After being contacted by Family Communications via YouTube, I felt the need to express my disappointment to FCI regarding the copyright claim filed in response to the few video clips I had shared. My thoughts were much like those of many of you -- why in the world would FCI not be completely supportive of Mister Rogers material being presented in a positive light such as it is through this website (especially at a time when the program is being removed from most regular PBS broadcasts)? I was both baffled and somewhat irritated by what appeared to be a company greedily clinging to something that I felt should be shared freely. I received a very prompt reply to my contact with FCI and would like to take this opportunity to recognize that I could not have been more wrong.
Family Communications is indeed working diligently to establish a means of continuing the broadcast and distribution of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Along the way, however, there are a few significant speedbumps that must be considered and overcome in order for such a thing to happen on a public scale outside of the remaining broadcasts on PBS. I will leave the details of these obstacles to FCI to share if/as they see fit.
From my perspective, I had not considered these obstacles which present FCI with the need to eliminate online distribution of the Neighborhood program. Please allow me to express my appreciation for the dedicated staff at Family Communications and my regret for hastily jumping to conclusions regarding the mass sharing of video footage. I fully understand and support the position of Family Communications.
One thing that was also touched upon in the response I received from FCI was that the weekend schedule for the coming year of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood has not yet been finalized. As the Neighborhood moves into what will likely be its final year of broadcasts on PBS, episodes on most stations will be limited to one episode per week. As was mentioned to me, PBS and FCI would welcome suggestions from people on their favorite episodes as this schedule is finalized.
Again, I could not have been more wrong about the position of FCI regarding the sharing of video footage from the program. To the individual from FCI who graciously took the time to discuss this matter with me, I offer you my sincere thanks.
On a side note, I'd like to welcome a "new" voice to the Neighborhood Archive. You may have read some of the comments left on this site by Eric Scales -- always full of insight and interesting commentary on the various posts. I have invited Eric onboard as a co-author of this site and welcome him to contribute in any way he sees fit. I look forward to working with Eric as this site continues to grow and provide an online resource of all things Mister Rogers.