Does the BBC have the right to close down discussion of the news?

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The BBC is a public service broadcaster. It is paid for by taxation (because that is what the licence fee is). Bizarrely, that tax is one of the most heavily enforced in the country. If only HMRC was as efficient at tax collection as the BBC is then there would have never been an excuse for austerity. But that is not my concern this morning. My concern is that the BBC is using claimed breaches of copyright on its public interest news to close down public interest websites.

One such site is the Youtube channel of Wings Over Scotland. Now I am aware that Wings is controversial. Dammit, anyone who creates change is just that. But as is recounted here, it is the BBC who forced the closure of its Youtube channel for using BBC clips to illustrate points of concern, and often (even) to defend the BBC.

I suggest you read it.

And then ask why the Tories in Scotland have not had their site closed by the BBC for the very same reason.

I want to think the BBC is unbiased. The evidence here is of total bias. And it is wholly unjustified. If the BBC cannot stand discussion of their output they should not be asking us to pay for it.

We need press freedom. That includes the right to make informed comment on news broadcasting. The BBC should have no right to stop that and no interest in doing so. But it has, and it clearly intends to do so.

Worry, a lot.

Next there will be a ban on clippings from the press. The law to achieve that goal is already on its way, whereafter this blog could simply disappear. I could never eliminate all the quotes I have used in the past. And dissenting voices will disappear from view.