There was a bit of a controversy last week after C-SPAN asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to remove some of the network's footage from a committee meeting that she had posted on her site. The network has apparently revisited its stance on the issue, and will now encourage non-commercial sharing and copying of all Congressional and federal agency footage, even if it was filmed with C-SPAN's own cameras. Apparently, the network's move is influenced by Creative Commons licensing, although it won't actually put such a license on its content. Unfortunately, this new policy won't apply to its own, in-studio programming, such as its morning call-in show. It really makes sense for C-SPAN to fully embrace open distribution of its content. It's not a commercial organization, so it shouldn't be too concerned if viewers are watching it though unofficial channels. Furthermore, opening up helps further its goal of providing public access to the political process. Still, this is a step in the right direction, and hopefully the network will continue along further along this path.
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