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Thursday 1 August 2013

TV Licensing's Response to Negative Publicity: Deny or Remove

Last year we reported the case of a TV Licensing goon who forcibly snatched at the door handle of one of the properties he was visiting.

The Hartlepool property, which had no legal need for a TV licence, was occupied by a lone female and her child at the time of the goon's visit. Fortunately the property was equipped with CCTV, which clearly captured the moment the goon angrily snatched at the door handle. Had there been no video footage, we have no doubt at all that the shaven-headed goon would have denied any wrongdoing. As this incident happened only 10 miles from where TV Licensing goon Gary Catterick had earlier committed rape, the lady was no doubt terrified at the prospect of one of his colleagues pushing at the door.

Most decent right-minded folk would consider the goon's actions absolutely appalling, but here is what Capita said about the incident shortly afterwards: "In this case I think there is a lot of unfounded speculation regarding the officer and there is little else we can or should do about this particular incident". In other words, they apparently couldn't give a stuff.

Today, thanks to the marvels of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the BBC has sent us further evidence of TV Licensing's apparent inability to accept public criticism, however justified it might be.

It is perfectly legal for the occupier of a property to film TV Licensing goons as they visit. The goon does not need to give any permission and can only opt out of being filmed by walking away from the camera. That is an irrefutable fact of law, which TV Licensing don't seem to like one bit.

We asked the BBC to provide us with all information they hold about filming/photographing of TV Licensing employees produced since 1st January 2010. To their credit they responded, on this occasion, within the 20 working days required by law. They sent us an extract of the TV Licensing Visiting Procedures, which we're regular readers of anyway, and a rather fascinating email trail that details their continuing crusade to have TV Licensing critical content removed from YouTube.

The BBC has previously told us that Capita only requests the removal of YouTube videos when it appears, ironically, their staff might become the victims of bullying or harassment. This is contradicted by one of the disclosed emails, which suggests that Capita routinely ask YouTube to remove videos "if they feature an EO (Enforcement Officer - their name for a goon) without their consent". That pretty much encompasses all TV Licensing critical YouTube videos. It would appear that YouTube, like the obedient sexually-frustrated puppy it is, seemingly dry humps the leg of TV Licensing every time one of these requests is made, regardless of the fact these videos are produced completely within the law.

Whenever TV Licensing go sniveling to YouTube, they are arrogantly depriving amateur film makers of their right to display their lawful creative content. The same creative rights the BBC would pawn its granny to defend, are at the same time being eroded by their TV Licensing bitch Capita. That counts as sickening, albeit very typical, BBC hypocrisy in our book.

Delving a little further into the email trail our noble colleague TJoK gets a special mention as "the guy who makes these videos is not very nice to watch". They also single out BanTheBBC at YouTube, whose magnificent anti-TV Licensing videos have attracted hundreds of thousands of views, as a target for special attention.

We're predicting a deluge of new goon videos will be appearing soon on YouTube, now we know how much TV Licensing enjoy watching them!

Edit (3/8/13): We have made minor amendments to improve the readability of this article.


John Galt said...

In fairness to YouTube, the BBC are a major content provider and there removal of goon videos is not a legal issue so much as a "Terms of Service" issue.

It's a bit like Viv Richards left leg in that it's neither right nor fair.


Its a battle between asymmetrical force, but I think we (the plucky freedom fighters) are slowly winning.

Remember: "Long is the road, and hard, that leads out of the darkness and into the light"

Anonymous said...

To be fair to youtube - they dont remove them automatically - Goonhilde is still there as is u can film me as much as u like, u cant film me. only the extreme ones seem to get taken down.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, it would appear that you have hit a raw nerve. Excellent job!

Admin said...

My bone is more with the BBC/TVL/Crapita - to have the arrogance to assume for one moment that they have the right to have these videos removed.

Chris said...

In one of the emails they write "Do we think it's time to have an escalated conversation with YouTube to see what we can do?"

I can answer that for them.

1. Stop harrassing legally license free people with letters, visits and threats. Other organisations manage to collect due revenues without assuming everyone is a criminal, so put your heads together and figure it out.

2. Stop ripping off new license holders by up to one month. Instead start giving them the remainder of the current month as a welcome incentive.

3. Stop telling people they're criminal evading scum for not having a license and instead start trying to sell the benefits of having one and supporting the BBC's public funding model (note you'll have to do better than "there are no adverts", especially when technically there are).

4. Ensure that your EOs are properly vetted and trained and accredited and know the law around license requirements, warrants and filming rights, and ensure they are capable of interacting with your customers in a courteous and polite manner AT ALL TIMES.

In a nutshell, stop pissing everybody off and people will stop making videos about how you're pissing them off and putting them on YouTube.

Admin said...

Couldn't agree more Chris. Thank you for commenting.