Project WolverineBroadcasting LIVE from the orbiting command centre

After what seems like an age, NZ On Screen has finally been launched. This is NZ On Air’s attempt to create New Zealand’s own YouTube, except it focuses on NZ On Air-funded content – so although you and I didn’t create it personally, we did pay for it!

This is an awesome project, much of New Zealand’s historical television needed to be digitised especially for this website and it promises to be a fascinating source of entertainment – just like YouTube.

The site looks quite nice – some usability issues not withstanding, and my one complaint is that the homepage does not draw people into the site if there’s nothing on the homepage which immediately interests them.

Anyhoo, I also noticed that there’s no option to embed video clips onto third-party websites or blogs, a feature which practically every other video-hosting website offers.

Apparently the reason for this is that to get the copyright holders’ permission to use their content, part of the deal was that the content is used ‘within the context of the site’, so it won’t be possible to embed clips on your site unfortunately.

What is interesting though, is that this site uses the Creative Commons “Attribution Non-commercial” licence, as described here. This license, described on the NZ On Screen site, allows people to:

… remix, tweak, and build upon our work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge NZ On Screen and be non-commercial, they don’t have to licence their derivative works on the same terms.

What I don’t understand is, how am I supposed to do anything with the content on this site if I can’t download clips or even embed them in other webpages?

This suggests two possibilities:

1) NZ On Air decided to use this license without considering how it conflicted with the limited usability of the site, or

2) They have other plans for the content on the site, but from what I’ve heard, this isn’t likely to happen anytime soon.

This site has a great deal of potential and it could be a torch-bearer for the open-content movement, especially since it has to deal with such a variety of copyright holders.

I’m not particularly surprised to hear that there were difficulties in obtaining a more permissive licensing arrangement, since traditional media seem to regard the Internet with a great deal of suspicion, especially in regards to royalties.

I’ll be watching this closely to see what improvements NZ On Screen come up with…

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