Somebody is watching you watch

GCN Insider

Like documents, video content ' such as training videos, executives' speeches and recordings of meetings ' should be considered intellectual property that needs protecting. Yet there's been no real equivalent of document management systems for videos. Until now.

With its new Video Media Center 1000, Polycom aims to bring video content management to the level of document management. The product is an appliance-based solution that allows enterprises to manage the entire life cycle of video content, from capture to storage to viewing.

'You can think of it as an enterprise-scale YouTube,' said Joan Vandermate, vice president of Video Solutions Marketing. 'Customers can create video, capture it, encode it, archive it and secure it.'
Secure content distribution is possible because the Video Media Center 1000 is hardware-based. The system can keep detailed reports about who viewed a video and when, including whether any associated content was downloaded.

What's great for government and private companies, though, may not be great for the world at large. What if the technology were used to track who is viewing and downloading content from certain public Web sites? If you viewed a video about Iraq's topography, would you be placed on a terrorist watch list? And let's face it: If the tool is there, people will use it.

But that's the dual nature of any technology: There's always a dark side. Just think of telemarketers and spam. '

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