A cyclist who published helmet cam footage of a driver using a mobile phone while queuing in traffic has been threatened with legal action by the hire firm which owns the vehicle. JM Clark Ltd Road Sweeper Hire told YouTube user Dr Morocho that it would seek damages for use of its company branding on YouTube.
In a communication Dr Morocho subsequently reproduced via Twitter, Martin Clark writes:
“You are using our company branding on a video on YouTube without our permission.
“The video needs to be removed immediately and we will take no further action.
“If this is not done within 24 hours, we will seek damages to our company through the courts.
“If we pursue damages, it could result in your channel being removed from YouTube and costs to you personally.
“We have notified YouTube of your actions and our IP Attorney will be in touch with them should the video remain online.
“Thank you in advance for you [sic] co operation in this matter.”
Clark then adds: “We cannot accept responsibility for any self drive hire operators in terms of how they proceed to drive our vehicles.” Some Twitter users have however since pointed out that the firm offers to hire out road sweepers with a driver.
Is there any weight behind these threats? Guidance from the Association of Chief Police Officers of England, Wales and Northern Ireland states: “There are no powers prohibiting the taking of photographs, film or digital images in a public place. Therefore members of the public and press should not be prevented from doing so.”
Martin Porter QC was one person who was clearly unimpressed.
— Martin Porter QC (@MartinPorter6) February 12, 2016
Being as we too have now published a photo of a JM Clark Ltd vehicle, we’re very much looking forward to seeing what arrives in the post tomorrow…