Contempt Knows No Limit

When it comes to “engagement” from DIO the local community are under no illusions as to where they fit. Loss of valuable recreational space without consultation or impact assessment, justifications for closure claimed without a shred of evidence, and a bog-like path offered as consolation prize (A bit like Dusty Bin – anyone remember that?) as an acceptable compromise. All are fine examples of how DIO will treat a local community.

Effective engagement really should not revolve around announcing plans to groups or individuals who never use the lands but with the residents that use, respect and value the space – but having complicit and compliant groups offering near zero scrutiny probably suits their agenda.

DIO seemingly behave in a manner akin to feudal landlord dealing with serfs and peasants, appearing to be beyond political accountably and to exist above the laws of the land and common decency.

Well we can now add a new charge to the sheet. One that does indeed breach the laws of the lands and that gives individuals power to extract precise remedy; DIO are now helping themselves to resident’s photographs and publishing them to suit their own “fake news” purposes.

Why is this an issue? Photographs enjoy strong legal protection and photographers hold the exclusive rights to what they create. Only the creator – the individual who shot the image – has the right to decide who can use the image and for what purpose. These rights are important…when respected they prevent the very situation one local photographer finds themselves in.

We have now found an example of DIO helping themselves to images of the ranges taken by a local resident and publishing them without permission. Copying and publishing images without permission flies in the face of the Copyrights, Designs and Patents Act – the law that protects images and their creators – and this case is particularly aggravating as the photographer in question vehemently opposes closure and would have never given permission if asked.

Such is the contempt and lack of respect towards the local community.

But this time they have gone too far and there is a very straightforward route to holding them to account. Thankfully we won’t be dependent on politicians – if necessary this case can go straight into the High Court Small Claims Track (upper limit £10k for breach of rights) for a judge to decide. The aggravating circumstances will add a level of gravitas to the issue.

The photographer in question – who isn’t revealing the details just yet – has written to DIO seeking answers and we await their response in due course.

DIO’s reply should make very interesting reading indeed.