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The Internet

Journal Journal: UK Artist Lobbies Against Piracy; Gets Exposed As A Pirate

Lily Allen joined in the filesharing debate, giving her support to the planned "three strikes" UK law to disconnect suspected filesharers from the Internet, creating a (now deleted) blog in order to convince people how filesharing is stealing, and how much harm it causes. But she was exposed as a filesharing pirate herself, having made "mixtapes" of other artists' music in order to promote her own career, and the mp3s were still on her website until after she was found out. She also plagiarised an article in her first post. In defence, she said she "didn't have a knowledge of the workings of the music industry" and "I THINK ITS QUITE OVIOUS THAT I WASNT TRYING TO PASS OF THOSE WORDS AS MY OWN". She has now stepped down from the debate.

The Featured Artists Coalition has now joined support with Lily Allen, supporting the law, albeit calling for "the restriction of the infringers bandwidth to a level which would render file-sharing of media files impractical" rather than total disconnection. They claim this would leave "basic email and web access functional", which seems unfeasible given how even daily web use can add up to 10s or 100s MBs, let alone the size of essential Windows Update security downloads, or other software that needs security updates. It would also unfairly discriminate between kinds of copyrighted material - sharing smaller files such as copyrighted photographs, software applications, or indeed articles plagiarised from Techdirt, would still be possible.

The Government consultation ends 29 September.


Journal Journal: UK - Man Prosecuted For Posting "Obscene" Story 2

The British authorities have prosecuted a man under the Obscene Publications Act for allegedly posting a fictional story to the Internet, which describes the rape and murder of the band Girls Aloud. The story, "Girls (Scream) Aloud", was posted to the website Kristen Archives last year. One blogger notes how the story, and stories of a similar nature, are still available online. A case for purely written material has not reached court since Inside Linda Lovelace in 1976, which resulted in a Not Guilty verdict, and this is the first use of the law against material posted to the Internet. If convicted, he could face up to five years in prison. This was recently raised from three years in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 - the same act that introduces a new law criminalising possession of "extreme" adult images.

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