The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

When you had the seminars, sir, there was talk there about press practices in the 1970s and how they've improved greatly because of the regime that's been put into place by the PCC. One of the examples that was given was the theft of photographs, and I think it was Mr Dacre, the editor of the Daily Mail, who said that such a practice was outrageous and that it no longer took place.

Well, I would disagree. I think that there are many, many more photographs that are stolen these days, but they're stolen electronically. It's not in my evidence or my witness statement, but I had examples of photographs that have been quite blatantly and shamelessly stolen by national newspapers, not in the 1970s but almost within the last seven months.

The example I'm thinking about, I actually have an audit trail, because I was involved in it, that I've pieced together so you can see what was done and when, or rather what wasn't done and when, and they just sliced off the watermark on the bottom with the copyright notice of the photographer, and then refused to pay him. And that, in Mr Dacre's word, is actually outrageous and it's an abuse that could be stopped by a regime of punitive fines and that, I hope, is something that the Inquiry will think about putting into place.

I can make that photograph available to you, if you think it might help, and put it into the record. I'm prepared to do that.

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