If you ram through a law about illegal copying online…

… the last you thing you want is to be caught red-handed indulging in a bit of, er…, illegal copying online.

Step forward and take a bow: the Labour Party (front bench voted for the Digital Economy Bill)

Followed by a bow please from the Conservative Party (front bench voted for the Digital Economy Bill)

For as The Frontline reports:

Despite months promoting the rights of copyright holders with its Digital Economy Bill, the government has caused something of a furore after revelations that its recently crowdsourced campaign poster has breached copyright laws.

The poster is intended to parody Tory leader David Cameron by placing his head on an image of Ashes to Ashes cop DCI Gene Hunt sitting atop his Audi Quattro.

However, the image was not free-to-use but in fact owned by production company Kudos which produces the show for the BBC, and as such subject to strict copyright laws.

The Tories also broke the copyright on the image by repurposing it with the slogan: “Fire up the Quattro, it’s time for a change”…

Labour’s leadership team of Lord Mandelson, Douglas Alexander and Harriet Harman had taken responsibility for OK’ing the poster.

All of which means, in a rather satisfying twist, that Mandelson, the ‘subservient plaything’ of Hollywood lobbyists and architect of the Digital Economy Bill, has himself been implicated in a spot of copyright infringement.

In the immortal words of DCI Hunt, “You’re nicked, sunshine”.

If the issue is so important that legislation has to be rushed through Parliament without proper debate, you know perhaps it’s also important enough to follow the law yourself?

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3 Comments

  • You really couldn’t make it up lol

  • Tom Thomson 9th Apr '10 - 12:22pm

    And now we have the equality bill, with yet another draconian website blockin clause embedded in clasue 25.
    For details, see Struan Robertson’s excellent piece at Outlaw Equality Bill power could take sites down for having poor accessibility which describes how careless incompetent drafting has left us with something even wose that the similar measure in the DE bill.

    Is there any LD policy on amending this nonsense to make take-down a matter of last resort instead of something trivially easy to effect?

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