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British Groups Launch Creative Archive License 128

Posted by Zonk
from the creative-commons-sans-serial-numbers dept.
icerunner wrote in to mention that several British institutions have banded together to create the Creative Archive License. From the announcement: "BBC, Channel 4, British Film Institute and OU (Open University) issue call to action for Creative Archive Licence. Media and arts organisations, universities and libraries have today been urged to join an innovative new scheme designed to give the public access to footage and sound from some of the largest film, television and radio archives in the UK, as well as specially commissioned material." We've previously covered this as The BBC Creative Archive.
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British Groups Launch Creative Archive License

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  • Copyrights... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by timtwobuck (833954)
    Isn't this how copyrights in the US are supposed to work? Won't the same thing happen in the UK that happens over here, some large corportation (read Disney) keeps on spending and spending on lawyers to have the laws changed so their mascot can't be used in explicit material
  • by Flywheels of Fire (836557) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @11:37AM (#12234268) Homepage
    From WS on TFA [http]:

    The Creative Archive is a product of this exciting era of digital media and the internet. It's possible because of innovations in technology and content licensing, along with editorial vision. However, it remains a challenging and complex project with many unknowns. To help us understand the best way to deliver the Creative Archive, we have decided to start with a pilot project.

    And that in English means?

    I wonder how long before the IFPI [google.com] gets into the show.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 14, 2005 @11:38AM (#12234269)
    When will you ever learn that copyrights and patents are the way forward?
  • Only for UK (Score:5, Informative)

    by m_dob (639585) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @11:38AM (#12234275) Homepage
    This service is only intended for people who have IPs in the UK. Finally, a reason to be proud to be a British geek...
    • by Anonymous Coward
      No, the British geek can also be proud of the folowing: Tea, Stilton, Stephen Hawking, Fish & Chips, bangers and mash, Clauda Black & Farscape, and the list gose on and on
    • Re:Only for UK (Score:2, Interesting)

      by r4bb1t (663244)
      Super. Another way to prevent me from getting (at least, in my opinion) less biased news from outside the US. I try to read/watch/listen to the BBC as much as I can here in the States, given that the US media doesn't so much cover the rest of the world. I would have looked forward to being able to sift through the archives to see what I've been missing.
    • Prior to learning about the no endorsement section, I would have agreed with you. Now, I'm not so fast to conclude as you do. A good deal of the speech I make is political. I'd be disappointed to learn I had been paying BBC license fees ultimately to be told that I couldn't build on these works "to promote political, charitable, or other campaigning purposes".

      On the other hand, I've gained a newfound respect for the public domain and the importance of the preservation and growth of the public domain.
      • That's the public domain for you. As soon as you move something into a political arena it's no local public but it's propergander. Lets say we have a slip of a duck quacking and Labour use it as a slogan for their campaign. Every time we hear that duck it'll be "labour's duck" and then you can no longer claim it's public and free because to prevent others doing the same thing they would try and own the duck...

        well thats a fucked up post..
  • by JoaoPinheiro (749991) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @11:38AM (#12234277) Homepage
    Creative Archive = (Creative Commons) - (Derivate Works) + (UK Only) + (No Endorsement)
    • Creative commons lets you pick and choose which elements you want to use, this license is an all or nothing thing, but it was obviously inspired by creative commons.
    • Not quite. More like: Creative Archive = (Creative Commons) + (Derivate Works) + (UK Only) + (No Endorsement) As the article does say that derivative works must be also be licensed with the Creative Archive License (sound familiar?)
  • Another step (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sellin'papes (875203) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @11:40AM (#12234305) Homepage
    The next step is to license the archives under the Creative Commons license so that the footage in the archive could be altered by anyone and then recirculated.
    • Then you should read a bit up about the Creative Commons: by-nc-nd [creativecommons.org]
      • This BBC licence would be equivalent to a hypothetical Creative Commons "by-nc-nd-ukonly" license, which currently doesn't exist to my knowledge. (Ironically, the GNU GPL allows the author of a covered program to add geographic restrictions.)

  • Does this mean that I can get access to TV shows without paying a TV license? How does this actually work?
    • No. You can only access it from Britain. The BBC is publicly funded so British citizens have already paid their license fee.

      There will probably be ways around the Britain Barrier, as I believe it is going to be based on your IP.
      • Re:Confused (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Neeex (768224)
        Of course, it's perfectly possible to live in Britain and not have a TV licence - as long as you don't watch TV.

        And limiting access by IP is dangerous. As a result of my ISP buying its broadband wholesale from a large European business ISP, I'm living in England, but my IP addresses always seem to come from the German address space.
        • it's perfectly possible to live in Britain and not have a TV licence - as long as you don't watch TV.

          Not once most large computer monitors start coming with a DTV tuner built in.

          I'm living in England, but my IP addresses always seem to come from the German address space.

          You'd probably be able to sign up for a name and password based on some other sort of UK government-issued identification. (Do TV licences have numbers?) Using ID is rawther common among services with geographical limitations.

    • No, it just gives them another reason to charge you a TV license if you have a computer in your house.
    • Current shows will likely not end up in the archive yet, just older material, so you'll still need a TV licence if you own a TV.

      Still, since the BBC alone owns a truly big archive, this should become a really useful tool for education.
      Just imagine the benefit for history departments for example - free and open use of news and documentaries for student projects. Art will be another massive beneficiary, as they can reshoot or study BFI films freely and easily.

      Hell, online downloading and sharing of the Open
  • by jessmeister (225593) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @11:41AM (#12234316) Homepage
    This really plays into The Long Tail [thelongtail.com] scenario that is so often spoken of these days. I wonder how long before the major portals starts making deals with these owners of massive amounts of content. When a revenue model is established around this release of content we will see things really pick up. I am betting on instream advertising [dynadco.com] as the way they do it.
  • Very ex-Catherdra (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ites (600337) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @11:42AM (#12234323) Journal
    It's fine for licensing an archive that is unlikely to change.

    But if the intention is to create a living culture, restrictions on use are counter-productive.

    What the license says is "you can use our stuff". What a really far-sighted license says is "here are a set of rules for creating stuff. Oh, and our stuff falls under these rules too."

    For instance, why ban commercial use? To prevent competition? Sure... but competition is what makes the living culture.

    It'd be far more valuable to allow commercial use of - e.g. old BBC broadcasts - so long as the vendors also made their derived products freely available under the same conditions.
    • by gowen (141411) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Thursday April 14, 2005 @11:49AM (#12234402) Homepage Journal
      It'd be far more valuable to allow commercial use of - e.g. old BBC broadcasts
      The BBC makes an enormous amount of money repackaging and reselling its old programs. There's simply no way they'd allow others to undercut them on stuff they've spent a lot of money on producing (and since we Brits are paying for the BBC, I support them thoroughly on this.)

      I think their ideas are pretty well thought out (and not massively dissimilar from how Lucas allows his universe to be used for non-commercial fan films).
      • by ites (600337)
        If the archive is open for free access, no-one is actually going to pay a premium for commercial versions of it.

        People will pay for additional services provided over and on top of the existing material. This is what I call a "living culture". But many people won't provide such services gratis. There has to be at least the possibility of reward.

        So banning commercial reuse is actually pointless - because the free archive is already a flat competitor to the Beeb's existing commercial sale of those program
        • If the archive is open for free access, no-one is actually going to pay a premium for commercial versions of it
          Well, thats not true because the archive is *not* freely available to anyone outside the UK. We get it for free because (in the case of the BBC, at least) we've already paid for it. Everyone else has to pay.
          • Hold on... so individuals and non-profit organisations can take content, use it, and share it, but only within the UK?

            LMAO - this is like putting your cat outside and telling it to stay away from the birdie.

            Seriously... the content, being freely available, will without the slightest hesitation be spread across the four corners of the internets.

            This being self-evident, I start to doubt the sanity of the architects of this license.
            • by gowen (141411)
              will without the slightest hesitation be spread across the four corners of the internets.
              Well, yeah. But anything they release on DVD -- even with the most restrictive licenses you can imagine -- will get spread to the four corners of the internets. Ask the MPAA.

              There's no way they can control illegitimate copying and distribution, but that's not actually the issue here.
            • Hold on... so individuals and non-profit organisations can take content, use it, and share it, but only within the UK?

              from looking at the site, that's not exactly what is meant by UK only - it is meant to be primarily for UK, so you need to be based in the UK to access the archive. It doesn't go so far as to say that people who release works based on content in the archive have to limit those works to the UK.
      • Ah, but if they were promoting the licence-payers' interests rather than their own as an institution, they would probably do better by removing some restrictions.

        True, they would the get less in the way of funds for other projects, but then the entity that would have otherwise have bought the material then has more in the way of funds to do the same themselves. A greater plurality of creators makes for greater creativity: just look at channel four!

        • they would probably do better by removing some restrictions.
          Don't tell me, tell them. This is the start of a consultation period.
          • Share-alike is good: it undermines the kind of exploitation that I care abount. However, in many other respects, the licence is too strict; it promotes the interests of the BBC as an institution above those of the taxpayer. Helping your competitors, for example, would promote creativity a good deal more than having a non-commercial licence. Derogatory use is fair comment; much excellent art is a devivative work that the creator might not find palatable.

            I am aware that the BBC feel that they have a f

      • his universe! dammit, i want a universe all to myself (and the films that my fans make there).
      • with the emergance of cable tv in britain the bbc sold loads of its own content to ukgold who replay classic old tv - in some cases an entire season of a programme for 1 pound.

        - although co-owned by the bbc isn't that essentially giving your content to the competition?

    • Re:Very ex-Catherdra (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TobascoKid (82629)
      For instance, why ban commercial use? To prevent competition? Sure... but competition is what makes the living culture.

      Because the majority, if not all, the content has been payed for by the British taxpayer. Why should the taxpayer foot the bill for somebody's commercial use of the material?

      However, the BBC and C4 already have extensive commercial operations - the idea being that commercial users would pay for what they use and then that money gets sent back into the public services.
      • Re:Very ex-Catherdra (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Morosoph (693565)
        Because the majority, if not all, the content has been payed for by the British taxpayer. Why should the taxpayer foot the bill for somebody's commercial use of the material?
        Because the taxpayer gets extra utility for no extra funds, which means, of course, that they don't foot the bill, for the bill's already been paid!
        • Because the taxpayer gets extra utility for no extra funds
          But if the use is commercial would that not imply that the taxpayer is going to have to find extra funds for the utility? Is that not what "commercial use" means?
          • But if the use is commercial would that not imply that the taxpayer is going to have to find extra funds for the utility? Is that not what "commercial use" means?
            This is true, but the utility will be cheaper, by virtue of the subsidy. The advantage to the taxpayer would be that others would be building upon higher quality product, so that they get indirect benefit.
        • Because the taxpayer gets extra utility for no extra funds, which means, of course, that they don't foot the bill, for the bill's already been paid!

          Ok, let's explain how this works:

          1) I (and most of the rest of the population of the UK) give the BBC around 110 pounds a year (we have little choice in this, you either pay it or you can't watch tv/watch tv but end up in jail). The BBC uses this money to make content.

          2) The BBC turn around and release some of this content back to UK taxpayer, so that the UK
          • Now with commercial use of this material, with absolutly no pay back to the BBC (and hence the taxpayer) as the OP wanted, would mean that when the commercial user sells me the content, then I end up paying again for something I have already paid for and yet the commercial user hasn't paid anything.

            Ah, but we do get something: the programming that we paid to be made is now available through other channels, so we don't need to be at the set at a particular time. Also, if the BBC are doing their job, th

          • There's no problem with commercial use really, because if anyone can sell something that has been produced from something that is free, then they have patently added value, and justly deserve remuneration for the value they've added.

            If you believe they've added no value, then you don't buy it. No-one's forcing you to.

            However, you don't have a right to someone else's work for free simply because you commissioned the original art upon which they based their derivative.

  • Gee, Creative has their hands full lately...first Creative Commons, now Creative Archive. It used to be tradition to stick with a brand name for a while, like Live! or Audigy...

    I still remember waiting in line to buy a SoundBlaster 16! Boy, those were the days!

    ;)
    • Soundblasters were pieces of manure.

      Really. They were really weak. Bad sound, bad manufacture quality, and in Windows era, really bad drivers.

      If you waited in line for SB16 you were a mindless sheep. Gravis Ultrasound was about a hundred times better card, and less prone to pick up humm from mobo/power supply/hard drives.

  • My hope is that this will free up some Led Zeppelin footage, but I don't think the ghost of Peter Grant [slashdot.org] would let that happen.
  • This can only be good, although I await the actual content - it will be interesting to see what is released.

    This is clearly down to the philosophy of Open Source (or however you like to phrase it, depends if you are RMS or not) - people outside of IT are starting to see everyone being able to contribute to improving things as a good idea, using the power of the internet to form communities.

    Maybe it will spread to real Engineering too - not just the software variety? Or is there a point at which commercia
    • I think it's a bit of a conceit to say that "people outside of IT" are just realizing that open source has a lot of positive aspects to it. It's not that they don't see the benefits, it's that they would like to take advantage of it while still making money (and I'm not knocking them for making money), hence the "Creative Archive License"
    • by Anonymous Coward

      This is clearly down to the philosophy of Open Source (or however you like to phrase it, depends if you are RMS or not)

      Have you ever actually LISTENED to what RMS is saying? The difference between open source and free software isn't in which words you use, there are actual, significant differences between the two philosophies.

      Open source is about improving the quality of service through an open development model. Free software is about providing the user with freedom to do what they like with their

    • Yeah, it certainly is. It seems like things are getting back to the way they were before crazy patent and copyright laws started coming around.

      This is what leads to development and evolution.
      Current patent and copyright laws only lead to the development of monopolies (which in turn lead to stagnation - no competition, no need to evolve).
  • [put your name here] Creative License
  • by j()nty (741565) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @11:46AM (#12234359)
    From the summary [bbc.co.uk]

    The Creative Archive content is provided to allow you to get creative with content, not for campaigning, soapboxing or to defame others! So don't use it to promote political, charitable, or other campaigning purposes and remember to treat others and their work in the way that you'd expect them to treat you and your work...with respect!

    But if I want to satirise a piece covered by this license the original author could get all huffy and claim that I am defaming them.

    Let the lawyers arguments begin...

  • Makes Me Proud (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 14, 2005 @11:47AM (#12234381)
    Yeah, I'm so proud to be British at seeing this news.

    Also proud to be paying my fee to the BBC. The quality and integrity of our media is improved and upheld over and over again because of their unique position and charter.

    I wonder what formats will be used to distribute it though - will it be Mpeg or perhaps the new system the BBC have been devloping? So long as it's not WMV or RealMedia like the BBC currently seem to offer then I'll be happy!
    • The BBC are only offering WMV/RealMedia because they are currently the only widely available low-bitrate streaming formats. They don't want to use these formats as they have to pay Real/MS license fees - which is exactly why they are developing their own video compression system.
      • The BBC are only offering WMV/RealMedia because they are currently the only widely available low-bitrate streaming formats
        And it's not as if the vast majority of WMV/AVI can't be converted into MPEGs. transcode and mencoder are your friends.
    • Whatever it is, I'm glad that they won't be using DRM.
    • who, oh why did they choose real-player. could they have made a more foolish decision?
  • I won't have to shell out 150USD to get the Monty Python's Flying Circus DVD set? Or does Creative Archive License mean that someone can't use the footage for commercial purposes (at least legally), but can make plenty of student films with the footage?
    • I won't have to shell out 150USD to get the Monty Python's Flying Circus DVD set? Or does Creative Archive License mean that someone can't use the footage for commercial purposes (at least legally), but can make plenty of student films with the footage?

      Seeing as it explicity disallows commercial use, plus the fact that the material is primarily intended for use in the UK, I'd say you're out of luck.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Note that all the files will be restricted by IP. Meaning that outside the UK, we won't be able to download anything (without a UK based proxy)

    from the faq: [bbc.co.uk] The Creative Archive will not be using DRM around the content. The BBC's pilot site will be using a technology called GEOIP filtering to ensure that content sourced directly from the BBC will only be available to UK citizens.
    • hmm i hope so or else!
    • 'a UK based proxy' - like - for instance - highly-focused english-english translations on google.co.uk?
  • by DumbSwede (521261) <slashdotbin@hotmail.com> on Thursday April 14, 2005 @11:55AM (#12234463) Journal
    I like the idea of free access to media. I'm not sure about the idea of Cuisinarting this stuff into derivative materials. Don't get me wrong I'm not opposed to creativity, early sound sampling in music was used to great advantage, but it seems like we've entered an age of endless recycling when it comes to media. Even when not reusing the original material directly (as is so common in music) we are re-shooting it. I just watched Dennis Quaid in "Flight of the Phoenix" last night. Wow, here is a remake that didn't need to be. The original was much better. There was nothing even approaching the famous maniacal laughing scene when it is discovered the engineer designs model airplanes. But I digress.

    Perhaps the idea is to encourage independent documentary style work, but I still shudder at the idea of hundreds of avant-garde like film stuttering remixes of old stuff. Call me old fashioned but I just want to see good stories told in film and video. I hate "Reality TV" and now I may have to suffer through the advent of "Rip It Mix It TV"

    Hopefully people will limit them selves to intermittent flashes of things like train-wrecks and other visual punctuation marks with this stuff, but it is unclear to me where this is all going.

    One thing does seem certain -- production costs for creating quality content should continue to drop for independents. At some point big budget TV and Hollywood will have a problem keeping up, and this I am for.

    • ...and now I may have to suffer through the advent of "Rip It Mix It TV" Well I'm sure the probability of some unknown filmmaker's work taking over the timeslot of whatever derivative sitcom is relatively low. From what I've seen so far we need to worry about overuse and recycling of the same tired old ideas from the major studios rather than the independent studios (and the true independents, the guys working for free in basements). Hopefully this sort access, as well as true Creative Commons access, can
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 14, 2005 @11:56AM (#12234476)

    Since Slashdot is visited mostly by Americans, I shall supply some reference articles discussing the BBC Creative Archive (which was basically an idea presented by BBC's ex-director general Greg Dike suggesting to regroup and distribute all of BBC's past, present and future media under the Creative Commons licence).

    A whole bunch of other articles [google.fr] are available.

  • 4. No Endorsement and No derogatory use
    The Creative Archive content is provided to allow you to get creative with content, not for campaigning, soapboxing or to defame others! So don't use it to promote political, charitable, or other campaigning purposes and remember to treat others and their work in the way that you'd expect them to treat you and your work...with respect!


    This license seems pretty decent except for this part. Who gets to decide what is derogatory or an endorsement?

    For instance, lets say I am trying to raise money for a nonprofit program to get health care workers to poor women in rural Africa. As part of my fund-raising campaigning I do a screening of some BBC documentary from the archive on health care in rural Africa and ask people for donations. This seems like a pretty legitimate use of the material, but may prohibited by section #4.

    Now, what if I had a link to this supposed documentary from my example organizations website. Would that be endorsement? I view it as public education of the plight of a certain people that I wish to help. It would aid my position for getting donations though.

  • Fantastic! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by The Dodger (10689) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @12:01PM (#12234518) Homepage
    This is cool for two reasons. First, this is extending the concept of open source to content which, even if it has been done before, has never been done on this large a scale.

    Secondly, it's a step towards the BBC making their programming available for download. The BBC produce a huge amount of programming and, while they make a fair amount of money out of selling DVDs, videos (stuff like Blackadder and Doctor Who) and tapes/CDs (e.g. the HHGTTG radio series), there's a heck of a lot of other stuff that it doesn't make commercial sense to publish in that manner - e.g. programmes like Horizon [bbc.co.uk] and Top Gear [bbc.co.uk] ).

    I bet the biggest problem with putting programmes like those on the Archive will be the licencing terms for stuff like incidental music and events rights (like for sports and so on), which are presumably all currently based on the concept of broadcast, with extra payments for repeats. I wonder if they'll have to strip out anything that's not the original, complete creation of the contributing organisations.


    D.

    • ...there's a heck of a lot of other stuff that it doesn't make commercial sense to publish in that manner - e.g. programmes like Horizon and Top Gear ).

      I agree. I've been downloading lots of programmes off a torrent network that are BBC shows that they never released. Quite a few of them are OU programmes, so this fits the bill perfectly.
  • Proxy, anybody? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Since this will only available to us Brits how long will it be before a whole host of proxies spring up to supply this content to the rest of the world?

    Imagine using Squid to download The Blue Planet. [bbc.co.uk]

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