05 October 2007

PCC Makes First YouTube Ruling

The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) has made its first ruling concerning the use of YouTube clips on news websites.

According to the Guardian, the body decided that the weekly Northwich Guardian had not contravened the PCC code by displaying footage on its website showing youths throwing firebombs at a train.

Originally, the footage entered the public domain after one of the boys involved in the incident uploaded it onto video-sharing site YouTube.

The organisation rejected claims from a parent of one of the youths involved that embedding the clip on the website broke guidelines regarding the publication of pictures of children under the age of 16.

“It would have been contrary to any common sense or fairness for the commission to afford greater protection to the youths in this case than to other law-abiding children because of their behaviour,” stated the PCC.

The PCC made its first ruling on the use of video material online by newspapers in August this year with a case concerning the publication of footage filmed on a mobile phone by a schoolgirl.

BBC media correspondent Torin Douglas asserted at the time that the landmark ruling would be the first of many regarding the use of audio-visual clips.

“Ironically, the extension of the PCC’s remit means that in some ways videos on newspaper websites are more tightly controlled than those put online by the broadcasters,” said Douglas.

He added: “The media regulator Ofcom - which regulates TV and radio – doesn’t have any control over their websites.”

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