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Comment Re:and (Score 1) 173

Not quite; the IFPI read the paper and said (in a press release) that it was "flawed, misleading and disconnected from commercial reality."

I think it's one of those classic "we're going to accuse everyone we disagree with of being what we are" tactics. I had a skim through their justifications for that statement and, based on what I remember of the other papers they referred to, they aren't being 100% honest or accurate either.

Comment Re:Oh noes! (Score 1) 183

The court decided there is no right to take someone elses work without paying for it when that person does not freely give it away...

Actually, the Court found that there is such a right. From the judgment:

The Court has consistently emphasised that Article 10 guarantees the right to impart information and the right of the public to receive it... In the light of its accessibility and its capacity to store and communicate vast amounts of information, the Internet plays an important role in enhancing the public’s access to news and facilitating the sharing and dissemination of information generally...

In the present case, the applicants put in place the means for others to impart and receive information within the meaning of Article 10 of the Convention. The Court considers that the actions taken by the applicants are afforded protection under Article 10 1 of the Convention and, consequently, the applicants’ convictions interfered with their right to freedom of expression. [Citations removed, emphasis added]

The Court went on to find that the interference was permitted (under Article 10(2)) as it was prescribed by law, pursued a legitimate aim, and was necessary in a democratic society for achieving that aim. However, that doesn't mean that the underlying right doesn't exist, merely that the interference with it was justified/proportionate based on the facts provided by the Swedish Courts.

Comment Re:Appearance more important than fact. (Score 1) 74

But they could have done that without hiring him for this. Which would be a lot less suspicious (particularly if it shows up on is tax returns). And presumably they would have had to also pay of the other two judges.

Of course, this still seems wrong to me, but the parent's reasoning (for why he would be a natural choice for either side) does seem to hold up - if it is within the rules for judges.

But it doesn't look good. And judges, even retired judges, should do so.

Comment Re:Good for Google (Score 1) 165

It's even worse than this; The record label collectives have caused a lot of fuss for Google, singling them out as the "number 1 enemy for the up-and-coming artist", forcing them to fund some very expensive research showing Google wasn't really responsible in any way (which they then conveniently forgot about) and basically blackmailed (under the threat of forcing through new laws like SOPA) Google into putting in place these search restriction policies.

The RIAA have now turned around and said "this policy is terrible and isn't working."

Well... yes. I imagine that's what Google has been telling them all along. But I guess the last thing the RIAA wants to do is admit to how much time and effort it's been wasting trying to find someone (other than the RIAA) to blame for the current mess the major record labels are in.

Comment Re:Streamlined extortion queues (Score 1) 77

This varies by jurisdiction and claimant organisation, but often these groups will seek a "reasonable licence fee" on the basis of uploading - the argument being that because someone may have uploaded a file to a random person on the Internet, they need to pay for a worldwide, unlimited licence to distribute that song. Although being generous, sometimes they limit that a bit.

From what I've seen, courts (so far mainly in Germany) haven't bought that argument - in one German case they went with 100 uploads of each song (far too high for anything Torrenty, imho), at about €0,10 per upload, which came to about €80 plus costs. The court wasn't particularly impressed.

But then this is why the enforcement lobby groups have been pushing for statutory fines (such as in NZ) - then the fines/damages don't have to be based on actual losses.

Comment Re:it's the length of movies themselves (Score 1) 245

I still don't understand why they didn't just take the birds from the start, and all the way to the end. It would've saved a lot of trouble, not to mention hard disk space.

And this is what happens when you have a fan-made film and they decide to throw in so many references to other things they miss the subtleties. From what I remember (I'm re-reading it right now, but haven't got to that bit) the Eagles are incredibly arrogant (which is sort of understandable, living on top of the world, being servants of the gods, there to protect the fauna of Middle-earth from nasty things). They pretty much refuse to associate with anyone and certainly wouldn't go all the way across Eriador just to help a bunch of dwarves get some gold and land back. That they talk with Gandalf (and help him in FotR) show just how must respect they have for him.

From what I remember, they come down to the woods (where Thorin & Co. are being attacked by the wargs) because the wargs were having a big meeting (that just happened to be taking place there anyway) and the eagles wanted to know what was going on. They help the dwarves, Bilbo and Gandalf partly out of respect for Gandalf and partly because they really hate the wargs (and orcs). But even then, they simply carry them up to their eyrie, talk for a bit, then take them back down to plains (but a bit further away). There's no moth, and no "pale orc." Iirc there is a white warg, though, who is the leader of the various warg clans.

As for it all about them getting into trouble and Gandalf rescuing them... it's only 3 times in the book (4 if you include the eagles) that he does that, but then that's what he is there for. Plus it, perhaps, makes it more interesting later on when they have to save themselves without Gandalf's help, and Bilbo starts to really shine.

Comment Re:And (Score 1) 163

This is a system whereby every time someone connects a new computer to the Internet, it will ask a series of probing questions and if you don't answer them all correctly (or at any point imply you have a child in the house), a massive (and wildly-inaccurate) web-filter will be put in place, in theory blocking anything about:

  • sexual messages;
  • violence;
  • gambling;
  • bullying;
  • alcohol/drugs;
  • abuse on social networks;
  • self-harm;
  • anorexia;
  • grooming;
  • radicalisation (religious and political); and
  • suicide.*
  • Because these are all things that children need protecting from and shouldn't be able to find out about (on the Internet; offline everything is fine). Oh, and because user-generated content tends to contain a lot of this, many of the existing filters just block all blog sites. And anything that flags certain keywords.

    Oh, and this is to protect children from "sexualisation and commercialisation." But it won't block adverts. Or the Daily Mail (who are, of course, behind this block - presumably to drive desperate children to their website?).

    And this will require putting "government sponsored filtering and snoop-ware software on every machine in the country" as part of what will be one of the largest state-sponsored mass-censorship programmes in a democracy.

    So you think nothing of value will be lost here? You might want to have another think.

    *List taken from the Government's response to the consultation on this.

Comment Re:Onanism (Score 1) 245

"Stealing" has both a legal meaning, and a layman meaning. For the latter, you can argue semantics all night. For the former, it will depend on jurisdictions, but as far as English law (which is relevant here), it is definitely not theft. You can have a look at the relevant statute law, or case law such as Boardman v Phipps, Oxford v Moss or Phillips v Mulcaire (although more obiter stuff, more in the Court of Appeal case).

Legally, in England, you cannot steal information or data. It is that simple.

Comment Re:Onanism (Score 1) 245

That's a law from Serbia... it doesn't really apply in the UK. The UK law on political parties is considerably more complex and antiquated (and pre-dates the idea of companies etc.) - no one is quite sure how it works, but it seems that English political parties don't have legal personality (unless they set up some sort of company).

Comment Re:How convenient for them (Score 1) 245

s97A Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 allows anyone, including the BPI (or their minions) to apply to the court to get an order requiring any "service provider" to block access to any website or similar service. This is how they got their blocking order against both ThePirateBay and Newzbin2. BT tried to fight the Newzbin2 ruling and got hit by a massive costs order. There's a reason no ISP has dared to fight any such order since (including the TPB orders).

While a big ISP like BT can afford a few hundred thousand in legal costs, the Party can't. That that is what we (or rather, the officers personally) are facing if they don't take and keep the proxy down. This isn't theoretical, this is after 3 weeks of back-and-forth between lawyers.

What makes the Pirate Party so special? You'd have to ask the BPI about that, but I imagine it is due to us actually standing up to them (or trying to) and causing problems for them politically. Plus there's a scale thing; other ISPs only cover the odd percentage of the population, whereas the Party's proxy is high-profile and being used by a large number of people. Apparently.

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