Wikileaks confirms AFACT acted as a front for the MPAA in the iiNet case

Via a tweet from iiNet, who were sued by AFACT in the Australian Federal Court, this comment on the case from a US cable released by Wikileaks:

Despite the lead role of AFACT and the inclusion of Australian companies Village Roadshow and the Seven Network, this is an MPAA/American studios production. Mike Ellis, the Singapore-based President for Asia Pacific of the Motion Picture Association, briefed Ambassador on the filing on November 26. Ellis confirmed that MPAA was the mover behind AFACT’s case (AFACT is essentially MPAA’s Australian subcontractor; MPAA/MPA have no independent, formal presence here), acting on behalf of the six American studios involved. MPAA prefers that its leading role not be made public.

It also appears the Australian companies involved needed some persuasion to be involved – I wonder if it involved any of the folding paper/plastic type of persuasion ?

AFACT and MPAA worked hard to get Village Roadshow and the Seven Network to agree to be the public Australian faces on the case to make it clear there are Australian equities at stake, and this isn’t just Hollywood “bullying some poor little Australian ISP.”

They also go into the expected reasons why they picked iiNet – mainly that they weren’t Telstra (they were scared of them).

Belgrave Lantern Parade

Saturday 18th June was the Belgrave Lantern Parade, here’s the best of my shots from that night. Taken with Nikon D90 and Nikkor f/1.8 50mm lens.

UFO: Close Encounter of the Lantern Kind Large Bird Lantern

Rudy the One Man Band with Fellow Travellers Light Jacket

Sun Face Dalek

Shedding Fire Fireballs

Throwing Fireballs Falling Fire

Caught in the Act Fire Trails 6

All CC BY licensed, click on them to go to see them on Flickr for license details and full size versions.

A Weekend at Welshmans Reef

Donna and I went up to Welshmans Reef near Maldon in the goldfields area of central Victoria to visit some friends who’d moved up there a few months ago. They’ve got a lovely old miners cottage which they’ve been working hard on doing up (we were their first visitors) and Donna and I had a great time up there. Being so far away from any sizeable city means there is very little light pollution and so we were treated to a wonderful view of the Milky Way with the various dark nebula being easy to see, especially the Coalsack. I also saw, for the first time, both the Large and Small Megellanic Clouds. No astrophotography I’m afraid as I’d forgotten my Nikon and so only had my Nokia N900 with me!

We took a couple of trips in to Maldon and saw the sunset from the old poppet lookout tower on Mount Tarrangower on Sunday night:

Sunset from Mount Tarrangower, Maldon

plus their Easter Parade on the Monday afternoon which had some great vintage vehicles and Ned Kelly on a Harley Davidson, but we couldn’t hang around for the raw egg throwing/catching competition. 😉

Vintage Mt Evelyn Fire Truck and Ladder from Maldon Easter Parade Ned Kelly on a Harley Davidson at the Maldon Easter Parade

Instead we took a trip over to Porcupine Flat nearby to see the bucket dredge and dragline crane that were there:

Bucket Dredge at Porcupine Township, near Maldon Caterpillar tracks on old crane at Porcupine Township, Maldon Old crane at Porcupine Township, near Maldon

So a great time away and nice to have a chance to stop and smell the flowers somewhere nice and quiet.

Flower on friends property at Welshmans Reef near Maldon

Peter Norman, Australian Ostracised Olympic Hero

In the 1968 Mexico Olympics a famous image of Tommie Smith and John Carlos who had won gold and bronze in the 200m giving the black power salute on the medal podium was taken.

Tommie Smith and John Carlos give the black power salute at the 1968 Mexico olympics

It has become an iconic image of that time, but little is known these days of the role of the silver medalist in that photo. Peter Norman was a new star in running and broke the world record in the heats, but he was also brought up in a Salvation Army family and to think about looking after his fellow humans. This excellent BBC news article about both the 40th anniversary of the event and the 2008 film “Salute” says, his choice on that day had lasting effects:

The three were waiting for the victory ceremony when Norman discovered what was about to happen. It was Norman who, when John Carlos found he’d forgotten his black gloves, suggested the two runners shared Smith’s pair, wearing one each on the podium. And when, to the crowd’s astonishment, they flung their fists in the air, the Australian joined the protest in his own way, wearing a badge from the Olympic Project for Human Rights that they had given him.

The American’s were kicked out of their olympic team immediately, but the repercussions for Peter Norman were more subtle. As the article says:

Seen as a trouble-maker who had lent a hand to those desecrators of the Olympic flag, he was ostracised by the Australian establishment. Despite qualifying 13 times over and being ranked fifth in the world, he was not sent to the following Munich games, where Australia had no sprinter for the first time in the Olympics. Norman retired soon afterwards without winning another title.

This continued right through to the 2000 Sydney Olympics where Peter Norman was the only Australian Olympian excluded from the VIP lap of honour, 36 years after his original action. Whilst the Australians may have ignored him others decided that this was too much.

But the US athletics team were not going to ignore this omission. They invited Norman to stay at their own lodgings during the games, and welcomed him as one of their own. In an extraordinary turn of events, it was hurdling legend Ed Moses who greeted him at the door, and that year’s 200m champion Michael Johnson who hugged him, saying: “You are my hero.”

He died in 2006, after that having seen an early version of the film his nephew had made bringing all three athletes together for the first time to tell the story of that iconic event. Both Tommie Smith and John Carlos gave eulogies and were pallbearers at his funeral.

“SuperMoon” Over Cardinia Reservoir

So according to NASA:

Full Moons vary in size because of the oval shape of the Moon’s orbit. It is an ellipse with one side (perigee) about 50,000 km closer to Earth than the other (apogee): diagram. Nearby perigee moons are about 14% bigger and 30% brighter than lesser moons that occur on the apogee side of the Moon’s orbit.

Saturday 19th March was meant to be one such and whilst a difference of about 14% isn’t that much to the naked eye I thought it’d be interesting to try and get some photos of the moon anyway. I looked at Google Earth and saw that the moon would be rising over Cardinia Reservoir as seen from the wall of the dam, so that seemed a perfect spot to go. I’d already been there that morning for a walk and got this shot of the early morning sun over the water with my Nokia N900 cameraphone:

Early morning sun over Cardinia Reservoir

So that evening Donna and I headed over to the reservoir with cameras and a tripod and got some nice shots of both the sunset (using the Nikon D90’s “LiveView” mode to avoid looking through the viewfinder) and the “supermoon” itself.

Sunset from Cardinia Reservoir Sunset from Cardinia Reservoir

The "SuperMoon" through trees at Cardinia Reservoir "SuperMoon" over Cardinia Reservoir