BBC lays the smackdown on YouTube over Top Gear clips

Posted by Chris Green on Friday February 9 @ 9:50 pm

Top Gear

I could not sleep last night, and there was nothing worth watching on the 480+ shopping and quiz channels that now dominate late night British TV.

Therefore, I decided to have a play with YouTube and dig up some amusing Top Gear clips, usually a sure-fire way to put me in a good mood, or make me fall asleep. Alas, my search for clips proved fruitless.

The BBC has finally called time on the extensive and outrageous level of piracy of BBC content on YouTube, and with it, the huge library of Top Gear clips and complete episodes. Every clip I tried to access had been pulled either for a terms of service violation or because the BBC had been in touch to exercise its rights as the copyright owner for the material. The BBC is completely in the right on this one, but it is still a shame – my increasing use of YouTube has demonstrated to me the benefits of having such a huge library of British TV programmes and clips available on-demand, and free of charge.

The strange thing is, having revisited YouTube just now; I see that a large amount of the content that was suspended has now disappeared from the site altogether, while the remaining material is now accessible again. The fact that a decent amount of stuff is accessible is great, but I do appreciate that it is almost certainly not legal for it to be there, and I can’t see the Beeb giving its blessing for people to upload clips of any of its most popular shows to such a service, at a time when it is trying to get into on-demand content. So I suggest you enjoy the content on YouTube while you still can, before the onslaught of copyright holders wipe out all the commercial material on the site.

As an aside to all this, I notice that the BBC Top Gear web site has had a major facelift, and now offers over 60 streaming clips from past shows, including the majority of the items that have been nuked from YouTube.

Coincidence? Conspiracy? How long before they start using TV detector vans to erase our memories of Eldorado and Triangle.

Actually – that’s not a bad idea, as both those shows were rubbish!

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