In 1985, Top UK Government Law Official Knowingly Shared Pirated Document With Prime Minister's Office; Asked For 'Discretion'
from the hypocrisy-much? dept
Copyright and hypocrisy seem to go hand in hand, judging by the numerous stories here on Techdirt about copyright maximalists being found with infringing materials. A tweet by Graham Smith points out that in the UK, this has been going on for decades at the highest levels of government. He links to a copy of a 1985 letter from a senior official in the UK’s Royal Courts of Justice (pdf), who is forwarding a document to the Prime Minister’s team at 10 Downing Street in London:
In case you can’t read that, here’s the rather extraordinary admission it contains:
May I point out that what you are getting is a “contraband copy”, made in this Department, of another “contraband copy” made by the DPP [Director of Public Prosecutions, the official responsible for prosecuting criminal offenses] from a copy which he legitimately obtained from the shorthand writers on the usual commercial basis. The making of extra copies in this way is, I think, a breach of the shorthand writers’ copyright and I think that they would be aggrieved if they knew about it. I should therefore be grateful if you would use the enclosures with discretion.
That is, one of the UK’s top legal officials admits to making an infringing copy of an existing infringing copy made by another top legal official, and writes to ask that the Prime Minister’s office keep this bit of governmental piracy quiet. After all, who cares about what the law says when you are the law?