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Woolwich attack: Armed officers arrest fifth man in connection with death of Lee Rigby

Woolwich attack: Armed officers arrest fifth man in connection with death of Lee Rigby

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A MAN was arrested today by counter-terrorism officers in connection with the death of Drummer Lee Rigby, Scotland Yard said.

Armed officers were involved in the arrest of the man, 22, on suspicion of conspiracy to murder, in St Paul’s Road in Highbury Grove, north London, the Metropolitan Police said.

He is the fifth man to be arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder Drummer Rigby, 25, in Woolwich, south east London, last Wednesday.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “At 2.35pm today a 22-year-old man was arrested by officers from the MPS Counter-Terrorism Command investigating the murder of Lee Rigby.

“The man was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder by detectives supported by specialist firearms officers.

“He has been taken to a south-London police station where he remains in custody.

“He was arrested in St Paul’s Road, in Highbury Grove, north London.”

The latest arrest came hours after members of the serviceman’s family visited the scene of his murder.

Woolwich terror attack: Grieving family of murdered soldier Lee Rigby overcome with emotion as they lay flowers at scene where he died

His widow Rebecca, mother Lyn, 46, and stepfather Ian, 54, laid flowers at the Woolwich Barracks where the soldier with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was based, and where hundreds of floral tributes have already been left by wellwishers.

Their visit came as Home Secretary Theresa May warned today there are potentially thousands of people at risk of being radicalised in the UK, as she indicated plans for a fresh crackdown on extremist groups.

Home Secretary Theresa May poised to bring back ‘snooper’s charter’ that will give authorities access to internet records

Nine people have now been arrested in connection with Drummer Rigby’s death.

Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Oluwatobi Adebowale, 22, who are being held on suspicion of murder, remain in hospital.

Three men aged 28, 24 and 21 remain in police custody after being arrested yesterday on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder.

A 29-year-old man arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder has been released on bail, police said last night.

New poll shows 63 per cent of people living in UK would support the death penalty for convicted terrorists

Two women aged 29 and 31 who were held on Thursday on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder have been released without charge.

Kenyan anti-terrorism police today confirmed that Adebolajo had previously been arrested in the country close to the border with Somalia, where al Qaida-linked militant group al-Shabab is based.

Woolwich terror attack: Lee Rigby murder suspect was arrested in Kenya

Anti-terrorism unit head Boniface Mwaniki told the Associated Press he was arrested in 2010 along with five other men, all believed to have been preparing to train and fight with the group.

He said Adebolajo was later deported.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman confirmed that a British national was arrested in Kenya in 2010. “FCO provided consular assistance as normal for British nationals,” she said.

Kenya’s government spokesman later said Adebolajo,was arrested under a different name and taken to court before being handed to British authorities.

“Kenya’s government arrested Michael Olemindis Ndemolajo. We handed him to British security agents in Kenya and he seems to have found his way to London and mutated to Michael Adebolajo,” said spokesman Muthui Kariuki.

“The Kenyan government cannot be held responsible for what happened to him after we handed him to British authorities.”

Source : Daily Record

London: Man hacked to death with meat cleavers outside Woolwich army base. Terrorist?

London: Man hacked to death with meat cleavers outside Woolwich army base. Terrorist?

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A man has been hacked to death and possibly beheaded in a suspected terrorist attack outside a military base in south-east London.

Key Points

  • Cleaver murder victim believed to be soldier
  • Mobile phone footage shows attacker attempting to justify attack
  • Alleged attackers shot by police
  • Witness: “They were just animals.”
  • PM David Cameron cuts short France visit

 

Eyewitnesses say two men used a car to run the victim over in broad daylight on a street about 200 metres from the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich.

The men then attacked him with knives and a gun and then remained at the scene, asking passers-by to photograph and film them.

Footage shows one of the men carrying a blood-covered knife and meat cleaver and saying to the camera: “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you.”

Watch the ITV footage (warning: contains graphic images).

Armed police shot and wounded the two attackers after being called to the incident by bystanders.

There are reports the dead man was a serving soldier who was wearing a t-shirt with the logo of the Help for Heroes military charity.

Witnesses describe horror of ‘crazy’ attack

One eyewitness, identified only as James, told local radio station LBC the two assailants “were hacking at this poor guy”.

“We thought they were trying to remove organs or something.

“These two guys were crazy, they just were not there, they were just animals.”

In the footage of the aftermath of the attack, one of the attackers makes a number of political statements while the body of his victim lies in the road behind him.

Speaking in a London accent, the man, looking agitated and angry, said: “I apologise that women had to witness that, but in our lands our women have to see the same thing.

“You people will never be safe. Remove your government. They don’t care about you.”

“They were just animals,” one eyewitness said.

“They then dragged the poor guy, he was obviously dead. There was no way a human could take that, what they did to him.

“They dragged him from the pavement and dumped his body in the middle of the road.”

Eyewitness Michael Atley said there was blood all over the road.

“It’s a scene out of a horror movie, to be honest,” he said. “It’s incredible, absolutely incredible, never seen nothing like it.

“Just a bad day. A bad day for the whole of Britain.”

PM Cameron rushes back from Paris, security tightened

Security is being tightened at British military bases in the wake of the attack.

Prime minister David Cameron, who rushed back from Paris to chair an emergency national security meeting, said there were “strong indications” that the killing was “a terrorist incident.”

“The police are urgently seeking the full facts about this case but there are strong indications that it is a terrorist incident,” he said from Paris.

“People in every community, I believe, will utterly condemn this attack.

“We have had these sorts of attacks before in our country and we never buckle in the face of them.”

Home secretary Theresa May said in a statement: “This is a sickening and barbaric attack.”

London mayor Boris Johnson said security would be boosted at all London barracks.

“I know that Londoners have been through terrorism before and this city has a huge resilience,” he said.

“What we also have is the best, the most professional security services and the best police in the world to protect us and they are now going to get to the bottom of what’s happened.”

Police are on alert for disturbances across London, with reports that supporters of the far-right English Defence League had clashed with police in Woolwich.

Source : ABC.net
P Diddy Stars In Downton Abbey Spoof Video

P Diddy Stars In Downton Abbey Spoof Video

P-Diddy-Downton-Abbey

Hip hop producer P Diddy has released a spoof video showing him ‘starring’ in hit TV show Downton Abbey.

The US music mogul, real name Sean Combs, had announced on his Twitter account that he was to become a regular on the popular ITV period drama.

“MY BIG NEWS: So happy to announce that Im a series regular on DOWNTON ABBEY-my favorite show+i’ll be debuting a sneak peek tonight 12am PST!,” he said.

But after a series of posts promoting his ‘appearance’ in the show, a video featuring the 43-year-old was released on the Funny or Die website.

He begins by admitting his love for the series – declaring himself an “Abbeyhead” – before insisting he had been cast as its first black cast member.

A succession of clips follow, in which he appears alongside some the show’s main characters – while employing language unlikely to have featured previously in the period drama.

Hip Hop Summit
Diddy in more familiar surroundings, at a 2001 hip hop summit

Having introduced himself as Lord Wolcott, the new owner of Downton Abbey, he assures footman Thomas Barrow: “You keepin’ these hoes in check right here.”

Another clip shows him attempting to coax the Dowager Countess and Isobel Crawley to kiss each other, telling them: “I want you to use your tongues.”

After initial bemusement at Diddy’s claim he had joined the Downton cast, the show’s makers, Carnival, welcomed the producer’s humourous skit.

A spokesperson said, in a statement issued to Sky News: “P Diddy has done a brilliant job with this skit and we are thrilled that he is such a fan of the show.

“We would certainly welcome him to visit Downton Abbey in the future. Lord Wolcott may meet the Dowager yet.”

Actor Elizabeth McGovern, who plays the part of Downton’s Cora, Countess of Grantham, also said she would be happy to see Diddy join the show’s cast.

“Cora looks forward to welcoming him as a potential future son-in-law with open arms and possibly more,” she said.

Source : Sky.com
German neo-Nazi trial starts in Munich protests + people take to the streets

German neo-Nazi trial starts in Munich protests + people take to the streets

A handout police picture taken from the website of the German Federal Police, showing a picture of Beate Zschaepe, asks for information to the public

Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Munich in memory of 10 alleged murder victims of a neo-Nazi cell, the National Socialist Underground (NSU). A trial begins this week.

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Saturday’s demonstrations were called for by an alliance of leftist groups in memory of the NSU’s alleged victims.

The right-wing extremist group is accused of killing 10 people – eight with Turkish heritage, one from Greece and a German policewoman – between 2000 and 2007. The group was only uncovered in 2011. The sole surviving alleged core member, a 38-year-old woman, and four alleged accomplices are facing trial. The case is scheduled to begin next Wednesday.

Organizers of the protest march and rally through Munich said there were up to 10,000 attendees, while a police spokesman put the figure at around 5,500. Both said the gathering had been peaceful.

The march went for about 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) past a number of former Nazi buildings and a memorial to Munich’s Oktoberfest bombing of 1980. On September 26, 1980, a bomb exploded at the festival gates leaving 211 injured and 13 dead, including the bomber himself. The perpetrator was 21-year-old geology student Gundolf Wilfried Koehler, a member of a right-wing extremist group called the Wehrsportgruppe Hoffmann. The group had been banned shortly before the attack.

“We must have zero tolerance for neo-Nazis in this city,” said a survivor of Auschwitz, Esther Bejarano, in a message to the demonstration.

Foreign journalists granted access

On Friday, the German Constitutional Court ruled that Turkish journalists must be granted accreditation for the upcoming trial.

The court ordered the upper regional court (OLG) in Munich to reserve “a suitable number of seats for representatives of foreign media with particular consideration to the victims of the alleged crimes.”

Up until then, the OLG had resisted pressure to allow Turkish or Greek media into the court. There were 50 available places for reporters, and these were allocated on a “first come, first served” basis. No Turkish or Greek media outlets were among the first 50 to apply.

Several politicians, most recently Turkish President Abdullah Gül, had called for this situation to change – given a majority of the victims were of Turkish origin – along with Turkish and German news organizations, journalists’ unions like the DJV and other groups.

The federal government had voiced its “hopes” for a “sensitive” solution to the situation, albeit simultaneously stressing that the decision must lie with the independent German judiciary.

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By Damien McElroy and agencies

Police erected security barriers in anticipation of possible protests by far-right extremist groups, while hundreds of reporters queued outside the Munich courthouse in the hope of gaining one of the few available seats in the packed courtroom for the start of a trial scheduled to last for more than a year.

The chance discovery of the gang, the National Socialist Underground (NSU), which had gone undetected for more than a decade, has forced Germany to acknowledge it has a more militant and dangerous neo-Nazi fringe than previously thought.

The main defendant is Beate Zschaepe, 38, accused by prosecutor of complicity in the murder of eight Turks, a Greek and a policewoman between 2000 and 2007. If convicted she faces life imprisonment.

Zschaepe is also accused of involvement in at least two bombings and 15 bank robberies carried out by her accomplices Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Boenhardt, who died in an apparent murder-suicide in November 2011. In a break with standard practice the court allowed Zschaepe’s face to be filmed as she entered the court in a dark suit, her arms folded, before turning her back to the cameras.

Four male defendants are accused of assisting the self-styled National Socialist Underground in various ways:

– Ralf Wohlleben, 38, and Carsten Schultze, 33, are accused of being accessories to murder in the killing of the nine men. Prosecutors allege that they supplied the trio with the weapons and silencers used in the killings.

– Andre Eminger, 33, is accused of being an accessory in two of the bank robberies and in the 2004 nail bombing in Cologne’s old town that injured 22 people, four of them seriously. He is also accused of two counts of supporting a terrorist organization.

– Holger Gerlach, 39, is accused of three counts of supporting a terrorist organization.

Like Zschaepe, the co-defendants were known to German authorities before the existence of the self-styled National Socialist Underground came to light. Many in Germany have asked how the country’s well-funded security services, with their network of informants in the far-right scene, could have overlooked the group’s existence for so long. For years, police suspected the immigrant victims of being involved with foreign gangs linked to gambling and drugs.

Families of those killed and survivors of the bomb attacks in particular have said they are hoping not just for justice, but answers to questions such as how the group chose its victims, none of whom were high-profile targets.

One of Zschaepe’s three lawyers has claimed that his client faces “execution by media.”

Wolfgang Stahl told public broadcaster SWR last week that Zschaepe was being portrayed as “evil incarnate, a murderer, a member of a murder gang, a Nazi bride or a Nazi killer” in a way that could prejudice the trial judges.

Her lawyers have said she will remain silent during the lengthy trial. Under German law Zschaepe won’t have to make a plea until the end, though her lawyers have said they will contest the prosecution charges.

‘Ethnic majority’ areas growing, says report

‘Ethnic majority’ areas growing, says report

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David Barrett

By , Home Affairs Correspondent

The number of areas where black and Asian people make up the bulk of the population has grown significantly in the last decade, according to new research.

Demos, the Left-wing think-tank, said its analysis of Census data for England and Wales showed ethnic minorities are concentrating in particular areas and white people are moving out.

The findings echo a phenomenon first seen in the mid-20th century United States – where it was dubbed “white flight” – which saw racially-mixed urban areas become predominantly black as affluent whites moved to the suburbs.

The research is significant because Demos, which was once closely linked with the previous Labour government which increased immigration to record levels, suggested ethnic minorities are becoming more isolated in British life rather than becoming more integrated in a “multi-cultural” Britain.

It found 4.6 million ethnic minority Britons – about 45 per cent of the country’s black and Asian population – are now living in areas where whites are in a minority.

Ten years ago just one million black and Asian people, or 25 per cent of the country’s then total ethnic minority population, lived in such communities, said Demos.

In the 2001 Census, 282 of the 8,850 council wards in England and Wales were classed as “high non-white” or “highest non-white” by Demos, but in the 2011 Census that figure had risen to 414.

David Goodhart, director of Demos said: “This has uncovered a really quite shocking level of concentration of the ethnic minority population, which means there is less opportunity for interaction with the white mainstream.”

Demos’s research said in minority-dominated areas new waves of immigrants such as Somalis take up housing vacated by established minorities, such as Afro-Caribbeans.

“This means a dissipation of ethnic concentrations, but also an increase in the number of people who have limited contact with white British people,” it said.

The paper attributed the changes to white British people choosing not to move to minority-dominated areas.

Trevor Phillips, a former chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality and its successor, described it as “majority retreat”.

Mr Phillips, who is now a Demos associate, said: “This very interesting piece of research reveals a number of vital findings about how people in England and Wales are living together.

“What ought to make us a little anxious is the ‘majority retreat’ it has unearthed – white people leaving minority-led areas and not returning – which isn’t good news for the cause of integration.”

The research by Eric Kaufmann, professor of politics at Birkbeck College, London, also showed some ethnic minorities are spreading out more into white-dominated parts of the country.

Black and Asian people are becoming less rare in provincial England because there are now fewer than 800 council wards that are more than 98 per cent white compared with more than 5,000 in 2001.

Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migration Watch said the findings were a sign that Britain is becoming more segregated.

He said: “This is extremely serious. It is undeniable evidence that we have indeed been sleepwalking into segregation as Trevor Phillips warned seven years ago and it is the clear result of Labour’s mass immigration policy.

“Public dismay at the pace of change in our communities largely explains why so many voted as they did in last week’s local elections.

“The case for a sharp reduction in immigration is now overwhelming; we cannot possibly integrate new arrivals on anything like the present scale.”

New 2013 Porsche 911 Turbo unveiled

New 2013 Porsche 911 Turbo unveiled

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New 2013 Porsche 911 Turbo unveiled

Leo Wilkinson

By  @ The Daily Telegraph

The new Porsche 911 Turbo has been revealed; it gets a twin-turbocharged engine, four-wheel drive and rear-wheel steering, and costs from £118,349.

Technical highlights of the new 911 Turbo include a new 3.8-litre flat-six petrol engine with two turbochargers that’s more powerful, yet more fuel-efficient, than its predecessor’s. In standard form it develops 514bhp, while the Turbo S version gets 552bhp.

Drive is via a seven-speed dual-clutch PDK transmission, and there’s a newly-developed four-wheel-drive system that features an electronically controlled and activated multi-plate clutch.

A start/stop system is standard. EU Combined fuel consumption for both models is 29.1mpg, an improvement of up to 16 per cent. Porsche quotes a 0-62mph time of 3.2 seconds for the 911 Turbo with optional Sport Chrono Package Plus, and 3.1 seconds for the Turbo S. Top speed is 197mph.

At speeds up to 31mph the rear wheels steer in the opposite direction to improve responsiveness and aid parking. Above 50mph the rear wheels turn parallel to the front wheels to improve high-speed stability.

As with its predecessors, the new 911 Turbo has wider rear bodywork than lesser 911 models – in this case its overall width is 28mm wider than that of the Carrera 4. Other distinguishing features are two-tone 20in alloy wheels and bespoke bumpers.

An “active aerodynamic system” makes its debut on the 911 Turbo. It consists of retractable three-stage spoilers at the front and rear of the car, allowing the aerodynamics to be biased towards either efficiency or downforce.

The new Porsche 911 Turbo is available to order now. It costs £118,349 for the standard model and £140,852 for the Turbo S. First customer deliveries will be in September.

London Mayor announces £25m small business fund

London Mayor announces £25m small business fund

Regent+Street

London Mayor announces £25m small business fund

Tim DonovanBy Tim DonovanPolitical Editor, BBC London

Mayor of London Boris Johnson makes a Gu chocolate souffle with head chef Boris Johnson visited a Gu pudding maker’s factory in east London
London Mayor Boris Johnson plans to use £25m of government money to help small businesses access loans.

It forms part of proposals to invest the second tranche of a total £111m provided by the government to try to revive London’s economy.

Government ministers recently criticised the mayor’s slow progress in creating a “jobs and growth strategy”.

The mayor has so far spent only £2m of £70m available to his London Enterprise Panel in the first tranche.

Continue reading the main story

“Start Quote

It is vital that the scheme announced today is attached to the soon to be created Business Bank which will house a myriad of similar funds”

Steve WarwickFederation of Small Businesses

Mr Johnson was not clear on the details of how the £25m would be spent but said would be used to help small businesses.

“Today’s fund, which will enable significant support for small and medium businesses, is just one way we are working to unlock potential and provide jobs for our growing city,” Mr Johnson said Mr Johnson at a Gu pudding factory in Walthamstow.

‘Turned down’

His officials said the idea was to get a private financial institution to match the amount, creating a £50m fund to help provide loans and equity for small and medium-sized businesses.

Steve Warwick from the Federation of Small Businesses said it would be welcomed.

“The credit crunch has meant that many businesses have struggled to get the finance that they need to operate their business effectively,” he said.

“Our research shows that five in ten businesses in London were turned down for a loan or overdraft in the first quarter of 2013.

“This needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency which is why it is vital that the scheme announced today is attached to the soon to be created Business Bank which will house a myriad of similar funds.”

A further £15m is being made available for companies and research institutions in the science and technology sector who must apply for funding.

It has also emerged the mayor plans to spend £25m on widening the Western Anglia rail route, saying this will help the economy of east London by improving transport links.

Mr Johnson said it was “coincidental” the West Anglia rail franchise is one of the two he wants to take over next year.

Kris Kross Rapper Chris ‘Mac Daddy’ Kelly Dies

Kris Kross Rapper Chris ‘Mac Daddy’ Kelly Dies

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Chris Kelly, known as one half of the 1990s US rap duo Kris Kross, has died at the age of 34 in what police say may have been a drug overdose.

Police were called to Kelly’s home in south Atlanta at around 4:30pm (local time) on Wednesday.

He was taken to the south campus of the Atlanta Medical Centre and pronounced dead around 5pm.

Corporal Kay Lester of the Fulton County police said “it appears it may have been a possible drug overdose”.

A post-mortem examination is due to be carried out to establish an official cause of death.

Kelly, known as “Mac Daddy,” and Chris Smith, known as “Daddy Mac”, were introduced to the music world in 1992 by music producer and rapper Jermaine Dupri.

Chris Kelly, Kriss Kross
Police say Kelly may have died from a drug overdose

He had discovered the pair in an Atlanta shopping centre.

Their most famous song was the frenetic Jump, taken from their multi-platinum debut album Totally Krossed Out.

And they were also known for their fashion style, wearing their clothes backwards.

Jump reached number one in the US and Australia and two in the UK.

Their musical achievements led to instant fame. They toured with Michael Jackson, appeared on TV shows, and even had their own video game.

The duo was never able to match the success of their first song, though they had other hits like Warm It Up and Tonite’s Tha Night.

Earlier this year, the pair performed together to celebrate the anniversary of Durpri’s label, So So Def.

Beyonce’s demands for London’s 02 event

Beyonce’s demands for London’s 02 event

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A list of demands from Beyonce‘s London O2 Arena residency have reportedly been revealed.

The singer is allegedly demanding £600 drinking straws and hand-carved ice balls on her rider and she is insisting that her crew wear only 100 per cent pure cotton clothes, to save her from allergic reactions, according to The Daily Star. It also claims she demands her dressing room has freshly painted white walls and a new toilet seat, and will only use red toilet paper.

Junk food is banned and snacks must include glass platters of almonds and oatcakes – and there’s a strict green-only policy when it comes to salad bar nibbles. Other reported demands include special alkaline water that is served at exactly 21 degrees. “She’s extremely regimented and is taking everything extremely seriously, so she expects her list of demands to be adhered to. Working so hard and with the toll the travel takes on her body in addition to the intense shows, she feels that her requests aren’t too much to ask for as she wants to ensure everything goes to plan,” a source said.

During her six-night residency, Beyonce has snubbed brand new dressing rooms at the venue in favour of much larger quarters normally reserved for sports teams. “The new dressing rooms are superb – it’s like you’ve stepped into a luxury apartment. But she surprised everyone by turning them down, going for the larger ones that are used by sports teams when they play at the O2,” an insider told the Evening Standard, before adding: “They are much bigger though, and she was given free rein to refurbish them to her own taste. They’re also in a quieter part of the backstage area, which gives her a better atmosphere to get focused for her shows.”

Beyonce last night (April 30) played the second night of her O2 residency, performing for another packed house and – as happened previously – covering part of The Verve’s ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’. Her song ‘If I Were A Boy’ replicated the Verve hit’s string sample, and the lyrics were changed to include the ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’ line “I’m a million different people from one day to the next“.

Source: NME

Do you know your social media rights?

Do you know your social media rights?

UK.Gov passes Instagram Act: All your pics belong to everyone now

socialphotos

Have you ever uploaded a photo to Facebook, Instagram or Flickr?

If so, you’ll probably want to read this, because the rules on who can exploit your work have now changed radically, overnight.

 Amateur and professional illustrators and photographers alike will find themselves ensnared by the changes, the result of lobbying by Silicon Valley and radical bureaucrats and academics. The changes are enacted in the sprawling Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act which received Royal Assent last week, and it marks a huge shift in power away from citizens and towards large US corporations.

How so? Previously, and in most of the world today, ownership of your creation is automatic, and legally considered to be an individual’s property. That’s enshrined in the Berne Convention and other international treaties, where it’s considered to be a basic human right. What this means in practice is that you can go after somebody who exploits it without your permission – even if pursuing them is cumbersome and expensive.

The UK coalition government’s new law reverses this human right. When last year Instagram attempted to do something similar, it met a furious backlash. But the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act has sailed through without most amateurs or semi-professionals even realising the consequences.

The Act contains changes to UK copyright law which permit the commercial exploitation of images where information identifying the owner is missing, so-called “orphan works”, by placing the work into what’s known as “extended collective licensing” schemes. Since most digital images on the internet today are orphans – the metadata is missing or has been stripped by a large organisation – millions of photographs and illustrations are swept into such schemes.

For the first time anywhere in the world, the Act will permit the widespread commercial exploitation of unidentified work – the user only needs to perform a “diligent search”. But since this is likely to come up with a blank, they can proceed with impunity. The Act states that a user of a work can act as if they are the owner of the work (which should be you) if they’re given permission to do so by the Secretary of State.

The Act also fails to prohibit sub-licensing, meaning that once somebody has your work, they can wholesale it. This gives the green light to a new content-scraping industry, an industry that doesn’t have to pay the originator a penny. Such is the consequence of “rebalancing copyright”, in reality.

What now?

Quite what happens next is not clear, because the Act is merely enabling legislation – the nitty gritty will come in the form of statutory instruments, to be tabled later in the year. Parliament has not voted down a statutory instrument since 1979, so the political process is probably now a formality.

In practice, you’ll have two stark choices to prevent being ripped off: remove your work from the internet entirely, or opt-out by registering it. And registration will be on a work-by-work basis.

“People can now use stuff without your permission,” explained photo rights campaigner Paul Ellis. “To stop that you have to register your work in a registry – but registering stuff is an activity that costs you time and money. So what was your property by default will only remain yours if you take active steps, and absorb the costs, if it is formally registered to you as the owner.”

And right now, Ellis says, there’s only one registry, PLUS. Photographers, including David Bailey, condemned the government for rushing through the legislation before other registries – such as the Copyright Hub – could sort themselves out.

“The mass of the public will never realise they’ve been robbed,” thinks Ellis. The radical free-our-information bureaucrats at the Intellectual Property Office had already attempted to smuggle orphan works rules through via the Digital Economy Act in 2010, but were rebuffed. Thanks to a Google-friendly Conservative-led administration, they’ve now triumphed.

Three other consequences appear possible.

One is a barrage of litigation from UK creators – and overseas owners who find their work Hoovered into extended collective licensing programs. International treaties allow a country to be ostracised and punished. The threat has already been made clear from US writers and photographers, who’ve promised “a firestorm“. Reciprocal royalty arrangements can also be suspended, on the basis of “if you steal our stuff, UK, we won’t pay you”. In addition, a judicial review, based on the premise that the Act gives Minister unconstitutional power over the disposal of private property, is not out of the question.

Secondly, the disappearance of useful material from the internet is likely to accelerate – the exact opposite of what supporters wish for. We recently highlighted the case of an aerial photographer who’s moving work outside the UK, and we’ve heard of several who are taking their photos away from the web, and into lockers. The internet is poorer without a diverse creative economy – because creators need legal certainty of property rights.

And finally, there’s the macroeconomic consequences for the UK economy.

The notorious ‘Google Review’ chaired by Ian Hargreaves failed to undertake adequate impact assessments, a giveaway that even the most rabid “copyright reformers” recognise there isn’t an economic case to be made for taking everyone’s stuff and giving it away.

“There’s value in works, and if anybody can exploit them except the person who creates them, then value is transferred to the exploiter,” explains Ellis. “This is a massive value transfer out of the UK economy to US tech companies.”

Where it will remain, he thinks, because UK tech/media companies – should they appear – almost invariably become US-owned.

Copyright “reformers” of course rarely like to talk about such unpleasant matters – and will steer the conversation away from economic consequences as rapidly as possible. Indeed, the they generally talk using Orwellian euphemisms – like “liberalising” or “rebalancing” copyright. It’s rarely presented as an individual’s ability to go to market being removed. This is what “copyright reform” looks like in practice.

“It’s corporate capitalism,” says Ellis. “Ideally you want to empower individuals to trade, and keep the proceeds of their trade. The UK has just lost that.”

So while the Twitterati and intelligentsia were ranting away about “Big Content”, we’ve just lost the ability to sell our own content. In other words, you’ve just been royally fucked.

Source : The Register

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