Wonga censors Twitter critics - where's our right to parody?

Payday lender Wonga has forced Twitter to take down a user's parody advert by making a copyright claim. User @Brandy_Snap created the parody based on satirical arist William Hogarth's 1732 painting of a spendthrift held in a debtor's prison. @Brandy_Snap's parody superimposes the face of Earl, Wonga's "marketing character", on top of Hogarth's unfortunate debtor. It adds the words: "Fed up of final demands, whining relatives and debtors' prison?" and reproduces the Wonga logo with the added strapline: "Your soul is ours."

Twitter removed @Brandy_Snap's image from their tweet after Wonga's copyright complaint to Twitter which claims:

Earl's face has been doctored onto a painting in the tweet found at the URL above. Unauthorised use of all or a substantial part of a copyright work is an infringing act. The "" trade mark device (blue stylised speech bubble with the words "" in white) has been reproduced without consent. Unauthorised use of all or a substantial part of a copyright work (which the copyright owner asserts in addition to its trade mark rights) is an infringing act.

The United States Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) gives copyright holders the power to ask online publishers and web hosting providers such as Twitter to remove what they consider to be infringing material. In return, publishers are protected from legal action as long as they comply promptly with takedown requests.

Impartiality concerns over London city police

Monday, 31 March, 2014 - 21:30

Significant questions are being raised by recent actions of the City of London Police over their increasing private enforcement activities for copyright lobby groups. Their latest initiative is the development of an online database of websites 'verified' as being illegal with the aim of online advertisers using the databse to restrict where their adverts will be displayed. 

Pirate Party UK's Andrew Norton said:

Sephy Hallow : Copyright Reform: We're Getting Somewhere

Participation in politics is something I've been thinking about a lot recently, and one of the common complaints I hear from friends of a politically apathetic persuasion is that politics no longer represents the views of the people; we aren't consulted, and when we are, our politicians make policies that go against public opinion or welfare. That's why I'm thrilled with the outcome of the UK copyright consultation, the first sign in a long time that the government listens to its people.

As one of the Pirate Party's flagship policies – and yet one of its most abstract – copyright reform has been one of the most difficult ideas to promote. With big business at stake, copyright reform was always going to be our most difficult policy to push, and we have met with resistance from many stakeholders, including the infamous BPI. However, after years of fighting, we finally have our first major breakthrough: namely, that new copyright exceptions are set to come into law (pending review from both houses) on the 1st June 2014.

Copyright and Patent Reform

Sharing is Caring

“The only way to even try to limit file sharing, is to introduce
surveillance of everybody’s private communication.”

Hard Time for Copyright Infringers

Friday, 24 January, 2014 - 13:15

In Monday's debate on the Intellectual Property Bill Mike Weatherley, Intellectual Property Advisor to the Prime Minister and also Vice President (Europe) for the Motion Picture Licensing Company, attacked those who download copyright infringing material, labelling them as criminals. His goal is for young people to persuade their peers against such activity and for persistent offenders to potentially face custodial sentences.

Pirate Party Leader Loz Kaye said:

Wired: Laurence Kaye vs Laurence Kaye- the pirate and the lawyer in conversation

Laurence Kaye, known as Loz Kaye, is the leader of the Pirate Party, which strives to reform copyright and patent laws and drive state transparency and open rights.

Laurence Kaye , known as Laurie Kaye, is a lawyer specialising in digital law and intellectual property. took the opportunity to get both Laurence Kayes into a room to talk about the Digital Economy Act, copyright reform, site-blocking and the Digital Copyright Exchange.

Tuesday, 3 January, 2012 (All day)


PIRATES want a fair and balanced copyright law based on the interests of society as a whole.

Abolish anti-circumvention restrictions and laws

Under current copyright law it is unlawful to do various things aimed at circumventing effective technological measures that restrict access to copyrighted material, even if doing so is required for lawful use. This includes both civil liabilities and criminal offences. In the event that such a “technological measure” prevents permitted acts (i.e. what could be lawfully done anyway), the only current remedy is to apply to the Secretary of State for a permit.

World Intellectual Property Review: UK copyright law- a change for the better?

A number of important alterations to UK copyright law are set come into effect later this year. TB&I investigates what they mean for rights owners.

“This is a long overdue update that rebalances copyright law in a sensible way,” says Loz Kaye of the planned modernisation to the UK copyright system. The leader of the Pirate Party UK and a relentless campaigner for digital rights, Kaye often squares off against copyright owners, lambasting them for impinging civil liberties.


Friday, 26 April, 2013 (All day)

MPs in new 'Pirate' Scare

Friday, 27 September, 2013 - 13:45

The Pirate Party questions the basis and conclusions of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee's new report - Supporting the Creative Economy.

There are calls for Google to change its search results policy, to hike sentencing for IP infringement to 10 years and to delay the copyright reforms proposed by the Hargreaves review. The Committee's chair John Whittingdale MP said "the Government must use the powers given to it by Parliament in the Digital Economy Act" if a so-called voluntary Internet policing agreement between the big content industry and ISPs fails to emerge.