Peter Mandelson Accepts Responsibility For Copyright Infringing Political Poster?

from the ain't-that-always-the-way... dept

What is it with politicians who push for "three strikes" and other draconian copyright laws always being caught infringing on copyrights themselves? We've already covered how Nicolas Sarkozy, who claims credit for the original "three strikes" plan, has been caught infringing on copyrights multiple times.

Now it appears the same may happening with Lord Peter Mandelson, the unelected politician in the UK (who had been forced to resign twice in his past), who suddenly started pushing for a similar three strikes law -- after a UK study had outright rejected it -- after dining with entertainment industry bigshots. From that came the Digital Economy Bill.

But it appears that even Mandelson, the great defender of copyright, isn't above getting into a bit of trouble with copyright himself. It appears that there's a bit of a controversy over a recent political ad put together by his Labour party -- and Mandelson is taking responsibility for the ad. That was in response to the fact that the ad backfired and seems to have rallied opponents.

But, as PeteProdge points out, it also appears that the ad very well might infringe on copyrights. That's because it takes an image from an old (popular) TV show in the UK, and replaces one character's head with a politician's head. The link here is a bit full of hyperbole, as it comes from someone who seems to be against orphan works legislation and in favor of even more ridiculous copyright laws. The BBC says that it never would have licensed the use of the program, however there are some questions over who might actually have the right to license the image.

I'm not entirely sure this is a big deal. One could probably make a pretty strong fair use/parody argument for allowing the use of the image here. However, for a politician who is so in favor of stricter copyright law, you would think he wouldn't go around using other people's works.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2010 @ 7:19am

    "One could probably make a pretty strong fair use/parody argument for allowing the use of the image here. However, for a politician who is so in favor of stricter copyright law, you would think he wouldn't go around using other people's works."

    Their no fair dealing aruge for this at all in the UK. Fair dealing mostly cover text in the uk and Wikipedia says "fair dealing is limited to the following purposes: research and private study (both non-commercial), criticism, review, and news reporting (s. 29, 30, 178). Although not actually defined as a fair dealing, incidental inclusion of a copyrighted work in an artistic work, sound recording, film, broadcast or cable programme doesn't infringe copyright".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_dealing#United_Kingdom

     

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    MRK, Apr 7th, 2010 @ 7:21am

    You have to understand there are two standards. There is the strict standard to which the citizens are held; and there is the loose standard that celebrities, politicians and corporations are held to. These people are more equal than others.

    With the three strikes law, If the BBC, Mandelson, or Sarkozy infringes on your copyright a thousand times you will never get their internet cut off.

    Laws are never intended to be applied equally to everyone, that would be absurd. Can you imagine a world where the rich receive the same punishment as the poor? Ridiculous!

     

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    Free Capitalist (profile), Apr 7th, 2010 @ 7:26am

    What Case?

    I don't think anything like "fair use" would amount to shit in a system of ban-by-accusation like in the DEB. Who will establish fair use when the judicial system is bypassed?

    He should be perma-banned without deliberations, right after they shuttle DEB out of hell.

     

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    misterfricative, Apr 7th, 2010 @ 7:26am

    looks like infringement to me

    Fair use? I don't think so. As for parody, for that defense to work, it would need to be a parody of Gene Hunt or 'the Glenister', whereas the original Labour poster is a satirical (not parodic) shot at Cameron.

    As it says on one of the sites you link to (TheDrum), ”If Labour and Conservative parties can't even understand normal licensing procedure themselves, then how can they be trusted to legislate changes to it?”

     

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  5.  
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    Malak (profile), Apr 7th, 2010 @ 7:31am

    "it takes an image from an old (popular) TV show in the UK"

    Worse - it's a very current (season three has just started airing) and popular show (one of th BBC's tentpoles), it's merely set in the the 80s.

     

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  6.  
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    Richard (profile), Apr 7th, 2010 @ 7:38am

    Tories too

    As the Pirate Party pointed out - the Tories have also re-used the same work.

    See

    http://www.pirateparty.org.uk/blog/2010/apr/4/do-we-say-not-we-do/

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2010 @ 7:38am


    What is it with politicians who push for "three strikes" and other draconian copyright laws always being caught infringing on copyrights themselves?


    It's simply because everyone infringes but those who are pushing for draconian copyright laws are more likely to be have their actions scrutinized for copyright infringement.

     

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  8.  
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    mike allen (profile), Apr 7th, 2010 @ 7:45am

    fair use

    fair use does not exist in the UK
    unless for education and a few other strict uses.
    Now i guess labor could argue that the poster educates but i doudt the judhge would accept oh wait Mangeledbrains is the judge.

     

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  9.  
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    bishboria (profile), Apr 7th, 2010 @ 8:06am

    Tagging on twitter...?

    Mike, would it be possible for you to tag #debill on the twitter post? There are lots of people using this tag and it will help highlight how stupid the bill is, as well as getting more traffic to your site! ;-) Cheers.

     

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  10.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Apr 7th, 2010 @ 8:06am

    Re:

    Correct. Which is what makes all of this increase in protection all the more asanine. When everyone breaks a law, it shouldn't be a law, plain and simple...

     

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  11.  
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    bishboria (profile), Apr 7th, 2010 @ 8:08am

    Re: Tagging on twitter...?

    Oops, I meant future Digital Economy Bill related articles! :-)

     

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    PeteProdge (profile), Apr 7th, 2010 @ 11:05am

    Re: "old"

    Hi, I'm the contributor, I guess it's my fault "old" description was used!

    When I wrote my submission, I knew it'd be going out to many readers outside of the UK, so I put a note in about how Ashes To Ashes is "a 1980s cop show". I guess I should have clarified that it's actually a modern TV show *set* in the 1980s! Gah!

    My apologies to Mike, yourself and the various Brit readers here!

     

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  13.  
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    mike allen (profile), Apr 8th, 2010 @ 12:02am

    tag

    do you mean follow il sort that in the next few mins.

     

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  14.  
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    anon, Apr 28th, 2010 @ 1:18pm

    Lib Dems

    The Lib Dems are probably the best mainstream party for those of you concerned about the freedom of the internet.

    Less free internet + copyright laws mean a lower quality of life for those under the heel in the UK.

    I hate politics but even I am getting out to vote for them, make sure you do your part too and turn this around.

     

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