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National Archives & Google in Pilot Project to Digitize Historic Films

5:35 pm on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein and Co-Founder and President of Technology Sergey Brin today announced the launch of a pilot program to make holdings of the National Archives available for free online. This non-exclusive agreement will enable researchers and the general public to access a diverse collection of historic movies, documentaries and other films from the National Archives via Google Video as well as the National Archives website.

National Archives and Google Launch Pilot Project to Digitize and Offer Historic Films Online

6:30 pm on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I wonder aloud - are these films in the public domain, and will the average Joe be able to own a copy for editing and/or dissemination free of charge?

Either way, this seems like a win-win for Google and the National Archives.

6:43 pm on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Bad news for those in the public domain biz:)
1:24 am on Feb 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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And how good a resolution will the video be?

What would be really nice is high-res access to *all* the material. Right now, if you want, say, a high-res photo in the archives taken from the Korean War, you've got to find out where it is in the archives, then pay some third-party company to pull it out, scan it, and send you a CD-ROM. If the intent was to keep most citizens from having access, it's a very successful program.

I wish there was a law that said once private individuals were paying, collectively, more than a million dollars per year for some kind of government data (created by taxpayer dollars), then the government has to just go ahead and make that data available online for free.

9:55 am on Mar 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It's going to be really interesting to see how this pans out. It seems to be a bit along the lines of the Google Books Library project, but for video.