Taking A©ID in Cambridge and Covent Garden
When I was in Cambridge during one of the May Bank Holiday weekends, I passed through an art and crafts fair that was being held opposite St John's College.
One thing that caught my eye was a stall with a 'No Photography' sign supplied by A©ID - Anti Copying In Design.
I was rather too shy to ask "Can I take a picture of your no photography sign?", but it looked a bit like this this one.
I certainly understand how stall-holders want to protect their intellectual property, but I can't help thinking they are giving out a rather mixed message. The small stall I initially saw it on was situated very close to a stall whose entire business seemed to be made out of exploiting other people's copyright.
If nothing else though, it was a useful reminder that, whatever Peter Mandelson or the music industry might argue, 'piracy' and copyright theft long pre-date the digital era.
The topic of stealing images is hot thanks to the Mail's theft of Thom Shannon's 'moneyfacing' pictures - and Charlie Beckett's frankly bizarre reaction to it - and I was reminded it of it all in Covent Garden the other day. Again, a lot of the stalls seemed to have signs from A©ID or be taking part in the 'Design Protect' scheme.
At least one of them - and you'll have to forgive this blurry shot - was achieving the double whammy of both having a 'no photography for copyright reasons' sign, and selling pictures with Doctor Who copyright infringement on them. If even the police can't claim the TARDIS as a trademark...