Sometime in July the National Film Board opened up a test site for playing videos from their archives. There’s a lot of content, and much of it is feature length. It was all paid for by taxpayers back when it was made, so distributing it freely is exactly the right plan. There’s new stuff and old.

Video quality is excellent (multiple levels are available) and it’s embeddable, as above.

Publicly funded media is perpendicular to all worries about ownership and licensing and remixing and making sure there’s a profit transaction every time somebody look at it, and so on. The NFB and the CBC should be leveraging hell out of their archives, throwing it up on the web, getting it out of the vaults, giving people a chance to filter and tag and redistribute and build on it. This is a huge advantage that these public organizations have over their for-profit neighbours, and if they’re worried about their utility in some new information saturated age they should be exploiting it. Looks like the NFB is on it. CBC?


I totally agree about putting up content to be freely accessed by the public. My only criticism would be that it appears that they’re streaming the videos through Flash Media Server which is slightly restrictive in that it uses Adobe’s proprietary FLV format. I would love to see them post up some MPEG4 versions of the videos for direct download. Other than that, I wholeheartedly agree with you.

Yeah, that’s a good point. And I wonder what the effective remix rights are for material produced by the NFB, supposing they did publish it in a format which is more conducive to offline editing?

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