Govt slaps notice on BBC

Govt slaps notice on BBC

Following the BBC’s broadcast of the controversial documentary “India’s Daughter”, the Home Ministry served a legal notice to the news channel and ordered YouTube to remove it from its site.

The notice claimed that the BBC violated the condition of not using the documentary on December 16, 2012, Delhi gang-rape for commercial purposes and was therefore liable for legal action. The notice was served to the public broadcaster on Wednesday evening, hours before the BBC in the UK beamed the documentary at 10 pm (GMT). Director-General of Tihar jail Alok Kumar served it through government standing counsel.

“No approval was taken by the BBC for the commercial use of the documentary. We have served the notice. Further course of action is awaited,” a senior home ministry official said.

Government sources said filmmaker Leslee Udwin agreed that her documentary would not be used for commercial purposes, but had sold the rights to the BBC which used it commercially.

Following the government’s request, YouTube removed the documentary from its platform. While many managed to watch “India’s Daughter” in the morning, the links were not available in the afternoon.

In its response to the government, BBC said, “we are not planning to transmit the film in any territory, which lies under Indian legal jurisdiction.”

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the government has informed all channels that the documentary must not be shown.

“But BBC has broadcast it in London. Whatever action we have to take, the Home Ministry will go ahead and do that,” he said. Asked what the government could do, Singh said, "I would not like to make any comment at this moment. All I can say is that whatever is required, will be done. If conditions have been violated, there will be appropriate action.”

A YouTube spokesperson said, “While we believe access to information is the foundation of a free society and services like YouTube help people express themselves and share different points of view, we continue to remove content that is illegal or violates our community guidelines, once notified.”

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