Several days ago I was sent a press release advertising the iTunes festival which started 1st September in London and invited to write a blog post about it – I didn’t, I can’t find the time to write about the things I am interested in, never mind iTunes…there, they got their plug after all. I have dug it out again because with remarkable timing, a news story surfaced last night which had all the hallmarks of well placed spin.
Bruce Willis (House! Keyword Bingo!) “was suing” Apple (House!) in respect of iTunes (House, Full line!) allegedly not allowing him to hand over his iTunes collection to his chidlren (Treble points, disadvantaged children!). This is now firmly planted in the media for the benefit of those who only ever read keyword news on line.
It’s odd, on a number of grounds.
Only a few days ago, a press release arrived from the European Union telling me that near identical activity was firmly against European Law. Oracle had sued a German company for ‘reselling’ computer games, claiming that they only permitted the original user to have use of their goods. They lost. The court ruled that:
“Such a transaction involves a transfer of the right of ownership of the copy.”
So why would a story suddenly appear that was almost guaranteed to get British citizens up in arms at the thought of not having a transferable rights to the music they have bought on-line?
It reminded me of another story that appeared on the news wires a few days ago. The UK Government was ‘concerned’ that terms and conditions on web sites were ‘obscure’ in relation to charges for using credit cards. So ‘concerned’ that they were ‘opening a public consultation’ to see whether anything should be done about it.
Ms Raccoon has the benefit of penetrating foresight. She can discern precisely what the outcome of this ‘consultation’ will be. Something will be done about it. I guarantee you. Not because the UK government cares diddlysquat about the credit card charges you rack up when you book your cheap week-end to Malaga, but because the European Union has ruled that it is so. The UK government has two years to implement the transparency that they are consulting you about to see whether ‘anything should be done’…
I think I shall try a small experiment. Ms Raccoon, a natural red head in her time, (now turned grey with worry) is going to campaign against red hair dye. A specific red hair dye. HC Red 16. Never heard of it? You will, worry not. I shall find celebrities with dyed red hair and report on their anxiety that ‘it might not be safe’. I shall campaign against it. Eventually, if I am lucky, I will discover someone who died merely hours after applying it to their mousey head. I shall report on their heartbroken parents. I will start an e-petition to ask the government to ban it.
I will be hugely successful. The government will listen. Consultations will be undertaken. MPs will demand action. The law permitting HC Red 16 to be applied to precious British heads will be repealed. We shall all be safe in our beds at night.
Ms Raccoon will be famous. I can guarantee you.
The EU have decreed that the UK government have until 1st September 2012 to implement 2012/21/EU. Prepare for a massive publicity campaign against red hair…..
Is Cameron really so frightened of his EU sceptic MPs and UKIP voters that every new EU Directive (which he is forced to implement) is to be turned into a spin story of ‘how the government cares about you’ rather than admitting it is EU law which is coming in?
Any other examples we can point to, of the Government ’suddenly caring’ just as the EU passes another Directive?