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Archive for September 11th, 2010

Today is the 9th anniversary of 9/11.  I watched a bit of The Falling Man – a powerful film which brought back the horror of the experience of those who died, their loved ones and for those who were there. My wishes go to them.

But then we went to war – en route to Iraq, now proven to have had no links with alQa’ida.  A lot of soldiers have died in Iraq and Afghanistan..  A lot of civilians have died.  We haven’t caught Bin Ladin.We may not defeat the Taleban in Afghanistan in the long term – but more will die.  Are we achieving anything other than to kill and worsen relations between Islam and the West, between peoples of many nations and the coalition countries;  particularly America and Britain?

It is rather sad that this anniversary will be remembered for the actions of a simple minded self styled and bigoted pastor and his koran burning plan, stirring up further hatred and death, probably fanned by those with their agenda –  than for the death of innocent men and women,  quite a few  of them muslims , who died because of an attack on the USA by alQa’ida

I’d like to flag up two articles I read today – both powerful in their own way…..

Robert Fisk: Nine years, two wars, hundreds of thousands dead – and nothing learnt

Independent: Did 9/11 make us all mad? Our memorial to the innocents who died nine years ago has been a holocaust of fire and blood . . .

If the ‘Mosque’ Isn’t Built, This Is No Longer America

By Michael Moore

Selamat Hari Raya to my Malay readers and Eid Mubarak to those who celebrate it in peace.

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I enjoy opera.  I am not a ‘buff’ – although I used to be ‘buff’  (a blogger can dream?) – and I have been to The Royal Opera House (ROH) many times; paying quite fantastic sums of money for the privilege. I particularly like Tosca – where the chance of the fat lady bouncing back up after falling off the battlements gives me the strength to survive a rather lengthy evening out.

I can’t remember – but does The Royal Opera House receive any public money to fund its operations?

The Lawyer, taking a break from reporting on deals and who is shafting who in The City and our world of law – has an excellent story….

Royal Opera House threatens to sue blogger over photo row

The Lawyer: The ROH head of legal and business affairs George Avory demanded that the pictures be removed from the website Intermezzo because use of the images allegedly infringed ROH copyright.

In an email exchange between the blogger and ROH, which has now been posted on the Intermezzo website, Avory warned that the blogger’s ROH membership would be withdrawn if the images were not removed, adding that lawyers would be instructed to pursue him for damages.

The Lawyer reports… “On Wednesday (8 September) Avory told the blogger that since he had failed to respond to previous legal letters, “we will therefore instruct external consul (sic) to commence proceedings immediately for full damages and associated legal costs caused by the unauthorised reproduction by you of Royal Opera House property”.

On Thursday the blogger said he would be happy to make any changes appropriate but also highlighted the fact that the website makes no financial gain from the 100,000 visits it receives a month but does promote the ROH.

The Royal Opera House has every right to protect intellectual property – assuming the pictures are their property,  but it does seem to be a remarkably heavy handed way to go about it.  Did Intermezzo commit such a cardinal crime using an official photograph – if he/she did?   I’d be only too delighted if a blogger used my ‘official photos’ to help promote what I was doing if I was running a large commercial operation.

The comments to the article are excellent… including one from fellow blogger Matthew Taylor… do read.

This… I liked…

John Drake | 10-Sep-2010 2:18 pm

Just one point, I believe the Intermezzo blogger is female.
On the main point, however, Intermezzo is an incredibly well-thought of blog in the Opera field. Because of its work (and the bewilderingly over-designed nature of the ROH’s official site), the ROH will have sold a lot of tickets. This is stupid beyond the stupidity of normal in-house lawyers.

In the meantime, I am listening to a bit of Tosca and waiting for the good bit… I may be instructing external consuls to make me some breakfast as well.

***

UPDATE

Thanks to MTPT for this…. extracted from the comments sectio0n below…

MTPT

Oh, and here’s the link to Intermezzo’s original post:

http://intermezzo.typepad.com/intermezzo/2010/09/without-prejudice-why-all-the-royal-opera-house-posts-have-disappeared.html

The comments are well worth a look: lots of subscription paying “Friends” of the Royal Opera House who are not best pleased by ROH’s behaviour.

THE COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE ROYAL OPERA HOURS TO INTERMEZZO….. CLASSIC

Do have a look if you fancy a tutorial in how NOT to engage as a lawyer with bloggers who are enthusiasts and only trying to help.

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I’ve held back from commenting on Metgate in any detail – partly because other bloggers, notably Jack of Kent, are doing it well and in measured detail, and partly because I want to see if this campaign actually goes anywhere and new evidence comes forward.

We are beginning to get a degree of clarity on this issue – and, it seems, that parliament may be the authors of their own misfortune on this if recent stories in The Guardian are right.

While we cannot expect MPs or others holding public office to have lived ‘perfect lives’-  with no skeletons lurking in cupboards –  one would have thought that those standing for high office would have worked out that the press will look into their lives – some to make mischief, others to test the value of the thinking and work of those who seek to govern.   It is absolutely vital that we have a free press,  but many would argue that with freedom comes a responsibility not to misuse that freedom for purely vindictive sport and the pursuit of a very specific commercial and power agenda? We would be a bit naive to take  that latter point?

The story in The Guardian yesterday is interesting and extraordinary…

MPs backed down from calling Rebekah Brooks to Commons

Guardian: Cross-party committee allegedly abandoned plans to force News International chief to testify after being warned their lives would be investigated

A cross-party committee of MPs abandoned plans to force the News International chief executive, Rebekah Brooks, to testify last year after they were warned that their private lives would be investigated, a former member alleged last night.

Adam Price, a former Plaid Cymru MP, told Channel 4 News that a group of committee members shied away from the “nuclear option” of issuing a warrant for Brooks to attend after a senior Tory warned that News International would “go for us”……

The allegation that News International attempted to interfere with the work of parliament came after Tom Watson, a Labour member of the committee, disclosed to MPs on Thursday that Brooks repeatedly refused to attend its hearings….

Watson added that he was told that Brooks vowed to destroy him after he led the Labour coup that persuaded Tony Blair to resign. “A very senior News International journalist told me at the Labour party conference in 2006, in the early hours of the morning, that his editor would never forgive me for resigning as a minister in Tony Blair’s government and that she would pursue me for the rest of my political career until I was destroyed.”

Is this how we want our country governed – where MPs operate in a state of fear and loathing?  Where MPs back down?  I’m not at all sure we do – but, there again, we are not in the firing line of retribution and the sword of truth.  It looks as if we are getting closer to the denouement where there will either be evidence or there won’t be.

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