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Colo. Decides Against Allowing ‘Video Embeds’ Of House, Senate Proceedings

STATE BILL COLORADO
DENVER − What’s good for YouTube apparently isn’t good for Colorado’s House and Senate.
The state’s recently formed Colorado Channel Authority on Friday briefly considered − then just as quickly dismissed − a proposal to allow for embedding of video of floor proceedings into other websites.
The authority handles cable and Internet broadcasts of the two legislative chambers.
Video embeds allow videos to stream on other sites without web users visiting the host site. Such technology is commonplace on YouTube and other video-hosting sites. A request came into the state seeking changes to allow embeds, but the legislative staff recommended against it.
“We kind of said, no, we didn’t want to do that,” said Scott Nachtrieb, a member of the Legislative Council staff who is advising the authority on technical and policy aspects of the broadcasts. “The reason we didn’t want to do that. … We want people coming to the Colorado Channel home page to see all of the things we’re going to offer.”
Nachtrieb cited potential coverage of the Colorado Supreme Court, the Colorado Court of Appeals and the legislative committees (though none of that coverage is imminent; authority members were told courts broadcasts wouldn’t begin until 2013, at the earliest.)
The authority broadcasts on Comcast Channel 165 and at www.coloradochannel.net.
Authority Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Benefield, a Democrat, said, “ I think it’s really important that (video viewers) come to that home page in order for all the links, if the embedded code gets corrupted or whatever … it could be a bad taste for the general public. We thought it was better to not give anyone that opportunity.”
No one else spoke on the issue at Friday’s meeting.
The person who requested embed technology wasn’t identified.
About $240,000 annually of taxpayer money goes to pay for the broadcasts, which began in the House in 2008 and the Senate this year.

ALSO ONLINE: Complete list of U.S. legislatures’ broadcast operations.

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