A Tale of Two Parodies?

29 Nov ’06

Today I awoke to what I at first thought were two parodies. The first – a story that the MPAA was pushing a plan to license home theatres – I pegged correctly, but I’ll admit that for a moment I had my doubts. As Mike Masnick notes, the story seemed just a little too real, and for that moment, I wondered: they wouldn’t – would they?

The second I missed by a country mile. Yes, the UK Press Complaints Commission director does in fact seem to be in favour of an internet voluntary code of conduct. Alas, this is not parody. This code, it would seem, would solve the ‘problem’ of no professional standards or redress on the internet. But there’s more – “Former Downing Street spin doctor Alastair Campbell, who chaired the session organised by the Commission for Racial Equality, said blogs were “perceived as a positive development” but added that “some of the most offensive stuff” comes from them.” (Funny, I thought the offensive stuff came from Campbell …) Sigh. Months ago, in a roundtable I chaired on net libel, I wondered out loud whether even defamation laws were really as necessary in an age when anyone could have their own soapbox, and use it to respond to false statements. As Scoble notes, the redress (that the PCC thinks one gets from a complaints process) is to – wait for it – respond on your own blog.

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