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Remember all those fearmongering liberals running around saying that so-called terror laws would be used outside their intended purpose? How wrong they were, eh?
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I'm no fan of our former Minister for Justice (given that I felt he was far too right-wing), but I can't help but feel that he's been somewhat misrepresented by the Irish Times in this article which claims he's in favour of a legal obligation to report crimes. If that was indeed what he said, it wouldn't surprise me, and it's the tricky sort of thing I haven't liked him for in the past, where on the face of it it looks harmless enough, but digging deeper it's veering off into over-policing. However, reading further down the article it appears that he's actually referring to someone who is already being questioned with respect to a serious crime, i.e. a witness or a suspect, which puts a slightly different tilt on his argument - I'm still not wholly comfortable with it, but it's hardly a KGB-style "kids! tell us your parents are capitalist running dogs!" as implied by the opening paragraph.
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A lawyer "representing the US Government" in a case in the UK claims that America has the right to kidnap those wanted by US law. I'm sure this will turn out to be an over-reaching interpretation by a lawyer with no official sanction to do so, but it's certainly an... interesting point of view.
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Because only terrorists drug-dealers would use pre-paid mobile phones.

In other scaremongering news, I heard a lawyer for one or more fashion labels this morning saying that the money payed for knock-off watches, clothes, suitcases, etc. "could end up, I'm afraid to say, being used to fund terrorism". Gah. When I am king, that word and all its variants will be banned from use in news stories, press conferences, and anything even remotely related to public discourse until such time as I see fit. Besides, it's a bad movie.
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FACT, the Federation Against Copyright Theft, have produced a short (90 sec?) piece that gets shown at theatres here and has started appearing on my rented DVDs as well; lots of edgy camerawork and what not depicting physical theft with the captions (in an equally edgy font) "You wouldn't steal a handbag", "You wouldn't steal a car", "You wouldn't steal a movie". Which then cuts back to some girl sitting in her room with a download bar running, more captions about how movie piracy is theft, then she hits the cancel button and leaves the room.

The thing is, it's also got some really edgy music. Some damned good edgy music. Ideally, someone would rip this music and distribute it on the intarweb. And, you know, do all that edgy "mashup" stuff that's hip with the cool kids nowadays.
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London Bomber visited Pakistan... or did he? This is, I guess, a sort of counterargument to your recent post regarding the taking of pictures at immigration points. Or, I dunno, a bad example, or something.
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Very much in line with what I said about America's innovation being destroyed by big business and bad patents: no more live CDs for you, bucko!
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Somewhat bemused by this proposed California legislation that would require the likes of AOL to send out return envelopes with their CDs to facilitate recycling of the CDs. I mean, you want them to put more packaging out there?


Apr. 13th, 2004 01:44 pm
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I don't quite get this.
Legislation is being drawn up in California to block Google's new free e-mail service, Gmail, because its advertising is seen as intrusive. (BBC news
Elsewhere, various privacy advocates are getting their knickers in a twist over Google trawling their email for marketing and what not. But, eh, how do I put this, it's not mandatory to use GMail (assuming it ever actually gets launched). If you feel that the adverts are intrusive, or that Google will scan your mail for things to give to marketers, feds, John Ashcroft, The Pope, your parish priest, or your mom, why would you even consider using it? You want a searchable mailbox? Use WAIS. Or Outlook. Or whatever. Just don't go whining that the system you volunteered to use at no cost turns out to have side-effects.
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  1. make out that filesharing is killing your business. demand legislation.
  2. acknowledge (maybe) that filesharing per se is ok, but sharing copyrighted material is killing your business. demand legislation forcing filesharing networks to be liable for copyright.
  3. show off some audio fingerprinting software to the lawmakers
  4. if you haven't already done so, buy the fingerprinting company
  5. when your new legislation kicks in, charge a massive license fee to anyone who wants to use the fingerprinting, and sue anyone who doesn't into oblivion with your new legislation
I'm tellin' ya, not buying music from the RIAA is the only way forward.
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Compare and contrast.
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You know, if costing the movie industry squillions of dollars is such a "serious crime", why not arrest people like Kevin Costner for crimes such as Waterworld?
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Survey finds that young people do not trust the Gardaí (that's the Irish police). Well, duh. Aside from this being, as best I can tell, a pretty standard attitude the world over, there's also the minor consideration of the Gardaí who were videotaped beating the crap out of May Day protestors, having first removed their identification tags; despite said video being broadcast on national television, there were no repercussions worth talking about among the responsible Gardaí. In fact, at the inquiry into the incident, none of the Gardaí present saw anything of the events that were taped and broadcast. Or so they said, anyway.
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NASA aren't just going back to the moon, and visiting Mars; they're also checking if you're a terrorist.
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"Apple has even privately stated that they decided to use a weak form of DRM solely to get major labels onboard."
True or not, if they said it privately it's not very clever to put it in a public FAQ, now, is it?


Jan. 13th, 2004 12:11 pm
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PR vs. Reality. No word on what Dr. Dre, U2 guitar player The Edge, Alicia Keys, or Toby Keith (who?) have to offer on the topic, but it should be noted that Dre is 50 cent's producer.
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You know, there's a fair-sized effort by many people to overturn the view that all us geek types are a bunch of freeloading pirates doing our damndest to rip off the MPAA, RIAA, and anyone else whose stuff we can get into digital format. And then the morons at Wired go and produce a page like this. Idiots.
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According to David Usher's management, any artist who signs with EMI is forced into having their material produced in a copy-protected format world wide. Ew.
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Well, influence people, anyway. The most amusing part of this story about a gay couple being refused entry to the US is that they were on their way to a human rights conference. I do find this quote curious:
The US Embassy in Ottawa defended the action by US immigration officials at Toronto airport, saying that the 1996 US Defence of Marriage Act defined marriage as "only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife".
...because I thought someone was recently pushing for some sort of declaration that a marriage is such a thing in order to ward off the evil memes from the Northern Wastes.
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We don't have a DMCA just yet.

Actually, that's a lie. Irish copyright law is currently harsher than the DMCA - or at least, that's my recollection from the last time I went digging.


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