Respected technology writer Bill Thompson is to chair a panel - Control Technology: Knowing Me, Knowing You – Ah ha! on Friday 27th April at the Enter_ Unknown Territories international festival and conference for new technology art, in Cambridge.
One of the panellists, Manu Luksch, made a film "Faceless"
Faceless was produced under the rules of the 'Manifesto for CCTV Filmmakers'. The manifesto states, amongst other things, that additional cameras are not permitted at filming locations, as the omnipresent existing video surveillance (CCTV) is already in operation.
However, given that prosecutions under the Data Protection Act can only be done by the deliberately under-resourced Information Commissioner's Office this has never been a substitute for a proper (as yet non-existent) Personal Privacy Law in the UK. The potential application of the DPA to CCTV has been weakened even further by the Information Commissioner's interpretation (.pdf) of the Durant versus Financial Services Authority legal precedent,
We are reminded of our vintage 1998 "performance art / activism" T-shirt (no longer available), which used Copyright "small print" to make a similar point that there were (and still are) no effective legal regulations which prevent people stealing images of your face in public, but there are draconian intellectual property monopoly legal powers which protect our T-shirt design:
Copyright 1998 Watching Them, Watching Us
This design is protected by the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988
Consequently, this design may not be copied, stored, distributed or transmitted, in whole or in part, by any electrical, electronic, mechanical, chemical, optical or computer system, neither, for example by, public nor private CCTV surveillance cameras, broadcast television, analogue nor digital electronic cameras, video recorders, paparazzi cameras nor through public nor private telecommunications systems such as the Internet.
Under UK law, each and every instance of copying this design is forbidden. In accordance with European Union copyright conventions, this protection lasts for at least the next 70 years.
Sanctions include unlimited fines and up to 3 years in prison.
The copyright holders will pursue their rights through the High Court, and will obtain an Anton Pillar order against companies and individuals who we suspect of breaching our copyright. This will allow our bailiffs to conduct dawn raids of premises, and to seize all cameras, computers, telecommunications equipment, analogue and digital storage media such as tapes, hard disks, floppy disks, processed and unprocessed film, and all paper images and records which may contain our copyright material, to be examined by the copyright holders experts, at their leisure.
If you are worried about the unregulated spread of Public CCTV surveillance systems, lobby your politicians and join Watching Them, Watching Us, email: email@example.com