Skip to main content

House of Commons Commission

Volume 473: debated on Thursday 20 March 2008

The hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission, was asked—

Parliamentary Recording Unit

The rules largely date back to the regulations that govern the admission of cameras to the Chamber. The Member may use only material featuring themselves or a reply from a Minister to their question, and contributions to the debate on an issue raised by the Member. The clip should display the portcullis logo, and the Member should acknowledge copyright and ensure that the material is not downloadable. Members may use recordings of proceedings on their own parliamentary website, but not on any third party hosting website.

Parliament should be embracing new technology as a way to reconnect with the public. Is it not about time that we ditched the ridiculous ban on parliamentary clips being shown on YouTube? Sites such as YouTube are popular and accessible; if there is a copyright issue, will the House authorities review the current contracts and bring Parliament into the 21st century?

Copyright is only part of the point that I am making. Obviously, the costs of the pictures recorded in the Chamber are also part of the contract. The other issue is to do with the manipulation of pictures taken in this Chamber. That comes back to the issue of the rules that govern the admission of cameras into the Chamber. At the moment, the rule is that the clips can be streamed to be viewed in real time, but not downloaded in such a way that they could be manipulated later.