Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Press Royal Charter: Maria Miller’s “Get Guido” Clause

big-sister-maria-millerYesterday Guardian journalists gleefully drew Guido’s attention to a clause in Maria Miller’s proposed legislation that attempts to bring this blog into the regulated, un-free press sector that is being created post-Leveson. Guido has highlighted the ambitious clause in red below…

SCHEDULE 4

INTERPRETATION

Key definitions

1. For the purposes of this Charter:

a) “Regulator” means an independent body formed by or on behalf of relevant publishers for the purpose of conducting regulatory activities in relation to their publications;

b) “relevant publisher” means a person (other than a broadcaster) who publishes in the United Kingdom:

a. a newspaper or magazine containing news-related material, or

b. a website containing news-related material (whether or not related to a newspaper or magazine);

c) “broadcaster” means:

a. the holder of a licence under the Broadcasting Act 1990 or 1996;

b. the British Broadcasting Corporation; or

c. Sianel Pedwar Cymru;

d) a person “publishes in the United Kingdom” if the publication takes place in the United Kingdom or is targeted primarily at an audience in the United Kingdom;

e) “news-related material” means:

i. news or information about current affairs;
ii. opinion about matters relating to the news or current affairs; or
iii. gossip about celebrities, other public figures or other persons in the news.

It is arguable – and Guido does argue – that since this blog’s server is in California the publication takes place in the US, under the protection of the First Amendment. Readers point their browsers at http://www.order-order.com and download the content from the server cache. The publishing tool is the server and it is definitely not in the United Kingdom. Which is why they introduced the second part: “or is is targeted primarily at an audience in the United Kingdom”. That is an interesting idea, which hopefully won’t catch on internationally. Imagine if the Iranian regime implemented the same law, demanding that the BBC’s Persian Service, which is broadcast from London, submitted to their regulator. Crazy.

Guido would be interested to hear what the many m’learned friends who read this blog think of this bit of the legislation. Who will the regulator pursue? Individual bloggers personally when they are in the jurisdiction? A foreign citizen, uploading to a foreign-hosted website, published by a foreign domiciled company – seems to Guido that this legal extra-territoriality has dubious legal foundations. Perhaps Maria Miller is planning to send Royal Navy gunboats to Wexford and California?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Section 5 Victory in Sight

Guido will believe it when he sees the devil in the detail but it sounds like the Home Office are starting to realise that the game is up when it comes to Section 5 of the Public Order Act – the law that says you cannot offend people. Campaign group Big Brother Watch report:

“Speaking as the Crime and Courts Bill returned to the Commons for its second reading, the Home Secretary confirmed the Government would accept Lord Dear’s amendment to the legislation and support amending the Public Order Act 1986 to remove the word ‘insulting’ from Section 5 of the Act.

This is a triumph for David Davis MP, Peter Tatchell, Rowan Atkinson, the Reform Section 5 campaign and all those who like Big Brother Watch supported the campaign – from the National Secular Society to the Christian Institute.”

It only took the government a year to respond to the public consultation.

UPDATE:

Friday, October 5, 2012

Shapps A-OK With ASA, No Adverts to Ban

The Indy seem rather pleased with their report that the Advertising Standards Authority has launched a probe into the whole Grant Shapps/Michael Green affair. The internet guru won’t be breaking a sweat just yet – as Guido understands it there were no paid adverts on websites run by the Tory chairman’s alter ego so there is no advert to ban. In any case the ASA has no statutory authority, no mandate and no enforcement powers.

It’s hardly surprising that they would get involved though. The ASA is chaired by Chris Smith, the former Labour MP and now peer. They are a censorious bunch of self-appointed bureaucrats making politically correct judgements in areas they should not go into. To call them a “kangaroo court” would be to insult the powers of jurisprudence wielded by antipodean mammals. They have no place in a free democracy…

UPDATE: The ASA has “investigated” and made “rulings” on anti-gay marriage adverts, anti-environmentalist adverts, Fathers4Justice adverts, pro-hanging adverts – do you see a politically correct agenda here? They should stay out of political advertising.

The ASA are not above making false claims themselves. They claim to be an “Authority” when in fact they have no more authority than the Girl Guides, with no legal powers whatsoever.  They claim to be an independent regulator when in fact they are 100% funded by the big advertising agencies. They also claim on their website to be “successfully regulating online advertising”. Odd that they have written to Guido pleading with him to comply with their censorship demands lest the whole ASA compliance system fails. We didn’t and there was nothing they could do about it.


Seen Elsewhere

Labour’s Plan to Attack Part-Time Boris | Standard
Ex-Sun Hack Cleared After 582 Days on Bail | MediaGuido
11 Times Boris Denied He Would Stand for Parliament | Buzzfeed
Attacking UKIP’s Posters is Counter-Productive | Guardian
Sarkozy Tried it on With Hollande’s Ex | Times
Another Spare Room Subsidy Cut Success | Harry Phibbs
Rich Now Have Less Leisure Than Poor | Economist
UKIP’s Immigration Policy Promotes Migrant Entrepreneurs | Breitbart
Another Feminist Lecture | Laura Perrins
UKIP Posters Bad Economics But Good Politics | James Delingpole
Tories Losing to UKIP in Scotland | ConHome


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A confused Nick Griffin says Nigel Farage is a shill for the City, forgetting that City banks want to stay in the EU:

“Farage is a snake oil salesman, but a very good one. His supposed anti-immigration stance is all smoke and mirrors, as is his carefully cultivated image as a ‘man of the people’. The truth is that UKIP is a pro-immigration party that exists to lobby for the interests of the City of London.”



Alexrod says:

It’s money innit.


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