Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Sunday, October 26, 2008

On openness at the CBC

Joe Clark, Dry post about desirable technical feature, The Tea Makers, October 15, 2008. (Thanks to Michael Geist.)

... Geistards™ are always calling for CBC to open up to the Canadian public all the archives it owns (or has the rights to; these are viewed as equivalent). Just like the BBC did! And they want the archives opened up under Creative Commons licensing. ...

But proponents are making a Jack Valenti–style error here – assuming that video and audio content can be easily made available in bulk. It can’t. Implicit in the proposition is full-on digitization of content, which is inordinately expensive in bulk, takes acres of disc space (however inexpensive per gigabyte that might be now), has to be provided in multiple formats, has to be backed up and transcoded into the indefinite future, and – wait for it! – has to be accessible.

It would be cheaper if we just made you a VHS.

The whole thing is too big for the CBC to handle. ...

So if we’re going to clone something the BBC did in the name of public access to our “content,” can we start small instead? Like with program (not “programme”) guides? ...