Craig Murray is the former ambassador to the Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan. He was dismissed from his position after highlighting human rigts abuses by the governing regime, and has now written a book about his time there. Unfortunately for Craig, some of the documents he uses to back up his case are, according to the lawyers, apparently protected by Crown Copyright. So he has been forced to remove them from his site or else face a court battle which would amount to
the price of a London house.
That’s unfortunate for Craig. Unfortunately for his detractors, the documents are (according to Chicken Yoghurt):
I’ve always thought it funny that net denizens use the word ‘here’ to describe something that is quite obviously ‘there’, but nevermind. The documents are also here, because I know a minority of people will appreciate a .SIT archive.
I link to the documents because I have read them, and having read them I believe that:
- they have no commercial value in themselves (i.e. even if Criag’s book makes money, it will be because of Craig’s ideas and biography, and not because these documents are valuable in themselves); and
- they do not contain anything that is a threat to national security – bringing this government into further disrepute in this matter does not harm national security… in fact, I think it enhances it.
There’s also a discussion over whether obscure bloggers can do this kind of publishing with impunity, but I don’t think that is intertesting or relevant here. However, since there’s an open question over whether duplicating other people’s stuff is above board, Chris Lightfoot suggests that people request the same documents under the Freedom of Information Act.