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When they care who you are

Posted on August 23, 2018 by

Anyone who’s ever written to the BBC, or who follows this site, will already know that the Corporation’s instinctive standard response to any request for information is “Get stuffed, pleb. Just because you pay for us doesn’t mean we’re answerable to you.”

But they do tend to show a little more respect if you used to be the First Minister.

So it’s been extremely enlightening to be privy to the exchanges between Alex Salmond and the BBC Company Secretary, Phil Harrold, after the ex-FM wrote to the Director General about the censorship of pro-independence websites including ourselves earlier this month. These key extracts are shared with permission.

9 August 2018

Dear Mr Salmond,

As is now a matter of public record, the BBC received a copyright infringement complaint against the YouTube channel of a Scottish Labour Councillor, Scott Arthur. Normal BBC policy would be to verify whether the content was infringing, and then report the content using YouTube’s automated system without contacting the channel owner.

We make an exception to this rule where the YouTube accounts are owned by elected politicians or are official accounts of political parties. As Mr Arthur was a democratically elected official and his YouTube channel was used to communicate with local constituents, the BBC therefore considered it was in the public interest to contact  him directly and ask him to voluntarily take action to suspend the infringing content.

This was done with absolutely no consideration of the political views expressed or supported by Mr Arthur (which were not discussed at any time).

As we have stated publicly, when Mr Arthur received the request from the BBC to remove infringing content he engaged in a constructive discussion on copyright infringement and he referred to other channels, including Wings Over Scotland, as examples he had looked at when establishing his own to gauge what could be considered “fair use”.

Professor Arthur did not make a complaint or suggest particular action should be taken against these channels, but having been alerted to their use of our content we acted as per our policy (which is now being reviewed).

The distinction between Mr Arthur and Wings Over Scotland / Peter Curran is simply that Mr Arthur an elected official, the others were not – BBC Legal followed its normal policy in each case. This policy is now under review. However, at no stage during this process were the political views expressed on those channels considered; the decision was taken at a purely legal/rights level.


Phil Harrold

BBC Company Secretary

14 August 2018

Dear Mr Harrold

Thank you for your further letter of 9 August on the BBC’s action against independence supporting YouTube channels.

I have only two outstanding points at this stage which you could help me with.

Firstly, I asked for a straight answer on whether BBC Scotland had been consulted at any level before your initiated action against these channels. You reply in your letter that “this process is carried out centrally”.

For the avoidance of doubt, can I take it that this means that the answer to my question is that no-one in BBC Scotland was consulted prior to the decision? Please now confirm that my understanding is correct.

Secondly, there does seem to be continuing confusion as to whether your brand enforcement team previously responded to complaints or just information when initiating action.

On the one hand you say that Cllr Arthur did not complain about these sites but elsewhere in your letter (in explaining your previous policy) you say that the BBC “can only investigate and take action where it receives a complaint identifying the infringing content specifically”. So was there a complaint or not which resulted in action against the independence supporting channels?

Further it might help clear all of this up if you could tell me when the “elected official exemption” actually came into being and to see a list of which other channels the BBC has issued takedown notices for on political content in, say, the last 12 months.

I do hope you do not find these queries tiresome but rather appreciate that there is widespread scepticism in Scotland about the BBC’s claim of impartiality on the question of Scottish independence.

Yours for Scotland,

Rt Hon Alex Salmond

16 August 2018

Dear Mr Salmond,

Thank you for your further e-mail of 14 August.

Addressing your two questions in turn; firstly as I’m sure you are aware the BBC divides its operations across the whole of the UK. In the case of the BBC’s intellectual property team, this is based in London.

As I mentioned in my previous e-mail, the BBC deals with complaints concerning the mis-use of its content from across the world (mainly due to the mis-use of BBC content on social media platforms) and it is not practical to engage each at a divisional level.

In this instance, since the content was deemed to infringe the BBC’s copyright on a legal/rights analysis, BBC Scotland was not engaged in the original reports to YouTube. We will be reviewing our current approach as part of our internal review.

In relation to your second question, members of the public routinely bring issues concerning the mis-use of BBC content to our attention in a variety of ways. Sometimes those communications are very obviously complaints (“This person is infringing BBC intellectual property…” etc.), and sometimes they are concerned enquiries (“I noticed this website has a lot of BBC videos, is this allowed?” etc.).

We used the term “complaints” generally to refer to situations where potential infringement is brought to our attention.

In Mr Arthur’s case, we have been absolutely clear that he did not complain  (indeed he was himself the subject of the original complaint, which was investigated and the BBC took action against him to remove content from his YouTube channel) but rather he noted that various YouTube channels were examples he had referred to in determining whether his own use of BBC content was “fair”.

Because those channels had been brought to our attention and certain content on each was deemed to infringe the BBC’s copyright, reports were filed through YouTube’s takedown procedure.

As I have previously explained, usually where a complaint of mis-use of BBC content has been investigated at a legal and rights level and confirmed to be infringing use we will report that use directly to the relevant platform (e.g. YouTube). However, in certain limited circumstances, we will exercise our discretion in contacting the channel owner directly.

There may be a number of reasons why we would exercise such discretion but one such reason is where the account is run by a democratic party or elected official and is used for public purposes (such as in this case communicating with constituents) and not merely for personal use.

We do not currently have any central database recording all infringing content on individual channels that has been taken down over the last 12 months however, we can confirm that we have taken action across the political spectrum, including where political parties have used BBC content in a manner which may suggest to the public that there is any connection or endorsement between the BBC and that party.

I hope that this answers your questions.

Yours sincerely,

Phil Harrold

BBC Company Secretary

So there you have it. Phil Harrold noticeably declined to say when the previously-unmentioned policy that councillors are exempt from the normal rules on copyright the BBC applies to mere licence fee-payers and journalists was adopted.

(We’re not sure in what way a site like Wings doesn’t constitute “public purposes”, given that its only purpose is to communicate things to the public.)

He was also unable to identify a single example of the Corporation pursuing anyone who wasn’t in favour of Scottish independence for copyright infringements on political content, despite asserting that it had done so.

However, he DID clear up that BBC Scotland were completely bypassed in relation to the incidents, and that the takedown of Wings and Peter Curran’s site were directly, entirely and unambiguously due to the intervention of Cllr Scott Arthur.

(While insisting that he didn’t technically file a “complaint” and that it only responds in the event of complaints. Hmm.)

So now, for once, albeit in an incomplete and temporary manner, we know where we all stand officially with the BBC. Let’s hope we’ve always got an Alex Salmond handy.

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  1. 23 08 18 14:56

    When they care who you are | speymouth

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80 to “When they care who you are”

  1. Merkin Scot says:

    Nudge nudge, wink wink is good enough if you are a Labour Councillor it seems. What other areas of political life allow executive action of this sort? Plenty, no doubt. More to follow I am sure.

  2. Fixitfox says:

    Just as the Scottish Branch Offices of the Labour, Tory & Lib Dem parties receive their instructions from London, we now have incontrovertible proof that BBC Scotland is the Scottish propaganda arm of BBC England. Gary Robertson, Gillian Marles, Haley Millar, John Beattie, Glenn Campbell, Douglas Fraser l, Jackie Bird, Kaye Adams et al are off the hook. They are ‘only obeying orders’.

  3. Muscleguy says:

    Can you confirm that post your notice to challenge their ruling that the complained of videos have been reinstated to your site after the BBC said it would not contest your challenge?

    In which case the determination that these videos were in contravention was erroneous at best and frankly malicious at worst. Since you were unable to determine what made the videos in question a problem vs all the rest your assessment that the process was random and the number chosen to complain of was simply comfortably in excess of 3, being the number required to get the channel removed completely and peremptorily.

  4. HandandShrimp says:

    Something doesn’t sit right with all this. However, we are unlikely to ever hear the entire truth, given the BBC never do the entire truth, but at least they have had their gas put on a low peep.

    It may be that the BBC pinged Dr Von Scott and he did say “That’s no fair, Stu and Peter do it and they are allowed”. Or it could be somewhat more devious than that and that this was a Labour/BBC attempt to clip Wings’ wings.

  5. Conan the Librarian says:

    Do you think Scott Arthur was a clype at school?

  6. defo says:

    Everybody should have an Eck handy 🙂

  7. Dr Jim says:

    I think *BBC weasle words* about covers it and as for Scott Arthur of course he complained, he said “But whit aboot thame they Wingsys thay’re dain it tae thay should be pit aff thur channel anaw so thay should so ther”

    Snotty little tiny squint of a man

  8. Mike says:

    You should have that feeling of warm water slowly trickling down your back but would be a fool if you mistook it for rain.

  9. Heather McLean says:

    A friend in need is a friend indeed – you’ve certainly got a great friend in Alex Salmond.
    My admiration for Mr Salmond knows no bounds – a true Scottish hero!
    And of course, you are one too!
    Well done to all concerned in this ridiculous fiasco – the BBC is slippery as a snake – they’ll always find an excuse and never admit they’re wrong. I am so glad I don’t watch their propaganda or pay to do so. The one good thing to come out of this is that more and more folk are having their eyes opened to the duplicity of the BBC. Seems that that BBC Scotland is just another branch office taking orders from London, same as the Labour Party and Tories.

  10. Martin says:

    Well done Mr Salmond!

    I would say one unusual thing in that this response (if it is to be believed, and I see no reason to doubt it) does rather confirm Cllr Dr Professor Prince Scott Arthur’s assertion he didn’t complain. So fair play to him, for once. Even though the sites were taken down because he mentioned them. Which he probably knew would happen. Probably.

    As always with the BBC types it’s what they’re not telling you that matters. We’re not told about any Unionist takedowns (therefore evidence suggests none) and we’re not told when policy was adopted (assumption: ad hoc when they feared upsetting yoonstream in Scotland).

    Pretty damning overall and certainly explains why BBCScotland were, for once, decent in reporting.

  11. Hugh Marnoch says:

    Last para – They claim they keep no record of channels they’ve reported but can confirm that they have done to channels across the spectrum – If there are no records how can the BBC make such a statement?

  12. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    So elected politicians and the websites of political parties, those well-known purveyors of unvarnished truth, are given a special pass by the BBC to post content (produced at public expense), while mere individuals with a well-developed sense of right and wrong like Stu, trying to highlight indiscretions or alt-facts produced by the aforesaid sources and their media pals, are treated as second-rate.

    As blatant an admission of pro-Establishment bias as you could ever expect to see.

    After that, how can this BBC possibly represent itself with a straight face as the defender of truth and the enemy of alt-facts..?

  13. Thepnr says:

    Thanks Rev and Alex Salmond for sharing this, all very interesting.

    In your original article on this Rev you also quoted the Spectator as similarly being in infringement of copyrigth rules in the same manner as you were being accused. Alex Salmond also brought them up an an example in his original letter I believe as see on the video he made.

    So as the Spectator are neither a political party nor an elected official why weren’t Youtube informed and there channel suspended at least until your and Peter Curran’s sites were restored?

    Hmmm, questions, questions. Needless to say I won’t born complaining to the BBC as I still wouldn’t expect an answer.

  14. twathater says:

    In light of this continued disinbobulation ( or a quaint Scottish saying , utter PISH ) I would request that Alec invite yourself and Peter on to his show to discuss openly the fair use policy ( cough ) that BBC uses for fake partisan politicos and do they accept clypes or grasses words

  15. Wulls says:

    Go Eck……. He ain’t letting this one go is he.
    The thing that jumps out at me is the assertion that BBC Scotland were not consulted.
    That flies in the face of their charter clause on impartiality surely ????

  16. Jim Thomson says:

    Not been on here for a while but really couldn’t let this wee snippet from that last Phil Harrold reply go without highlighting it:

    including where political parties have used BBC content in a manner which may suggest to the public that there is any connection or endorsement between the BBC and that party.

    So, they wilfully bury any “evidence” that they collude with political parties. That’s fine then.

  17. remo says:

    Hee, hee, hee. BBC Scotlandshire left with egg on their faces – pair wee sowels. This whole thing stinks to high heaven. If I were a nasty person, I might think that the BBC propaganda unit have had time to come up with a yarn which fits the narrative so far (sort of) and covers some of the gross material inexactitudes spouted so far (in a kindofa, sortofa way). Cover-your-arse syndrome I fear. Dr. Jim is correct – weasel words indeed. Might there have been some severe laundry problems in London? Do the Rev’s bits of video and Peter Curran’s, suddenly not infringe copyright any more? I feel a premonition that there is more fun to come at some point in the future on this topic. Well done, Eck. I am so glad I do not pay the propaganda tax.

  18. Mike says:

    One of the first acts of an Independent Scottish Parliament should be to knock down that pathetic and worthless statue of Donald Dewar and replace it with statues of Alex and Nicola.
    In fact I don’t know why we should wait for Independence to do it.

  19. Arbroath1320 says:

    As soon as I saw that oor Alex had become “embroiled” in the Wings/Peter Curran video fiasco I kinda felt a warm glow inside. BEHAVE yourselves … NOT that sort of warm glow! 😀

    There is something about Alex Salmond that just demands respect and honesty from anyone he questions. Failure to provide adequate answers will result in the heat in further questioning being turned up. 🙂

  20. Thepnr says:

    Alex Salmond is clearly fighting for the Yes movement’s voices to be heard and he isn’t holding back either.

    I see too that the complaint made yesterday by SNP MSP Paul Wheelhouse against the BBC over the GERS report on the news has been acted upon and the BBC made a direct public apology for on today’s news for yesterdays “mistake”.

    All credit to Paul and Alex of the SNP in taking on the BBC!

    Lets now get this rebuttal unit up and running, we could do this everyday 🙂

  21. Ken500 says:

    BBC has to apologise about fake news GERS figures. It is UK Gov debt passed on Scotland. Not Scottish Gov spending.

    Less Defence spending would cut austerity in Scotland. Stop sanctioning and starving people. Paying debt repayments on money spent in the rest of the UK, not Scotland. The Oil & Gas sector ruined by Westminster high, illegal taxes. Losing thousands of jobs. The fishing industry ruined by Westminster policies. Illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion. UK tax law not enforced.

    Scotland loses EU grants and investment because of Westminster indecision. Scotland receives the lowest CAP payments in the EU as part if the UK. The Tories took money allocated to Scotland and gave it to wealthier farmers in the south. Now Brexit. A disgrace.

    Lying hypocrites.

    @ Wings twitter

    Irish Republic is the fifth wealthiest country in the world. According to the IMF Above Norway and UAE. It does not have the resources of Scotland.

    Scotland raises more in taxes pro rata, exports more pro rata and ends up poorer by comparison.

  22. Thepnr says:

    Link to the BBC apology over their reporting of GERS:

  23. Arbroath1320 says:

    apologies for going O/T so early but some folks may not be aware of Private Pike’s latest utterances.

    Here is just one paper’s take on the future look of the rUK’s defences. 😀

  24. Al Dossary says:

    So if “politicians” receive differential treatment to an ordinary member of the public, what about Journalists?

    So far as I am aware the Rev Stu IS a bonafide, card carrying NUJ member. Surely it is in the “public interest” that they also receive the benefit of doubt.

  25. Arbroath1320 says:

    sorry for another O/T but thought some readers might be interested in this wee news snippet. 😉

  26. Great that there’s been ‘clarity’ from the BBC, and that both YouTube channels have been restored. For me though, the whole affair opens up a wider question about broadcast information in the digital age. Copyright and IPR is easy to see and understand in something like “Blue Planet” or even “Eastenders”. But in terms of news reporting I don’t think it should be the same. Consider if you want to see what a newspaper said last week. In days gone by you would have gone to your local library to find a copy of the paper (or a microfiche scan). So you could see exactly what was reported. But broadcasting is (or used to be) ephemeral. Only the broadcaster would be likely to have a recording. So only they could give you what they said in a news article last week. Now it’s different as the digital world makes it relatively easy for anyone to keep a copy of broadcast news.

    We need to be thinking about how we establish an open and free public digital archive for this type of broadcasting.

  27. moonbeam says:

    I’d be curious about what method the BBC used to determine the video clips infringed copyright policy.

    It seems to me that they randomly selected the clips and reported them to YouTube without checking whether they did infringe on the BBC’s copyright policy. When (as has already been admitted by the BBC) they are – in fact – allowed, subject to fair use policy.

    They should have been asked to explain this as well.

  28. ScottishPsyche says:

    The BBC is a strange beast who cannot hide its many faces. It tries to maintain this facade of scrupulous fairness and truth (which never existed as we know from Orwell’s time there) but cannot stop itself from biting at anyone who gets too close to see under the veneer of hypocrisy.

    The presenters and journalists are becoming increasingly peevish and tetchy when challenged, nowhere more so than on BBC Scotland with their unhinged interviewing and analysis. There is a weary defensiveness from management that betrays they know we are on to them. And now the vindictive and nasty Herald 7 days a week which will apparently maintain its neutral stance – yes I know WTF! The National 7 days a week, really? Well, I will give it a chance to mature from the bombastic overenthusiastic lightweight it has been up till now. The return of Richard Walker is welcomed.

    Neil Mackay sent the Sunday Herald to its demise with some shocking editorial decisions, starting for me with that RiSE nonsense and the awful hubristic pre-2016 Holyrood election special with Nicola Sturgeon awaiting to be anointed on the front page. Nothing sent a message of complacency more than that and then it was downhill all the way with the Haggerty appointment.

    The truth and fairness in reporting, is that so much to ask?

  29. jfngw says:

    The BBC spokesperson in fact only answered one question, that PhD Arthur did not complain but just brought it to their attention, although the distinction is wafer thin.

    The rest of his answers are in fact, as is normal for the BBC, just evasion. We are no clearer what the BBC policy actually is, they have magicked up a secret elected representative clause, I suspect within the last few days, and they have no record of any unionist site they have had closed down. But you can take in on their word they definitely have taken down pro-union sites despite having no records to check this and they couldn’t produce an example of one even from their memory.

    I’m convinced, the BBC are completely unbiased, what further proof would we need. If only there were any examples to disprove this, Oh hold on, there are lots of examples online. Back to square one then with the BBC impartiality.

  30. Breeks says:

    Aye, and meantime the BBC confirms it is the self appointed arbiter when it comes to deciding when a complaint actually is a complaint and when it is not…

    If there was genuine ambiguity concerning whether Scott Arthur’s submission actually did constitute a complaint, the BBC should have written to him to clarify if he was indeed lodging a formal complaint, or just being a shit stirring clype.

    Thank you Alex Salmond – showing Gordon Brown the real power of intervention.

  31. Macart says:

    Well done Mr Salmond and yes those Beeb replies do look pretty weak sauce.

  32. Shinty says:

    For those of you who don’t tweet, picked this up from Wings twitter –

    Alex The Man. (ofcourse I’m biased)

  33. Tinto Chiel says:

    The way I look at all this is that the BBC is now in complete JCB mode in its attempts to justify its actions to Alex Salmond and the hole is very deep and very sheer.

    The State Propagandist also seems to have no time for the “fair use” argument for showing its news/political content if people like Stu are doing the showing.

    In short, very squeaky bum time for Mr Harrold and everyone can hear it.

  34. ROSS says:

    very much in favour of the hounding they’re getting but it’s not true to say unionists haven’t been asked to take down content.

    The labour councillor was asked to take down content.

  35. potter says:

    So the BBC contacts Arthur after a “complaint”. Wings channel is taken down with no complaint and no contact from BBC who blamed Youtube. Aye OK.

  36. Derick fae Yell says:

    Sunday Fly wi the Craws Herald RIP

  37. Dan Huil says:

    Great work by Alex Salmond. Proof positive the bbc is beyond redemption.

  38. Gfaetheblock says:

    So wings YT channel was taken down because someone complained about a labour councillor? Nice unintended consequence, anyone know who started this whole farrago off?

  39. Capella says:

    There is a “fair use” clause in copyright law. The BBC (and Youtube) seem to e saying they don’t agree with the law. Glad that they are reviewing their policy. Perhaps they will be kind enough to spell that out online so that we are aware of what the deem to be fair use.

    Alex Salmond is a great asset to the independence movement. Luckily, he had the foresight to get access to broadcasting through RT. Otherwise we would never be able to hear his views on anything. Certainly not via the BBC.

  40. mumsyhugs says:

    Just goes to show that the only way to deal with a bully is to confront them. Pussyfooting about gets you nowhere. Thank you Rev and Eck.

  41. Thepnr says:

    O/T These Brexit “technical notice” papers issued by the government today are going to prove to be a game changer, particularly as they have not all been released in one go.

    Big big error by the Tories, so over the next 5 weeks or so we are going to be drip fed these horror stories and despite the right wing press already trying to play down today’s bad news as nothing to worry about the truth is the consequences will be horrendous for the UK in a no deal Brexit situation.

    The government are up shit creek without a paddle, a no deal will never be accepted and so will not happen. It just can’t but neither it seems can a deal be done!

    An extension to article 50 is the only option for the government it seems and for that to be agreed with the EU we will almost certainly need another GE or EU2 to be announced before 29th March. At least that’s my view.

    I care for neither but this shambles can only be good, in that surely increased support for Independence must follow?

  42. Ian Brotherhood says:

    So who was it ‘complained’ about Scott Arthur in the first place?

    Hands up! It was wan ay youse, eh?!

  43. Mik Johnstone says:

    this part of the letter concerns me
    “In Mr Arthur’s case, we have been absolutely clear that he did not complain (indeed he was himself the subject of the original complaint, which was investigated and the BBC took action against him to remove content from his YouTube channel) but rather he noted that various YouTube channels were examples he had referred to in determining whether his own use of BBC content was “fair”.”
    so in other words, councillor Arthur offered up a couple of sites he had been looking at to see if they were ok to copy … Wings & Curran channels perhaps?

  44. Marker Post says:

    So, “Copyright challenges are handled centrally, we we don’t have a central database, therefore we can’t tall you”.

    No-one’s asking for a database. Can’t he just stand up at his desk, and shout, “Guys, can you let me know which takedown requests you’ve issued to YouTube in the past year?” How many copyright lawyers can they have?

    I’m still waiting for my FOI request to be answered by the way. It will be interesting to see how it compares with the response given to Alex Salmond.

    But even if the BBC doesn’t hold a “central database”, you can bet that YouTube does… I feel another FOI request coming up 🙂

  45. Marker Post says:

    And another thing…

    So Professor Arthur determines the fair use policy by looking at what Wings and Peter Curran do? What exactly is he a professor of? Was the research for his doctoral thesis done on Wikipedia?

  46. Dave Albiston says:

    So, who complained about at Dr Scott Arthur? Could it have been himself?

    And why did the BBC think it a priority to censor 2 independence channels whose content were hardly a breach of copyright when YouTube is awash with BBC content of high commercial value. Even the BBC website report of the matter had a graphic of a YouTube channel with episodes of Poldark. No action against them!

  47. CameronB Brodie says:

    This is what happens when your state broadcaster’s business practice is shaped by the politics of cultural exclusion. The BBC’s business practice is antithetical to a state of liberal democracy, as it defines British politics as a contest between the Conservatives and Labour, all from an Anglo-centrist, ‘One Nation’ perspective. The BBC has cooked it’s goose in Scotland, IMHO.

    Britain is not ‘One Nation’, get over yourself.

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  48. Arbroath1320 says:

    Ian Brotherhood says:
    23 August, 2018 at 5:21 pm
    So who was it ‘complained’ about Scott Arthur in the first place?

    Hands up! It was wan ay youse, eh?!

    If no one puts their hands up Ian you know I’m always available to take the blame … I usually get blamed for all sorts of shit anyway another bit of shit to add to the pile won’t make that much of a difference you know. 😀

  49. Dr Jim says:

    There’s an awful lot of angry English folk Internetting all over the place at Scotland today
    Well I say English but they could be British English or possibly Scottish British or just plain British, It’s really becoming so difficult to identify the folk I’m supposed to hate these days what with all the Yoonyonists adopting all these different nationalities

    It used to be a lot easier hating folk before Scotland decided we’d like to be called Scottish, you knew where you were with people, there were Scottish folk Irish folk Welsh folk and English folk so you could take your pick, but now everybody who wants the UK to sink like a stone together wants to have multiple identities with British somewhere in the title, there was one particular clown who had convinced himself the UK was a country, I don’t know what kind of *ist* group he’d fit into or maybe he just hasn’t read his passport or birth certificate

    Does that get them two votes? or does the UK ist get 4

    It’s a sair fecht richt enuff

  50. Geoff Huijer says:

    So, he didn’t ‘complain’ he just clyped.

    Ah, ok then…

  51. Clootie says:

    I like to keep it simple…The BBC are biased and act as an agent of Whitehall…everything else is a smokescreen.

  52. Alan says:

    OT…..STV news saying the drop of The Scottish Sunday Herald sales is because it came out for YES in 2014.


  53. Hamish100 says:


    No more Sunday Herald

  54. robertknight says:

    Anyone able to do a FoI request for the policy document which specifies that elected officials must be contacted and alerted to possible copyright infringement prior to reporting action being taken by the BBC?


  55. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Yee ha

    They are about to launch a Sunday National! Just announced.

  56. Greannach says:

    Mr Arthur, Cllr Arthur, Professor Arthur. One person, three titles. Impressive.

  57. galamcennalath says:

    Greannach says:

    Mr Arthur, Cllr Arthur, Professor Arthur. One person, three titles. Impressive.

    A bit like the Irish god Brigid who was a triple god in the form of three sisters, all called Brigid. 🙂

  58. Polscot says:

    Geoff Huijer says:
    23 August, 2018 at 5:58 pm
    So, he didn’t ‘complain’ he just clyped.

    Ah, ok then…

    That’s the phrase I was looking for, spot on Geoff.

  59. Welsh Sion says:


    Just a little advance warning for those interested – although it is the BBC. With my near namesake, Shaun Ley in the Chair (not the younger Dimblebore). “Any Questions?” on Radio 4 from 8pm tomorrow (Friday) evening features Tommy Sheppard, MP.

  60. Welsh Sion says:

    galamcennalath says:
    23 August, 2018 at 6:43 pm

    Greannach says:
    Mr Arthur, Cllr Arthur, Professor Arthur. One person, three titles. Impressive.

    A bit like the Irish god Brigid who was a triple god in the form of three sisters, all called Brigid. ?


    If we’re gonna cite mythology, can I suggest we leave out the Celtic gods and goddesses so that we don’t besmirch their integrity by associating them with Labour politicians, please?

    My suggestion would be to liken Mr/Prof/Cllr Arthur to a the multi-headed Hydra. (Classical readers will also recall that were you to cut off one of this monster’s heads, it would grow a new one elsewhere … I rest my case.)

  61. ROBBO says:

    Again thanks to you and Alex for allowing us to share all this. I do have however a number of points. 1. Who ‘complained’ to the BBC about Scott Arthur? 2. If the action they took was policy surely this would be set out in writing. Can this be obtained by FOI?? 3. Furthermore if the policy is now under review then again surely for all uses of BBC material on WWW this should be clarified in writing to avoid confusion in the future. 4. IF the BBC do not have a record of the number of occasions this action has been taken (which seems highly questionable) then perhaps Youtube can provide that info again under FOI.
    All very shady as we have come to expect from the BBC of course.

  62. mike cassidy says:

    “We do not currently have any central database recording all infringing content on individual channels that has been taken down over the last 12 months

    My arse!

    If they really are in ‘taking down’ mode,

    there is no way they are not keeping a record

    Surely Alex Salmond isn’t going to let them away with such a blatant lie.

  63. Dan Huil says:

    Once again britnat brexiteers, in the slimy form today of DRaab, arrogantly ignore the people of the north of Ireland whilst parading their big britnat book of britnat excuses for a future no deal.

  64. Ken500 says:

    Arthur should stick to what he is good at – sewers. Leave counting to other people.

    The dog food salesman should stick to that, even though he is not good at it. Or scribbles.

    Hothersall should seek help urgently. He has gone to drink. The state of him.

    They all need help in different ways.

  65. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Over the past couple of weeks, there have been a number of references to the three-headed hydra on WOS pages – the latest tonight, at 7.20pm by Welsh Sion.

    These mentions have reminded me of a an A3 poster featuring Cerberus, that I put together at the start of 2015, for display at the WOS stall at subsequent rallies.

    Feel free to download and disseminate.

  66. galamcennalath says:

    Welsh Sion says:

    leave out the Celtic gods and goddesses so that we don’t besmirch their integrity by associating them with Labour politicians

    Historically, in a Celtic context, Labour made a rather interesting move in Ireland. In the 1918 General Election, Labour agreed not to stand against Sinn Féin across the south.

    SF polled 47% of the vote and by FPTP (which was the only game in town then) took 73 of 105 seats across Ireland.

    Just imagine if modern day ‘British’ Labour stood aside to allow progressives SNP and Plaid Cymru a free run! Not in a million years!

  67. Liz g says:

    Welsh Sion @ 7.20
    Well, if yer interested in how magical Wales really is you should pop over to the Cereal Offenders thread… You’ll find out all about the disappearing and reappearing Welsh Parliament…
    I’m thinking that Wales it going to get the blame fur the Union here…
    But it’s hard tae say.. it’s mair uncertain than Brexit at the moment… where this guys going next..

  68. Bob Mack says:

    It was a collusion between the BBC and Arthur. Probably at the behest of a Labour politician with a bright idea. If you believe Mr Arthur marked all his videos as Private just before being contacted by the BBC, then I have an investment opportunity you might be interested in. Hens that lay golden eggs!!!.

    Like GERS, we know the truth and no amount of bluff and bluster will change it.

  69. Petra says:

    Well done to Alex, Stu and the MANY individuals prepared to support Stu ALL the way.

    Does anyone really believe this BBC claptrap? Sounds, to me, as though a wee “face saving” deal was struck between the BBC and Mr Arthur, Labour Party Councillor, when the sh*t hit the fan.

    Oh what a tangled web they, the BBC, weave, right enough!

    The BBC weren’t too concerned about “outing” Mr Arthur …. no breach of confidentiality? What about now “outing” the individual who complained about Mr Arthur? That would clear things up, that is if they don’t have a long list of liars that they can call upon at the drop of a hat.

  70. mike cassidy says:

    Not OT at all.

    For those noticing on Wings twitter page that Facebook’s algorithms are acting up.

    ‘Acting’ may not be the word needed. (wouldn’t archive)

  71. Thepnr says:

    Some people may just start to sit up and pay attention to what a hard Brexit really means now that these “technical notices” are going out.

    The Brexiteers and their media are of course shouting Project Fear over and over again, hoping it will all go away.

    This is part of a more sober analysis:

    For many areas, the Government doesn’t want no deal to mean no deal

    Several papers state that the UK hopes to negotiate some form of arrangement with the EU, or with individual countries, even in no deal. This would be necessary, for example, to ensure that UK financial firms can still provide services across the EU.

    But the EU’s own no deal notices, published over the last few months, make clear that UK authorisations on products and services will no longer be accepted among the other 27 member states, meaning UK exports to the EU would be treated like those from any other ‘third country’.

    The two sides are planning for the same outcome but on a different basis. The UK’s worst-case scenario plans appear to involve some kind of agreement with the EU – even if a no deal scenario would see it walking away with £40bn that the EU believes it is owed. It’s not clear on what basis that assumption has been made – or if it is at all credible.

    Even where the UK can take unilateral action, this will take the form of continuing to recognise EU rules on products or services. While this would minimise the barriers on trade coming into the UK from the EU, it is unlikely to be reciprocated.

    In other words Raab is hoping beyond hope that in the event of a no deal scenario the UK will walk away without paying any Brexit bill and yet at the same time he hopes beyond hope that a whole raft of “mini deals”, which are just common sense after all, can be done to prevent the UK collapsing into chaos.

    Still living in cloud cuckoo land and wanting to have their cake and eat it.

  72. Welsh Sion says:

    Thanks to Liz g for the comments re: Welsh Parliament. I think we’ve established that the Unionist troll you were dealing with is, to use the vernacular, a right zoomer.

  73. Capella says:

    @ CameronB Brodie – welks 🙂
    If I think somebody is a troll I scroll on by. Most commenteers are genuinely here to support independence in their own way. So we all have something in common.

  74. David McKendrick says:

    The BBC states that Wings violated their copyright and that they asked YouTube to take down the offending videos. Since these have since been reinstated does that mean that there was no infringement of copyright and that the BBC were wrong to ask YouTube to take down those videos?
    Either they infringed copyright and should not be shown or they didn’t and should never have been removed? Or was the BBC just being overzealous in trying to remove anything posted by a site that supports independence or which shows Unionists in a bad light???

  75. Ghillie says:

    Unionist vessel HMS Screeching Panic – Full steam ahead!

    There will no doubt be a price to pay for challenging The Untouchables but hey ho, we’re used to it =)

  76. fuzzynavel says:

    I think you mentioned the conservative and labour websites in your reply to the BBC and Youtube…looking forward to them being investigated.

  77. Ian McCubbin says:

    Thanks for encivering what we all suspected and yo now have in print.
    Sad in 21st century so sad.
    But at least we have SM to challenge them.. Mmm but for how long?

  78. Cameron McKay says:

    Is this why Salmond has had a ‘takedown notice’ issued against hiim?

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