Creative Archive Licence Group


About the Creative Archive Licence Group

About the content

The Creative Archive and the BBC

The Creative Archive Licence



About the Creative Archive Group

What is it?

The BBC, the BFI (British Film Institute), Channel 4 and the Open University set up the Creative Archive Licence Group to make their archive content available for download under the terms of the Creative Archive Licence. This is a single, shared user licence scheme for the downloading of moving images, audio and stills.

If you want to share, watch, listen and re-use this content for your own creative projects you must comply with the terms and conditions as set out in the Creative Archive Licence. For example, you must agree that you will only use the material for non-commercial purposes.

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Can other organisations join?

The initial CALG pilot was completed in 2006 and the Group is not open to new members.

How can I contact the Group?

The Creative Archive Licence Group is a member-based organisation and does not run an executive office. If you need to contact the Group, please contact Tony Ageh, Controller of BBC Archives.

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About the content

Where are clips to download?

Currently the BFI (British Film Institute) and Open University have clips available to download on their own websites.

Some content is also available on the Teachers TV web site.

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How much will it cost to use the content?

If you use the material available from member archives under the terms of the licence, there is no charge.

Read the 5 basic rules
Read the full licence

What format does the archive use?

We've chosen three formats - Quicktime, Windows Media and MPEG1. We aren’t using Real because although it’s fine for streaming media, it’s not a format suitable for downloading and editing.

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The Creative Archive and the BBC

What clips are available from the BBC?

There are no BBC clips currently available under the Creative Archive Licence. Over 500 clips were made available while the BBC piloted the project between 2005 and 2006. The BBC supports the aims of the Creative Archive Group and is reviewing the Creative Archive Licence in the context of its archive material and the wider interests of the UK public. Other members of the Group continue to release clips under the licence terms.

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How can I get hold of BBC clips?

The BBC gets a lot of requests for archive material. We don’t have the resources to help individuals wishing to track down past programmes, but BBC Shops stock a wide range of archive material.

If you’ve taken part in a programme you’re entitled to a viewing copy but will have to pay transfer costs. Contact BBC Information, Contributor Access Service, PO BOX 1922, Glasgow G2 3WT, Tel: 08703 338 998.

If you’re from a school or university and want material to include in a lecture or for research you can contact BBC Active Tel: 0207 010 2751. Businesses wanting material for training should contact BBC Learning Tel: 02084331641 or email Individual students not covered by the options above can contact the National Film and Television Archive Tel: 0207 255 1444 or email

Non-UK broadcast media with a commercial interest in a programme should contact BBC Worldwide's Motion Gallery for complete programmes,Tel: 0208 433 2861. UK-based companies wanting programme extracts should contact Research Central, Tel: 0208 225 7193 or email

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What is the difference between the Creative Archive and BBC iPlayer?

BBC iPlayer lets people download, stream and playback BBC current programmes. You can only store a programme for a limited period of time until the licence to playback expires and it’s not possible to edit or use the programme material other than playing back.

The Creative Archive system lets you download available clips for subsequent creative use as long as it’s compliant with the licence and it uses an entirely different system of distribution. Currently there are no BBC programme clips available to download under the terms of the Creative Archive Licence.

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What are the BBC’s plans for the Creative Archive?

The BBC supports the aims of the Creative Archive Group and is reviewing the Creative Archive Licence in the context of its archive material and the wider interests of the UK public.. The BBC will make its plans for the Creative Archive public in due course.

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The Creative Archive Licence

What is the Creative Archive Licence?

The Creative Archive Licence contains the legal rules that you must comply with to download and use the content that Group members offer under the terms of the CAL.

Read the full licence.

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How does the Creative Archive Licence differ from the Creative Commons Licence?

The Creative Archive Licence is heavily inspired by the Creative Commons Licence but includes additional features that meet the needs of public service organisations in the UK.

The two most obvious are the UK-only and the No Endorsement requirements. The Creative Archive Licence is also designed to protect the Licensor's right not to have a work treated in a derogatory or objectionable way.

Read more about the Creative Commons Licence.

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Do the original creators of content benefit from the Creative Archive Licence?

Material made available under the Creative Archive Licence has been cleared with the rights holders.

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What does attribution mean and how do I do it?

Attribution is another way of saying "giving credit". The Creative Archive Licence requires that you attribute or credit the sources of material you use in your work.

For example, if you make an audio mashup for download, you should include a short introduction or conclusion with all credits.

• Your credit section for a video is the usual place to name sources.
• If you’re making a presentation a footer or additional slide could include the names of your source material.

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Why is the Creative Archive Licence restricted to the UK?

The content available under the Creative Archive Licence is restricted to the UK because the founder organisations are publicly funded to serve the UK population and don’t have the resources to managed overseas distribution.

In some cases there are also broadcast restrictions limiting the distribution rights to the UK only.

The Creative Archive Group monitors the use of content under the terms of the licence and may take action to enforce the terms of the licence.

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I live outside the UK but want to pay for Creative Archive content. How do I do this?

If you live outside of the UK you need to contact the owners of content that interests you to ask permission (and agree to licence terms) to use it.

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Can UK education and faith organisations use the content?

Yes. Teachers in UK-based educational establishments can use Creative Archive licenced content for teaching purposes. The licence includes a definition of educational establishments [link to Annex A on the licence page] Faith-based organisations can also use content for resource and teaching purposes, provided it doesn’t breach the requirements of the No-endorsement rule.

We’d love to see examples of any learning packages you create. But don't forget that you or your school, college or organisation cannot sell them under any circumstances. If you think you’ve created a potentially commercial product, then the licensors and/or authors may be interested in discussing a commercial licence with you.

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5 Rules of the Creative Archive Licence
  • No commercial use
    No commercial use
  • Share alike
    Share alike
  • Give credit
    Give credit
  • No endorsement
    No endorsement
  • UK only
    UK only
Clips are available to download from:

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