Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Removal of material from blog

In my previous blog post, I quoted from correspondence relating to and following on from a 'debate' at Le Pub concerning the 'Dead Pan Aesthetic' work of Tim Sayer.  In response to a request from the other party, and in compliance with copyright law (I checked this on t'internet this morning), I am going to edit the aforementioned post.

Anyone not sure about the law regarding letters (I am assuming that Facebook messages sent privately will fit here) and who is interested, please read on:

"The property in a letter in terms of its ownership belongs to the recipient, being the party to whom it is addressed. The recipient can, if he wishes, destroy the letter and, if it passes out of his possession, sue for its recovery. However, this does not mean he can do what he likes with the letter or its contents, as to which there are two main qualifications.

The first is that copyright in the letter belongs to the writer, so that the recipient may not copy or publish it without the writer's consent but, as with any other copyright work, information contained in the document, though not its precise words, may be communicated to a third party without the writer's consent, unless - which leads me to the second qualification - such information is of a private and confidential nature or unless, where the writer himself has published the letter to a third party, the recipient also needs to publish it in order to refute an attack on his character or reputation contained in it.
Marking a letter with words to the effect that it is intended as 'private and confidential' does not necessarily make it so, although it is evidence of the writer's intention and, as such, has a persuasive effect. An obvious example where such a designation would not be effective is where the contents of the letter relate to matters or events which are in the public domain. Whether or not information contained in a letter is to be regarded in law as private and confidential is a matter of fact in each case and, interestingly, there is a section in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 which expressly stipulates that nothing in the relevant part of the Act affects the operation of any rule of equity relating to breaches of trust or confidence. The same applies to any rule of law preventing or restricting enforcement of copyright on grounds of public interest or otherwise...
Copying can be licensed and any confidentiality can be waived by the writer (or other copyright owner) of a letter if he is so inclined."

Monday, 12 December 2011

A Night to Remember - Le Pub, Tuesday December 6th

This is an edited version of my original post.  I have removed half of the correspondence as per the request of the writer.

For those who had to sit through the 'argument' at the end of the Le Pub session and who were interested to know the outcome:

Wednesday 7th December:  Facebook mail from me to the other party.
Dear ....
I thought might be interesting to arrange for a coffee and a discussion at some point - so that we can talk about the points raised at Le Pub. The 'debate' got a bit confused, and it would be good to have the opportunity to talk about the issues raised by Tim's work without shouting across a crowded room!

When I got home, I couldn't work out if you were angry with him because of the 'Genocide' photograph itself, or because of his argument that all deaths are basically the same. You seemed to be telling him that he shouldn't make the work/have this opinion as it was abhorrent and wrong. You seemed to think that he was belittling the experiences of the millions who have died at the hands of tyrants (in particular those killed during WWII) and whilst the work could certainly be read in that way, personally I don't believe that to be his intention, nor the effect of it. 

Perhaps it is partly a cultural response to the work, we British are famous for our 'black humour': there is a real tendency to make jokes about very dark situations and as Jason suggested, it could be a 'coping' mechanism: if you can't do anything about it, laugh about it.

Anyway, when you said that Tim SHOULDN'T make the work./make a joke about such things/say that dying in a gas chamber was the same as dying in your own bed surrounded by family and that both types of death have the same value - I challenged you to say that you could CHOOSE to not look/disagree, but you were not in a position to tell him what to think, or what to do... If you had let me finished, I would have gone on to say that of course, you have the 'right' to respond in whatever way you deem appropriate to anything you see/read/hear experience, but you can't tell other people what they should and should not do... The power you have is to try to persuade/change minds by reasoned debate... Unfortunately, you did not allow me to finish my argument as you were so angry!

What is interesting is that the work has the potential to provoke strong and intelligent debate. Last night, I felt (and you may disagree) - it was all a bit emotive. If you would like to meet up and have a conversation about it, I would be happy to get together.

Maybe have a coffee in uni sometime? We can always agree to disagree, but do so after good and proper intellectual debate, rather than a shouting match.

Best wishes to you,


Reply - Sunday 11th December:  Without the permission of the writer, I am unable to reprint their words.  Therefore, at this present time, I have had to delete their side of the argument.  Apologies for the gaps...

Sunday 11th December
Facebook mail from Denise to fellow audience member:

Many thanks for your mail.

Like you, I also think that natural death is right and any form of murder is absolutely wrong. Like you, I believe that genocide is totally abhorrent and I am very grateful and glad that I have not had to live through this happening in my own country. Whenever I think of the horrors that other peoples have had to face, I feel angry and upset that human nature can be so debased to bring about such occurences.

You are right - the British did invent the concentration camps in the Boer war, but thank goodness they did not develop the concept into extermination camps. I am not proud of this aspect of my history.

I am also grateful that I have not had to live under any form of occupation, nor had to experience the curtailing of any freedoms.

Whilst I know in my heart that dying would feel very different if one was experiencing it lying in one's bed, surrounded by a loving family, compared to being beaten, brutalised, starved or gassed, I do get Tim's argument that the death itself, the actual finishing point when you no longer feel anything is the same. It is the dying that is what we experience.

 I am glad that you took the time to explain things further. Unfortunately, your argument was not very clear at Le Pub.

Best wishes to you,