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back to article The Open Rights Group gets rights wrong again

When Open Rights Group executive director Jim Killock opens his mouth, his foot soon disappears inside. The UK's leading digital rights advocate has just demonstrated still more difficulty understanding the "rights" the group campaigns about. At a Citizen 2012 data conference in London yesterday, where he was introduced as "the …

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What sort of ..

Dim Pillock would get up on stage and pontificate about such serious matters without first checking their facts ?

"liberalised by joyriders, who have remixed it with a wall"

First laugh of the day. Thank you.

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On one hand

I find the whole thing pretty damn funny.

On the other hand I agree somewhat. Mostly because of this

http://www.metro.co.uk/news/64130-butcher-s-beef-over-2012-rings

Fell sorry for the guy, they have the best sausages I've tasted, personal opinion here but still, he paid out money to have the sign made, it was made by the company and then he was told to take it down. Now on the one hand I can kind of understand, but it just seems unfair y'know?

Not to mention you aren't allowed to use the terms summer 2012 or london 2012, even though they're fairly normal terms. Ah well.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: On one hand

Of course you can use the terms summer 2012 or london 2012, but you can't use them in a manner that allows you to make money from the association, ditto with the Olympic rings logo. you just have to remember that the Olympics isn't about sport, its about making money for the sponsors and for slapping some cartoon kiddie porn into everyone's faces for several years so that we are all guilty so that the plod has something on us all in the future police state.

Anon, obviously ;)

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Re: On one hand

I agree, I understand that he is using the logo for a business etc, ideally he should have sought permission. He isn't sticking the logo on a load of merchandise to flog, which is a very valid reason to defend the copyright / trademark.

The failure here is really with the law itself, it is so hard to write legislation that covers grey areas. If you have a copyright or trademark it is wise to defend it, you need it to protect your work and in some ways to protect yourself from harm (i.e. to a companies image from the effects of low quality counterfits, sandisk knows that one). They should have granted him a limited licence, he should have asked, such is life. It's a shame, no malice was intended. Whilst I'm sure he hoped it might sell more bangers it wasn't in the same league as knocking out cheap shoddy merchandise with the logo on it.

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Re: On one hand

'...but still, he paid out money to have the sign made, it was made by the company and then he was told to take it down. Now on the one hand I can kind of understand, but it just seems unfair y'know?'

then, he has a very good case against the company that made him the sign, as the status of the olympic rings is well known to the trade, besides, the IOC have been spending quite a bit of time hammering the point home about their ownership of the trademark for a while now.

I had to look this up, as I'd been approached to design and make something 'Olympics rings related' recently.

Olympic Symbol etc. (Protection) Act 1995

3 Infringement.

(1)A person infringes the Olympics association right if in the course of trade he uses

(a) a representation of the Olympic symbol, the Olympic motto or a protected word, or

(b) a representation of something so similar to the Olympic symbol or the Olympic motto as to be likely to create in the public mind an association with it.

Note 3(1)b, even if he had a sign with only five sausages (appropriately coloured or otherwise) placed in the position of the centres of the Olympic rings, he'd still probably have been done. They've basically got an act of Parliament which states that any trapezoidal image made up of five elements which invokes a pavlovian response of suitable olympian proportions in a member of the public is an infringement of their rights.

In my case, the item I was asked to design would normally fall into what I'd call 'parody' (humour being subjective, others might have disagreed)...I saw no provision in any of the legislation for that, so had to decline the work.

I agree, in the case of this Butcher's sign, that this is unfair (ok for MacShitburgers to make mulah++ out of the event, but not a small local trader who may make an extra couple of quid over the period of the events thanks to this sign). The apparatchik responsible for reporting this sign and pursuing the case really needs to remove the broom handle from his arse...

Mission of the IOC (from the Olympic Charter)

Section 2

10. to oppose any political or commercial abuse of sport and athletes;

If allowing the purveyors of fast/junk food and sugar-laden drinks to emblazon the Olympic logo on their produce doesn't constitute a 'commercial abuse of sport and athletes', what does?

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Activists

It is a problem with activists, when you get someone wanting to do something for the right reasons, people get confused that what they want to do may not be the right thing.

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Anonymous Coward

Hey, cut Jim some slack, he's knackered, what with all the informing he's having to do to all these mad government initiatives

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So why shouldn't people have the right to create parodies using trademarks?

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Anonymous Coward

The Register gets words mixed up again

No, the word you're thinking of is "liberated", not "liberalised".

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Jim bashing

Must be fun...

Anyway - from the IPO link:

"Most Olympic related terms and logos are registered as UK or Community trade marks. In addition, the Olympic brand is protected under copyright, design right, passing off and trade descriptions legislation."

My understanding that a brand would comprise a logo, and as such is therefore covered by trademark AND copyright. So not much wrong there.

With regards to the Jay-Z song, well what JK said is correct. The parody was removed due to suggested copyright infringement. It did resurface again at a later date. What JK suggests is wrong with this is that content can be removed from the internet without due process - as you correctly state parody is perfectly reasonable and doesn't infringe on copyright. Therefore the bigger point he is making, concerns unwarranted removal of material just on the say so of a big corporation e.g. record label.

Why present such a biased piece about someone is actually attempting to protect the wonderful freedoms granted to us by the interwebs?

There must be more interesting things to write about?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Jim bashing

"There must be more interesting things to write about?"

Yes, such as how cuddly Rupert Murdoch is.

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Two Small Points.

1) In politics, a lie is as good as the truth, so long as it is believed.

2) Still waiting for the "Open Rights Group" to change its name to the something rather more transparent and accurate, such as "The George Sorros Is Not Wealthy Enough Group".

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Re: Two Small Points.

Correction to #1. Should read so long as you say it loud and often enough.

They don't actually care if they are believed, they know they mostly aren't even when they are telling the truth (it must happen by accident sometime?), they just care they said it the loudest and got the last word in.

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"(You don't need the copyright-holder's permission to do a cover version, or use a composition backing track, remember.)"

I am far from being knowledgeable about this, but according to [http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/walesmusic/2010/08/newport-state-of-mind-removed.shtml] re-interpretations of existings songs do require permission from the original copyright holder which may have been why the video was removed from youtube.

"'Substantial rewrite' is a pseudo-legal term in the music industry meaning that when you're covering a song or using an element of a song - whether lyrically or musically - it requires the permission of the original copyright holder."

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FAIL

Oh dear...

This is precisely why real politicians have assistants who write speeches and perform other trivial, unimportant tasks such as checking facts and making sure their boss *DOESN'T* stick his or her foot in their mouth.

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I don't think it's a politicians foot an intern has to worry about falling in their mouth ;-)

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Was this a report or an axe grind?

"You don't need the copyright-holder's permission to do a cover version..." No doubt.

But would it have killed you to include something about fees and licensing - the draggy bits?

You guys really do need to recognize that the world is changing [all the time]

you are starting to sound quite bitter.

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I gave up on ORG when their Community and Events Organiser, Nishma Doshi made it clear that she doesn't like white males, especially right-leaning ones and they're not welcome at ORG. Needless to say I immediately cancelled my donations:

http://i-squared.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/you-can-support-open-rights-groupas.html

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Boring but true

I am sick and tired of ORG and Killock in particular spouting their particular brand of misinformation. Parody is a form of criticism and and as such is allowed under as an exception the CDPA 1988. Killock and ORG's idea of parody is anything that anyone might want to do with other peoples copyright material that may be vaguely funny using the production values of a work as a springboard to criticise something other than the actual work its self. They tout the US far use concept of parody as an example while failing to mention that it limits parody to criticism of the original work as well.

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Oh dear, the Orlowski's got out again.

Would someone lucidly explain to AO that repeatedly calling the Hargreaves Review the "Google Review" is so Daily Mail, so 2010. Who said repeat a lie, repeat it often enough, it gets believed? . God only knows we may finally get some copyright reform in the UK now that the lobby groups are having to back off -post Murdoch, post Leveson. Give Hargreaves a chance. Get over it, Andrew -life moves on.

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