Law Actually Hot Picks of the Week
Another Sunday, another batch of my hot picks. I’ve no idea whether this will become a regular thing or if it's something more of a ‘passing fancy’. As ever, the same rules apply: what follows is a selection of news stories that caught my eye from the last 7 days.
Charles Dunstone, CEO of Carphone Warehouse has vocalised in the last week his disapproval of the music industry’s proposal to hold ISP responsible for customers who download music illegally. He lambasted the idea, quoting his legal team who advised him that trying to hold an ISP responsible in this way is analogous with trying to “prosecute a bus company that takes a shoplifter the shops”.
Talk Talk is the first ISP to have responded to the recent proposals that seek to force ISPs to disconnect users who download songs illegally. Dunstone claimed that “consumers had a right to unfettered internet access” and “it’s not our job to control it”. Good call.
I agree wholeheartedly agree with this. I’ve used a lot of web-based apps in my time and some can be handy if you’re on the road or using a public computer which doesn’t have the required program installed locally. Still, cloud computing is improving all the time and, I feel, the direction the computing world is heading in, long term. It’s just we’re not there yet. Not even close.
Okay, stay with me on this one – the article I stumbled across on Digg actually discusses a serious issue. The article documents, inter alia, the findings of two people who find the glamour and beauty obsessed world that’s spreading to the pre-teen age bracket increasingly disturbing. In one case, Melanie Engle an aesthetician (don’t worry – I hadn’t heard of it either) describes that recently a mother brought her 8 year old daughter in to a beauty salon for an eyebrow wax specifying that she wanted them “arched like a supermodel’s”. Later that day, Engle “was directed to give her pint-size client a … bikini wax.” Further on in the article, a one Dr Hillman – who specialises in adolescent medicine – has found it increasingly difficult to rely on err, ‘growth’ as a diagnostic aid. “[N]ow, I need to ask girls, if it’s not there, ‘Do you wax? Do you shave?’ Because so many of them do.”
I was shocked to learn of Mosley’s antics this week in which it was alleged he partook in a Nazi-style sex orgy with prostitutes. Mosley initially refused to comment and has since vehemently maintained there was no Nazi role-playing involved at all. Mosley is now suing the News of the World for breach of privacy claiming unlimited damages. As a long-term fanatic of F1, it’s only natural I took an interest. Mosley, a former barrister who specialised in intellectual property disputes has weathered several crises in his time as FIA president but none quite like this. Assuming that there were no Nazi-themes involved in his rather shady antics, I think Mosley does a great job as president and should remain in the role. That said, I sense this story has a long way still to go and it remains to be seen if he'll get that chance.
And finally, thanks to Andro for giving me the heads-up on this one: Michael Arrington over at Tech Crunch is suing Facebook for $25 million for allowing 3rd parties to use his image and Facebook content as ads without his express permission. I blogged last week about the issue of Facebook seeking to grant themselves the right to utilise the user content for ads that’s tucked neatly away in their terms and conditions and now this.
--UPDATE -- This story: April Fool or non April Fool? When I initially heard about this I couldn't decide what it was. Trawling the comments, I noticed, people weren't buying it as a true story. Just to clarify, I still don't know and I don't really care either way: half the lawsuits in America seem to be lifted from the pages of a joke book, quite frankly, so what's one more? Whether it's a straightforward gag, frivolous lawsuit or double-bluff, what does it matter? Would I personally try sue Facebook for 25 million dollars? You bet your ass I would.