Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

An Imaginative Use For CCTVs

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the one-man's-privacy-is-another-man's-publicity dept.

Privacy 191

An anonymous reader writes "Everyone knows we're being watched by CCTVs everywhere — particularly in the UK — and virtually everyone (at least on Slashdot) complains about that fact. But have you ever stopped to consider the ways you can use all those CCTVs to your advantage? The Get Out Clause, an unsigned band from Manchester in the UK, did just that; they played in front of 80 different CCTVs around Manchester, and then asked for the video via Freedom of Information Act letters. (About 25% of the CCTV owners complied with the law and turned them over.) The result isn't too bad."

cancel ×

191 comments

Looks good (1)

larjon (582981) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624009)

Actually, that looks better than the 300â video we've got ;)

"Stars of CCTV" (4, Informative)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624013)

Hard-Fi already has a song called Stars of CCTV, and I saw a video from another band that used CCTV cameras inside a store.. which I actually don't think was the hard-fi song. Anyway, kudos to these guys, the video looks pretty cool :)

And every move that I make
Gets recorded to tape
So somebody up there
Can keep me safe

We're the stars of CCTV
Making movies out on the street
Flashing blue lights, camera, action
Watching my life, main attraction
We're the stars of CCTV
Can't you see the camera loves me?

Correct version (-1, Troll)

CanadianRealist (1258974) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624261)

And every move that I make
Gets recorded to tape
So somebody up there
Can PRETEND TO keep me safe


There you go, I fixed it for you. OK, it does throw it off a bit unless you can sing the additional words very quickly.

Re:"Stars of CCTV" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23624391)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8WoyPEVRFo

I'm guessing you didn't mean this one?

Levellers beat both of these to the punch (3, Interesting)

SpooForBrains (771537) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624653)

With their (imaginatively titled) track CCTV: You're starring in a film every weekend On video and stills With all your friends You're there in Black and White Hundreds watch you every night You're great in every scene You're very natural It's as if you cannot see the spotlight on you But when you fluff a line the director says You're doing time When you're walking home In the evening after dark Remember don't hide And show your best side Cos you're the star in a film They also did a fantastic track about Tony Blair, before he became PM: He thought he was as drunk as can be New white skinny rebel was he Because he knew what mattered It's all in a clatter of the bands he's seen His words of wisdom would shock Whether he meant them or not He'd save the world All the boys and the girls But another single's all he'd be That's sad That's right Another night Of someone else's fantasy He thought he was cool with his tunes He practised the knack in his room And in the evening he'd DJ With the slider at eight plus Believing that at his feet we swoom Now he's always there in the queue While down on the dance floor it's you And when he starts playing He's up there playing You don't notice that they're not his tunes He thought he could measure the world Because he loved the flag when unfurled First he's a lawyer, excellent debator You should have heard the mud he hurled Now you've seen his face on TV Leading parliamentary When he makes decisions That meet your derision He reminds us all that we're free Although irritatingly I can't find any reference to the intended meaning of this song, and now I can't remember why I think it's about Tony Blair.

Re:"Stars of CCTV" (1)

Skrynesaver (994435) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624789)

Perhaps you meant this one by
The Frames [youtube.com] . Was done in a Dublin Post Office after hours with the help of a friend who worked there. Again @ the time they had no money for recording a video commercially. Does sound a bit familiar to Pixies fans ;) but good in it's own right.

Re:"Stars of CCTV" (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624969)

Actually that's not even the one I saw, I think it was totally black and white, and was all indoors. Looks like quite a few bands have done this then! :p

Re:"Stars of CCTV" (1)

Tjeerd (976354) | more than 6 years ago | (#23625283)

Perhaps the other band you meant is Nine Inch Nails with the track Survivalism [youtube.com] ?

Wait, CCTV owners? (2, Interesting)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624019)

I kind of just assumed that the government/law enforcement were the "owners". Who is the summary referring to as "the CCTV owners" ?

Re:Wait, CCTV owners? (2, Informative)

zebslash (1107957) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624075)

I live in the UK, I guess that would be the city or county councils.

Re:Wait, CCTV owners? (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624351)

CC stands for closed circuit.

Re:Wait, CCTV owners? (1)

IRGlover (1096317) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624475)

and TV stands for TeleVision. The GP didn't state that CC meant City or County Council, just that those are the likely owners rather than the police. Whether that is true or not, I don't know. Some of the cameras could be owned by private companies, such as shops and security firms.

Re:Wait, CCTV owners? (5, Informative)

fork_daemon (1122915) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624847)

I live in the UK. The CCTVs on the Streets are definitely owned by the Council and some by the Met Police as well.

The ones outside the stores are their own. The one's inside places like stadiums, Malls are owned by the people who run these places.

Re:Wait, CCTV owners? (4, Informative)

julesh (229690) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624077)

I kind of just assumed that the government/law enforcement were the "owners". Who is the summary referring to as "the CCTV owners" ?

Almost all of the CCTV cameras that are frequently cited as being part of a "surveillance state" in the UK are owned and operated by private individuals, not the government. Specifically, most are run by shops. The article refers to the band using one on a bus.

Which raises the question -- why did the band expect the freedom of information act to apply to these? It only applies to government-run organisations, so the owners of the cameras in question had no obligation to comply with the request.

Re:Wait, CCTV owners? (4, Informative)

aproposofwhat (1019098) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624209)

It's not the FOI that applies in that scenario, but the Data Protection Act.

Dom Joly did a similar thing in his last series, IIRC.

Re:Wait, CCTV owners? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23624345)

Mark Thomas did it about six or seven years back too.

Re:Wait, CCTV owners? (4, Interesting)

stupid_is (716292) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624447)

He was encouraging the public to make films by staging scenes in front of CCTVs and then do a DPA request to get the footage. Stitch it all together and you have a (silent) feature film.

Re:Wait, CCTV owners? (1)

tomatensaft (661701) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624233)

The owners of the cameras were probably stunned by the impudence of band's actions.

Data Protection? (1)

BovineSpirit (247170) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624299)

I know nothing about this, but could the Data Protection Act be used to get to the footage?

Re:Data Protection? (3, Informative)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624373)

yes, footage of you on camera is data, and you can request that a company hands over any data on you that it holds.

Re:Data Protection? (5, Insightful)

asnare (530666) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624465)

A common theme for privacy/data protection legislation is that the person whom the data is about has the right to:
  1. Access that data;
  2. Correct any mistakes in the data.

I get the feeling that the latter is normally the main goal here, but the former is required for that to be tenable.

Specifically in the UK, according to Wikipedia's entry on the Data Protection Act [wikipedia.org] :

The Data Protection Act creates rights for those who have their data stored, and responsibilities for those who store or collect personal data.

The person who has their data processed has the right to

  • View the data an organisation holds on them, for a small fee, known as 'subject access'
  • Request that incorrect information be corrected. If the company ignores the request, a court can order the data to be corrected or destroyed, and in some cases compensation can be awarded.
  • Require that data is not used in a way which causes damage or distress.
  • Require that their data is not used for direct marketing.

So they may have tried to use the 'subject access' thing. Wikipedia also mentions that costs cannot exceed £10.

Re:Wait, CCTV owners? (1)

stoofa (524247) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624337)

If they had written to local government then the reply would have been, "You show us your license to perform in that spot and then we'll discuss this Freedom of Information thing after that."

Re:Wait, CCTV owners? (1)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624409)

There is no law against making music in the street, they can stop you from busking, but they can't stop you from making noise for no money.

Re:Wait, CCTV owners? (5, Informative)

glas_gow (961896) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624571)

Where I live (Scotland), they can charge you with "breach of the peace", which is a remarkably elastic law that allows the Police to charge you for doing just about anything. Basically they approach you and tell you to stop doing whatever you are doing, and if you disagree, then you are breaching the peace, and they arrest you.

Re:Wait, CCTV owners? (4, Informative)

the-stringbean (884738) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624979)

Breach of the peace also applies in England and is equally 'elastic'. The current favourite by police at the moment (especially the PSCO wannabe cops) is the Terrorism Act 2006 which can be very easily stretched to include pretty much anything. I'm surprised that this stunt didn't get flagged up as suspicious (aka terrorist) behaviour.

Kudos to these guys for pulling this off though. How they managed to set up a drum kit on one of the Metrolink trams and on the travelator in Sainsbury's supermarket in Fallowfield (which is at a 45 degree angle!) is crazy.

Re:Wait, CCTV owners? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23624369)

Which raises the question -- why did the band expect the freedom of information act to apply to these? It only applies to government-run organisations, so the owners of the cameras in question had no obligation to comply with the request.
Indeed, I suspect the article may be wrong. It's the Data Protection Act (DPA) that restricts the information which companies can hold about individuals, and limits the way that information can be processed and used.

It is a provision of the DPA that an individual can request that a company discloses all of the information that it holds on that individual. This can include information stored on video tape, such as that gathered by a company's CCTV cameras.

Re:Wait, CCTV owners? (1, Informative)

OldBus (596183) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624645)

The DPA does not apply to CCTV. CCTV information is simply in a recording in chronological order - it has no filing system based on an individual. See http://www.ico.gov.uk/Home/what_we_cover/data_protection/guidance/technical_guidance_notes.aspx [ico.gov.uk] If there was some way of accessing the information by name or a number that could identify an individual then it would be covered.

Re:Wait, CCTV owners? (1)

mikiN (75494) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624981)

If there was some way of accessing the information by name or a number that could identify an individual then it would be covered.
Easy. CCTV recorders store the time a recording was made in some way (whether blended into the picture or not). So just wear a shirt prominently showing the time at which you know you will be in view, then claim that's your band name or something. Maybe you could even collect royalties in that way.

DPA not FoI (4, Informative)

Xest (935314) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624411)

Under the data protection act you have the right to request a copy of any data stored on you so it's covered by that.

It could get expensive though as they're allowed to charge a processing fee which by the way I think absolutely stinks. Why should you have to pay to see if they've fucked up your data? The burden should be entirely on the data holders and if they get lots of malicious requests designed to cost them money in man hours then maybe they should reconsider the need to store data on you in the first place. At very worst the costs should be capped at something trivial like £0.50.

There's lots of private CCTV (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624309)

In the US, it's mostly private, not sure the percentage in Britain but a non-trivial amount to be sure. In the US walk in to any large store. Notice the black domes on the ceiling? Those are cameras (well some are probably decoys). They are monitored by the store's loss prevention group. It's all internal to the store. The government has no access, if they want to see the tapes they have to ask or get a warrant.

There's lots of private CCTV out there. Heck you can even get some of your own. If you want to monitor your house, there's plenty of companies willing to sell you the equipment to do so.

Re:Wait, CCTV owners? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23624523)

90+ % of CCTV cameras are operated by private companies. The notion of a governmental 'web' of CCTV cameras, a la Bourne Supremacy, is largely a myth.

Re:Wait, CCTV owners? (1)

mlk (18543) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624749)

Shop/bank owners, local councel, who ever local councel pays to operate them.

Re:Wait, CCTV owners? (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624823)

If you are a UK citizen you have the right to request a copy of any CCTV coverage made of you however the CCTV provider may charge a nominal fee. I believe that this in enshrined in both the Data Protection Act & Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.

Music Video (4, Informative)

antdude (79039) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624021)

Go to YouTube [youtube.com] . :)

Is it just me... (5, Insightful)

ChowRiit (939581) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624027)

Is it just me, or is the important part of this not "band makes music video" but than 75% of organisations will deny a legitimate request under the Freedom of Information Act? Surely someone should be investigating this...

Re:Is it just me... (1)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624087)

No I would say that would be the most important piece of information to gather from the summary at least. Amazing how long it took for someone to comment on that!

Re:Is it just me... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23624091)

The organizations were probably not part of the government. Not legitimate requests.

Re:Is it just me... (4, Informative)

julesh (229690) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624101)

Is it just me, or is the important part of this not "band makes music video" but than 75% of organisations will deny a legitimate request under the Freedom of Information Act? Surely someone should be investigating this...

My suspicion is that the band doesn't actually understand the FIA. From the article:

They set up their equipment, drum kit and all, in eighty locations around Manchester - including on a bus - and proceeded to play to the cameras.

Afterwards they wrote to the companies or organisations involved and asked for the footage under the Freedom of Information Act.

[...]

Only a quarter of the organisations contacted fulfilled their obligation to hand over the footage - perhaps predictably, bigger firms were reluctant, while smaller companies were more helpful - but that still provided enough for a video with 20 locations.


The bus and "bigger firms" are referring to cameras operated by private organisations which have no legal obligation to respond to such a request. "Smaller companies" were presumably more helpful due to the fact that they didn't have lawyers to inform them of this fact.

Re:Is it just me... (2, Interesting)

ChowRiit (939581) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624123)

This is true, I went and actual READ a bit of the Act, and it does indeed only cover government and similar organisations.

It would be interesting to know, though, if any of the refusals came from any such organisations...

Re:Is it just me... (4, Informative)

spooky ghost (70606) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624179)

They probably would have got further making the request under the UK Data Protection Act.

Re:Is it just me... (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624215)

They probably would have got further making the request under the UK Data Protection Act.

Yes, although the DPA allows organisations to make a charge of £20 for providing the requested information. With "80 locations" that would have come in at £1600, probably more than the band wanted to spend on this project.

Re:Is it just me... (4, Informative)

s0litaire (1205168) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624353)

Under the DPA; a company can only charge £10 per request, not £20.

Re:Is it just me... (2, Informative)

serialdogma (883470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624363)

There's is a similar part under the Freedom of Information act, thats lets them charge a fee to process your request. It's a bit more £20 for the upper limit IIRC.

Re:Is it just me... (1)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624423)

The FoI act also allows a fee [opsi.gov.uk] . I'm not sure what the limit is, but I think charges of around £70 are normal. The DPA might actually be more cost-effective.

Re:Is it just me... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23624459)

As I own such a business (CCTV and alarm installer) I can tell you that the pricetag of 20 quid is low if there is abuse of such service since the cost of retrieving video from some DVR systems (in terms of man-hours), especially those that are not PC based can be much, much higher than that.

Re:Is it just me... (1)

shani (1674) | more than 6 years ago | (#23625125)

It's not "abuse" to want to see exactly what people are recording about you.

Perhaps you should improve the technology so actually retrieving information from the system more efficient? It seems to me that this is exactly the same type of operation the owner of the CCTV systems will need to do to track down theft, so that seems like a good idea in any case.

Unless the point is to just scare people with cameras, which means you can simply turn them off and tell the people invoking the DPA that there is no video at all. :)

Re:Is it just me... (4, Insightful)

jrumney (197329) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624415)

"Smaller companies" were presumably more helpful due to the fact that they didn't have lawyers to inform them of this fact.

Smaller companies' cameras are more likely to be outsourced to security firms, who, since it is their primary business, would be well versed in their obligations relating to cameras covering public spaces, and are generally quite lenient in making the video available. It is probably chargeable back to the client, so an additional revenue source for them, and not worth refusing over a technicality like the wrong Act being used to request the images.

Public bodies (1)

matt me (850665) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624681)

Freedom of information Act applies to public bodies. Use it more! There is a good interface for it at http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/ [whatdotheyknow.com] The act is a good thing, but lacking, you can only ask questions and get spun replies, not access to documents.

Re:Is it just me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23625063)

The relevant law is the Data Protection Act not the Freedom of Information Act - in any case the whole thing is a PR stunt and real CCTV footage was not involved.

This is a classic Slashdot story - no facts and plenty of hot air.

Heads up (2, Informative)

Ethan Allison (904983) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624029)

Got AdBlock? Turn it off or the video won't show up.

Re:Heads up (1)

ChowRiit (939581) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624133)

Works for me with it on - you must have REALLY aggressive filter rules...

Re:Heads up (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624301)

Ah, I had the same problem so I watched it on YouTube [youtube.com] . :)

Impressive (1)

aitikin (909209) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624037)

I've seen semi-professional (meaning college seniors that are working on a music video for a final with professional equipment) videos that have far worse looking video. My biggest problem with it (and this may just be the player) is that the audio doesn't quite sync up sometimes, which definitely is a problem when you are working with so many different video sources.

I think that was a genius move on their part, it gets them a cheap, decently good music video and gets them a bunch of "free" publicity. I say cheap and free in quotes because the amount of work they had to have put into this is ridiculous, enough that they could probably have worked a real job and paid a camera crew to work with em for a video. It wouldn't be as cool or as innovating, so theirs was definitely a better choice.

Really good (1)

psy (88244) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624041)

This is actually a really good video clip. You'd think the filming was professionally shot.

Re:Really good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23624183)

Actually it was professionally shot. http://observers.france24.com/content/20080516-hoax-cctv-video-get-out-clause-where [france24.com] the band admit it was a publicity stunt.

Re:Really good (1)

Drinking Bleach (975757) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624225)

Quite an excellent "Page not found" source you have there :)

Re:Really good (3, Interesting)

Kopiok (898028) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624433)

If you read the guitarists response, he says that they did NOT use professional shots, and that most of the footage was indeed from CCTV cameras. He says they used (and quite obviously, I might add) handheld camera shots in between some CCTV shots in order to make the video look better overall.

This just looks like the spreading of a rumor that it was professional footage as fact.

Re:Really good (2, Interesting)

jrumney (197329) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624483)

It's funny how when police release CCTV footage of suspected criminals, it is always blurry black and white images at 2 fps, but these guys managed to get focused full PAL resolution images at 25 fps, sometimes in color.

Re:Really good (3, Insightful)

growse (928427) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624869)

Maybe the band had a choice of what shots to use, which is a luxury the police rarely get?

Mark Thomas (4, Interesting)

Allicorn (175921) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624049)

British comic and political activist Mark Thomas ( http://www.markthomasinfo.com/ [markthomasinfo.com] ) has been doing this kind of thing for years.

In 2000 (I think) he orchestrated a national "talent show" kind of competition where all entries had to be submitted as CCTV footage recovered from CCTV operators through measures under the Data Protection Act. Hilarious stuff :-)

Alli

Re:Mark Thomas (4, Insightful)

Martian_Kyo (1161137) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624159)

You know, these ideas aren't as brilliant, as is the fact they actually went out and did it. I am sure millions of people thought 'wouldnt it be cool if we used these CCTV cameras for show?' and then got sober next morning, and never did it.

Don't get me wrong, I applaud this band as well as the comedian. So many good ideas, get wasted due to indolence. I am glad someone didn't waste this one.

Many people may have thought 'whats the big deal, I thought of doing that as well, it's no stroke of genius.'
I ask 'But did you do it?'

Kudos and applause to these guys, not only for the idea but for the balls and willingness to do it.

So if you got an idea, don't waste it. Do it, or at least tell someone who will do it. Don't let ideas die.

No I am not promoting some self-help book.

Re:Mark Thomas (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624381)

So if you got an idea, don't waste it. Do it, or at least tell someone who will do it. Don't let ideas die.

Hmm, this sound familiar. [penny-arcade.com]

And in a more whimsical vein... (2, Funny)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624061)

I see flash mobs. Many, many flash mobs, all obsessed with CCTV cameras. All overcome by a powerful need to bend over and drop trou.

You just KNOW somebody would leak the video before long.

Re:And in a more whimsical vein... (1)

aproposofwhat (1019098) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624241)

And the backing track?

Blue Moon?

Under the Moon of Love?

Paper Moon?

The list goes on...

Re:And in a more whimsical vein... (1)

Patrik_AKA_RedX (624423) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624371)

I just know who to hire as lead figure for you idea...

Only 25%? (1)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624065)

How is being illegally refused in 75% of requests considered "[not] too bad"?

Re:Only 25%? (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624155)

How is being illegally refused in 75% of requests considered "[not] too bad"?

Because the refusals probably weren't illegal. See my comment here [slashdot.org] .

Re:Only 25%? (3, Interesting)

Fusen (841730) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624173)

As already posted above, the FOIA only applies to government organisations. Majority of the CCTV cameras that people talk about are owned by small shops and private businesses. Which is why I get so bored of the scaremongering that goes on on slashdot. It can take police weeks to get access to the tapes from these CCTV cameras, it's nothing like 1984...

Re:Only 25%? (1)

aceofspades1217 (1267996) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624203)

How is being illegally refused in 75% of requests considered "[not] too bad"?
FIA is only government..... im sure like a small buisness would be cool with it. I doubt a corp would. They need to discuss everything with their legal team and stuff and its a big hassle/mess

75% failure (1)

djsmiley (752149) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624161)

(About 25% of the CCTV owners complied with the law and turned them over.) The result isn't too bad."

Erm, 75% failure to commit to a act specified by a law is pretty damn bad if you ask me.

Also the BBC did something along these lines where they asked for the videos, I think they got like 50% back, some claimed there was no record (i.e. they weren't actually recording) and others stated various security clauses.

Oh, and no I haven't read any other replies, I maybe redundant -_-

You can... (1)

atamagabakkaomae (1241604) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624201)

put up a cardboard puppet of yourself in front of one CCTV camera and commit a crime somewhere else. Even if your crime will be recorded on another CCTV camera, they will never be able to prove which one of the two was really you..

Re:You can... (1)

atamagabakkaomae (1241604) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624237)

.. 'in dubio pro reo'

I forgot to add..

Re:You can... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23625067)

You are probably the one that isn't slowly collapsing in the rain.

Best part of the clip (1)

Bovius (1243040) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624333)

Definitely the band playing while riding up a public escalator. Most of that part was obviously not footage from a CCTV, but still really funny to watch.

Where is Humpy? (1)

crapdot (1226746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624383)

That is a misuse of "Freedom of Information Act" ...

"We should always tell the press freely and frankly anything that they could easily find out some other way."
- Sir Humphrey Appleby ... how else could they easily get their stuff? Is Humpy on vacation or something?

Re:Where is Humpy? (1)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624697)

Sir Humphrey is dead. The modern civil servant is no longer independent of government & politics. Under new labour it's become the polar opposite and is now so politicised it may as well be part of the Labour spin machine.

Use DPA not FOI (1)

Trevelyan (535381) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624427)

The are post complaining about the return rate. However FOI only applies to the Government and some public sector bodies, not to the private sector. Most of these cameras would have been run by non government companies. I would guess any of these companies receiving an FOI would have been advised by their solicitors that they don't need to act on them.

Making a request under the Data Protection Act would have been the correct thing to do. Since the 'data' on the tape is about you, so they have to respond under the law. However they can charge up to a massive £10 handling fee.

nothing to "comply with" (0)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624439)

About 25% of the CCTV owners complied with the law and turned them over.) The result isn't too bad.

If they did, they were being nice. I am under no obligation to give you the CCTV footage that I took of you.

Re:nothing to "comply with" (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624485)

am under no obligation to give you the CCTV footage that I took of you
If you are a government-owned organisation you better comply or you face long terms in Jail. Yes, the government may be Big Brother, but FOIA (what's in UK) allows me to demand almost anything unclassified held by government.

Re:nothing to "comply with" (3, Informative)

Zelos (1050172) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624503)

Under the Data Protection Act you have the right to view data an organisation holds on you for a reasonable fee (~£10 I think) including CCTV footage: Wiki Link [wikipedia.org] . Comedian Mark Thomas did a whole programme on it a few years back.

Re:nothing to "comply with" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23624655)

While this may be the case in the good old land of the free, not so across the pond.

In Big Brother UK, you cannot hold ANY personal data (such as an image or video of someone taken on CCTV) without complying with the Data Protection Act. The DPA give data subjects certain rights, such as no excessive data and the right to see any data being held.

AFAIK, the only way for companies to get around this (other than the old "the camera wasn't on") is if releasing the footage would be a breach of national security or hamper an on going criminal investigation. Something I doubt applied here.

If this is true (which it seems it's not) the real story is that the DPA is not enforced as it should be. It's actually a VERY powerful law and more people need to be aware of it.

The story is about a month old (4, Informative)

simong (32944) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624493)

and it's since transpired that most of it was fake [manchester...news.co.uk] . Taxis generally don't have CCTV in them. Yet.

Re:The story is about a month old (5, Informative)

TheRealJFM (671978) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624597)

Exactly, I was about to suggest that it was fake.

I work as a part-time CCTV operator (while I'm at University), and the footage just doesn't look remotely real to me. Specifically the frame-rate is FAR too high, most CCTV systems have the frame-rate turned down quite low (say 3-5 FPS) to save space.

Second, not every CCTV camera is necessarily recording at the same time. While every camera probably CAN record, usually only key cameras will be set to record, maybe half or less, to save space on the system. The idea is that if anything happens the CCTV operator will record that camera, not that everything records all the time.

If a band asked me to look up their footage because of something like this, the footage they'd get back wouldn't look that good. This is a publicity stunt.

(and, as has already been pointed out, the Data Protection Act, not the Freedom of Information Act)

Re:The story is about a month old (1)

dattaway (3088) | more than 6 years ago | (#23625001)

I doubt security cameras are good as people think. I have the Axis 233D network camera to watch a drug house across the street. Top of the line with a 35x optical zoom. 0.008 candlepower night vision. It can read a license plate and get a great boob shot across the street, but its no movie studio production kit:

http://24.163.160.192/view/index.shtml [24.163.160.192]

Re:The story is about a month old (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23625167)

Can I record my music video in your driveway? kthx

Re:The story is about a month old (1)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624711)

Taxis generally don't have CCTV in them. Yet.
I live on the South coast; I've been in more than one taxi with a (or at least what appears to be)CCTV camera in it.

Stratospheric (2, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624495)

The Indie Alt-Rock group "Kiosk" did something similar with the music video for "Stratospheric". It includes CCTV video of the band on the street, edited together with video surveillance of criminals in the act.

On MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/londonkiosk [myspace.com]

On YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BBCMYO2PHQ [youtube.com]

Free MP3 download: http://www.contactmusic.com/new/home.nsf/webpages/kioskx25x09x03 [contactmusic.com]

No connection to the band. In fact I think the music sucks... Still, they simply don't have as good of a PR guy working for them.

Video was a P.R. stunt.. (4, Informative)

evilpresley (1300313) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624519)

This video was discussed over at Metafilter [metafilter.com] a few weeks ago, where Ericb [metafilter.com] discovered that the video was just a PR stunt [manchester...news.co.uk] .

Regardless, it was a pretty good one all the same!

Re:Video was a P.R. stunt.. (1)

Zelos (1050172) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624563)

Quote from the band's PR guy in that article:
"When there are thousands of bands out there trying to get noticed this has made people sit up and listen. They've appeared on Sky and whether their music is good or not people will hear it. It's got people talking about them which is what I guess they meant to do."
So they lied in a pathetic bid to make money, and that's acceptable somehow?

Re:Video was a P.R. stunt.. (1)

Zelos (1050172) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624635)

Sorry, I meant "a PR guy", it's not the band's PR.

Re:Video was a P.R. stunt.. (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624845)

Clearly you've never met a salesperson.

Just think... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23624699)

Just think what this could do for the porn industry.

Re:Just think... (2, Funny)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624867)

Nothing. By the time the company they request the tape from actually responds, the tape will be so worn out all they'll get is static.

Re:Just think... (1)

Chapter80 (926879) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624923)

Or... If an underage person was vehemently against the use of CCTV, they could flash the camera and then have the owners charged as kiddie-pornographers.

I vaguely remember a US case of an adult who was ticked off that kids were "parking" (and getting naked) near his driveway on the weekends. He took photos to the police to complain, and they charged him with kiddie-porn charges.

I'm Unworthy (1)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624853)

I can't find the link. This methodology was proposed for a student film. A group of university students proposed that they re-enact the same scenes at over 50 CC cameras then blend the films in a surreal effort to get ~ real time out of 3-5 FPS samples. The background would shift between frames, but careful staging would maintain the basic scene. I've no idea if it was ever carried out, but it does sound interesting.

slashvertisement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23625177)

so they've taken an idea 1st used about 5 years about by Mark Thomas (political comedian in the UK) and kind of mirrored what the video sniffing community have been doing for quite a while (where they use recievers to pick up signals from wireless cameras and make films that way, not annoying the arse out of people by getting copies)

Moral of the story? (1)

edmicman (830206) | more than 6 years ago | (#23625255)

So is the point that if Big Brother is watching, give him a show? The life/lemons/lemonade story is nice, but hardly does anything about the fact you are being recorded by so many entities.

Copyright Issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23625263)

If this were not a fake which it is there would be a barrier to the band using the footage from CCTV - the owner of the copyright in the footage would be the company or person who owned or operated the cameras.

The band would not be allowed under copyright law to copy or distribute the footage without a license permitting such usage from each and every copyright owner.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...