Archive for August 19th, 2007

19
Aug
07

The RIAAs Worms Turn!

The RIAA seems to be a prominent fixture in the online media these days. And given that they seem to have adopted the rather short sighted strategy of knowingly suing both guilty as well as innocent members of the very demographics that they could have been legitimately making a lot of money from, it isn’t hard to see why. But now it seems that they may truly be getting ready to experience a full size serving of their own brand of justice:

In cases which should by rights have been initiated by the Bush government on behalf of innocent families across America, falsely attacked by Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG, RIAA victims Tanya Andersen and Michelle Santangelo are determined to make the Big 4, as well as companies involved in the sue ‘em all morass, pay, literally and figuratively, for the distress they’ve caused and are still causing.

Go Tanya and Michelle! Though I have some reservations about the long term repercussions of Michelles’ legal approach, ( I think the justification for her claims and the resulting targets are only half right) , I was suitably convinced by Tanya’s list of complaints:

Her amended complaint is impressive. She’s citing negligence, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, federal and state RICO, abuse of process, malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress, violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, trespass, invasion of privacy, libel and slander, deceptive business practices, misuse of copyright law, and civil conspiracy. – [p2pnet.net]

Wow. It looks like the RIAA is getting ready to have the book thrown at them. As I have said on many occasions, I have always felt that the big entertainment industries had all the right in the world to try and protect their business from pirates.

However I think they crossed the line when they started attacking any technology that could be used for file sharing, especially when these same technologies have proven so beneficial for so many other legitimate purposes. Even more heinous was the decision to sue people, en mass, without any kind of conclusive evidence, and use their legal and financial clout to extort them into settling.

What was the worst was when it became obvious that they were knowingly subjecting innocent people to this form of legalized extortion. I kinda think that they were definitely asking for this. And to be honest, the first line of the article actually echoes my sentiments exactly. Why has this obviously monopolistic corporate activity been ignored by the federal government? I am really interesting in seeing how this turns out.

RIAA named in first class action – [p2pnet.net]

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19
Aug
07

Sex on the job? Only of you’re a sex worker…

So I came across an unusual story about an officer who decided to get himself some nookie while on duty:

The jury quickly came to a unanimous verdict as the policeman proved he was able to respond to all emergencies as he was equipped with an earpiece tuned in to the police radio frequency.

“If there was a call for me, I would have answered it and I would have dealt with it,” he told the court, according to the Times newspaper.

His lawyer Kevin Baumber believes that the inspector certainly misbehaved, but his bad decision is not a crime. – [Yahoo/AFP]

So here’s my issue. I am not sure what he was being charged with, but how, in the name of all things holy, did this officer prove that he was on duty? To my knowledge an “on-duty” police officer is supposed to be on patrol right? It may just be me, but I find it difficult to see how he could have been on patrol while engaged in the horizontal mambo.

A police officer in the sack is one less officer on the street, or on patrol, or wherever they are supposed to be. Yes, perhaps this is no different from playing golf, but that would still mean he was off duty. Unless he is trying to tell us that he gets paid to play golf whenever he feels like it. Sure he could have responded to a call, but how many crimes are prevented simply because a cop was physically present at the scene?

Even if we disregard the ethically and morally dubious nature of this case, there is a very big difference between being present on the street as a physical, visible deterrent to crime, and being retroactively available to assist after the crime has been committed. How did these jury members not see that?

I’m beginning to think that part of the problem with the world today is that nobody is holding anyone else accountable for their irresponsible actions. Probably because they don’t want to be held accountable for their own actions either. At this rate we will all be going to hades in a hand basket…

British cop proves he was still on duty during sex romp – [Yahoo/AFP]

19
Aug
07

Average call time is 8 hours. Please Hold…

Have you ever had to wait on hold for customer service for a really, really long time?:

Hannah King, 51, called a company helpline after a BT engineer failed to turn up to install a telephone line at her new flat in Milford Haven, according to The Times.

For eight hours in a row, she endured the sound of piped music. She gave up and tried again the next day — and waited another eight hours before putting the phone down.

The following day, she spent a further four hours on hold before hanging up, which took the total time wasted to almost one day. – [Yahoo/AFP]

OK, now it may just be that us Americans are a lot more impatient than our counterparts over the pond, but I certainly couldn’t see myself staying on hold for more than 2 hours at a stretch. And even that would be pushing it.

Can you hold? BT phone customer kept waiting 20 hours – [Yahoo/AFP]




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