The controversial video compilation of closed-circuit television footage, Caught in the Act, which included a couple having sex in a lift, was withdrawn from sale yesterday after a copyright wrangle.
The makers of the video, NTV - whose previous release, Executions, was also removed from sale by most high-street video stockists - made the decision to withdraw the tape late on Monday night after being threatened with an injunction. Carlton TV took the action after discovering that a sequence of a car pursued by police crashing through a shopfront had been lifted from its Crimewatch-style programme Inside Crime.
The video had attracted protests from civil liberty groups, MPs and police for profiting from voyeurism and encouraging blackmail.
The video's director, Barrie Goulding, complained that the threat was a political, not copyright decision. "As a responsible film maker, I have made the necessary research, and have the legitimate and proper paperwork supporting our copyright. The politicians have become the classification board. They are sitting in judgement on the public's right to view." He added that he would try to re-release the video in the new year.
His claims were dismissed yesterday by police and programme makers. Sgt Charles Owen, of City of London police, said: "The police have always given CCTV footage to the public on the premise that it is used sensibly to prevent crime - but not to line people's pockets for commercial enterprise. We were furious."