Saturday, April 21, 2012

Australian case a victory for all internet users

The High Court of Australia has ruled that ISPs have no duty to control what use people make of their services.  Making ISPs into censors would be an unbelievable mess.  The Australian case could now be strongly argued as a precedent in other English-speaking jurisdictions.  To have the internet free of censorship in Australia only would make other countries look ridiculous.  

Copyright owners say that they will now seek legislation to overturn their defeat in the courts. Their hope is faint, however.  The defeat of SOPA and PIPA in America and the defeat of ACTA in Europe is against them.  There have in fact  already been  legislative proposals for internet censorship in Australia that died even before the American and European defeats

INTERNET service provider iiNet has won a major legal battle over whether it should be held responsible for its customers downloading content illegally.  An appeal by the world's largest film and television companies against iiNet was dismissed today by the High Court.

A group of 34 international and Australian companies, including Warner Bros, Disney and the Seven Network, had alleged that iiNet had authorised the infringement of their copyright when its customers downloaded movies and television programs.

The movie companies had argued that iiNet had the power to prevent its customers from infringing copyright by issuing warnings and suspending or terminating customer accounts. The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) appealed to the High Court after losing its first appeal to the federal court last year.

But today the High Court found that iiNet had no direct technical power to prevent its customers from using the BitTorrent file sharing system to infringe copyright.  "Rather, the extent of iiNet's power to prevent its customers from infringing ... copyright was limited to an indirect power to terminate its contractual relationship with its customers," the court said.

iiNet Chief Executive Officer, Michael Malone, said the judgment supported the company’s position and proved the claims made against it were unfounded.  "iiNet has never supported or encouraged unauthorised sharing or file downloading,” Mr Malone said.  "Today’s High Court five-nil ruling confirms that iiNet is not liable for ‘authorising’ the conduct of its customers who engaged in online copyright infringement.  "This marks the end of more than three years of legal argument and challenges."

Mr Malone said increasing the availability of lawful, online content in a more timely, affordable and reasonably priced manner, brought the focus back to customers and was the best method to protect content owners’ copyright.

He said there was strong evidence that content partnerships and agreements between ISPs, legal websites and copyright holders had done more to reduce piracy and to showcase copyright holders’ materials than this unproductive legal battle.

The High Court dismissed the appeal with costs. Legal costs of the case to date are approximately $9 million and have already been expensed.

SOURCE.  Extended commentary here


A warning to China

India and China have had border clashes

 India's successful test firing of its first intercontinental ballistic missile - the Agni-V - has been met with delirium inside the country, but consternation over its borders.

Indian TV yesterday showed scenes of hundreds of cheering scientists at Wheeler Island, where the missile was launched in the Bay of Bengal, after its successful flight.

At 8.06am, the 20-metre rocket, which has the theoretical capability to carry a nuclear warhead up to 5000 kilometres, was launched, taking 20 minutes to reach its target somewhere in the Indian Ocean near Indonesia.

The Indian Defence Minister, AK. Antony, heaped praise on India's Defence Research Development Organisation, which designed and built the missile.  "The nation stands tall today," he said. "We have joined the elite club of nations. The immaculate success of the Agni-V is a major milestone in the country's missile research and development program."

India joins the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the US, Britain, China, Russia and France - as the only countries with intercontinental ballistic missiles. Fast emerging as an economic power, India is keen to play a larger role on the global stage and is campaigning strongly for a permanent seat on the Security Council.

It was recently declared the world's largest importer of arms and has raised its defence budget 17 per cent this year, to more than $38 billion.

As pointed out ad nauseum on Indian news channels, the Agni-V missile - it is named after the Hindu god of fire - has the capability to reach Beijing, from where most of the concern over yesterday's launch came.



Leftist racism

Yes, this is about race and racism. But no, it’s not about the Trayvon Martin case and how the media is pimping it.

It’s not even about the equally tragic black-on-white crimes some push to expose media bias in the Martin case. I don’t subscribe to the “Yeah, sure, but what about this!” game some play to expose leftist hypocrisy. A crime is a crime, regardless of the skin tone of the victims or the perps.

This is about how progressives continue to exploit race to keep us divided as a people and to manipulate voters.

This is about Rep. Allen West, R-Fla.  He loves his country, he’s a former military man, and he’s a black conservative. In other words, he drives progressives crazy. The only way they could hate him more is if he were a self-made millionaire or a married woman who carried a baby to term.

This week, Rep. West, a decorated military veteran, was in the news about a joke he made. Asked if there were any communists in Congress, he said yes, as many as 80. You’ll know them, he said, because they are members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC). Now, aside from what they call themselves, not much differentiates CPC members from communist on policy matters, but West clearly was joking.

The Left was not amused. What I call “Michael Stipe’s Disease” took over, wherein progressives channel the R.E.M lead singer in saying, “How can you joke when someone somewhere is suffering.” It’s a horrible affliction that impacts progressives at an alarming rate. I’d start a telethon but I just don’t care.

The outrage cascaded. Martin Bashir, the idiotic MSNBC host with a British accent (it’s the only way to differentiate hosts on that network since they’re all interchangeable, mindless Lego pieces) called the congressman “Joseph McCarthy” for the joke.

A spokesman for the Communist Party USA told Politico, “I just think it’s an absurd way to cast a shadow over his colleagues. It’s kind of a sad ploy … guilt by association, taken to an extreme.”

As someone who works in word, I couldn’t help but notice his comment infers there is an association and some guilt to be gleaned … but I digress.

Noah Rothman, an editor at the leftist, chimed in with a column that essentially calls Rep. West an idiot – because, of course, Rep. West told a joke Rothman didn’t find funny and because he didn’t immediately give the “Washington” answer to whether or not he’d accept the VP nomination. A straight answer in Washington can be a most unsettling thing.

But the real criticism came from the black gossip site “Bossip.” Putting aside the weirdness behind the need for race-based websites on gossip or anything else, the staff at Bossip pulled the leftists’ favorite arrow from their quiver and called West an “Uncle Tom” and a “house slave”, both for his comments and for disagreeing with President Obama.

It’s quite common for black conservatives to endure such comments from liberals when they dare to think for themselves. And it’s equally common for the media to ignore such slurs.

That’s because most Leftists are racists, though not the traditional type you see in movies. Their beloved progressive movement was founded by noted racists and supporters of eugenics. They’ve known this all along. But now, they’ve realized they have to hide it.

There’s little difference between judging someone to be inferior to you based on skin color, and assuming they’re inferior because they don’t vote how you expect them to. That’s not to mention the racism involved in telling people they can’t succeed on their own, society is stacked against them so they shouldn’t even try. Telling them they need government’s help, doled out by Democrats exceedingly generous with other peoples’ money, just to get by. Or attacking successful people because, despite their skin color, they view the path to success differently.

Yet these are things in which progressives routinely engage. Even President Obama talks about the “unfairness” of America yet ignores the fact his own life story completely discredits his argument.

Americans used to celebrate success, regardless of race. We admired independence and self-reliance. We thought it better for people to thrive on their own than to survive on government handouts.

But the road to independence is paved with hard work and aspiration, and liberalism wants nothing of that. The generational death-spiral of government dependence has not led anyone out of poverty, but it has created reliably Democrat cities, districts and states – in other words: reliable voters.

The irony is that many liberals think they’re actually doing good for the people they’ve ensnared in poverty. They feel guilty because they’ve amassed a fortune they don’t think they deserve – perhaps in Hollywood, perhaps through inheritance, rarely through actual hard work. They don’t understand what real life is like. Then, there are people such as President Obama, who know the hard work it takes to succeed but embrace these policies for more cynical, less altruistic reasons.

You’d think all Americans would celebrate the life of a poor black child raised by his grandparents who worked his way up the ladder to the Supreme Court of the United States. Nothing is more “American” than that. But Clarence Thomas doesn’t subscribe to the notion government handouts are the only path from poverty. Therefore, he is despised and called unspeakable things by people who tell us to celebrate diversity. Because, to progressives, diversity means different colors but like minds – drones who think what they’re told.

Assuming things about a person based on their race is racist, even if it’s your own race. Hurling slurs and seeking to inspire hatred of someone because they don’t conform to your racist assumptions is disgusting. It’s also the cornerstone of the modern progressive ideology. And that cornerstone sits squarely on their chests, holding down Americans of all colors who wait, as generations before them did, for these promises of lightening their load to be fulfilled.

Creating government dependence in the name of compassion is anything but. It’s as close as we get in this country to eugenics. It’s modern slavery. And it’s the exact “next step” you’d expect from the people whose intellectual ancestors championed both. If you can’t eliminate those you deem unworthy, defeat them at the ballot box and demonize those who show them the only way to leave the plantation. It’s real, it’s happening, it’s progressivism, and it’s sick.



The Obamunist-Controlled Press Has a Job to Do on Jobs

This week’s jobless claims came in higher than expected tending to confirm that the recovery is: 1) still very slow; and 2) jobless, despite attempts by the Obamunist-controlled press to paint a different picture.

Politico headlined that unemployment applications “decline slightly” this week.  The Associated Press via the Chicago Sun Times- an Obamunist press if there ever was one- also reported that unemployment applications “decline slightly.” Reuters too skewed its headline: “US jobless claims edge down last week,” as did the New York Times: “US Jobless Claims Dip.”

By the end of the session, when the market finished down, it was agreed that, at least by the standards of the stock markets, the economy is swooning, not swimming and the jobs data was bad.

“The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits was higher than expected,: reported Dow Jones, “a sign of lost momentum in the labor market, as 386,000 initial claims were filed in the week ended April 14, more than the 375,000 economists expected in a Dow Jones Newswires poll.”

Even more ominous is that the number for last week was revised upward from 380,000 initial claims to 388, 000 initial claims.

As Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey notes:

Their economists had bet that last week’s results were an outlier, which wasn’t an unreasonable assumption.  This, however, looks like an upward movement in job churn, not a good sign for overall employment.  It’s interesting that we’re seeing that now rather than last month, where jobless reports ran in the mid-360Ks but job creation got stymied at only 120,000 for the month.  If this indicator continues at the mid-380K level or starts rising above it, April’s jobs report may make March look positively cheery.

Political Calculations mentioned the job market potentially slowing few weeks ago. “The March 2012 jobs data would seem to confirm that the U.S. economy has indeed begun to decelerate after growing strongly, as we have been expecting. We would be seeing a very different picture for jobs in the U.S. if the economy were genuinely gaining steam across the board.”

It’s too bad that the public is still served poorly by so-called journalist who really operate as an extension of the Obama campaign press office.  You’d think even as a matter of self-preservation, journalists would eventually worry just a tad about their own credibility.

But Obamunism has the same problem that most isms share.  People picked it based on emotion and have spent their lives- and their credibility- trying to justifying it based on logic.
And emotion, in these cases, always wins out.    




Another Obama gaffe quickly covered up:  "In an effort to ingratiate himself with Argentina’s leftist president and leading nut-case bimbo, Cristina de Fernandez (who walked out of the conference, anyway), Obama insulted our British allies by referring to the Falkland Islands by the revisionist Argentine name, the “Malvinas.” Well, he meant to, anyway. But in his speech, the president—never strong on geography—confused the Malvinas with the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, half a world away. Our Southern neighbors thought it was a hoot. But you didn’t hear about it, of course. Obama’s a genius, according to our journalists’ sacred dogma, and Thou Shalt Not Mock."

ND: Town would outlaw “man camps” in oil fields:  "One town smack in the middle of North Dakota's historic oil boom has a plan for getting rid of the 'man camps' that have sprung up as laborers pour in: Ban their campers. Williston, the state's ninth-largest city, is fed up with an estimated 400 RVs that are scattered throughout the city limits and house out-of-state workers who have flocked in to help oil companies tap the massive Bakken formation. ... If passed, the law would make living in a home on wheels a misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine."

Helping Those With Disabilities Secure Employment:  "James Bovard rightly criticizes the Obama administration for seeking to force many businesses to adopt hiring quotas for disabled applicants. Such quotas not only raise costs and slash productivity, but also violate federal law.  The Supreme Court has said that the disabilities-rights laws aren't "affirmative action" statutes, in cases like Southeastern Community College v. Davis (1979). While these laws require employers to reasonably accommodate disabilities, they don't require a general preference for disabled applicants, much less quotas. Since these quotas harm taxpayers, undermine merit-based hiring and reduce efficiency, they are invalid under the Procurement Act and court rulings like Chamber of Commerce v. Reich (1996), which limit the president's power to dictate the hiring decisions of government contractors."



List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist.  It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day.  It was only to the Right of  Stalin's Communism.  The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


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