NO to 10 Years Imprisonment For Copyright Infringement

The UK Government (via it’s misnamed “Intellectual Property Office”) just held a consultation on copyright infringement. In comparison to previous ones, this one was simple, and had only one question.

Should the maximum custodial sentence available for online and offline copyright infringement of equal seriousness be harmonised at 10 years?

Please justify your answer and support with evidence where possible.

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Why Are People Still Getting Basic Science Wrong?

OK people, is “Science” education just a frivolity, or are there really that many people that slept through science in the 3rd grade and never woke up again? I’m serious, there’s a desperate lack of basic science education that’s being celebrated and lauded as if it was a good thing, even the most basic of things.

Over the past week, two science topics have got my pulse racing on social media. The first was a post by NPR on June 29th that had the headline “Don’t Believe in Evolution? Try Thinking Harder”. My quick comment of

“silly headline. If you don’t believe in evolution, you’re not thinking at all”

started a bit of a snowstorm of people who don’t understand simple things. Things like ‘evolution is not abiogenesis’ (abiogenesis is ‘origin of life’) or that evolution has been extremely well tested in both models and the lab, and been observed happening (what do you think antibiotic resistance is?) are somewhat par for the course, but absolutely basic things like ‘theory is not a hypothesis’. Also, side note – first comment on an NPR story means your notifications will go off constantly for days. Continue reading…


Bittorrent’s DHT And Its DRM Problem

torrentsOver this past month, I’ve been researching a few topics based around BitTorrent, and I’ve come up on one point that I remember well, but which was never adequately explained for people. That was the controversy in 2005 around BitComet and the private flag, especially with version 0.60. It may seem an odd time, almost 10 years later, but it’s actually a key part of the history of Bittorrent, and one that’s always been badly reported (if at all).

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iiNet Vows Free Lawyers For Troll Targets

dallas-buyers-club-pl_422_600_80iiNet, the second biggest ISP in Australia, has been a bit of a magnet when it comes to bittorrent lawsuits. In 2008 they were sued by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) for failing to prevent its subscribers from infringing copyright via Bittorrent, a case it won, as the court found it was not iiNet’s responsibility.

In late 2014, Voltage Pictures – the company behind Oscar winning movie ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ – started proceedings against Australian users it accused of downloading its movie, just as it has in both the US and Canada. The alleged Australian infringements all occurred between 2 April 2014 and 27 May 2014. Continue reading…


PPUK Moving Forward With Purpose

The stepping down of Loz and Ed might seem like some to be the end of the Pirate Party. They couldn’t be further from the truth. While both Ed and Loz have been valuable members of the executive team, to say they’re indispensable, and of critical importance to the party is not only being overly dramatic, but also insulting and demeaning to the many other people involved at all levels of the party.

Loz is not vanishing, riding off into the sunset, never to be seen again, so it’s far from the doom and gloom that you might think. He’s stepping back, recharging his batteries batteries, focusing on his own local area, and letting someone else refocus things.
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[LIVE] Pirate Party UK General Election Liveblog 2015

It’s election time again, which means time for another liveblog. I’ll be covering the election, focusing on the 6 pirates up for election, and I’ll be assisted in that by various pirates including Wendy Cockroft, and Stephen Ogden.

Those 6 lucky Pirate candidates are: Continue reading…