Rules Clarifications

From VP Angelique Ronald:

Over the last few weeks, a number of coaches have directly reached out for clarification on rules about OI transcripts, specifically regarding TedX Talks. As these emails seem to keep coming, I thought it may be best to clarify how I view this issue, that way you can share with your leagues and such (feel free to forward this along if you'd like).

Many students use traditional TED Talks in OI. These are formal presentations at TED conferences, put on by the TED organization, and uploaded to the TED website. On the TED website, there is always an official, final, and formal transcription of the speech presented by TED. These are totally ok within our rules.
  • An example of this would be Rita Pierson's very popular TED Talk, "Every Kid Needs a Champion." If you click that link, you'll see that there's a button that says "TRANSCRIPT" directly under the video. When you click it, you'll see the official (and final) transcript, provided and vetted by TED.
TED X talks are local, independently organized TED events that use the TED name, but are not held to the same standard as presentations at the formal TED conferences. Sometimes TED X scripts are ok and sometimes they are not. Here's how you distinguish whether it's legal within our rules:
  • Some TED X presentations receive the formal treatment on the TED website, much like "real" TED talks. These speeches are uploaded to the TED website (not Youtube). These are ok for us to use. An example of this would be Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's famous "We should all be feminists" TEDX Talk. If you click that link, you'll see that there's a button that says "TRANSCRIPT" directly under the video. When you click it, you'll see the official (and final) transcript, provided and vetted by TED (even though it's a TEDX presentation). 
  • Some TED X presentations are uploaded via Youtube and shared on the TED website, but they do not receive the previously described formal treatment. There is no official transcript on the TED website and the only transcript is one automatically generated by YouTube on the Youtube page itself. These speeches are not ok to do (unless you can find a formal transcript elsewhere on the web, of course). An example of this would be Luis Mejia's TEDX talk titled "The involuntary immigrant."
    • If you click that link above,you'll notice that the TED website simply embeds and links to the Youtube upload of the speech. There is no official, TED-sponsored transcript available on the TED website.
    • If you click through to the Youtube page for the video, you can access a menu that will produce a transcript for the speech, but this transcript is not in line with our general standards. Youtube transcriptions are automatically created by a computer algorithm that uses speech recognition technology to do its best to guess what is being said in the video. These transcriptions are not verified by anyone and are constantly changing as the algorithm updates. Because of the non-static, unofficial nature of these transcriptions, I don't believe them to be in line with the standards that we use for scripts.
Hopefully that offers a little bit of clarity about this weird intersection of our rules and ever-changing tech offerings. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out,

Angelique Ronald
Vice President of Activities
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