June 6, 2007 | By Hugh D'Andrade

CNN Executive Explains Debate Decision

When a transpartisan coalition called for footage of the 2008 Presidential Debates to be placed in the public domain, or released under a Creative Commons license, only one network quickly stepped up. CNN agreed to make all footage available to the public for commentary, republishing, remixing, or other uses, ?without restriction.?

Recently, Washington Post reporter Ed O'Keefe got a CNN executive to explain on camera CNN?s reasons for its decision. Here's a transcript of the video:

"Jim Walton, who runs all of CNN.... said look, let's release it without restriction. It's important to the country, it's important to be able to hold these candidates liable for what they said.... Yes, we spend a lot of money doing these, in theory we own these programs. But it's not really about ownership, it's about what these people are saying who want to run the country. So we're making it available without restriction, people can use it as they wish, basically forever. We won't do that with much or anything else of what we make because we care a lot about our ownership rights and our copyright. But it seems that for the debates it's something that should belong out there for people to use."

YouTube and other video sharing sites are already overflowing with commentary and content related to the debates. Kudos to CNN for having the wisdom to place this content in the hands of the public.


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