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February 07, 2009


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Any aspect of every government will have a disastrous impact on the financial side when this happens.



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I understand what you are saying, but you just seem to have forgotten that there are some other people in the world who view this issue for what it really is and may not agree with you. You may be turning away a lot of people who might have been fans of your blog.

Graham Marlowe

Rich: With all due respect that is two different issues: I totally agree with you about using libel law to stifle freedom of speech - the favourite trick of the late James Goldsmith, for example and most notoriously, Capt'n Bob Maxwell, but there is a thing mixed up with the Copyright law concerning "intellectual copyright" and that includes the spoken word in a broadcast as well as the written.

Probably LBC are using the threat in this case to stifle freedom of speech, but I still think Mr Goldacre could have made his point by either quoting Ms Barnett, or using a shorter excerpt.

At the moment the social website UTube is having to remove music videos posted by individuals, for example, at the behest of the mammoth Warner Bros conglomerate, who cite breach of copyright and doubtless other companies like Universal and Sony BMG will follow suit


The copyright monopoly is silly, particularly in this case where the programme was just sent out free, unencrypted in radio waves across the whole land. But more serious are our chilling libel laws that make free speech very dangerous against litigious opponents. Ben is right to be worried, unfortunately.

Graham Marlowe

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the matter , a 44 MINUTE clip is somewhat excessive (given that LBC Radio worksd in blocks on one hour and during that time sveral advert, news weather and travel breaks are taken, this would mean that the whole segment was used. As the show runs for 3 hours (and this includes aforesaid breaks) it means that Mr Goldacre has borrowed one third of that days programme.

You are allowed in law to use short excerpts from broadcasts or from a book, but I find it difficult to believe that he needed to use so much material - surely one or two examples would have been enough to make his point.

It should also be borne in mind that the presenters on LBC play Devils Advocate all the time - which is to get the calls coming in ("London's biggest conversation" is the stations constant jingle) - even when Brown and Cameron get pasted by numerous callers, the presenter will then defend them: I have even heard Mandelson defended - and God that must be a hard thing to do. Impossible, I should hav e said.


She then tells us that she went on to become a con artist herself, also selling small amounts of water to the desperate and/or iredeemably gullible.


Oh I've just listened to part of the programme,
I very much enjoyed the first "non herd"
contributor, who made her decision not to vaccinate her children after attending a short course, run by a peddlar of water to cure all ills.


"Idiopathic, from the Latin meaning we're idiots cause we can't figure out what's causing it."
— Dr. Gregory House

ITP is a disease in which antibodies form and destroy the body's platelets. Why the antibodies form is not known. Although the bone marrow increases platelet production to compensate for the destruction, the supply cannot keep up with the demand.

The vast majority of cases 80-90% are acute rather than chronic and even without treatment will generally recover within a couple of months.

The study shows that ITP caused by MMR at a rate of about 1 case in 40,000 vaccinations.

"The duration and severity of ITP among exposed children 12 to 23 months of age were not different from those of the unexposed children, and the development of chronic ITP after MMR vaccination seemed rare."

"Since its introduction in the 1960s, the MMR vaccine has reduced the incidence of wild-type measles by nearly 100% in the United States.19 Although this vaccine is associated with an increased incidence of ITP, the attributable risk is low (~1 case per 40000 doses of MMR), and the disease associated with MMR vaccination is mild and resolves, on average, within 7 days. Our results, therefore, do not suggest a need to alter current immunization policies."

Study source
Published online February 29, 2008
PEDIATRICS Vol. 121 No. 3 March 2008, pp.
Risk of Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura After Measles-Mumps-Rubella Immunization in Children
Eric K. France, MD, MSPHa, Jason Glanz, PhDb, Stanley Xu, PhDb, Simon Hambidge, MD, PhDb, Kristi Yamasaki, PharmDb, Steve B. Black, MDc, Michael Marcy, MDd, John P. Mullooly, PhDe, Lisa A. Jackson, MD, MPHf, James Nordin, MDg, Edward A. Belongia, MDh, K. Hohman, MPHi, Robert T. Chen, MDj, Robert Davis, MD, MPHk for the Vaccine Safety Datalink Team


Kay Tie
"BG doesn't need permission to do what he did."


For Fair use
"As a guide the clips should not be unreasonably long or frequent in use. Each clip must be justified in terms of its duration and its relevancy to the critique, review or current event being reported."

BG claims to need the whole piece, all 44 minutes. Within that is an amount of irrelevant material including at the very beginning a description of the weather.

He doesn't seem to use specific clips to highlight where or why she is wrong instead inviting others to document 'Canards' they identify in the piece. Although many of JBs comments were refuted in the piece itself.

If I happen to disagree with BG, can I scan his book, put it on a blog and invite people to look for 'canards'?


Kay Tie

BG doesn't need permission to do what he did.


JB was a bit ill informed though throughout she did mention that she wanted more information.

Towards the end there was a discussion with a person (Rob?)that seemed to give some information out that was informative.

The person at the end (nurse?) asked whether JB knew what was in the MMR and critized JB for not knowing. Why didn't this person tell JB what those ingredients were and how they were safe?

When trying to find the ingredients, I did learn something though, there is an association between the MMR vaccine and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP).

Although ITP cases attributable to MMR ezposure (for children aged 12-18mths) was 86%, this was considered low and should not affect immunization policy.

So there are some legitimate risks associated with MMR although Autism may not be one of them.

Perhaps Jeni asked the wrong question. Maybe she should have asked "Why don't people trust Doctor's even when they are as certain as they can be that something is safe?"

Ben Goldacre is right to point out what he believes are her errors. Though if you listen, Jeni is talking from personal experience and asks "Why am I wrong, why can't I refuse?" opening up debate.

On the copyright issue, did BG ask permission to use parts of the broadcast in his critique, and was this refused?

JB certainly did her job by stimulating a debate, which is what she is paid for.


Kay Tie

Ah. You noted the hazards of Equasy too..

Kay Tie

Copyright law does not prevent the copying and dissemination of copied material provided it is "fair dealing". Section 30 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1989 sets out fair dealing for the purpose of criticism or review. Time Warner famously tried to stop a documentary on Channel 4 about A Clockwork Orange and lost:


Ben Goldacre should tell these lawyers where to stick it.

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