October 2004

For many journalist, and in particular, freelance photographers …..Copyright Grabs have become a standard feature of so many clients contracts. They are a ‘try-on’. These links describe the issue, and some, like the NUJ, RedEye and EP-UK suggest ways of combating such requests.

I hope others, who find themselves in a similar situation [freelance photographers] find them interesting and of some use.

Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (c. 48)



The Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 2003 – Statutory Instrument 2003 No. 2498


NUJ Freelance Newsletter


NUJ Ten things every freelance should know on copyright:


Editorial Photographers UK – EP-UKTrading under the new copyright legislation


Response to Copyright Grab Attempts…





Redeye Copyright advice and information


Intellectual Property – UK gov advice


The Copyright Licensing Agency Ltd (CLA)


Creators’ Rights Alliance




Yorkshire Media: Photographic Copyright and Licensing Explained



I am watching this series on BBCfour this week.

In this first ever television history of disbelief, Jonathan Miller leads viewers on a personal journey exploring the origins of his own lack of belief and uncovering the hidden story of atheism.


and I think it splendid.

I find some quotes from Dr Miller’s case, quite compelling. Foremost of which is the Epicurean paradox

On Atheism

“If God listened to the prayers of men, all men would quickly have perished: for they are forever praying for evil against one another.”

Epicurus [341 BC-271 BC]

“Death does not concern us, because as long as we exist, death is not here. And when it does come, we no longer exist.”

Epicurus [341 BC-271 BC]

Epicurean paradox posits that:

If God exists, then he is all-powerful.

If God exists, then he is good.

If God is all-powerful and good, then there would be no evil.

There is evil.

Therefore God does not exist.

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?

Then he is impotent.

Is he able, but not willing?

Then he is malevolent.

Is he both able and willing?

Whence then is evil?

Epicurus [341 BC-271 BC]

I do not pretend to be able to prove that there is no God. I equally cannot prove that Satan is a fiction. The Christian god may exist; so may the gods of Olympus, or of ancient Egypt, or of Babylon. But no one of these hypotheses is more probable than any other: they lie outside the region of even probable knowledge, and therefore there is no reason to consider any of them.

Bertrand Russell

* * * * * *

While on the subject of God, and the ISM’s, I thought I would share this analysis with you:

George Melley on Religion:

Taoism – shit happens.

Bhuddism – the shit that happens to us is good.

Hinduism – the shit that happens to us has happened before.

Zen – what is the sound of shit happening.

Catholic – the shit that happens to you, you deserve.

Protestantism – the shit that happens to you, why doesn’t it happen to somebody else.

Jewish – why does this shit always happen to me.

Agnostic – I’m not sure I believe in this shit.

Atheist – I don’t believe in any of this shit.

Rastafarian – let’s smoke this shit.

George Melley Radio 4 August 1995

HEHE, Wicked 馃檪

I wandered past some rocks at Beacon Hill, Leicestershire, earlier in the day, and all was normal!

Then I wandered back, an hour or so later, and blimey!! a couple of artists had created a ‘public art installation’ with two tone pink rocks ……

Peoples reaction, on turning the corner, to discover these, were quite amusing. Kids, “Gosh, look mum. Pink Rocks!” etc ……

I took pictures, they took some more, and it seems there will we an exhibition of their work, with some pictures going up in Nottingham Castle in a few months.

I’ll let to all know dear readers ….

More piccys on my PhotoBlog at: http://tashcamuk.fotopages.com/?entry=249983

A few folk have asked me what has happened to Exodus. The Luton Dance music collective. Dirty tricks department! yea, here you go, cop this lot …………..

LODGING COMPLAINTS (Investigation into masonic attacks on Exodus Collective)http://www.squall.co.uk/squall.cfm/…2001061917/ct=2

FIREBOMBED! PRESSURE MOUNTS ON LUTON FREE PARTY POSSE http://www.schnews.org.uk/archive/news60.htm

COLLECTIVE STRENGTH http://www.schnews.org.uk/archive/news92.htm

WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO THE EXODUS COLLECTIVE? Part One (interview with former spokesmanGlenn Jenkins) http://www.squall.co.uk/squall.cfm/…2003021101/ct=2

THE PHAROAH’S MEN DROWNING AGAIN (bedfordshire police activities against exodus collective) http://www.squall.co.uk/squall.cfm/…2001061801/ct=2

The police have much to answer for after raiding members of a Lutonhousing collective in search of drugs. http://static.highbeam.com/n/newsta…sear







Red Pepper http://www.redpepper.org.uk/cularch/xexodus.html

Cobalt http://www.cobaltmagazine.demon.co.uk

Exodus splits up http://www.guilfin.net/reports/?id=rwINET211

and, as you can see, the ‘dirty trick department has been active, with a few of us that do try to make progress.. hence, yet another bloody civil action …….. Beanfield, Operation solstice, Operation Daybreak, Operation Nomad, Operation Snapshot, Operation Mermaid, FIT team, sgt sulley etc. they hate us, ssooooooooo much. BUT, as they dont seem able to win squarely, within the ‘rules of evidence’ and by due process. they try subtifuge, and play dirty!!Some are quite amazed that this goes on, but i remind you all, were not playing a gentlemans’ game of cricket here…

surv – Nomad: http://tash.gn.apc.org/nomad_10.htm

surv – start: http://tash.gn.apc.org/surv_10.htm

surv – watched: http://tash.gn.apc.org/watched1.htm


Exodus: Parties with a Purposehttp://tash.gn.apc.org/exodus1.htm

Exodus: To rave or to riot?http://tash.gn.apc.org/exodus2.htm

so,, mind how you go, but still go 馃檪

Personally, I come from a free festivals and travelling background. New Age Travellers etc.

A number of sayings have helped guide my life over time. Like….

Bring what you expect to find?

If not you, who?

If not now, when?

If not here, where?

In sum, this means self-reliance. It means gigs are ALWAYS better, when people attending don鈥檛 just attend , but are a main part of the act. It is obvious to all those there, when this magic happens.

This is actually where I came in. 1972 Windsor, Stonehenge etc….. These were my motives then and remain so now.

Of course the authorities have difficulty with a system that means they are not in sole charge, hence all the law and violence since the Beanfield etc……

Over time, I have been involved in raising awareness about the law changes and their implications to us all.

路 Public Order Act 1986

路 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994

路 Noise Act

路 Barry Legg MP: Places of Entertainments (Increased Penalty) Act

路 Security Services Act

And now all the Acts that have been going through parliament – with the words

鈥渃onduct by a large number of persons in pursuit of a common purpose鈥 being a new definition of serious crime!!!

With the new definition of serious crime, that enable the use of some 鈥榟eavier鈥 police departments to be applied against us. And will be the end of all the RTS and similar gigs.

Shame eh?

Now, in 鈥榬ave mode鈥, I have spent time with the Velvet Revolution and All Systems gigs, I had written 鈥楽ound Advice鈥 and the ‘Right to Party鈥 – to try and raise these matters in peoples minds.

Well, we have lost each of the matters I鈥檓 on about here. Whoever you vote for, the government gets in!

What I am absolutely positive about though, is that people involved in the scene,


People have to realise that self-interest and their own immediate happiness ( hedonism?), is not enough to make a festival, party rave, traveller site, gathering.

Important, but not enough.

Some folks on reading this will have been too young, to have had any objection to these changes as they have happened over recent years. But many others of you will have been.

The way parties are now organised, between those trying to conform with some pretty onerous conditions, (ie half to 2/3 of a ticket price to 鈥榮elf-police鈥 and pay for your own public order management and drug search.!) and those involved with the 鈥榝ree鈥 end of things but at continued 鈥榩ersonal鈥 rather than 鈥榮heared鈥 risks.

This division is of course orchestrated by the other side.

This old hippy / raver? Is now of the opinion that folk have now got the party they deserve. Discuss……..

This was the brief I originally submitted to the BBC, regarding the BBCfour program, just been shown last week.


Motives: to look for alternatives to ‘modern life’. Thoughts of sustainability, damage of modern society to environment. Thoughts of the Hopi Indian prophecies. To, ‘tread lightly on the land’. Nomadism Vs Settlement and agriculture. Farmers Vs Hunter-gatherers. A tension, back to the stone age. City life, disconnected from ‘reality’, Psychologists talk of alienation. We try to combat this with changes to lifestyle. So, ‘ways of being,’ sustainability psychology, sustainable environment. Simply experiments in life. Wanting to live and associate with those that you want to, not neighbours you hate / or hate you 馃檪

None of this is an easy alternative or ‘dropping-out’. It is very ‘front-line’, dropping right in it !!

1. Windsor / festival Land-rights [peoples free festival august bank holiday] 1972-4

Development from the Hyde Park Diggers, London Squatting Movement. Early free festivals, Fun. Thames Valley Police Attack in August 1974.

2. Stonehenge [now the new Peoples Free Festival [summer solstice]

superseded Windsor 1972-4 – 1984

‘Annual General’ meeting, when the rest of the calendar of events, got made up and discussed.

[some say one reason for the opposition to the Stonehenge festival was because of the risk of interference with the deployment of the Cruise Missile convoys from Greenham and Molesworth. Cruisewatch]

3. Greenham Common. RAF station for deployment of Cruise Missiles. Media invention of the ‘Peace Convoy’. Travelled there from Stonehenge. Plug into the existing peace camp.June1982.

4. Molesworth Peace Camp RAF station for deployment of Cruise Missiles. up to Feb 1985.

Field Marshal Hesltine and evictions

5. Battle of the Beanfield. Operation Solstice. Hants / wilts border. Legal cloak of High Court Injunction. 1st June 1985

6. Stoney Cross. Operation Daybreak. Re-run of the previous year, across 7 counties, much stress, but with less violence [police watched with much media interest]. Medieval Brigands speech. Setting for Section 39 Public Order Act 1986. [enacted April 1987]. Now Criminal Trespass. “If three people bring 12 vehicle on land, for the common purpose of residing there, then they commit and offence”.

7. Free Parties 1988 onward. section 39 was about ‘common purpose of residing’ What If they don’t stay long enough for the criminal trespass to take effect, but move after a night. Hence now a nocturnal activity.

8. Caslemorton Common. 1992 [and four similar events within weeks in that area]. Michael .Howard [bless him], now thinks of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. Operation Snapshot, vast increase in Surveillance. Strengthen POA 86, and now include music style, repetitive beats etc…

9. Enviro protests: Twyford , Newbury, Birmingham Roads, Manchester Airport etc

10. Traveller and modern trav / ravers / free party person, now leave country in large numbers 1995. European countries enact similar laws, to offset people reason to leave UK >>

11. Reclaim The Streets [RTS] in cities invented, to out-manoeuvre rural road blocks. and still be able to gather. 1996 onwards

12. Anti-social behaviour Act 2003. + ‘Gathering’ of more than two. Terrorism Act 2000

People of Nottingham have held a minute’s silence to remember schoolgirl Danielle Beccan – who was shot and killed as she returned home from the Goose fair.

Family and friends of the 14-year-old joined community and church leaders to pay their respects and to call on the city to reject gun culture.

The city’s mayor said: “By standing together as a community we will work to make our city safer. Guns have no place in Nottingham. Not in Nottingham.”

The Shooting of Danielle Beccan, was the latest example of gun violence in Nottingham.

More pictures at:


A previous entry on my blog, including the foral tributes at the scene and the press conference.


Have advised and contributed to a BBC prog about festival / stonehenge / travellers etc.

There is much about such nasties as the “Battle of the Beanfield” etc

Its on later today. Set your videos if you can ….

New Age Travellers: Time Shift / BBC four – Thursday 21st Oct 9.00pm

New Age Travellers are regarded by many as pariahs. With unique and never before seen archive this week’s Time Shift takes a fresh look at those who’ve often been called soap dodging, anti-social, drug taking scroungers.

From their origins in the early seventies, as idealists looking for an alternative way of life, we see how legislation and increasing fragmentation have eroded both the appeal and viability of being a New Age Traveller. Narrated by Paul McGann.

Videoplus: 9058781

Thursday 21st Oct 9.00pm


Thursday 21st Oct 11.30pm

Friday 22nd Oct 02.40am

Sunday 24th Oct 12.00am

Thu 21 Oct, 21:00-21:40 40mins Stereo Widescreen

Website http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfour/documentaries/timeshift

Subject Factual; Documentaries



* * * * * *

Have now stuff about it to a couple of stonehenge Yahoo group and for more info, Check out:





Pete Lawrence: Time Shift Series Editor says:

Travellers have roamed Britain for centuries and New Age Travellers have adopted many Gypsy traditions in an attempt to become genuine nomads themselves. Challenging mainstream society has been central to their motivation, Inevitably this has brought them into conflict with landowners and the police.

Fergus Colville’s Time Shift documentary takes a fresh look; following the story from the early 1970s search for an alternative way of life, to the present day, where legislation and increasing fragmentation have eroded both the appeal and viability of being a New Age Traveller.

We managed to get some unique and previously unscreened archive of the Stonehenge festivals which helps to give a different perspective on the news reporting of the time.



John Naughton

Sunday October 17, 2004

The Observer

FIVE years ago, I had a conversation with a friend of mine – a very eminent scholar who specialises in international relations. He looks like someone out of central casting – grey hair, an absent-minded bearing, with a penchant for elegant but crumpled corduroy suits. He has an acute sense of history, and often seems to view everything from an altitude of 30,000 feet. We were talking about the internet, and the challenge it represented to the established order. I had outlined what I saw as the amazing potential of the network to transform access to information, make it impossible for governments and media establishments to hush up scandals, undermine established corporations, create new kinds of businesses which had hitherto been inconceivable, etc, etc – in short, to change the world.

My friend courteously heard me out. Then he said: ‘Well, we’ll see. Perhaps this technology is indeed a revolutionary threat to the established order. But I wouldn’t bet on it.’

Five years on, I’m not so sure I would bet on it either. Consider this report from Thursday’s Guardian. ‘Last week, Rackspace, a [web] hosting company with headquarters in Texas, handed two of its London-based servers to the FBI after a subpoena for their contents was issued by a US district court. The servers contained material belonging to the Independent Media Centre – better known as Indymedia (www.indymedia.org) – a conglomeration of global radical anti-globalisation sites produced by ordinary citizens.’

Now one of the interesting things about Indymedia is that much of its content is produced by amateurs – what it calls ‘citizen journalists’. Its Internet Service Provider, Rackspace, said it was merely complying with a court order ‘which establishes procedures for countries to assist each other in investigations such as international terrorism, kidnapping and money laundering’. Indymedia has been unable to find out why its material has been seized and its sites disabled. Is it because, somewhere in its web pages, there are genuinely sinister things? Or just material that someone – the Attorney-General of the United States, for example – doesn’t like? In the Kafkaesque world bequeathed to us by Osama bin Laden and his opponents, we simply don’t know.

The moral of the Indymedia story is that, when push comes to shove with the established order, the internet usually blinks first. While in principle the net provides the most unfettered and uncensored communications medium in history, in practice it has a critical weak link – the fact that in order to access the net, everyone has to go through an ISP. And ISPs are, for the most part, commercial companies – organisations owned by shareholders and run by accountants and lawyers who tend to see the upholding of liberty and free speech as loss-making activities best avoided. What this means is that the moment a threatening letter arrives, they tend to take down the site ‘just to be on the safe side’.

And usually they do this without examining whether the complaint has even superficial validity. You think I jest? Well, consider the findings of an experiment conducted recently by an activist group called ‘Bits of Freedom’. They signed up with 10 Dutch ISPs and then put online a work by a famous Dutch author, Multatuli, who died more than 100 years ago. The online versions stated that the work was in the public domain. The group then set up a fake society which claimed to be the copyright holder of the work and sent out complaints to all 10 ISPs using a Hotmail address, demanding that they take down this ‘copyrighted’ material. Seven out of ten removed the site – one within just three hours. One ISP forwarded all the personal details of the site owner to the sender of the fake takedown notice without even being asked to do so. Only one ISP pointed out that the copyright on the work had expired many years ago. Or, to put it another way, only one of the 10 ISPs bothered to look at the supposedly offending material.

The moral is clear. If you want to censor someone, just get your lawyer to write a snotty letter to the ISP that hosts his or her site. More generally, those of us who worry about freedom will have to address the issue of ISPs. There may be a case, for example, for NGOs across the world to band together to set up an ISP which would be prepared to investigate and vigorously contest complaints and injunctions from the established order. The days when we could assume that we could ‘publish and be damned’ on the net are over.



Have advised and contributed to a BBC prog about festival / stonehenge / travellers etc.

There is much about such nasties as the “Battle of the Beanfield” etc

They have moved it a few times. but production have emailed me last week again. The latest transmission date is:

New Age Travellers: Time Shift / BBC four – Thursday 21st Oct 9.00pm

New Age Travellers are regarded by many as pariahs. With unique and never before seen archive this week’s Time Shift takes a fresh look at those who’ve often been called soap dodging, anti-social, drug taking scroungers.

From their origins in the early seventies, as idealists looking for an alternative way of life, we see how legislation and increasing fragmentation have eroded both the appeal and viability of being a New Age Traveller. Narrated by Paul McGann.

Videoplus: 9058781

Thursday 21st Oct 9.00pm


Thursday 21st Oct 11.30pm

Friday 22nd Oct 02.40am

Sunday 24th Oct 12.00am

Thu 21 Oct, 21:00-21:40 40mins Stereo Widescreen

Website http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfour/documentaries/timeshift

Subject Factual; Documentaries




The reason I’m selling this kit, is because I now have a ‘dedicated’ Nikon flashgun, suitable for use with my Nikon Digital …… [So, I don’t need two …!]

Metz Mecablitz 45 CL-3 Flashgun Kit

As with all the Metz flashguns the first number refers to the guide number basically the power of the flashgun. [Guide Number 45 at 100ASA].

The flashgun is a standard hammerhead unit with the battery pack fitting into the handle, a rechargeable Nicad battery pack is supplied or you can use 6 AA batteries.

The flash unit can be attached to the camera using the tripod socket and the bracket that comes with the flashgun. The bracket attaches to the bottom of the flashgun by a bayonet type clip and a locking screw this enables the flash to be removed from the bracket quickly.

It has 6 auto, 3 manual and TTL settings.

The Metz mecablitz 45 CL 3 is a powerful flashgun designed for both professional and amateur photographers. It is fully integrated in the SCA 300 adapter system and – in conjunction with an SCA 300A connecting cable, thus supporting all leading cameras. It enables the user to take full advantage of practically all functions of an AF camera.

Flashgun supplied in excellent condition. Owned since new. Not a mark on it!

Items supplied:

Mecablitz 45 CL-3 Flashgun

nicad rechargable battery pack

Charger Unit

Spare ‘cage’ for AA batteries

Wide Angle Diffuser


angle bracket

Original Operating Instructions Book

Please note:

SCA 300A system cable together with Nikon and Olympus modules, are available seperately


I have just joined the UK Weatherworld Forum / Group at: http://www.ukweatherworld.co.uk

Being a photographer, weather has always been important, since I photograph mainly outside …..

Currently, I’m trying to learn now to accuratly predict an ‘Inversion’. Since when they happen, especially in the hills, the conditions contribute to some fantastic piccys.

Any readers here, can offer me any advice??

Here is my posting on the tread there.


I’m a photographer, with an interest in landscape, hill walking etc.

Being based in Nottingham, I am a frequent visitor to the Derbyshire Peak District and other high ground. Now, on a few occasions, I have climbed hills, to discover at altitude, blue sky above, and clouds below, in the valleys. This is of course, an inversion.

I have photographed the landscape under these conditions and thoroughly enjoyed the results. I would like to do so much more.

Now, from my reading, I know that this is a more common feature in the autumn/winter, but not exclusively so. I know it is associated with anticyclone conditions, cold nights, still air.

However, this is not a great deal of help, in my effort at such predictions.

So, seeking more practical advice.

I would like to look at a weather forecast, and interpret it with a view to jumping in the car and driving out to the Peak District, or, sometimes perhaps, Snowdonia. I have done this so many times now, spending time and large amounts of petrol, to be disappointed by the conditions I find on my arrival.

Please anyone help me with some more concrete advice on how I might predict an inversion, before setting out on a long journey.

More piccys on my PhotoBlog at:



鈥淔ive Days after the seizures there is still an almost total information blackout from the authorities in the UK, US, Switzeland and Italy. Indymedia still has no confirmation of who ordered the seizures, who took the servers in London, why the seizures took place, where the servers are now located, and whether they will be returned.鈥 – Indymedia UK.

Last week internet servers in the UK hosting 21 Indymedia (IMC) sites were seized by the FBI, following a request by Swiss and Italian authorities. Hang on a minute, the Swiss and Italians ask the Americans to seize computers based in the UK? What鈥檚 going on?

Welcome to the wonderful world of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) which formalises cross border policing between the UK and USA. Here the Attorney General in the US makes a request to the UK Home Secretary who either grants it or refuses it if the request is 鈥渁n offence of a political character.鈥 Statewatch editor Tony Bunyan called on David Blunkett to explain himself: 鈥淲hy did the Home Office agree? What grounds did the USA give for the seizure of the servers? Were these grounds of a 鈥榩olitical鈥 nature?鈥

The FBI said that they are acting on behalf of requests by the Swiss and Italian authorities. Indymedia have been unable to get any more information as to what the exact reasons are, but this is a continuation of attacks on independent media by the US Government. In August the Secret Service tried to get records of internet addresses from an internet service provider in the US and the Netherlands before the Republican Party convention. Last month the Federal Communications Commission shut down community radio stations around the US. Two weeks ago the FBI requested that Indymedia remove a post on Nantes Indymedia with a photo of Swiss undercover police, while IMC volunteers in Seattle were visited by the FBI on the same issue.

French Nantes Indymedia, one of those affected by the raid, had pictures of the undercover cops at the 2003 Evian G8 summit on their site, and the Prosecutor in Geneva is investigating this. You can see the the incriminating photos at: www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/mtoups/nantes/copsinnantes.htm

The Italian state has had a campaign of harassment of alternative media since the G8 summit in Genoa. Last year the far right Aleanza Nazionale, who are in the Italian coalition government, called for the closure of Indymedia, and Paolo Valentino, the state secretary in the department of justice, also announced possible cooperation with the USA.

The federal prosecutor of Bologna Marina Plazzi said she is investigating Indymedia because of possible 鈥渟upport of terrorism鈥 and has asked the FBI for assistance. Apparently this is about people on the newswire praising an attack on Italian soldiers in the Iraq last November.

Why didn鈥檛 the Swiss and Italian authorities approach the British police directly, instead of the FBI being involved? Indymedia commented: 鈥淲e are concerned over the growing use of international co-operation frameworks by Governments and Law enforcement agencies which can be used to obscure clear legal process, and call for openness and clarity in international co-operation, to ensure due process and that civil liberties are protected.鈥

Protect and Server

The effect of the raids has been to shut down 21 (mostly European) Indymedia sites, six, including Indymedia UK, are now back on line. Indymedia UK had multiple back-ups of its files as they are all 鈥減aranoid鈥 according to one Indymedia volunteer 鈥 and such paranoia has actually been justified as many other sites without backup have lost lots of data. There is a gaping hole on the internet where about one million Indymedia news articles, comments, photos, audio reports, and videos used to be.

The FBI has stolen an irreplaceable piece of our collective history. They鈥檝e also made a direct attack on an important component of the movement against global capitalism, a part that carries messages around the globe without the corporate media telling us what to think.

Indymedia is working hard to restore sites, but about ten remain down. At least four – Uruguay, Italy, Western Massachusetts and Nantes – have lost data. 鈥淭his FBI operation gives us even more reason to continue with what we have been doing,鈥 says an activist from Italy Indymedia. 鈥淭he interruption of Uruguay Indymedia comes at a bad time with the elections coming up,鈥 Libertinus, an Indymedia volunteer says 鈥淯ruguay has a long history of media repression. We don鈥檛 have the money to pay for web hosting, so we rely on the solidarity of other countries. Actions like this make the whole world insecure for free media.鈥

Indymedia has called for solidarity actions and has received many statements of support. Aidan White, General Secretary for the International Federation of Journalists said 鈥淭he way this has been done smacks more of intimidation of legitimate journalistic inquiry than crime-busting.鈥 Tim Gopsill of the National Union of Journalists said: 鈥淚f the security services of the UK or US can just walk in and take away a server, then there is no freedom of expression.鈥

Indymedia is consulting the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on how to prevent further government attacks on free speech. 鈥淓FF is deeply concerned about the grave implications of this seizure for free speech and privacy, and we are exploring all avenues to hold the government accountable for this improper and unconstitutional silencing of independent media.鈥 said EFF Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl.

It鈥檚 ironic that the seizure of the servers comes just before the Communication Rights and Tactical Media Production conference – of which Indymedia is a part of (see http://www.efcr2004.net). As the conference blurb says 鈥淎s Governments and corporations increasingly base their authority on the ownership and control of information – a closer look reveals these areas as the landscape in which crucial struggles are being played out. 鈥楥ommunication Rights鈥 is at the heart of these struggles.鈥 The attacks by the US, UK, Italian and Swiss governments on Indymedia are a direct attack on these Communication Rights.

The servers have now been returned – but Indymedia still don鈥檛 know who took them in the first place and what action to take in the face of these illegal seizures!

For updates about this, as well as the ESF see www.indymedia.org.uk



Indymedia Parliamentary Question: Richard Allan, Liberal Democrat MP for Sheffield Hallam

I have had a few emails over the last couple of days about the seizure of disks holding material published by Indymedia and hosted in London by Rackspace.

Details of this can be found at Indymedia itself and on The Register and the BBC.

Will comment further later, but just to say for now that this is worrying and I have tabled a Parliamentary question to the Home Office as a result. This is due to be answered on Friday 15th Oct and is worded as follows:

Mr Richard Allan (Sheffield, Hallam): To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions he has had with US law enforcement agencies concerning the seizure of material from UK-based internet hosting providers; and if he will make a statement.

This is a round about form of wording but is necessary to fit the rules for Parliamentary questions. I will post the response when answered and try to follow up with other questions.


This item, is reproduced from a Spanish Site. I think it gives a fair overview of the developments …..


Repression of Indymedia: largest attack to date on the alternative press on the Internet

by Roberto Delgado – La Haine – [11-oct-04] – http://www.lahaine.org/b2/articulo.php?p=4521&more=1&c=1 trans. http://canarias.indymedia.org/

On the basis of the sparse data that the FBI and the commercial media have been providng, is possible to make a brief analysis of what this repression means for Indymedia and for the objectives of Indymedia. The ball is in our court. An act of this type forces the anticapitalist movement to raise its guard, and the steps taken at this point will be very important for the future.

Official version of events:

The chief prosecutor of Geneva, Daniel Zappelli, opened a judicial investigation, following a complaint made by two police inspectors of that city concerning the “publication of photographs and the name and address of one of them on the French Indymedia site (Nantes).”

The two undercover policemen were part of the G8 cell, concerned with investigating incidents in Geneva during the protests surrounding the Group of Eight meeting in Geneva in 2003.


On Thursday morning the 7 of October the FBI seduces Rackspace (supplier of Indymedia, American company with offices also in London, www.rackspace.com) and carries off not only all the data pertaining to Indymedia Nantes, but also that of another twenty of the network’s websites in other countries.

Following the FBI’s action the sites remained inaccessible. Hours later some sites, having resorted to alternative servers shared in solidarity, were in operation again. Most of the sites have been closed for two or three days, although not all have yet recovered normality. The photos of the undercover policemen, that until now had been seen only in reduced circles, suddenly are known by leftist movements worldwide, since they continue to be accessible on the Internet in other pages, and accompany the glare of publicity this action has provoked.

Information on reasons is minimum. “I opened an investigation but I will say nothing else”, said the Geneva prosecutor. The FBI’s spokesperson Joe Parris asserted that the request to raid Indymedia’s ISP came from the Italian and Swiss governments”, without giving more details. “The people in charge of the Justice Ministry only fulfilled the legal obligations contained in our treaty of mutual support”, he insisted.

According to Geneva press, it was the police of that city who resorted to the North American FBI so as to pull the photos.

Trap and Fear:

At first sight, the two primary targets of this repressive activity are: 1. To divide the Network Indymedia; and 2. To create fear amongst alternative press activists.

1. With this action the Powerful impose a false debate in the internal Indymedia lists: Is it correct to publish photos and even data on secret police? This artificially provoked discussion would focus on the limits of journalistic ethics, the moral superiority that should characterize the militants of left and the necessity to avoid political-informative actions that provoke and could be used to justify repression. There are web sites (Indymedia Madrid, for example) that sometimes when they publish photos of demonstrations manipulate images to hide the faces of antiriot police [note, IMC Madrid denies this].

In this case, the System tries to remain on the sidelines. Its argument would go: “we ourseves have no desire to close down alternative media, but if someone fails to obey the law we have no choice but to accept judicial decisions.” If we accept this false debate, all we have left is to argue amongst ourselves, instead of being united in opposition to “this massive attack on freedom of expression.”

What is clear is that there are serious probabilities that numerous Indymedia activists wil fall in the trap of this debate, that can go on forever and would lead to a rupturing of the cohesion of the global Network.

2. Any activst is likely to feel threatened on reading the headline: “FBI closes Indymedia servers”. Although this repressive act represents the largest attack to date on the alternative press on the Internet, up to now it is not especially painful, but rather, symbolic. Most of the web sites were again accessible within a few days, and, more important, following this action they achieve, through sharing in solidarity alternative servers, a greater diffusion of the project and an increase of the number of visits. Obviously those in power take this into account, but such news does not stop being impressive.

The big shots are giving us a warning in an attempt to make us feel afraid: when they decide to attack the anticapitalist movement there will be no international law nor freedom of expression worth anything; the forces of repression will act with total impunity.

This is not to say that this attack could not be the embryo of an even larger scale operation against Indymedia that tries to completely destroy the the virtual network’s activity. We do not discard that within a few months other repressive acts take place such as arrests of activists.

All will depend on the response we make as a movement.

The true debate: the information monopoly sees itself in danger:

The discussion that all activists of the anticapitalist movement should face up to in relation to the repression of Indymedia is: How do we respond to this attack? How do we avoid this type of repressive activities in the future?

It is a matter of asking ourselves these questions. As for me I offer some reflections:

This action cannot go unpunished. We should activate mechanisms of social mobilization in the street to defend our alternative media, such as informative conversations, demonstrations, propaganda actions and complaints, etc. Scandal and social awareness are now the worst enemies of power. It is true that governments can deepen the repression of Indymedia and other alternative media with arrests and imprisonments, but we should not forget that that is its way of defending itself. If for our part we make the decision to not expose infiltrated police and if in general we moderate the policies developed in alternative media, we are falling into the trap they have laid for us, resigning ourselves to reporting only within limits established by those in power. In effect, accepting defeat. The authorities act when the information monopoly sees itself in danger.


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APC condemns 鈥渁rbitrary鈥 seizure of IndyMedia web servers by US and European law enforcers

APC condemns the actions by US and European law enforcement agencies to seize independent online news service Indymedia鈥檚 web servers, which has led to the closure of more than 21 of the more than 140 Indymedia web sites worldwide since October 7.

鈥淲e are disturbed by the apparently arbitrary and extreme measures taken to silence an independent internet-based source of information,鈥 said Anriette Esterhuysen, APC鈥檚 Executive Director. 鈥淭his is a violation of freedom of expression across international frontiers.鈥

None of the agencies involved has admitted or provided reasons for the seizure though Rackspace, the company which provided web hosting for the sites and handed the servers over to law enforcers, said in a statement that their action was “in compliance with a court order pursuant to a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT)”. MLAT establishes procedures for countries to assist each other in investigations regarding international terrorism, kidnapping and money laundering and so using it to remove an independent news source would appear to be an abuse.

APC is of the view that the provisions of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers” have been violated by the US and European governments.

APC opposes censorship on the internet and states in its Internet Rights Charter that 鈥渢he internet is a medium for both public and private exchange of views and information. People must be able to express opinions and ideas, and share information freely when using the internet.鈥

APC is of the view that the right of freedom of expression and access to the internet of the citizens of Ambazonia, Andorra, Antwerpen, Belgrade, Brazil, East and West Vlaanderen, Euskal Herria, Galiza, Germany, Italy, Liege, Lilles, Marseille, Nantes, Nice, Poland, Portugal, Prague, Uruguay, Western Massachusetts, and the UK (where the affected IndyMedia Centres are) has been violated. As freedom is indivisible, a violation of one citizen鈥檚 rights is a violation of all global citizens鈥 rights.

APC understands the difficulties that server farms like Rackspace face when prosecutors come knocking at their door, flashing court orders and demanding the immediate hand-over of their equipment. APC urges that internet service provider (ISP) associations and other industry associations take precautions to protect their members from becoming unintentionally complicit in the violation of freedom of speech. There is a need for ISPs to have access to information about their rights to protect their clients.

APC demands that the US and European governments concerned provide reasons for their actions and explain their violation of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and on what basis they made use of the MLAT to silence Indymedia, an independent source of information on the internet.

鈥淓uropean and North American governments which frequently point to human rights abuses in countries from the Global South need to explain their own apparently arbitrary abuse of Indymedia鈥檚 rights and those of its readers,鈥 said Anriette Esterhuysen.

APC Internet Rights Charter: http://rights.apc.org/charter.shtml

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ABOUT APCThe Association for Progressive Communications (APC) is an international network of civil society organisations dedicated to empowering and supporting groups and individuals through the strategic use of information and communication technologies (ICTs), especially internet-related technologies. APC鈥檚 network of members and partners in Western, Central and Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America and North America all support the use of internet and ICTs for social justice and sustainable development.

APC: http://www.apc.org

Email: info@apc.org

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The above, is a statement from my own Internet Service Provider :: Association for Progressive Communications (APC) / GreenNet


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