Thursday, 7 March 2013

Harpagon

I am gobsmacked that a Thames boater by the name of Tim Mountain can for petty, selfish reasons cause the Jim Shead Site to be closed. Jim’s Site contains a wealth of information about all things boating. It has a list of nearly 100,000 boats past and present which contains such information as name, length, builder, engine size etc. If you want to know about a boat and lets face it many people do then Jim’s site is the only public source of this information. Jim gets this information from CRT and the EA under the Freedom Of Information Act (FOI) so one can assume that that the legality of this information has bee investigated and is kosher, Yes? Yet Mr Mountain claims that Jim has infringed his copyright. How he thinks this is the case the gods are still trying to work out. Unless he personally built the boat, which I doubt, he is just guilty of flapping his gums.  His complaint to the web host 123.reg almost fell on deaf ears. They did not uphold his complaint, but did insist Jim should remove public arena information, gained legally,  from his site, specifically that relating to Mountain’s boat. It seems if you are an arse and you shout loud enough you will scare those people who should be standing up for us.

If what Mountain says is true then all the anoraks who go train spotting or plane spotting must also be infringing copyrights. As a child I used to collect car numbers (don’t ask) so I to must be guilty.

Mountain claims he has a right to privacy, this is true, but his boat has no such right to privacy. The details of his boat are in the public domain and as such anyone may publish that information if they so choose. If he doesn't want it in the public domain then he should take it out of the water surrender the 35978 licence. The licence number 35978 belongs, if it belongs to anybody, to the EA. The name Harpagon is a character in a 17thc French play THE MISER by Molière. Harpagon is the title role.

At 30 feet and a bit his is a diminutive ‘plastic’ boat, commonly known to us tinbox drivers as a splitter. Its 120 hp engines are far bigger than anyone would ever require on a non-tidal river, especially on such a quiet stretch as that between Wallingford and Days Lock. Maybe it’s a p***s extension.

Mountain is generous to a fault. When Dari O’Briain, Griff Rhys Jones, and Rory McGrath starred in the Liberty Bell production of the Jerome K Jerome book Three men in a Boat. recreating this famous late 19thc trip up the River Thames, Mountain towed them for a few miles. Two million people invaded his privacy that day. What some people will give up to get on TV! Seems he wasn’t as shy in 2005.

Harpagon

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Apologies to Liberty Bell for using these stills from their production to illustrate a point about freedom.

But I have to ask what has he got to hide? How can the details of his boat affect his privacy? What has changed since 2005 that he would destroy a perfectly legitimate web site that was a very useful resource. Perhaps he has a job with MI5 or is it MI6? Or maybe he is a celebrity? Anyone ever heard of him before? Maybe he has been telling people he has a 50 foot boat with 300 hp engines? That would be a larf, he would be well caught out then wouldn’t he? Muppet.

Yes I know I shouldn’t call him a Muppet but in fairness he did call Jim Shead an ‘idiot’ about twelve times in a couple of missives and set up an email address protestagainst.theidiot@ntlworld.com. He also suggested that those who want to look at this information (that’s like you and me) would only do so for ‘illegal’ purposes. I would like to reply to this email address, but I would want to complain about the other idiot, Mountain. Who the F*** does he think he is?

I don’t know who or what he is, but  if he is being so petty about something that is not illegal then I know this much, he is not the sort of person I want to drink with in a pub. In fact I wouldn’t want to be in a pub that has him as a customer. I have been thrown out of better places than that.

I am told if you want a nice plastic boat built that a company called RLM may build you a nice boat to a 1969 design, but be wary because at 9’6” wide it wont fit on the Oxford canal, which by all accounts ain’t such a bad thing anyway.

8 comments:

Graham said...

Is Jim saying anything about all of this?

Anne / Olly said...

Jim appears to be back again in all his glory on www.jim-shead.com. All power to his elbow and other bits!

Maffi said...

Oh he has said a lot.

Henhouse said...

It is not very often that I comment on t'internet, but prats get my goat, Mr M has obviously got an NVQ in Pratism !
As I understand it taking a photo in a public place is perfectly legal. So may I suggest that if someone has a pic of said boat, with no copyright issues, that it gets posted at every conceivable opportunity all over the web.
It could spread faster than margarine in a Nunnery !

Maffi said...

I am not sure I get the "Margarine in a Nunnery" bit.

Lyraboat said...

We once met Jim Shead in Birmingham. What a wonderful guy. He turned up about 9.30 as we were stuggling up Aston Locks. The pounds were dry and we were trying to fill them when he came along and offered to help. Never refuse an offer of help!
He then proceeded to assist us all the way up Farmers Locks as well. He wouldn't even accept a drink for his hard work!
I don't know whether the drill should go into Mr M's boat, or his head, but he does seem a right pratt.

Skippy said...

I now have a copy of all the static parts of the jim-shead.com, and would be willing to give him Jim free hosting if he needs it.

If jim-shead.com goes down again I can put my mirror up.

Maffi, do you want to let Jim know this?

Wozie nb Oakfield said...

We have tangoed with people on one of these plastic boats with a dinghy behind and found that they were just as blinkered!