Television

BBC plans to open up archive to public

LONDON: The BBC is looking to take advantage of the digital revolution and the rapid pace of broadband by opening its archive.

At the Edinburgh Television Festival on Sunday, BBC's DG Greg Dyke said, "The BBC probably has the best television library in the world. 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."

The BBC creative archive would make selected BBC material universally available for private not commercial use in the UK. Outlining the plan to open up the BBC's archive, Dyke gave the example of a child using broadband at home, school or in a public library, to access the BBC material to help do their homework and projects.

"They search for real moving pictures which would turn their project into an exciting multi-media presentation. They download them and, hey presto, they are able to use the BBC material in their presentation for free," he added.

Glimpsing into the future Dyke said, "I believe that we are about to move into a second phase of the digital revolution, a phase which will be more about public than private value; about free, not pay services; about inclusivity, not exclusion. In particular, it will be about how public money can be combined with new digital technologies to transform everyone's lives".

At the same time, Dyke made it clear that the Beeb would not be the only publicly funded player in the field in the digital revolution's second phase. He stressed the fact that commitment was needed from organisations including local government, educational establishments and charities as well as the commercial sector in partnership with publicly funded partners.

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