Free the debates! Free Joe Biden!

So Joe Biden is flagrantly violating MSNBC’s rules prohibiting internet use of the debate. He’s posting videos of himself and other candidates from the network at YouTube and, in turn, embedding them at his Head to Head virtual debate — which is exactly what MSNBC should be doing and allowing us to do (see my suggestions below). And, by the way, if MSNBC posted the clips on YouTube, they’d do a better technical job of it and their logo wouldn’t be all schmutzig. Will MSNBC go after Biden for stealing his own words and putting them on YouTube for us all to see? Watch this space:

Come on, NBC, do the right thing. Free the debates. Release them for our use under Creative Commons.

I sent email to Steve Capus, president of NBC News, yesterday and have heard nothing back yet. Here’s what I asked:


First, it was a pleasure meeting you on the RTNDA panel.

The reason I put in a call to you yesterday is that I’d like to find out the rationale behind the no-internet restriction on debate video. Clearly and not surprisingly, I have an opinion on this myself:

I’d like to ask:

* Why did NBC News put a no-internet restriction on the debate video? What is the rationale?

* Would NBC News consider Prof. Lawrence Lessig’s call for the networks to make debate video available under an open Creative Commons License?

* I’d be grateful if you’d address the question of whether MSNBC owns this debate or whether it should be the property of the American citizenry in this election.

* Is the company going to demand that the clips that have been put up on video-sharing services be taken down and will it send cease-and-desist notices to bloggers who embed them?

thanks much

I also asked Arianna Huffington what their policy will be with the HuffingtonPost/Yahoo/Slate online debates. She said they are deciding in a meeting on Friday and she’ll let us know immediately. I’m also asking the other networks what their policies will be.

Free the debates! Free the debates! Free the debates!

(Crossposted from PrezVid)

  • Well, I’m no lawyer (and I intended to make this comment on Jeff’s first post on this subject), but there’s the gaping loophole that Joe, Jeff and bloggers in general may be able to use.

    Per NBC, as relayed by The Buzz Machine:

    (The following rules apply to all media organizations that are not part of NBC)

    I’m not a media organization, are you?

  • Great posts on this, Jeff, give ’em hell.

  • I think that your post is very interesting and debatable, but I think that we do need to see these things sometimes to understand a perspective. Dont you think?

  • Great post, Jeff, but just wait ’till NBC gets a load of the Jay Leno for President campaign! He hasn’t acknowledged he’s even running, yet grassroots support is going through the roof! Given the way NBC reacts, we’re girded for the worst whenever they find out about our humble little campaign to put Jay Leno into the Oval Office. It’s laid out at

  • Pingback: Personal notes()

  • stew

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