Saturday, March 18, 2006

John Howard's official site?


Rabee Tourky points out that the Government has acted to close down a site of Richard Neville that parodies John Howard's official site. See here for comment and for a mirror of the apparently offensive posting. There is a long discussion over at Larvatus Prodeo.

Noboby should be publicly misrepresented but this seems a heavy-handed action. The satire is obvious to anyone who knows Australian politics and the satirical site probably wouldn't be read (or understood) by others. And there is no question that we have the right to satirise our pollies.

5 comments:

Rabee said...

His problem was that he registered the domain name with Melbourne IT.

I don’t know why anyone would register his or her domain name with Melbourne IT.

Compared with various other domain name companies, Melbourne IT is both incompetent and not customer friendly.

The best-known example of their incompetence is the transfer of the panix.com domain name
(see http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/01/19/panix_hijack_more/) without authorization. The site was offline for a number of days because Melbourne IT is closed on weekends.

I wouldn’t trust my most obscure domain name to Melbourne IT.

If you are thinking of buying Melbourne IT services, then you should first read this gem:
http://icann-news.blogspot.com/2006/02/melbourne-it-accused-of-facilitating.html

I expect a domain name registrar to fight tooth and nail before blocking my domain name because some government official complained.

Sam Ward said...

I have to disagree Harry.

1) The satire was not obvious at all, it fooled at least 2 left-wing sites that I know of, and probably more.

2) The design of the site was directly copied from the PM's own site, which is clear copyright infringement.

There are plenty of satirical websites like The Chaser who do this sort of thing on a daily basis, but they do NOT attempt to make their site look like the official government site.

That is what they did wrong.

hc said...

Sam, Can you recall the two left-wing sites that were fooled? I mean these remarks are so away from John Howard's style - he would put such 'in house' remarks on his own official website? I agree they should not have mimicked that website's layout but the content I thought was gritty, grim satire. And they are fair comment on some of the misleading information we have been fed about the war.

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