Written by: Mark Chapman

Written by: David Elston

Written by: David Elston

Written by: David Elston

Written by: David Elston

Written by: Danfox Davies

Written by: Danfox Davies

Written by: Danfox Davies

Written by: Mark Chapman

Written by: Loz Kaye

Written by: Andy Halsall

Written by: Adrian Short

Written by: Loz Kaye

Written by: Loz Kaye

Written by: Andy Halsall

Written by: Andy Halsall

Andy Halsall : The cost of action in Iraq

Our involvement must be more than military and truly in the cause of freedom and democracy.

When parliament voted to invade Iraq in 2003, it was based on what we later found out to be disinformation and deceit. We were misled. The countless thousands who opposed the war were vocal in their opposition - but they were not listened to, they were ignored. And the UK went to war.

Today, Iraq isn't the beacon of peace and democracy that we had hoped it would become, in a region with far too little of either. Far from it. Iraq is a very troubled state. The sectarian divisions that arose after our invasion and the impact of the poor planning and even poorer decisions taken during the post-invasion period continue to hinder progress and freedom in Iraq.

It is absolutely true that the situation in Iraq is at least in part down to the choices we made in 2003. Yet the decision parliament was asked to make today was very different, the situation it aims to address is different and the context in which it was raised is different.  

Chris Monteiro : Who made this? Could digitally registered images be the future for creators?

It's a difficult time to be a photographer. With the ubiquity of high resolution camera phones and online sharing technologies, the work of a creator claiming appropriate credit for their work, let alone compensation has never been more difficult. Whilst the cost of media duplication has dropped to almost nothing, many fear the means to appropriately credit and compensate creators, especially individuals and small businesses have been destroyed by these modern technologies.

In April 2013 the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act was passed which allow use of 'orphaned works', which is to say if you can't find the owner of an image after a 'diligent search', then you may now use the work where as previously you typically could not legally do so. This marked a fundamental shift in the UK government's approach to content sharing from presumption of copyright, to proof of copyright being required. Whilst this move has opened a market more amenable to sharing in the internet age, serious concerns from photographer's groups have been raised  that this legalisation fundamentally undermines the rights to their works.

Maria Aretoulaki : European Court of Justice Google ruling gives the Dog a Bone

Yesterday the European Court of Justice, based in Luxembourg, passed a landmark ruling that has caused a lot of jubilation among data privacy advocates: the Google US and Spain versus the Spanish Agency for Data Protection and a brave Spaniard who sued Google for listing information on his repossessed home in its search results.

It has been hailed as the precedent that will secure individuals the "right to be forgotten" from the internet, if they so wish. Drunken pics of you and your mates on Facebook? Looking for a job? Ask for those photos to be taken down before the HR guy discovers them 30mins before your interview! Sorted! Or is it?

Sifting through the legalese, let's concentrate just on the actual ruling, i.e. Points 1-4 at the very end of the document / webpage. If you don't get distracted by the article numbers and opening and closing paragraphs, the ECJ has actually ruled the following:

1.       Article 2(b) and (d) of Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data are to be interpreted as meaning that, first, the activity of a search engine consisting in finding information published or placed on the internet by third parties, indexing it automatically, storing it temporarily and, finally, making it available to internet users according to a particular order of preference must be classified as ‘processing of personal data’ within the meaning of Article 2(b) when that information contains personal data and, second, the operator of the search engine must be regarded as the ‘controller’ in respect of that processing, within the meaning of Article 2(d).

Maria Aretoulaki : "Bloody EU regulations, coming here and giving us rights!"

Unfortunately, the current political rhetoric on the subject of EU membership focuses on "immigration" and "foreigners coming here and stealing our jobs". Nobody is talking about all the "foreigners" who come here and pay taxes which fund UK schools and UK hospitals, nor of the "foreigners" who set up businesses here and give Brits jobs (as well as contribute to the growth of the UK Economy). And of course nobody is talking about all the Brits who emigrate and thrive in other EU countries. Even less do we speak of all the "Bloody EU Regulations, coming to this country and giving us rights!" to adapt the Tweet shown here. We all need to rethink our relationship with the EU, as well as demand its democratic reform. What we need is Family therapy. It would be wrong to go straight for Divorce. The first step is of course to go out and vote in the European Parliamentary Elections! And vote for candidates who stand for democracy and civil and human rights. The fewer people go out and vote, the less representative of our will, beliefs, and needs the appointed MEPs are going to be. This is what brings fascists into power: apathy and scapegoats.

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