Lord Lucas Amendments in Full

Here are Lord Lucas’ three amendments to the Crime and Courts bill:

blogoff“A publisher who focuses on a specific locality or region and only reports national issues on an incidental basis that is relevant to such local or regional matters.

A publisher who operates as a non-charitable campaigning organisation and is publishing material incidental to the organisation’s aims and objectives.

A publisher who does not exceed the definition of a small or medium-sized enterprise as defined in Section 382 and 465 Companies Act 2006.”

Here we go…

Via @jimwaterson

Lebedev Snr Says State Regulation is Bad

Sky’s Adam Boulton has just grilled billionaire Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev on his thoughts on press regulation. He pulled the rug from under his newspaper proprietor son and Independent titles Editor in Chief Chris Blackhurst, who are the only ones to sign up to state regulation, so far. Under sustained questioning from Boulton, Daddy Lebedev seemed to deny that he was a donor to Hacked Off, concluding “er, you better ask Evgeny about that”. As Guido revealed this week, Hacked Off claim that the Lebedev funded Journalism Foundation were a donor to the tune of £20,000. Surely Hacked Off are accurate in everything they say? Video to follow…

Breaking: + + + Amendment to Protect Bloggers Put Down + + +

blogoffWith only a few hours to go before the 3 pm deadline Guido is hearing that Lord Lucas is putting down an amendment to exclude small independent bloggers from the regulatory burden of the Royal Charter. The amendment is based on the wording proposed by BigBrotherWatch (see here).

The aim is to insert a new Schedule into the Crime and Courts Bill:

‘Exclusions from definition of “relevant publisher”

“A publisher who does not exceed the definition of a small or medium-sized enterprise as defined in Section 382 and 465 Companies Act 2006.”

This effectively takes out all small independent bloggers and re-calibrates the legislation to only cover what Tom Watson rightly calls “Big Media”. Hopefully this will command cross-party support…

Tell Evan Harris to Blog Off!

MAX-SAYS-CUT-THE-WIRES

blogoff

A free and open world increasingly depends on a free and open internet. The internet empowers everyone — anyone can blog, create, learn, and share. It is controlled by no one — no single organisation, individual, or government. It connects the world. Today, more than two billion people are online — about a third of the planet. Hacked Off supporter Max Mosley told parliament he wants the government “to cut off the wires” to websites he thinks should be censored. Millionaire celebrities like Hugh Grant want to regulate free speech on the internet. They want laws to force dissident refusenik bloggers to risk paying exemplary fines if they refuse to submit to the regulator. The Hacked Off-drafted press control Royal Charter aims to regulate any blog that carries news-related material aimed at readers in the United Kingdom. Tell Max Mosley we will not be cut off, tell Hugh Grant we will not be regulated, we will not be fined. Keep the world wide web open and free. 

Click to sign the petition and tell them to Blog Off!

Regulating the Web

[gigya src=”http://boos.audioboo.fm/swf/fullsize_player.swf” flashvars=”mp3=http%3A%2F%2Faudioboo.fm%2Fboos%2F1276949-when-you-draft-legislation-at-two-in-the-morning-you-re-going-to-get-shambolic-results-the-world-at-one.mp3%3Fsource%3Dwordpress&mp3Author=suttonnick&mp3LinkURL=http%3A%2F%2Faudioboo.fm%2Fboos%2F1276949-when-you-draft-legislation-at-two-in-the-morning-you-re-going-to-get-shambolic-results-the-world-at-one&mp3Time=01.41pm+19+Mar+2013&mp3Title=%22When+you+draft+legislation+at+two+in+the+morning%2C+you%27re+going+to+get+shambolic+results%22+-+The+World+at+One” width=”480″ height=”160″ allowFullScreen=”true” wmode=”transparent”]Martha Kearney on BBC Radio 4’s The World at One went over the arguments with Guido about press regulation. It ain’t happening…

Hacked Off Funded By Billionaire Russian Oligarch

Before the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee this morning, representatives from Hacked Off  refused to comment on Guido’s exposing of their donors. They got a comprehensive kicking from most of the MPs present though:

The elite club of multi-millionaires with an axe to grind have confirmed however that they are “due to receive soon a grant from the Journalism Foundation of over £20,000”. The Journalism Foundation was former Indy editor-in-chief Simon Kelner’s £600,000 vanity project bankrolled by billionaire Russian oligarchs and Indy owners Alexander and Evgeny Lebedev. The former KGB agent set up the Foundation to promote “free and independent journalism”, pulling the plug on it after less than a year. Seemingly not before they channelled a chunk of the cash to those freedom lovers Hacked Off…

Telegraph Deputy Editor: Thanks But No Thanks

Deputy Editor of the Telegraph, Ben Brogan, though writing in a personal capacity, has said this morning:

“I’ve concluded that we should note the outcome, thank the politicians for their engagement, and quietly but firmly decline to take part. I suspect time will be allowed to let the dust settle, but it is far from certain that this scheme will fly.”

The clearest sign yet that at least one major media organisation is planning on thumbing their nose at the whole thing.

The Simple Royal Charter Explained in Full

Fourteen Tory rebels said no to exemplary damages in the Commons last night:

  • Richard Bacon
  • Christopher Chope
  • Tracey Crouch
  • Philip Davies
  • Nick de Bois
  • Andrew Percy
  • Mark Reckless
  • John Redwood
  • Andrew Turner
  • Martin Vickers
  • Charles Walker
  • Sarah Wollaston
  • Richard Drax
  • Jacob Rees Mogg

And here is what has been dreamt up by Hacked Off and politicians in the middle of the night. It’s all very simple and straight forward:

Got that?

Graphic via Mail.

Hacked Off Donors: #6 Billionaire Labour Lord Sainsbury

Last but not least of the cabal of millionaires who have donated to Hacked Off is Lord Sainsbury. A life peer with a net worth of £1.3 billion, Sainsbury has been a major financial backer of the Labour Party, forking out many millions to Blair. He acted through his Gatsby Foundation to finance the Media Standards Trust through which his money help set up and support Hacked Off. In passing it should be noted that he was a big backer of the SDP and also has his fingerprints on other politcal organisations such as the Social Market Foundation, Progress, David Miliband’s Movement For Change and the Institute for Government, the last of which Guido thinks is the most serious threat to freedom in Britain since the Communist Party. Through Hacked Off, Sainsbury has surpassed himself…

Here are the other Hacked Off donors Guido has revealed today:

Hacked Off Donors: #5 Millionaire Ex-Journalist Alain de Botton

Next on the list of super rich celebs who have bunged cash to Hacked Off is philosopher of love Alain de Botton. He is another ex-journalist donor, having penned a column for the Sindy in the late nineties. The son of Swiss financier Gilbert de Botton, estimated fortune £234 million, De Botton inherited millions in a trust fund left for him by his father.

A few quid to regulate the press would be a drop in the ocean…

Hacked Off Donors: #4 Celebrity Hairdresser John Frieda

Poor old John Frieda. While Lulu’s ex cuts all those celebrity clients’ hair, just imagine all the moaning and bitching he must have to endure about the tabloids and photographers.

He must be sick of it by now, which would explain why he donated to Hacked Off.

Another millionaire paying for the problem to go away…

Hacked Off Donors: #3 City Tycoon Shagger Arpad Busson

A hedge fund plutocrat with a taste for super-model girlfriends? Donate to Hacked Off and stay out of the gossip columns. Well that is what Arpad Busson will be hoping. The financier ex of both Uma Thurman and Elle Macphereson threw money at Hacked Off. It’s an élite club – by Guido’s maths the net worth of just six donors to Hacked Off is over £1 billion. Remember that when they pretend to be on the side of powerless.

Hacked Off Donors #2: Jeremy Clarkson Gave Hacked Off £1,000

The most surprising donation of £1,000 to the Hacked Off campaign came from Jeremy Clarkson. Campaign staff were amazed at the news of the donation.

Should they be? Jeremy Clarkson, despite being a working journalist, did not hesitate from serving his ex-wife and the press with a super-injunction that prevented the reporting of his extra-marital affairs. The multi-millionaire member of the Chipping Norton set and friend of David Cameron has obviously decided that shackling the press will protect his privacy less expensively and more successfully than a super-injunction. Hypocritically he is on the record as being opposed to legislation yet wishing the Daily Mail would leave him alone. Torn as he was, he seems to have backed controlling the press…

JEMIMA KHAN AND JEREMY CLARKSON-JG

Bizarrely back in 2011 an unfounded rumour went around Twitter linking Clarkson and Jemima Khan. She described the entirely false rumour that she had taken out a super-injunction to prevent publication of intimate photos of herself and Jeremy Clarkson as a “nightmare”. Quite.

What could have brought on the donation to Hacked Off?

Well as the above tweet shows Jezza is on good terms with campaign fundraiser Jemima…

Hacked Off Donors: #1 Lady Annabel Goldsmith

Guido has obtained a list of prominent Hacked Off donors.

Today seems as good a day as any to expose these so called “victims”. Besides the undisclosed amount donated by Hugh Grant from his Screws payout and £50,000 from the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, donations in kind have been given by Sovereign Strategy, the spin shop set up by a former Labour MEP Alan Donnelly. Sovereign are Max Mosley’s spinners. Mosley somewhat disingenuously told the audience at a Spectator Debate on Leveson that he did not fund the Hacked Off campaign. This was indirect funding. The time has come to name some of the individual donors who have something to hide.

Guido can reveal that Lady Annabel Goldsmith donated. Which story or photograph about about this socialite’s offspring made her want to restrict the free press? When Hacked Off was set up, Jemima Khan, ex-lover of Hugh Grant, is understood to have hosted a dinner and an upmarket whip-round attended by around thirty of the great and the good. Jemima’s divorce and affairs have kept the papers busy for years. Fortunately for her if Hacked Off got their way the pages would be blank…

Guido's Warning to Liberal & Progressive Bloggers:Royal Charter Aims for Tabloids and Guido, It'll Get You Too

One thing that surprises Guido is that his comrades in the liberal, progressive blogosphere have seemingly not noticed that the proposed Royal Charter aims to control and regulate them as well as the tabloids.

Schedule 4, Point 1 of both the government and the opposition’s versions of the Royal Charter will bring blogs under the regulator’s control:

“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)”

Now the What about Guido?” question has been answered by Maria Miller to Harriet Harman’s satisfaction, Guido’s rival bloggers should pause before rejoicing. You will all be regulated as well. British bloggers will, if politicians get their way, no longer have unregulated free speech on the internet.

big-sister-maria-miller

So to all those in the progressive blogosphere who support regulating the freedom of the press, Guido poses this simple question: will you defy the new regulator or submit to that system of state control you support? If it goes through the fun will start when fractious bloggers start complaining about their rival’s falsehoods and demanding they print due prominence corrections. The chaos of every petty flame war on the internet spilling over into the new statutory-backed regulator’s complaint procedure system will paralyse it. Have Maria Miller and Harriet Harman thought this through?

To all those bloggers who support this press control Charter because they hate Murdoch and Dacre, Guido offers this cautionary counsel, remember that the new regulator will cover you as well. You will have all the expense and bureaucracy of compliance as Murdoch and Dacre face, without the means. Unless like Guido and the Spectator you plan to become media outlaws too…

Hacked Off's Blackmail Letter to Miliband

hughThe papers are reporting this morning that Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and David Cameorn were on the verge of agreement until Hugh Grant’s Hacked Off campaign lobbied Labour aggressively. This is the draft press release brandished by Hacked Off to put the wind up Ed Miliband if he went ahead with the deal:

hacked-off-blackmail-letter-x480Click to Enlarge

hughThe language is ridiculous, Hugh Grant is a victim of his own making, calling on the Queen not to carry out her constitutional duty because he doesn’t want his picture in the papers any more is frankly comical. Hacked Off is a bunch of celebs who have been caught with their pants down hiding behind the genuine suffering of the McCanns and the Dowlers who were victims of real crimes which the police are already pursuing. Hacked Off won’t say who funds them, they are self-appointed and they are secretive with a sinister agenda to protect the rich and powerful from the prying eyes of the public.

Guido is opposed to all the proposals to control the press including the government’s misguided plan to enforce extra-territorial control of publications. We won’t be cooperating with any legislation that tries to control a foreign publication like this blog because it is, in the words of the Charter, “targeted primarily at an audience in the United Kingdom”. Imagine if the Soviets had tried to do the same to Radio Free Europe during the Cold War, or the Iranian regime demanded today to regulate the BBC’s Persian Service on the grounds that it is “targeted primarily at an audience in the Islamic Republic of Iran”.

Guido reminded Brian Leveson when he was giving his evidence that under the obligations of Article 19 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights as agreed by Britain in 1948

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.

That is more important than preventing the paparazzi taking pictures of Hugh Grant on a bad hair day…

Dave v Nick and Ed Leveson Showdown in Full

Click on Dave to see his proposals for the future of the British press, click on Nick and Ed to see their statutory alternative…

Huhne Fights to the Bitter End

Chris is a fighter to the bitter end, this is the email he sent to the PCC this evening:

huhne

From: Chris Huhne
Sent: 08 March 2013 16:10
To: Charlotte Dewar, PCC
Subject: Harassment complaint

Dear Charlotte Dewar,
My partner, Carina Trimingham, and I have been harassed by press photographers as we left and returned to our home in London today.
Under Clause 4 of your Code journalists must not persist in photographing individuals once asked to desist. We ask that you make editors aware of our request that this activity now cease. We have been frequently photographed over the last few weeks and there is no public interest in further photographs of us being taken or in the continued presence of photographers outside our home.
I would be grateful if you would make editors aware of our position.
Yours Chris Huhne
Smile for the speed cameras…

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 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?

Public Don’t Prioritise Press Regulation

That shackling the press with statutory regulation is a priority only for the chattering classes, just like constitutional reform, is borne out by the survey released today by the Free Speech Network. Bread and butter issues dominate the public’s worries…

The Sunday Times has produced a handy graphic to highlight Common Purpose, the openly elitist group behind much of the effort to undermine the freedom of the press through the Media Standards Trust and its associated Hacked Off campaign on behalf of coke-snorting and hooker-hiring celebs who want tougher privacy laws.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

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