The eyes of a Wolf always see straight into your soul ...

...You can't hide the truth from them


Please visit the main site - www.wolf-photography.com


Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Time for all artists to get invloved in the Government Review of Hargreave's Copyright Proposals

The UK government committee is about to review Hargreaves copyright proposals. The select committee is populated by MP's who appear to have little knowledge or interest in the world of online business, orphan works, copyright clearance etc. If you care about the issues as artists, please write to these MP's to educate them ASAP.

Your submission can be sent by email and doesn't have to be a huge document, in fact short, relevant submissions are better. We have until Monday 5 September to make written submissions to the UK Business, Innovation and Skills Committee which will begins its review of Hargreaves recommendations and the government's plans to implement them.

If Hargreaves is implemented this is how the UK landscape will look to artists -

•The moral rights of authors will still not be automatically granted as in other EU countries.
•Moral rights will still not be made unwaivable as in other EU countries.
•There will still be no sanctions for the removal of digital copyright information from digital works.
•Orphan works will be used for commercial purposes.
•That remedies for unauthorised use will be restricted for those who have not registered their works.
•Creators are not given a level playing field with industry in contract and other matters.
•Artists rights will still not be recognised as human rights.

The implications are just as dire for all artists using any form of digital storage for their art (eg writers, photographers, musicians etc).

The above could be the synopsis of a horror story, we should fight to prevent this. We have published a simple step by step guide to making a submission to this committee at http://bit.ly/qKN8Fq

I know this is a pain, but it is important, and we have made it as easy as possible for you short of writing the submission for you. It has to be in your own words, but we have given you all the info you need to do this.

Remember, the last day for submission to the UK committee is close of business on Monday 5th of September 2011, you have time to do this, your help is needed, and from all your creative colleagues.



Thursday, 25 August 2011

Online PC Doctor Scam

Had a phone call like the one on this link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOn0vW5814g from a company calling themselves 'Virtual PC Doctor' from India?  DO NOT engage them in any dialogue, DON'T give them your credit card details.  DO NOT under any circumstances allow them to remotely connect to your computer.  They will try to trick you into doing this by getting you to check a system report that will show errors.  Those errors have always been on your system and it works fine, so don't be reeled in by this.

DO NOT go to a website that is http://ww w.support.me/.

DO make a note of their name, telephone number, confirm their company name, try to find out how they got your phone number.  Ring your internet service provider (ISP), register the matter as a 'scam' and ask your ISP to investigate the matter.

If you feel that you have been taken advantage of and have given the company any of your personal details - especially credit/debit cards - you must contact your bank or building society straight away and cancel your current cards and request replacements.  You may also want to contact your local police force and lodge a complaint with them.

Please tell your friends and family about this scam straight away!

Be safe,


Saturday, 20 August 2011

British politics through the eyes of a Veteran ...

I see a lot of pain nowadays, physical, emotional, spiritual.  It multiplies with the number of humans that come onto the planet.  Events like the recent riots in England add to the cyclone of negative energy that can affect lives in ways so deep that sometimes the fight back to something that some people would term as 'normal' simply isn't possible.  That doesn't stop people trying though.

But what is 'normal'?  Does it actually exist?  Isn't it a subjective analysis based on our own attitudes, values and frames of reference which are an amalgamation of our own life experiences?  I smile when I see people use the word 'normal' because in the area of human life experience it doesn't exist.  There are too many variations and at an age when we should be celebrating diversity and exercising tolerance, many people still seek solace in division and xenophobia.  The Romans ruled through the policy of 'divide and conquer' and our governments still use the same policy.  While we're divided on our expectations of society, nobody wins, progress is slowed down to a crawl and we keep repeating old patterns as the pendulum of power swings back and forth from one extreme to the other which is wasteful and non-progressive as we trudge along entrenched in the wheel tracks of our former mistakes...rather than coming together and examining our mistakes, learning from them and moving forward in an energy of mutual respect, awareness and tolerance. 

The same pendulum that gave so many rights to children over and above those needed to stop abuse by failing to differentiate between abuse and discipline, broke down family units, gave us rioters and brought heart ache to local communities.  One can understand the calls asking for 'National Service' to be reintroduced to provide some discipline into our youth accross the board.

This is the second time that the tories have been in power in my lifetime that I know of.  I remember seeing the riots, education, social and medical care cuts, the loss of many industries, the privatisation of national services and nation of inventors and industrialists were brought to their collective knees.  The unions were rendered less affective and, I feel, never recovered and traded sides; more and more of their membership suffering because political decisions were made on some cases rather than fighting on moral and legal grounds.

Politics became more deadly than the sword as those too weak to do their own fighting relied on the greed of others to supply fighters, either through the promise of wealth or ideology.  As technology advanced, it became easier to start wars, sacrifice our youth and hide behind lies in the halls of power, safe in the knowledge that contacts in positions of influence would save you should anything untoward happen.

And we're still doing it.  Some western powers in fear of not being able to supply natural resources to sustain the current habits of its populace with regard to the consumption of gas and oil have, I feel, created scenarios and manipulated events to further their goals: the acquisition of more natural resources and the maintenance of a global intelligence service.  If it was a global intelligence network for the greater good, I wouldn't have a problem with it ... but everything in this day and age is materially driven whe it comes to war, otherwise we'd have combatants in war torn countries of Africa instead of UN 'observers'.

Enter the common man or woman in uniform.  Some chose the life as a vocation, some through the love of violence and others for whom being an honourable peace-keeper in defence of their own realm or the protection of people under their duties as members of the United Nations...but all of whom are subject to misuse by politicans, some returning with emotional and/or physical scars.

Can you imagine how some of them feel as they return home to be ridiculed, ostracised and discriminated against?  Some are labelled as lovers of violence when they've never hurt anyone during their service, others are considered 'blinkered' in their views because they chose to don the uniform.  Others will be stereo-typed because they have the same ethnic appearance as the 'enemy'.  The most common thing that a veteran will feel if left unsupported, is betrayal.  You don't have to be a veteran to understand how that feels, it happens in families, relationships, work and business all the time.  The difference is that the veteran, by signing on the dotted line said, 'I understand that I may have to pay the ultimate price while wearing this uniform...that I may lose my life...and I am ready to do so'.  Doesn't that same system have a duty to care for the people that survive but end up in difficult circumstances as a result of their service?  The system could argue that it does provide adequate care and support.  My experience suggests otherwise.

What's the average age of our people in conflict situations?   I don't know nowadays but in my day it was 19.  We're still developing as children at 19.  Some cultures say that a male isn't regarded as a man until he reaches 40.  When I look back over the experience that I've accumulated over my life time, I agree with that sentiment.  Our societies create a lot of smoke screens and the majority of people don't have the ability or the inclination to seek the truth of the matter.  Ignorance can be bliss.  Our politcal rug has had so much dirt swept underneath it that it resembles a huge hill.

How do we move forward from such a situation?  The first stage has to be for the populace to make democracy an effective tool rather than a toy given to the masses to pacify them.  The next thing that has to go is 'one party government'.  How can we have a governement that represents our people as a collective if they're only providing policies and services that only serve a fraction of the populace?

If you look back over the last three decades or so there has been a pattern in british policies: Labour build up core services until there's a recession pending and the Conservatives then come in and reduce the nation's expenditure making brutal cuts until it's time to hand over the reigns again. 

How would british politics look if we had 'proprtional representation'?  Would such a government be able to take a holistic over view of any situation affecting the nation and so govern more carefully and wisely rather than have a blinkered approach dictated by a single manifesto?

Would it mean less avoidable deaths of armed forces personnel or perhaps the sanctioning of force where it's actually needed to protect people?

Greed and materialism sustained by corruption and fear are at the heart of the nation's problem.  You only have to look at the events of the last few years to see how many people in positions of power have abused their roles.

My feeling is that, like councillors, MPs shouldn't be paid. They should get an honorarium and their travelling expenses.  It should be an honour to serve your country as a politician, not a means to feather your own nest.  I realise that there are some 'honest' politicians out there in different walks of life but experience suggests that they're in a minority.

Have a good Saturday...


Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Discount period ends soon...

I'm offering discounts on all my products to people and organisations that have clicked 'Like' on http://www.facebook.com/Wolf.Photographer.

Full details of the plan are on: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=231443733564594. It's my way of saying 'thank you' for supporting me.

The discount period ends on 18 Aug 2011 at 23:30 hrs GMT.

Please drop me a message here or on Facebook if you have any questions.



Thursday, 11 August 2011

Discounts for Facebook users...

As a thank you to those of you that continue to support my work, there will be periodic discounts on books and prints for those of you that have clicked 'Like' on http://www.facebook.com/Wolf.Photographer on Facebook.

How it will work:

The discount periods will last 1 week and be publicised as an 'Event'. Simply send me an email at: wolf (at) wolf-photography.com and tell me what you want to buy, having located the image on http://www.wolf-photography.com/. You'll need to tell me the name of the album and the image if it's a print. If it's a copy of my book - Words of a Wolf, just state whether you're a UK or Worldwide customer. Please state that you've clicked 'Like' there and the order will be processed through Paypal when you're verified on the 'Like' list.

Once we've confirmed what you'd like to buy, I'll generate a Paypal money request. The same terms and conditions apply to these sales. Once an order has been placed, it can't be cancelled as third party companies are involved. By placing an order, you agree to the terms and conditions of business on: http://www.wolf-photography.com/html/terms.html.

For discount prices and full details, please go to: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=231443733564594.

The first 'discount event' is live now: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=258667000828570

Many thanks

Villayat 'Wolf' Sunkmanitu

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Tailoring Facebook to my needs...

It's been an interesting view days of testing out new coding and trying to find an effective way of using Facebook (FB) to it's fullest potential on my website.  Originally I had FB pages for my book and my photography as two sepeate interests.  I have since amalgamted both pages and have just one FB page now:  http://www.facebook.com/Wolf.Photographer.  So please come and support me by hitting the 'Like' button and become a 'follower' of this blog too.

I've used the coding to create a stream on my website to keep visitors up to date with events, images and thoughts.  I'm very pleased with the way that it looks.  This isn't a replacement for the blog as the updates are limited in terms of numbers of characters allowed.  The 'full article',  if there is one, will still be on the blog.  Thanks Facebook!

Time to get some shut eye...



Thursday, 4 August 2011

Royal Photographic Society (RPS) closes forum discussion at the mention of racism and WW2...

As part of the discussion on an RPS thread on the issue surrounding Intellectual Property, I made the following response to address the comments, "We can't turn the tide", "The world has changed and we can do nothing about it" & "Images are readily available".

That kind of attitude would have lost us WWII, would never have addressed racism in this country through the 'Race Relations Ammendment Act' and would allow countless other forms of morally wrong actions to still be done without some recourse. It is also a very narrow view in that considering images only is ignoring the abuses that are foisted on other creative disciplines, such as musicians and writers. Campaigning for ethical, moral, and legal principles is always right, no matter how tough the task. Once you stop doing that the rule of law breaks down and dishonourable behaviour is given free scope. Associations representing creative people should be doing their utmost to protect their members 'Intellectual Property' rights.

The paragraph was demonstrating that sometimes we know that the battle for change is an uphill struggle ... but we have to get on with it and do what needs to be done to facilitate the change and restore a degree of morality to a practise that is damaging the world of the artist.

I was quite alarmed to read the following responses:

"Undoubtedly - but I would be very careful about comments like this - not everyone agrees that there are ethical / moral / legal issues at stake here, so either you are lumping those people with Nazis / racists etc. (which is very dodgy ground!) or you have to accept that not everyone has the same view and therefore you can not claim an absolute ethical / moral / legal position..."


Wolf there is no censorship involved here, the last thread you raised on this topic was closed by me as the argument had gone round in circles at least twice and no new information was forthcoming.

I will remind you however, that incorporating comments on World War II and racism is inappropriately emotive in this context, and any further use of similar language in a post will result in that post being pulled. You are obviously very passionate about this subject, but please keep your comments within bounds.

and last but not least:

It's good that you have taken the time to express yourself on the forum and your issues have indeed been noted and will be passed on to the council.

However, I don't think that  ******  has acted out of hand in his comments. He has replied to your comment from his own perspective as a photographer and has only switched to "Moderator Mode" when you started bringing WWII and racisim into the thread (Ed - which is chronologically incorrect when one examines the thread).  Which I have to agree is going too far on a photography forum.

I have to admit to feeling lost here as to how three seemingly reasonably educated people couldn't grasp the comments within the context they were written.

How is mentioning two examples of difficult struggles for changes that benefitted modern day society 'going too far'?  No one accused anyone of being a racist or fascist.  So why the spin? 


Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Lulu and copyright infringement..

'Words of a Wolf - Poetry of a Veteran' was published last year.  It's a collection of images and poems that I put together to shed some light on living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Part of the process was to do a quality control check by examining samples from different printers.  One of which were 'Lulu' (http://www.lulu.com/).  Lulu have a london office but are an american company.  I looked at producing two versions of the book with them: paper and an eBook.

The paper version was of a very low quality compared to the UK company that I eventually went with.  The eBook was acceptable.

However, before launching any major campaign re the book in the USA, I had to get some tax paperwork sorted out and had to apply for a tax number under the USA Inland Revenue guidelines or I would lose 30% of any royalties by default as tax payments.  There are certain tax provisions between the USA and the UK that allow this to be addressed and I followed Lulu's initial advice and went down the route, filled out the necessary forms and a few months later - voila!  I had my US tax number.  Lulu now failed to provide adequate advice on what to now do with it - which was a complete turn around after my initial enquiries into the matter.

The matter was complicated, convoluted and stressful.  So I contacted Lulu and deleted all my projects with them and asked for all my associated 'coprighted' files to be deleted.

First they said,

Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2011 19:16:37 +0000

From: existing_ticket@lulu.com

To: Wolf
Subject: [ ref:00D56zQ]
Dear Villayat,

 Thank you for your reply. All of your projects have been deleted. Some of the files that are in your account cannot be deleted in the full sense of the word. They are tied to the orders that were placed in the system and deleting them would be harmful to the file database. When you close your account, all files inside of the account are locked away with that account.

We will never access these files; they remain stagnate in the system. You retain all copyright rights to your book. We will not use or distribute the files once the account is closed. We are sorry, but once the files used in a project have been tied to an order, there is no way to delete them. The best we can do is quarantine them if you like. This will place them in a file-system of no return. Please let me know if you would like us to quarantine your files; it is as close to deleting them as we can do. I hope you have a wonderful day.

 Kind Regards,

 David K.

Lulu Enterprises, Inc.

Now bearing in mind that I am both the author and publisher of the book and had sufficiently copyrighted the material, I was a little annoyed with their failure to respect my copyright and wrote the following response:

Morning David,

I'm writing in response to your email from my business email address. I suggest you escalate this matter to a manager.

I don't accept your (Lulu's) reasoning or excuse for not deleting my files.

The only reason that Lulu could have to not delete a person's files would be to keep them for future use when the copyright protection runs out.

I'm a member of the Royal Photographic Society and the European News Agency.

Copyright is a very hot issue right now.

I want my files deleted ASAP. You have no customers around these 2 publications apart from me, your records and mine coroborate this fact. I purchased copies to 'quality control' the product. You are not authorised to sell any of my books. You therefore have no reason to keep my files on record.

I draw your attention to my copright notice contained within both titles:

'All poems and images remain the ©copyright of the author, Villayat Sunkmanitu. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means: electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the author.'

You do not have my authority to store my work. Your function was as a printer and distributor. I am the author and the publisher. I have worked in the IT industry for a number of years and know that there is no reason stopping you from being able to delete my work files.

I will start reporting on this issue via various outlets within 24 hours if my files are still on your system. I suggest you delete my files ASAP.

Villayat 'Wolf' Sunkmanitu LRPS.

The next response was from one of Lulu's managers:

Sent: 03 August 2011 16:14

To: wolf-

Subject: RE: FW: [ ref:00D56zQ6.]

Hi Villayat,

Thank you for the details and your concern. Even though you are the sole buyer of the materials, the back-end systems do not allow deletion as they are tied to an order and allow us to remain compliant in auditing situations. Technically you are correct, a file can be deleted from the servers manually. This is not normal practice for us when someone closes an account.

Once you close your account, or when you make your content Private access only, we are no longer able to distribute or sell the content, regardless of the files stored in our internal systems. This is against the member agreement, and we never claim to have copyright access to files made available on our site by our authors. That is what we are all about, author control of copyright.

As you mention, we store and distribute based on how you set up your projects. Again, once "deleted" or put in Private access only, we will not sell or distribute to ANYONE or any channels, whatsoever.

At your request, we will quarantine your content as David suggested to ensure no one within Lulu can access the files, which would be against our policy, regardless.

Have a nice day.

Rachel Braynin

Manager, Customer Voice.

So, my files relating to the book that are protected by copyright reside on a server and the company refuses to respect my legal copyright and delete the files.

I wrote to them a few minutes ago and gave them 7 days notice to delete all my files and copied the UK Intellectual Property Office into the message, having discussed the matter with them over the phone.

Let's hope that Lulu delete the files.  Had I known that these types of problems would arise with regrds to my files relating to my titles, I never would have used Lulu and it certainly puts me off dealing with any other online printer with regards to my future books.

I found the comment 'Technically you are correct, a file can be deleted from the servers manually. This is not normal practice for us when someone closes an account', very worrying indeed and wondered if authors with Lulu realise the implications of work remaining on their servers long term.  What happens to all the written work in 70 years time?


Osprey - Nature section

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