"...the Descriptive Video Exchange ... is a tool we have developed at Smith-Kettlewell that gives anybody, anywhere, the ability to describe anything, so that anybody, anywhere else, can hear the description. This technology uses a web-based server to store and maintain all of the descriptions associated with videos available on the web, on DVD, or from streamed sources such as Netflix. The server does not store the videos. The server only stores the descriptions, along with the identification and timing information. The server works with a video player that plays whatever video you want to watch, along with the stored descriptions.A sample of a DVX video (mov file), using The Lion King.
This system gets around a couple of interesting problems. For example, many videos simply are not described. There is no way to get a described version because it doesn't exist. That's one problem. With this system, anybody anywhere can volunteer to describe that video from their own home and upload the information. Then you, somewhere else, can take advantage of that description and play it back in synchronization with the video that you want to watch.
This system does a sort of end run around a number of the issues related to modifying and distributing copyrighted materials. In today's model for video description, it's necessary to record a described version of a film or TV show and redistribute that version. To do that, it's necessary to get permissions. All sorts of legal and financial issues are involved. Our system does not modify or redistribute anybody's copyrighted material. It simply plays the descriptions along with the material from a legitimate source. That means it becomes much simpler to create descriptions."
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