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VOC Copyright Policy

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It has come to my attention that Prosper Keating (PK) has raised questions about the Club’s copyright policy. Unfortunately this is buried in five or more pages of the thread about Swearing on the Forum.

I note that PK signs off all messages with the following saying:
Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.

Taking this quote at its word I shall not be engaging in an argument with PK.
However I do feel that some comment is required to clarify some of the false assumptions that PK may lead forum readers to make.

The Club has always had a copyright policy, as long as it has published MPH. The policy has from time-to-time been revised to reflect the contemporary climate. Naturally revisions are not retrospective but certainly all items submitted for publication following the posting of a revision are governed by it. As per the established protocol of magazines and periodicals, MPH includes its copyright policy in each issue (inside front cover). This is all normal stuff, and is deemed fair and reasonable by the legal profession.

With the advent and rapid public take up of new electronic (internet) publication methods, the Club decided it was time to review our copyright policy. It was logical to extend our MPH based policy to include new media and a revised policy was published in the June 2007 Issue of MPH. The same policy was posted on the Forum when it was launched in May 2007.

The fact that PK did not take note of this, is not the Club’s problem.

It is interesting to note that the current copyright policy has been in force longer than PK has been a Member of the Vincent H.R.D. Owners Club; he joined in late 2008 following the French Section's rule change that required all its Section Members to be paid up VOC Members. Up until that time he had spent many years arguing that he had the right to attend VOC meetings and rallies and subjected many to his forthright opinions as to the shortcomings of the organisation and regulation of the VOC.

PK refers us to half a dozen conventions and treaties that have shaped copyright law, the implied pompous assumption being that we went into this matter blindly. In fact we were of course aware of these conventions and acts; not wishing to undermine PK’s huge self esteem but he is not the only Club Member with a professional interest in copyright regulation.

PK’s tone is to lead the reader to believe that the Club’s policy is in some way invalid. Possibly he should take his argument to the BBC to name just one of many large organisations that use a copyright policy declaration astoundingly similar to the VOC's.

If PK or any other persons do not wish to be bound by the Club’s copyright policy then the answer is simple; DO NOT submit any material for publication to the VOC.

On being informed by the Hon. Editor that if he did not wish to accept the policy in force, then he would effectively be declined access; PK rebuts this by first telling the Hon. Editor that he is not qualified to comment and states that as a Club Member he, PK, has a right of access.
In this statement he is wrong.
(He also implies that the Editor's view is of little account as the Editor is “....stepping down from editorship of MPH soon.
Again, with this statement PK is wrong. Graham Smith is not stepping down).

The VOC contract with its Members does not include the undertaking to make available access to an internet website or forum.
The Club is organised and run by volunteer labour. What we can offer to the members is limited to the personal skills, interests and time that these volunteers make available. We are therefore bound to be cautious in what contractual undertakings that we make to Members as our volunteer force regularly changes.

There is no mention in Club rules (‘contract with Members’) about Internet publications etc.

The Club contracts with each Member, to supply them with a regular copy of the Club’s journal MPH. (see Club Rule Section 20). No more, no less.

Mr. Keating has a long established history as a 'wind-up-artist' and for this reason I shall not be engaging in a dialogue about this. If PK so wishes, he does, as a now paid-up Club Member, have the right to submit his views to the Executive Committee, General Committee (via a General Committee Member) or the Annual General Meeting. In all cases, to do so he should submit his argument or complaint to the Hon. Secretary for inclusion on the agenda taking note of the required lead-in time.

Hon. Secretary.
 
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