Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Of copyright and description

19th April 2015

On Tuesday this week I donned a suit, not something I do that much nowadays, partly because the rules of “required dress” have changed (I used to agonise when going out on a call for Hills, or my own company later – should I put on a good suit to make a favourable impression, or something less sartorially sanguine lest I had to climb under a mud-covered, oil-dripping loco?) and partly because at my age, I don't think I need to make such an effort to fool people into thinking that I know what I'm talking about.

Anyway, I put on this suit, and found rail tickets in my top pocket, which could have been awkward as I still put rail tickets there for quick location when the collector comes along and he wouldn't have been much impressed at my proffering a Day Return to St Pancras dated 2013. As it was, I was only going from Matlock to Derby to attend a Companies House seminar for “first time Directors”, and hence the suit – thought I might try and look the part. Not that it was my first time as a Director – I've been one on 3 or 4 companies in the past but they were all long ago and this “Companies Act 2006” which I have been reading up so much of recently is a very different beast than the Companies Acts of yore that I used to observe. And change it certainly has, although I got the impression that in many ways Companies House is more of a glorified filing cabinet than it used to be.

After the Companies House staff had shown us all the ways of making Annual Returns and the like on line (there was a 'legal stationers' in Sheffield who made a killing selling me the “official forms” in years gone by – I bet they regret the growth of the internet) yet they confided that, despite making it so simple, they still take many millions of pounds in fines every year for late filing. Anyway, after them came a guy from the Intellectual Property Office in Newport to explain to us all about protecting trade marks, copyright and such. I mention this because in a way it leads on from the theme of photographers last week – who owns the copyright of a photo? The person who takes it, he declared. So he showed us a beautiful “selfie” taken by a macaque monkey (incidentally the most widespread primate after humans). A wildlife photographer had set-up the equipment and moved away to let the monkeys get curious. One monkey grabbed the camera, and took a photo. The picture ended up on National Geographic magazine but they refused to pay the photographer any reproduction fee. He sued (this was in America). 'So whose copyright is the photograph?' said our lecturer 'remember, the copyright rests with the person who takes the photograph.' He pushed for an answer - 'act of god' suggested one of the audience. Eventually someone said ' the monkey'. It was the answer he'd been waiting for - 'don't be ridiculous!'. No-one had copyright, and the photographer's legal action failed. A thought occurs to me as I write this, if only the photographer hadn't been so keen to tell everyone how the monkey took its own photograph he would have saved a lot of money.

Andrew managed to snatch another bargain on e-bay this week. And here is another lesson for you – if you are going to sell something on e-bay, make sure you get your description correct. For he had spotted something we were after, a “hook attachment” for a fork lift, but the vendor had described it as “fork extensions”. Now a hook attachment is a fabrication that has two tubes to slide over your forks, held apart by some pieces of steel from which hangs a small crane-type hook. If you have an awkward shaped item that is not on a pallet, e.g. taking a transmission cooler in or out of a class 14, it is very useful. You can of course lash your forks together but you're always wary (or should be) of straining the forks or the load sliding off. Extension forks on the other hand, are just that, they are pieces that overlay your forks and make them longer. We needed new forks for ours, but decided to get 6ft'ers rather than 4ft'ers as it meant we could reach the centre of a loco from outside, so Andrew wasn't looking for extension forks: but spot he did that this vendor was actually selling a hook attachment, and it turned out he was the only bidder and got it at the starting price. I was despatched to collect it, at some place with a steam railway nearby where Bernard Cribbins was once a Stationmaster. (Actually I saw rather more of the line than I intended, as listening too much to the radio I found myself on the edge of Keighley and had to turn back to Howarth). I duly collected the device and though I told the vendor that he had mis-described it he didn't seem all that interested. He might have listened had he realised that if he had advertised it correctly, he would probably have got 3 or 4 times the price Andrew paid.

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On my way up, the code light boxes were dripped off at the powder coaters, and collected again Friday now beautifully coloured white. Here's the first one roughly assembled (I need to clean the threads out from the powder and I haven't seen my M6 set since Scunthorpe), both open and closed.

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Andrew had been off to collect grandson on Thursday and so I wasn't expecting all that much to get done this weekend, nevertheless we were down fairly early on Saturday to meet up with a group wanting to inspect the loco I have been doing work on. One of a batch of three built, they are involved with another of the trio that got considerably modified by Tarmac for use on an LUL contract. They want to de-convert it back to original, so were crawling all over its cab and desk, where the main changes were made.

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One of the group professed himself early on to be a regular reader of this blog, and although he had never been here before felt that he knew it well.

Today Andrew and Steph took grandson to the East Lancs Railway, only to find Rob Sanders on the footplate of “Swiftsure” at the “Small Engines Event” - interesting how many ideas for “events” well-run heritage railways have come up with. Anyway, I left them to it – and among the many things I had in mind to do (and as usual, achieved barely 50% thereof) was to position James in a suitable place or photography. Ah, but I must explain a littler further.

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A few days ago I had a phone call from the firm that supplied the concrete panels for our shed. I had promised them pictures of their panels with one of Andrew's locos but was going to do this when the shed actually lived up its name, like having a roof and sides. But it seems they are preparing an updated web site and wanted something sooner rather than later. And here I had a dilemma. Although the shed is nowhere near finished, the fact is that there is almost nowhere in the 70+metre circumference where there is nothing obstructing the view of their panels. In the end, I cleared away the debris from one section, and parked James as best I could to prevent seeing other clutter whilst providing a photogenic contrast between the “virgin bland concrete” and the “venerable, hard-worked locomotive”. I took a number of shots from different angles, trying to achieve the most artistic, though thinking about it now I might have been better getting myself up a bit on the forklift to get more of a look-down. Never mind, if they don't like them they can come and take some more of their own, and then it will be their copyright rather than mine.

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