The BBC & social media

April 30th, 2005

John Naughton writing in last weeks Observer, published an article Priceless thinking at the BBC.
Essentially the BBC is going to produce a Creative Archive
The BBC describes it thus a "pioneering new approach to public access rights in digital age"
Naughton writes

The BBC – the world's greatest creator of high-quality multimedia products – has finally launched its Creative Archive. The project – first announced by former director-general Greg Dyke in August 2003, and much delayed as BBC staff grappled with the rights issues implicit in it – will allow British residents to download clips of BBC factual programmes from for non-commercial use, keep them on their PCs, manipulate and share them, thereby making the BBC archives more accessible to licence-fee payers.
The content is not available yet but the licences under which it will be provided have now been published. In the next, pilot, phase of the project the Creative Archive will make 100 hours of BBC content available.

Naughton touches the complex issues around IP and rights – but also what struck me was the BBC understanding that content – films whatever can be used and consumed in so many more interesting and personalised ways.
That connectivity and technology enables us to do and think about doing things in ways we could not in the past. Equally the concept of access is key here.
In a recent Morgan Stanley report, The age of engagement I came across a term called social media. What the BBC is doing with their creative archive is very much what I would describe as social media – offering material once locked into a singular delivery format and broadcast on one platform to wider more fluid platforms.
The BBC understand that the the value of the content can be reshaped and reused for different purposes. That by releasing their archive footage in this way they are continually releasing the value of their films and programmes in innovative ways.
The BBC understands that it has to repond to the widest community to keep itself relevant as a Public Service Broadcaster in the 21st Century.
Naughton sums up

Some years ago, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology blew the nascent educational-content business out of the water by making its courseware available for free on the web. Who would pay for content from Mickey Mouse universities when MIT's was free? By challenging the IP mania that threatens to engulf us, the Creative Archive project is doing something similar. And in the process showing us what public-service broadcasting is for.

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