Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, November 05, 2007

OA to US government videos

Carl Malamud and have struck again.  (Thanks to Boing Boing and Free Government Information.)  From Public.Resource's agreement with the US National Technical Information Service (NTIS):

...[T]he National Technical Information Service (NTIS)...and Public.Resource.Org, Inc. (PRO)...hereby agree to enter into a joint venture to promote public access to multimedia products in the NTIS collection. The joint venture is based on an unsolicited proposal by PRO.

  1. Each month NTIS will select between ten and twenty non-copyrighted videotapes from available stock in its collection and ship them to PRO at its own expense.
  2. Immediately upon receipt, PRO will, at its own expense, digitize the videotape and return the videotape and a copy in digital video disk (DVD) format to NTIS....
  3. PRO will reimburse NTIS for the retail value of any videotape not returned to NTIS as provided in section 2.
  4. Each party is free to make the content of the videotape available to the public through a web site or other means in any format and at any price, or for free, and to retain 100% of the revenue from any sales of the content.
  5. PRO will assert no intellectual property claim to the content provided by NTIS or the resulting DVD in any manner whatsoever.
  6. Nothing in this joint venture purports to be an exclusive arrangement....
  7. Unless renewed earlier, this joint venture will terminate one year from the date of execution [November 2, 2007]....


  • Another coup for Malamud.  This project is important for at least two reasons.  First, it will result in OA to a growing number of public-domain government videos.  Second, it breaks the ice at NTIS, which until now has been a provider of TA government information.
  • This is the second project between and the NTIS.  The first (in June 2007) was a PRO mirror of the NTIS store.  PRO urged citizens to buy one copy of the government info that NTIS was selling and donate it to PRO, which would then upload it to the Internet Archive and make it OA.  I would have said that the arrangement was involuntary for the NTIS, but maybe not.