Matthias: blog
Das Logfile über mein Leben im Netz.

More fun with The BBC than should be legally allowed Freitag, 03. November 2006, 03:55:21

Like I mentioned, the BBC is quoting the summary of my most popular article without attribution. After one year of excuses and no results, I finally decided to step things up and wrote an official complaint to the BBC, wading through their multi-step complaint process:

Dear BBC

On September 9, 2005, I contacted the Editor of the BBC Web Guidelines, Jonathan Hassell, about his quoting verbatim the summary from my article in the BBC Web Guidelines now situated at I expressed my pleasure with finding my text on the BBC website and requested to be properly quoted (which was not the case). He replied to me on September 12, 2005, with the following words:

"Thanks for this, Matthias. I'll look into it and get back to you."

One month later, he still hadn't got back to me. I contacted him again and also mentioned the fact that the BBC Web Guidelines had changed address, but hadn't been updated to reflect my authorship of said summary. He replied on the same day:

"Have passed your enquiry on to the team who wrote the document, Matthias. They should get back to you shortly. Thanks for your patience."

It will come as no surprise to you that "the team" did not get back to me shortly. So I took the liberty to contact Jonathan Hassell again on January 2, 2006:

"Happy New Year and all that, I hope the plumpudding
was nice :-). I was expecting an e-mail in October,
but didn't receive anything. Perhaps it landed in my
bulk folder? Or hasn't the team had time to look into
it? Sorry to be such a bore :-)."

Jonathan Hassell replied, again on the same day:

"Thanks for this, Matthias. Happy New Year to you too. I will ask the team who are looking at this to get back to you ASAP - apologies for the delay."

I have not heard of him since. I contacted him again today, and trust he will answer tomorrow with yet another excuse.

I know this is a small matter. But seeing how your Jonathan Hassell is making promises that are never kept, I feel like the BBC is taking me for a fool. Would you be so kind to look into this matter and ensure that, finally, my small contribution to the fine BBC Web Guidelines is credited. Thank you very much.

Matthias Gutfeldt
Berne, Switzerland

I tried to do the British, but it's probably rubbish. And they'll ignore it anyway. But I had some fun, and it's gradually developing into a story to tell the grandchildren. One can't ask for more.