This is quite exciting: C-SPAN has announced that they plan to making available on the web their video of congressional, White House and Federal events under a Creative Commons-type licensing structure. They are implementing a "liberalized copyright policy" which will allow non-commercial copying, sharing, and posting of C-SPAN video on the Internet, with attribution. I.e. the equivalent of a Creative Commons 3.0 license.
Now sure, C-SPAN was already widely available in the US to all basic cable subscribers. And it suffered from abysmal ratings. But now with online video that can be re-posted, re-mixed and social tagged, this opens up a whole new world of possibilities for citizens to monitor their government and draw attention to important proceedings through their own blogs, viral videos, and watchdog websites.
Let the remixed music videos begin…
Here’s the complete press release from C-SPAN:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jennifer Moire
C-SPAN TAKES LEAD IN MAKING VIDEO OF
CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS, WHITE HOUSE AND OTHER FEDERAL EVENTS MORE
WIDELY AVAILABLE TO THE ONLINE COMMUNITY
Cable Network Introduces New Copyright Policy and
Expanded Capitol Hearings Website
WASHINGTON (Wednesday, March 7,
2007) – Advancing its longstanding mission of bringing government
closer to the people, C-SPAN announced today two major initiatives
designed to greatly expand citizen access to its online video of
federal government activities, such as congressional hearings, agency
briefings, and White House events. These actions are intended to meet
the growing demand for video about the federal government and Congress,
in an age of explosive growth of video file sharers, bloggers, and
online ‘citizen journalists.’ The policy change is effective
· 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.
· In addition, C-SPAN also announced plans to significantly build out its capitolhearings.org website as a one-stop resource for Congressionally-produced webcasts of House and Senate committee and subcommittee hearings.
C-SPAN Executive Committee Chairman William J.
Bresnan, CEO of Bresnan Communications said that the network’s
directors enthusiastically endorsed the copyright policy
liberalization. "The C-SPAN board sees this as helping us carry out
C-SPAN’s public service mission,’ he said. "The cable industry created
this network to allow citizens greater access to their government and
this enhancement appropriately reflects the rapid changes in the online
"Giving voice to the average citizen has been a
centerpiece of C-SPAN’s journalism since our network’s founding in
1979," said, Rob Kennedy, C-SPAN president and co-COO. "As technology
advances, we want to continue to be a leader in providing citizens with
the tools to be active participants in the democratic process."
The new C-SPAN policy borrows from the approach to
copyright known in the online community as "Creative Commons." Examples
of events included under C-SPAN’s new expanded policy include all
congressional hearings and press briefings, federal agency hearings,
and presidential events at the White House. C-SPAN’s copyright policy
will not change for the network’s studio productions, all non-federal
events, campaign and political event coverage, and the network’s
feature programming, such as Book TV and original history series.
Capitolhearings.org was launched in 2001 as a public
service to aggregate the Congressionally-produced live audio streams of
Senate hearings. The initial build-out of the site will incorporate the
rapidly increasing webcasts of House committee and subcommittee
political network of record, was created in 1979 by America’s cable
companies as a public service. C-SPAN is currently available in more
than 90 million households, C-SPAN2 in more than 82 million households
and C-SPAN3 in over 12 million households nationwide. For more
information about C-SPAN, visit its website at www.c-span.org.