"Cameras in your house"... Have you given any thought to these new "gestural interfaces" that are supposed to replace games controllers and remote controls? How do they work? Why, by putting a camera in your house, usually attached to a device connected directly to the web. What could possibly go wrong...?
For years there have been author-destroying institutions in nearly every city in America. They allow anyone to go in and read any copyright-protected book they want without ANY compensation going to the author. Hundreds, if not thousands of people will read the book, and all the author gets is the pittance they receive for the inital sale of the book to the institution.
I publish a paper listing the best prostitutes and where to find them?
That would be legal in the UK; we have a few websites rating prostitutes. As long as they are clearly independent sites doing the rating they're breaking no laws. e.g. http://www.punternet.com
Give directions to crack houses?
That would be great! Just as long as you were obliged to keep the info up-to-date. When they shut down the crack house in the flat upstairs from me I still had more than six months of their customers buzzing my door to be let in to the building. If they could have just checked a website it would have saved me a *ton* of hassle.
Have a website detailing all of the criminal services available in town and where to get them?
A long time ago I was involved in the startup of a website rating website called "Zoom.com". The idea was that peopl;e would take charge of a particular category or categories and publish reviews of and links to websites that were good examples of content within that category.
For the first eight months or so it was very good, then it was bought over by a big American company. They went through the database deleting sites willy-nilly because those sites said something that might "encourage illegal activity" in the US.
I eventually dropped all association with them after a gardening site, rated top for information on tomato growing, was dropped (there was no appeals process) because someone in the comments section had suggested that the site might be useful to cannabis growers. At about the same time they introduced a "verification process" for volunteers where we had to go down a list of 20 statements and check the ones that would lead to a site being rejected. If we got it wrong our submission privileges were suspended for a week and then we had to take the test again.
The problem was that only sites that might encourage activities that were illegal in America were being targeted. This started out as a multi-national web project, but the parochial views of the company that took it over just ruined it.
When AllOfMP3.com was still trading, I took the opportunity to download the whole of my vinyl collection as MP3s for 10p a track. This seemed fair, as I had already paid for the right to listen to the music, and a small percentage of that 10p was going back to the record companies. In effect, I was paying someone else to digitise "my" music for me, using better hardware than I could afford.
If I'd had to buy it from iTunes and the like it would have been cheaper to replace my broken turntable.
"Except as a consumer, it's his responsibility to read the find print on his contract ..."
It's a bit rich complaining that people don't read the screenfuls of legalese that comes with a product when you don't even read your own article properly.
The problem is that the BBC are looking for excuses to shut down websites, particularly their messageboards. When, say, three or four years ago, a news story might point to a BBC messageboard for further discussion, now it'll point to Facebook or Twitter. Their long term goal is to shut down their messageboards and replace them with "Blogs" where only BBC employees can start a thread, so only things they officially sanction can be discussed.
"It shouldn't be hard for someone to start their own DNS server"
"Private" DNS servers have been around forever. I was registered to a Hack0r(sic) one back in 2000. All it did was (allegedly) to add their own "Warez" sites under a .warez TLD, but as it transpired they were happily redirecting all the major banking websites to early phishing scams.
Stick to Google (188.8.131.52) or OpenDNS. (184.108.40.206)
The problem, as I see it, is that a Blogger who has been sent an MP3 music track to feature on their blog may have nothing more than the email it came attached to, which wouldn't stand as a "Contract" in a court of law. As with a shrinkwrap license, it would only gain the status of a "contract" if the end user had to sign something physical to show they had accepted the terms.
So I still contend that in these circumstances the permission would be revocable.