Oz national broadcaster goes open with archives
Releases historical snippets under CC license
While national digital archiving strategies in Australia move slowly, some agencies are taking things into their own hands. The latest is the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, which has put slabs of archival material under a Wikimedia license.
The move is part of the ABC’s 80th anniversary celebration, centered around its 80 Days that Changed our Lives website, and which contains some of the archival material now released under the Creative Commons license.
One gem among the releases is a 1974 clip in which Arthur C Clarke predicts home computers connected to world-wide networks – what we think of as the Internet. He tells the ABC Perspectives reporter, in a program called C for Computer, that his 9-year-old son (brought along for the interview) will, by 2001, take this kind of computer network “as much for granted as we take the telephone”.
The ABC says its decision will support “the work of creative producers … making some of its unique content available to a broader audience with a license that explicitly allows remix and commercial use”.
Obliquely, the ABCs archive release also highlights an emerging concern in the digital era – while library deposit schemes around the world have served to maintain print archives, audio/visual and digital materials are served badly.
It’s an issue that the Australia is currently working through with proposals for legal deposit of digital material. Earlier this month, Attorney-General Nicola Roxon launched a discussion paper on digital legal deposit, with comments open until April 14.
Australia’s National Archives is also working on a digital continuity strategy to address a similar problem. Its plan is designed to help federal government agencies determine the lifetime, management, accessibility and authenticity of digital information. Similar strategies are at various levels of development at a state level. ®
What about the rest?
It's actually the non-digital material thats of more interest. The ABC doesn't have the resources to digitise their archive, and there is significant risk that they'll license it to commercial parties to do so.
Since our taxes have paid for em
It's about frikken time
since WE do actually OWN the content.
The ABS got the message 10 years ago when they made available for free all datasets.
Good on the ABC, been a leader in online media since the early days of the 'net.
I remember reading a few years ago that they were in the top 10 of raw online content, pretty sure that's changed with all the video sites out there these days, but it's good to see them releasing this stuff, far better then sitting in some dusty vault or server room like most broadcasters around the world do.