The issue of ‘rights grab’ contracts is one I’ve blogged about before, and the issue doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon.
In essence they are contracts that you sign to photograph a band and as a condition of that contract you transfer your copyright to the artist, often without limitation. A milder version is where the contract requires you to license your work for free, while you retain the copyright. Not a huge difference in practice - the root of it is they get to use your work for free.
Recently several festivals have started having their own photographer agreements, mostly about only shooting for one publication and not papping anyone. Nothing too controversial there - however, it seems some events are taking them further.
Anyone wanting to photograph Bradford Council’s Bingley Live has to agree to the following:
” 7. I agree to forward to the Bingley Music Live organisers a copy of all photographs taken by my organisation at Bingley Music Live 2012. Images to be supplied in JPEG format and at not less than 300 dpi
“8. Photographers retain the copyright of all images and grant Bingley Music Live festival license to use the provided images for promotional purposes”
Not quite a full rights grab, but should a publicly funded body really be conducting itself in such a way?
For anyone shooting it, and with my legal hat on, the contract specifies the resolution of the image, but not the width…
Posted: August 31st, 2012
Categories: Labour party
, Music Industry
Comments: 3 Comments
First published in the Independent on Sunday.
The security company in the headlines this weekend may be G4S, but the wider question of whether the military-security establishment has sought to benefit from exploiting the public’s fears about their safety has been brushed under the carpet by politicians who have been equally culpable of the same manipulation.
After 9/11, New Labour subjected the public to regular warnings that an attack was imminent and that we had to trust the Government to make decisions about how our liberty should be protected.
Every decision, every argument, was framed in the context of national security and terror. Ian Huntley and Osama bin Laden became poster boys for a generation of operatives who saw fear as their most successful lobbying tool. Those who opposed increasingly authoritarian policies – from 90-day detention to ID cards – were caricatured as appeasers, not to be trusted or taken seriously.
The invasion of Iraq was pursued on the pretext of protecting British and American national security. Weapons of mass destruction, capable of being launched in 45 minutes, may have turned out to be a work of fiction, but the political advantages and commercial benefits enjoyed by those involved were all too real.
The Blair government may be long gone, but read Home Office press releases and you’d struggle to tell the difference. Even the modest proposal to require local authority officials to seek a court warrant before they enter your home – as contained in the Conservative manifesto – was casually punted into the long grass by way of a two-year review.
From the watering down of proposals to destroy innocent people’s DNA held by the police to the devolution of police powers to civilians, including private security contractors, the impression given is that it is officials schooled by New Labour, not ministers, who are making decisions about which liberties are expendable.
Where does this demand for security come from? Why is it that the people offering services to protect the public are often lobbying publicly and privately about the need for greater investment in security infrastructure. The security industry has managed to co-opt the political class as both their main proponent and their biggest customer.
Fear breeds invention, as the saying goes. And the security industry has been busy inventing – and selling. Walk round any security conference and you’ll be greeted by the kind of glitzy marketing and promotion you might expect at a Formula One event. If marketing is about finding potential customers and then creating demand for your product, the security industry is rapidly becoming a textbook example of how to get rich quick without ever having to test your assumptions.
Since 9/11 an entire industry has sprung up offering services for screening passengers; thousands of body scanners have been installed worldwide; and governments have called for more security staff on planes. These vested interests are not only a commercial force. Civil servants are more than ever using the fear of terrorism and the need to “secure” our borders/children/property/energy to further their own interests.
When David Davis MP coined the term “securocrat”, he illustrated the ability of Sir Humphrey in Yes Minister to hide empire-building behind warnings of the sky falling in. Present events neatly demonstrate how effective this can be. At a time of swingeing government spending cuts, the Home Office has secured £1.8bn for its Communications Capabilities Directorate, the 120-strong team responsible for the draft Communications Data Bill.
Those expecting to know how this money will be spent will be disappointed. Question accountability, feasibility or budgets and you will be told all is in hand, as we once were with the NHS IT project, countless Ministry of Defence sagas and the cost of the Olympics. The Communications Capabilities Development Programme is set to become the first democratic government policy to force communications providers to monitor their customers, and also the first government IT project to come in on budget and work exactly as planned.
Yes, we need to be vigilant, but if we pursue policies that inhibit civil liberties in the short term, we put at risk the same freedoms we are seeking to defend. Not only have we created a climate of fear, we have allowed those with a vested interest to control the debate. Now is the time to challenge those who seek to profit from fear.
Hysterical arguments about paedophiles and terrorists demean both the public and the institutions we trust to keep us safe. Defending the realm means defending the values that have made this country not just a prosperous one but a beacon of liberty that has, and must, shine brightly.
The achievements of the future will not be made possible by more sacrifices of freedoms, but by a willingness to act proportionately in the face of risk. Freedom is never more than a generation away from extinction, Ronald Reagan once said. Let us not be the generation that fails to speak up.
First published on Conservative Home:
I’ve been working in the music industry for the best part of a decade and the animosity that remains towards our party is not dissimilar to the reaction I faced when I was our candidate in Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford. I’d spent my whole life there and yet overnight some people I’d played football with as a teenager or worked with in local pubs simply stopped talking to me.
We assume at our peril this is a superficial problem, a relic of a bygone political age. Noel Gallagher’s interview in the Mail on Sunday has been lauded by some as ‘proof’ that Lady Thatcher’s detractors in the North are misguided. Yet it poses a far more complicated question that should remind us why we are a long way from being a viable electoral force in the North, in Scotland and in many urban areas across the country. When those who agree with us would still rather vote for a pirate than vote Conservative, what are we doing to change this?
I grew up in an environment where the main argument about money was that the state took too much. Yes, most Yorkshire folk will generally complain about the price of everything, but the price of Government was an unavoidable part of the political debate.
How could people provide for their families when the state took more and more of your wage? The impetus of low taxes was that if you put the effort in, you would be rewarded. The state wouldn’t get in the way, and you could get on. We won’t force you to work, but don’t complain that those who graft are rewarded more than you.
Work was a noble endeavour, to be respected irrespective of the reward. When the reward for work becomes disconnected from the effort required, you get riots and you get Fred Goodwin.
Then in 1997 the terms of debate changed. Rather than people complaining that they were taxed too much, the Labour party made the debate about people not receiving enough back in benefits. The middle classes came to rely on – and arguably expect – benefits in a way that Thatcher never allowed. It is this cultural shift that now means someone like Noel Gallagher feels the Labour party no longer represents him.That single change did more to keep Labour in power and created the payroll vote that was a very real political consequence of the gargantuan welfare state. No longer a safety net, but a fact of life for three out of every four families.
We as a party have still not challenged this notion. Universal benefits remain a concept that defy logic, but are still a part of the ‘too risky’ policy pile.
The Universal credit will do much to address the administration of benefits, reducing administrative cost, but the terms of debate remain as they were in 1997. We have argued that the welfare bill was too high, but when was the last time we made the argument that lower taxes were the way to encourage work?
More than that, when it comes to Europe, immigration, crime, school discipline and countless other policy areas, people with ‘working class’ backgrounds are absolutely more Conservative than some of the more liberal areas we regard as ‘safe.’ And still they do not vote for us.
In failing to recognise that this barrier to electoral success is more than simply about being seen as a ‘nice’ party and everything to do with how we are not trusted to both reward work and protect the interests of those who work, we do not offer a viable alternative to the thousands of Labour voters who turned out in 2010 and voted for Gordon Brown, but did so reluctantly.
If we accept that the terms of debate are about how much the state should distribute, and that it is easier – and involves fewer policy risks - to win three seats in the south east than ten in the North, then we will never break out of the thirty-something percent bracket. Relying on the unpopularity of our opponents is not a strategy for victory, but a tactic to mitigate the risk of defeat.
Nothing we have done has planted the flag in the North and represented a rallying cry for disillusioned Labour voters. Taking people out of the tax system altogether does not foster responsibility, it perpetuates the same ‘something for nothing’ culture that Labour voters are passionately rejecting. Contribution, however small, shares the burden of social ownership in a way that builds communities.
We have the opportunity to redefine the political landscape that not only offers people like Noel Gallagher a viable alternative, but a social imperative to vote Conservative. To do that requires bold policies and speaking to the values that working people hold true, not just those who voted Conservative in 2010. It absolutely means taking risks.
This cannot – and must not be allowed to – take three years and the selection of candidates. We are in Government, so let us lead the debate.
If there’s one thing that winds me up, it’s MPs who have a wonderful ability to forget the recent past and absolve themselves of any responsibility.
So when Yvette Cooper turns up blaming ‘cuts’ for the proposed closure to Pontefract Hospital’s A&E Department I was particularly incensed, given I spent months shouting about the issue - it was front page on the election leaflet I delivered to every home across Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford; I raised it at every public meeting I spoke at;and I spoke to the local media about it. It holds a special significance for me, because I was born in Pontefract Hospital.
I warned that the range of facilities at the new Pontefract Hospital meant it was all but inevitable full A&E services would not continue. This was dismissed as ’scaremongering’ by Yvette’s team. For her to now claim to be on the side of those of us who have seen this coming for years is not only disingenuous but downright offensive.
I repeatedly highlighted the warnings passed to me by staff that the new hospital was not going to have a range of facilities essential for running a full A&E. No acute care beds, no emergency ambulance bays, no morgue.I asked whether we had been misled over the new A&E, while Yvette didn’t even think the new hospital worthy of a mention on her election address. (Below)
And heaven forbid we ask who the Junior Health Minister was at the time the new hospital plans were being finalised? Yes, one Yvette Cooper.
Every decision made concerning Pontefract Hospital was taken under a Labour government. From the grossly expensive PFI deal that has seen parikng charges rocket to the lack of ambulance bays and facilities essential to running a full A&E, there is only one thing Yvette should be saying today and that is sorry.
The three wise men (or stooges, depending on your perspective) of Labour’s comeback have hailed their new policies over the past few days - seemingly without any sense of irony that they are not exactly on solid ground as far as credibility is concerned.
Ed Miliband: “We will cut tuition fees to £6,000.”
– Labour Manifesto, 1997: “We will not introduce tuition fees.”
– Tuition fees introduced in 1998.
– Labour Manifesto 2001: “We will not introduce top-up fees.”
– Top-up fees introduced in 2004, trebling the level of fees.
Ken Livingstone:”I will cut fares”
– Between 2005 and 2007, the single Oyster bus fare under Livingstone rose by 42 per cent (from 70p to £1)
–In 2007, there was a 25 per cent increase in the off-peak Oyster bus fare, greater than any rise Boris has imposed on it.
Ed Balls:”we will set out for our manifesto tough fiscal rules that the next Labour government will have to stick to”
– In 2006, Treasury figures showed that Chancellor Brown would have broken his ‘Golden Rule’ by £2.5bn. So he moved the dates of the economic cycle.
Earlier this week, Ed Miliband took to twitter for a Q&A session under the hashtag #askEdM.
So did a number of activists who were certainly not EdMili supporters. The Mail in particular highlighted this claiming Ed’s session had ‘backfired’. They were part of the camp that thought somehow the questions put to Ed would damage him. They included whether he felt “bad about stabbing your brother in the back?” “Why don’t you buy some Vicks?” “Was Brutus an Honourable Man? Discuss.”
The result? Lots of folk proclaiming success (on both sides) and lots of Westminster bubble noise about how brilliant the idea was. It’s seemed to me that the anti-Ed brigade has managed to drum up more media coverage and (in a rather self-congratulatory way) mocked the people who had the idea in the first place.
My view? I’ve better things to do with my time than send inane questions to the leader of the opposition on Twitter. (This to me definitely falls into the ‘twatter’ category) More to the point, it’s entirely laudable and as US politics (and more recently Mumsnet politics) has shown, reaching out online (if done like a normal, coherent human and not Gordon Brown) can actually improve political dialogue and win new support.
Not one of the ‘funny’ questions will win the tories a single vote. Moreso, if Labour’s comms team wasn’t totally incompetent, they’d have been hailing Ed’s resolve in sticking with it in spite of the ‘nasty’ and ‘juvenile’ efforts of others to disrupt a genuinely open minded coversation that Ed was reaching out with. (as evidenced, however weakly, by Ed responding to some of the negative questions.)
Social media is an opportunity to re-engage people who have been forgotten or neglected by recent political events. It’s also an opportunity to behave like petty schoolchildren infront of a worldwide audience. On one side of that line you can shape the future, while on the other you can complain you don’t like what’s happening.
This is a classic case of the Westminster bubble being very excitable about not very much, and the rest of the country watching on asking what on earth everyone is babbling on about and when they’ll start talking about things that really matter.
Labour have launched a new site. A calendar. Of May 2010. Hard edged stuff, full of empty space where I’m assuming the party would put its policies, if it had any.
Insert policies here.....
Aside from the ridicule it’s attracted on twitter, I’ve also spoted they have used May 2011 as the layout for their calendar, as 1 May 2010 fell on a Saturday. It’s that kind of attention to detail that really earns the trust of the public when you’re asking for the nuclear launch codes.
Well he’s got to pay for his campaign somehow!
Hours after my post exposing Balls’ dubious interpretation of his election costs, Labour HQ sent out an email touting a fundraising dinner with none other than the Shadow Chancellor as special guest.
At £55 per head for the “exciting event” to celebrating American Independence Day, guests can expect a three course meal including a welcome cocktail and a fundraising auction and raffle.
Clearly Balls is hoping to catch some of the stardust that both David Cameron and Boris Johnson enjoyed last week with Arnold Swarchenegger - the event’s being held at Planet Hollywood.
I wonder if Balls will be going in traditional American military dress? He’s tried the German look after all….
Posted: April 6th, 2011
Categories: Labour party
Tags: ed balls
Comments: No Comments
Morley and Outwood was undoubtedly one of the highest profile battlegrounds of the 2010 general election. Antony Calvert put up a sterling fight to turn a nominally safe Labour seat into a tight marginal with a majority of little more than 1,000. Not bad to say he barely had a fourteen months as candidate, compared to the four years many people enjoyed in some target seats.
One thing that did raise eyebrows was Ed Balls’ speech upon being declared the winner. Rather than recognise his narrow escape and pay tribute to his opponents, Balls went off on one, telling the assembled media and public that he wanted to send a message to the Tory campaign: “You can come along with all your posters, and all your leaflets, and all your advertising, but you cannot buy this constituency”
Figures now released tell another story - Ed Balls was the highest spending candidate in the seat.
He spent £26,659 to Calvert’s £24,911. And that doesn’t include the office funded by his union friends or the Parliamentary communications allowance he received as a sitting MP. (While his old constituency of Normanton was abolished, 2 of the wards in it remained in the new Morley & Outwood seat.)
Also, if anyone’s interested, my opponent Yvette Cooper spent £10,831 on her election campaign - roughly £5,000 more than me. (I came in at £5,761)
She nearly doubled my campaign spend, I nearly halved her majority. Who said the public don’t read election literature?!
I know, Ed Balls being hypocritical? I was gobsmacked too. Surely not!
Well, earlier today, on Nicky Campbell’s Radio 5 show, Balls went on the attack over fuel duty and VAT. Here’s what he had to say:
“I don’t think George Osborne understands what it is like to be an ordinary motorist turning up at the pumps because actually for many people it really bites in the household budget on a weekly basis.”
This would be a man who, when in government, enjoyed a household income of £300,000 for several years, and before that was paid £100k for less than a year’s workfor the Smith Institute.
Ed’s political strategy seems to be having his (very expensive) cake and eating it, and then hoping nobody calls him out when he says it’s from Asda.
Well, Ed, as your election result shows, the public aint buying that particular brand of BS.
Posted: March 16th, 2011
, Labour party
Tags: ed balls
Comments: 1 Comment