Open Source Streaming Alliance

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Open Source Streaming Alliance



What is the Open Source Streaming Alliance?

Open Source servers, exchanging streaming content and replicating content.

The driving idea is global networking of servers and high-bandwidth centers in ways that avoid unnecessary multiplication of Net traffic while delivering content as locally as possible.

The Open Source Streaming Alliance is extension of the networking paradigm with one crucial addition: it transcends the current only-for-profit context, allowing experimental, independent media and arts centers to catch up with the need to stream content creation and distribution. It thereby gives voice to diversity and facilitates global accessibility for all.

How does the Open Source Streaming Alliance function?

The Open Source Streaming Alliance is a network of Open Source streaming servers located on three continents (Australia, Europe, North America) that relay and exchange their streaming content through multicast channels.

Multicasting and relaying are built-in features of Open Source servers. While the Alliance is agnostic regarding the format of audio and/or video content, the one prerequisite is that content and delivery tools are Open Source--available for everybody with no loss (and maybe a gain) in quality.

At the moment, the servers relaying Internet broadcast streams are Darwin streaming servers. Darwin servers are very reliable, distributed through the Open Source agreement and offer versatile needed for even most complicated streaming networks.

Who can be a member of the Open Source Streaming Alliance?

Any not-for-profit organization or corporation accountable to it members can participate in the Alliance. The founding members of the Alliance decide through the consensus reached in an open dialog about who can participate in the Alliance and on what terms. Founding members of the Alliance reserve the right to adapt specific terms to the nature of the organization: not-for-profits may be granted free relaying, bandwidth, and even technical and financial support, whereas for-profits may be assessed a membership fee.

Membership in the Alliance is absolutely voluntary. Each member must sign a Letter of Agreement, with just one obligation: to offer streams for distribution and to redistribute streams from other members of the Alliance.

Ok, But what are the day to day activities of the alliance?

At the moment the Alliance assists, on a voluntary basis, many individuals and organisations that want to stream but do not have access to a streaming server. On a practical basis this means that someone from one of the nodes, actually sets up accounts as required. This makes for a lot of manual work, which is why we are always interested in people that can assist.

The alliance also wishes to pursue some longer term goals, such as designing a 'OSSA Licence', building open free administrative tools for streaming servers, and where possible lobbying to make the world a better place to stream.

What do you mean by 'OSSA Licence'?

Well, thats a very good question. The licence is a conceptual issue at the moment, essentially the OSSA would like to produce a licence that can form the basis of the network. This would be an intertwining of the idea of a traditional broadcasting licence and an Open Source licence. The premise being that there is a resource to be shared - server traffic - and if we can generously offer this resource to make the world a better place ;-) then there should be some agreed terms to facilitate this.

The idea would be that other potential nodes of the network would have to accept the terms of this licence inorder to belong to the OSSA. Additionally, we hope other groups will adopt our licence to establish their own open streaming networks.