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CNN's Debate Copyright Rules Explained

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- This morning as part of a behind the scenes tour of the CNN debate set, I asked CNN senior vice president and Washington bureau chief David Bohrman about his network's decision to lift copyright restrictions on video of CNN's debates.

If you've been following this side-show to the 2008 political cycle, you know that a bipartisan group of activists has been pressuring the TV networks to lift copyright restrictions on video of presidential debates, so that bloggers, podcasters, and other news organizations can distribute coverage of the debates to as broad an audience as possible -- on air and online.

CNN lifted restrictions back in May. Some expect other networks to follow suit soon.

Bohrman says CNN started broadening its usage rules in 2004, allowing other news outlets to use its video beyond normal two-day fair use rules. CNN president Jim Walton has been involved in the decision-making process, and decided to lift restrictions in spite of the network's ownership of the televised events, and the cost of production, Bohrman said. He said the network doesn't plan to lift restrictions on other CNN political programming, like "Late Edition" or "The Situation Room," but always will do so with its debates.

Watch Bohrman's comments below.

VIDEO | CNN Boss Explains Network's Debate Video Policy

By washingtonpost.com Editors |  June 5, 2007; 2:34 PM ET Debates
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