ITV escapes legal action over video game IRA footage

ITV escapes legal action over video game IRA footage
ITV escapes legal action over video game IRA footage. The maker of a video game mistakenly used in an ITV1 documentary as footage of the IRA has said that it will not pursue legal action against the broadcaster.

ITV's new Exposure investigative journalism strand claimed in its first programme, Gaddafi and the IRA, that footage from video game Arma 2 was actually a film of the IRA shooting down a British helicopter in 1988.

The broadcaster had the original clip of the IRA incident in its archive from an old episode of The Cook Report, but fell foul after trying to replace it with a "cleaner" version taken from YouTube, leading to the Arma 2 footage being used.

ITV has since apologised to Arma 2 creator, Czech company Bohemia Interactive.

Despite ITV not having permission to use footage of the game, Bohemia Interactive chief executive Marek Spanel told Broadcast that the firm would not be taking legal action.

Even though he noted that the mistake was a "bizarre appreciation of the level of realism incorporated into [the firm's] games", Spanel also expressed concern that ITV was not more diligent with the footage.

"I'm concerned about how this came about - it seems a bit crazy. Some people, including myself, thought the procedures would be a bit more solid for this kind of high profile media," he said.

"In my company it wouldn't be possible for someone to download something from YouTube and then use it."

But Spanel also noted that military game specialist Bohemia had benefited from the increased publicity surrounding the controversy.

Earlier in the week, an ITV spokesman said: "The events featured in Exposure: Gaddafi and the IRA were genuine but it would appear that during the editing process the correct clip of the 1988 incident was not selected and other footage was mistakenly included in the film by producers.

"This was an unfortunate case of human error for which we apologise."