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DOD Follows State Dept. Lead in Launching Video Section

Monday, Oct. 29, 2007

Two months after the State Department launched a Web site that features videos of news conferences and interviews with department officials -- and one that allows, YouTube-style, for the videos to be embedded on any Web site -- the Defense Department is now following suit.

We have criticized DOD in the past for not making their newsworthy video easily accessible to journalists, bloggers and, well, anyone. So now that they've launched the video site, we must congratulate their getting with it, so to speak, even if rather late.

And it's commendable that DOD appears to have gone the State Department one better by providing full video files for download, not just streaming. The "end user site license" on the site, which appears to have been penned by site operator Intel (presumably under a lucrative contract with DOD), says the following about how the videos can be used:

With respect to the video or audio file downloads, broadcast quality orother, Intel Corporation hereby grants to you a global, limited,non-transferable license to display, reproduce, edit, caption andperform the Content for editorial use only. This includes the right totransmit or distribute the Content by Internet, satellite or othermeans, as well as authorizes the exhibition and display of the Contentin whole or in part through information distribution systems, includingbut not limited to, web cast, broadcast or cable transmission, ordisplay in web content.

The license is ostensibly meant for members of the press. But what constitutes "editorial use" on the Internet? (As U.S. taxpayers, we would tend to broadly interpret any attempts by the government to limit the use of such products, but we're not lawyers.)

Here is where we were going to offer you a sample of the fare available on dodvclips.com by embedding a video of a press conference with an Iraq commander in which he has very interesting things to say about his responsibility vis-a-vis the PKK in northern Iraq. But that will have to wait. Right now it appears the videos on the site aren't loading properly. Still working out the kinks perhaps. . . . Stay tuned.