Thursday, 25 March 2010

David Lammy at SABIP

I would like to share with you this U-tube coverage of the event that was held last Tuesday morning (22nd March) by SABIP (Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property) which advises the Intellectual Property Office. Five members have been appointed to SABIP under the Chairmanship of Joly Dixon, CMG. They are:

  • Dame Lynne Brindley - Chief Executive of the British Library
  • Dr Cathy Garner - Chief Executive of Manchester Knoweldge capital
  • Professor John Pickering - Member of the Competition Appeal Tribunal and Business Consultant
  • Dr Jonathan Spencer, CB - Former Ditrector General at the Department of Trade and Industry and Constitutional Affairs and member of the Solicitors' Regulation Authority
  • Iain Wilcock - Founder and Deputy Managing Director of Quester capital, a health care investment company

Can’t see many creators in that lot, can you? Can they really be giving the IPO a balanced view on intellectual property rights?

Any way back to the ministers speech.

Minister Lammy's keynote speech at SABIP's event on International Perspectives on Moral Rights (held 23rd March 2010), part 2

It does make interesting watching and listening as according to the minister, we creators in the UK enjoy the inalienable moral right to be recognised as such!

1 min 18 secs into the video he says:

“Creators have the right to be recognised as the authors of their own work and that is an inalienable right even though it is sometimes complicated to apply…”

I guess his info didn’t come from SABIP, but I suspect it does come from the IPO

As he also tells us he believes moral rights are just as important as economic rights, I have to again ask why our simple requests for Moral rights to be made up to what the Minister says they already are were not part of the Digital Economy Bill?

Just to be absolutely clear, in the 1988 copyright act I note.

77 Right to be identified as author or director

(1) The author of a copyright literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work, and

the director of a copyright film, has the right to be identified as the author or

director of the work in the circumstances mentioned in this section; but the

right is not infringed unless it has been asserted in accordance with section


78 Requirement that right be asserted

(1) A person does not infringe the right conferred by section 77 (right to be

identified as author or director) by doing any of the acts mentioned in that

section unless the right has been asserted in accordance with the following

provisions so as to bind him in relation to that act.

It does seem that Mr Lammy is not as knowledgeable about copyright was we are lead to believe.

Ok he is a minister and a very busy, and so I am certain that he doesn’t write his own speeches, indeed I believe I am right in saying that the Minister relies heavily on the IPO in such matters. This is all well and good, but if the Minister is not being given the correct advice to start off which what value are his assurances that he will be looking after our needs – especially Moral rights.

The way I read this, and it is only my personal overview, I don't think David Lammy truly understands any more about our needs than he did after taking the Gowers review in hand.

He clearly had little idea about what we did then – I recall being told by a witness that he had to be advised then that photographers had copyright too. However, whether or not that is true Minister David Lammy has been a busy man in the last two years

Very busy in Tottenham, very busy on black and fatherhood issues, very busy doing TV interviews, and very busy getting money to restore the huts used by Scott and Shackleton when they went to the Antarctic. Checking through his own website he doesn't seem that bothered by copyright or orphan works:

I found only four references to copyright on his website.

David Lammy calls for pan-European approach to copyright protection Oct 2009 from the Guardian.

New Copyright Guidelines Oct 2009

'Internet Pirates this man is out to get you' quoted in the Observer April 2009

and a reference in the Washington Post Nov 2008

For "orphan works" I could only find a speech at the '10th Anniversary of the African HIV Policy Network' which had nothing to do with copyright or orphan works. Other searches on Orphans got much the same, nothing on the legislation.

I think it is fair to say that the Minister himself does little on Copyright or Orphan works, he has a bloody great big office and staff who do all that sort of thing, and what he says himself is only as good as the briefings he is given, and lets face it those briefings come largely from the Intellectual Property Office and if Tuesday’s speech is a guide, they do seem to be somewhat under par. Which is why he says inaccurate things.

This is being led by the IPO and we have already established what their agenda is, because they have told us. And we simply do not register as individual creators.

I don't think for a moment David Lammy is a bad man, simply he is being told that what is in the bill sorts out the orphan works problem, and he believes the advice he is given. The big difficulty all the way through this is the problem that is called the 'Orphan Works Problem' by HMG, is How can works for which the creator is not blindingly obvious be safely commercial exploited’.

The 'Orphan Works problem we (photographers) see and understand as creators, is How can we prevent individuals and organisations, commercial or otherwise from unwittingly or deliberately removing identifying information or otherwise publishing our work with out credits creating those orphan works in the first place’.

We are singing different hymns, and frankly not even using the same hymn book. Lammy isn't even reading the hymn, as clearly he is having it whispered to him by third parties.

How anyone thinks we can put faith in Lammy doing anything without far more input from more reliable sources escapes me.

Pete Jenkins

Member of: The National Union of Journalists

Pete Jenkins asserts his right to be recognised as the author of his work and all his creators rights

(C) 2010 Pete Jenkins

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