• three blind mice

    Holding congressional hearings hostage is not in keeping with your charter, and it is not in keeping with the spirit of that grand bargain you made with the American people. Please re-release this material back into the public domain where it came from so that it will continue to make our public civic life richer.

    mr. malamud, like many of the opponents of copyright, fails to understand the fundamental distinction between the content and the expression. c-span is not holding and cannot hold “congressional hearings hostage”. the hearings themselves are public. what c-span can (and should) “hold hostage” are the recordings made by c-span.

    if mr. malamut is so committed to making “our public civic life richer”, then let him hire his own film crews, purchase his own equipment, make his own recordings and offer them for free on his site. mr. malamut will quickly find that the USD1,059,544 he offers for the c-span videos will not even begin to cover the cost of making 6.251 video recordings.

    a non-profit business is still a business. any non-profit that operates in the red year after year will not long remain in business.

  • http://www.keenescene.blogspot.com Mike Caulfield

    In NH, when the Dems came to power, one of the first things they did was start recording proceedings. It cost the state virtually nothing:

    http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/live/default.html

    And they got the whole thing set up in a couple of weeks.

    For the web, people don’t actually need the full camera crew in the hearings, they just need coverage. A wide angle or two of the panel, and a wide angle or two of the table. Four mpegs with time stamps.

    Then let glorious democracy work. Let us cut it together ourselves. In the modern world there is little reason for C-Span to be the oracle of the cutaway.

    Suddenly, you don’t need a team anymore, you just need stationary cameras.

  • http://johnthomson.org/blog John

    Actually, the technology to make this very cheap might not be that far out. Borrowing from Patry’s point that the filming of committee meetings isn’t very original, a few static cameras might do the job. Add on some software that can change cameras based on movement or audio changes and then automatically upload to a public server and the need for a network to create and distribute this material disappears. It might even be done at taxpayer expense.

  • GalatinR

    …has Brian Lamb replied, or made any public comment on this copyright issue ??

    IMO C-SPAN-management is surprisingly secretive in its management operations & decisions.

    Though a very high-profile non-profit organization, the ‘Iron Law of Oligarchy’ seems evident.

  • three blind mice

    For the web, people don’t actually need the full camera crew in the hearings, they just need coverage. A wide angle or two of the panel, and a wide angle or two of the table. Four mpegs with time stamps.

    Actually, the technology to make this very cheap might not be that far out. Borrowing from Patry’s point that the filming of committee meetings isn’t very original, a few static cameras might do the job.

    then so be it. we are certainly not suggesting that c-span be given exclusive access to the gallery. we do, however, defend c-span’s right to exclusive control over the recordings they make.

    In the modern world there is little reason for C-Span to be the oracle of the cutaway. Suddenly, you don’t need a team anymore, you just need stationary cameras.

    wethinks, Mike Caulfield, that you are not giving credit to mr. lamb and the impressive job the professionals at c-span are doing. setting up a static webcam cannot compare to the comprehensive public service which c-span provides. their coverage is unique, unfailingly balanced, and a ray of sunshine in the dark world of political reporting. washington journal (hosted by inter alia brian lamb) is the gold standard. it is available at no cost to stream from c-span’s site and we mice are faithful viewers. it is the only “tv” we watch.

  • http://grendelkhan.livejournal.com grendelkhan

    C-SPAN has now released its “current, future, and past coverage of any official events sponsored by Congress and any federal agency” under CC-BY-NC.

    This may be the highest-profile CC release to date; I can’t think of anything bigger.

  • Tom Poe

    March 7th update:
    http://www.c-span.org/about/press/release.asp?code=video
    C-Span announces greater accessibility and initiates CC license options.

  • http://www.digitalcitizen.info/ J.B. Nicholson-Owens

    I don’t see anything that indicates precisely which license C-SPAN will use. The terms they’ve picked to express certain characteristics of the license is not the same as saying they’ll use a particular license. For all we really know, C-SPAN’s license “will allow non-commercial copying, sharing, and posting of C-SPAN video on the Internet, with attribution” but is not the CC BY-NC license.

    Then there’s also the issue of why C-SPAN should have the power to license anything they make, being “the primary beneficiary of considerable public largess” as Carl Malamud puts it. How should we benefit from paying them through cable subscription fees, commercial distribution of shows on home video, and continuing to let them be “the primary beneficiary of considerable public largess” to make shows where they set the terms for our access, including changing those terms later on at their whim? Why can’t we consider C-SPAN to be hired to make everything they make now placed directly and irrevocably into the public domain?

    And we should also get into backing up this sourceless claim that C-SPAN is “unfailingly balanced” in its coverage, starting with a definition of what that means and extending into survey data so we can more closely examine what C-SPAN funders are paying for.

  • http://www.digitalcitizen.info/ J.B. Nicholson-Owens

    No, C-SPAN has not licensed with CC BY-NC. According to the article you linked to, C-SPAN will license under a yet-to-be-announced-license which will “allow non-commercial copying, sharing, and posting of C-SPAN video on the Internet, with attribution”. There is no language in the article you pointed to that specifically mentions a CC license. C-SPAN has merely claimed that they were inspired by Creative Commons and are “borrow[ing] from the approach to copyright known in the online community as “Creative Commons.”".

    Perhaps they meant to license under CC BY-NC, but until I see specific language that mentions that particular license, I’ll believe that whatever license they pick will “allow non-commercial copying, sharing, and posting of C-SPAN video on the Internet, with attribution”.