Friday, April 07, 2006

Drug users generate discontent at major Web portal

It was a very strange segment on Thursday's edition of The Footy Show, the most popular TV program about Australian Rules football. TFS reported that the AFL Players Association had won an injunction against two Web sites for publishing the names of three players who had allegedly tested positive for drugs as part of the AFL's new recreational drug testing policy.

The AFL has a three strikes policy for this new testing regime, in which only on the third strike is the player's name supposed to be made public, something which has caused much furore within the football community. News of the first positive came three weeks ago, and the positive tests and media pressure have been mounting ever since to the stage where there are now apparently 15 players with one strike, three of whom have two strikes.

The AFLPA injunction also covered any mention of the names of the Web sites whose users had published the names of the twice-caught trio. However, TFS chose to show vision of one of the Web sites in question during their recorded piece, including the full title of the forum thread topic and the nickname of the poster who allegedly first posted the players' names, but without revealing any identifying site logos. Anyone could have written down that thread title and Googled it to discover that the site in question was the #1 result in Google's search results. The site is a major international Web portal.

Now, is what TFS did against the terms as stipulated in the injunction? After all, they did not name the Web site, but anyone with a cursory knowledge of the Internet could deduce from their piece how to find it and thus to discover the three names for themselves. This is one of the many instances where the Internet dances a merry jig around legal norms.

Would it be unwise of me to even mention the thread title in question? Does that constitute a similar breach? How about the Google cache of the offending thread? What if I merely link to the Google search result? There, the ball is in Google's court now. The AFLPA can't sue me without suing Google.


Anonymous Phillip Molly Malone said...

Can't believe the names are still up!
Oh well, will be something to talk about in the podcast next week!
PS. How about those hawks!
PS. PS. You launching any time soon?

3:15 am, April 07, 2006  
Blogger Paul Montgomery said...

I can't believe it either, Phillip. Did someone forget to tell the local office they had an injunction against them?

3:17 am, April 07, 2006  
Anonymous Phillip Molly Malone said...

Interestingly enough a google blogsearch find a Blog with the names an a comment on it.

I wouldn't touch it with someone else 50 foot pole. It definitely has increase the traffic to my site a little for people searching on AFL and Drug.


4:33 pm, April 07, 2006  
Anonymous Rob Irwin said...

All it takes is one site to publish something like this and... whammo...

Still, rumour and innuendo has always been like this. I can't recall the story of a musician, news presenter and Coke bottle ever appearing in print anywhere... yet it's a story just about everyone aged around 30 seems to know... *cough, cough*

9:28 am, April 08, 2006  

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