Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

That’s a bit different in the U.K. official parliament footage isn’t allowed to be used for satire or anything other than news reporting.

This was more of a copyright claim than censorship.

They could literarily have broadcast the same thing with muppets instead of the official footage and that would’ve been ok and a large part of wishes they had done just that.

“We wanted to show you footage from the House of Commons but due to a 1743 law we can’t so here it is reenacted with sock puppets...”

This would’ve been even better in my book.




>This was more of a copyright claim than censorship.

Copyright claims that result in reduced access to media are censorship.


As someone who has lived under a dictatorship, there is a difference. Laws in "democratic" countries and dictatorships don't differ so much. The difference is how they are enforced and what recourse you as a citizen have. In a dictatorship, the government rules that a show/film/song violates the law. No one not willing to go to jail challenges it. In a democracy, you are free to post a rant or picket because you disagree with the ruling. You are probably allowed to appeal the ruling and you wont disappear if you do appeal the ruling. It may look like both the UK and Saudi are censoring the media but I can definitely tell you it is not the same thing.


Sure, there are definitely different degrees of censorship. Sometimes it happens for good reason -- slander, libel, inciting violence, exposing children to pornography. Sometimes it happens for bad reasons -- to suppress different opinions, to intimidate individuals, or simply to exert undue power over another one for monetary gain.

But censorship is censorship, and when we refuse to call it by its name, we allow ourselves to forget that there is a powerful force controlling what we can see and consume. That kind of power must be checked, and checked always, and we must constantly re-affirm our consent to that power just as often.


Look I don't know why the UK does not allow parlianmentary footage to be used in anything other news/documentary programs. I have to admit I don't see this as totally unreasonable. Like all laws they are pros and cons to the law. Since footage is available to public just not in movie there is nothing stopping you viewing the footage. That surely cannot be sensorship but some sort of ill defined copyright application. I am not sure I want to public funds to create footage for movie makers to use to push their own agendas.


Free to rant and picket is not free. If your government does not represent its people, holding signs and yelling is not recourse.


This claim didn’t reduce access to media, this isn’t censorship as they couldn’t care less about the actual message or tried to block it on political grounds.

This is HBO likely not being familiar with obscure British legislation as some others have pointed out they had to use dogs instead of actual SCTOUS footage as there is a US law that forbids footage of the Supreme Court from being used.

The fact that you even consider this censorship only proves you likely never experienced what true censorship means.


There is no Supreme Court footage at all. They refuse to allow cameras in the chamber.

There’s no law enforcing this except those which give the judges full control over their proceedings. They could let CNN in tomorrow if they so decided.


That's all copyright claims. Are you sure you want to define it that way?

The speech isn't being restricted. The background footage is.

Even if it is a stupid law.


Thanks I was going to respond and say the same thing.


> "This was more of a copyright claim than censorship."

Why should taxpayer-funded creations be copyrighted? They should be in the public domain by default, like in the U.S.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_status_of_work_by_th...


The us also has special rules such as the fact you can't show photos or videos of the supreme court sessions.

This stuff is just generally odd.


While I don’t disagree with the notion that this is stupid. I disagree with the equivalence to censorship it’s a stupid old law, not means to silence political opinion they could’ve called each MP a cunt for 30 min and aired it just fine.

HBO just didn’t realized it when making this programme, they have had to avoid other similar limitations by using dogs instead of supreme justices due to similar restrictions in the US.


They've done something simular with the SCOTUS and dogs, so it wouldn't be out of the ordinary.


Semantics. You can call it whatever you want, but it’s censorship.


No it’s not, this has nothing to do with the political message of the content, they could’ve shown anything they wanted heck they could’ve shown a 30min footage of someone calling TM a cunt and that would not have been censored.


It is, however: For better or worse, British political media is regulated. Around election time, for example, Purdah bans all political advertising apart from allocated x minute slots


>Purdah bans all political advertising apart from allocated x minute slots

I wish we would adopt this, not that I watch live television anymore though but plenty of people still do.

"Joe Smith once let his dog crap on a lawn, Joe did not pick it up, do you want Joe in office? Paid for by the committee to help the group to help the council to elect Jane Doe"

Next commercial break

"Jane Doe uses 3 cans of hairspray a week yet claims to care about the environment. Jane only cares about her hair. Paid for the by the cabal to support the organization of the committee of electing Joe Smith'.


Is the law really from 1743? I mean, it can make sense, but I would find it interesting if the law was really that old


1628, at least, and, with some help from Samuel Johnson,

> In 1738 the Commons fought back, declaring that it was a "high indignity and a notorious breach of privilege" to report what was said in the Chamber, even when it was in recess. [0]

[0] https://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/evolutionofp...


They have laws going back over 700 years:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statute_of_Marlborough

“The chapters currently valid are c.1, c.4, and c.15 (often referred to as the Distress Act 1267),[10] which seek to govern the recovery of damages ("distresses") and make it illegal to obtain recompense for damages other than through the courts, and c.23 (the Waste Act 1267),[11] which seeks to prevent tenant farmers from "making waste" to land they are in tenancy of.”


British democracy is brilliant, moronic, childish and wise: Many laws are indeed that old


No I pulled that one out of my ass but surprisingly wasn’t that far off.


That's exactly what John Oliver did in the Brexit Update video a few weeks ago: https://youtu.be/MdHmp5EX5bE




Registration is open for Startup School 2019. Classes start July 22nd.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: