NBC Universal Media's publishing division has begun re-using its extensive video archives collected over decades to place video clips inside new e-books that will be sold on a variety of tablet platforms.

An example of the video content was recently made available in JFK: 50 Days, which is available through various e-bookstores from Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Google, Michael Fabiano, vice president and general manager of the NBC Publishing division, told attendees of the Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leaders Conference here.

A personal journal of golfer Arnold Palmer will appear as an NBC Publishing e-book next week, and is being coordinated with the Golf Channel, he said.

Fabiano described ways he and his team helped NBC turn the large store of 1.5 million hours of historical video archives from news, sports and entertainment into content to raise revenue. He did not offer detailed insights on how much revenue NBC expects to raise.

He did, however, say it was a laborious six-month process getting intellectual property rights agreements worked out to make the video content available to a touchscreen tablet. His development team works with 25 of the top most-used tablets to make sure an e-book functions well and looks good on each device.

"It's not that easy" making sure the content works on all devices, he added.

E-books don't need to be lengthy to successful, he added, suggesting that 15,000 words or so with about an hour's worth of video clips inserted is enough. Writers of the content can be hired from within NBC or as freelancers, he added.

Fabiano said NBC is being conservative about where it stores its archived video content. "There's nothing in the cloud right now, which has a lot to do with IP protection.," he said. "He said he double checks to make sure NBC has rights to the video it puts it in its ebooks and distributes.

Generally, NBC has no problem with a student downloading clickable content with an NBC watermark for use in a school project, but anytime a Web site takes NBC video for use for profit on the Internet, NBC protects its rights, he said.

One thing that would help NBC and other similar organizations is an IT solution to help find unauthorized content and notify abusers, he said. "Right now, we have a ...; phone to YouTube and Google and we call to tell them 'Hey, take down that content.' We're hoping to move past that."

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His email address is [email protected] .

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