Blog Post

Congressman-Cam Debuts on YouTube

Forget C-SPAN: Massachussets Rep. Ed Markey kicked off a House telecommunications and Internet subcommittee hearing on “the future of video” in fine DIY fashion, with a “chairman-cam” clip that his staff quickly posted to YouTube.

“The fact that any consumer can be a programmer and get their video content up on the web is changing the way the industry works,” Markey said. “Anyone can put their video up on YouTube and we’re going to prove that.”

I asked a friend going to school in Washington, D.C. to take notes on the hearing, which addressed a variety of concerns about how legislation and the video industry will interact.

HDNet co-founder Mark Cuban emphasized infrastructure problems, concluding “the internet is not prepared to take on what digital video is calling for.”

Talking up the Slingbox being used everyone from servicepeople in Iraq to a TV station in San Francisco, Sling Media CEO Blake Krikorian testified, “This is one of the technologies that turns local to global, and thank heaven for the regulations of fair use.”

Phil Rosenthal, who created Everybody Loves Raymond and was representing the Writers’ Guild and Screen Actors Guild, expressed his concern about product placement entering plotlines, effectively “turning the shows themselves into commercials.”

Further testimony came from YouTube CEO Chad Hurley, TiVo CEO Thomas Rodgers, and Disney, ESPN Networks President Ben Pyne, and QUALCOMM MediaFLO USA President Gina Lombardi, but unfortunately my friend had to get to class! We’ll check back on the committee website for an archived webcast.

Update: There’s additional YouTube coverage of the hearing, including a sit-down interview between Markey and Hurley. (Thanks Sean! More videos of the testimony coming at The 463 blog.)

Update 2: Here’s the archived video webcast.

With help from Paul Kapustka and Sabina Henneberg.

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