It seems that the Internet is helping more and more to find the equilibrium point between the needs of “big media” and “independent media”. In this post I would like to mention two sources of useful / interesting videos:
TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is an annual conference that defines its mission as "ideas worth spreading". The lectures, also called TED Talks, cover a broad set of topics including science, arts and design, politics, education, culture, business, global issues, technology and development, and entertainment. Speakers have included such people as former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Nobel laureates James D. Watson, Murray Gell-Mann, and Al Gore, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, and Billy Graham.
The videos of the talk can be found on their website (which, somewhat surprisingly, uses PHP :-)). The good: the talks are short (between 5 and 30 minutes) and the speakers are very enthusiastic. Also, the videos are clearly licensed under a well-known license (the CC by-nc-nd 3.0 license) and you can embed them on your websites (for example below I’ve embedded a very interesting talk about the psychology of cheating). The player is also quite advanced (for example it can do seeking without waiting for the entire movie to load). The bad: they don’t have a playlist feature, so it is a little harder for you to mark the videos which you would like to watch. You can however open them in a background tab, because the player doesn’t load until you actually look at the page. An other word of warning: the volume control resets itself between views. Also, some of the talks are a little “out there”, but – as always – use your judgment.
An other source for science / tech news are the Google Tech Talks. Again, a lot of material (with some of them in HD quality) and you can find a lot of interesting content:
The conclusion: there are a lot of good videos out there which you can watch entirely legally and which should make “big media” realize that how inflated their pricing scheme is.