BBC Press Release
BBC Creative Archive pioneers new approach to public access rights in digital age
Category : BBC
Date : 26.05.2004
The BBC outlined the broader scope of its Creative Archive initiative for the first time today with the first meeting of a consultative external panel including other broadcasters and public sector organisations.
Panel members include Channel 4; the British Film Institute; the British Library; ITN; JISC (the Joint Information Systems Committee); The National Archives; the Natural History Museum; the Museums, Libraries & Archives Council; senior figures from the independent production industry; BBC Worldwide and Stanford Law Professor Lawrence Lessig, chair of the Creative Commons project.
The BBC Creative Archive, first announced by former BBC Director-General, Greg Dyke at the Edinburgh Television Festival in August 2003, launches in autumn 2004 and will allow people to download clips of BBC factual programmes from bbc.co.uk for non-commercial use, keep them on their PCs, manipulate and share them, so making the BBC's archives more accessible to licence fee payers.
However, the initiative also has broader public service ambitions to pioneer a new approach to public access rights in the digital age.
Paul Gerhardt, Joint Director, BBC Creative Archive explains: "We want to work in partnership with other broadcasters and public sector organisations to create a public and legal domain of audio visual material for the benefit of everyone in the UK.
"We hope the BBC Creative Archive can establish a model for others to follow, providing material for the new generation of digital creatives and stimulating the growth of the creative culture in the UK."
Access to the BBC Creative Archive will be based on the Creative Commons model already working in the United States (www.creativecommons.org) which proposes a middle way to rights management, rather than the extremes of the pure public domain or the reservation of all rights.
Using the internet, it offers rights holders the opportunity to release audio visual content for viewing, copying and sharing but with some rights reserved, such as commercial exploitation rights.
So, in the case of audio visual material, the public are allowed increased access but the exploitation of the same material in the commercial arena by rights holders is protected.
The US experience suggests that this model can benefit rights holders by increasing the size of the market for their work.
"Should we be successful with our approach," says Paula Le Dieu, Joint Director, BBC Creative Archive, "we may be able to release, over time, more programme genres – sport, music, drama – and possibly longer formats to the public.
"We can build on the initial factual clips offered at launch by the BBC Creative Archive and offer a new public asset drawn from broadcast content for the whole UK."
Professor Lawrence Lessig, chair of the Creative Commons project, adds: "The announcement by the BBC of its intent to develop a Creative Archive has been the single most important event in getting people to understand the potential for digital creativity, and to see how such potential actually supports artists and artistic creativity.
"If the vision proves a reality, Britain will become a centre for digital creativity, and will drive the many markets – in broadband deployment and technology – that digital creativity will support."