BBC News opens its archives for the first time

MUMBAI: UK pubcaster the BBC has announced that its division BBC News Interactive has released nearly 80 online news reports, for the first time from the archives.

The bulletins cover some iconic events of the past 50 years including the fall of the Berlin Wall, crowds ejecting soldiers from Beijing's Tiananmen Square and behind-the-scenes footage of the England team prior to their World Cup victory in 1966.

They are offered as The Open News Archive, part of a new kind of BBC service - in pilot stage - which is not just about enjoying BBC output but allowing the UK public to use it to create content of their own. The clips have been made freely available under the terms of the recently-launched Creative Archive Licence.

The Creative Archive Licence allows people within the UK to watch, download and edit the clips and programming for non-commercial purposes. People interested in being creative with BBC material will be free to download and mix that footage and use it as the fuel for their own creative endeavours.

The footage is now at To ensure that the material is available to as wide an audience, it will be made available in QuickTime, Windows Media, MPEG1 and MP3 formats.

In releasing these reports, the BBC has now doubled the number of programme extracts it originally made available through an initial trial with Radio 1 Interactive.

BBC News director Helen Boaden says, "This trial is an important step in allowing us to share with our audiences the extraordinary news archive which the BBC has recorded over the years. We look forward to getting their reaction."

Creative Archive Licence Group project director Paul Gerhardt says, "The big news stories of the last three decades are the punctuation marks in the stories of our lives. The BBC's telling of those stories is part of our heritage, and now that the UK public have the chance to share and keep them we're keen to know how they will be used. Whatever you do, let us know – and help to shape the future of the Creative Archive."

The BBC will be releasing further content across other areas of over the coming months.

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