Links for April 16th
UK copyright laws “needlessly criminalise” music fans and need to be updated, a consumer watchdog says.
UK laws that make it a copyright violation to copy a CD that you own onto a computer or iPod should be changed, says Consumer Focus.
The call came after global umbrella group Consumers International put the UK in last place in a survey of 16 countries’ copyright laws.
A nurse who secretly filmed for the BBC to reveal the neglect of elderly patients at a hospital has been struck off for misconduct.
Margaret Haywood, 58, filmed at the Royal Sussex Hospital in Brighton for a BBC Panorama programme in July 2005.
She was struck off by the Nursing and Midwifery Council which said she failed to “follow her obligations as a nurse”.
The European Commission has started legal action against Britain over the online advertising technology Phorm.
It follows complaints to the EC over how the behavioural advertising service was tested on BT’s broadband network without the consent of users.
Last year Britain had said it was happy Phorm conformed to European data laws.
But the commission has said Phorm “intercepted” user data without clear consent and the UK need to look again at its online privacy laws.
What we have seen in these past few days is another rattle in the slow, but eventually complete, death of privacy. In the developed world, whenever there are at least two people in a room, it’s a statistical near-certainty that one of them will have a camera, and the means to instantly upload photos to the web. Increasingly, it’s becoming likely that they’ll also be able to upload sound and video too.
Saudi Arabia says it plans to start regulating the marriage of young girls, amid controversy over a union between a 60-year-old man and a girl of eight.
A court in Unaiza upheld the marriage on condition the groom does not have sex with her until she reaches puberty.
Under pressure or on our own, we often hear songs or poems we’ve learnt by heart as a child. Remembering helps us cope in extreme and dangerous situations, but why?
“It was all in my head – my father would play the piano and I would have a mental party in the hole in the ground.”
That hole was where Peter Shaw was held captive for five months in 2002, after being kidnapped while working in Georgia for the European Commission. The businessman from South Wales was chained around the neck and kept in the dark almost constantly.
It’s hard to imagine how people survive in such extreme conditions, but those who’ve been through such stressful situations say reciting a childhood song or poem helps.
I was deeply offended by something on the BBC recently. It wasn’t Clare Balding laying into a jockey’s teeth, but this time with a cricket bat, or Frankie Boyle’s 10 best jokes about the Queen’s genitals, or even a repeat of Diana’s funeral with an added laugh track. No, it was a new low.
It was Hazel Blears, the communities secretary, eliciting a round of applause on Any Questions for suggesting that Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand should pay the BBC’s “Sachsgate” Ofcom fine. The rest of the panel bravely agreed with her.
David Mitchell talking a lot of sense. Sometimes government – any government, not just ours – makes me despair
While in many countries the Easter dish may be lamb, in Venezuela a traditional delicacy around this time of the year is the capybara, the world’s biggest rodent.
The capybara is a distant cousin to the common guinea pig but bigger and river-based like a beaver.
Many Venezuelans regard the semi-aquatic creature as more fish than meat – a useful description during Lent when it is eaten as a replacement for red meat in this largely Roman Catholic country.