back to article BBC report urges Halo troops to end bloodshed in Syria

The BBC has apologised after criticising a fictional space empire from the 22nd century for not intervening against ongoing atrocities in Syria. In a News at One telly segment reporting Amnesty International's disapproval of the United Nations Security Council's (UNSC) lack of action in the blood-soaked nation, the Beeb …


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  1. The BigYin

    Wait, what?

    So they just web searched for an image an used it, eh?

    Did they check that they had rights to that image?

    Did they contact the owner to get permission?


    Well if you or I did something like that, we'd be up for a DMCA take down at best or before the beak as a pirate. Yarr!

    I look forward to the reporting on where the BBC are sued for breach of copyright and loss of reputation due to the gaff.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wait, what?

      Don't be silly... When they do it, it's "fair use"...

      1. Mark 121

        Re: Wait, what?

        Ahem, "fair dealing".

        1. Tel Starr

          Re: Wait, what?

          But it's not fair dealing as the image in question has nothing to do with the news report.

          1. Mark 121

            Re: Wait, what?

            S.30(2) doesn't say it has to be relevant - "fair dealing with a work" not 'with a relevant work'.

      2. Anonymous Cowerd

        Re: AC 2.0

        "fair use"

        There is no such thing in the UK, so they shouldn't have used it without permission.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wait, what?

      It's a very fair comment

      After I had created a health and safety intranet for a company I worked for I had a very awkward conversation. It went something like this.

      Them - Hello Federal department for whateversuch nonsense

      Me - I have just created an intranet and would like to use your official seal so our stateside office knows this points to legislation in the USA

      Them - you need to apply to use our copyright

      Me -then can I apply

      Them - No, if you are using the seal please remove it.

      Me - erm OK

      Next call to me.

      Me - Hello "insert company name here"

      Them - Sir, I am the Man, and I will start legal proceeding against you if you infringe our copyright.

      Me - erm OK i am not going to use your seal.

      Them - using our seal is a federal crime and you will be charged as such. this may include extradition to the USA and tried under federal law, this does carry a maximum.....

      Me - erm, I was going to use your seal, but rest assured I have removed this from the company intranet site. Am I OK setting up a hyperlink to your site from our intranet?

      Them - and operative will be in touch.

      next call to me

      Them - hello, am I speaking to Mr ?

      Me - yes

      Them - this is agent scary from the FBI, I have been asked to investigate a federal offence

      Me - shiiiitttttt!!!!! I think this has gotten out of hand

      1. Thomas 18
        Thumb Up

        Re: Wait, what?

        A failure in communication strategy. Here is how the conversation should have gone:

        Them - "Hello federal department of whatever such nonsenses"

        Me - "Hello, I have created an intranet site and am providing a hyperlink reference to your site. Am I required to indicate that the Department of Blah is the owner of this material?"

        Them - "Definitely!!!"

        Me - "Ok thank you for the clarification, What is your name again?"

        Them - "Sargent Slaughter"

        Me - "Thanks, I will make the amendments immediately"

        Me - write in notes record of conversation and name of person you spoke to. Put seal on website to indicate the owner of the material.

    3. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: Wait, what?

      I think near enough all stations do it now, they also use youtube like sites to much as well to display on tv which looks dreadful.

    4. Mark 121

      Re: Wait, what?

      CDPA 1988 is the relevant law that allows the use of copyright material (other than photographs) for news reporting. You might like to look at s.30(2) and (3).

      Just saying.

      1. The BigYin

        Re: Wait, what?

        @Mark 121 Thanks for that, have an upvote.

        I now consider myself slightly more edified in the matter.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "CDPA 1988"

        Hmmm. I wonder if any defence lawyers will use that one?

        "The defendant was watching the 100GB of dowloaded movies for the news reporting they were doing. They only uploaded that content to thousands of other users as part of fair use and the report..."

  2. TeeCee Gold badge

    They'll keep it on file.... be used next time they run an article on Bungie jumping.

    1. Ben Holmes
      Thumb Up

      Re: They'll keep it on file....

      Oh, well played sir, well played.

  3. Ben 50

    Perhaps this was an underling making a sneaky point...

    ...about how impartial and well informed the BBC's broadcast view on Syria really is.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Perhaps this was an underling making a sneaky point...

      What's up with the BBC's coverage of Syria?

      BBC TV news use the same journos as the radio, so it should be similar coverage. I prefer radio news to telly, and listen to Radios 4 & 5, plus the World Service. Every report I've heard states how bad its sources are, and how incomplete the information. The Syrian government side is always put, even when it sounds silly. There's often mention of the fact that the regime still has genuine support, and how complicated the situation is.

      If the Syrian government wanted more accurate reporting, it would allow BBC journalists in.

      So what's the problem?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Perhaps this was an underling making a sneaky point...

        I can't speak for anyone else, but I have had the misfortune of being involved in two rather major incidents, which were broadcast by every major (and minor) news outlet in the World. After watching the BBC coverage (I was still on site during the second of those incidents), I felt deeply embarrassed for them. I haven't been able to watch the BBC since, they're so bad it's not even funny.

        Curiously, I have also spoken to one of their "researchers" once, and he had what I thought was a rather unorthodox idea of journalism ethics.

        It has to be said, however, at least at one point some of the journalists working for them really were outstanding, but their work was consistently ruined by useless editors and the various hangers-on that run the BBC bureaucracy.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Perhaps this was an underling making a sneaky point...

          Your post doesn't really give us any information as to why you think that, or even what aspect of the coverage they got wrong.

          The BBC tend to be a bit woolly-lefty-Guardiany-liberal (if that makes sense). So you have to take that bias into account. Although my impression of the TV news is that there's a bit less of that than the radio.

          The main criticism I've seen of the BBC on breaking stories, is that they're too cautious. While Sky are reporting stuff, the Beeb are still in the studio saying there's no new info. I remember in one general election (2001 or 2005) the Beeb was showing about 100 official results, while ITV were showing something like 250 - and I don't remember any of those getting changed, I think they were just updating quicker.

          I'd agree with you about problems with management. They can be very cautious, as I said above. And certain programs have a bit more of a slant. I often notice Today will deliberately misrepresent a political statement/speech, use a very obviously misleading headline, quoting something out of context. Then the rest of the day's headlines on it, report it straight, and drop the bias. They've been consciously 'trying to set the day's news agenda' since at least Rod Liddell was editor, and probably before - but that's when I first noticed it.

          But the Beeb do try hard on things like Syria/Egypt/Libya. They've got their monitoring centre, following foreign news reports, Twitter and Facebook. And they try to find some journo who's actually been to a place, to spot obvious flaws in YouTube videos that are increasingly the way the opposition communicate

    2. Isendel Steel

      Re: Perhaps this was an underling making a sneaky point...

      Perhaps they should have typed UNSCO in the image search, which would have provided a more relevant image.

      1. Richard Taylor 2 Silver badge
        Thumb Down


        That would have required someone who had a little more awareness of the wurld?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Perhaps this was an underling making a sneaky point...

      Very good point Ben 50. Maybe those kids were asking for it?

  4. Wibble

    FFS get a grip

    People -- lots of people -- are dying and you're whinging about a little mistake with a graphic.

    It's not a video game; death is forever.

    1. turnip handler

      Re: FFS get a grip

      "People -- lots of people -- are dying"

      And our public funded broadcaster use an image from a computer game...who is the one not taking the issue seriously.

      It is important to highlight these errors as it shows that these news programmes are rushed and corners are cut.

      This is one thing that people have spotted, how many other mistakes are there in the news we see and hear - is the same quality control being applied to the images of the conflict? With 24hr news it always pays to be wary of news for the first hour or so as it takes a while before they (all news agencys) bother to check the source / facts.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: FFS get a grip

        To be fair, the people who report these kind of stories are different to the ones who knock together the actual TV output. Things like getting images, are probably the job of the lowest of the low, interns and junior researchers - on the production side.

        Whereas it's journalists who come up with the news content. Of course they all work to deadlines, as the news is broadcast at a certain time, just as papers have a deadline, so they make plenty of mistooks. The trick is to give more weight to the journalists who also tell you what they don't know, as they're the ones most likely to be checking stuff.

        Sadly a lot of 'news', is now done by the junior researchers. A friend, at NI a few years back, was chatting to The Sun editor, who said that 70% of the paper was now PR led. Which means you get a press release, reword it a bit, keep the best written phrases from it as if they're your own. Then get one quote (by phone) to drop into the piece, thus instantly turning it from advertising to news.

        The Times do a lot more of it than they used to, and despite those cost cuts they still lost £50m last year.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Back to the days

    Reminds me of Dexy's Midnight Runners performance of their phonographic recording with the photograph of Jockey Wilson as backdrop.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Back to the days

      Kevin Rowland insists that the band knew about that in advance and that it was an in-joke.

      Make your own mind up.

  6. Paw Bokenfohr

    Seems unlikely...

    ...that someone did a Google search for an image and just picked this one because it was one of the images shown. Many of the others (I've just done it myself) were starship battle renderings, Covenant weapons, UNSC Pelicans and so on. No matter how rushed or inexperienced you are, you'd look at that page of images and think "something's not right here".

    I think it's more likely it's someone's tongue in cheek joke. Which is kinda funny, to get it on TV, but also kinda creepy that they used such a tragedy to do it with.

    1. L.B.

      Re: Seems unlikely...

      You don't seem to know of the golden rule, which is:

      ”Never attribute to guile and cunning what can easily be explained by utter stupidity.”

      The above is especially true for politicians and people who think “media studies” is a worth while degree.

      1. Zombie Womble

        Re: Seems unlikely...

        My niece took media studies in school and her teacher proudly announced that her favourite film was Dirty Dancing, she then proceeded to spend a whole week talking about how great it was and why. . Fortunately my niece noticed her mistake and never took the subject seriously after that.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Almost as bad as ITV using ARMA 2 game footage in one of their documentaries last year, passing it off as 'secret' IRA footage.

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge


      ...Fox News passing off concept art from Fallout 3 of Washington D.C. following a nuclear exchange as something to do with them durn terrusts...

  8. Furbian

    Nothing new, happens from time to time...

    ... but it does beat the Pakistani Czech-Check flag snafu and the Bengali upside down flags by a mile!

  9. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Big Brother

    What no Zeon?

    Damn. I was hoping for a real Space Nazi Flag. Oh well, guess the olde german red-white-black design of the Principality of Zeon might be too obviously evil. Baby blue, that's what it should be.

    As for Syria. Hmmm, they may have trouble with Qaeda types (good) but are not on the side of Israel (bad). They are not _Our_ Bad Guys (bad). They are also Shia in there (bad) allied with Iran (double plus bad). They also torture children (bad).

    They can be bombed to smithereens by the North Atlantic Jerkoff Club (good) but Russia is their ally because of that Mediterranean port (BLOCKER ALERT)!

    On the other hand, we have Bahrain ... quick, look over there, someone is exploiting Miss Lohan again!

  10. Daniel B.

    Here's hoping

    Someone will later botch the Google search and we'll get to see the UN Spacy logo the next time the BBC talks about the UN...

  11. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Don't laugh!

    I bet we had to pay Bungie some money for that cock-up via our license fee! Ha ha!

  12. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Not the only ones: "CanAsian Times" too...


  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It will be overlooked

    Outside of gamers, most people who watch the news will probably just think the UNSC has given themselves a new logo.

  14. Tom 260

    Still like this one...

    From 2 years ago:

  15. Dropper


    News organisations left research behind as an optional extra a long time ago. Questioning the credentials of "experts", verifying sources, challenging the validity of statements issued by.. well anyone really.. were all left by the wayside so they could focus on more important concerns such as viewing figures and how advertisers will respond to content. What you have to remember is TV news only exists for entertainment purposes these days, it rarely contains facts or any kind of accuracy and certainly a little thing like using a Halo logo would be far less important than making sure the story was presented in the most sensational way possible. More likely they might decide the logo is more viewer/advertiser friendly and therefore the UN itself would be at fault for not adopting it. Throw on a few soundbites from politicians and random loud mouthed presenters.. all preaching how the violence in Syria would be ended if only the UN would approach Microsoft for a licensing agreement. Remember, if Twitter can save Iran, Halo can save Syria.

    1. Cpt Blue Bear

      Re: Research..

      Broadly speaking, all true. But in this case we are talking about the BBC - a public broadcaster that was until recently respected as one of the last bastions of serious journalism.

      While they have no advertisers to please, it seems they have become infected with a lot of the same credulous sensationalism and lax attitude to the truth as commercial operators.

  16. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    Hey, if the guys from HALO won't do it....

    We can always call in Duke Nuk'em to settle Bashar Al-Assad's hash! And the BBC will probably get in an anti-toff snit over the role of toffs in setting British foreign policy!!

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