26 November, 2004: Pride before a fall

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So, many of you will have seen my Proud of Britain web site; as John Band put it,

Are you proud of Britain? Then visit the Proud of Britain website.

A bunch of disgraceful chancers, meanwhile, have set up a fake site promoting their authoritarian agenda. I'd recommend paying them a brief visit, and sending them your thoughts on their nefarious plans.

I have since received an Authentic Legal Nastygram from the Labour party over the use of their photo of smiling happy children about to be branded and registered in the Children Act database (a sort of junior National Identity Register) so that they can, as potential terrorists, be watched by the state. The threatening note ran as follows,

Dear Sir,

There is currently a photograph on the main page of the website, proudofbritain.net, which I believe you are author of. There has been no permission sought either from the photographer who owns the copyright nor the Labour Party who hold license on the image. You are currently in breach of copyright law and could be prosecuted for copyright theft. The photograph I am referring to is of a number of children, in school uniform holding a union jack flag.

The copyright holder has emailed you to request that you remove the image immediately, unfortunately, the email bounced back. If you receive this email, please remove the image immediately.

Yours sincerely,

Melanie Onn
Constitutional and Legal Officer
Legal and Financial Compliance Taskforce

Tel: 020 7802 1220
Fax: 020 7802 1506

Old Queen Street

Sadly, unlike the last time a political party threatened to sue me Labour (or, at least, the copyright holder in the image) do actually have a case here so I've removed the image.

That said, the above letter is strikingly ignorant, even by Labour Party standards; as I've remarked before, there's no such thing as `copyright theft' and one cannot be prosecuted for infringement unless it is done on a commercial scale. This leaves one to wonder how it is that Ms. Onn came to hold the post of `Constitutional and Legal Officer'; of course, it's not as if the Labour Party doesn't make a habit of promoting the incompetent to positions they are unqualified to fill, as the continuing career of David Blunkett demonstrates.

(As an aside, I only noticed that I'd received the Threatening Note when the same woman wrote an actual paper letter to my ISP, since -- slightly embarrassingly -- my spam filter thought that the above letter was spam. When I checked through my spam folder for emails from the Labour party, what should I find but... an actual spam about their ID cards plan; a spam, moreover, which began with a vicious calumny, viz., that I am a supporter of their dangerous and stupid scheme. Spamming, of course, is illegal under the Communications Privacy Directive, and naturally I shall be filing a complaint.)

Copyright (c) 2004 Chris Lightfoot; available under a Creative Commons License.