THE BBC has denied political bias after a pro-independence blogger criticised the public broadcaster after his YouTube channel was shut down in a copyright row.

Stuart Campbell, who runs the Wings Over Scotland channel, claims his channel was closed without warning after the publicly funded BBC complained about 13 videos that had been uploaded to it.

The channel of another prominent independence campaigner, Peter Curran, was also shut down after BBC copyright complaints.

YouTube operates a policy which means that if you get three copyright strikes it will shut down the channel. 

Mr Campbell, insists the the videos should not have been removed and argued that the BBC had not taken similar action with other political sites that used its material.

He claimed Scottish Labour councillor Scott Arthur was allowed to keep his channel after marking contested BBC videos as "private" - which means nobody else can see them.

Mr Campbell says he was not given the opportunity to similarly 'lock down' his contested clips and save his channel.

But Mr Campbell has highlighted political channels hosted by the Liberal Democrats, the Scottish Conservatives and UKIP among others which publicly display BBC content.



"This entire affair quite frankly stinks to high heaven. The BBC have operated a plainly partisan policy, observably applying different rules and procedures to people with different political viewpoints,"  Mr Campbell said in his blog.

The BBC denied it was being selective in its actions to protect copyright.

Mr Campbell has contested the removal of the videos with YouTube citing fair dealing for all of them, "since all are just short extracts and all of them explicitly identify the original source".

"Fair dealing" exemptions in copyright law, allow material to be used for the purposes of "criticism, review and reporting current events" but only allow a "reasonable and necessary" amount of someone else's work to be used.

But YouTube has responded by telling him that he does "not have the necessary rights to post the content" and "regretfully cannot honor your request".


The BBC said it takes action to protect its copyright "whenever we receive complaints about large volumes of our material being posted or used without authorisation".

The broadcaster added: "This action is normally limited to asking for individual videos to be removed and the BBC did not ask or demand for these whole channels to be taken down. That was a decision for YouTube alone.

"We act irrespective of the political views of the infringing YouTube channels and have taken action against the use of our material by individuals or organisations from across the political spectrum.

"There is a standard process in place if these channels wish to challenge the take down orders and we will consider any representations carefully."

Mr Campbell said: "We’re going to take this one as far as it’ll go, folks."


Mr Campbell earlier this week wrote on the Wings Over Scotland Twitter: “The latest assault on Wings: our Youtube channel has been deleted, without warning, ‘for copyright breaches’ despite zero copyright strikes.

“The channel is a huge repository of political evidence, much of it not recorded elsewhere. It complies completely with copyright law.

“We’ve received a very small number of copyright complaints over the years, all of which were resolved. The account was in good standing.

“Not only was there no warning, there hasn’t even been an official notification of the termination. It’s extremely suspicious."