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Background: I joined this community as an internet lawyer/academic, also from general sf fandom - I am neither a slash fan nor a fiction writer. Also I'm a UK lawyer, not a US lawyer. So I imagine I'm an oddity here. But I find this whole storm weird, just as I did Nipplegate. LJ is a private site. It is not a state nor a common carrier nor a "public broadcaster" with positive obligations as to content, like the BBC in the UK. It is basically a business, one which rather oddly and sweetly does not seem to try to make maximum profits when it could (charge everyone, or show everyone ads.) No one would argue that Wallmart couldn't decide whether or not to stock Hello Kitty vibrators, say, even if they were (as is likely) perfectly legal. It's Wallmart's store. And if they think those vibrators are a bit dodgy, either legally or in terms of alienating or annoying certain customers, so be it. If they were stocking stuff they thought might or might not be legal, there isn't a lawyer in the world who wouldn't advise them to dump that stuff; and that's WALMART - who have millions of dollars and lawyers to fight prosecutions or civil suits.

As for the particular bit of the storm over 6A changing T & C in mid stream - I've looked at those terms and you all clearly (for legal values of "clearly":-) agreed on joining that LJ could change the terms at any time:
LiveJournal may at any time revise these Terms of Service by updating this posting. By using this Site, you agree to be bound by any such revisions and should therefore periodically visit this page to determine the then-current Terms of Service to which you are bound."

6Apart, I strongly imagine, have absolutely no interest in becoming a style and content dictator, even though they're quite entitled to be one, as it's their site. They're still mostly leftie california volunteers on staff after all. And their business model such as it is is clearly based on not alienating large groups of clientele. But faced with large amounts of risk, they're simply covering their back, which every lawyer in the world, including me, would strongly advise them to do, especially given they mainly provide the service for free.

The alternative is the likelihood of them at some point being sued or prosecuted out of existence just like Napster and Grokster. Would you rather have a world with LJ in it, albeit mildly policing the most extreme and likely to be dodgy of its boundaries, or a world with no LJ?

LJ isn't a "place" in cyberspace. It's a publisher and as much subject to laws and economic pressure as you and me. And whatever (some!) Americans think, the First Amendment (and the CDA and the DMCA) is not a global law and will not exculpate LJers (and 6A as the distributor and publisher) in every court in the world. LJ may currently be scared of a possible case in the US but they are also probably far far more scared of a future case in the UK or Saudi Arabia, or anywhere else they have readers, and, perhaps, assets (or plan to visit at some point).

Why do you people feel (or do you not? but this is the vibe I get..) that LJ has a moral duty to defend you over and above that of a normal business? Of, say, AOL? or Facebook? Isn't it good enough that they provide a platform for free and make efforts, it seems, not to "censor" (ie reduce legal risk) until someone with an agenda,like WFI, makes waves too big to ignore?

Alternately, would you pay say $10 a head, over any usual subscription fee, to provide LJ with a legal fighting fund? that's one way forward.

BTW I am organising a funky workshop on law and popular culture in London in SEptember - - if anyone here would like to put in an abstract (real lawyers only, please) please do:-)


Mar. 15th, 2007 12:50 pm
green_amber: (Default)
Someone has done research using LJ mood tags on what activities are asociated with happiness, and what are not. It's a hilarious picture of the average US teen lifestyle..

Via [ profile] clarehooper (hello Clare!)
green_amber: (Default)
One of the reasons why most people I know on LJ, like LJ, is that you can distinguish between your public posts, your Friends posts and your custom posts. I understand most the MySpace type sites, usually aimed at younger audiences, don't support this well; I did find some functions like this when i looked at Facebook but I also understand they were added, not a built in part of the original functionality. And I believe Orkut had a bit of a scandal where they disclosed personal data?

Do any of you use other social spaces that have privacy-control akin to LJ? At one conference, I heard that on Tribe you HAVE to put up a picture of yourself to use it - that's also interesting info (of the opposite kind, natch!)

Getting more geeky, do any of you use a particular search engine, email client, browser, etc. because it gives you more privacy or more control over your personal information? eg does Mozilla /Firefox have advantages over IE in this department? I DON'T really mean general security here - except in the closely defined sense of "stops people bugging/surveilling me".

A quote from Cory to give you the idea..

"If you're a phone company, don't keep logs. …If you're a search company, abandon your cookies. Find the liberty that your competition is too timid to bring to its customers and build it in. And then tell your customers about it: BobNet: the ISP that won't rat you out! PriyaCrawler: a search engine that doesn't log you! Once your customers get wind of the fact that all the features they've dreamt of are possible, cheap, and on offer in the high street, you'll find yourself in a category all your own.”

(Admiss/claimer : yes this is for a paper I'm writing and yes, i could do with the help!! M)
green_amber: (goth me)
Almost the perfect day. Slept till 1, ate tea and potato scones, cuddled cats, went into town, bought vast amounts of amazingly cool and much reduced clothes in the M & S sale (including a gorgeous green/brown mixture cape thing, and a black cashmere shrug set, and a turquoise mohair cardi), emerged just in time to see the torchlight procession with Viking longboat and thousands of torchbearers walking past at EXACTLY THAT MOMENT. And I'd completely forgotten it was on. What are the odds? Followed the procession up Princes St (no buses, so I thought I might as well) with opccasional side excursions into the German Xmas market where I counteracted the freezing cold by snagging some mulled wine and Aberdeen Angus burger. Took pics futilely on phone cam. Then home to eat duck remnants and get ready for [ profile] lilitufire's party, which was v pleasant and adorned with very many LJers, including [ profile] purplerabbits, [ profile] ophelia_complex and [ profile] cairmen who turned out to share an interest in foody-ism with me and Tokyo Mark :-) Shared a taxi home through picturesquely falling snow. How festive is that, huh?

And you'll NEVER guess what Lisa's middle name is!! (I saw her passport while looking for a corkscrew..!)


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May 2009

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