UK Labour Party Claims 'Innocent Error' Absolves It Of Infringement — But Where Is The 'Innocent Error' Defense In The Digital Economy Act?
from the curious dept
We were just noting that the UK’s Labour Party appeared to have egregiously infringed on the copyrights of a television program with its campaign poster for the second time, and Shane Richmond, over at the Telegraph, points us to an even more blatant infringement by the same party. In this case, the party put out a pamphlet that used a blogger’s photo entirely without permission and against his wishes (he’s voting for a different party).
Richmond contacted the Labour Party to get their comments on both situations. On copying the television poster, the comment was:
“We only bought the digital posters for a set period and that period has now passed.”
On the situation with the blogger’s photograph, the party responded:
“It appears in this instance that one of our design team has made an innocent error which we regret.”
Now, both of these responses are quite interesting, because having dug through the Digital Economy Act (no longer the Digital Economy Bill, now that it’s been rammed through Parliament), I’m having trouble finding the defenses it includes for “I only infringed for a little while, and that period has passed” or the “innocent error” defense.
As Richmond notes, does this mean that when someone is accused of infringement under the Digital Economy Act, they’ll be able to respond:
“Yes, I downloaded your new film but that was an innocent error which I regret.”
After all, if that response is good enough for the party that wrote the new law, stood behind it forcefully, and rushed it through the House of Commons with basically no debate, then shouldn’t it be good enough for UK citizens as well?