NBC Denies YouTube Debate Requests

    May 16, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

NBC’s still being stubborn about allowing its footage of the Presidential debates to be put in the public domain or licensed under Creative Commons, effectively letting the more passionately patriotic online citizenry share and remix for video sites like YouTube.

Though CNN has already agreed to a bi-partisan plea by Lawrence Lessig, who attracted big name support from Barack Obama, John Edwards and Chris Dodd, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and political pundits of all stripes, NBC is still reluctant to let loose of any part of its revenue stream – even if the cause is noble.

The alliance calling for open licensing of debate footage, which includes conservative blogger/columnist Michelle Malkin and the Huffington Post, have been putting pressure on both the Democratic National Committee (who will sanction 6 debates) and the Republican National Committee to join them.

“The trappings of our democracy, which include the debates, belong to the people, not to powerful media interests,” said Markos Moulitsas, founder of Daily Kos. “I’m hopeful the DNC does the right thing and ensures that these important debates are freely available to all of us who will want to use those images and video for commentary and debate.”

Open licensing would remove fear of legal repercussions for citizen content creators.

About a week and a half ago, CNN pledged their support of the movement, agreeing to make its footage available without restriction once each live debate concludes. NBC, however sticks to the "That’s our policy" shtick, explicitly warning that Internet use is not permitted.

“The DNC should use its leverage to push stations like NBC to stop living in the past and instead follow CNN’s lead,” said Adam Green, of MoveOn.org Civic Action. “This is about the Internet empowering the little guy in our democracy.

"The big TV networks should not be the only ones determining which sound bites are newsworthy after a debate – everyday people should be able to put candidates’ positions on YouTube and share them with others without fear of breaking the law."