The Colbert Factor

"If C-SPAN is a non-profit why does it feel the need to protect its copyright?"

A print reporter asked me this question about what was probably the most popular video C-SPAN ever produced in its 27-year history--our live coverage of Stephen Colbert's appearance at the annual White House Correspondents Association dinner in April. The 24-minute segment, in which Colbert commented wickedly on the president's performance, had been copied and placed on several file-sharing Web sites. The chat rooms and the blogosphere went crazy with commentary about whether Colbert was funny, incisive and dead on, or rude, crude and wrong. Within a day, one Web site attracted a million hits using our video.


Bruce D. Collins

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