Piracy Saves Another Lost Video

from the and-yet-again dept

We've talked about how "piracy" ended up saving the "lost" ending to the movie Little Shop of Horrors, and now it looks like something similar has happened over in the UK. As a bunch of readers have sent in, apparently the BBC, in an effort to save archival space, had gotten rid of some old television shows. In one case, the BBC had discarded both the color version of a show and the audio track, but the show's presenter had made his own audio recordings and, when synched up with the TV show -- and then colorized -- the BBC could bring it back close to what it once was. Yet, as TorrentFreak notes, this was basically "pirated" audio. But, once again, such things are turning out to be quite useful as an alternative for storage.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Sos, Dec 15th, 2008 @ 6:42pm


    How is this piracy? The article doesnt say that Ed Doolan distributed the recordings (for profit or not). The recordings wernt used for any other purpose so there is no copyright infringement either. Is the act of recording publicy broadcast information considered piracy now?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2008 @ 6:46pm

    I'm pretty sure in Britain such recording would be considered illegal. The BBC operates differently than US television broadcasts.
    Whether it is illegal or not in the US, i'm sure any RIAA lookalike would be all over it.
    That's the point.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2008 @ 9:26pm

    There were several Doctor Who episodes that would have been lost had it not been for those who recorded them at home. Some of them were lost because the BBC ran out of money and recorded over the originals! This was when they started using tape instead of film at some point in the 1970s and early 1980s.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    PaulT (profile), Dec 16th, 2008 @ 12:35am

    Re: Piracy?

    It was an unauthorised duplication of the show that was stored in violation of the relevant UK copyright law (which i believe only allows you to store a viodeo recording for 3 months).

    Since it violated copyright, it was a "pirate" copy in the same way that the movie ripped from an internet stream is a "pirate" copy regardless of whether you upload it to someone else or not.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    PaulT (profile), Dec 16th, 2008 @ 12:39am


    Yes, that's right - a lot of classic BBC content was lost when they started recording over old shows (they didn't foresee a market for such material until much later).

    This isn't a phenomenon just on tapes either - for example, F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu is only available today thanks to pirates (the legit copies were destroyed by Bram Stoker's estate after a successful copyright lawsuit).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Rekrul, Dec 16th, 2008 @ 12:40pm

    He should be forced to destroy those illegal recordings!!!

    (That's sarcasm for those who can't tell)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Rose M. Welch, Dec 16th, 2008 @ 10:38pm

    Re: Piracy?


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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