There have been a
number of posts recently about using photos that appear on the BBC News website,
including the one below.
cancompletely understand why bringing images from news stories into your
prototypes is a compelling idea. Unfortunately it's not something the BBC
is able to make available on backstage nor can it condone screen scraping of
images from the news site.
However rather than
being all stern and simply telling you "Hey, don't do that", I'd like to explain
to you the reasoning behindall of this. My hope is that, armed with
this information, you guys will choose not to use images because you can
empathise with our position rather than because 'we told you not
The first point to
make is that in almost all cases the BBC does not own the photos we make
available on the BBC News site. I think it's fair to say that in a lot of
cases many people think we do own the photos, and therefore off the back
ofbackstageput 2 and 2 together and assume that the pictures are
fair game and part of "Open BBC". Unfortunately that's simply not the
Many would agree
that it would simply not be a sensible use of licence payers money to have
hundreds of photographers working for us roving the country, and indeed the
world, ready to take photographs.
So like practically
all other news providers we licence the use photos from the photographic
agencies for use on the website. These providers include AP, Reuters -
although there are many others we use too. They have a constant churn of
photos coming in from their photographers and "paparazzi". If you want to
see what such a feed looks like, check out the live Yahoo! news picture
is fairly representative of what's current on the "picture
BBC licences the
right to reproducethese pictures on the BBC website - and only the BBC
website. It does not have the right to redistribute them to third parties,
such as including them in RSS feeds. This is why we are unable to make the
photos available to you on backstage at this time.
redistribution rights would no doubt be very expensive and and it's questionable
whether the agencies would even agree to it. Their business model is that
they distribute the photos to news providers and other interested parties.
Having redistribution rights ourselves would turn that model on it's
As you will know,
I'm a big champion for "open media" both in the BBC and outside the BBC.
Butone of the responsibilities of being involved withsuch a concept
is to respect copyright when copyright exists. And by being involved in
backstage, you should all also feel valued members and pioneers of the open
You may not agree
with a given licence restriction, or feel that it is stifling your creativity,
but it's simply not right to ignore the licences asset owners place upon their
work - regardless of the type of content and the type of licence being
If you want to
convince somebody that they should think differently, it is far more powerful to
demonstrate the value they are missing by using existing Open/Creative
Commons/similar work rather than ripping off their content and hoping they will
like it. The chances are they won't, and invariably may undermine both
your work and in their eyes the open media concept in
Closer to home,serious licence infringements in your
prototypes could undermine the work we are trying to do at the BBC with
backstage.bbc.co.uk, and our other Open BBC projects.
In addition to
being an advocate for the BBC externally to you guys, internally I'm an advocate
for the work you are all doing and your aspirations generally. I use the
above method to show content stakeholders around the BBC real examples of where
you are adding new value to BBC content byremixing other providers content
into your prototypes -in an effort to demonstrate the benefits to the BBC
in releasing our equivalent content on backstage. The more you build and
demonstrate value, the more content feeds and apis I can get released to
you. The same conceptshould work on a larger scale, when dealing
with rights holders outside the BBC. But it all needs to happen in a
positive and respectful way if it is going to work!
This is a very long
process which we're just at the beginning off, but as someone once said: even
the longest journey begins with a single step.
I know this has
been a long email, so thanks for reading.
[EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On
Behalf Of David TattersallSent: 11 August 2005
17:05To: email@example.comSubject: RE:
[backstage] News Images
I just open the low graphics version and grab any URLs
from there - I can then store the URLs and appropriate keywords. The images
are then displayed as search