THE BBC has halted its action against a pro-independence blogger following a row over YouTube copyright infringements.

The public broadcaster had denied political bias after Stuart Campbell, who runs Wings Over Scotland claimed his channel was closed without warning after the BBC complained about 13 videos that had been uploaded to it.

Now the channel has been reinstated by YouTube while the BBC said it will review its actions.

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, had insisted that 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.

Now the BBC has said it would “not be taking any further action” against Wings Over Scotland while it carries out a review into how it deals with copyright claims over videos that have political content, particularly on social media.

YouTube has now allowed the channel to return, but without the videos at the centre of the row.

The  BBC said it had asked YouTube to also allow the 13 videos to be reinstated to the Wings Over Scotland channel.

BBC Scotland's head of public policy, Ian Small, said the move came after discussions with "colleagues in London and elsewhere in the BBC".

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Former First Minister Alex Salmond had criticised the BBC for “rotten” conduct amid the crackdown.

He talked of “strange goings on” at the Corporation and wrote to director-general Baron Hall demanding answers “I want Tony Hall – I want ‘Baron Hall of Birkenhead’ – to tell me what on earth is going on," he said.


But the BBC revealed it has halted action against Mr Campbell.

In a statement, it said: “As we have said throughout, whenever we receive complaints about our material being posted or used without authorisation we look to take action to protect our copyright.

“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.

“However, we are aware of the significant debate around our approach to removing content, and will be carrying out a review of our practice in relation to ‘political’ content to ensure it is appropriate for today’s social media environment.

“While we carry out our review, the BBC will not be taking any further action in relation to the Wings Over Scotland videos, which we understand should be re-instated by YouTube.

“We note that the rest of the channel has already been restored by YouTube.

“Until the review is complete, we will also not be seeking the removal of similar content from accounts unless it is used in a substantially misleading manner or we need to act to protect our commercial or brand interests.”

Mr Campbell, insisted 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.


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.