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Monday 19 September 2011

EXCLUSIVE: TPA Caught Sponging Off ... Me

[Update at end of post]

While doing my research into Big Brother Watch (BBW), the “campaign” which is effectively a front for the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA), I made a most interesting discovery. On the BBW website, the “contact” page – referenced to confirm that BBW and the TPA share the same address – has a photo of the building where they have offices, 55 Tufton Street SW1.

Where did they get that photo?

It’s a familiar looking photo. In fact, it was so familiar looking that I checked it alongside my own photo of that building, which was taken in March this year. And then I saw why the photo on the BBW site looked so familiar: it was the same photo, not even cropped from the version I use when discussing the comfortable surroundings enjoyed by the TPA while urging cuts on others.

Here's a very strong hint

We all do it: gather in images from the web to illustrate posts. But what we also understand is that, should the copyright holders identify themselves and ask that their images are not used, then the right thing is to take down any instance of the images in question, acknowledge the request, and make sure those images are not used again.

So it was initially surprising to receive no reply to my request for removal. Three Tweets and another email later, there has still been no reply. In the meantime, let me put the TPA and BBW faithful straight: there can be no doubt where they got the photo. The proportions of the image and lens settings are identical. They cannot supply the original, as they don’t have it.

This behaviour should not surprise anyone, of course, having already observed the TPA happily sponging off the taxpayer earlier in the year. And it should not surprise the TPA that someone whose copyright they choose to abuse chooses in turn to make an example out of them.

[A post on the supposed “grassroots” activities of the TPA intended for publication today has been held over until tomorrow. Please be patient]

[UPDATE: BBW have now replied, apologised, and have taken down the photo. I accept that the delay was due to their folks being on Lib Dem conference duty in Birmingham, and am glad to see that they have done the right thing on this occasion]

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