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Big Victory for Open Debates

May 7th, 2007 by Nicholas Reville

A coalition led by Stanford Professor and Free Culture activist Lawrence Lessig has compelled CNN to make footage of the US Presidential debates free to anyone to use. I signed on to letters that he put together from academics, bloggers, and activists that asked the major parties to require that footage of the debates be either placed in the public domain or Creative Commons licensed. Apparently CNN was convinced. Lessig writes, “I’ve never had an all caps title, but this is fantastic news.” He also posted CNN’s announcement of the decision.

This decision will cover both debates that CNN hosts, one Republican and one Democratic. With CNN on board, we’re turning our sites to Fox. Letting citizens reuse, share, and distribute footage of Presidential debates should be a no-brainer in a modern democracy. Anyone have some leverage over there?

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