The Beeb and CC

Rob Myers robmyers at
Tue Jun 8 04:21:35 EDT 2004

 On Tuesday, June 08, 2004, at 02:47AM, J.B. Nicholson-Owens <jbn at> wrote:

>My impression from what I've read so far about the BBC Creative Archive 
>is that the BBC's works were paid for by UK TV owners.  If this is so, 
>the Creative Archive works would probably be licensed to those who paid 
>for the works.  Works available under Creative Commons licenses, on the 
>other hand, are typically licensed to everyone.  I would not be 
>surprised to learn that there is some attempt to prevent those who 
>didn't pay from being licensed to copy, build upon, publicly perform, or 
>distribute the works (some kind of DRM or licensing clause).

The "License Fee" in the UK is collected from TV owners, but the radio and internet services are free, and the Digital TV service is (meant to be) paid for by advertising. The BBC is run by royal charter for the benefit of its viewers and listeners. Which by the time you include the World Service is a fairly broad remit. There isn't any sensible way the BBC could stop their archives being released globally.

If they do create YACL it will be because they legally need to. UK law is not US law, and the BBC is a big institution that could easily get bitten by a license that isn't a perfect fit to their project. The best result would be if they could pay for the CC2.0 UK iCommons to be brought forward, but if IBM and Netscape can have their own Open Source Licenses, the BBC can certainly have its own Open Content license. 

I'd certainly like to see them go CC, although possibly a CC-compatible license (like GPL-compatible...) would be OK at a pinch.

- Rob.

More information about the cc-licenses mailing list