I remember blogging about this sort of thing more than once back in the day, here and here for example, but this story in the e-Government Bulletin has left me really shocked.
It’s a no brainer that if you want your video content to be seen by lots of real people who create unique views, rather than just counting ‘hits’, then you need to use Youtube or some other popular video service, rather than install your own system displayed through your own website.
Jason Kitcat‘s a top man who we’ve worked with before, and he clearly feels the same, as, in his role as a councillor in Brighton, he’s taken some of the council’s own closed network webcast content and put it on Youtube, as the council’s system didn’t allow people to skip through the video to relevant points (it sort of does seem to to me, but pretty clunkily to be fair).
All well and good, the video was in the public domain anyway, he’s just transferred it to a more usable medium. Instead of being applauded for being helped to free information up and make it more accessible, a Conservative councillor (Jason’s a Green Party councillor) put in an official complaint to the standards board about his actions, claiming he’d failed to treat other councillors with respect and had breached the council’s copyright.
Quite apart from the fact that the copyright statement, like the webcast link funnily enough, is deeply buried away within the site itself, and seems unclear on how far the copyright applies, this sort of thing seems just plain wrong.
The internet’s heading more and more towards data being made more freely available and shareable. Using a closed broadcast system is one thing, but then aiming to keep that content closed when it could be opened up seems a real missed opportunity. Let’s hope this mindset is as rare as it seems.