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Parliamentary Recording Unit

House of Commons Commission – in the House of Commons at 10:30 am on 20th March 2008.

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Photo of Jo Swinson Jo Swinson Liberal Democrat, East Dunbartonshire 10:30 am, 20th March 2008

What the rules are governing the use of material provided by the parliamentary recording unit.

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Photo of Nick Harvey Nick Harvey Shadow Secretary of State for Defence

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.

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Photo of Jo Swinson Jo Swinson Liberal Democrat, East Dunbartonshire

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?

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Photo of Nick Harvey Nick Harvey Shadow Secretary of State for Defence

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.

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