SPGB EC Mins Oct 2016

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    MINUTES OF THE 10th MEETING OF THE 113th EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE SOCIALIST PARTY OF GREAT BRITAIN HELD ON 1st OCTOBER 2016
    (Note: These minutes are not official until amendment and adoption by the EC.)

    In attendance: Browne, Cox, Foster, McLellan, Scholey, Skelly and (from Item 2(e)) Thomas. Apologies for absence received from Craggs.

    01. Call to Order/Election of Chair. The meeting commenced at 13:05pm. Cde Thomas (previously elected Chair) had reported he would arrive late. It was AGREED Cde Scholey take the chair in the meantime. Two items (Item 6(a) below) received later than the agenda deadline from West London Branch were added to the agenda. Cde Cox took minutes.

    02. Minutes of the previous meeting, business arising there from and the General Secretary’s raising of Notices of Motion and Business from previous meetings
    (a) Amendment and adoption of the September 2016 meeting minutes
    It was AGREED the minutes as circulated be adopted as a true record.
    (b) Matters arising from the July 2015 meeting minutes
    Re x6.b.ii – Brighton meetings. Resolution from Kent & Sussex (11th September, carried 4–0–0): That the EC be requested for a grant of up to £250 to assist with future activities in Brighton.
    MOTION 1 (Skelly/Scholey): “That the EC grant a cheque for £250 to K&S Branch to assist with activities in Brighton.” AGREED.
    (c) Matters arising from the July 2016 meeting minutes
    Re Motion 1 (“To recommend that the Internet Committee forwards any further correspondence from this member to the EC.”), correspondence from Web Forum moderators, and correspondence from Cde V Maratty forwarded by Cde B Johnson.
    MOTION 2 (Browne/Scholey): “This EC upholds the suspension from the Forum of Cde V. Maratty and requests the Internet Committee to forward a copy of the offending emails of March 2016.” AGREED 4-0-2.
    (d) Matters arising from the June 2016 meeting minutes
    Re Motion 1 (“That a call for nominations for the Investment Committee be made to be returned for the October EC. The October EC will also hold a discussion on what funds may be allocated for investment purposes.”):
    i. Accepted nominations received for Cde D. Perrin and Cde M. Tenner (nominated by West London) and Cde B. Johnson (nominated by Swansea).
    MOTION 3 (Browne/McLellan): “That the three Comrades nominated be appointed to the Investment Committee, under the Terms of Reference previously agreed, for 2016 and 2017.” AGREED.
    ii. Discussion on what funds may be allocated for investment purposes. There was discussion on the level of funds currently available, and the implications of committing funds for long term investments which may no longer be available to fund Party activity.
    MOTION 4 (McLellan/Scholey): “That consideration be deferred until after ADM.” AGREED

    Confirmation of Chair. Cde Thomas arrived at the meeting during consideration of the next item. It was then AGREED that Cde Scholey remain in the Chair for the remainder of the meeting and Cde Thomas be Chair for the November EC.
    (e) Matters arising from the August 2016 meeting minutes.
    i. Re xD – Head Office Organiser Terms of Reference.

    Resolution from Kent & Sussex Branch (11th September, carried 3–0–1):
    “This branch deplores the action of the August EC in agreeing that the Head Office Assistant attends the premises at his discretion rather than as stipulated by this sentence in the relevant Terms of Reference clause. viz: ‘Hours: The Head Office Organiser is asked to be at Head Office for eight hours, three days each week for the purpose of section one below the days to be agreed with the EC at the beginning of the year.’”
    MOTION 5 (Cox/McLellan): “That a copy of the report upon which the EC made its decision regarding the days of attendance of the current post-holder be forwarded to the Branch for their information.” AGREED 7-0-0.
    ii. Re xH – Proposed Introductory Video:
    Resolution from North East Regional Branch (15th August, carried 4–0–0):
    “That this branch asks the EC to reconsider their decision with regards to the video produced by Cde V. Maratty and instead refer decisions about audio visual matters to the AV Committee, in a similar process to the one in which the SSPC are trusted to manage the production of the Socialist Standard.”; and
    Letter from Lancaster Branch (“we agreed to write a letter without making a formal resolution on it, but in any case there were 4 members present with all agreeing to send a letter”):
    “At our branch meeting of 11th September we discussed the ongoing matter of the video which has been produced by Vincent Maratty and strongly endorsed by some members on Spintcom and elsewhere (though not by the EC).
    Having viewed the latest version of this video on 11th September, we were concerned that it appears to use a large number of still photos and at least one animation without any obvious licence or permission. More alarmingly, the video also uses uncredited BBC interview footage. The only 'credit' given at the end is for the background music.
    As all members will be aware, the Socialist Standard is required by the EC to reproduce licensing details for any images used. This is a sensible precaution because with today's communications technology, copyright infringements are very easy to root out and prosecute. Members need to understand that the internet is no longer a Wild West where anything goes, and using images, video or animations without permission is likely to result in action by the copyright holder. Worryingly, this video displays official Party emblems which make it look like an official SPGB video, thus inviting court action against the Party by licence holders including the BBC. Since we don't make a secret of our considerable financial assets, such action may be deemed attractive and worth pursuing.
    In view of these factors, we feel that uploading this video to a public channel on YouTube was the height of irresponsibility, and we urge the EC to take immediate steps to have it taken offline, pending an investigation into what permissions have and have not been acquired, and what sort of guidelines need to be in place for any future video projects.
    Yours fraternally, Paddy Shannon, Lancaster Branch Secretary”.
    MOTION 6 (Foster/Browne): “The EC thanks Lancaster Branch for its guidance on producing videos. Following this advice, the EC reiterates that videos which could be interpreted as official SPGB publications should not be publicly viewable until they comply with laws regarding licensing.” AGREED 6-0-1.
    MOTION 7 (Skelly/McClellan): “That Cde V. Maratty be requested to remove the video from You Tube and that its circulation is ceased immediately.” AGREED 6-1-0.
    MOTION 8 (Foster/Cox): “The EC requests the AV Committee to produce guidelines for the EC’s consideration on producing video’s, including matters of copyright and licensing.” AGREED 7-0-0.
    iii. Re Motion 14 (“The E.C. calls for volunteers initially to commit to training for being on the SSPC to arrange the layout/design of the Socialist Standard every month. Those volunteers are to liaise directly with the SSPC.”). E-mail from Cde R. Cox (24th September) writing on behalf of Cde M. Foster and himself of their concern that the wording of the EC’s call “appears to expect any volunteers to already have access to the required software and/or equipment. This may put off some from volunteering.”
    MOTION 9 (Foster/Cox): “The EC will ensure that any member appointed to the SSPC has access to suitable hardware and software to arrange the Socialist Standard’s layout.” AGREED 7-0-0.
    It was further AGREED to ask the acting Gen. Sec. that a further call for volunteers be issued, incorporating the above resolution.
    MOTION 10 (Thomas/Browne): “That the SSPC be asked to ensure that, in there being no volunteers to carry out layout duties, that they produce a ‘Plan B’ (e.g. asking the printers) that ensures the continued publication of the Socialist Standard.” AGREED 7-0-0.
    (f) Matters arising from the September 2016 meeting minutes
    i. Re xB.4 – Notice of Business (Browne & Craggs): Late items of business for EC meetings. There was a discussion. It was reported that in connection with another item of business, the acting General Secretary will be reminding branches of the deadlines for submitting items for the EC.
    ii. Re xG.2 – Revision of Form B.
    The draft form attached to the agenda was AGREED.
    (g) Matters outstanding from previous minutes
    i. Parliamentary Candidates. [NB This item has become confused between the issues of the update of the approved speakers list (which was previously resolved), and the proposed Election Candidate Guidance (‘The EC asks the Election Committee to… include some answers and produce a Candidates Guide’), which Cde Scholey had been delegated to raise again with the Election Committee]. No further developments.
    ii. Head Office Computers. No further developments.
    iii. O’Gorman Bequest. Cde Thomas reported he is in contact with a recommended solicitor local to the property and is seeking confirmation of suitability to advise and act for the Party as required. He has quotations for replacement vacant property insurance, from which he intends to obtain cover of at least six months.
    iv. Party wall (concerning works in adjoining property). No further developments.
    v. Work to rear of Head Office. E-mail from the HOO to Cde D. Chesham (17th September): “£200 Postal Order from W Coleman received yesterday.” The matter of obtaining compensation from the contractor resolved, as the agreed amount of £500 has been paid.
    vi. Group in Turkey. No further information.

    03. Forms A and F
    Application for membership of Peter Green (approved by MAC, contact via social media). It was AGREED that the application be accepted.

    04. Treasurers Report
    The Assistant Treasurer reported work on the half year accounts was underway, but not likely to be completed in advance of ADM.

    05. Reports of Party Officers, etc
    (a) Report of the Central Organiser to ADM (7th September). Noted.
    (b) Campaigns Committee: Summer School 2017. Cde Foster reported that Fircroft College was booked for 21-23 July and he would consult members at ADM on a subject. He proposed the rates remain at £100 and £50. It was AGREED a deposit of £1,264 be paid.

    06. Correspondence
    (a) Correspondence from Branches
    i. Election Communications. Resolution from Kent & Sussex (11th September, carried 4–0–0):

    “This branch requests the EC seriously investigates arranging for Party election communications to be personally addressed to electors, in some or all future elections to public office in which the Party nominates candidates. This may: 1) Guarantee delivery to all electors; 2) Increase the chance of delivery and, depending on presentation, of being read. 3) Eliminate the risk of an inaccurate estimate of required volume of leaflets being printed.”
    It was AGREED to refer the matter to the Election Committee to investigate and ask they report back to the December EC.
    ii. Possible Early General Election. Resolution from West London (20th September, carried 5-0, 5 members present):
    “That the EC be advised that our members would be willing to run the campaign at Head Office.”
    It was AGREED that with thanks the offer be accepted.
    iii. Audio Visual Committee. Accepted nomination of Cde V. Maratty (West London).
    MOTION 11 (Skelly/Scholey): “That in view of Cde V. Maratty’s previous conduct with regard to the proposed video introduction to socialism, the nomination be declined.” AGREED 7-0-0.
    (b) Correspondence from Companion Parties
    Socialist Party of Canada Secretary’s Report, 1st September 2016:
    http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/forum/world-socialist-movement/spcnewsletter-
    1st-sep-2016
    World Socialist Party (India) Executive Committee minutes, September 2016: http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/forum/world-socialistmovement/wspindia-sep-2016-ec-minutes
    Items noted.

    07. Chair for the next meeting: Thomas (see above); Meeting closed at 4:00pm.

    END.

    #122354
    lindanesocialist
    Participant

    This EC acts on rumour and prejudice and I for one will be glad to see the back of it.Just to clarify, Is this the 'offending' Video? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HemZYkiXz4  Or these Copyright productions: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFZgYrHuoQfjE0JBkd_h57g  

    #122356
    lindanesocialist
    Participant

      MOTION 7 (Skelly/McClellan): “That Cde V. Maratty be requested to remove the video from You Tube and that its circulation is ceased immediately.” AGREED 6-1-0 As Vin is banned from the forum by the EC, and EC members do not frequent the forum or respond to posts, he will need to prepare a response to the EC in writing and post it to his Secretary . The response should reach the EC table by at least the first sitting of the new EC.  

    #122355
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Quote:
    MOTION 5 (Cox/McLellan): “That a copy of the report upon which the EC made its decision regarding the days of attendance of the current post-holder be forwarded to the Branch for their information.” AGREED 7-0-0.

    And which report might that be?  This sort of curt response is typical of the information avoidance we've reluctantly had to accept of late and is frankly worse than useless. The staffing of Head Office should be of paramount importance (for fairly obvious reasons that shouldn't need spelling out) to both the Executive Committee and the rest of the party but notwithstanding explicit reference in the Head Office Organiser's Terms of Reference and a Conference Motion to boot, the EC has once again failed in its responsibility to the party and in this instance allowed the tail to wag the dog by agreeing that the HOO attend Head Office at his discretion !! (August EC meeting)

    Relevant extract from HOO Terms of Reference wrote:
    Hours: The Head Office Organiser is asked to be at Head Office for eight hours, three days each week… the days to be agreed with the EC at the beginning of the year.
    1990 Conference Motion wrote:
    That the function of Head Office Assistant be renamed Head Office Organiser, and that full terms of reference be regularly updated by the Executive committee with a view to the eventual extension of this work from its present 3 days a week basis.

    (emphasis added)Nice to know that once again we have an EC keen to observe and uphold the democratic decisions of the party.

    #122357
    lindanesocialist
    Participant

    I have looked again and examined these Executive Committee Minutes of the SPGB  and I cannot understand why the party is so small!  With all the encourgement of individual members's initiatives it is just  inexplicable!Perhaps it is the ruling class to blame???   ,

    #122358
    lindanesocialist
    Participant
    lindanesocialist wrote:
    MOTION 7 (Skelly/McClellan): “That Cde V. Maratty be requested to remove the video from You Tube and that its circulation is ceased immediately.” AGREED 6-1-0As Vin is banned from the forum by the EC, and EC members do not frequent the forum or respond to posts, he will need to prepare a response to the EC in writing and post it to his Secretary . The response should reach the EC table by at least the first sitting of the new EC.

    It seems the EC has acted on the counsel of Cde Paddy O'Shannon. Did they not ask him to support his claim that the video was in breach of copyright before requesting its removal. It seems that this EC acts before its brain thinks.I will check this afternoon with the BBC and ask them if my video breaches copyright  taking into account that it only contains clips derived  from the SPGB's Official  site:And these links will support my claim. By the way where was the EC and Cde O'Shannon when these copyright videos were upload at a cost of £750 per minute according to the BBC that is? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBFj9BUYMwQ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUMaBg7bdGU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rjv71HyAPg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcTp2defFHY          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0lBdA0q-fI&list=PLfxPWuN7tZz2r_xIyhXr6N4h_pgBDZyai https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ic28EwLsLqU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bdf1P76SJ18 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fzGmajVtDA&list=PL9EC8BCB0D2CEAE61 I will get back with their reply

    #122359
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    lindanesocialist wrote:
    It seems the EC has acted on the counsel of Cde Paddy O'Shannon. Did they not ask him to support his claim that the video was in breach of copyright before requesting its removal. It seems that this EC acts before its brain thinks.I will check this afternoon with the BBC and ask them if my video breaches copyright  taking into account that it only contains clips derived  from the SPGB's Official  site:And these links will support my claim. By the way where was the EC and Cde O'Shannon when these copyright videos were upload at a cost of £750 per minute according to the BBC that is?

    You're wasting your time asking here.  Most EC members never visit this forum.  Neither do members of Lancaster branch of which Paddy Shannon is a member.

    #122360
    robert.cox
    Participant

    LindaThere are EC members who visit the Forum, but I for one have held back from commenting on this issue here for two reasons:1. The EC has tried to avoid making explicit reference to items published where there is a doubt over use rights for third-party content;2. The EC makes decisions collectively. It may not be helpful or useful  to try and  judge the grounds on which individual EC members decide on an issue, unless you are able to get the considered view of each of those who consented to the agreed position.However, given the publication of the full text of the Lancaster letter in these EC minutes, these issues are now public (or as public as they can be on this site).Linda I hope you have not contacted the BBC and told them there are their clips on SPGB official websites.  I think there is a big difference between posting clips as stand alone items, and incorporating them in promotional material.  If the 'owner' óf the clip objects, we can just have it taken down. If we have used it in a video it would mean taking the whole thing down. I suspect the latter use is more likely to provoke action tnan the former.If you have now told the BBC what you said you would, well now – unless the use is in accordance with the fair useage guidance – its likely that we can do neither.I am hoping the dicussion at ADM this weekend will give the EC a better idea of the feeling within the Party on this issue.YFS 

    #122361
    ALB
    Keymaster

    You haven't really done that, have you Vin? I hope not as it would be completely irresponsible from the Party's point of view.  It would be like a member caught fly-posting and disowned by the EC insisting to the authorities that they did have Party authorisation. Besides, the facts are wrong. Only the first 3 on your list are from the BBC, 2 are from another TV channel, 2 others are not from TV channels and nobody will be able to guess where the last one came from. If you have approached the BBC please don't make things worse by approaching Channel 4 too.

    #122362
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    As a result of discreet enquiries the following information has been elicited from a very reliable source…

    Quote:
    Without viewing such a video it would be difficult to say.  If you can prove that the footage you wish to use will be unidentifiable as deriving from a BBC programme (i.e. it will be a close up shot of the interviewee only speaking to camera with no identifiable studio background in vision) and that this interview will not be used in any way to promote or endorse your organisation then it may be possible to license this content.

    As the extracts in the video use "unidentifiable" footage it appears that all that may be required is a licence application. The sticking point though is the highlighted section.However, a licence would not be given under any circumstances for the same footage used elsewhere where the footage is identifiable.

    Quote:
    The BBC has a very strict editorial policy whereby it does not allow individuals or organisations to use its recorded material to endorse or promote any product service or organisation and so it is highly unlikely that the BBC would allow the reuse of an interview on social media or internet platforms.

    In the meantime, viewing of the video has now been set to 'private' as requested by the EC.

    #122363
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    Does this mean that the EC were right to be cautious in endorsing the video?

    #122364
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    SocialistPunk wrote:
    Does this mean that the EC were right to be cautious in endorsing the video?

    It's necessary to understand the full context in which the EC 'disowned' the video.

    May 2016 EC minutes wrote:
    MOTION 9. (Scholey and McLellan): The EC disassociates itself on behalf of the Party from the clips off YouTube and elsewhere produced and published by cde V. Maratty for reasons of lack of prior consultation with the EC and unauthorised use of Party emblems. Carried 8 – 0

    (emphasis added)Not, it should be noted, for using the clips per se, but for "reasons of lack of prior consultation and unauthorised use of party emblems".And those clips, it must be remembered, were already in the 'public domain', thanks to them having been previously uploaded to certain sites by other members.  It was assumed, therefore, that there was no issue in using those clips again, an assumption which you, SP, as recently as three weeks ago, evidently shared.http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/forum/world-socialist-movement/party-video-2016?page=27#comment-34794Then, three months later, we learned of other reasons why the EC was unhappy with the video.

    August 2016 EC minutes wrote:
    MOTION 11. (Thomas and Scholey): The EC recognizes the efforts behind the video but is unwilling that it be adopted as an official party publication. Criticisms of the video include its generally unprofessional and cliched presentation such that it is ineffective in getting the socialist case across. For example amongst other things the use of overly “dramatic” music, the appearance of cartoon capitalists, the emphasis on individual rather than a class approach. Carried 4 – 3

    'Nuff said!, at least for now…

    #122365
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    Gnome,I'm well aware of my assumption. Given the same info under the same circumstances I could only come to the same assumption.However it seems despite the circumstances surrounding the reasoning of the EC, their caution does now appear, luckily, to have been the correct decision, but the wrong approach. 

    #122366
    robert.cox
    Participant

    VinRegarding my post  #8, I am sorry Comrade, I realise now that I took what you said too literally.Maybe EC members should stay away from the Forum!Regards

    #122367
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    robert.cox wrote:
    Maybe EC members should stay away from the Forum!

    No change there then…

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