Monday, 20 September 2004

The BBC, Talent Vacuum

We Are Allowed To Bleed You Dry, We Are The BBC

British Broadcasting Corporation is funded in a totally unique way. This is part of the prattle from one of the adverts that fills the supposedly advert free BBC. It may well be unique but it is, in fact, just tax payers money. To indulge the pleasure of watching the idiot box in Britain you are required by law to purchase a licence. The money raised from said licence goes to the BBC who then spend it on massively overproduced adverts telling the viewer how fucking wonderful the BBC is and how lucky we are to have them.

It is not like we have a choice in the matter. Anyone owning equipment capable of receiving television broadcasts, including computer video cards with built in tuner, is required by the 1904 Wireless Telegraphy Act to purchase a licence. For that you get the privilege of watching the BBC spend your hard earned cash on trashy make over programmes and adverts telling you how fucking wonderful the BBC is.

'What about all that cutting edge drama they produce?' I hear the lackeys ask. What cutting edge drama? I ask in return. Ken Loache's Cathy come home, a prime example of harrowing social commentary designed to get the middle classes wailing and the slightly depressed committing suicide, was made in 1968. That was a long time ago. All they have done since then is axe Doctor Who and Blake's 7. 'But the BBC are always on the look out for new talent.' Yes they are, and if you go to the website you find they are only looking out for new talent if you are prepared to work for free.

Being by trade a computer programmer I have never read an End User Licence Agreement in my life, whether from the devil in Redmond or from the saints in the Linux community. So it was some surprise I found myself reading the rules of a writing competition held by the BBC. Here is a quote that had me vomiting with indignation.
'By submitting a story you grant to the BBC a perpetual, royalty free, non exclusive licence to edit, publish, make available and distribute your story throughout the world on any BBC media now know or hereafter invented throughout the universe.'

If by any chance you win, ie. you are sleeping with the judges, you then have to
'agree to work with the BBC production team, be available for filming and take part in publicity throughout the UK.'

No mention of remuneration you notice. No offer of a contract at the end of it. No publishing deals, not even an option on your next novel. Just a promise that they are going to ruin your shit by sucking the talent out of your body, then piss on the remaining, worthless, husk.

Not with my work you wont. I am going to get my own publisher and become world famous. Then if you want to publish throughout the universe for ever it is going to cost you. Starting with your approach to the negotiating table, on your knees crawling over broken glass. Also to be discussed is my brilliant idea for a new children's show that you so viciously rejected a few years ago. The one about a magic hospital bio-hazard waste disposal unit, called Pus Bag.