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consultation: commercialisation and children April 7, 2008

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Today, the UK’s Department for Children, Schools and Families announced a study of the impact of the commercial world on children’s wellbeing. There are three versions of the consultation exercise for this study: one for children and younhg people; one for parents and one for interested parties (who are Academics, industry, NGOs and other stakeholders). The descriptions of the consultation vary a little in the different versions (although none is very detailed), and the young person’s online response form asks whether the respondent is over or under 19. It’s not clear from the DfES website what steps are being taken to publicise the consultation, and to reach the different target groups – listing 3 separate versions of the consultation on the consultations section of the website on its own isn’t probably very effective.

melton mowbray pork pies April 5, 2008

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If the EU’s Member States don’t object within the next 6 months, Melton Mowbray pork pies will only be able to be made near Melton Mowbray. The notice in the EU’s Official Journal describes some of the history of the pie:

From the middle of the eighteenth century seasonal foxhunters began to centre their hunting activities on the town of Melton Mowbray. During the autumn and winter months, pigs were slaughtered, pork pies were made. These pies were carried in the pockets of the hunt servants to be eaten as snacks as they moved the horses around the villages at the convenience of the wealthy foxhunter. These delicious simple peasant pies soon came to the notice of the hard riding fox hunter who then began to carry them in pouches and pockets to eat while involved in the chase.
These wealthy seasonal hunters took such a liking to the splendid pies that were served on their breakfast table that they expected them to be served at their London clubs. In 1831, Edward Adcock commenced exporting pork pies from Melton Mowbray to London using the daily Leeds to London stagecoach. So the commercialisation and promotion of the Melton Mowbray pork pie began.

Melton Mowbray has been producing these pies for a long time, although given that fox hunting was banned in the UK under the Hunting Act 2004, and the traditional pies are now sold in supermarkets, one wonders about the continuing relevance of the historical description. Melton Mowbray itself hasn’t changed as much as some other places over the last century or so:

the uk and the rome 1 regulation April 3, 2008

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The UK’s Ministry of Justice has published a consultation paper suggesting that changes to the proposed Rome I regulation (on applicable law) make it acceptable for the UK to opt in, and seeking views by June 25th, although the paper makes it clear that some people’s views are more desired than others’:

The consultation is open to everyone, but is particularly aimed at key stakeholders, especially those involved in the regular use of cross-border contracts such as participants in financial markets and international business contracting in the UK.

See also the Conflict of Laws blog entry.

presentations i wish i'd heard April 3, 2008

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This one by Richard Bartle. There are some provocative comments about law and mmos. For example, looking back from 2018, he says:

The main legal issues that brought down mmos were:
– Applying the laws wrongly
– Unfair contract laws
– Intellectual property laws
– Gambling/gaming laws
– Anti-Money-laundering laws
– Taxation laws
– Mad patent laws

And there are details. Unsurprisingly, law isn’t the only topic on which he makes provocative comments…..

Seen via Raph Koster.

avatars in congress April 2, 2008

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The House Committee on Energy and Commerce subcommittee on telecommunications and the internet held a hearing on Online Virtual Worlds: Applications and Avatars in a User-Generated Medium yesterday (april fools’ day) while Stagecoach Island was trying to persuade people that they could send smells through the internet. Phillip Rosedale of Second Life reassured the committee that:

Because there are a variety of conflicting gambling laws around the world, we chose last year to ban games of chance in Second Life. Residents are not permitted to operate casinos taking “virtual currency” on games such as Baccarat, Blackjack, Keno, Roulette, Pachinko, Gow, Poker, and any other game, new or old, that relies on chance. This policy also prohibits sports betting. Our “G-team” actively searches for such activities, and where we discover gambling, we remove all related objects from the in-world environment. We take escalated measures against egregious or repeat offenders, including suspension from Second Life.

Seen via Terranova where Greg Lastowka and Robert Bloomfield noted the focus on SL.