2020 Conference Recording Changes

Hi all!

So!  You might have seen that the way the PowerShell + DevOps Global Summit records and distributes sessions will be changing.  Long story short:  The presenter will maintain all rights to the material and intellectual property, and Pluralsight will own distribution rights to the recording.

There are many valid reasons to be upset about this.  Let's walk through (1) what we gain from this, and (2) how we can work around some of the valid concerns

Why use Pluralsight?

Money.  I know.  Disappointing.  In 2020, we'll be saving over $100k by using Pluralsight for the two conferences. But... what does this actually mean? Are we trying to turn a profit? Nope! Let's look on the bright side:

  • More speakers.  We had 39 last year.  We have 50 this year, pending speaker confirmations (tentative agenda).  This means more new speakers!
  • Fewer multi-session speakers.  We needed 16 in 2019.  We have 5 this year.  This means less stress
  • More scholarships.  Excluding conference book funded scholarships, we had 5 scholarships in 2019, up to 10 ~$4,500 scholarships in 2020
  • Same small conference.  We don't need to add seats and can maintain the higher speaker-and-PS-team-to-attendee ratio

So!  These are all good things, and we should keep them in mind, but let's dive into some of the complaints about this change.

Why are you taking away our recordings!

Given the response from the community, it seems prudent for the organisers to at least state their intent.  To help stop the perceived (or real) conflict of interest here.  Both with Don and other PluralSight employees in the conference committee

- Glenn Sarti

Yep, thanks for getting us to write this, we probably should have had something like this ready.  Next year.  Unless something changes - we do read conference feedback!

Oh!  In case anyone missed the announcement - while we do occasionally pester Don for advice, he is no longer involved in running the conference.  Of those of us running the conference, Missy authored a course for Pluralsight three years ago, but had no involvement in the decision, and that's the extent of our direct relationships to Pluralsight.  And just to re-iterate - both sides benefit from this contract, assuming you see the bright sides we listed as benefits!

Lotta folks in the community going to that event (even some of the speakers, I'm sure) are there because the yt vids of times past helped them immensely along their way

- Joel Sallow

That's very unfortunate. I'm still in talks with the wife about being in a financial position to be able to attend this time around. Pluralsight is expensive and my current company isn't keen on paying for anything that they don't deem as necessary.

- Matt Bobke

I'm against these sessions which are not only produced for free, but at significant cost for the speakers, being put behind a pay wall

- Thomas Rayner

Totally!  I won't lie - this will gate off some of the material.  That said,

(1) speakers can, and should, upload all materials.  These will still be available to everyone, and

(2), speakers are encouraged to get practice speaking ahead of the conference, and would likely be in demand from one of the several PowerShell user groups who do recorded presentations, before or after the conference.

Ultimately, a good portion of these sessions will end up out there in some form or another.

This goes against the historical nature of the community and will be detrimental to the conference/s in future
...
it feels like a sell out tbh and will damage your event's reputation going forward

- Ryan Yates

I get it - I'd prefer the recordings be out there in the open as well.  Here's the thing though:  If you balance getting new speakers involved, the several all-costs-paid scholarships we've added, the reduced stress from fewer multi-session speakers, that the session materials can and should be distributed openly, and the potential workaround that any user group may record these before or after the fact - is this detrimental to the conference or damaging to the event's reputation?  I guess it depends on who you ask, but it seems a little more nuanced.

", and that a talent release form may be required 30 days prior to the show."
Not sure how enforcable or even legal for non-US people. This is risk for speakers with only 30 days, given how far out the CFP and acceptance process is. We would do all this work ... to find out we can't sign the release form.

- Glenn Sarti

Totally.  As soon as details are finalized we'll be in touch with speakers, the 30 day thing is just a deadline.  I'm hoping they can live with just the e-mail acks, but there's a chance we'll need signatures as mentioned there.

Sorry if you're feeling attacked @psjamesp. I know you and the crew work hard to put on a good event.

- Chris Hunt

Echoing @cdhunt it's the decision that I disagree with, not the people that collectively make said decision

- Ryan Yates

Yeah, we love and appreciate you guys. Just concerned about the impact on the wider community 🙂

- Joel Sallow

<3.  Thank you all for bringing up these points without bringing too many pitchforks : )

What now?

So!  Yes, it's sad.  But some good will come out of this, and you can help ensure folks without access to Pluralsight or the conference can still access the content:

  • Are you a speaker?  Want to talk at a user group to ensure you are recorded in a publicly available format?  Ping Warren
  • Are you interested in a session that is only available on Pluralsight?  Ping the speaker to see if they would be interested in speaking and recording at a user group
  • Are you hoping we change this for next year, even with the benefits it gives us?  Be sure to tell us in the conference feedback, or ping summit@powershell.org
  • Do you want to convince PluralSight to open these up beyond subscription or conference-goer gates?  This likely won't be possible, but give Thomas Rayner a ping in Discord

We'll update this post with specifics on how access to the content will work, once this has been finalized.