Public broadcasters and the web

The existence of the internet changes the economic logic of public broadcasting. Where, at one point, the BBC was a collection of channels, each showing one bit of their vast archive at a time, now much of it is online. That creates a huge database of materials, paid for by taxpayers, and ideally free to be accessed without copyright concerns. Being able to view documentaries like Dangerous Knowledge upon demand is a notable benefit, and one not adequately captured by private sector content generators who are not concerned about societal benefits not captured in their profits.

If all the world’s national broadcasters and other public generators of knowledge would open up their libraries comprehensively, it could make the internet an even more valuable thing than it already is. Unfortunately, that process seems likely to be piecemeal and marked by set-backs. Witness the BBC iPlayer dispute.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

3 thoughts on “Public broadcasters and the web”

  1. Are people outside the U.K. legally allowed to watch BBC films that have been uploaded online?

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