Come and meet us in Edinburgh

edinburghOn Wednesday 4th June some of the mySociety team will descend on Edinburgh for the latest mySociety meet-up.

This year we plan to go to a different UK city on the first Wednesday of every month; we’ve already been to London and Cardiff so far, so it’s now Edinburgh’s turn!

MySociety meet-ups are for anyone who’s interested in civic and democratic projects, open data, transparency and more.

If you’d like to chat to the mySociety team about our projects, or discuss ideas of your own, then you’ll be coming to the right place. We’ll also throw in a few beers and some pizza for good measure.

This month, we’re really chuffed to be joined by the following guest speakers:-

Andy Wightman: Andy is a writer, researcher, analyst, commentator and activist on issues of land, power, governance, democracy and money. He is author of ‘Who Owns Scotland’ and ‘The Poor Had No Lawyers’ and, in an attempt to make landownership information more transparent, runs the Who Owns Scotland website.

We are delighted that Andy will join us at this mySociety meet-up to talk about land ownership, community land rights and open democracy in Scotland.

Aaron Crane and James Mackenzie from Cutbot: Cutbot is an online media monitoring and public affairs organisation based in Edinburgh. In June 2012 they began the process of challenging the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA)’s licensing regime around media monitoring, specifically concerning the fees paid by charitable and other not-for-profit clients, and also the fees and other conditions to which they were subject.

The NLA currently charges small companies like Cutbot (with a turnover in the tens of thousands) just over £5k for a licence to scan content for their clients, while the largest companies, with turnovers in the millions, pay just £10k. Google pay no equivalent licence for carrying out the same activities: they’re treated as non-commercial.

In March of this year, the Copyright Tribunal endorsed this fee structure, despite claims by Cutbot and others that it’s extremely unfair.

Aaron and James will talk about their fight to get the NLA’s rules changed. They’ll also talk about the UK Supreme Court’s ruling against the NLA’s claim that the act of viewing freely-provided public content on the publishers’ own websites requires a licence. This has now been referred up to the European courts.

The nitty gritty: 

When: Wednesday 4th June, 6pm – 9pm
Where: The Edinburgh TechCube, 1 Summerhall Place, Edinburgh, EH9 1PL
How: Add your name to the Lanyrd page:, so we know you’re coming.
Who: Anyone who fancies it.

NB: Look out for the mySociety hoodie (they look like this, only usually with a person inside). Watch our Twitter stream on @mySociety to check for last minute advice if we have moved venues for unforseen reasons.

Photo by Moyan Brenn (CC)

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