Ah, the MPAA. Hardly a day goes by when someone there doesn’t say something positively ridiculous. The latest is a reaction to the news that a court in the Netherlands has expanded the censorship of The Pirate Bay to a few more ISPs. The MPAA has decided to explain that this kind of censorship is good for consumers:
The UK ruling and indeed other recent ones in Austria, Belgium, Denmark and Finland as well as this one are positive developments that support not only the creative community but also consumers.
It’s not entirely clear why they say “the UK ruling,” since the post only refers to a ruling from The Netherlands, but it’s a strange world when someone is claiming that censoring a website that consumers find useful is “good for consumers.” So how do they defend such a ridiculous claim? Well, by getting the story backwards yet again:
The number of sites that offer legitimate creative content continues to increase dramatically. But to fully enable this growing sector to thrive and provide consumers with content when they want it, where they want it and how they want it, it is imperative that the content not be siphoned off and distributed illegally by those seeking to profit from the work and creativity of others.
The German Pirate Party has taken seats in the fourth consecutive regional election, this time in North Rhine-Westphalia, where it received 7.5% of the vote, which will likely translate to 18 seats. These state-level elections are being viewed in part as a referendum on austerity and other Merkel doctrines, and there’s a growing tide of disgust with business-as-usual across Europe. The Pirates are doing a good job of presenting themselves as a real alternative, albeit one with a specialized agenda. The trick will be for the Pirates to articulate the equation that all copyright policy ends up being Internet policy, and all Internet policy ends up being policy for everything, since everything we do involves the Internet. So far, many people are taking that idea to heart.
For almost half a century, Don Ritchie would approach people contemplating suicide at the edge of The Gap, just 50 metres from his home in Watsons Bay, his palms facing up.
Mr Ritchie told his daughter Sue Ritchie Bereny he would smile and say: “Is there something I could do to help you?”
“And that was all that was often needed to turn people around, and he would say not to underestimate the power of a kind word and a smile,” said Mrs Ritchie Bereny.
Mr Ritchie, sometimes known as the angel or watchman of The Gap, is acknowledged to have stopped about 160 people from jumping to their deaths.
He died at St Vincent’s Hospital yesterday, surrounded by his wife Moya, 85, daughters Jan, Donna and Sue, and four grandchildren, who travelled from across Australia and from Indonesia to Sydney to see him. He was 86.
Iceland’s approach to dealing with the meltdown has put the needs of its population ahead of the markets at every turn.
A young Haitian man who accused Uruguayan troops serving as UN peacekeepers in Haiti of sexually assaulting him last year has testified in Montevideo before a judge investigating the case.
The scandal erupted in September 2011 after mobile phone video images circulated on the internet appeared to show soldiers serving with the UN mission sexually assaulting the man, then 18, in the southern Haitian town of Port-Salut.
Six Uruguayan marines were indicted last year on charges of disobeying orders and dereliction of duty. The first charge is punishable by four months to four years of prison, and the second by up to three years in prison.
Why is this young man a ‘rape victim’ in the headline? Isn’t he a rape victim or an alleged rape victim?
A former Rupert Murdoch aide has told an inquiry that she received commiserations from David Cameron, UK prime minister, after she resigned amid the News of the World phone-hacking scandal.
Rebekah Brooks, in her long-awaited testimony before the Leveson inquiry into press ethics on Friday, said she also received messages from the foreign ministry, interior ministry and the offices of George Osborne, finance minister.
Cameron has been a friend of Brooks’ husband for 30 years since they studied together at Eton, the elite British boarding school.
The Camerons and the Brookses are also neighbours in the prime minister’s constituency in rural Oxfordshire, forming part of what is dubbed the Chipping Norton Set, a group of the rich and powerful who live near the village of the same name.
The impression that Cameron and Osborne surrounded themselves with a coterie of privileged individuals for cosy dinners and horse riding in the English countryside, has been pounced on by critics.
This is not much of a surprise (politics as usual), but it’s interesting that at last the UK authorities appear to be doing something about this kind of corruption. Of course an inquiry may be used to cover up the facts.
Three JPMorgan Chase senior executives are reportedly set to resign this week over the firm’s $2 billion loss on derivatives trades, including the executive who oversaw the trade.
US media, citing company executives, reported on Sunday that the bank’s chief executive Jamie Dimon was set to accept as early as Monday the resignation of Ina Drew, a 55-year-old chief investment officer who has worked at the firm for three decades.
I think back to the good ol’ days of piracy (ahem) er, privateering on the high seas, when a failure of this magnitude would get you hung on a short rope at Wapping and, after three tides had washed over your head, your body would be tarred and hung in chains at Blackwall as a warning to others. Your boss would get at least a knighthood (after handing over sufficient cash).