A blog by an historian, Pagan and fanfiction writer, with left-wing leaning politics. In short, I could be waffling on about anything.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Complaint About Me - from the UK Secretary of State for Defence

I've been in some weird situations in my time, but this one pushed the boat out a little further than usual.

As many of you know, I've created a Zazzle store.  Originally it was to furnish monetised pictures for articles on places like Wizzley.  As time has gone on, I've grown to love the site.  I'm not exactly a visual person, so my comfort zone is in words.  Zazzle is all pictures.  Nevertheless, extra strings to my bow were added with aplomb.

Then representatives of the UK Secretary of State for Defence complained about me.  Apparently.  They demanded that a photograph that I'd taken of HMS Edinburgh be removed for copyright reasons.  I took the photograph.  It's the one pictured above.

I admit that my jaw dropped a tad, as I read the e-mail from Zazzle's Content Review Team.  The products made from it had been up less than 24 hours, when the Defence Department leapt upon it.  Naturally, I felt a letter to my MP and to the Rt Hon Philip Hammond coming on.  They were e-mailed just now.

The precise wording, in the Zazzle e-mail, was thus:

'We have been contacted by legal and commercial rights representatives of The UK Secretary of State for Defence, and at their request, to remove designs which infringe upon their rights from the Zazzle Marketplace.'

But surely, as a British taxpayer, it could be argued that I paid for HMS Edinburgh.  At least, I paid my taxes and a Destroyer was added to the Royal Navy using tax revenue.  I'm not saying that I could direct its manoeuvres, but there is a link here.  Also as a British taxpayer, any income I receive from the Zazzle products will be taxed too.  That's more money in the coffers to build military battleships!

Actually, put like that, it's probably for the best that the Secretary of State for Defence is wasting time and resources firing pot-shots at British businesses.  It stops them being diverted into wars, which aren't supported by the British people instead.

I'd be interested to read the response from Mr Hammond.  I'll keep you posted.

As a faintly amusing coda, another image of HMS Edinburgh, which was posted on the same day, same hour, same folder and sat right next to the one removed, was patently deemed admissible.   It's still there.

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