Let’s petition the BBC to allow clips to be shared

Pete has brought us the sad news that the BBC is seeking to shut down his YouTube account if he continues to post BBC clips there.

This is a very unfortunate development. BBC journalists here in NI are privately very supportive of the way in which Slugger allows the debate on Stormont Live, Hearts and Minds and the Politics Show to continue on-line. It also allows readers in the Republic of Ireland and around the globe who cannot watch through BBC IPlayer access to important public discourse.

I would like to propose we start with a thread – petition which we can pass on to the powers that be in Broadcasting House.

All you need to do is leave your name and an email address. Please pass it on to your friends wheerever they may be.

  • DC

    I understand the BBC are well within their rights to do that, but as a non-commercial organisation of sorts it seems to go against the grain a little.

    However, maybe it’s just because the person is Pete Baker that they are doing it?

    David McNarry says the BBC has an pro-Ireland agenda these days, maybe they are going after Pete Baker as part of this 😉

    Maybe if it were Mick they mightn’t be so harsh, heck I’d do it on Pete Baker if I worked in the BBC. All publicity is good publicity after all!

  • A bit confused, is there a petition up on slugger on this, or not, what is the procedure?

  • malachi

    I post my own BBC reports occasionally to my blogs malachiodoherty.com and artstalk.net

    Nobody has complained.

  • New Blue

    Search for BBC on YouTube and you find roughly 204,000 entries, to lots of different accounts.

    If they are going to close them all down they are going to be busy.

    This has got to be posturing by someone in NI, surely such a decision would have to come from Broadcasting House and be all encompassing?

  • What I am suggesting is that people leave there name and a short statement in this thread and that will become the petition.

  • DC

    Thanks Malachi, so it’s anyone but Pete Baker then.

    Knew it, I knew it – someone call McNarry 😉

  • mervyn

    ‘I post my own BBC reports occasionally to my blogs malachiodoherty.com and artstalk.net
    Nobody has complained.’

    That’s because nobody reads them, Malachi.

  • Big Maggie


    “I post my own BBC reports occasionally to my blogs ******.com”

    God, not another seeking free advertising on Slugger! At least you’re not selling Ugg boots :^)

    And don’t mind Mervyn. He’s simply being unkind.


    I’m game. But I can’t leave my name. The BBC know me and will exact reprisals.

  • The Raven

    I’m with Maggie on that, except my employers read this, and will exact firing me! 🙂 I think there are petition sites elsewhere where this could be run. Will have a look.

  • Conall,

    leaving your real e-mail address on this thread is also a recipe for spam. There are many e-petition sites out there.

  • RepublicanStones


    But then again copyright is copyright…now if you’ll all excuse me im off the download a few more seasons of “Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”

  • Given that the BBC is available throughout Ireland on Freeview and other systems, it seems contrary to the spirit of freedom of expression that the Corporation is censoring Pete Baker from broadcasting the words of wisdom of Northern Ireland politicians to the world. Down with censorship and down with partitionism!

  • Big Maggie


    I concur, your highness.

  • OC

    Being in the USA, I can’t otherwise see BBC’s IPlayer news vids.

    Whilst claiming that BBC hasn’t taken similar aktion against others, this is not a common law affirmative defense to copyright infringement.

    That being said, it does look awfully arbitrary and capricious, and has at least the appearance of impropriety.

    Please, don’t take away my BBC!

  • Big Maggie


    “Being in the USA, I can’t otherwise see BBC’s IPlayer news vids.”

    Really? Excuse my ignorance but once you have iPlayer can’t you access any content that uses it?

  • OC

    BM: Whatever BBC vids are played with, they don’t play for me. My understanding is that they are set up to not play across the pond. Whatever.

    YouTube plays just fine.

    Thanks for asking, though!

  • Big Maggie


    I’ll have a word with my techie grandson and get back to you.

  • PaulM

    Big Maggie,

    You can’t access iPlayer if you have an IP address that originates from outside the UK.

  • willis


    I think you are getting to the nub of this. Please forgive me if my view is simplistic, but the problem may be that posting on Youtube makes BBC content available worldwide.

    The BBC has a fine line to walk. Making content freely available helps to justify the license fee to all the folks who pay it but makes one non-license fee payer very cross.


    Hey Pete maybe Rupe took you down, how good would that be?

  • Richard Aardvark

    “Down with censorship and down with partitionism!”

    Down with your employers and their sick little vendattas against satirists?

  • It’s not a new development, Conall.

    First BBC Youtube takedown – August 2007?

  • I was not leaving my blog details just to plug them. I thought I was contributing a relevant point and, what do you know, actually putting my name to it.

    The worms that sneer from behind pseudonyms declare their own cowardice to the world.

    Why do we have pseudonyms here anyway? Who’s afraid of what? If you have an opinion, sign it. That’s what I do.

  • willis

    Can I just say that if you want to understand the Beebeast, read Nevin’s link.

  • willis
  • Big Maggie


    Re iPlayer: the little lad tells me that you can best try a UK proxy. That way you can fool iPlayer into thinking you’re in the UK.

    There’s a joke wandering about in my head involving a band called Proxy Music but it’s still unfinished :^)

  • kensei

    I am actually surprised that it took so long for this to happen. Pete is not posting a relevant clip that would pass fair use. He’s posting entire segments from a copyrighted programme. There is zero, zip, no chance of any media company allowing this, BBC or no. By putting the content on an external site the BBC lose control of it, and Slugger is not some random dude hard to track down. It’s the largest political blog in the North.

    What the BBC needs to do and what needs to be pushed for, is not just a stream of entire episodes for the big NI politics programs, but also clips broken down into separate sections a la The Daily Show’s internet presence. That allows easy linking to the original source for discussion, under control of the BBC.

    You’d be far better off getting everyone to request that through the BBC’s request tools or complaints procedures etc.

  • Frank


    This is brilliant, great laugh.

    Cheers for the link

    …how you must have cringed at every call of “Chris, we love you”; how you must have felt isolated as the audience rose to their feet as one, singing, dancing and shouting out for more…

    DeBurgh always was an ass!

  • susan

    Rather than petitions, cannot someone at Slugger with connections within the Beeb (all eyes slide towards Brian Walker) reach out to someone like Mark Byford, who is good-hearted, unaffected and with a genius for getting things done, and point out that as part of Pete’s brief he regularly highlights (translation – free advertising and promotion) upcoming BBC NI programming to an ideal target audience?

    Surely an arrangement where Pete can continue link directly to relevant programming either via YouTube or directly via the BBC site only increases the local and worldwide audience share for the broadcaster?

    Just because an arrangement makes sense and suits everyone’s best interests does not mean it is unethical or inappropriate, whether or not it is strictly legal at the moment. If there’s intelligence and mission to the purpose there’s a means to achieve it.

  • willis


    I think kensei has the best solution. Have a look at this:


  • susan

    Dunno, wills. It’s not that that doesn’t make sense, it just doesn’t make nearly as much sense as it would if were were discussing a target audience the size of say, North America or Asia-Pacific.

    But we’re not.

    Why ignore synergy when it is paws up, puppy eyes in front of you?

  • susan

    Sorry, that last post didn’t make much sense. I was temporarily distracted by what I am actually supposed to be doing with my day.

    It makes perfect sense to contact the journalismlab link, but it makes sense for Slugger and similar blogs to pursue other mutually beneficient solutions as well.

    Willis, re: that Formula One icalendar on your link, do you know where I could find a link of every sport they do that for?

  • kensei


    There is no official relationship here. So what synergy? It’s also worth remembering that any official relationship with Slugger links the Beeb to what are occasionally, shall we say, “robust” debates.

    And unlike Mick, I’m not particularly blown away by Pete’s highlighting of segment X of program Y. It’s a neat way to get a bit of discussion around a BBC piece, but in a lot of cases I don’t see a lot of added value. But each to their own.

    The BBC has done a fair bit in allowing their content to be accessible on the web and spread. They can certainly do more, but you are high on fumes if you think they’ll allow a complete loss of control of their content, which is what sticking on youtube involves. In certain cases the BBC might also have third party rights issues. Again, this isn’t like it’s a small one man site with a tiny community. It’s the biggest political blog in Northern Ireland.

    The best solution is to push for something like above that is within the rules and control of the BBC and probably benefits the BBC too, because people are more likely to consume on the web in bite size chunks anyway.

  • willis


    ‘fraid not, but give them a shout and they might be helpful.

  • susan

    kensei, suggesting that all potentially — I’m not Pete, I haven’t time for italics but imagine they are there — synergistic relationships must be official in the internet age doesn’t even begin to make sense, so I’ll ignore it.

    If I’d thought along the lines you are arguing, I’d have had to default on my mortgage about six months into it.

    As to this —

    “Again, this isn’t like it’s a small one man site with a tiny community. It’s the biggest political blog in Northern Ireland.”

    Erm, that was the foundation of my suggestion that both Slugger and the Beeb have something to offer by finding a workable compromise.

    Your suggestion is a good one, and with so many non-state supported, MSM outlets going to the wall financially and so many worldwide political blogs dependant for survival on serving as portals to information — the “robust debates” are also a draw, granted — to increasingly elusive target audience, the BBC could do a lot more than it does.

  • susan

    Thank you, willis, cheers.

  • joeCanuck

    Big Maggie,
    Could you talk to your grandson again and find out the details of how to set up/use a UK proxy. There are a lot of BBC programs I would like to watch but can’t? I depend on Pete a lot for some of the more interesting political stuff but that confines me to what he thinks is interesting. Usually is but, as a worldwide political junkie, I crave more.

  • For Richard Aardvark’s information:

    I no longer work with the Belfast Media Group. I left the company in February last year. Your ad hominem and inaccurate attack indicates a poor grasp of the essence of argument.

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