A funny old week, this one. Between fighting with the Lincs Home Ed officials (who seem to have gone awfully quiet, lol) and other legal issues, we’ve not had much time for a great deal of work, either of the home education variety or the earn money variety.
Jon and Emily attended a book launch on Saturday and were somewhat less than impressed to discover that the author was using a video still of Jon during his author talk to promote his book, and that same still was shown prominently in the book itself – and of course, he had not asked for permission from either Jon or the copyright holder of the video. We were aware of this author’s….unorthodox style….since his previous book had contained information more or less parroted from a website run by a friend of ours, again without permission. To make matters worse, during his talk he was giving out misleading and incorrect information about the circumstances of the video. Jon intervened and corrected him, and he was obviously shaken to find Jon in the audience.
On Monday, we contacted his publishers with an official complaint; they originally came back snottily saying they were perfectly happy that copyright had not been breached. Ha. Yeah. Soon put that one to bed with some strongly worded correspondence. The author himself then resorted to threats against a friend of ours – very professional – and spouted a load of rubbish he clearly doesn’t understand about “public domain” and “fair use”, and claimed that he had made every reasonable effort to trace the copyright holder. It’s all utter bollocks – both we and the copyright holder were perfectly easy to trace, the item was not in the public domain as that term legally applies and nor was it eligible to be used without permission under fair use – but clearly the author thinks we’re stupid and will be dazzled by such official sounding terms.
Anyway. Having refused correspondence with him – the legal responsibility does lie, after all, with the publishers – we continued correspondence with the publishers, who are now taking a far more conciliatory tone. They appear to have the common sense to realise that their legs to stand are rapidly vanishing. We are still awaiting a final outcome to this, but we will take it to court if necessary – it’s absolutely vile and disgusting for this man to be profiting from someone else’s work like this, and his attitude stinks, which makes matters even worse. I somehow suspect further legal action won’t in the end be necessary because his publishers are seeing sense, but if they call our bluff they’ll discover we’re not bluffing after all.
So all that has taken up quite some time.
In between, however, Emily’s done some great history work, starting with discovering how, when, where and why alphabets evolved from pictorial and symbolic scripts, as part of the first GCSE Media Through Time unit. She’s also had a go at – and enjoyed – doing some of these Oxford University Entrance Tests – thinking/critical analysis papers which require candidates to spot supporting evidence, find the flaws in arguments, examine which conclusions are supported by a piece and which are not, and so forth. She sailed through the first twelve questions on the sheet she tried and got 10/12 correct – the two she didn’t get right were more mathematically orientated and to be honest, she didn’t exactly try that hard with those. The critical thinking/logic/rationality ones, however, she found an absolute doddle. Very, very pleased and proud of her at 12 years old to be finding these a cinch – we’ve obviously done a good job working alongside her to help her develop some independent thinking skills as opposed to the sheeple, it-says-so-here-so-it-must-be-true mentality which seems all pervasive these days – including among those who champion particular causes without bothering to actually look critically at either side of the argument.
Riding continues apace. Blue is going to be clipped this week to help him stop being so sweaty under his winter rug; Emily’s slightly sad that his mane will be hogged (cut short, mohican style) at the same time, because she (and I) much prefer his long, natural mane – but his owners prefer his mane to be cut, and they are, after all, the owners, so it’s not up to us. It’s not as if it’s going to bother him, after all, lol – I don’t suppose Blue could care less! Earlier this week I walked six and a half miles (measured it on google maps!) with Emily, discovering a new route the next village along and through some beautiful woods where she and Blue could canter about to their heart’s content. She’s also been out with Blue and Jon on his bike again, which they all love. Not looking forward to the icy weather and how that will affect Emily’s riding (and our mucking out!) – keeping fingers very crossed for a mild winter for a change, much as I normally love winter!