MsLods’ news round-up on law + technology (+ some travel photos)


Kevin Spacey urges TV channels to give control to viewers. | Telegraph |

International perspective on Australia’s consideration of fair use. | DisCo Project |

Blurred Lines and Best Song Ever hit the dancefloor (and the courtroom?). | The IPKat |

ALP won’t decide on data retention, copyright infringement until after the election. | ZDNet |

Defamation & media law

Journalists and anti-terrorism laws: an Australian perspective. | Media Report – ABC Radio National | (podcast)

Bloggers beware: law uneasy with court reporting by citizen journalists. | No Fibs |

Privacy & security

NZ police affidavits related to Kim Dotcom raid shows PRISM used for surveillance. | IT News |

Webcam spying goes mainstream as Miss Teen USA describes hack. | Ars Technica |

NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times per year, audit finds. | The Washington Post |

New Australian Privacy Principles guidance released for public consultation. | OAIC |


Surprisingly good evidence that real name policies fail to improve comments. | TechCrunch |

Finnish media companies develop a new kind of digital paper. | Digile |

Miranda, PRISM, porn-blocking, it all fits into one agenda … four fears for authoritarians. | Paul Bernal’s Blog |

Google goes dark for 2 minutes, kills 40% of world’s net traffic. | The Register |


High Court grants ACCC leave to appeal TPG decision. | ACCC |

When the politicians get the Internet wrong, the Internet can be ruthless. | Guardian |

ACCC pushes back NBN Co notice again. | IT News |

Trade marks & brand protection

Judge says Chubby Checker can pursue lawsuit against HP over penis-measuring app. | Ars Technica |

Microsoft forced to rename SkyDrive following trade mark case with broadcaster. | The Verge |

Social media

Political strategists get serious about social media. | Lateline |

The importance of being earnest. | Bandt |

No, I will not call it ‘twettiquette”. | Helen Lewis |

25 August 2013



Tales from San Francisco …

Tales from San Francisco

No doubting that San Francisco is a vibrant, diverse and colourful  city with its fair share of characters.  In sharing some of my highlights of San Francisco, it would be remiss of me to leave out the best/worst comment I’ve ever received from a random person on the street:  “I love your bowed legs.”  Perhaps you had to be there …

Moving on from my father’s genetic legacy, those very same bowed legs were put to good use walking the streets and hills of San Francisco.  We explored China Town, Fisherman’s Wharf, Haight-Ashbury, Union Street, Golden Gate Park, Hayes Village, North Beach, and the Castro and Mission Districts. I loved the ease of the $2 heritage streetcars on the F Line up and down Market Street.  Riding a bike over the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito was a great way to get a broader perspective on the city (and sunburnt hands).

I also took my twitter exchanges ‘offline’.  We had a great dinner with @CathyGellis an internet lawyer, who has been doing some really interesting work recently – check out her blog post, Why I became a lawyer.    Later that week, I was very fortunate to meet Twitter’s General Counsel, Alex Macgillivray, @amac.   Alex very generously took me on a tour of Twitter’s headquarters housed in an historic Art Deco building, which before Twitter’s tenancy had been unoccupied for some 40 years, in the Tenderloin district.  Alex now oversees a team that is larger than Twitter itself was 4 years ago.  The rooftop garden is a great space and was particularly so on this bright afternoon (there are some excellent pictures of Twitter’s HQ here).

Later that unusually warm spring day, we took Alex up on his suggestion of trying an ice cream at Smitten Ice Cream. This isn’t any old artisan ice cream; each serve is made to order with a mixer that uses liquid nitrogen to quickly churn the ice cream. Both the salted caramel and rhubarb crisp flavours even converted my normally non ice cream eating-friend.

Other food (and drink) highlights included the wasabi noodles with steak at The House, cocktails at 15 Romolo, the ceviche and marinated goat at Chilango, chicken and leek dumpling soup in Chinatown, clam chowder while watching the sea lions at Fishermans Wharf, and a decadent mac & cheese at The Grove.

We also took the opportunity to visit my friend Ruth Ann, who I first met in South Africa and travelled to Namibia with in 2005 (tales for another post) in her home town of Arnold, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. We explored the town of Murphys, a historic gold-mining town and later nearby Sonora before a welcome hearty meal at the Snowshoe Brewery.

A Sunday morning in the Big Trees National Park was grounding and peaceful. Ruth Ann and I were pinpricks on the stump of the ‘Discovery Tree’,  said to be 1,244 years old when felled in the 1850s. It was a privilege to walk among the giant sequoia trees, both new and very old.

Wandering the streets of New York City …

Wandering the streets of New York City

I love that New York is so easy to explore by walking. In my new Texas bought cowgirl boots, we explored East Village, Greenwich Village, West Village, Williamsburg, Midtown, Central Park and the wonderful High Line in Chelsea. MOMA (with Edvard Munch’s The Scream on display) and the East Side Tenement Museum were both well worth our time.

With a little bit of research and a little bit of luck we ate very well –  including Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Turkish, Italian, Spanish, Cuban, Polish, and American. And invariably the portion sizes were huge.

Food highlights included the charcuterie plate at Tertulia, an apple pie at the Union Square Farmers’ Markets, oysters and champagne at Les Halles, 4 for $1 dumplings at Prosperity Dumplings, pizza at Luzzo’s, mountain trout at Monument Lane and the raw milk blue cheese from Whole Foods Market.

On day three, good coffee (much to my friend, Tash’s relief) was located at Stix served with friendly banter from Stefano recently relocated from Athens. Tash soon became a regular.

On a Monday night we saw Caitlin Rose, a country/folk singer from Nashville play to a packed and very appreciative crowd at the Mercury Lounge. Walking the 25 minutes back to our apartment in Greenwich Village the streets were nearly as busy as during the daylight hours.

I also attended and participated as a panellist at the Fordham IP Conference. A highlight was the General Counsel roundtable and directly hearing from the General Counsel of companies such as Google, NBC Universal, Time Warner, Nokia and Microsoft. It was also great to again talk with Judge Peter Charleton from Ireland who I’d been fortunate to meet when in Dublin last year.

Reconnecting with friends who now live in New York City was another highlight. Gemma took us to the fantastic Wythe Hotel and the rooftop Ides Bar which must have one of the best views of Manhattan.  Lisa, who I first met in South Africa back in 2005, took us to a cosy Cuban restaurant in the East Village.  We met Tash’s cousin, Luke and his fiancée Sara for a delicious brunch at Boulton & Watt.

Noticeable differences from home include that there seemed to be a large pharmacy on each block, the number of food carts on street corners, the unintentionally hilarious advertisements for prescription drugs with disclaimers longer than the proclaimed benefits of the products, that all the ‘restrooms’ stated “employees must wash their hands”, that we placed our bags of rubbish out on the street of an evening to be collected during the night. And can anyone explain why entrees are main courses not first course in America?

I’ve worked in three law firms, lived for a year in South Africa working with a local community development organisation and had the privilege to return on repeated visits, spent a year as a judicial researcher and travelled extensively since my last visit to New York City in October 2001.  I certainly hope the gap between my next visit to NYC is not so long.

Margaritas and cowgirl boots …

6 days in Texas

We are now in wintry New York City following 6 memorable days in Texas, hosted most generously by my friends, Belinda and Lane. It’s  a state where everything is big – cars, roads, food, drinks, hair, guns, Bevo and the personalities.

The tasty, fresh and very good value Mexican food was a highlight from enchiladas at Gueros to ‘The Democrat’ breakfast taco at ‘Torchy Tacos’.  Margaritas were uniformly excellent (and half the price of similar drinks in Australia), including the frozen pre-mixed style available at gas stations for $1.99.

Rooftop bars, including one owned by Lance Armstrong, and the many live music venues make Austin’s nightlife a drawcard and noticeably so for many groups of hen’s parties. The animal print covered stairs at Maggie Mae’s was a special touch.

We were introduced to Southern style cooking at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. And yes, the portion sizes were huge. The chicken fried chicken, something like a schnitzel, was tasty, the cheese grits a gruel-like sludge made from corn less so.

Tash did an excellent drive acclimatising to driving on the opposite side of the road from Australia for our trip to San Antonio, about 2 hours from Austin.  Here we enjoyed a Texas BBQ at The County Line at one of the Riverwalk’s many restaurants.  The city was noticeably quieter than Austin, less bustle and many more vacant shops and buildings in the centre of town.

My Australian drivers licence wasn’t sufficient to purchase alcohol in the local HEB supermarket but no identity documentation was required to purchase drinks from the small liquor outlet across the car park or at the gas station.  Our other brush with the law, was Tash’s regular voicemail messages noting that someone in her household may have an outstanding matter with the court. Wonder who had her T-Mobile Texas number previously?

With our new ‘cowgirl’ boots, seeing Willie Nelson perform at a benefit night for Alzheimer’s Research was a fitting way to round off 6 days in Texas.