Wires Crossed #59 – November 4

Telcos Crack Down On Pirates
New Zealand’s Recording Industry Association (RIANZ) has issued notices to the country’s leading Telcos for breaches of the Shaky Isles’ new copyright laws with regard to illegal downloads off the internet. While the Telcos themselves are not responsible for the illicit downloading of music or movies, it is up to them to process the notices and send them on to their customers. The Association wants the customers to pay a fee $25, and after three notices, the rights holders can take the matter further to a Copyright Tribunal, which can issue fines up to NZ$15,000. Like the link suggests, we think some parents are in for a shock. Also, wonder how long before Aussie rights holders do similar.

$500,000 Fine For Errant Tweet
National Basketball Association commissioner David Stern is known for being a hard arse, who runs the game on a very tight leash. As if to reinforce that reputation he recently fined Miami Heat owner Micky Arison US$500,000 for an errant tweet he made. Couple of interesting things here: How dictatorial is Stern? Very, it seems. He is already in the firing line about the current lock out that is affecting the game, but doesn’t mind putting his neck on the line and courting more controversy. But what was the errant tweet that cost the billionaire owner a cool half million? In reply to a fans query about Donald Sterling, the owner of perennial strugglers the LA Clippers, Arison said “LOL”. Yep, that’s right – “LOL”. A cool US$166,000 for each letter. Wish I could earn that kind of dosh!

Facebook As A Crime Solver
At 54, Florida Sheriff Al Lamberti may not be the ideal demographic for social networking, but he’s smart enough to realise that Facebook can be an excellent aid in his war on crime. The sheriff recently posted the description of some thieves and their getaway car on his Facebook page. The criminals had been ripping off air conditioning units, which can be quite a lucrative sideline, and the sheriff had little or no clues – until the post on Facebook. Within a couple a days, one of his followers saw a car fitting the description next door to their house, called the sheriff, and the crims were locked up. What ever happened to Rin Tintin being a police officer’s best aid?

How To Drive With A Number Plate And Not Get Fined
Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs always liked to be different, so much so that he didn’t like driving a car that had a number plate. So in order to legally drive a car minus its tags, he exploited a little known Californian law that allowed him to do so, according to a report. Apparently you have up to six months to get plates for a new car in California. Being a secretive kind of guy, Jobs leased his vehicles and traded them in every six months for a new one, thus never having a number plate. Wonder if it was worth the hassle – surely he would get stopped by police officers on occasion?