Say what? The YouTube-ing of presidential debates

A letter to the Democratic and Republican National Committees encourages that they allow presidential candidates' debates into the public domain, regardless of potential edits by users redistributing them.

Hillary Clinton won't be the next lonelygirl15, but there's no question that she and all the other 2008 presidential candidates will have their turns on YouTube.

The question that has been posed, CNET News.com reports, is whether the Democratic and Republican National Committees will allow video of the candidates' debates into the public domain.

"In 2008, this will really be a year of YouTube, where the little guy can hold politicians accountable for their words and that's why we need presidential debate content to be in the public domain or Creative Commons, and not captive to the whims of big media companies," said a representative for MoveOn Civic Action, whose executive director cosigned a letter to the committees encouraging distribution to the public.

But as always in politics, others said they aren't so sure it's a good idea.

"It's far from clear to me that it's a good idea to put this stuff up on YouTube and have anyone able to modify it however they choose," a senior fellow at the Progress & Freedom Foundation explained. "You know what's going to happen on both the left and the right. The stuff will be mangled, and everything will be pulled out of context, and it'll be ricocheted around the world."

Regardless of each committees' decision, one thing is certain: the parodies will be plentiful.

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About the author

Hailing from New Orleans, Laura K. Cucullu is the senior features and special packages editor. Prior to joining CNET, she was a magazine copy chief, a technical writer, a tech support specialist, and a buyer, meaning someone once actually paid her to shop.

 

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