"Shagging Marmots?"

Wired News on the BBC Creative Archive: BBC to Open Content Floodgates

The British Broadcasting Corporation’s Creative Archive, one of the most ambitious free digital content projects to date, is set to launch this fall with thousands of three-minute clips of nature programming. The effort could goad other organizations to share their professionally produced content with Web users.

The project, announced last year, will make thousands of audio and video clips available to the public for noncommercial viewing, sharing and editing. It will debut with natural-history programming, including clips that focus on plants, animals and birds.

[…] The BBC archive would only be available to British citizens who pay the yearly TV license fee. Anyone who tries to visit the site through a foreign IP address won’t be allowed to log on, Le Dieu said.

She said the BBC is working on ironing out various legal and contractual issues. The BBC plans to license its materials using a system similar to Creative Commons, an American organization that has developed a set of flexible copyright licenses for creators of digital content.

But clearing the rights is a significant challenge. Some clips contain elements like musical soundtracks, which may require getting permission from the copyright holders.

[…] Those technical and legal challenges may render the archive incomplete, some fear.

“We want to make sure that the archive is more than just shagging marmots,” said David Tannenbaum, coordinator for the Union for the Public Domain. “There’s been no public discussion of how they are going to get beyond these nature clips.”

See earlier posting: The Beeb And CC