C-SPAN Wisely Removing Restrictions On Its Content

from the transparency dept

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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    James, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 9:49am

    And gee..

    ...oh err... its paid for with our tax dollars, why the hell should it NOT be viewable online? And if they don't pay for the bandwidth (aka youtube, et. al) then even more so, why the hell not??

    Perhaps they thought the inter-tubes were full :-p

     

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    Viceroy, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 10:20am

    Tiresome Phrases

    I have been subscribed to TechDirt's RSS feed for quite some time and have noticed an annoying trend that doesn't make much sense. The phrases (or minor variants), "quite some time" and "doesn't (or does) make (much) sense."

    After a few weeks of seeing these particular phrases in almost every article, I find myself not reading the articles for the value of their content, but just to amuse myself by finding the "easter eggs."

    Comon guys, can't you get a little more creative than this?

     

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    ConceptJunkie (profile), Mar 8th, 2007 @ 10:21am

    I can see why...

    I can see why they maybe don't want license all their stuff the same way: Someone will figure out a way to make money off of it.

    While that doesn't hurt C-SPAN directly, by retaining full control over their information, they can make sure people don't go around selling it.

    Of course, this is completely a guess. I think C-SPAN does a great job and I listen to them on the radion a lot. Backing down was the right thing to do, it's nice to see an organization, even if it's not a for-profit business, recognize that technology has changed the way we distribute media.

    Now if we could only get the **AA companies to stop trying to fight the future and embrace it. All it takes is a business model that can be stated without the words "extort" or "violate" (or "screw").

     

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    Mikey, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 10:37am

    It's not tax dollars

    C-SPAN is paid for by the cable companies. There are no public funds used.

     

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      James, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 11:12am

      Re: It's not tax dollars

      My bad, indeed you are correct... directly from the c-span website:

      "C-SPAN is a private, nonprofit business created in 1979 by America’s cable television industry. Its operating funds are derived from monthly fees paid by affiliated cable TV systems and other distributors of C-SPAN programming. C-SPAN receives no funds from the government."

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 1:08pm

      Re: It's not tax dollars

      Right, and cable companies (in their role as public benefactors) just absorb the costs of C-SPAN without passing them on to the consumers.

       

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    Overcast, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 11:27am

    All this DRM and Copyright stuff is being so blown out of proportion. It's amazing this even came up...

     

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    TNP, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 5:11pm

    C-SPAN policy change

    Good, but not good enough. They need to dump their support of Real...Buffering...Buffering...Networks crap and go open source. I would think more Linux users pay attention to C-SPAN more than Windows users anyway.

     

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