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Background to the Conference

The goals of the Open Content conference were to:

Over a period of six months, a WGBH team designed the conference. The team consisted of Judith Vecchione, Executive Producer in WGBH’s National Productions department and the conference producer; Sue Kantrowitz, Vice President and General Counsel; Annie Valva, Director of Research and Business Development at WGBH Interactive; Meredith Nierman, Assistant Program Manager for National Productions; and Jessica Cashdan, Director of New Initiatives in Foundation Development.

They examined past conferences, planned the panel topics, researched and discussed the most promising and most troubling issues for public broadcasters, and spoke with dozens of experts as they formulated the three-day conference.

Day One of the conference defined “Open Content” within the context of public broadcasting, examined its potential importance to public broadcasting, and included a keynote from BBC Creative Archive director Paul Gerhardt.


Day Two featured a series of panels on the intersection of Open Content and public broadcasting in four key areas: editorial content, implementation options, legal obstacles and remedies, and sustainable business models. The panelists compared the use of Open Content in formal, informal, and commercial settings, and the implications for policies and practice.


Day Three closed the conference with a panel that discussed potential models for Open Content in public broadcasting and a plenary session on next steps.


The full agenda, with speakers, is attached to this report in Appendix A.

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