Old Newsreels Online For Free

from the nice dept

As the BBC is still trying to figure out how to put their content online, here’s a story that talks about two different operations to get old newsreels and “ephemeral films” online. The British Pathe is apparently putting up 3,500 hours worth of old newsreels (the news clips often played before movies in the years before that time was all taken up with commercials). The database, which is still being added to, apparently has lots of details about the films. The article says that viewing the basic films is free, but requires registration. Getting your hands on higher quality versions costs a little extra. Meanwhile, over at the Internet Archive, they’re putting up “ephemeral films”, which are things like old advertisements and political propaganda films – all in the public domain. Apparently, the films are quite large (very high quality), but they’re there to be used. It even includes a nice rating system, so you can see what others thought of the films. So, my question on both of these is why aren’t they using file sharing tools to get them out there as well? It seems like a perfect example of a legitimate way to get these things out there without having to worry about high bandwidth bills.

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