A Labour MP’s letter to police sets out details of a user manual for controversial computer software that may have been authored by Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps – claiming it indicates “intent” to breach criminal statutes covering copyright infringement.
Providing material supplementary to his original complaint from five months ago, Selly Oak MP Steve McCabe claims “offences under Section 107(1), (2) and (2A) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 may have been committed” in addition to “other breaches of the law identified pursuant to a full and proper investigation.”
The correspondence is published in full by Scrapbook below.
More: Read the new allegations in full »
With senior Conservatives warning of “a crisis” if Maria Hutchings fails to win the Eastleigh by-election, it isn’t shaping up to be a good week for Grant Shapps, who as Tory chair is ultimately responsible for the party’s campaign in the marginal constituency. And it just got worse.
A Labour MP responsible for an official complaint against Shapps has ramped up the pressure on the Metropolitan Police to investigate the production of software apparently designed to rake in huge sums in online advertising revenue by plagiarising content on a massive scale. How To Corp, a company owned and operated by the Shapps family, may have committed offences under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act.
Steve McCabe, who originally contacted the Met five months ago, has again written to the force, providing them with additional evidence — including a PDF manual for the controversial “Traffic Paymaster” software whose metadata reveals it was authored by “Grant”.
Scrapbook understands that the complaint is currently in the hands of the Met’s Directorate of Legal Services, who are responsible for assessing the complaint before passing it on to investigators. It has been suggested that Shapps’ high-profile role in the Conservative Party is a factor in the extensive delays. Indeed, Scrapbook has been attempting to elicit the status of the complaint from Scotland Yard for nearly six weeks without success.
They could always replace him with his deputy – Michael “blow job jokes on the campaign trail” Fabricant.
Nadine Dorries has outdone even her consistently high standards of hypocrisy — by criticising another MP for taking time off. But the Mid Bedfordshire absentee came in for criticism for picking on Labour MP Steve McCabe, who was hospitalised for HEART SURGERY.
In an exchange seized upon by McCabe’s local paper, Dorries accused him of taking “holidays” — when he had an operation to correct heart surgery in Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
With the size of hole she is digging for herself, Nadine will be back in Australia before long.
A shadowy company linked to Conservative chairman Grant Shapps has stopped marketing software designed to infringe copyright after a complaint to criminal prosecutors. The move comes in the wake of a letter from Labour MP Steve McCabe to the director of public prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, and the Metropolitan Police, asking for the firm to be investigated for possible fraud and copyright violations.
The TrafficPaymaster software, sold by Shapps-linked How To Corp, generates potentially large levels of advertising revenue by “scraping” content from other websites in order to attract internet traffic. But visitors to TrafficPaymaster.com are now asked for a username and password — suggesting that the company has stopped actively marketing the product, opting to serve only its existing user base.
With pressure growing on the Tory chairman — who was appointed less than two weeks ago — a Labour source told Scrapbook:
“We want to hear the views of the Crown Prosecution Service as soon as possible.”
Shapps has thus far dodged the bullet by virtue of transferring ownership of How To Corp to his wife before he became a minister. But eyebrows have been raised at the credibility of this ruse — given that Belinda Shapps has described herself as a “social media novice”.
Shapps is suspected of continued involvement with the outfit using the pseudonyms “Michael Green” and “Sebastian Fox”.