Saturday, February 24, 2007

Public media and copyright

One of the questions I asked myself several times during the Public Media conference was why there were no sessions discussing intellectual property rights (IPR). There was one session where music rights were discussed, but this was in regard to the DMCA and public radio stations ability to use copyrighted music in their programming. In general though, IPR was not something that appeared to be on anyone's radar.

Making this more curious was that the entire conference was centered around the concept of social media, social networking, user-generated content, community engagement, Web 2.0... Doc Searls, who has been in attendance at the conference asked this question in his Weblog today,
Wondering out loud at Public Media 2007... Are you ready to call public broadcasting (or public television or public radio) "public media"?
Now maybe I'm an idealist, okay I know I am, but it would seem to me that anything with "public" in its name should be releasing every thing they produce back to the public. The fact that this wasn't even discussed in the context of this conference is deeply disturbing. There have to be voices in public broadcasting calling-out for more progressive copyright policies? If there are, we certainly didn't hear from them at the IMA conference. What gives with that?

So, NPR and PBS and all you local stations, how about starting your transition from "Public Broadcasting to Public Media" by freeing your content? Show us you're serious about your commitment to the people. Until such time, I'm not ready to start calling public broadcasting "public media". It's not!


Unknown said...
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Unknown said...


Thanks for posing the question. I posted a reply here:

Kevin Gamble said...

I appreciate your comment and the link. I was wondering if anyone was listening. :)

I learned something from your post and I'm happy to see that at least some people are beginning to have this conversation. It's most definitely needed.