Do as we say, not as we do
4th April 2010 20:10 | by Andrew Robinson
It's tempting, with the election just round the corner, to score a few cheap political points at the expense of Labour and the conservatives over the 'Ashes to Ashes' poster scandal... so I will.
If you haven't been following the story, the Labour party took a photo of actor Philip Glenister as Gene Hunt from Ashes to Ashes, photoshopped in David Cameron's face and put it on a poster with a tagline about going back to the 80s. The Conservatives took Labour's image, and changed the words to something more positive, and put it on their own posters. The problem is that it appears neither of them bothered with the trivial matter of getting approval from the copyright holders.
If you've looked at both posters on line, that's 2 of your 3 strikes, courtesy of parties that are backing the Digital Economy Bill, while committing copyright infringement themselves. It's a clear cut case of 'do as we say, not as we do', and that ought to be a major scandal, but beyond the political points-scoring, there's a much bigger issue here.
Surely as TV licence payers, we ought to have some rights over that image? We know Labour and Conservative MPs pay their TV licences, because several of them claim it on expenses... shouldn't that mean they have some rights over the work produced with that money? Isn't the reason that Labour and the Conservatives didn't think they were doing anything wrong that they were doing something that's technically illegal, but not morally wrong?
The Pirate Party understands fair use, and understands the urgent need for copyright reform. The Pirate Party wants us all to have the right to use work paid for by our licence fees. Labour and the Conservatives have yet again proved that they don't understand the law, and can't be trusted to obey it, let alone reform it to be suitable for the 21st century.
It's time to vote Pirate.