C-SPAN Jumps to 21st Century for Conventions


C-SPAN announced today that it will host a large amount of convention coverage on its web site and on other platforms, including credentialed blogger posts, special Twitter hash tags, and embeddable video from both the Democratic and Republican convention. C-SPAN’s efforts will include:

— Real-time tracking of credentialed state and national political bloggers, aggregated on the websites, to enable users to follow the latest online convention news and analysis;

— Video clips from the network’s convention coverage, embeddable, to facilitate use by political bloggers and other convention watchers;

— Linkable access to the complete C-SPAN Video Library, allowing interested users to fully search all C-SPAN video content;

— Live coverage of C-SPAN television and radio networks;

— Blogger Tips and Online Convention Video Finder tools;

— Real-time feeds from Twitter users using the hash-tags #RNC08 and #DNC08

This is a huge turnaround from two years ago, when C-SPAN ordered the removal of all of their clips from YouTube, claiming copyright infringement. The copyright purge began after viewers posted the Washington Correspondents Dinner notorious routine by comedian Stephen Colbert. The clips were viewed nearly a million times before C-SPAN claimed copyright. Soon after they ordered all videos removed from other content providers, including Metavid.

It wasn’t until Nancy Pelosi became Speaker and started posting YouTube videos of congressional hearings (which use C-SPAN cameras) to her blog that the controversy truly erupted. Pelosi and group of technology, right wing, and left blog activists all pressured C-SPAN to liberalize their policy. On March 7, 2007, they acquiesced, allowing for all non-commercial sharing, posting, and copying of C-SPAN videos past, present and future.

The convention announcement marks a new moment for C-SPAN as a modern Internet information provider. Once a small cable channel with a dream; now with embeddable web video, Twitter hashtags, and aggregated blog posts.