back to article Pirate MEP pranks Telegraph with holiday snap scaremongering

Teenaged* German MEP Julia Reda, who believes that “your life is illegal” because of copyright laws, has successfully conned a gullible newspaper into reporting that sharing your own photos will soon be illegal too. The Telegraph’s skiing expert ran a story suggesting that British holidaymakers “may face legal action” for …

  1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  2. DropBear Silver badge

    So, um, everything is fine because it's not _actually illegal_ to trap photons bouncing off public buildings - _yet_...? Sorry, no. Where is the "journo is trolling" icon when you need it?!?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      What do you mean "yet"?

      The European Parliament is only a semi-serious institution. Sometimes it does lots of important stuff, and takes it seriously. Sometimes it rubber stamps stuff that it can't really be bothered to debate. Sometimes it has reports and enquiries where the loonies with a cause are sort of left to get on with it by everyone else.

      What it can't do, is write legislation. That's the Commission's job. Only the European Commission can initiate legislation. The EP and the Council of Ministers then have a huge bunfight over amending it, and getting something closer to what they want, then it gets voted on.

      As the Commission haven't even put out their proposals yet, we don't know what they'll go for.

    2. Olius

      Absolutely agree - Perhaps Reda was speculating on what might happen IF this did become law in some respect? She is doing a fine job highlighting the shadier side of this possibility. It is much more likely that she is being incredibly clever rather than hopelessly naive, as this journalist is strongly implying.

      Are we all supposed to wait until such a law is passed before registering our anger at the idea? Because I'm SURE that will work out pretty well, as it always has done before.

  3. DrXym Silver badge

    I doubt it's hard to prank them

    The Telegraph has lurched so far away from journalistic standards that they'll print anything that promotes their agenda - anti EU, anti science, pro religion. Their nearest "competitor" these days is the Daily Mail which tries even less to check the veracity of what they print.

    1. SundogUK Silver badge

      Re: I doubt it's hard to prank them

      If you think The Telegraph is anti-EU, you obviously haven't read it in a while.

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: I doubt it's hard to prank them

        "If you think The Telegraph is anti-EU, you obviously haven't read it in a while."

        You obviously haven't if that's what you think. It is the home of some of the most rabidly anti-EU opinion pieces in the mainstream press. Not to mention a continuous stream of stories about immigrants, the failure of the EU in one way or another, stories favourable to UKIP or anti-EU conservative groups etc.

    2. Steve Crook

      Re: I doubt it's hard to prank them

      "The Telegraph has lurched so far away from journalistic standards"

      Yes, it's a good job we've got the Guardian, that bastion of unbiased, rigorously fact checked journalism on hand to counter the evil that is the Telegraph...

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    3. Jagged

      Re: I doubt it's hard to prank them

      You will notice the person the "pranked" was the Ski correspondent. I doubt the editor was expecting to have to review it for an IP agenda.

      1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Re: I doubt it's hard to prank them

        The Telegraph's online edition has no sub-editors - they publish directly to web without any proofreading or fact-checking of any sort

        Given that everyone needs a good subbing (even yours truly: I make a cringeworthy number of typos and suchlike when I'm actually writing rather than editing), it's a recipe for disaster. And this is what you get as a result.

        1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

          Re: I doubt it's hard to prank them

          The Telegraph's online edition has no sub-editors - they publish directly to web without any proofreading or fact-checking of any sort

          That explains a lot. I glance at the online Telegraph over breakfast, not because of deep sympathy with its views, but mainly because it's not behind a paywall. I've often been astounded by the typos and sloppy editing.

        2. DrXym Silver badge

          Re: I doubt it's hard to prank them

          "The Telegraph's online edition has no sub-editors - they publish directly to web without any proofreading or fact-checking of any sort"

          To be fair, they did their very best to stifle all stories about HSBC bank even when it was front page news for every other newspaper. Absolutely nothing to do with HSBC being a major advertising client of theirs I'm sure.

  4. heyrick Silver badge

    Just out of interest

    How does this sit with the Orphan Images thing?

  5. Jimboom
    Trollface

    why stop there

    Make it so that if a person takes a picture of their dinner they have to pay an additional fee if they want to instagroan/farcebook it.

    If someone appears in your picture you have uploaded they they have to pay you a royalty fee every time someone views it. "I'm sorry, I didn't agree to be in your photo, but if you are going to capture me on your holiday snap then you will need to pay for the privilege."

    Hook it into facial recognition software and BOOM, photobombing becomes a legitimate career and maybe... just maybe, it could spell the end of peoples seemingly irresistible need to put every little moment of their life online to try get some of that attention that their parents never gave them.

    I'll get me coat... it's the one with a college yearbook (the original facebook!) in the pocket

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: why stop there

      If an algorithm can identify your face in an image, it could opt to pixelate it. So it's more likely you'll end up paying celebs royalties everytime someone views that selfie of you and them.

  6. Joey M0usepad Silver badge

    they still running this on the Dail Mail site. I guess they wont let truth get in the way of a good "Crazy EU beurocrats" story

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IP is a oxymoron, just a BS archaic monopoly privilege from the fictional state or crown.

    Real property is physical stuff _living_ people own, not intangibles or anything 'owned' by legal _fictions_ like corporations; anything which contradicts that violates basic property rights for living people.

    What BS are the Royalists, old right, corporate tools and fictional corporate parasites going to try next? Try to further take the piss by extending IP to the sense memories in our Brains!

    SNAFU!

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Back when I was a boy ...

      There were laws for copyright, trade marks and patents. There were also laws concerning concrete objects. If I have an idea, and you take it, we both have an idea. If I have a car and you take it, I do not have a car any more. The law took this into account and had harsher penalties for theft than for copyright or patent infringement.

      This was a real problem for copyright and patent lawyers, so they embarked on a decade long campaign to get the words 'intellectual property' taken seriously. 'Unlawful copying' became 'theft' and civil offences became criminal offences. The battle for these words is as hopelessly lost as the difference between 'hacker' and 'cracker'.

      Copyright was supposed to be a balance between the desires of creators and consumers. These days, you would think the idea was to pay creators a percentage of the profits, and to increase legal fees to swallow increased fines until creators get less than nothing. (Consumers are given the opportunity to pay a small fine if the cave in without a fight. Payment of the fine is conclusive evidence that they were guilty, so should be threatened again for more money.)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More proof...

    ...that people are gullible and stupid for initiating and perpetuating such rubbish. Copyright laws exist to protect art. If you can't understand this concept then you have no right to be commenting about it or promoting theft of copyright protected works because you're a clueless arse clown.

  9. Dan Paul

    Same as the "Victim Mentality" that

    leftwing politicians everywhere want everyone to have. They want you to be enraged at the "establishment that has been keepin us down man" to pressure politicians to listen to their shouty voices.

    Reda is trying to link unrelated circumstances to create or amplify her freetard agenda. She and her ilk are not above outright lying to get their way. Orlowski is simply outing her behavior.

    Taking pictures is not illegal for the most part unless you want to photograph certain sensitive facilities. "Trademarking" any outdoor structure that was built with public funds and then preventing photos is ridiculous and likely against public use legislation. If you can see it, you can likely take a photo of it.

    That does not apply to certain "works of art" unfortunately. Music, Movies, Paintings and Literature have various protections and for good reason. The only one I disagree with is the long outdated Region Code nonsense. Artists and the studios that produce their art commercially deserve protections though 70 years is a bit long.

    If you can't take a picture of the Eiffel Tower while you are a tourist in Paris, or the London Bridge while you are in London; you may as well stay home. How would that help the "Tourism Economy" that so many live on?

    1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

      Re: Same as the "Victim Mentality" that

      Isn't London Bridge in Nevada, next door to the Queen Mary?

  10. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Half-truth?

    "The laws are there to protect you and your work from exploitation that you don’t agree with, by somebody much more powerful – such as a record company or Google."

    Except that if you ever want to get paid for anything you are forced to assign your copyright to ... somebody much more powerful - such as a record company or Google.

    Of course, once you've assigned the rights over - you are stuffed and she is right - the copyright used that way is then an instrument of suppression and a barrier...

  11. alain williams Silver badge

    New South Wales public parks

    If you want to take pictures in a public park and use them commercially you need to pay:

    http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=410

  12. Lamont Cranston
    Joke

    Velma Dinkley should sue.

    Someone's using her image without permission.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Copyright

    recently Marvel won a case in the U.S. Where they stopped paying royalties to a patent holder once the patent expired, he had argued that the contract didn't have an end date so they should continue paying. The Supreme Court agreed with Marvel that patent expiry was a reasonable assumption for end of licensing contract even if not stated.

    And yet copyright is now death plus 70 and no doubt Disney or some large corporation will achieve perpetual copyright at some point. Maybe along the lines of a corporation is a legal person so expiry clock only starts ticking on 70 years once they "die" (wound up/disincorporated). Actually I think Peter Pan has a specific exemption of some sort so this may have already been achieved in some way.

    I'm all for copyright and want to see artists rewarded, but there needs to be some more balance in the system. Feels like if they could charge you for humming a tune or even having it stuck in your head they would.

  14. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    And yet copyright is now death plus 70 and no doubt Disney or some large corporation will achieve perpetual copyright at some point.

    Maybe not copyright rights, but rights to free use of your images into perpetuity is already standard fare in Google's Terms & Conditions. OK, they do their level best to avoid using the word perpetuity (just in case someone actually reads it), but just read it for yourself - it's not hard to find. I think it probably is with Facebook as well, but I don't use it...

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wow I remember those instructions, and I keep them close to my heart.

    Back when getting MotW meant something.

  16. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    As far as I know, the object of copyright law is not so much to prevent publication but to ensure adequate compensation for originators of IP.

    If you publish a picture of a historic building, who gets the royalties? Gustave Eiffel (d. 1923), in the case of the Eiffel Tower? William the Conqueror for the Tower of London? Stonehenge, er...?

  17. Amorous Cowherder

    I love France's wacky public/private photography laws!

    The one about the Eiffel Tower, it being an illuminated work of art so no nighttime photos without permission, is a superb anachronism in this wired world we live in.

    About the only thing I can be truly thankful for to our wonderful Government here in the UK, they didn't sign up to this Euro cack about no pics of private buildings from public spaces, means I can happily snap away all I wish, almost anywhere I please.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: I love France's wacky public/private photography laws!

      Actually it's USA cack.

      The US recognises the architect's copyright in buildings. Take a photo of the Statue of Liberty and you are OK because France doesn't have this law - except for when buildings are modified to be an art work, such as projecting pictures on them or wrapping them in plastic - but take a picture of the Empire state building and you are naughty.

  18. moiety Silver badge

    If copyright hasn’t already made you mad, you will be after reading this

    Well, yes, if the following includes bollocks like this:

    The laws are there to protect you and your work from exploitation that you don’t agree with, by somebody much more powerful – such as a record company or Google. But in the copyfighter's mind, this is inverted, and the purpose of the law is oppression, prohibition and exclusion.

    Seriously?

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      The idea that you think your property rights are "bollocks" shows what a good job Silicon Valley has done brainwashing you.

      "[AO]The laws are there to protect you and your work from exploitation that you don’t agree with, by somebody much more powerful – such as a record company or Google. But in the copyfighter's mind, this is inverted, and the purpose of the law is oppression, prohibition and exclusion.

      [Freetard] Seriously?"

      It's far easier to persuade people to relinquish their freedom if they do so voluntarily. Even better if they do so with a smile. I think it's Big Tech's greatest achievement, to be honest: to get people actively campaign against their own interests.

      cf Lenin, and "useful idiots".

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

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  20. bushcat

    Meanwhile, at the Eiffel Tower...

    From their website FAQ:

    "The views from the Eiffel Tower are rights-free. Permission and rights must be obtained from the "Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel" (the Operating Company, or SETE) for the publication of photos of the illuminated Eiffel Tower."

  21. hammarbtyp Silver badge

    Maybe nothing. but why take the chance

    I think Mr Orlowski has (and not for the 1st time) missed the point.

    I'm no expert on the EU legislative process (who is), but a number of facts stand out.

    The MEP made an attempt to hamonise the law on the side of the artist in terms of who owns the copyright of public buildings. This was turned round so that the proposed legislation would actually go in the opposite direction.

    There is a fair chance that this will never become law and be squashed in the many stages it probably has to go through. However that is no reason why every attempt should be made to squash any possibility flat before it has a chance of being born.

    As a hobby photographer I find it has become more and more common to be hassled when trying to take images in towns and cities. Legislation that was designed for anti-terrorism has become a catch all to stop anyone with a camera taking photos by any security guard with a Napoleon complex. What we desperately need is greater clarification about the rules on photography in public places. Any whiff of any legislation that affects those rights should be stomped on quicker than a wasp trying to sup your beer.

    There is a online petition if you agree

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Maybe nothing. but why take the chance

      Sorry, but you don't really understand the law - which is a bit alarming even for a hobby photographer.

      You may be being hassled under terrorism laws, but that is nothing to do with copyright.

      The "freedom of panorama" doesn't need "saving", as this is not a legislative proposal.

      1. hammarbtyp Silver badge

        Re: Maybe nothing. but why take the chance

        Sorry, but you don't really understand the law - which is a bit alarming even for a hobby photographer.

        That's because I'm not a copyright lawyer, I do have some standards. I would take a bet that 95% of photographers have little or no understanding of copyright law. After all it's a hobby that causes no harm to anyone, why should we spend time studying law texts?

        As most photographers I use the law of common sense. Don't trespass on private property, avoid taking photos around military installations and parks where children might be playing and be polite and courteous to all around you.

        This is the problem with copyright law(yes I have studied it a little bit). Once you manage to dis-entangle it, it makes little common sense, so goes against most peoples expectations. That is a crucial test of a good law.

        You may be being hassled under terrorism laws, but that is nothing to do with copyright.

        No, but it is an example where laws are misused to restrict rights that people widely believe they hold. Copyright law is often used in the same way.

        The "freedom of panorama" doesn't need "saving", as this is not a legislative proposal.

        Yet

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