So for commercial purposes you need to licence them, as described here:
> We provide various options from single downloads you choose ($5) to the entire library on hard drive ($1,995), to annual licensing for multi-user media production companies
Also, isn’t the BBC one of many publicly funded media outlets? It should at the very least be free to use for those who pay to keep the service alive, and ideally completely freely licensed as I think any public work should be.
You can compare the commercial licence with that of others for yourself. See https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24587496 for starters. Notice the sorts of terms that commercial sound libraries impose.
Notice also that the commercial licence is not sold by the BBC. It is sold by a U.S. company named Pro Sound Effects. The Royal Charter prohibits for-profit activities by the BBC itself. So the profits from commercial licences are probably not going back to the BBC.
BBC Worldwide is an independent for-profit organization and, for the most part, responsible for the commercialization of BBC assets outside of the UK as the BBC itself is not able to commercialize.
Assets like Top Gear are an example of that - the show's production budget is(/was) unusually high because the BBC produces it for the world market where it knows it will generate a significant return selling the licenses (or broadcasting on BBC America etc). Compare that to domestic shows, such as Have I Got News For You, which is not shown abroad.
The advertising on BBC Website is placed by BBC Worldwide and they receive the money from that.
Profits made by BBC Worldwide are dispersed back into the BBC itself.
Aside from Worldwide the BBC has split up and sold or commercialized other assets. Much of the technical infrastructure it owned became RedBee and was invested in by Castle and/or Siemens (my memory is fuzzy). They also broke off their studio facilities into BBC Studios which I believe now operate commercially.
The BBC has been pushed considerably by Tory governments to becomes smaller over time which has resulted in these sell offs and break offs.
I've not worked at the BBC for 15 years but follow it closely and can probably answer other questions you might have.
The Charter covers "UK Public Services" and the "World Service", as does the Agreement with the Minister of the Crown. The World Service is a specific thing, which you can read about for yourself.
* So public service broadcasting to other countries isn't within the terms of the Charter.
* Commercial activities are prohibited to the BBC itself. They are limited to commercial subsidiaries.
The upshot of this is that services that you get outwith the U.K. are not from the BBC. They are from commercial subsidiary companies, such as BBC Studios for example, or from joint venture companies. BBC Studios is what broadcasts BBC content such as BBC America outwith the United Kingdom. Similarly, the WWW site that is served up to computers outwith the United Kingdom isn't provided by the BBC. It is provided by BBC Global News Ltd, another commercial subsidiary. It's quite different to the WWW site that is seen within the U.K..
The commercial subsidiaries aren't funded by the Licence Fee, and the BBC itself is not permitted to make a profit from its dealings with them, which must be "at arm's length" (to quote the Agreement).
If the license fee pays to make show x, who _eventually_ profits from the sale of x to the US?
For example last year BBC Studios paid £200m as dividend to the BBC.
The key is, I think, that a UK resident should not have to pay anything (other than the license fee) or be subject to advertising to enjoy BBC content.
So something produced for a UK audience can be sold outside the UK and the profits used by the BBC to make more content.
What's important is that the 'selling of things' is targeted to 'recoup costs', not 'make profit'.
An example, hosting an event and charging $5 per seat, to recoup the costs of renting the theatre. And to pay talent.
Maybe this is different in the UK?
And, you keep saying "operate for profit", which makes me think it is part of their charter, instead of saying "non-profit" which makes me think of my above logic.
I browse both regularly and they’re basically the same content just with an advert. Not really sure what you’re talking about.
BBC Jam for example was a project back in 2006 offering multi-media educational resources free across the UK. This was 2 years before Khan Academy.
Commercial companies complained, and the project was shut down.
In 2008, UK broadcasters (BBC, ITV and Channel 4), seeing how Netflix was going, and bearing this in mind, built a fully commercial video on demand platform. That too was shut down by the government because "it might become too powerful".
The BBC's self funded commercial arm recently expanded in Austrailia, attracting complaints from the Guardian who had done the same thing.
Back to license fee funding, earlier this year the BBC, no longer able to use its resources to create the types of broadcasts due to covid (no coverage of sport for example when there's no sport), used its resources to help UK parents who were suddenly tasked with home-schooling 9 million children overnight.
Everyone was happy you'd think, but oh no - "The BBC is under pressure to axe access to its home-learning lessons – used by millions of children during the coronavirus crisis – over fears they will squeeze commercial curriculum providers out of the market"
Conversely, another ~40 years into the past takes us back to the time when there was a BBC Empire Service. So there's more than one contrast to be had as one looks through history.
The Sound Ideas licence expressly prohibits the use of any of its sound effects "as mobile telecom audio content such as ring tones, ringback tones, soundscapes, multimedia messaging services (MMS), voice messaging, audio enhancements, greeting mail services, or other content applications now known or which shall become known".
That's not the only restriction in the Sound Ideas licence. You may only use the effects at one address. You may not sell or throw away your computers or disc drives if you don't wipe them. You may not put sound effects into firmware.
This is commercial use and paid.
But what if you do it by accident, forgetting that you’d used a licensed asset in this long-published video? Tough cookies.
If you’re going to publish a mix of commercial and non-commercial content, you’d best be using some sort of tagging system to keep track of which videos use assets from which libraries. Because if you mess up, it’s on you.
We frequently run into this issue when a vendor gets bought by another company who doesn’t want to renew their contract with us: At that point we have to use our tagging system to find any content using assets from that library and either pull it or find replacements from somewhere else.
Yes. Ignorance not excuse. There are quite a few cases where people go on GIS and find some random image, and then stock image crawling bots encounter it and extract payment with penalties.
> [...] You can't [...] put ads next to or over it (the content)
Only need to license it if I decide to release it on Spotify.
USA's Fair Use would probably let you sample these sounds for use in developing your music even without the license.
In the UK there aren't anything like personal use exceptions so sampling if its allowed by the license would be fine, but if you play back the track and anyone hears it then strictly that's a performance and likely to be infringing (yes, UK law is that restrictive; for example UK schools have to have music performance licenses to watch TV in class in case a program includes copyright music, it's pretty ludicrous).
The aforementioned might be why they've gone with the licence that they did.
If you wonder why the answer is successive Tory government don't like the BBC at an ideological and personal level (hence why the BBC ends up having to pay the once free licence fees of old people)
The unelected Labour opposition proposed activist shills took control of the editorial policy of not just the BBC but also print media.
For anyone not familiar with the debate, the BBC is inexorably accused of both being too left wing and too right wing by various loudmouths.
> Even if you pay the licence fee they are still overly limited in what they can let you watch - in doing so the regulators have probably killed off the BBC's long term prospects amongst the younger generation (no one my age watches TV by default anymore)
That's because the content is absolutely appalling. I speak as a BBC fan and proponent historically. Both TV and Radio output quality has been absolutely eviscerated in the last 10 or so years, for various reasons and by certain kinds of persons.
I challenge anyone to go to this link for tomorrow: https://www.bbc.co.uk/schedules/p00fzl6p/2020/09/26 and tell me how the premier/flagship BBC channel content on a Friday there remotely represents balanced quality output?
In prime time there are 3 reality/talent shows and Casualty, a terrible budget soap opera that's been endured for the last 35 years (with multiple spin offs) as well as a close to zero budget quiz show. That's the "good" content, the rest is even more miserable. How does that even remotely represent value for the $4billion a year they take by statutory arrangement?
No, BBC one's remit is not to just show fluffy nonsense
It's remit is in fact:
> BBC One’s remit is to be the BBC’s most popular mixed-genre television service
across the UK, offering a wide range of high quality programmes. It should be the
BBC’s primary outlet for major UK and international events and it should reflect the
whole of the UK in its output. A very high proportion of its programmes should be
> a mixed-genre channel, with versions for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and variations for English regions and the Channel Islands, providing a very broad range of programmes to a mainstream audience;
As I said, the different channels are different services, which is partly the point. BBC Four's service description is, for example:
> a channel providing an intellectually and culturally enriching alternative to mainstream programming on other BBC channels;
How often do you watch a show on BBC One?
Who was in power all that time?
Ironically Radio 4 (taken as a whole) seems to provide a reasonably level playing field; but their listeners are a small fraction of BBC1's viewers.
I think the parties involved are smart enough not to leave evidence lying around in public. The "postal vote" debacle was either a direct attack on democracy, out in the open, or a complete failure of the entire editorial team that should have seen them immediately sacked.
Interestingly the Cabinet Secretary, head of the civil Service - which headlines itself as having open public recruitment - was chosen by Johnson on entry to Downing Street.
My personal opinion is this is a drip-drip-drip erosion of balance to allow the current government fascististic levels of control.
Most recently reports are that some satirical comedy shows are being stopped as the government see them as too critical of Tories and not critical enough of others (they must have forgotten who is in power). How is it possible the BBC aren't being interfered with in removing some of their most popular domestic broadcasting when the only extent reasoning is 'to reduce on-air criticism of the current government'.
I'm sure you'll wave your hand and say this is all anecdote. In general Trump's playbook has been copied by Johnson, control of media/reporting is a part of that.
The head of the Radio division is literally an ex Labour minister, in Blair/Brown government.
No, how did you arrive at that invalid summation?
"The unelected Labour opposition proposed activist shills"
is difficult to understand.
It's also unclear, to me at least, what you mean by "proposed" and by "shills" and who these people are, specifically, who you claim control the BBC and print media, since despite specifically referring to "Labour" you said you don't mean it's Labour.
> The Labour opposition had proposed that activist shills take control of the editorial policy of ...
It's your turn to ask for "evidence please", I believe. (-:
unelected to government.
> , who you claim control the BBC and print media, since despite specifically referring to "Labour" you said you don't mean it's Labour.
I didn't use a present tense. Corbyn et al had a proposal to take control of editorial departments of major newspapers and tv media to set the agenda.
Your difficulty in reading comprehension is hardly relevant to the point
You didn't say Labour proposed to "take control", you said Labour proposed "shills" "took control". Took.
Why you're continually trying to pretend other people can't read what you wrote, when it's there for anyone to see, is baffling.
Since it's only a convention the Commons certainly could just decide not to do this, and of course there isn't anybody to stop them - but that would be extraordinary. It hasn't happened at all in the modern era.
I guess the most plausible way it could arise now is if there isn't any majority in the Commons after an election, a conventional senior-junior coalition partnership in which the larger party gets PM but the smaller party gets some other roles is impossible for some reason, and the "obvious" compromise centrist politician has meanwhile been elevated to the Lords.
Nothing in the existing rules actually forbids a Lord being PM, it would just be incredibly inconvenient (the Commons hold the PM to account not the Lords so...) and look undemocratic, so I guess in that case they might decide the way forward is we put this chap in place as caretaker, his executive gets us out of whatever immediate hole we're in, and then hold fresh elections. If there is a decent majority in the Commons for that idea, it's enough to make it happen.
On the contrary. All you need to form a government is some way to get a majority for Confidence, and all you'd need to make that a working government is Confidence and Supply. That's all Theresa May had, she did not win the election but she had DUP promises to vote for her on the question of confidence and where necessary for supply, and that was enough to limp on for quite some time.
Cameron did win a plurarity of seats in 2010, but his 36% of the vote wasn't enough on it's own.
It's exceedingly likely the next Prime Minister will equally be appointed without a public vote.
> The unelected Labour opposition proposed activist shills took control of the editorial policy of not just the BBC but also print media.
(The unelected Labour opposition)
OK, very wrong, but I think that's attempting to describe the elected labour mps in parliament
I assume this means people who don't read the daily express
So I think I can parse this as
Some Labour MPs, at some point, proposed a group of people should take control of the editorial policy of the BBC and newspapers.
I'm not sure what story he's talking about though.
This does indeed seem to be what this person is saying. Thanks for putting in the effort to parse, though I do have to apologise for the fact that it hardly seems to have been worth it!
Meanwhile in the real world, Charles Moor, former editor of the Telegraph, is mooted to become the chairman of the BBC and Paul Dacre, former editor of the Daily Mail, is to be head of ofcom, the media regulator.
Not exactly paragons of impartiality are they?
You sound like you aren't aware that Leader of the Opposition is actually an official paid position, listed in the Ministers of the Crown Act 1937. You can only get this official position by being a member of parliament (voted in all practical modern cases and in this case), and representing the minority party.
So they're in an elected official position, sworn to the Crown, with actual responsibilities and pay, set out in concrete legislation - and that's actually pretty rare in the British constitution!
Do you have a point of any substance to make?
Never used 'em for commercial applications, obviously, because hobby. But it's a lot of fun remixing them.
Another interesting source of sound effects are pirated games. Last of Us in particular has wonderful, stunning, horrifying sound effects, example of which I wish I'd saved.
I vaguely remember using few sound effects from Star Trek: Generations and Star Wars Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith in a school play around 5th or 6th grade :). The sound of the base hangar door from Mysteries of the Sith is still etched deeply in my mind (along with surrounding dialogue).
(None one of us knew the concept of intellectual property back then.)
Time to rent studio space!
Notably, the high speed morse sound was super interesting, as I might like to track down a few more samples of it.
When I drop one into this decoder, it's having trouble with it for some reason: https://morsecode.world/international/decoder/audio-decoder-...
In case you were curious, one of the morse sound effects (http://bbcsfx.acropolis.org.uk/assets/07069047.wav a high pitched oscillator) translates to:
"P D F H X S T P H I Z UFR U TE4 F 4 L U V X G H I B J AU G G H Q Y P 8 0 P X Y U H B C A X JE P TI F H S T N PH ILK F G WUZ W Z UEI K S"
which seems like a cipher of some sort.
Martian computer - 1972 (7K, reprocessed)
Who cares if you can get a snippet of “South American parrot talking and screeching,” I can get that anywhere. Cool Dr. Who sound effects (or whatever your favorite show is) in good quality is what I think of when I see BBC sound effects.
> School Computer Class, general atmosphere in pre-fabricated room, with hum from computers, keys clicking, occasional background speech, T.V. whistle from monitors & people moving around.
Like did it make a big difference if the classroom was pre-fabricated? Perhaps it does to a BBC sound recorder!
Crucially, how different it will be from eg. a high ceiling room in a brick building.
I'd say that's a great description.
I don't remember the distinct reverb, my overriding memory is of being far too hot in summer and far too cold in winter.
I would have thought they'd have something more modern looking these days. But when I Googled around this article from 3 years ago came up with some newish looking ones in the exact same style.
So I guess some things never change. At least they come in that nice blue now instead of the awful brown and green they used to use.
> Our default license includes:
> 100% Royalty-Free
So, I just have to pay for the initial license, but I don't have to pay recurring fees or fees based on how many users pay for my final product?
> Commercial Synchronization
> All Media
I can use the sounds in Videos, Games, Audio Books, anything?
> Unlimited Usage by 1-User
I can sell unlimited copies of my final product for any amout, but I have to work on that product alone, at least the parts that use that sounds? So this "1-User" refers to the person who works on the product, not person(s) who will use this product, correct?
I can't figure out if its possible to download the entire archive anywhere though..
Wikipedia also has a list of list of pointers to different sites: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Free_sound_resources
These days, I wouldn't even consider any site that doesn't easily show the license of the available files.
Needing to hunt for copyright information is a smell.
So no need to actually scrape; you can download the CSV and download all the individual files from that.
base url: http://bbcsfx.acropolis.org.uk/assets/
The total size is now ~17G. If anyone wants the converted files, I made a .torrent: https://tinyurl.com/y6xn8ksj
From another site I see the date March 27, 2019
Exterminate! We are sentient beings!
(ASDIC became SONAR)
dang, is it possible to change the URL for this submission? The site linked loads 30+ ad slots and attempts to seemingly canvas fingerprint users.
Hacker News guidelines would have the title be that of the page, which is simply "BBC Sound Effects - Research & Education Space". It's HappyMag making the "clickbait" claims, not actually the BBC page.
It's not new, it's two years old and has been covered here before:
Judging by the date I guessed this has probably been submitted before, and it has, with similar discussion about the license/licence which renders it pretty much useless (something I've noticed before about the BBC when searching for free to use sound effects):
Particularly disappointing for an organization funded by the public to the tune of around five billion US dollars every year and when the sound effects themselves, while being interesting and potentially useful, are now ancient.
Edit: curious why this is downvoted. I thought it was interesting that being on HN might have such a drastic result on "SEO"; I posted a link to a previous discussion people might find interesting (it must be, since someone else also subsequently posted the same link); and I expressed the view that it's disappointing a very well funded public broadcaster couldn't release with fewer restrictions material that is ~35+ years old. Doesn't seem particularly controversial to me.
> If you want to let us know about something, the only reliable way to do it is to email firstname.lastname@example.org.