About Me

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Web person at the Imperial War Museum, just completed PhD about digital sustainability in museums (the original motivation for this blog was as my research diary). Posting occasionally, and usually museum tech stuff but prone to stray. I welcome comments if you want to take anything further. These are my opinions and should not be attributed to my employer or anyone else (unless they thought of them too). Twitter: @jottevanger

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Off you go, my lovelies: embedding film and sound from IWM

On Tuesday we  made a few changes to the website, one of which we've been working towards for a long time: freeing up our streaming media so that you - and you and you and you  - can use it on your own websites (subject to the terms of the IWM User Licence).
Since we launched the new site in November we've offered over 40,000 images for free re-use either by embedding HTML we offer, or by downloading the files, also using this licence, but we weren't quite ready to do that for our videos or (in particular) our sound recordings. There are more complex rights issues around these, as well as ethical issues, and as a consequence we had to think carefully, not only about what to let go of, but what to put on the website at all.
Now, though, we have approval to apply the same licence to parts of our sound and film collections and are applying it bit by bit. We also have new physical infrastructure in place for our streaming media that should be able to cope if something gets popular. We currently have about 660 films digitised and all of them are online, with about half of them cleared for you to reuse. Of the tens of thousands of items in our sound collections a fair portion are digitised but clearing them for the web is a huge job, so we are working our way through, and now there are over 1800 you can listen to, over 1400 of which you can reuse.
How can you reuse our sound and film? We allow you to embed them, for which we provide some very simple HTML. If you go to a page such as this  or this or this and look to the right of the media player you will see text that says "This item is available to share and reuse under the terms of the IWM Non Commercial Licence." Click on "share and reuse" and expand the "Embed HTML" to grab the code. Then paste it like I've done below.
Credit for this is due to lots of people. I'd mention particularly Debbie McDonnell and Naomi Korn, whose work on (and advocacy of) the IWM User Licence was fundamental. However the whole of IWM's Copyright Group deserves thanks for its support for releasing our content like this, from our film and sound curators through to those responsible for e-commerce and for the maintenance of our digital assets. Taking this step is no small risk to those charged with the guardianship of our collections or those that need to generate income for IWM, but the evolution of attitudes from our first discussions to this stage showed great open-mindedness and was really encouraging. ICT's work to beef up the infrastructure was another crucial ingredient.
Please let us know what you think. There are various things we know need improving but we are keen to have some feedback first. We are hoping that later this year we'll be able to offer an HTML5 player and much higher quality video too, as well as (with any luck) more media. No doubt a filter for media with this licence would be useful too, so let us know what you're after.
If you want to use our films for purposes outside the IWM User Licence, do please contact us. For film, see our film sales site; for audio, get in touch

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