commons

In spring 2011 Google considered to delete all videos published at video.google.com, of course allowing users to save their content and publish it on YouTube.  For various reasons this was a very bad idea, e.g., YouTube only allows videos up to 15 minutes, all existing links to well-known video.google URLs would break, and the original submitters might not more exist.

Because I was just trying to understand the fine points of forbidden "non-free" CC-NC (non-commercial) licenses vs. allowed "free" CC-BY (by attribution) licenses on Wikimedia Commons I stumbled over a link to a brilliant video on http://freedomdefined.org — now here's a megalomaniac site name.

The video is a lecture by Lawrence Lessig at 23C3, that was the 23rd annual Chaos Computer Club convention in 2006.  I desperately tried to rescue these 146 MB before the announced deletion over shaky wireless connections, and failed miserably at YouTube — instead of simply splitting the video into multiple parts they let me upload it, which took hours, and then rejected it.  After that I found another YouTube video explaining how to delete my account, and followed suite.

It was already clear that I cannot upload the video to Wikimedia Commons, I have not the faintest idea who might have what kind of copyright, and apparently video.google offers no meta data.  Besides Wikimedia Commons would require the .ogv (Ogg) instead of .flv (Flash) video format — ffmpeg or similar video converters can fix that, but a missing license is a showstopper on Commons.

Eventually I managed to rescue the video in my Google Docs account, and later Google decided to cancel their plans to dump the historical video.google content.  So now I ended up with what counted as 14.6% of the free Google Docs web space, and might delete the copy.  But as long as it exists I can as well use it with the new Google Sites feature allowing to embed Google Docs videos (146 MB, 76 minutes .flv):

Creative Commons (CC) meets Chaos Computer Club (CCC) at 23C3

Updates 2011
Some months later, I've found a link to On Free, and the Differences between Culture and Code on the CCC pages. Because my Google profile offers to upload and share a video I tried that with the .ogv version, there is even a feature to associate photos and videos with known locations on Google maps, here the BCC. But when I looked at the uploaded video Picasa had converted it back to .flv, and I deleted it, again. <sigh />
Updates 2014
Now why am I not surprised that Google nanaged to break their own embed-mechanism here trying to display a non-existing YouTube instead of the same old Docs video? Nobody cares if that's Docs, Drive, Buzz, Hangout, Reader, iGoogle, Picasa, Orkut, Google+, Blogger, or any other killed or net yet killed product, but the links have to work forever.
Apparently the video is now not more available on video.google.com, but it was archived on archive.org in decent formats including .ogv (323 MB) and .mp4 (449 MB) with a CC-BY-SA license from an unknown source.