Parliament edges towards allowing footage to be put on YouTube

Good news from Section 10 of the minutes of a recent meeting of the Commons Administration Committee: slowly, cautiously the House of Commons is moving towards allowing Parliamentary footage to be put up on YouTube.

Credit to Jo Swinson, who has been campaigning steadily on the issue and kept it going through the slow wheels of Parliamentary decision-making.

Here’s the relevant part of the minutes:

The Committee considered a paper from the Director of Broadcasting (Tim Jeffes), about the use of parliamentary footage on searchable websites. As agreed by the Committee at a previous meeting, he had agreed with PARBUL a draft variation to the sublicence to enable Members to use Parliamentary footage in this way.

The following matters were raised:

  • Whether footage provided under licence would be ‘watermarked’. Tim Jeffes confirmed that it would
  • Whether the system would be revisited if it led to complaints. Mr Jeffes noted that the guidance was clear that the permission of other Members featured in a clip must be sought in advance by a Member applying to use a piece of footage. This would be made clear in the conditions
  • A Member asked about the process for applications. Mr Jeffes explained that a Member, or a member of their staff, would apply to the Parliamentary Recording Unit to use a piece of footage. They would receive a reply by email asking them to approve the conditions under which the material is supplied and would need to acknowledge these before receiving the material
  • A Member asked about footage that was not obtained from the Recording Unit. Tim Jeffes explained that this would be in breach of the agreement with PARBUL and would also breach BBC copyright.

The Committee agreed to take note of the paper and to recommend to the Commission that the prepared draft variation to the PARBUL sub-licence be approved.

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