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BBC Presents An Open News Archive 129

Posted by Zonk
from the news-remixed dept.
Cus writes "The BBC have opened a section of their news archive under a Creative Archive license. Nearly 80 items covering the last 50 years are available, with the full list available on their site. Paul Gerhardt the project director of the Creative Archive License Group, from the official announcement: 'The BBC's telling of those stories is part of our heritage, and now that the UK public have the chance to share and keep them we're keen to know how they will be used.'"
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BBC Presents An Open News Archive

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  • by JonN (895435) * on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @06:08PM (#14387619) Homepage
    "and now that the UK public have the chance to share and keep them"

    And the rest of us don't?

    However on to more important ideas, I believe this is another great step forward in opening knowledge to everyone, such as when Princeton's collection of more than 10,000 works will be categorized, posted for world to study. [detnews.com] These are pieces of work and acadamia that everyone should have access to, as it expands minds and ideas, and pushes us forward, intellectually.

    • by Vainglorious Coward (267452) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @06:12PM (#14387658) Journal
      "and now that the UK public have the chance to share and keep them"
      And the rest of us don't?

      The archive is only available to IP addresses originating from the UK.

      • I wonder if this means that I go and visit the web page I will have to cough up the licensing fee... I avoid BBC News videos on the BBC web site just to be able to claim that I haven't accessed their TV content.
    • FTFA...sounds like we all need to find a proxy in the UK. :-) Really though, I suppose that breaks all kinds of "international laws".

      The archive content released here under the Creative Archive Licence will use limited DRM (Digital Rights Management), but not at the cost of user creativity. For instance, to help us identify our source material we will be using a patented Video Watermarking technology where a virtual barcode will be embedded into the video clips. This invisible stamp can be read through vid
      • But I'm FROM the UK, just in the US at the moment... why can't I check? If you go with the 'you don't have a TV license' argument, not everyone in the UK has one (last time I heard a few years back there are about 20 million licenses for around 60 million people, but of course most of that will live together. I did hear there were around 22 million addresses in the UK (including businesses) so it's probably pretty much saturation point anyway.

        On an unrelated note does anyone have a proxy server or do I ha
    • UK The Creative Archive content is made available to internet users for use within the UK.

      Looks that way doesn't it? Given the BBC has a definite worldwide presence, would it not make sense for them to open it up to other countries as well? It's a bizarre choice, just like they used DRM on the iMP service to lock it into the UK. I can see they don't want to waste bandwidth on non licence paying countries, but either stop broadcasting BBC World and pull out of the world altogether or just do the sensible

      • Given the BBC has a definite worldwide presence, would it not make sense for them to open it up to other countries as well? It's a bizarre choice
        I imagine that, at least partially, it's a rights issue. For example, the BBC have the rights to the 1966 World Cup for broadcast within the UK, but not worldwide.
        • Under a good few laws, they'd be fine rebroadcasting since rebroadcasting does not entail such restrictions (and in fact the usage of DRM on rebroadcasts is illegal, but more on that once i've sent in my complaint to OFCOM.
        • by Angostura (703910) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @06:46PM (#14387910)
          I imagine also that this is also, at least partly, a political/public-opinion issue.

          The BBC is fairly regularly attacked in the UK for spending so much on a Web presence that is heavily used by an international audience but which is paid for by a tax on TVs. It would get a right old kicking from the UK press and in particular the Murdoch press if it made content that "we have paid for" freely available overseas. For those who don't realise - the BBC's World Service is paid for directly by the foreign and commonwealth office, not from the TV licence fee.

          The License fee is supposed to be spent entirely on the provision of services to the UK population. The BBC is watching its back here.
          • That's a very good point; or, rather, it's several very good points.
          • It's a very, very good point. Also note that stations like BBC World, America, Prime etc etc are all advertiser-funded, not paid for by the licence fee.
          • ...also, it's never shy about launching commercial ventures [bbcworldwide.com], and using that money to cross-subsidise the UK services.

            So here's hoping that once this really gets going, they will launch a subscription offer targetted at non-Brits.

          • Those of us residing overseas probably pay more money, per hour of BBC TV watched, than those in the UK paying for it with their license fees! How come? Well we PAY for several Cable channels, including, but not limited to PBS, A&E etc. etc. for the skant BBC TV offerings which appear and many are not the newer stuff. In turn these Cable Channels BUY the product from the BBC. Hence, we overseas (America for me) actually arrange for the BBC to be paid by program. On top of that many donate to the PBS whi
          • For those who don't realise - the BBC's World Service is paid for directly by the foreign and commonwealth office, not from the TV licence fee.
            Heh, and who pays for the FCO? Peter or Paul?
          • As a cable viewer in Belgium, part of my cable fee goes to BBC (not BBC World Service). OK, it's not direct, the cable company pays a set amount. But I'm sure that the cable company has calculated how much we owe them for BBC (only 1 and 2) ;-)
      • by Bogtha (906264) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @06:22PM (#14387753)

        Given the BBC has a definite worldwide presence, would it not make sense for them to open it up to other countries as well?

        The rest of the world don't pay a TV license that funds the BBC. The UK public do.

        If I remember correctly, they are forced to do it this way because of the way that their charter is written. It's really not that bizarre when you think about it - the BBC acts in the UK public's interests - by selling their content to foreign countries instead of giving it away, they are reducing the cost of the license fee for the UK public.

        • by hug_the_penguin (933796) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @06:25PM (#14387774) Homepage
          I disagree. They could allow the public in other countries access and demand certain uses be licenced, that would be a much fairer system. In any case, how many people are going to go find a UK proxy after reading this article?
          • The problem is that there are many people in the UK who would love to end the TV license system of funding the BBC. Giving away content to non-paying foreigners would only give those people more ammunition.
            • Would it really? I disagree. The BBC provides the content at the convenience of your TV, it's not even close to that with the iMP, that's downloading the individual programs, putting them in a playlist and watching them. Which is easier? How many more people would rather watch it in front of a TV?
            • The problem is that there are many people in the UK who would love to end the TV license system of funding the BBC

              After seeing what's happened to tv in the U.S., I hope for your sake it doesn't happen. At least not if it means running advertising. With the exception of public television, news coverage and programming here have been getting worse and worse.

              Advertising is pushing many things that are not in the public interest, and the media news barely covers the negative impacts of those companies/product
          • I agree, as a former UK license-payer now living elsewhere. (I already paid for some of this content, yet I can't access it.) But most of the stuff on the BBC's Web site is accessible worldwide, with UK residents (and in some cases, paying subscribers) only getting higher bit-rates, better resolution, etc.

            Most of this stuff doesn't look so great, anwyay. It all seems to be 2- or 3- minute clips, not full programmes from the archives. And I'm sure that any sites that redistribute/remix the content will be ac
            • The license terms say that the material is only provided for use within the UK. So as far as I can see, they aren't giving you permission to put the original/remixed material on a globally accessible website.

              This certainly kills any enthusiasm that I might have had for doing anything with it.

          • "In any case, how many people are going to go find a UK proxy after reading this article?"

            After looking at the clip titles: 0
          • that would be a much fairer system.

            Fairer in what sense? It's the UK public funding it, if the BBC started freely licensing it to other countries, the cost to the UK public would go up, as it's partly funded by commercial licensing in other countries at the moment. How is the UK public subsidising media for other countries fairer?

        • So let me pay for a UK tv license to get equal/equivalent access. Trebly so when they decide to let you watch/download directly. Even if it excluded all non-BBC produced content that would be fine with me. Do they not want lots of virtually free money as I can imagine they could sell millions of extra tv licenses in such a way?
    • Look, I'll have a word with Auntie for our American cousins if they all promise to watch the 1966 World Cup video, say "Ruddy good show old boys" and sing the National Anthem proudly (knowing every word .. including the sixth verse).

      They then have to sit through the Queen's speech every Christmas Day, just after they've eaten a huge meal, cannot move and cannot find the remote.

    • by LordSnooty (853791) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @06:58PM (#14388014)
      And the rest of us don't?

      Pffft. Please send £126.50 to the BBC, Wood Lane, London and we might let you have access for a year.
      • And the rest of us don't?

        Pffft. Please send £126.50 to the BBC, Wood Lane, London and we might let you have access for a year.

        Marooned by circumstance in the US, I wish I could! I wish... Oh, please...

        ... and a source for Irn Bru.

    • That would probably be becasue it's most likely paid for by the licence fee.
  • Nice... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jmcmunn (307798) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @06:09PM (#14387631)

    The BBC certainly has the right idea with the sharing of information and history. Here in the US we seem to be much more wrapped up in who owns the rights to something and how to make money from it. The BBC on the other hand seems to be putting as much as possible into the hands of the public, making it easier for people to get to the information we all deserve to be able to see. According to what I read on the site, all they ask is that you not commercialize it, and give credit for where it came from. Seems fair to me! Nice job BBC.
    • ... on the iMP service shows the exact opposite attitude. Information is there to be shared and yet BBC owned programs werent exempt from the DRM they used to lock it into the UK among other things. I mean for Chrissakes, freely sharing information is what it's about, yet locking it to one country? So no, the BBC is no different.
      • Well I believe the reason they do that is because BBC is a UK-taxpayer funded service, so they only want UK taxpayers reaping the rewards. I heard that somewhere. fwiw.
      • by Aphrika (756248)
        I'd wager there that the BBC is different, but in a slightly different way than you'd expect.

        That difference is the £126.50 TV license [tvlicensing.co.uk] that any TV-owning UK household has to pay. Hence this is is the reason why content is locked in via country - it's not really free as such, we're paying for it. However, it's damn good money for 365 days a year of TV and full content from their online service (including iMP).

        £126.50? It's a bargain. Do I mind that I pay for it? No, not at all...
        • I mind. I mind they're illegally restricting me from using that iMP service by locking it into windows, i mind that i won't be able to use any of their DRMed services when i'm abroad. I mind they're wasting a hell of a lot of licencepayers' money on DRM when we could be having a cheaper licence.
    • > The BBC certainly has the right idea with the sharing of information and history.
      > Here in the US we seem to be much more wrapped up in who owns the rights to something
      > and how to make money from it.

      The end result of this is simple. 200 years from now, because of wide spread copying the BBC's version of history will still be around and because of licensing restrictions the US's version of history will not be.

      As Orwell once said, "He who controls the past, controls the future.". In essense, by go
    • Wha...? (Score:4, Informative)

      by lheal (86013) <lheal1999@yahoo . c om> on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @06:59PM (#14388021) Journal
      Here in the US we seem to be much more wrapped up in who owns the rights to something and how to make money from it.

      You're holding up the BBC as an paragon of social virtue by comparing them to whom? CNN, or PBS? The BBC was created for this kind of thing. Making content available to the public is straight out of the BBC Charter [bbc.co.uk]:

      OBJECTS OF THE CORPORATION
      3. The objects of the Corporation are as follows:-
      (a) To provide, as public services, sound and television broadcasting services (whether by analogue or digital means) and to provide sound and television programmes of information, education and entertainment for general reception in Our United Kingdom [...]
      • Re:Wha...? (Score:3, Funny)

        by LordSnooty (853791)
        Ah, I love being a Brit. Look at the first paragraph of the charter. "TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME, GREETING!" That's actually part of an official government document! Ah, you USians would kill for a history which can begat such quaint traditions.

        • I think we did kill to get AWAY from that history...as I recall it was a bunch of brits.

          (that was a joke, nothing against the UK just couldn't resist)
        • and where else would you find a name like "Our right trusty and well beloved Counsellor Virginia Bottomley Our Secretary of State for National Heritage"
  • by Anonymous Coward

    So much for the BBC committment to open standards... has anyone seen and tried the BBCs much vaunted trial for on demand content?

    Microsoft Windows DRM infected crap that expires after seven days, combined with a BitTorrent client. It's almost like they threw some money at a Visual Basic firm and who scripted a BT ActiveX control (written by someone else natch) and Microsoft's Media Player.

    The result is a totally closed system that demands you pay Microsoft for the right to watch programmes that you've al

    • I did launch a complaint against this a while ago as a concerned licencepayer, and i will be following it up with complaints to OFCOM and going to town with the press as well. Under the Freedom of Information act, the BBC is required to answer any questions I may have relevant to the spending of money, schedule selection etc. and so it will be interesting to see just how much has been spent on this tacky DRM system, why they feel the need to lock it into the UK, how they feel they can justify breaking numer
      • Please post the results of your quest to slashdot. Or send me an email. :)

        Stephan
      • why they feel the need to lock it into the UK,

        I can answer that one for you now - right for programmes on iMP will have already been agreed, and they will cover broadcast in the UK only. It would be even more expensive to secure rights for worldwide broadcast, and it would no doubt slash the number of shows they could offer for download. As the charter notes, they already have an obligation to deliver the content to licence-fee payers. This project merely extends the obligation to p2p. Still, you raise so
        • And who owns the rights to the BBC-sourced BBC-made BBC archives? *Hmmm*
          • Not the BBC necessarily, if that's what you're implying. Rights in most cases will still reside with the actors, performers & writers. When the BBC initially commissions a show, deals will be struck with the creatives to secure rights to broadcast. If those rights expire, which they do after some period of time, they must be re-negotiated.
    • by RonnyJ (651856)
      From the iMP FAQ [bbc.co.uk]:

      Expired programmes are automatically deleted from your hard drive after the 8-day window. Programmes expire due to rights agreements

      You can complain about it, but the fact remains that the BBC are currently legally unable to offer many of their programmes in non-DRM formats. In the meantime, however, I'm sure that hundreds of thousands of UK broadband users will be satisfied with what the iMP offers them.

      • The windows using ones who don't travel much...

        Then there's me who uses linux and travels a lot. And has a moral objection to DRM too. Well i'm being raped on all 3 fronts...

        • Well i'm being raped on all 3 fronts...

          So, the BBC can't legally provide a service that is suitable for a minority of UK TV license fee payers, I recognise this. However, would you really suggest that they shouldn't provide a service suitable for millions of other license fee payers because of this?

          • They can do it legally because they're putting the DRM on illegally. The BBC is becoming another corporation where breaking the law is justifiable and legal fees are just part of the budget. The BBC also has a policy of platform neutrality you may wish to take a look at.
            • I wonder then if the reason they went for WMP is because a) they had to have something DRM-like otherwise nothing gets shared, and b) there's no DRM equivalent in the non-windows world. I think you'll be told that they went for the WMP solution because this is merely a pilot, testing out the technology. Who knows what tricks they'll have ready if/when the system goes live. Not much in the Linux world, I expect. Sad but true. Me, I got my own BT client. You can get the stuff, just not directly from the BBC.
            • Please show me which law they are breaking. Because they arent. Thus it isnt illegal.
              • Copyright, Designs and Patents Act of 1988 and later amendments. Section 70. Want to go look that up? You'll notice it contradicts the right to record-to-timeshift. The BBC will be aware of this since i sent off my FOI request last night, they've claimed i'll get an answer within 20 days.
                • All that section says is that a private recording of a televised broadcast for the purposes of viewing it later doesnt infringe copyright.

                  Nowhere does it require the copright owner or broadcaster to explicitly allow timeshifting. Absolutely nowhere. And you cant even intereprete that section as a requirement to allow.

                  THe BBC is under no obligations to allow you to do it, but if you can and do do it then you arent infringing.
                  • There is a right derived from that section that gives you the right to record for timeshifting purposes and DRM infringes upon that right. Let me see if i can find the derived rights statement for you to peruse.
        • You could so what I do and have a spare desktop at home running windows.
          Yes it sucks, but I think it also sucks that I _have_ to drive a car to visit my parents. Yes it is possible to use public transport, but it takes twice as long.

          So I try to use public transport/Linux where possible and the car/windows where other people's choices don't leave me another viable choice.

          Life's full of these ideals vs functionality trade-offs; i try not to bitch about them too much anymore and live with them.

          But you're not t
          • I pay my licence, I expect my service. When I go to buy a steak pie, do i get home and read the packet and find it says it's incompatible with electric ovens and only gas will do? It's not the BBC's place to provide lock-in to a platform, especially with their published platform neutrality policy. And DRM is worth bitching about, it's a big deal. And it will come off. I still intend to contact OFCOM about it who will do something about it. And if nothing changes, i'll quit paying my licence fee because fran
            • Because of your repeated claims about "platform neutrality", I had to search the BBC to find what you were talking about. All I could find that mentioned the phrase was this [bbc.co.uk], talking about interactive TV, not broadcast, and in any case it merely says the word "encourage" - not "require".

              I also had a quick peek via Google, found this [66.102.9.104] - a report by the BBC's R&D unit from five years ago, which does refer to broadcast TV, but still only says "the BBC aims to...". I'm sure that if Linux offered a DRM solut
        • Doesn't the BBC directive require them to broadcast as many of their shows and share as much information with as many people in the UK as possible.

          If they can't show the shows because a contracted company will not allow them to unless they use DRM and restrict viewing to the UK, then i would say they were doing their job correctly in building a system to allow the MAJORITY of the UK audience to view the information. There is nothing to stop you going to your local library when in the UK and watch the progra
          • The BBC's directive comes second to the letter of the law, need I remind you, and if the law says the rebroadcast can't be DRMed, then the rebroadcast can't be DRMed. The BBCs directive also says nothing about people living in other countries should be stopped from accessing our content and frankly i'd rather they didn't spend money on DRM to try and lock these people out creating more costs. And since you're unfamiliar with the way linux works, i'll put it simply. Linux as a platform is not something you c
            • I know it will always be possible to circumvent DRM, but wouldn;t it be possible to make it so you have to go out of your way to circumvent it?

              Plus their directive is to make it availible to as many UK citizens as possible, and isn't paying money (in server and bandwidth costs) more expensive then a short term cost of setting up and running a IP blocker. It also makes it clear that you can download content and watch it anywhere you want.
              • Maintenance costs. Not just for the IP blocker, for the DRM
                • Surely the IP blocker and DRM are different issues?

                  I'm as against DRM as the next person, if not more so as I have taken steps to boycot companies/music labels that abuse it (I've not downloaded or bought any CDs that use or promote DRM). But the BBC seems to have taken resonable steps to allow fair use at a better level than most over companies.

                  I think it's important to remember that they have already provided to content via a broadcast over that airwaves that you are free to record and reuse, and this is
                  • you'd encourage changing the laws? There's a reason the rebroadcast laws were set up like that in the first place, nothing's exclusive once it's been shown exclusively once. This says that therefore anyone can have a copy of it to watch etc. The laws were set up to give the consumer at least some rights over what is quickly becoming a rape-the-consumer industry. I too boycott DRMed services and music because i'm not going to buy into my own slavery.
  • As a bit of a dabbler with video, I've been through the videos on offer and right now, am hard pressed to find an exact need for them in my projects/ideas right now.

    They are certainly interesting on their own and some could be used in specific projects, however, as it stands, they are really little more than a "teaser"

    I hope this project gains momentum to realise a stock video archive of thousands of clips.

    A video version of stock.xchng would be an incredible resource.
  • Can this be added to wikimedia ? I am wondering if Creative Archive license puts some restrictions here. (Last point of license: The Creative Archive content is made available to internet users for use within the UK.)

    Are there potentials of abuse as well ?

    • Re:Wikimedia (Score:2, Informative)

      by gowen (141411)
      Can this be added to wikimedia ? ... Last point of license: The Creative Archive content is made available to internet users for use within the UK.
      So ... that would be "No", then. And you were so nearly there...
    • Re:Wikimedia (Score:3, Insightful)

      Can this be added to wikimedia ?

      No. It's not really an open license at all. For one thing it forbids commercial use. And it's limited to the UK! In my eyes this constitutes an abuse of the word "open".

  • YES! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Caspian (99221) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @06:14PM (#14387670)
    Now that the annals of history have been released as open source, I can edit the past to suit my whims!

    I'm hereby releasing GNU/History, a fork of the past 50 years in which every computer runs Linux and Bill Gates is RMS's plumber. At long last! Now to set up a Wiki...
    • Re:YES! (Score:2, Interesting)

      by gowen (141411)
      He who controls the past, controls the future.
      We are at war with Eurasia. We have always been at war with Eurasia.
      Eurasia had proven links to the 9/11 evildoers.
    • I'm reminded of the Churchill quote:
      History will be kind to me for I intend to write it
  • Berlin Wall footage (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Winlin (42941) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @06:14PM (#14387673)
    I was just thinking the other day about some of the most memorable events I have watched on the news, and the one I most wished I had taped more of was the Wall being swarmed by those happy crowds. And now the BBC has given me a late Xmas present:)
        Those were the days...when you turned on the news to see what new GOOD stuff had happened since you last watched.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yes, but the question is, does the footage include David Hasselhoff standing on a raised platform singing Looking For Freedom, while wearing a leather jacket adorned by Christmas tree lights?

      Seriously. Not only did it happen, but the song was #1 in Germany for five weeks. I know this sounds like a joke, but it's really true. Use Google if you don't believe me.

  • by Aphrika (756248) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @06:29PM (#14387796)
    I had a quick flick through what's there and it's currently mostly MS Encarta kind of material: those landmark events that put the last 50 years on the map. So in a way it's great as an additional resource for school projects and that kind of thing. However, I can't help but think that the clips are each like islands - there's so much more that the BBC could offer around each clip - a bit like their On This Day [bbc.co.uk] section which I absolutely love.

    I can't but help think that if history began 50 years ago, the BBC would be the best record of it. Over time, the information the BBC collects and stores will become more relevant and more complete than most archives out there, and the fact that they're opening it up for use is great. My only fear is that they'll stop with the 'big' stuff - the Encarta style stuff we're seeing here.

    The other interesting point is: if there are x new organisations in the world collecting, collating and storing y amount of information(*) each on a minute by minute basis, is there a possibility that Google(**) would cease to be able to deal with the capacity? Currently it indexes what it can see, but what about the millions and millions of pages, articles, scripts, reports, audio and video recordings that are not online? People I've met that work at the BBC assure me that they have access to tools that 'put Google to shame' when cross-referencing information (I'd love to know more about this if any Beeb employees would like to reply).

    I digress, in any case this is a good thing. Free information is a good thing...

    (*) Important to note that Google just indexes what's there, rather than it being an information supplier.
    (**) Can we coin a Law describing the point in a thread when Google is first mentioned in a Slashdot thread? Goodot's Law?
  • boy...
    games:1
    20th anniversary(wars and disaster):2
    tsunami:4
    Africa politics:10
    ireland politics:3
    terror:3
    south asia:3
    Space:3
    Colonalism:2 (hongkong)
    cold wars:8
    n korea/china:4
    katrina:2
    royal weds:4
    dubai:2
    globe warming:3
    brit scence and people:9
    elvis:1
    east asia politics:4
    tax roit(i wish they had be here):3
    piper alpha (dunno what):5
    cloning:2
    ship sink:2


    ... seems they take coldwar/communism quite seriously ... as much as they take royal weddings and africa politics.
  • If I live in the UK, but I don't have a TV (and thus don't pay the TV license fee) am I still allowed to use the clips?

    -Grey [wellingtongrey.net]
  • This content seems quite political...

    Fighting communism etc.

    Where are all the TV shows?

    Basically who decided what would be made available? If they used something like bittorrent the amount of content wouldn't matter compared to the bandwith the BBC uses.
    • Rights issues. Very cheap or free to offer this type of content. Check out the roadmap at the site - "Science & Nature" is next. Yep, more stuff where you generally don't have to pay the paricipants. I don't expect we'll see regular TV shows of the type you imagine for a long time.
  • One of the terms in the Creative Archive Licence [bbc.co.uk] is No derogatory use. But if I take one of these pieces, create a satirical version, and someone is offended enough to complain about my satire then is that derogatory use. Who decides? Head of Creative Archive Licensing at the BBC? The producer of the original item? The offended person? And what is the standard for derogatory?
  • My default Ubuntu Totem can't play back any of the three formats (well, I tried MPEG and Quicktime; I assumed WMP wouldn't work). Anyone else had more luck? Is there any way someone on Linux who doesn't want to install non-free/illegal codecs can play back Creative Archive video?

    Where's the Dirac version? ;-)

    Gerv
  • by craXORjack (726120) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @08:17PM (#14388519)
    While Uncle Sam schemes to wring the last few cents out of fifty year old news clips and commentaries, John Bull just starts giving it away thus ensuring that History will a british spin on it for the next thousand years. What's next? I suppose the French will start giving their music away so that the rhythmic ditties of our lovely Britney will be relegated to the forgotten dustheap of the late 20th century? I can't think of anything worse unless someone like the Swedes did away with copyright entirely. Then our grandchildren could grow up thinking Ingmar Bergman was the greatest filmmaker of our day instead of Quentin Tarentino. How could I live in a world where european artsy-fartsy movies become the basis of third millenia culture while Kill Bill 2 rots a slow celluloid death in a forgotten warehouse in post-apocalyptic Los Angeles? Oh woe. Woe is me.
  • I checked. I thought it might be a typo for "80,000" or something.

    But no. It's correct. "Nearly 80". For fifty years. That's one and a half per year, roughly. Not exactly a huge amount, is it?

    OK, so, good step, could have interesting results. Not my personal thing but I'm sure it will appeal to lots of film students and home editor/directors and all sorts.

    But it's hardly an overwhelming archive of the millions of hours the Beeb must have stored up, is it?
    • For a start they are probably testing the waters by releasing a little to start with, and secondly, I think you'll find if/when they release more it will become apparent how much doesn't exist any more. BBC archives of programmes like Dr. Who have been thrown out or wiped [wikipedia.org] and I am sure this is true of many other recordings.
      • I think you'll find if/when they release more it will become apparent how much doesn't exist any more. BBC archives of programmes like Dr. Who have been thrown out or wiped and I am sure this is true of many other recordings.

        Certainly true, but still, the BBC's archive is still enormous, and has got to be one of the most valuable records we have of the 20th century. If this pilot works well, there's a lot they could add to it.

        Regarding the Slashdotter's dream of a vast, legal online archive of Doctor Wh

      • I'm sure you're right, on both counts. I do know about how much they have erased. It's very sad but with the volume of stuff they produce one can see why they do it!

        WIBNI they released everything they could that's left, though? At some point?
      • The majority of material deleted (Not Only ... But Also, Doctor Who, that kind of thing) was entertainment programming - thrown out to make room for the BBC to archive its current affairs output. I don't think the beeb has any worry that when it comes to releasing its complete news archive it won't have every single regional news program from the last 20 years to throw in to the mix. Certainly they will have the vast majority of national news footage that has ever been broadcast, every episode of Panorama,
  • This is wonderful, i can already see an entire range of clips i want to watch, yet when i click, i see a horrid "brits only" sign... Anyone posted torrents yet ?

The flow chart is a most thoroughly oversold piece of program documentation. -- Frederick Brooks, "The Mythical Man Month"

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