16.11.2005 21:49 - Copyright
Some of the more astute may have noticed the "©" sign going up on this blog. There is a reason for this.
A long time ago, when I wrote my first website, I wrote a section of it on the Michael Caine film, "The Italian Job". You can probably pull it out of the wayback machine, as it's long since defunct. Now, when I wrote this, I did a fair bit of research, and actually met a couple of people who had peripherally been involved with the film, so I could reasonably have said to have properly looked everything up. I also made the point of not featuring copyright photos.
Imagine my surprise, then, to find that there were several other "Italian Job" websites, some of which used text that looked astonishingly familiar. I usually emailed these sites, asking them politely to credit the original site, or at least provide a link.
But it didn't end there, did it? Oh no. A certain Publishing house in the UK decided to release a rival to a certain car tuning magazine that catered to the yob end of the market. The star story for the first issue was about (you guessed it) "The Italian Job", and surprise surprise! Didn't that text look familiar!
Yes, it did look familiar. Very familiar. So familiar, in fact, that a letter threatening legal repercussions was sent to the editor of said magazine, who agreed to print an apology. This "apology" was duly printed in the next issue, in something like 6pt type, just crediting the text to me and not mentioning the fact that it had been stolen from my website. I was advised, however, that it would be a waste of time taking them to court, so they got off lucky. They claimed to have no knowledge of the site, saying it had been given to them by a "freelancer".
Well, ladies and gentlemen, this proves not to be the only case of its kind, as a certain Mr. Millington could tell you. (The fact that we both come from Staffordshire and live with psychotic German girlfriends is mere coincidence). As it seems that in the future, an increasing amount of my income will be based on what I'm writing here, I have no choice but to point out that everything on this site is copyright, and that people who attempt to extract money from it without giving me a share shall attract the attention of sharp-faced gentlemen with briefcases and very, very thin watches.
Don't think you can slip past me unnoticed, because the chances are that there's someone out there who reads this and reads your magazine, watches your TV show, or website. That is, after all, the way the last geezer got stitched up.
And don't think you can pull the one about having bigger Lawyers than me. I have Lawyers who enjoy upsetting people who say they have big Lawyers.