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July 17, 2004

Mebi it's because I'm a londoner

So, NTL, is it a megabit line or a mebibit line?

Posted by Tom Dolan at July 17, 2004 09:42 AM

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I write here to inform you of the really quite shocking actions being
perpetuated by the UK cinema chain Odeon against a disabled Scottish
boy Matthew Somerville.

9 year old Matthew suffers from the rare, medically unknown condition
of "Shatner’s Palsy" which corrodes un-oxygenated body tissue. Doctors
work hard on a cure, but admit to the possibility of a fatal remission
within 70 years. Despite this, Matthew continues to brighten the lives
of everyone he meets.

Incredibly, despite having weak arms, he is still able to operate a
computer using a deviously constructed input device, consisting of a
covered spherical ball and a pair of single-pole-single-throw latches.
Resting his scrawny hand on the tool, any small movements are converted
to gigabyte digital input signals.

The disabled boy constructed a special film portal for the disabled.
It was very popular, receiving over 20 "hits" a month. Webmaster
experts based at Durham University examined his JavaScript code using
remote debugging techniques and proclaimed it "fully polymorphic,
slightly recursive and 100% XML ready".

Despite this, Odeon cinemas have ordered him to "cease and desist"
using the recently enacted European Millennium Copyright Act (EMCA) to
copyright the notion of "film discussion" by a person and/or persons
"without full limb mobility". They have demanded his website is put in
the Windows XP recycle bin, and insisted "it should then be emptied".

This cannot be allowed to happen. The disabled should have almost as
many rights as normal people, at least with regard to discussing films.
Luckily for us, people power works, and that’s where you come in.

How can you help disabled boy Matthew Somerville?
a) Email Odeon customer support (info@odeonuk.com) and tell them you are
boycotting their chain (Rocky 6 excepted) while they continue
their legal actions against disabled boys.
b) Email Odeon UK chairman Luke Vetere (lvetere@odeonuk.com) and insist
that the website be retrieved from the recycle bin, wiped clean, and
uploaded back onto the UK internet web system using FTP packet protocols.
c) Email and post this message to everybody you know (several times), and
on every "blog" site you can find.

In addition, why not join Matthew in his separate quest to enter the
"Guinness Book of Records" with the record of "largest collection of
used cinema ticket stubs". Matthew is aiming for over a thousand.
Send them, perhaps with a letter of encouragement to

Matthew Somerville
Guinness Record Attempt
109 Eastern Drive

Remember, only by working together can we can beat an evil law, and
brighten the failing heart of a young disabled angel.

Posted by: Universal society against anti-spastic copyrights at October 16, 2004 02:36 AM

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