The first is a more liberal copyright policy. The second is a plan to offer better online access to C-SPAN video content through its CapitolHearings.org Web site.
"C-SPAN did a really, really good thing today," observed author, professor, and entrepreneur Carl Malamud in an e-mail sent to David Farber's Interesting People mailing list. "Our public civic life will be much richer because of [its] actions."
"Giving voice to the average citizen has been a centerpiece of C-SPAN's journalism since our network's founding in 1979," Rob Kennedy, C-SPAN president and co-chief operating officer, said in a statement. "As technology advances, we want to continue to be a leader in providing citizens with the tools to be active participants in the democratic process."
C-SPAN's new copyright policy was inspired by the Creative Commons license. It allows noncommercial copying, sharing, and posting of C-SPAN video on the Internet, as long as C-SPAN is identified as the source. The new policy covers current, future, and past video of "any official events sponsored by Congress and any federal agency." C-SPAN's studio productions and coverage of nonfederal events, political campaigns, and other feature programming remain under traditional copyright protection.
C-SPAN intends to improve its CapitolHearings portal with congressionally produced Web casts and other content in the coming months.