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BBC to give public "full access" to its archives

By gt94sss2 in News
Mon Aug 25, 2003 at 09:18:49 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)

The British Broadcasting Corporation has announced plans to make its full archive of programs available free online.

Greg Dyke, director general of the BBC, has announced plans to give the public full access to all the corporation's programme archives. Mr Dyke said on Sunday that everyone would in future be able to download BBC radio and TV programmes from the internet.

The service, the BBC Creative Archive, would be free and available to everyone, as long as they were not intending to use the material for commercial purposes, Mr Dyke added.

"The BBC probably has the best television library in the world," said Mr Dyke, who was speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival.

"Up until now this huge resource has remained locked up, inaccessible to the public because there hasn't been an effective mechanism for distribution. But the digital revolution and broadband are changing all that. For the first time there is an easy and affordable way of making this treasure trove of BBC content available to all."

He predicted that everyone would benefit from the online archive, from people accessing the internet at home, children and adults using public libraries, to students at school and university.

Taken from BBC News web site

The full text of the speech

Now for me, this raises several issues/points.

Is such a task actually achieveable?

I presume it is, and the BBC will be able to get around objections/concerns raised by Equity/Actors unions etc re:performance fees for items broadcast online.

In addition, I assume that the BBC will only be broadcasting things it has the right to do so (programs its commissioned itself etc) and retains the rights too (so no foreign imports etc)

Technically, I am sure their plans to put this all online are possible - though it may well be quite a time consuming task to actually do so.

The scale of any such operation would be huge - just consider that the BBC launched its radio services in 1922 and the television in 1936, so we are literally talking about *decades* of material and I am sure you can imagine the scale and breadth of the material available - though sadly they won't have all of it available (some will have been lost/destroyed etc)

Offering online to broadcasters old archives has been done before - for instance PATHE has its old archives available but that is much smaller in scale.

Of course, there will be a lot of hype about this new service and until more details are released noone will know how it will operate.

However, given the way the BBC is funded I have serious doubts that it will be available to everyone globally regardless of what the news item suggests

The BBC already has a limited broadband service and are careful to limit that to UK residents based on IP address and I assume that they would do something similar for this new service - even though they do have quite an impressive network

The also insist that UK ISP's who particate in their Broadband service peer directly with them in London (keeping their costs down)

The BBC's plans also raise the question of how other media companies will react.

For instance, the BBC can do this as its a longstanding public broadcaster with a huge library - however, I can't see many other organisations being able to follow its lead (does PBS comission programs?) - though I see the Candian Broadcasting Corp. has a limited facilty at http://archives.cbc.ca/

Also, the BBC would be doing this in the UK - so the actions of the RIAA etc and the DCMA(?) Copyright acts don't apply to them but what affect would such an act have on the general situation with the way some in the media and technology industries are moving (i.e. Digital Rights Management (DRM))

Finally, before you all expect to see your favourite shows online, if you have a look at the full speech, it seems to suggest that some shows will only offer "clips" - partly for copyright reasons but probably also not to totally destroy DVD sales etc!


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BBC to give public "full access" to its archives | 83 comments (47 topical, 36 editorial, 0 hidden)
While here in the good old USA (3.00 / 2) (#4)
by acceleriter on Sun Aug 24, 2003 at 12:39:32 PM EST

NPR only makes audio available in proprietary, streaming formats while accepting money from taxpayers and donors.

Hm (2.50 / 6) (#13)
by Politburo on Sun Aug 24, 2003 at 02:41:04 PM EST

Are you the moron that posted the same comment on slashdot by any chance?

[ Parent ]
In fact, I did post a similar comment. (none / 0) (#18)
by acceleriter on Sun Aug 24, 2003 at 05:25:28 PM EST

Under the same nick. What's your point? Is "moron" the best you can do? That speaks volumes right there.

[ Parent ]
Well (none / 0) (#26)
by Politburo on Sun Aug 24, 2003 at 09:14:58 PM EST

no moron isn't the best I can do, I just didn't want to waste the effort. I did post an actual reply on slashdot, though.

[ Parent ]
I see. (none / 0) (#28)
by acceleriter on Sun Aug 24, 2003 at 09:17:33 PM EST

Then I shall waste no further effort here.

[ Parent ]
True, but what of it? (4.00 / 1) (#22)
by epepke on Sun Aug 24, 2003 at 07:10:45 PM EST

Yes, NPR sucks big fat hairy ones. However, so long as you don't have to pay a $75 license per television per year to support NPR, and so long as NPR in a state can get their budget slashed by someone like Jesse Ventura, then I don't think that you can expect as much from NPR.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

[ Parent ]
Filesharing (3.00 / 5) (#6)
by greenrd on Sun Aug 24, 2003 at 12:54:11 PM EST

So, if I understand this announcement correctly... it means that any of the released programmes will then be able to be traded on filesharing networks totally legally?

Excellent news!

"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes

Unless The Archive Material Is Not Redistributable (5.00 / 2) (#25)
by freestylefiend on Sun Aug 24, 2003 at 09:04:36 PM EST

The BBC (or other parties which control the archive material) could require that you get it directly from the BBC. I fear that it could turn out like this. Just that there is the intention to open a publicly owned archive doesn't mean that they won't use a non-freely-redistributable license or only release Windows Media/Real recordings and only to people who jump through lots of hoops.

I remain hopeful that a substantial amount of material will be made freely redistributable (subject to the commercial use restriction mentioned in the article). If they do, then they'll get fewer complaints from me. Hopefully they will use good codecs like huffyuv and FLAC. What's the point of an archive if you're going to use lossy codecs? At least with lossless codecs everbody can choose their own lossy coding methods.

[ Parent ]

A Similar View (none / 0) (#79)
by freestylefiend on Fri Aug 29, 2003 at 05:32:42 AM EST

A piece about this appears in the Guardian.

[ Parent ]
uh huh huh huh (1.55 / 18) (#9)
by Hide The Hamster on Sun Aug 24, 2003 at 01:29:53 PM EST

Dyke, uh huh huh huh, huh huh huh

Free spirits are a liability.

August 8, 2004: "it certainly is" and I had engaged in a homosexual tryst.

The Story So Far... (4.66 / 6) (#10)
by freestylefiend on Sun Aug 24, 2003 at 02:00:33 PM EST

The BBC is a public interest organisation, funded by all British television viewers (but owned by the entire British public?) through a compulsory license fee. All BBC output ought to be available, at least to the BBC's owners/license fee payers (it doesn't matter much whether we have to pay or not, because if we don't pay for the BBC through recordings purchases we will pay for it through the license fee). Many license fee payers would be happy to subsidise free access to BBC material for non-British people (as they already do through the World Service and the website). Even if the BBC doesn't make it's archive material freely available, it should at least make it available for sale. What purpose does archive material serve if nobody can access it?

At the moment, selected radio programmes are available for free streaming in some Real format for seven days (or one day for daily programmes). Some programmes (coverage of the Reith Lectures, for example) are available for free streaming for longer, possibly as they are felt to be educational. In addition to free online access, many BBC titles are available for sale on audio cassette, CD, VHS or DVD. However, the quantity of recordings made available is a drop in the ocean. The BBC archives are vast. Also, even if the recording that I want is available for streaming for seven days I might well want to hear it at higher quality or keep a permanent copy.

Apart from whether this is actually possible

I share your scepticism. A page on the BBC's website states that "Our copyright agreements only allow broadcasts". I infer that this is why so many broadcasts are available only temporarily and only for streaming. I believe that for the proposed plan to go ahead some BBC practices will need to be revised.

Wrong (5.00 / 2) (#48)
by leviramsey on Mon Aug 25, 2003 at 05:00:20 PM EST

The BBC is a public interest organisation, funded by all British television viewers (but owned by the entire British public?) through a compulsory license fee. All BBC output ought to be available, at least to the BBC's owners/license fee payers (it doesn't matter much whether we have to pay or not, because if we don't pay for the BBC through recordings purchases we will pay for it through the license fee). Many license fee payers would be happy to subsidise free access to BBC material for non-British people (as they already do through the World Service and the website)

The BBC is, IIRC, prohibited by its charter from using licence fee revenue to pay for anything outside the UK (apart from news gathering operations). The World Service is, I believe, separately funded by Parliament, independently of the licence fee; in essence the government is licensing the BBC brand for its international propaganda arm (a la Voice of America or Deutche Welle) and having the BBC operate it.

BBC World, a 24-hour international news channel, is a for-profit, commercial channel (IINM, it runs adverts, just like CNN et al), as is BBC America, which is basically part of a series of joint-ventures the BBC has been entering into of late with General Electric, which owns NBC, which in turn owns a significant share of Discovery Communications (The Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, The Travel Channel, Animal Planet, etc.). Discovery Communications licenses the BBC name and logo for BBC America, buys programming from the BBC (and other British sources; BBC America shows Channel 4 shows like "So Graham Norton" and "Father Ted"), and splits the profits with the Beeb. Other GE/BBC joint ventures have included:

  • The Learning Channel's rebranding of BBC reality shows; "Changing Rooms" on the BBC is remade as "Trading Spaces" on TLC.
  • "The Weakest Link" was a BBC production for NBC. Indeed, the Beeb made several million dollars off of that one show.
  • The Discovery Channel and BBC have teamed up to produce a number of documentaries.
  • NBC is set to debut an Americanized version of "Coupling", which the BBC will co-produce.

In addition, the BBC makes money off of merchandising products related to its programming; combined with international revenues, they more than fund the portion of the website's cost to non-Britons.

[ Parent ]
I guess it won't include released material... (none / 0) (#62)
by theanorak on Tue Aug 26, 2003 at 09:33:32 AM EST

excepting that which has been made available for streaming, such as the radio shows.

I would imagine that the archive material they're likely to make public would be any and everything which they _haven't_ already released on video/dvd/cd/pigeon/whatever. Otherwise, they would be likely to cut off a chunk of their revenues, depending on the quality level at which they release things.

This is all pure speculation, but I could see a number of ways that might work for them:

1) They only make available stuff which hasn't previously been released. That would probably mean no Monty Python, no Goons, no Goodies, no...well most of the recent popular shows at least, and a good number of the "classics". What would be left? I'm not sure. Documentaries, undoubtedly. Old sports events (back from the days when the BBC could afford the rights to more prestigious events than the international left-handed snap tournament), An Audience with [insert name here]-type shows, old variety performances. News? Possibly... Plus I bet there are legions of dramas, old sitcoms, kids shows and such like which have never been released to home markets, although the number will decrease as time progresses.

The radio broadcasts are likely to represent a much more valuable and usable resource - I couldn't say for certain, but I suspect the percentage of radio material released on CD is much less than that of TV material released on video/dvd...

2. As above, with a time/sales limited caveat on released programmes, allowing series and programmes which have been released, but which don't make that much money to be included.

3. They make EVERYTHING available for which they own full rights, but at significantly non-broadcast quality - lo-res, high compression for video for example. They could apply this to all, or just previously released material.

Perhaps they'll make the lo-res/quality preview versions free, and require some form of subscription/per-download fee for higher-quality files. This is (more-or-less) what Pathe does with their archive - an online preview or lo-res download (128Kbit video) is available at no cost, with a license for personal use only (if I remember from the last time I used it), with higher quality versions licensed for various uses available on a sliding quality/use/price scale.

Phew. That's enough conjecture for one post.
rants, raves, photographs
[ Parent ]

Re: (none / 0) (#66)
by djotto on Tue Aug 26, 2003 at 11:35:38 AM EST

The radio broadcasts are likely to represent a much more valuable and usable resource

Yes.. everyone's going to have their own particular thing, and for me it will be voice radio and Peel Sessions. The thought of getting access to thirty-odd years of Radio 1's live music archives... yum.

But that brings us to an obvious problem - most of the BBC's national radio output (R1, R2, R3) is made up of recorded music that others hold the copyright to. They'll probably never be able to redistribute most of that.

So ok, lets be really pessemistic and say they can only release 10% of the material they hold. Even that would be of incredible value to the nation.

BTW, the suggested uses in the speech (turning a homework assignment into a multimedia presentation, non-commercial use) imply to me that this stuff is going to be avaialble in a format we can save and edit, which is heartening.

[ Parent ]
I Hope So (none / 0) (#67)
by freestylefiend on Tue Aug 26, 2003 at 11:43:23 AM EST

They only make available stuff which hasn't previously been released.

This is what I hope for. There is no need to include material that is already released. Profitable releases already serve the public interest well. The problem is making the unreleased archive material do so.

I would like to see documentaries, plays, book readings and recording artists' sessions included in the proposed BBC Creative Archive. It would also be good if news and any very old material was included (because it might be of historical interest) and bits and pieces such as continuity announcements (which would perhaps be of interest to a few researchers and very bored people, but not to lucrative commercial markets) and broadcast mistakes.

One possible scenario is that we will be far from so lucky.

The news is likely to include recordings not recorded by the BBC and licensed only for broadcast (for example, sports news since BBC has become unable to televise football live has often included footage from Sky Sports).

Books and plays are themselves likely to still be covered by copyright, which may prevent inclusion in the BBC Creative Archive. Even if they are not, despite being commissioned by the BBC, many programmes are made external organisations which retain some rights over their productions, such as Talkback (caution: poorly designed site).

And what about music? If the performance involves cover versions, then perhaps neither the BBC nor the performer would have the right to release live performances. If the genre is one in which recordings tend to contain something like a sample, such as dub, hiphop and dancehall, then there may be a great many copyright holders for a single performance (especially if it involves the live creation of derivative works). If the recording involves simply playing records, then releasing it is likely to be difficult.

What does that leave? Not much. Just to make sure, the BBC assures us that what they don't make special arrangements to sell they may only broadcast. I believe that this would extend to things like Alastair Cooke's Letter From America and the Thought For The Day, which consist of one person speaking their own words. Assuming that these have little commercial value (otherwise they should be released for sale) it would not be difficult to arrange a license that would allow release, but the BBC seems to be saying that it has not yet done so.

So, which part of the BBC archive is certainly eligible for the BBC Creative Archive? The material that is already available. If this is all, then the challenge is not so much releasing that archive material that the BBC has the authority to, but making sure that for every broadcast recording someone has the authority to release it and making sure that it is actually released. At the moment many recordings are impossible to release because they are controlled by many different parties or because the copyright controller is unwilling to arrange a release (possibly because they don't know that there is demand for it, that the material is under their control, that it was recorded or even that it was ever performed).

[ Parent ]

W00T! Old Goodies Episodes! (4.60 / 5) (#17)
by epepke on Sun Aug 24, 2003 at 03:32:35 PM EST

Not to mention The Goon Show.

The acid test will be whether they make the brilliant Goodies "South Africa" episode available. According to a book on The Goodies I have, this has languished with a sticker that says, "Do Not Show--Racist" for a decade and a half now. This proves that the British Isles, having pioneered the use of irony and sarcasm, have completely lost the knack. "South Africa" is about as racist as Patti Smith's "Rock and Roll Nigger."

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

It's one of le new carriage-less horses (5.00 / 1) (#34)
by 5pectre on Mon Aug 25, 2003 at 05:22:53 AM EST

Ahhh, the wonders of the steam-age.

"Let us kill the English, their concept of individual rights might undermine the power of our beloved tyrants!!" - Lisa Simpson [ -1.50 / -7.74]

[ Parent ]
Search (5.00 / 1) (#37)
by jotango on Mon Aug 25, 2003 at 11:50:53 AM EST

I don't know if the Beeb has provided information about this yet, so the question may be unanswerable. However:

How will you be able to index that content? Assuming they include about 80 years of radio material and 70 years of television, the database behind the archive must be enormous. Searching by actor(s), date(s), show, producer, director etc. should be possible. While they use new technologies for recognizing text in the sound? A full text search would be excellent.

I believe building an interface for a similar project is a daunting task.

it is an archive. that explains a lot. (none / 0) (#78)
by chimera on Thu Aug 28, 2003 at 06:39:21 PM EST

what you are looking for is the pheonomenon called archiving, whose workers (archivists) are - simply put - poised on making as much information available to you both on what exactly is in these materials and meta-information about them. the head of bbc archives runs the show.
it is as you may understand, a whole area of knowledge and theories in archiving and way to complicated to explain in a mere response. google a bit. or check with your local National Archive to get an idea on the How and What's of the issue in question

xml is a good bet though to be used heavily by the beeb.

[ Parent ]

buy an ad. (1.00 / 14) (#42)
by rmg on Mon Aug 25, 2003 at 01:36:22 PM EST

ther're cheap.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks

Free Dr. Who? (none / 0) (#44)
by Skywise on Mon Aug 25, 2003 at 03:02:59 PM EST

(No, not liberate Dr. Who...)

This can't be true of all their properties.

They must make good money off of the countless DVDs of the series they sell over here in the US(Red Dwarf anyone) as well as reselling their shows to PBS.

It seems unfair that the UK has to continue to pay their TV tax to fund the BBC, which will then just give their content away to the world and then tax the UK more to fund their bandwidth costs.

Taxing Us To Hoard Recordings Is Fair? (5.00 / 1) (#52)
by freestylefiend on Mon Aug 25, 2003 at 07:45:13 PM EST

They must make good money off of the countless DVDs of the series they sell over here in the US(Red Dwarf anyone)

I assumed that the BBC would only be releasing material that it was unable to sell profitably. We can already get hold of the material that is for sale.

as well as reselling their shows to PBS.

Greg Dyke says "We intend to allow parts of our programmes, where we own the rights, to be available to anyone in the UK to download so long as they don't use them for commercial purposes." I don't think that the BBC is going to be forgoing revenue from broadcasts, especially not such revenue from overseas.

It seems unfair that the UK has to continue to pay their TV tax to fund the BBC, which will then just give their content away to the world and then tax the UK more to fund their bandwidth costs.

It is unfair that having funded the material in question, the people of Britain still aren't allowed access to it. We didn't fund it by paying some distinct organisation to create this material as part of a service that does not involve providing us with access to it. We funded this material through our Broadcasting Corporation. We already own this material, and even if opening the archive means losing some revenue, then our archive material would serve us better that way.

[ Parent ]

No no, I agree completely (none / 0) (#56)
by Skywise on Mon Aug 25, 2003 at 11:12:52 PM EST

You guys should've had access to it from the beginning.  But now EVERYBODY is going to get access to it for free... But only the stuff they can't sell profitably...

I don't get it...

[ Parent ]

Property And Power (none / 0) (#59)
by freestylefiend on Tue Aug 26, 2003 at 06:15:50 AM EST

You guys should've had access to it from the beginning. But now EVERYBODY is going to get access to it for free...

There have been suggestions that this service will only be available for UK residents: "We intend to allow parts of our programmes, where we own the rights, to be available to anyone in the UK to download so long as they don't use them for commercial purposes."

But only the stuff they can't sell profitably...

I don't get it...

The BBC incurs costs when it adds to its selection of commercial releases. Some of its material will not sell sufficiently strongly to recoup this cost. The BBC's purpose for commercial releases is to earn revenue for subsidising new programmes and broadcasts.

However, even if the BBC has no reason to commerically release all of its archive, it is consistent with its goal of broadcasting in the public interest to make this material available. The greatest benefit comes from doing this where the material is not available elsewhere.

It may make sense to exclude material from the proposed BBC Creative Archive that is commercially available from the BBC or from other organisations (in which case it is unlikely to hold the copyright or an agreement which covers distribution). I fear that the BBC has been excessively generous in its licensing terms to other parties with which it produces new material. Often it does not control material that is broadcast once and then disappears into the archive. (The proposed BBC Creative Archive might not be the whole archive. We don't what it will contain yet).

[ Parent ]

Re: (4.00 / 1) (#64)
by djotto on Tue Aug 26, 2003 at 11:17:31 AM EST

It seems unfair that the UK has to continue to pay their TV tax to fund the BBC, which will then just give their content away to the world

Not really. Even when the stuff does (inevitably) leak into the rest of the world, that's a small price to pay to get it into a publically-accessible form. We don't lose anything if you can view it too. In fact, if you consider it as propaganda we may gain something.

[ Parent ]
First Episode? (none / 0) (#68)
by Valdrax on Tue Aug 26, 2003 at 11:44:37 AM EST

I wonder if this means we'll be able to see the first episode of Dr. Who.  I forget why it's never been released after being preempted on its debut.

[ Parent ]
This kind of stuff makes me an Anglophile (4.20 / 5) (#53)
by QuantumFoam on Mon Aug 25, 2003 at 08:08:03 PM EST

When you get down to it, the Internet is as viable a distribution medium as television, and though each connection costs the Beeb money, hopefully IP multicasting and bittorrent-like protocols could keep the money down and this service up when it does go up. <jest>It's great, the limeys had to pay for TV that their government is going to give away for free to the rest of the world.</jest> I am one grateful yank, though, because our TV sucks ass and I could use a new infusion of humorous MPEGs. As soon as this becomes available I am going to download every single Monty Python show there was. I am already covered with The Young Ones; my aunt got me a DVD with their entire run on it. Thank you, Great Britian!

- Barack Obama: Because it will work this time. Honest!

don't forget (none / 0) (#83)
by werner on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 01:12:00 PM EST

fawlty towers.

[ Parent ]
Best thing (1.05 / 20) (#54)
by sellison on Mon Aug 25, 2003 at 08:23:26 PM EST

the public can do with this socialist drek if really given access is delete it. Delete if from their server, and delete from their minds.

The BBC has long been an open promoter of the atheism and socialism through their humanistic 'dramas' and religion bashing comedies.

Hopefully this disgusting act will wake the British people up to how they have been scammed out of their tax dollars to produce all these video Op-Eds for the Socialist Govt., and will cancel the BBC license and turn the library over to some good corporation who will know just where to round file the most of it!

"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush

you are (4.33 / 3) (#55)
by werner on Mon Aug 25, 2003 at 08:54:17 PM EST

aware that the BBC is having a VERY big fight with our "socialist" government at the moment, aren't you?

[ Parent ]
Ray Megard (none / 0) (#58)
by AndrewH on Tue Aug 26, 2003 at 05:41:36 AM EST

Is that you?
John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr — where are you now that we need you?
[ Parent ]
Religion And The BBC (4.50 / 2) (#60)
by freestylefiend on Tue Aug 26, 2003 at 06:42:40 AM EST

While some parts of the BBC may seem atheistic and socialistic, some parts of the BBC are overtly religious or neoliberal. It aims to be seen to represent all viewpoints and that offends us all at times. The BBC broadcasts such religious programmes as The Daily Service, Thought For The Day and Songs Of Praise.

The BBC is the propaganda organisation of the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom is not a secular state (unlike the United States of America, for example). It is not mere coincidence that our head of state is also the head of the Church of England.

[ Parent ]

bah! (4.00 / 1) (#82)
by werner on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 01:11:05 PM EST

the uk may not technically be a secular state, but it is (excluding northern ireland) extremely unreligious. the church plays a totally insignificant role in Britain.

an independent observer looking at america and britain would certainly not say america is the secular state.

[ Parent ]

Sucky troll (5.00 / 1) (#61)
by stuaart on Tue Aug 26, 2003 at 08:12:38 AM EST

``wake the British people up to how they have been scammed out of their tax dollars''

Dollars? What kind of currency is that? Next time I go down to the Co-op, I'll ask if they take dollars at all.

V. poor troll, BTW. I'm very disappointed. At least you could have got our currency correct.

Linkwhore: [Hidden stories.] Baldrtainment: Corporate concubines and Baldrson: An Introspective

[ Parent ]
Thank you!! Wow (1.00 / 2) (#69)
by bsavoie on Tue Aug 26, 2003 at 11:52:40 AM EST

Thank you very much! I live here in Alabama USA, and I am so tired of how stupid my country (USA) is now, our willingness to ignore science and our hatred. Our Alabama Judge Roy Moore is in the news again. He wants to make Alabama either open only on Sunday, or somehow connect church with state. Here, we are fighting for the 10 commandments. It is like an old movie. It was hard to ignore that until now. You have now made my day. Restored my faith in humans. Because of you, I now know that stupid people are everywhere!!


I would like to know more about you. Do you drink unfiltered water?
Were you hit as a child?
Are you going to church 3 times a week?

On a spiritual level I know we are just the same, so I suppose other factors created your energy. Unlike others I don't hate, I think it is facinating to understand how things work. As a Buddhist I think that all 'self' is an illusion. It drives us to react. When we react, we are classified. You are easy to classify. That is facinating.

I really want to know if you have ever had anyone listen to you? I think if you did you would change.

may peace and love be your path - and if not you will be very entertaining..
Thanks again, I just didn't have enough information. I am happy you have helped me understand more about geography.

May Peace and Love be your path
[ Parent ]
Really could this be another Alabama? (2.00 / 1) (#70)
by bsavoie on Tue Aug 26, 2003 at 12:02:42 PM EST

"At least you could have got our currency correct."

I suspect it might be true after all. This person has never been to England?

Gosh, maybe it is something in our water here. More Alabama!

Now I am more ashamed than ever!

May Peace and Love be your path
[ Parent ]
Sorry you have to live in Alabama (none / 0) (#74)
by seraph93 on Wed Aug 27, 2003 at 11:12:42 PM EST

...although I hear it's a beautiful place, geographically if not demographically. Anyway, that's not my point.

You said to Sellison: I really want to know if you have ever had anyone listen to you? I think if you did you would change.

That's a fascinating notion. I'm intrigued; I'd like to know why you think this would be so. Can you elaborate?
Ph-nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.
[ Parent ]
anyone listen to you? (none / 0) (#76)
by bsavoie on Thu Aug 28, 2003 at 03:44:54 PM EST

Yes let me elaborate. As a Buddhist, I think the self is an illusion. I am not saying you don't exist, but that what you think about yourself is wrong.

So how we function, either smart or stupid is a result of our distraction with this self image. If we think about ourselves 90 percent of the time, that leaves only 10 percent to watch the outside and pay attention. That makes us disconnected and dumb.

Now the core of 'anyone listen to you' goes to why we would make all the effort to construct a false self that would distract us so much. We do it because we think we are disconnected and different! In other words, we have no faith that others care about us.

In fact the void we are trying to fill is the experience of being different. We try to fill that experience with a thought we create by ourselves. (our false self) Since the two (us and our thought of us) are not the same, we are angry about it. Our effort to make this thought fill the whole fails.

Now to answer your question, (sorry for being long winded). When someone listens to us, to what we say, no matter how strange it seems to them as they hear it, it helps us. This is because it directly goes at our reason for having this false self. We feel connected and flowing with the universe and not isolated. This makes our world change and we can not think of ourselves the same after that. We are now not the same, and this happens each time we tell someone who we are. (we are process and not stationary.)

What this means is that there is no real difference between the stupid man/wonan and the smart man/woman except for the effect of someone listening. We are no more smart than we are stupid. What is different is that someone cares and that we are loved. Our knowledge of that love gives us more choice.

We can easily get into trouble by allowing all that love to go to our head, and we get stupid again. This is because we try to stay in control and that is not possible.

Nothing is random or without reason. This of course is a belief that seems to be true so far. Not that it is easy to see what it all means but as I look I learn..

Bill Savoie
May Peace and Love be your path
[ Parent ]
The BBC archive is just a drop in the bucket (5.00 / 1) (#73)
by seraph93 on Wed Aug 27, 2003 at 09:59:38 PM EST

This is nothing compared to the horrifying evil that we good, God-fearing Americans pay for, right in our own country! Have you heard of these "Public Library" places? Right now, right here, in God's country, your tax dollars are paying to maintain huge archives filled with Satanic propaganda of all sorts! Liberalism, socialism, atheism, gay rights, women's rights, human rights, anti-corporatism, ecological preservation, evolution, science...just pick any contradiction of the Holy Word of the One True Lord, and you'll find an instructional manual on the topic in one of these vile dens of blasphemy.

But do you think that these "librarians," these foul minions of the Adversary, would stop their horrible crimes against God after merely creating such Archives of Evil? Oh, no, of course not. To spread the effects of their sins, they open their doors to the public, and invite anyone, even children, to borrow whichever Satanic book they please, so that they may take it home, and be more effectively brainwashed by the lies found therein.

Even more chilling than any of their other transgressions is the fact that these librarians keep in their archives the Good Book itself. But is the Holy Bible placed in its proper position, exalted above all other books? No. The Word of the One True God is placed on a shelf alongside such loathsome tomes of evil as the Koran, the Talmud, the Tao Te Ching, the Bhagavad-Gita... as if these books and their lies were equal to the Word of God, as if the Satan-worship they represent were at all acceptable to any right-thinking person in the world!

We should not stop at merely erasing the BBCs archives from the consciousness of humanity. Much more must be done to halt the encroaching evil of different and opposing viewpoints. All books that are not the One True Book should be erased forever from human thought, cleansed from humanity's memory by fire. Once this is done, Satan will doubtless find it more difficult to plant the evil seed of Free Thought in the minds of God's children.
Ph-nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.
[ Parent ]
This announcement follows another move... (5.00 / 2) (#63)
by RiscTaker on Tue Aug 26, 2003 at 10:04:52 AM EST

Several months ago the BBC announced that its digital satellite broadcasts would no longer be encrypted, a move many, including me, refused to believe would ever actually happen, in spite of the announcement.

Encryption had previously been used in an attempt to restrict the viewing of these channels to the UK and Ireland. Viewing cards were available for free to licensepayers with UK addresses. However the BBC used BSkyB's proprietary encryption system, which meant its channels could only be viewed on Sky's receivers, which, compared to off the shelf receivers are vastly overpriced and lacking in features.

All this was costing the BBC millions of pounds a year and had one purpose: To prevent the viewing of these channels outside their intended area. Supposedly it was absolutely necessary, since copyright holders, particularly those in Hollywood, would never allow the BBC to infringe on their "rights" to sell their material separately to broadcasters in mainland europe.

Howver since July 10th this year, the channels are no longer encrypted. While they have also been moved to a satellite with a smaller footprint, they can still b received with ease in the whole of France, Belgium, The Netherlands, and Luxembourg and also in large parts of Germany, Switzerland and norther Spain. With a bit effort (mainly dish size), reception is still possible over a far larger area. So far there have been no visible repercussions or hints that the move will be reversed.

I realise that the opening of the archives is a far bigger step, but given how the BBC has handled the satellite situation, I do have some hopes that it might be able to pull this off too.

Things are only impossible until they are not.

similar economics (2.00 / 1) (#71)
by Wah on Tue Aug 26, 2003 at 07:20:26 PM EST

might be at work in the move to make more public wifi's hotspots available.  Since a DSL line is about $50/month and a wirless router is a cheap fixed cost, the cost of keeping people off the connection can be larger than allowing them to use it for free and using the service as a value-add for the original company's business.  With restricted access accounts you have billing, support call, employees, etc, which becomes silly when these add overhead and no other value to a cheap service.

Of course, this could also makes such things very profitable if you restrict access well enough and charge insane hourly rates (at least until/if the market can respond).  Noticing how this is somewhat tangential to the RIAA/MPAA battle is left to the reader.  

This will be a very interesting development to watch.  I think someone else mentioned that this move (and the name of the service) owe a rather large shout out to Lessig.

Larry Lessig came to give a talk a while ago and there's some serious interest in making much more of our non-commercial archive available under some kind of Creative Commons license.

Note, this is idle speculation that comes from a story back in April about the BBC's tendency to leave up stories on the same URL indefinitely.
[ Parent ]

Lost and destroyed (4.50 / 2) (#65)
by nebbish on Tue Aug 26, 2003 at 11:34:15 AM EST

(some will have been lost/destroyed etc)

Not just some, a lot. The BBC was notorious for throwing the only remaining reels of classic comedies into skips in the 60s, 70s and early 80s. I read in a book about Peter Cook that an astonishing amount was lost, a good proportion of the BBC's output.

I have a feeling that this project is only possible because of the amount that was lost or destroyed.

Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee

God save the Queen and all that rot. (5.00 / 1) (#72)
by Frequanaut on Tue Aug 26, 2003 at 09:11:42 PM EST

You fucking limey brits rock.

What in it for them? (4.00 / 1) (#75)
by Fizyx on Thu Aug 28, 2003 at 03:01:23 PM EST

Amazing, but it would seem to be a very expensive undertaking. So how do they justify it?

Good god! (5.00 / 2) (#77)
by Frequanaut on Thu Aug 28, 2003 at 05:20:21 PM EST

"Whats in it for them?"

Seriously? Apparently you haven't taken a moment to understand the point of the BBC.

Go see what they're all about

Realize that as an American we'll *never* see anything like that from US media organizations without
  • 1) paying them money or
  • 2) viewing stupid commercials or
  • 3) giving away your lifes worth of personal information or
  • 4) all of the above.

    The closest thing is PBS or NPR. Both of which pale in scope and quality to the BBC.
    Shake your fist at what capitalism will never provide my young ignoramus (but embrace its benefits).
    p.s they pay for it with the blood, sweat and tears of the british laborers and justification is in the benefits to society.

    [ Parent ]
  • Dutch Archives, Public Competition, and all that (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by jaapweel on Sun Aug 31, 2003 at 05:01:45 PM EST

    Dutch television (omroep.nl, click "Uitzending gemist") has been putting up archives of their programmes for quite a while now. They call it the "MIssed the broadcast?" service. I don't know how long they plan to keep things up, but it seems that it now goes back up to 2 years in some cases (correct me if I'm wrong).

    American networks have a vested interest in keeping the BBC off American televisions. In countries with good public broadcasting, there is a lot less advertising on the commercial channels, because they have to compete with the public ones. In the USA, the amount of advertising on the commercial channels makes them almost unwatchable, because there is barely any competition from high-quality low/no-advertising public TV.

    If the BBC were to provide its programmes for free to US viewers, they wouldn't lose any money on that. (Admittedly, there is an opportunity cost for not letting the Americans pay a subscription fee.) That is a scary proposition for the big American networks. If the same "Weakest Link" episode takes 20 minutes on BBC and an hour on NBC, which would you watch? I'm sure there will a lot of lobbying going on.

    Slightly Off-Topic:
    In The Netherlands, the license fee was abolished and public broadcasting is now funded from income tax. Also, the way it works is not with a big national corporation, but using a system where non-profit broadcasting associations get alotted subsidies and broadcast time based on their membership. This is a holdover from the time when Dutch society was heavily segregated into the protestant, catholic, socialist and liberal "columns", who each wanted their own broadcasting facilities. It turns out to be a fine way to keep up a publicly funded broadcasting facility that's independent from the current government.

    Don't expect too much at first (4.00 / 1) (#81)
    by mrh1967 on Mon Sep 01, 2003 at 03:25:14 PM EST

     I think the general reaction to this news has been a bit unrealistic. The BBC archive is huge and, as others have already pointed out, much of it would be very difficult to secure the rights to put online.
     I really don't expect to see Monty Python, Hitch-Hiker's Guide, or the like anytime soon. What I would like to see is 70 years of news footage indexed and available so I can watch the evening news from the day I was born or see how the BBC reported the Cuban missile crisis, for instance. There must also be tens of thousands of hours of chat shows that include some great before-they-were-really-famous interviews or interviews with long dead stars.
     I expect the online archive will be very limited to start with and slowly grow as more rights are secured and its popularity spreads. We may someday be able to watch any surviving Dr Who episode online, but that day is almost certain to be years from now.
     Of course, the rights to add content to the archive could be obtained for many programs by simply adding only the first few episodes, with the DVD available for people who want to see more.

    BBC to give public "full access" to its archives | 83 comments (47 topical, 36 editorial, 0 hidden)
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