A few days ago, Tom pointed out that British Pathé had made its entire collection of newsreel pieces as YouTube content.

Purely by chance the first clip I viewed was harrowing footage of a fighter pilot struggling (and failing) to exit his sinking jet after a overshooting an aircraft carrier landing…

Ostensibly, the choice of Youtube as a platform carries the appeal of reach and simplicity, but also envelops Pathé’s valuable cultural artefacts in the restrictive standard YouTube license agreement, annotated by the usual collection of idiotic, inane and goofy comments that accompany most clips.

What appears to be the opening of Pathé’s archives, is really just an invitation bringing the public into a space very much straightjacketed by Google and little more than a shop window for licensing Pathé material.

Find out more at… British Pathé releases 85,000 films on YouTube.