BBC, Channel 4, BFI launch Creative Archive in the UK

MUMBAI: Now you can download legally from the Internet. The BBC, Channel 4, the British Film Institute (BFI) and the Open University (OU) have launched the Creative Archive Licence. This is a move aimed at pioneering a new and more refined approach to rights in the digital age.

This will pave the way for legal downloading of selected material from the Internet. At a launch seminar in London the four partners in the Creative Archive Licence Group issued a call for action for other organisations to join them.

The parties state that their appeal has already produced a positive response. The Teachers' TV and Arts Council England have committed themselves to work with the Creative Archive Licence. The Creative Archive Licence will give a new generation of media users legal access to material which they can use to express their creativity and share their knowledge for free.

The licence has been launched following a commitment in the BBC's Building Public Value document, in which it pledged to "help establish a common resource which will extend the public's access while protecting the commercial rights of intellectual property owners."

The hope is that pilot download schemes, to be launched by the partners, will help fuel creativity activity across Britain as people utilise the footage in personal projects, classroom presentations and their own artistic creations. In the long term, the aim is that some of those creations can be uploaded back on to the website from where the content was obtained, to be shared with others across the Internet.

The Creative Archive Licence offers a revolutionary approach to the rights issues that often affect the use of archive material. The Creative Archive Licence will allow people to download and use footage and audio for non-commercial purposes. Each user will agree to abide by the licence conditions before gaining access to any of the available material.

The Creative Archive Licence scheme aims to:

- Pioneer a new, more refined approach to rights in the digital age

- Encourage the establishment of a public domain of audio-visual material

- Help stimulate the growth of the creative economy in the UK

- Establish a model for others in the industry and public sector to follow

- Exemplify a new, open relationship between the four partners in the pilot schemes and other industry players

- The Creative Archive Licence is inspired by the Creative Commons system, a flexible copyright arrangement pioneered in the US to stimulate creativity

- The four members of the Creative Archive Licence Group hope it will represent a major watershed in public access to film, TV, radio archives and digital content for personal use, and today issued a major call to action. BBC DG Mark Thompson says, "The Creative Archive Licence provides a unique solution to one of the key challenges of rights in the digital age, allowing us to increase the public value of our archives by giving people the chance to use video and audio material for their own noncommercial purposes. All four partners in the Creative Archive Licence Group feel this is a fantastic opportunity for other broadcasters and rights holders, and we would urge them to join us."

Channel 4 education head Heather Rabbatts said, "Seeking innovative ways to nurture the creativity of the country lies at the very heart of Channel 4's public service activity. Our focus with the Creative Archive Licence is forward-looking and enabling as we look to showcase originated content, providing a platform for new creative expression."

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