Sunday, November 12, 2006

NFB vs. Youtube

One of the best parts of Youtube has been to be able to remember some old TV show or commercial or historical event and and then enter a quick search on Youtube and find a clip of it. A total goldmines of wonderful memories was opened up when you searched for National Film Board. Everything from humourous short films to historical vignettes to random pieces of art film would come up instantly.

Until recently, anyway. Now if you search for something like Log Driver's Waltz or Port Royale, you just get the message: "This video has been removed at the request of copyright owner National Film Board of Canada because its content was used without permission" in nasty red letters.

Now, of course they have every right to defend the copyrights of the filmmakers who's content they are the stewards of, but the other half of their mandate is to make Canadians more aware of our own history and culture through film. Where before they made their content available to TV stations who needed non-commercial filler to top up a half-hour block of time when the US import show ran less than the minimum 22 minutes, these days all that wonderful NFB content is nowhere to be found on Canadian TV.

So to see them hounding down Youtube to take down their content strikes me as petty. Do they only want Canadians to be able to see these films if they travel to NFB headquarters in Montreal and find an actual film canister in a dusty archive warehouse? Are they planning to use the taxpayer-funded content to generate revenue some time in the future? Either way, it just seems distasteful, like something that was ours is being kept from us.

By al - 11:23 a.m. |

I loved the Log Drivers Waltz :-(
this makes me incredibly sad. do we have a nfb here anymore? there used to be a small-ish headquarters of sorts here. it was at the basilica rec centre, those "other" doors that no-one ever used at the other end of the building, the corner just before the parking lot.
i always wanted to go in and take out movies, but i was too nervous or shy or something.
i used to look forward to their little clips. sometimes more-so than the actual show i had just watched or was waiting for.

ooo the nightmare before christmas is on tv right now...
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