back to article Sunday Times fires off copyright complaint at Snowden story critics

The Sunday Times has apparently sent a copyright complaint to critics of its article that claimed British and American overseas spies have had their covers blown by Edward Snowden. The London-based newspaper unquestioningly parroted the UK government's spin at the weekend, claiming that classified files obtained by the NSA …

You are not embarrassed ?

When I did copyright law the VERY FIRST thing we learnt was fair use rights so I'd be f***** embarrassed to have to be the "lawyer" who sent out that statement.

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Headmaster

"fair use rights s"?

Sorry to be a bore but I'm not sure that applies in British law.

IANL

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "fair use rights s"?

> "fair use rights s"? Sorry to be a bore but I'm not sure that applies in British law.

That would be the "fair dealing" clauses in the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1990, then..?

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Headmaster

Re: "fair use rights s"?

"Sorry to be a bore but I'm not sure that applies in British law."

Sorry to be a bigger bore, but there is no such thing as British law. There are three separate legal systems in different parts of the UK.

Anyway, there's nothing in the article that suggests that Greenwald's blog is covered by any UK jurisdiction. If you'd bothered to look at the blog, you'd have seen that it appears to come under the laws of the state of New York. So El Reg's comment is valid and yours is irrelevant.

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Re: You are not embarrassed ?

so I'd be f***** embarrassed to have to be the "lawyer" who sent out that statement

I'd be embarrassed to have to be a lawyer.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You are not embarrassed ?

if you're paid, and paid handsomely, you forget about being embarrassed, you just do what you're told. It's called "being professional". You act as a whore, as a saint, as a politician, as a minion, or as a lawyer. And some jobs even involve acting as a "concerned citizen", "outraged member of a local community", "independent expert", etc.

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Re: "fair use rights s"?

"Anyway, there's nothing in the article that suggests that Greenwald's blog is covered by any UK jurisdiction."

I can read it in the UK, therefore it's covered by UK law regardless of where the content is actually hosted. There have been lots of previous UK defamation, etc. cases versus non UK parties to back that up.

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Happy

@Smudge

I think you'll find Wales and England are treated as one group. Scottish law is somewhat different and Scottish lawyers (or advocates) can study in the Netherlands as well, for reasons I'm not really sure about.

If you'd bothered to look at the blog, you'd have seen that it appears to come under the laws of the state of New York. So El Reg's comment is valid and yours is irrelevant.

The ST can argue the offense was committed against them and they are based in London.

With something like this you always argue where the case should be tried. In the US courts ever notice how many patent litigation cases end up in Texas, despite neither party being based there?

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Happy

Re: "fair use rights s"?

"That would be the "fair dealing" clauses in the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1990, then..?"

Thank you . That's a useful comment that tells me something I didn't know. I'll have to check into that one.

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FAIL

You know you've hit them where it hurts

... when they try to silence you so crudely and obviously.

What a pathetic rag the Sunday Times has become. I wonder if they still have any real reporters these days.

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Re: You know you've hit them where it hurts

Beat me to it!

@Reg: You know that whopping great picture of something usually completely irrelevant you've taken to splaffing right at the top of all your stories? In lieu of an illustration. The one that's oddly absent from this story? I can think of something which (sh/c)ould have gone there... Too relevant to qualify? Or not got the balls?

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Re: You know you've hit them where it hurts

I wonder if [the Sunday times] still have any real reporters these days.

I wonder if there are any real reporters left at all, anywhere.

Certainly there are, and have been, none in the British press for a very long time. That even the Sunday Times has fallen this low can only prove that journalism has failed as an industry, an occupation, and as a source of news. All we're left with is regurgitated PR, Op Ed, and showbiz fluff, and we deserved better.

White feathers and dunces caps all round.

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Re: You know you've hit them where it hurts

"All we're left with is regurgitated PR, Op Ed, and showbiz fluff, and we deserved better."

I disagree.

If by "we" you mean the British public then "we" have got what we deserve in that "we" keep buying these shit sheets and thus encouraging them to keep printing all this propaganda. There have been a few notable exceptions to the depressing saga of the British press, the Telegraph's series on the MP's claims scandal being one and the Guardian's current series on Edward Snowden's leaks being another.

This current business I put down to where it all comes from. A Murdoch owned rag in cahoots with the Tory government. I would really like to see what the quid pro quo was for this.

The rest of your quote really does represent the majority of what comes from Murdoch's empire.

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Re: You know you've hit them where it hurts

I disagree, the British public still have Private Eye, which can still spread the dirt on everyone, much sued though it might be.

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Re: You know you've hit them where it hurts

"...much sued though it might be."

Much sued, but rarely do they lose (or they'd be out of business) - I take this to be a MASSIVE score in their journalistic favour :-D

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Re: You know you've hit them where it hurts

>Private Eye

That their website doesn't have much content beyond "Just buy the magazine!" is a point in their favour. £1.80 from all good newsagents.

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Re: You know you've hit them where it hurts

There have been a few notable exceptions to the depressing saga of the British press, the Telegraph's series on the MP's claims scandal being one and the Guardian's current series on Edward Snowden's leaks being another.

I'll have to respectfully disagree.

The Guardian series was gifted to them by Snowden, with very little actual investigative journalism being done until the story was broken. They too are in cahoots over phone hacking, and the unforgiveable "use me as a mouthpiece" begging to El Reg.

The Telegraph.... Well, its not what I'd have once called a quality newspaper either. The expenses scandal I'll give you though: that was good work.

A later poster makes reference to Private Eye, and in that vein I'll also give him The Spectator, but both are sullied in my view with portraying only a left wing or right wing viewpoint. What happened to impartiality? In my view quality journalism must average out somewhere near the centre, as both the left and the right are guilty of the same crap and that crap needs investigating and exposing.

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Re: You know you've hit them where it hurts

"I wonder if they still have any real reporters these days."

The Times never had reporters. They had gentlemen.

(Yes, I know, Sunday Times is not The Times, but close enough for government work)

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Windows

Re: You know you've hit them where it hurts

"This current business I put down to where it all comes from. A Murdoch owned rag in cahoots with the Tory government. I would really like to see what the quid pro quo was for this."

That's just crying out for a Freedom of Information Request. :)

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Re: Private Eye is left wing?

You weren't reading it during the last Labour government then...?

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Re: Private Eye is left wing? @Sabroni

Really? You're actually going to pretend that Private Eye isn't left wing?

Founded by Paul Foot of the SWP. Grandson of a Liberal MP, uncle of the Labour leader of the same name.

Willie Rushton of Liberal News, and very nearly the Tribune (Michael Foots old rag).

Edited today by Ian Hislop.

And you are seriously going to pretend that it doesn't have a predominantly left wing outlook? Sure, they go after everyone, and in that may be said to be one of the last bastions of journalistic integrity (though they still earned a white feather at the time of the Mo cartoons), but asserting that the eye is centrist is obvious nonsense.

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Re: You know you've hit them where it hurts

" The expenses scandal I'll give you though: that was good work."

I can't honestly entirely agree - and I've been a Telegraph reader for years. Once it started, it turned into something for too akin to a witch hunt to make me comfortable - day after day of page after page of anything the paper could rake up. The paper was clearly revelling in its own publicity, and determined to milk it for everything it could.

In particular there was far too much pillorying of MPs for absolutely anything that the paper thought wouldn't play well with the public, irrespective of likely dishonest intent. Yeah, absolutely there were some real outrages lurking. More power to the paper for finding and exposing those. But others? There were others that, frankly, had me fuming - ones that I had far more sympathy for, because in the MP's position I might well have made the same mistake. I'm talking about a slew of cases which clearly boiled down to naivety: an MP being told - probably by a senior civil servant - "This is what you can claim for"; assuming that whoever was talking, was doing so with authority, and taking what they were told at face value; and not stopping to ask themselves whether it was actually a good idea (and, in context, how it might play in the public stage if the detail came out).

Well - I've worked in a large organisation, and it's my experience that even the most honest person normally just follows the rules on what can be claimed, and assumes that those rules have been agreed, vetted and cleared - and that their claims will be similarly vetted against those rules. If one rule happens to work to your benefit and you end up in pocket, that's the luck of the draw; another time, things will work against you, and you'll be shelling out (a good example might be a per diem allowance; sometimes it will be more than you need, sometimes it really won't stretch). Most people take the pluses and minuses as they come, and don't consider they're doing anything wrong or dishonest in doing so. The difference is, they don't have the national media crawling over their claims and accusing them of dishonesty for every time they end up two quid in pocket. And, yes, MPs are special, and every sitting MP should now fully understand that the public expects them to do that extra self-audit and act upon the conclusions. But, frankly, I doubt whether many of them had thought about that at the time of the "scandal". And, equally frankly, I had very strong doubts at the time as to whether some of the staff expense claims at the Telegraph would have looked any better if exposed to similar public scrutiny and expectations.

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Re: Private Eye is left wing? @LucreLout

As a long-time subscriber and admirer of the Eye I have to say that I don't think it has any real left- or right-wing bias. They expose corruption, humbug and hypocrisy from any and all parts of the political spectrum. No-one is immune.

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Conspiracy Theory of the Day

A newspaper owned by a well known supporter of the conservative branch of the British political establishment publishes a story parroting the lines of the same establishment.

Not exactly surprising really. I'm guessing the reporter does as he is told because he has a family to feed, but feels dirty doing it.

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Re: Conspiracy Theory of the Day

Why do bloody lefties have to try to turn every-fucking-thing into some sort of inept party-political whine?

Your beloved Правда dutifully toed exactly the same line.

They've even thrown in an additional sprinkling of their own "sources close to the government" for good measure.

It's also quite fun to watch how the obedient little beavers have been busily titivating the thing since first splaffing it up... a luxury those poor dead tree types don't enjoy...

http://web.archive.org/web/20150614015605/http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-33125068

--- ./bbc-snowden-initial.txt

+++ ./bbc-snowde-current.txt

@@ -1,12 +1,12 @@

-UK intelligence agents have been moved because Russia and China can read files stolen by a US whistleblower, a senior government source has told the BBC.

+UK intelligence agents have been moved because Russia and China have access to classified information which reveals how they operate, a senior government source has told the BBC.

-The Sunday Times is reporting that Russia and China have cracked the encryption of the computer files.

+According to the Sunday Times, Moscow and Beijing have deciphered documents stolen by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The government source told the BBC the countries "have information" that led to agents being moved but added there was "no evidence" any had been harmed.

-Edward Snowden, now in Russia, leaked intelligence data two years ago.

+Mr Snowden leaked data two years ago.

-The former CIA contractor left the US in 2013 after leaking details of extensive internet and phone surveillance by American intelligence to the media.

+The former CIA contractor, now living in Russia, left the US in 2013 after leaking details of extensive internet and phone surveillance by American intelligence to the media.

His information made international headlines in June 2013 when the Guardian newspaper reported that the US National Security Agency was collecting the telephone records of tens of millions of Americans.

@@ -15,12 +15,25 @@

The government source said the information obtained by Russia and China meant that "knowledge of how we operate" had stopped the UK getting "vital information".

+BBC political correspondent Chris Mason said the problem for UK authorities was not only the direct consequence that agents had been moved, but also the opportunity cost of those agents no longer being in locations where they were doing useful work.

+Analysis: By Gordon Corera - BBC security correspondent

+

+The phrases "neither confirm nor deny" and "no comment on intelligence matters" is being used by government to respond to Sunday Times' story.

+

+But my understanding from conversations over an extended period is that since he fled two years ago, British intelligence have worked on the assumption that Russian and Chinese spies might have access to his full cache of secrets.

+

+Snowden has always maintained that there is no way that other states could do this but the spies are likely to have thought it too risky to take the chance. In turn, this may have led to undercover agents being moved as a precaution.

+

+Snowden himself would not have had access though to any kind of database of MI6 agents but the fear might have been that by piecing together any secrets on how such agents communicate that were in the files, the Russians and Chinese might have been able to identify them.

+

+However, no one in government today is confirming that they are sure that the Russians and Chinese have got full access - that remains in the realm of "no comment".

+

Intelligence officials have long warned of what they see as the dangers of the information leaked by Mr Snowden and its potential impact on keeping people in the UK safe - a concern Prime Minister David Cameron has said he shares.

According to the Sunday Times, Western intelligence agencies have been forced to pull agents out of "hostile countries" after "Moscow gained access to more than one million classified files" held by Mr Snowden.

"Senior government sources confirmed that China had also cracked the encrypted documents, which contain details of secret intelligence techniques and information that could allow British and American spies to be identified," the newspaper added.

-'Huge setback'

+Security expert Professor Anthony Glees said Mr Snowden's actions had been "very very damaging"

Tim Shipman, who co-wrote the Sunday Times story, told the BBC: "Snowden said 'nobody bad has got hold of my information'.

@@ -29,7 +42,36 @@

"People in government are deeply frustrated that this guy has been able to put all this information out there."

The newspaper quoted Sir David Omand, former director of UK intelligence agency GCHQ, saying the fact Russia and China had the information was a "huge strategic setback" that was "harming" to Britain, the US and their Nato allies.

+Mass surveillance

+

+The former head of the Navy and current Labour peer Admiral Lord West called Mr Snowden a "traitor", saying it was now much harder to monitor terrorists and criminals.

+

+Professor Anthony Glees, of the University of Buckingham's Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies, said the leaking of the documents had been "very, very damaging".

+

+He told the BBC: "From the documents that Snowden has, it will be possible to identify those very brave people in countries where if you spy for Britain you get killed.

+

+"There may even be names inadvertently included... Edward Snowden is not only a villain, he's a villain of the first order."

+

+But, the director of Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti, said that if Mr Snowden had been pardoned in the US "for doing what many in the United States (consider) to be a public service in revealing the sheer extent of mass surveillance, he wouldn't have needed to go to Russia".

+'Pinch of salt'

It comes two days after the UK's terrorism watchdog David Anderson QC published a review into terrorism legislation, which was set up amid public concerns about surveillance sparked by Mr Snowden's revelations.

He said the country needed clear new laws about the powers of security services to monitor online activity and concluded that the current situation was "undemocratic, unnecessary and - in the long run - intolerable".

+

+Former Conservative cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell told BBC Radio 5 Live's Pienaar's Politics that the timing of the story was "no accident".

+

+"This debate in Britain between individual liberty and collective security comes into very sharp focus as a result of the Anderson report, and that is why [The Sunday Times' Tim Shipman] has got his very good exclusive today."

+

+Asked if it was part of a propaganda drive by the government, he replied: "Well, there is a big debate going on, you know," adding: "Anderson is going to be a very important part of that".

+Mr Mitchell suggested the timing of the story was linked to the Anderson report

+

+Like it or not, he said, Snowden had directly engendered "a massive change of view about the debate" in the US.

+

+Meanwhile, civil liberties campaigner David Davis - also a Conservative MP - told the Guardian the story should be treated with "a pinch of salt".

+

+"You can see they have been made nervous by Anderson. We have not been given any facts, just assertions," he said of the government.

+

+The government is preparing new legislation to give police and agencies more tools to monitor online communications data, saying this is necessary to fight terrorism.

+

+Previous attempts were blocked by the Lib Dems in coalition, and critics say the plans amount to a "snoopers' charter".

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Re: Conspiracy Theory of the Day

We get exactly the same in the Murdoch papers in Australia (Daily Telegraph, etc . . .).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Conspiracy Theory of the Day

"Your beloved Правда"

What is the connection between Pravda and the Left? It's a right wing Russian nationalist militarist rag.

Now if you had chosen that other Russian site - rt.com - you'd have found this:

Greenwald debunks Sunday Times report

Now of course I could do the opposite and equally irrelevant distortion - why do the righties in the Express, the Telegraph and the entire Murdoch loo paper factory have to turn every issue into a party political one? But it would be equally unproductive.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Conspiracy Theory of the Day

Yeah sorry, don't know where that ridiculous rant came from. Just having a bad day I guess.

I sound like a dick going on about lefties when it's clear the right wing press are in the spotlight as a bunch of government lick-spittles in this story.

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Devil

Re: Conspiracy Theory of the Day

"What is the connection between Pravda and the Left? It's a right wing Russian nationalist militarist rag."

It's the blind hypocrisy and infatuation with their beloved government truth organ I'm mocking. A point rather nicely illustrated by the reaction. Times does it then it's some evil right wing conspiracy... point out "auntie" is up to exactly the same shit and it's a good goring from the sheeple for me. How they do love their Правда.

It seems that one of the halfwits has even taken it upon himself to attempt to impersonate me (immediately above). That one must have reading difficulties as well as learning difficulties. Poor sod.

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Re: Conspiracy Theory of the Day

"Yeah sorry, don't know where that ridiculous rant came from. Just having a bad day I guess."

El reg commentards are an odd bunch - what kind of person downvotes an apology?! Have an upvote :-)

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Headmaster

Re: Conspiracy Theory of the Day

It's not an apology, it's an idiot. Look again. More closely.

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Re: Conspiracy Theory of the Day

Username is different - the rant came from "Antonymous Coward," not "Anonymous Coward." The apology was from Anon.

Don't know what someone would gain by pretending to be someone else and apologising for being a knob, but there we go.

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Re: Conspiracy Theory of the Day

"Username is different - the rant came from "Antonymous Coward," not "Anonymous Coward." The apology was from Anon."

Ah, I see. I thought it was a bit of an odd turnaround - one minute random rants about "lefies" from nowhere, the next a u-turn and apology. Don't know if I've EVER come across someone admitting they were wrong in all my years online, that should have been a massive clue :-/

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Re: Conspiracy Theory of the Day

Don't know if I've EVER come across someone admitting they were wrong in all my years online

I've admitted being wrong on line often enough. It doesn't hurt. Why on these very forums only yesterday I confindently stated that Jeremy Corbyn wouldn't even make the Labour leadership ballot. Fortunately for me they don't yet tax being wrong!

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Re: Conspiracy Theory of the Day

Corbyn made the ballot? A glimmer of sanity! :-)

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Fight ! Fight!

say the kids in the schoolyard. This just seems to be the same thing.

Wouldn't it be nice to actually hear some truth from government instead of "spin" or the flavor of the day BS? I'm believing the former ambassador and others in certain positions who say those things are never written down. The fewer visible ties, the better.

Now if their particulars were in the OPM computers on Form 86... all bets are off and they better get them out before crap really hits the fan.

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Re: Fight ! Fight!

The problem isn't "spin". The problem is lying. Please don't conflate the two.

Spin is when you tell the truth, but you tell it in a way that's advantageous to you. That generally means, put it in context that makes it (and you) look better. That sometimes takes a lot of imagination, which is why "spin doctoring" is a highly skilled trade, but it's not the same as lying.

Politicians telling barefaced lies and calling it "spin" just cheapens the whole thing, and that's what seems to be going on here.

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Re: The problem isn't "spin". The problem is lying.

Those two words aren't synonyms yet?

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Re: Fight ! Fight!

Spin is when you tell the truth, but you tell it in a way that's advantageous to you.

The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth cannot be spun. Spin is lying by omission at best.

I had hoped British spin would die with its architects, the last Labour government, but I must very disappointedly acknowledge that it hasn't.

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Re: Fight ! Fight!

How old are you?

Have you heard of Saatchi & Saatchi? Do you remember Bernard Ingham's relentless propagandising? Do you remember Thatcher's image realignment, the voice-coaching?

The idea that spin is some kind of left-wing invention is just right-wing spin. Spin, and it's obvious utility to governments of all persuasions is here to stay. It has never been a partisan issue.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fight ! Fight!

Recorded spin doctoring goes back at least as far as the Babylonian kings, and people like Alexander the Great surrounded themselves with "bards", which is what spin doctors were called in those days.

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Re: Fight ! Fight!

How old are you?

Old enough to remember Maggie in office, if that's where you're going?

Marketing and voice coaching are not spin in the modern New Labour / Alastair Campbell sense of spin. Were you perhaps older you may have recalled the shift in communication style and substance during the Blair years.

The idea that spin is some kind of left-wing invention is just right-wing spin

Again, if you wish to compare voice coaching to Alastair Campbell and his spin, then you really have drank the Kool-Aid. Even the Beeb credit AC with the arrival on our shores of spin doctoring: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6638231.stm

It has never been a partisan issue.

I quite agree, it isn't a partisan issue - the Coalition were just as bad, and the Conservatives are continuing the theme. But that does not alter the fact that spin in anything like its current form was a New Labour import from the states, which is simply another evil that lives after them.

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Re: Fight ! Fight!

"... spin in anything like its current form was a New Labour import from the states, which is simply another evil that lives after them."

I remember having an epiphany about 3 weeks in to Blair/AC's govt that "spin" was what they meant by "The Third Way".

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Re: Fight ! Fight!

>Marketing and voice coaching are not spin in the modern New Labour / Alastair Campbell sense of spin. Were you perhaps older you may have recalled the shift in communication style and substance during the Blair years.

I suspect that I'm older than both of you - and spin can be found long before Blair/Campbell, Thatcher/Ingham. It is present during the time of Wilson/Donahue, and probably predated them (and us).

And, if you think the Thatcher No.10 did nothing more than voice-coaching, you really weren't paying attention.

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"We just publish what we believe to be the position of the British government."

said Tom Harper. I do hope he said it with a knowing lascivious wink - a good old-fashioned tart can always do with some broad innuendo.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "We just publish what we believe to be the position of the British government."

I am afraid you are being really really really overoptimistic here. The Hope part is not really warranted at this point.

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FAIL

As the article mentions, even in the UK "fair dealing" allows limited sections of copyrighted works to be quoted for review purposes. Dave Gorman mentioned this in Modern Life is Goodish when he was told he wouldn't normally allowed to show a magazine cover, but he could put it up to say "what a dreadful cover" because then it would be fair criticism. (He may not have been entirely serious about not being allowed to show it). "We state that we have a good-faith belief that..." has to be a lawyer's way of saying "I think...". If they were sure, they'd say so.

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Black Helicopters

The resolution is too low for the type to be legible.

https://prod01-cdn01.cdn.firstlook.org/wp-uploads/sites/1/2015/06/sundaytimes.jpg

It's an evocation. An illustration. It is NOT a reproduction. You CAN NOT read it!

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@AC

Why are all the links on this page going nowhere? Yours looks like this:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/%3C/p%3E%3Cp%3Ehttps://prod01-cdn01.cdn.firstlook.org/wp-uploads/sites/1/2015/06/sundaytimes.jpg

<gets more tinfoil>

Edit: Also why does the page jump to the bottom when I click on up or down vote?

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