back to article ITV wrist-slapped for showing video game as IRA attack

ITV has escaped a fine for using video game footage to illustrate IRA activities, and portraying the wrong riot, but will tighten up procedures to stop it happening again. The offending footage was supposed to show the IRA successfully shooting down a British Army helicopter, and was captioned "IRA Film 1988", but actually …


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  1. Tom_

    "no watermark or copy protection marked on the internet footage to indicate its source as being a video game"

    However, it did have computer graphics where the real life stuff should be.

    1. Lee Dowling Silver badge

      More importantly - having no watermark or copy protection marked does NOT mean you can just snag it and broadcast it on TV.

      I've seen complete episodes of ITV shows online with no watermark or copy protection marked on them - does that mean I can just rebroadcast it as much as I like after downloading it?

      It's double-standards like this that makes the pirates feel "justified" in what they do and hence encourages piracy.

      Where's the lawsuit from the game developers for misappropriating and misrepresenting their copyrighted imagery?

      1. Greg J Preece

        Who, Bohemia? They're probably overjoyed at the publicity. As great and maddeningly lethal as their Arma (originally Operation Flashpoint) games are, they're not particularly mainstream as FPS games go.

        1. Captain Underpants
          Thumb Down


          I see your point, sort of, but unfortunately it doesn't really hold water.

          Bohemia would only be overjoyed at the publicity if there were any chance in hell that it would lead to greater revenues or sales for them.

          I don't imagine that there's an enormous overlap between the two groups labelled "ITV documentary viewers" and "Potential FPS gamers eager to spend money on titles with which they are currently unfamiliar". So if there's no money for them to make, why would they give a mousefart about "the publicity"?

          To put it another way - if copyright holders expect, fairly reasonably, to be compensated when someone makes use of their work in a commercial context, why should a broadcasters' in-house production company be exempt from that rule?

          1. Greg J Preece

            Not saying that they're exempt, just that Bohemia likely don't care. And there are a *lot* more FPS gamers than might be readily apparent. It only takes a game to be mentioned to remind someone of it, and once the name's in your head, you're likely to recognise it on a shop shelf, etc, etc, etc. It might sound daft, but that's marketing for you.

            1. Lee Dowling Silver badge

              If you wanted marketing, suing ITV for stealing your copyright images, broadcasting them on TV and misrepresenting them by linking them to IRA terrorism sounds like a pretty good way to get a lot of publicity.

              1. Captain Underpants


                Only if you're clever and make use of the ensuing publicity - I've not seen any statements from Bohemia about how the game in question is currently available (or part of a series whose most recent release is available in shops now for the low low price of $VALUE), nor have I even seen any official statement that they still make games!

                Not to mention that after all the guff about whichever FPS it was last year that appeared to feature a "go on a killing spree as a terrorist killing innocents" (which is of course magically much worse than going on a legitimate "only killing evil terrorist types" killing spree), being the development house who made a game that ITV claimed was a depiction of IRA terrorist activities isn't necessarily the best advertising out there....

  2. Inachu

    Not a bad idea!

    Not a bad idea to use war events in video games as news backdrops but I think they may want to wait until it gets a bit more realistic.

    Then the news article can proudly claim nobody was hurt or killed in said footage.

  3. IP Ruins The World

    This is BS

    A person had to sit down and edit that video. They had to clip it from a longer segment to get the right start and end points and match it into the sequence. It is pure bs that looking at it in this frame view on FCP or avid that you cant tell its not real.

    The editor at least knew it was from a computer game.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The fact that shitetv employ hardly any engineers these days may have something to do with the above faux pas, they're so used to watching low quality video in work and at home they don't remember what decent video looks like.

  5. randomtask

    Lucky they didn't use a shot of the gravity gun in Half Life 2....

    1. Richard 81

      "As this footage shows, the IRA gunman succeeded in destroying a British helicopter... by firing a toilet at it."

    2. TeeCee Gold badge

      Time to crank up HL2 for another runthrough.

      This time so I can leave Dog's ball on the News at 10 desk..........

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: HL2

        Over 23k supporters now -

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Getting boys to do a mans work

    This is what happens when the modern media make redundant professionals with experience, training and a proven track record, and replace them with work experience boys or give green graduates inflated job titles and responsibilities on the minimum wage.

    The London rolling news radio station LBC is a constant stream of mistakes made by young people with no life experience made to run it. Yesterday I heard one of their news bulletins talking about the former Liberal Democrat leader, Lord Ashcroft...

  7. Anonymous Coward 15
    Thumb Up

    At least they didn't use Second Life

    what with the plagues of grey goo and flying cocks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You don't have to shoot at a helicopter to see it fall out of the sky in Second Life.

      Though it usually jerks back fifty metres or so, freezes in mid air, and then is replaced by a plummetting bear.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        And a bowl of petunias?

  8. ScottAS2


    "the video game footage ... wasn't properly checked as it should have been"

    By "properly checked as it should have been", I take it you mean "watched at least once".

  9. RichardB


    I gather many news organisations aren't above misappropriating one countries riots for another either!

  10. Seanmon
    Thumb Up


    ..but the enormous corporate beamer can't be pleasant. Mind you, it's certainly the funniest thing ITV have done for decades.

  11. Cosmo
    Thumb Down

    Wrist slap

    "This time Ofcom has let them off with a slap on the wrist and an assurance that the broadcaster will try harder in future..."

    have Ofcom EVER done anything apart from let people off with a slap of the wrist and tell them not to do it again?

    1. teebie

      Reputational damage

      In making the ruling they also drew everyone's attention to how moronic ITV were in making the documentary.

      Which is arguably more damaging than a fine would have been.

      ("I saw a really interesting medical documentary on ITV last night" "Are you absolutely sure it wasn't some clips from The Sims" "No, no I am not)

      1. Grease Monkey

        "In making the ruling they also drew everyone's attention to how moronic ITV were in making the documentary.

        Which is arguably more damaging than a fine would have been."

        Nope. ITV documentaries are in the main dumbed down opinionated redtop-esque shite made by idiots for couch potatoes. The people who would normally watch this stuff really don't give a stuff whether it's factually accurate. As long as it reinforces their prejudices they are happy.

  12. Hairy Airey
    IT Angle

    God TV were fined there was another fine for a broadcast that claimed that the media was under the power of Satan. Not only is that not what the Bible says "The earth is the Lord's and everything in it", it would have to include themselves too. Beware of wide-sweeping statements!

  13. Grease Monkey

    What worries me is that this would seem to suggest that it is common practice among some production companies to simply rip video from the internet and use it without even bothering to check whether it is copyright or not.

    Presumably there's one rule for them and another for the rest of us. It's almost a shame that three stuff didn't make it through, had it done so that would be two strikes against ITV already. One more and they would lose their internet connection.

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