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A movie blogger who planned to upload an iconic TV series approximately Welsh history to YouTube has been warned that he could face a copyright invoice of £143,000 if he did so.

The Dragon Has Two Tongues become broadcast by using Channel four and HTV in 1985 with two contrasting presenters: the established order-orientated former BBC broadcaster Wynford Vaughan Thomas and the Marxist historian Gwyn Alf Williams.

According to journalist Huw Edwards, the pair “slugged it out in one of the first-rate records series ever visible on British tv. The Dragon Has Two Tongues mesmerized viewers: every presenter vigorously promoted his own story of Wales, carrying out countless argument approximately people, locations, and events”.

But the thirteen-element collection has been unavailable for decades and movie buff Nick Stradling, who got here across a vintage VHS tape of the programmes, desired to offer a new technology the possibility to view it.

He said: “My initial mind has been ‘How is this not commercially available and why had I in no way heard of it before?’ It’s dramatic, active, funny and inclusive.

“I become in no doubt that the debates presented in the series totally changed the way I notion approximately Wales. I visited the producer and director of the display, Colin Thomas, to pass on gratitude and admiration for his paintings, and he gave me his blessing to reveal the episodes on YouTube.”

But after importing the primary episode, Stradling became contacted by means of Owain Meredith of ITV Wales, who instructed him they needed “to talk about licensing”.

Meredith politely instructed Stradling that he would be charged £7.30 a 2nd – which could amount to a complete of £143,000 for the complete series.

Stradling responded, announcing it becomes his goal to add the display underneath “Fair Dealing UK”, which allows the copyrighted fabric to be used for schooling, remark or vital functions.

But he turned into then knowledgeable by way of YouTube that he had uploaded cloth belonging to ITV which turned into now not his, and that he had a “strike warning” on his account. The video turned into taken down as an end result.

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‘An essential collection which wishes to be visible’
Stradling said: “In the 24 hours it turned into online it received nearly 500 views on YouTube by myself. I also acquired a lot of goodwill from many individuals who have been ready to peer this show for decades – in addition to Welsh societies overseas who were hoping to use the uploads to expose to their customers.

“This continues to be a small channel with less than 800 subscribers. Imagine how many human beings throughout Wales and the sector may want to see this display with a larger platform.”

Meredith became in touch once more, saying he is of the same opinion The Dragon Has Two Tongues is “an essential collection which wishes to be visible” and expressing the desire that the National Library of Wales will upload the series to their personal YouTube channel in 2018 as a part of a sequence of occasions to commemorate the display.

“What puzzles me is why ITV was able to permit me to upload if I became to pay them 143,000 kilos? It appears that the rights are only complicated if you don’t have the means to buy them.

Stradling said: “The Dragon Has Two Tongues isn’t just any old collection. It needs to be an essential a part of our countrywide conversation, so the primary element for me is to get it to be had for public viewing as quickly as possible.

“It is presently a dead asset for ITV, I became denying the channel no profits by way of showing it to the public.

“I even have four instances greater YouTube subscribers than the National Library of Wales. So if ITV and the National Library do now not work together to get the series online and grow its visibility, I might request they allow an eager novice including myself to share it with the broader world, so we are able to get a critical debate going about Welsh history.”

An ITV Wales spokesman said: “The Dragon Has Two Tongues has not been cleared for re-transmission or re-use past the unique pronounces. To achieve this, we would attain the agreement with each of the various copyright holders and participants to the series. They would possibly well have a financial claim for the re-use of their work.

“The figures are an estimate of how tons a copyright holder would possibly charge to re-transmit clips from the series primarily based on a feed-in step with the minute.

“We’ve been looking to remedy these copyright and licensing issues for decades because we consider The Dragon Has Two Tongues to be a groundbreaking and iconic piece of broadcasting history. In the period in-between, this landmark collection, collectively with the complete ITV archive, is available to watch at the National Library of Wales.”

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About the author / 

Shirley D. McCormick

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