BBC Worldwide have taken down from YouTube a video I made 7 years ago at the time of the first bombing of Gaza. It features the late Tony Benn's magnificent indignation at the BBC's refusal to show the Gaza charitable appeal.  Takedowns of news clips, especially a blacking out of the video in all countries, are unusual these days. Most copyright disputes on YouTube are now settled by leaving the video up, banning adverts by the poster and/or reserving to the copyright holder the right to put ads themselves. The video is available again, if only temporarily, while I dispute the claim.

 

Here is my dispute:

"The subject of the video is to criticise the censorship of a charitable appeal by the same broadcaster that has made the copyright complaint. This is a legitimate and fair exercise of free speech, and satisfies the conditions for fair use. The video is not monetized, and therefore non-commercial, it is from a factual work (a news broadcast), and the amount used is only sufficient to show the indignation of the guest of the show in question at the censorship of the material. The ability of BBC Worldwide to profit from the sale of this 7-year-old news broadcast of an interview with a now deceased politician must be very small, and in any case is not impeded by the clip's being cut into this video critique. It would be perfectly appropriate for BBC Worldwide to exercise its right to prevent the monetising of the video, which in any case we as producers have never done, but to take it down is an attack on free speech. Prior approval of the copyright holder for a usage which so clearly criticises that same copyright holder would clearly be impossible to obtain, and therefore the principle of fair use has been applied for this non--commercial work, for which there many precedents, not only deriving from the statutes governing YouTube, but also from UK case law regarding the public's interest in critical material."

I have won such copyright disputes before. The US legisIation permits re-mixing for critical purposes - it's fairly well established. Might there be some other motivation for the takedown? Could it be Benn's comment: "Let me be clear about this. People will DIE because of what the BBC has done"? Other BBC news clips on YouTube (unedited, without any critique, so straightforward "steals") have been left unmolested, including one of the same clip I have used. Is the BBC's problem precisely that their clip is contextualised, edited together with the aid appeal they censored, plus a devastating orphan's story from Gaza?

Watch this space.



Here are two views on this subject:

We have Phil Windley who thinks the open internet was a historical fluke http://www.windley.com/archives/2016/02/decentralization_is_hard_maybe_too_hard.shtml here he is talking about the very real view that the internet is finished, that the commons have been enclosed by the dotcon silos and what remains outside are terminally withered and dieing.

Then Dave Winer http://scripting.com/liveblog/users/davewiner/2016/01/26/0936.html who argues that the open web comes in waves and what Phil Windley is arguing is but the drawing back of the water before the next wave of open washes in.

My point of view is that both are right, the open internet was a historical “mistake” and with Winer that the are a few waves left, the storm is not over yet. The is a logic to the digitisation of everything and the web was a living example of this let loss, it was a tsunamis that crashed over every part of our cultures and the storm is not over yet.

The commons opened up by the early web are enclosed by dotcons, but their sea defences are low and weak and the digitisation storm still rages.

 

To illustrate what a mess we are currently in. Solar power over the last 10 years has plummeted in cost and crept up in efficacy, leading to a shift to sustainable energy in many western country’s. This decrease in cost had nothing to do do with western entrepreneur and the capitalist path. The funding (huge subsidy) was paid by the Chinese government (and the people it taxes). It was a state planed and funded attempt by the chines communist party to gain dominance in this new era, they did this by top down building of huge solar power factory and infrastructure, the plan was to bankrupt the western producers by swamping them with cheap products and then profit from cornering this global future industry.

This seceded up to a point but they over steeped the production so were caught in a spiralling decrease in price that easily swept away the nebulous western solar industry. But also run away and undermined their own economic base, central planing in a “capitalistic” hybrid system is hard to control. So, we have a moment of hugely under priced solar flooding the world market. This has been proven to be very challenging to our existing energy monopoly’s. With no indigenous solar industry left the is nobody to lobby our legislators any more to keep the market open. Our monopolist are putting legislative blocks on solar roll-out in place to prop up their old industry’s and apart from some green’s the is little standing in their way.

China inadvertently doing evil dose the would a huge favour, but the “evil” in the end taints the “favour”. Its clearly a mess and if we still had a grown up politics maybe we could do something to mediate this mess.

 

At the end of the 20th century we had a forceful right wing ideological push to reshape western society’s. The Thatcher/Ragion years started the push to create a world were “There's no such thing as society”, as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher declared "There are individual men and women and there are families.”

30 years latter we now live in this world. This idealogical world-view is deeply embed in nearly every part of western cultures and is still pushing to powerfully shape the wider globe. This ideological push was a reaction to/consciously against a 20th century “social liberal” ideologue that had grown from the destruction of 2 world wars in the 20th century.

Were are we now? The enlightening thinking form this is that conscious pushing of ideology has the power to shift society and define what it is to be human. The is proven power in “thought and action” on “human nature” and our social lives are continuously shifting to this “power”. The issue we face today is that we have a denial of this power from both the right and the left which highlights the deepness of the right world view.

Food for thought, can we escape, were is the ideology of the liberal/left?

The Hive Dalston - big society community centre a product of voluntarism and activist fashion with dose of hipster. Started out as an exciting project between radical (free party/activist) squatters and a more mainstream arts groups. The idea was to take up and use the Tory “big society” legalisation that had been pushed though at the start of the Cameroon government but has been lieing fallow since.

The is a incentive for the social use of empty property, that landlords could get local tax exceptions for their empty buildings if these buildings were put into local community use. As with most Tory ideas this was actually a direct attack on locale democracy, by starving it of the tax revenue and potently replacing its core social services with volunteers rather than paid professionals. Any use of this “legislation” would have to walk a tipe rope to stay within the system, to sustain the project, while not falling into the trap of pushing the Tory agenda of privatisation and NGO thinking that are core to the ideas of a “big society”.

The Hive soon failed this tightrope walk and fell into the direct Tory project, the fragile radicalism pushed aside and the space filled with wannabe “arts” and NGO spiritual fashion, it became a scruffy “community centre” on the cheap. If it survives and spreads its a viable model for replacing what’s left of the pail shades of the bureaucratic “pay your way” centres that are left over from the more rigid social justice/culture as social good of the 1970's heydays.

The resulting burn out and walk away has left the Hive project less than shiny, its make or brake for it to find the next space. Can projects like this walk a tipe rope to stay sustainable while remaining relevant is the question. And do people care unuf for this question. to actually matter is the root of the issue of this post.

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