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The BBC, Channel 4, the British Film Institute (BFI) and The Open University (OU) launched the scheme on Wednesday.
It will allow people to download and use footage and audio for non-commercial purposes, with each user agreeing to abide by the licence conditions before gaining access to any of the available material.
Will the Creative Archive use DRM? [creativearchive.bbc.co.uk]
The Creative Archive will not be using DRM around the content. The BBC's pilot site will be using a technology called GEOIP filtering to ensure that content sourced directly from the BBC will only be available to UK citizens.
UK citizens pay an enormous amount from our pockets to keep the fabulous BBC going. I, for one, think it's extremely unfair that tens of millions of people from around the world enjoy the BBC's content on a daily basis for free. I'm sure the Smithsonian gets less than 1% of the foreign traffic of the BBC site.
If foreigners want to access the BBC's content, they should pay for it. As ronin said, I doubt most of them will even be willing to pay a few cents for it. That's how tight-fisted most surfers are - got loadsamoney money for alcohol but not a cent for quality news or artistic output without adverts.
I'd gladly pay twice what I'm currently charged via the License Fee for the BBC's world-class service. I regularly go to their free classical music concerts which would cost at least £20 each if it was a privately-run company.
You could make the same point about any nonprofit institution. The Smithsonian is paid for by US tax dollars; why should Americans pay so that foreigners can use that website? Same for NASA, the Louvre, and any number of .org's and .edu's and cultural institutions.
Watch what you say, you could start giving ideas....
Besides, it does state that this is for pilot testing.
...understand that when public resources have been used to create content, then the overwhelming objective should be to maximise the benefit of that content to the people who helped pay for its creation in the first place.
In other words, (thankfully) not an argument that people who did not contribute to the cost of development of an information archive should not be permitted to access it.