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Monday, June 23, 2008
You Missed Something Real Good...
... but sadly the folks at LUCASFILM deemed it illegal.

What was it you ask? Well some of you saw it before it got yanked by the suits (yeah, thanks Al Gore!) and I hope you enjoyed it. This 'event' (without wanting to quote 'The Happening') was a great bit of online fun where you could create your own STAR WARS 'crawl' - ie. the opening bits of the Star Wars films (in case you've been hiding in a Taun~Taun for thirty years or so). It's not a dance as I 'amusingly' referred to in my 'crawl'. The site was HERE and I enjoyed it for ten minutes or so creating an entire blog post in that style. And I hope the 43 people that watched it enjoyed it too. Though, if they did, they made no comments to suggest so (yeah, thanks Tony Blair!)

Now, dear reader, this comes after a week where I have been, and I use the term accurately, hounded by the bloody BBC for posting stuff I probably shouldn't have in my other blog, BLOGTOR WHO. Not only did I get a cease and desist order on the same day that the bloody pictures (I won't say of what in case you're keeping spoiler free) appeared in THE SUN but the BEEB yanked a whole lot of videos and clips I posted using FLICKR. Now, I'm not going to get into the legality of it (it's their property, not mine - I know this) but I am just trying to share the lurve with people across the globe.

You see the BBC don't let people, and I'll use their words, outside the UK (England for the English anyone?) see their property and this upsets a lot of human beings (and that's what we are). What effs me off is not just the fact the all the DOCTOR WHO related material was binned but there was also BBC news footage that I used for a blog that I hadn't even launched yet! And, get the fucking irony here, it's a blog about the disappearing bees*. So that blog, not launched yet, has disappearing posts!

I also had some clips revved up and ready to show you guys and gals in this very post but they've also been garbaged. Those were clips of CHRIS MARTIN effin' up the start to a COLDPLAY song and also 'humorously' improvising the lyrics to another (broadcast by the BEEB last week). AND they humped a clip of SPRINGWATCH from a couple of weeks ago. Now, as I said, it is their property - not mine. I have no legal standing here but come on! There's no ads here (or on my other, and more successful, blog) so I'm not profiting. Where's the harm? Maybe I should write to POINTS OF VIEW. I won't bother, I wouldn't be able to show you the clip.

So why did they do this? And by 'they' I mean some guy at the BBC who was probably asked to do it and not some suit (yeah, thanks Jeremy Vine!) Why did one of the biggest companies in the world pound on the little guy? Weeeeelllll, I think I know why. It's not just the videos I posted (there's thousands of sites out there doing it) it was something else. Last week, on BLOGTOR WHO, I posted pictures from the next DOCTOR WHO episode, THE STOLEN EARTH. These pictures were 'embargoed' (and that's the words they use!) 'til Tuesday. Oh, that's now! I posted these last Thursday. Now, these pics (without wanting to go into detail) did not spoil last Saturday's tale, TURN LEFT. So what the eff is their beef?

I posted pics a few days before I should have that reveal some stuff that everyone (those online that is) will now know. Big screwing deal. I revealed nothing that the BBC publicity machine (and it is a machine) didn't want to be known. So it was a bit of a shock when someone quite well known in the WHO community got in touch with me - and someone, I will add, whom I respect greatly and even own some of their work. This person told me that the BBC were very angry that these pics (and the information contained therein) got 'out'.

And, by the deity you may or may not worship, it got out. Millions of people within 24 hours saw those pics. My blog got over 15,000 on that day, let alone the aftermath (another 20,000 over a few days). Some sites posted rather nasty messages about the person that did this - and that person was me. It did sadden me to think that I had pissed off the people that make the show that fills me with so much wonder and enjoyment. Still, the many people that got enjoyment for those images makes me slightly happier.

And so, at the moment, my account with BLOGGER has not been suspended or deleted (unless it has and you're not actually reading this). But, I am waiting. They've already pulled one post and there's a number of videos hosted by them that'll surely go soon. It will only be a matter of time. So, enjoy this while you can. It looks like my blogging days, on here at least, could be well and truly numbered. But I don't blame anyone, it was all my fault.

'Til the next time,
and that's if 'they' let me (thanks Robert Mugabe!)

* For those who would like to see that blog (and it is a work in progress - not 'launched' yet) then click on my profile and you'll see it there. It's called THE BEE~LOG and I thank NICHOLAS AMPERSAND~WHELKS for giving me that giggle~inducing title.


posted by Cameron McEwan at 6:45 pm -
  • At 1:58 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I like that the BBC is not being very fair. They are totally shunning the international Doctor Who fans. I am sorry that you got caught in the crossroads. I hope eveything turns out for the better.

  • At 9:11 am, Blogger Cameron McEwan said…

    Thanks Anon.

  • At 1:26 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So sorry Cam. I know the international peeps on a certain appreciation thread have really appreciated your postings and the availability of stuff they should be able to see. I hope you don't give up blogging - love reading your stuff.

  • At 2:08 pm, Blogger Cameron McEwan said…

    Thanks. I feel like I'll be letting all the internationals down if they pull the blog!

    Plus, what am I going to do with my time?

    Still, Blogger have not contacted me yet so I'll enjoy it while I can.

  • At 3:36 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Bloody BBC!! Me and my friends were sooo grateful for those pics from The Stolen Earth! I can't describe how happy and excited they made us!!
    Does this mean that there won't be any images from Journey's End?!

  • At 4:11 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm a huge fan of all your blogs and will continue to read anything you write, be it a blog or a scrawled note on a napkin.

    Shame on you BBC for stopping spread the joy of Doctor Who internationally. But you're only hurting the fans so who cares right?

  • At 5:01 pm, Anonymous Emma said…

    I can understand the frustration but at the end of the day it's not fair for some people to pay a licence fee and others to not. Which is why I think they should open it up for people to pay internationally for access to certain content. As for embargoes, well I have experience with them in another very large fandom (with a similar audience) and as irritating as they can be, I much prefer working with corporations versus against them.

    But that's just me.

    All the same, I do hope you keep blogging :) It'd be a shame to have to take you off my 'favourites'.

  • At 5:23 pm, Blogger Cameron McEwan said…

    Yup, I'll just have to play by the rules from now on.

  • At 9:45 pm, Blogger joy said…

    Jeepers. I'm sidestepping around the copyright issue, because I tend to go back and forth on it.

    But, it looks like the BBC means business, huh? Scary. Just be careful, dude. I'll be sad not to see you or Blogtor Who pop up on my Google Reader.

    OTOH, they seem to consider you a big enough liability, which means you've gained critical mass. That's something, methinks.

    And, as one of the 43 people who saw the original SW scroll - it was certainly chuckleworthy.

  • At 1:18 am, Blogger Richard Starkings said…

    Coincidentally, Time-Warner, Verizon and Sprint customers all over the US lost access to Usenet this week... You can read about their reasons for doing so here:

    The knock on effect is that innocent Usenet users who simply want to, um, sample quality TV shows before buying them on DVD when they are made available, have had to switch to subscription Usenet access if they want to keep up to date with the shows they preview via Usenet (before purchasing them on DVD as soon as they are commercially available).

    Like you, Cam, I have a love/hate relationship with Spoilers and with the Beeb's over-protectiveness of its property. On the one hand, I want them to generate as much income as possible via overseas sales... income which helps secure the show's future. My understanding is that the show cannot be renewed each year unless the BBC secures the pre-sale of rights to channels such as Sci-Fi and CNBC. If downloads or YouTube runaround links threaten the sale of those rights then I can understand the BBC's concerns.

    That said, I can't find the BBC's extras -- like THE BIG QUESTIONS -- on the Sci Fi site, so I'm not sure what rights they're protecting in regard to the links you've posted.

    When PARTNERS IN CRIME went out in the UK, the onsite video extras were accessible from the US -- just as CONFIDENTIAL was available during season 1 -- so either the webmaster forgot to write code to protect it or the Beeb received a complaint from one of the companies that purchased foreign rights to either transmission of the show (Sci Fi channel in the US) or DVD distribution (Time Warner in the US) of the series (which will presumably include all the onsite extras) at a later date.

    If those extras were made freely available on the Sci Fi site then I can see why they wouldn't want them available on the BBC site ahead of time, because the Sci Fi channel buys the rights to shows like DOCTOR WHO to help bring viewers to their other shows -- DW runs back-to-back-to-back with BATTLESTAR on Friday nights here.

    However, because I can't find those extras on Sci Fi's site, and because I know they exist, I look for them on you site or any number of other sites that embed them in posts. It's free publicity for the show -- just like posting trails or clips.

    In fact, I think it's a shame that the BBC doesn't carve the extras and CONFIDENTIAL out of the rights and make them available on iTunes for 79p or 99c following transmission. It would be a great way of testing the market.

    If, ultimately, DOCTOR WHO was available globally from iTunes at midnight on Saturday night, I'm quite sure that the BBC would make a fortune in sales. I'd much prefer to access the show this way, and more than willing to cough up the dough for the show itself and all the extras. And I believe there'd still be a market for the DVDs and the foreign rights.

    Times are changing -- It's inevitable that broadcast TV will follow the iTunes model, and what better show to lead the way into the future? Who'd've thought that shows that make their way onto DVD within days of broadcast would outsell DVDs of shows that aren't being broadcast any more? (Me!)

    As to the censorship of spoiler images and links you've posted, well, in a very short time, your blog has become extremely visible and prominent -- I check it out more often now than I do OUTPOST GALLIFREY or DOCTOR WHO ONLINE. The attention you have drawn from the ceasers and desisters is a testament to that. You also make a Big Point of making the clips available for International users -- SHHHHH!

    What you have to remember is that the people who make the show love it as much as we do and want to surprise us at every turn. It infuriated me when the BBC's own site gave away the regeneration at the end of series one a few days before the episode aired -- and I'm certain the production team were just as pissed at the BBC site as I was. Just because THE SUN has spilt the beans doesn't mean everyone wants them on their toast.

    But BLOGTOR WHO and STUFF ON TV are fun places to visit and read your opinions and commentaries even without spoilers and it would be a great shame if you were shut down for crossing the line. I need to know what Amy Winehouse has been up to just as much as I need to see that clip from JOURNEY'S END that ran on BLUE PETER today. It's Tablog journalism but hell, it takes my mind off Iraq and cost of a barrel of oil -- and the subsequent rising cost of Jaffa Cakes at the British shops in Santa Monica. That's what really irks us, after all, isn't it?

    Stick with it, Cam, and don't be afraid to encourage the BBC press office to be a little more relaxed about the video extras. Maybe if they realize that their foreign rights holders aren't using that material, they'll have a word and it'll either become more readily available elsewhere or free of restriction.

    You can't change the BBC and the way these decisions are made if you don't have a relationship with them. Youth culture is changing capitalism, and must continue to do so -- the DOCTOR WHO production team itself is evidence of this trend.

    But it's still PUBLIC television and should reflect and examine the concerns of the public... What does it say on the front door of the TARDIS?


  • At 10:11 am, Blogger Cameron McEwan said…


    I'm glad you enjoyed my Star Wars Crawl. It's a pity it got pulled butI could see why Lucasfilm did that. The site had a numer of adverts on it as did the embeded crawl (something that annoyed me slightly).

    To get on my high~horse, I don't put ads here or on Blogtor. Which I something I am quite proud of. I don't want to make money from other peoples' work.

    The copyright issue is a toughie but I don't have a legal leg to stand on. It's their property not mine. My big fear is that Blogger yank my entire account meaning that STUFF ON TV would also disappear. Two and a half years gone!

    Still, I like the idea of being critical mass!

  • At 10:33 am, Blogger Cameron McEwan said…


    That was an interesting article, but do they really think that'll stop the flow? People like that will always find a way to distribute their 'material'.

    You bring up a number of excellent points. I've already stopped with the especially for all of you outside the UK schtick. Typical me, showing off.

    As for SPOILERS, compared to some sites, I'm a bit lame. I stick to the big things that the BEEB end up releasing anyway. The RADIO TIMES this week includes a number of images that I posted last week. I mean, do they think I'm hurting sales of the RT? No. And when I do post a spoiler I always mark it clearly and sometimes use the word 'warning'. Just in case!

    The regeneration debacle back in '05 was pretty ridiculous but who would have thought that DW would have become such an intensive, secret affair.

    I've kept myself pretty much free this year and the things I did know/hear about (returning characters/villians) have all come out officially in the past few weeks. So I am damned excited by what's coming up!

    Your iTunes idea is terrific. Last year they released cut down versions of DWC through iTunes free of charge! Sadly, they don't do that anymore.

    It's interesting that the Sci Fi Channel is so close to broadcast this year, hoping to cut down on people watching it illegally I suspect (yeah, right).

    I do think it is odd that people can watch newly broadcast episodes on YouTube (and many other avenues) but they don't seem to be humping them.

    Lastly, it's interesting that you mention OUTPOST GALLIFREY as, on a number of occasions, I have reported news stories before they did. Days before. And these were news stories not spoilers.


    PS. "Just because THE SUN has spilt the beans doesn't mean everyone wants them on their toast."

    Lurve that!

  • At 11:00 am, Blogger Misssy M said…

    Notoriety is the the FUEL of blogs. Well done you, is what I say.

    And whilst we are talking about fuel, people like you posting stuff about shows is the fuel of interest in these shows, and the BBC bloody know it. They should be offering you a flippin' job.

    I may not comment every time, but I read SOTV every time, and personally I would be bereft if it went. But I think you'll be OK. As people like us are the FUEL of Blogspot...yada yada etc etc...

  • At 3:41 pm, Blogger Cameron McEwan said…


    [SIMON LeBON] No~no Notorious! Notorious [/SIMON LeBON]

    That's me!

    Yeah, I do a better/more interesting job of advertising the show than the bloody BEEB do! Fascists!

    Check my exclamation marks!

    Thanks for the supoort.

  • At 6:21 pm, Blogger Richard Starkings said…

    The BBC and other companies like them WILL constantly seek to stop the flow, or at least control it. Codes will be written that make it impossible to extract or embed video.

    The web is slowly becoming broadcast television and if codes can't be written then it won't be very long before laws are passed that limit the kind of activity we're discussing here. The comm giants shutting down access to Usenet groups is just the beginning. I suspect it has very little to do with porn really.

    Our children will remember TV as a cumbersome monitor that sat in the living room. Their children won't understand the difference between a TV and a monitor or why granddad sits in the corner mumbling about the good old days and how Big Brother caught up with him. Meanwhile, Dad won't be able to figure out how to explain the difference between the TV reality show and Orwell's prophetic vision...


  • At 5:38 am, Blogger Richard Starkings said…

    Oh, and check THIS out...

    “By viewing the on line world through the lens of traditional media, the agencies are advocating unidirectional content for distribution via channels owned by other people and subsidized solely by advertising. During the original dot com days these same people acknowledged it was the people who made the shovels got rich during the gold rush, so why are the agencies making the shovel makers rich again? They are supplying the content upon which to build distribution channels, and they are ignoring the connections among the audience, as well as the pipe coming out of the home.

    Value on-line is created by consumer engagement and community, not eyeballs alone. People are turning television off in droves…The winner in this market will be the one who figures out how to maximize consumer engagement and harness community. They will figure out how to make consumers use the technology to invite their friends to share an experience with them every day…

    Some Valley companies are threatening to take this next step into content creation, but they will soon learn they are not as good with narrative as Hollywood. This is the place for the agency focus. I am not talking about a lunch box equivalent license grant to an on-line game. It is an implementation of a core IP, designed specifically for the media. This is, something people like Heroes’ Jesse Alexander and MIT’s Henry Jenkin refer to as “transmedia,” The IP exists independent of all media. Each media exploitation is tailor-made for the extant media. Rather than a Coen brothers video releasing on the Web and then being stitched together to show up on television. The Coen brothers IP would be interpreted by an ARG creator and turned into an on line experience, the Coen brothers would direct a film or television show, a novelist would write a book, a graphic novelist does a Manga or graphic novel, People magazine covers the production and more. Each element is unique and stands on its own, telling a different story, which points back to the core IP, thereby making the IP stronger and the consumer commitment deeper….

    By no means are these the only options, but if they continue on their current path, the agents can rest assured their unidirectional content will be more entertaining than content created anywhere else, but they can also be assured they will be building networks owned by other people. They are painting themselves into the same corner they stand in today - all the content, none of the access.

    If the agencies want to profit from the new opportunities, they have to stop thinking evolution and more revolution. Television is a solo experience. A show can build an audience, but it does not build a connected community, and with very few exceptions, the community has no impact on the show. The audience watches, and then shares around the water cooler the next day. The web is about community. Real time community. I can feel impotent in real life, I don’t need my computer tell me I have to sit and listen to what someone else has to say. My computer empowers me and let’s me join in, the entertainment on it should as well.”

    “Video game guru” Keith Boesk in response to this:

  • At 9:33 am, Blogger Cameron McEwan said…


    I already watch a lot of televisual content on my pooter. The only time I sit down in front of the telly is for DW (or The Apprentice).
    And football.
    And now the tennis.
    But you get the idea.
    I use my TV for playing the Wii (other consoles are available) much more than I do for watching 'programmes'.

    That second article was fascinating. In the world of music they were way behind filesharers and the mp3 revolution.

    They should learn from that; create content (original and ancillary) and distribute as suggested.

    Some key quotes:

    "The winner in this market will be the one who figures out how to maximize consumer engagement and harness community. They will figure out how to make consumers use the technology to invite their friends to share an experience with them every day…"

    "building networks owned by other people."

    "My computer empowers me and let’s me join in"

    I am part of the "revolution" - let's hope I don't have to guillotine anyone!

  • At 9:34 am, Anonymous Ampersand-Whelks said…

    Sorry to note that Auntie Beeb has suddenly come over all heavy and threatening. Always thought of the blessed institution as benevolent and ….. sharing. Ahem. Got that wrong.

    I trust that your recent bruising encounters won't have put you off blogging. As a certain carrot-topped, suspiciously older - but apparently young - public schoolboy might have said (when not busily whispering into his small plastic cube)

    "Too many of your enemies would rejoice in your [blog's] death, Blogtor"

    Actually, it's a rather odd remark really - what happens if "not enough" enemies rejoice? Would they all give up and go home?

    Love the bee-log by the way. Hope that it creates enough of a buzz to sting people into action. Oh dear - I have clearly been stuck in my work for far too long today if that's the best I can come up with.

    Keep up the good work - and don't let the internet nutters (internutters? No?) drag you down.

    Toodle pip,


  • At 9:35 am, Blogger Cameron McEwan said…

    Thanks for the support WHELKS.

    It's not often an impassioned plea will include a reference to Turlough...

  • At 4:35 pm, Blogger FRANK said…

    Hi, Cameron.

    So you've been nobbled by 'The Man'. Christ, they'll probably get me next cos I've gone overboard on spoilers and clips as much as you have this week. Granted, we're our own worst enemies sometimes just because we're a bit over enthusiastic.

    Rich has some very salient points to make and that Keith Boesk comment is spot on too about connections between communities. I'm very late to the party but I've found I've been welcomed by many, many fellow fans and been encouraged by their response to what I'm doing on my blog. I can see that the BBC are trying to protect their intellectual property and I understand that to an extent but when it comes to the crunch it's not as if you've got your hands on actual scripts or working dubs of the episodes and are distributing to all and sundry. You're not making any money from this - like most of us you're doing it for the lurve. Like all of us you're creating that 'watercooler moment' online that television especially needs in the current broadcasting and media environment. Audiences are very fragmented now and quite frankly if we can do our bit to make a number of shows 'appointment to view' then television might actually be able to move with the times. It's ironic that they're banging us across the head for exploiting their copyright material when to be honest they've barely tapped the potential of truly exploiting their product themselves.

    Keep going, mate. It would be a duller world without 'Stuff On TV' and 'Blogtor Who'.


  • At 11:10 pm, Blogger Cameron McEwan said…


    Thanks for your kind and supportive words.

    It's all gone quite on the BEEB front.

    [ADAM WEST]Too quiet.....[/ADAM WEST]

    Though, I did notice, there were no new publicity shots released today. Either this was my fault or they weren't intending to.

  • At 11:21 pm, Blogger FRANK said…

    Funny, I was expecting more press material to be released today too.

    Can't be your fault. I reckon they're holding back after the debacle of the leaked Davros and Red Dalek snaps.

    Altogether now...'we shall overcome'....

  • At 10:47 am, Blogger Cameron McEwan said…

    Yeah, usually they release promo pics on a Thursday (though the past couple of weeks it was a Wednesday).

    Maybe it's all part of the plan.

    I wonder if they really were 'leaked'...

  • At 5:28 pm, Blogger joy said…

    Sigh. If it makes you feel any better, looks like the Beeb's cracking down everywhere, pulling the full eppy vids from other online sources. (Of course, said sources were kinda silly for being so blatantly open about them.)

    I just needed them to hold off for two more weeks. Gah. It's not like I'm not buying the DVD box set the second it's avail. Oh well.

  • At 9:24 pm, Blogger Cameron McEwan said…

    Yeah, I was surprised that the full episodes were allowed to be online for so long.

    Still, there's always torrents.

    Some more clips were pulled recently but I'm hosting them on different sites so my Blogger account (hopefully) won't be affected.

    And wait 'til you see tonight's.......

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