Back in mid-May, we sent one of our intrepid journalistic photographers to cover the farcical premiere of Brexit: The Movie. Chris Bethell was unfortunate enough to have been surrounded by Brexit big-hitters like Nigey Farage, Nigel Lawson (who looks a bit like Leatherface's dad) and an assortment of spotty Tory oiks and grumbly old MPs. He did his job and captured them in their pomp. We are very proud of him.
But to his chagrin it appears that the photos he took were repurposed by the Leave.EU campaign and turned into a bit of promo. "I noticed that they'd taken my photographs, re-appropriated them into another photographic artwork and posted them on Facebook and Twitter," he tells us. "I only found out about 12 hours later, and I contacted them the same night asking to have them taken down. The next day I sent them an invoice, to which they replied that they would take them down immediately. It was at least a further 24 hours before they were taken down. Obviously they'd had their use out of them on social media, and it didn't matter at all if they took it down at that point."
What the cheeky beggars had done was take all the photos from the article, stick them in a film-reel-style image with "A GREAT TURN OUT AT THE BREXIT: THE MOVIE PREMIERE" emblazoned over them in big white letters. Chris has sent them an invoice for their use of his photos, which they have flatly denied to pay.
John Toner from the National Union of Journalists says our man on the front line of Brexit buffoonery is well within his rights.
"Leave.eu has infringed Chris Bethell's copyright in a very blatant manner," he says. "Not only have they used his photographs without his permission, but they have almost certainly breached his moral rights under the 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act by distorting the story that Chris reported."
"Not only that, but they have expressed their belief that it is lawful to 'repost' images for the purposes of reporting a news story. This is expressly outlawed by the CDPA."
He goes on to quote one of the main tenets of the Leave.eu campaign, as expressed on their official website:
Imagine not having our laws dictated to us by Brussels. Instead, MPs would become accountable to the public and we would once again be able to make and decide on our own laws.
"The CDPA 1988 is UK law, so it is galling to see it is being ignored by Leave.eu," he adds.
♫ Oh Brexy, you came and you stole all our photos, and you di-dn't pa-ay… ♫
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