Like Andrew Overholt, I’ve recently been looking at the best way to host the pile of videos I’ve accrued over the last few years from recording talks with my DV camera. At the moment, I’m working on the stuff from FOSDEM 09 earlier this month, but I’ve also got recordings from the 07 and 08 events, our Sun Campus Ambassador talks over the last year and a half and many departmental group seminars from the university.

Probably the most well-known is YouTube, but reading their terms of use immediately put me off. They assign blanket rights on contributed content to both themselves and any user of the site, including (most importantly) the ability to create derivative works. Now anyone who knows anything about Free Software will know that creating derivative works is actively encouraged, usually with the proviso that this is under the same terms (see the GNU GPL). However, that’s software. Creative content has its own issues, and one that’s especially of note with recordings of talks is that a derivative work could alter the message conveyed by the speaker.

Imagine you’ve recorded a talk by Richard Stallman (as I did). In a derivative work, someone could alter the message Richard tries to get across to actively promote proprietary software. This is why both I and the FSF choose to use the Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative license, as can be seen on the recent Stephen Fry video. This ensures that proper credit is given for the work and that it can be freely watched and distributed, while preventing such heinous modifications. Of course, if you’d like to create a legitimate modification, such as providing translation services or transcoding the video to a different format (provided it’s a Free format), then something can be worked out. But a blanket attribution of derivative rights is too risky.

So YouTube is out for that reason. So is one of the other sites suggested by Andrew, Vimeo, for pretty much the same reason. So what are good places to host your video? Dailymotion showed some promise by not handing away your rights left, right and center but they sadly don’t allow you to choose the license given to third parties. I have sent them feedback as requested on their terms of use so we’ll see if anything changes. Both archive.org and blip.net allow a Creative Commons license to be used for your work (just like, incidentally, Flickr does for photos). So that’s where I’ve been posting things so far. You can find the following goodies on archive.org right now:

I also now have a ‘show’ on blip.tv and have posted links to these videos on TheoraSea, a site for the promotion of Ogg Theora videos.

If you plan on posting your own content, I suggest you look carefully at what rights you are passing on to unknown third parties, and make wise choices rather than going for the most popular.