Saturday, March 10, 2007

C-SPAN changes copyright terms

Earlier this week I mentioned C-SPAN's restrictive copyright, C-SPAN: Free the video. Well, they've done it:
C-SPAN is introducing a liberalized copyright policy for current, future, and past coverage of any official events sponsored by Congress and any federal agency-- about half of all programming offered on the C-SPAN television networks--which will allow non-commercial copying, sharing, and posting of C-SPAN video on the Internet, with attribution.
I saw this press release yesterday and wasn't sure what to make of it. It was this line in particular that made me wonder what exactly was going on:
The new C-SPAN policy borrows from the approach to copyright known in the online community as “Creative Commons.”
I actually went to the Web site to try to find their new terms of service and couldn't find a thing. Mostly I was wondering what they meant by "borrows from" and how it was different? What's wrong with just accepting the Creative Commons license? Then the DailyKos came out with this stating:
Having given it some quick thought, I still don't think this goes far enough. These are GOVERNMENT hearings, they should be in the public domain, not "owned" by C-SPAN, no matter how liberal the license might be.
That's a good point and hard to argue with, but Professor Lessig seems to think that what C-SPAN has done is positive, On being big and being great: C-Span
Should they be even more liberal? The Kos says yes. More of course would be better. But first steps are progress, and deserve sincere praise.
Works for me. C-SPAN showed how quickly a big organization can act in the public interest. Now we need to keep the pressure on public media to do the same.

No comments: