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Submission + - Irish SOPA used to block Pirate Bay Access. ISPs roll over.

ObsessiveMathsFreak writes: Ireland's own SOPA Act has finally struck home. Today, the Irish High Court ordered all ISPs to begin censoring the The Pirate Bay. After earlier attempts were struck down, this case was brought by EMI, Sony, Warner Music and Universal music under new copyright laws brought in last year. This follows the largest ISP Eircom already having voluntarily blocked the Pirate Bay after previous legal action. Despite some early indications that some ISPs would appeal the decision, it now appears that like Eircom, they have quietly given up. Pity; IT was one of the few industires Ireland was getting right.

Submission + - Google Launches Dictionary; Drops

ObsessiveMathsFreak writes: "Google has expanded its remit once again with the quiet launch of Google Dictionary. Google word search definitions now redirect to Google Dictionary instead of to Google's long term thesaurus goto site,, which is expected to take a serious hit in traffic as a result. Dictionary pages are noticeably more plain and faster loading than their equivalents, and unusually feature web citations for the definitions of each word. This means that, unlike most dictionaries, Google considers ginormous a word. In related news just as has been silently phased out, Google's web search page now silently phases in. Google works in mysterious ways."

Submission + - Opera Closes China Loophole; Reinstates Censorship

ObsessiveMathsFreak writes: "Coming hot on the heels of Microsoft's censoring of Chinese search results, web browser maker Opera has become the latest company to joyfully contribute to prosperous growth of the Great Firewall of China. For speed and convenience, the mobile phone based 'Opera Mini' browser receives formatted web page via Opera's own line of proxy servers. These unfiltered proxies gave Opera's Chinese users rare unfettered access to the wider web. However, this loophole has now been closed, with Chinese users now being directed to 'upgrade' to 'Opera Mini China', which closes this loophole, returning them to the buxom of party censorship, and Opera to the favour of the Chinese Government. Truly; 'To Get Rich Is Glorious'."

Submission + - Firebowls Ignite Blazing Copyright Furore ( 2

ObsessiveMathsFreak writes: "Via Plagiarism Today, comes a fervid tale of conflict between the fiery passions of art and the fires of industry. Artist John T. Unger makes what he calls Firebowls, vast braziers of recycled steel each harbouring a mighty flame, used for art, gatherings and possibly macabre rituals. But Unger was left smoldering with rage upon discovering that a bright spark of a manufacturer, Rick Wittrig, was making firebowls of his own, often copying Unger's (admittedly simple) designs verbatim. Hot with rage, Unger sent a Cease & Desist, but, not to be snuffed out Wittrig, sought a declaratory judgment that such "utilitarian" objects are not copyrightable. Feeling the heat, Unger issued a plea for aid on his website, which lead to a firestorm of internet sourced funds. So far, Unger has raised almost $10,000 to fuel his cause. The Consumerist has more on this conflagration, but just who is in the right here? The smoke from this case may yet be seen from far and wide."

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