So we just got this a few minutes ago (click pic to enlarge):
And now we’re really starting to think a licence-fee avoidance campaign is a good idea.
YouTube takedown notices over copyright infringement are of course an everyday occurrence. But to have one filed over a news broadcast is, as far as we’re aware, unprecedented. There are specific exemptions in copyright law for news reporting, for what are hopefully obvious reasons – journalism would be practically impossible if you weren’t allowed to record and report events without express permission.
We can’t begin to imagine what the BBC is hoping to achieve here. Unless it’s planning a Christmas compilation DVD of Alistair Darling’s Greatest Huffs, it has no intellectual property to legitimately protect. Disseminating news is the entire purpose of news. We’re not even taking traffic away from iPlayer, because as a rule the BBC News channel’s output isn’t available on iPlayer.
There’s little point in contesting the legality of anything, as YouTube have no interest in such matters – they’ll basically just pull anything anyone complains about. As we write the video is still viewable, but probably not for long. We’ll replace the embedded version with a download link when appropriate.
But heavens above, readers. When the state broadcaster tries to actively prevent people from seeing the news, it’s awfully difficult to maintain any last shreds of pretence that it’s a neutral party any more.
EDIT MARCH 7th: YouTube rejects BBC claim, reinstates video.