentre helps custodians and creators of audiovisual content make the most of their digital archives through advocacy, information creation, knowledge leveraging, and valuable practical workshops. Using free tools and simple strategies PrestoCentre saves you money and time whilst improving long-term access to your digital audiovisual collections. PrestoCentre does this by helping you share your experiences and learn from best practices.

ERT becomes an associate partner in EUscreen

Ellinikí Radiofonía Tileórasi (ERT), the Greek state broadcasting company has committed itself to EUscreen by becoming an associate partner. The audiovisual archive of ERT will contribute some of their rich content from Greek television. ERT is the second content provider from Greece, the other one, the Hellenic National Audiovisual Archive is a consortium partner of EUscreen. Together they provide access to the audiovisual treasures of Greece.

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