Because hey, no one would read those rants if it wasn’t for Google, right?

Apparently, if someone makes defamatory remarks on a website that appears on Google’s search results, it’s the search engine’s fault—at least in Australia, anyways.  The Guardian is one of many international news sites reporting that an Australian music promoter, Milorad Trkulja, has successfully sued the Silicon Valley giant for 200-grand “over material online, which linked him with criminal figures in Melbourne.”  Turns out the guy caught a stray bullet in ’04, but it wasn’t a mob hit.  Besides, anyone who’s seen that terrible Get Shorty sequel knows that when the mob gets involved in the music business, consequences will never be the same!  (Especially when they get The Rock to play a gay bodyguard…)

In any case, while this ruling wouldn’t apply outside of the Land Down Under, it could potentially set a global precedent, as The Guardian’s David Banks writes.  “If the Australian decision is followed by courts elsewhere search engines and platform providers will have to be a lot quicker in dealing with requests to take down material when they are contacted by a potential claimant and they will have to be more responsive to requests to sever links to defamatory content if their ‘not our responsibility, contact the webmaster’ response opens them up to liability.”  Then again, one has to wonder what sort of SEO wizardry has allowed such completely non-factual pages to appear so highly in Google’s search rankings in the first place…

That said, just because someone can now sue Google, it doesn’t mean the web providers are out the clear, either—as long as they’ve got some money, mind you.  The Guardian also notes that Trkulja “had already won $225,000 damages against Yahoo, which hosted the site concerned, in March.”  No word as to what he plans to do with his winnings, but you can probably expect some bitchin’ gigs to hit Melbourne in 2013. ;)

And hey, even if he’d lost the case, Trkulja would have cleared his reputation based on the publicity factor alone.  You can no longer read about the promoter’s fabricated gangland ties on Google, as the first page of results for his name only shows sites related to his court case.  I guess being known in the music business as “the guy who sued Google” beats being “the man with the mob,” right?

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COMMENT OF THE DAY: Prehistoric Playboy a bastion of journalistic excellence?

From: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2161118/Aboriginal-erotic-rock-art-proves–28-000-years-ago–men-ONE-thing-minds.html

Australian archeologists have uncovered cave drawings, reported to be 28,000 years old, of our early ancestors doin’ the nasty.  No word as to whether they also uncovered service pieces on how to hook up expensive stereo equipment…

Articles or not, I’m sure that cave was very informative for many generations. ;)

Dirty Deeds Done With Sheep…

It may be raining cats and dogs today in Toronto, but last night in Melbourne, Australia, it was raining sheep.  The Associated Press is reporting that a truck with some 400 woolly passengers overturned on a highway overpass, “causing sheep to rain down on the freeway below.”

Several cars on the Princess Highway were damaged by the flock, and paramedics were reporting several injuries to both human and livestock.  On Wheels 24, a driver said: “We looked up and we could see the truck flip on its side. The next minute we were underneath and it rained sheep.  Raining sheep doesn’t happen every day.”  I suppose it only occurs on Wooly Wednesdays, then?

Alas, while AC/DC has yet to immortalize this incident in song, there is a rather clever parody by Seattle DJ Bob Rivers that aptly sums up the situation.  Oi! Oi! Oi!

Hurt while having sex on a business trip? No worries, mate!

An Australian woman who was injured while having sex in a hotel room will receive a Worker’s Comp payout as per a Federal Court ruling, according to news.com.au.  And no, she’s not a prostitute, either.

The woman who cannot be named (for fear of embarrassment), an employee of the Human Relations Section of the Commonwealth Government in her late thirties, successfully filed a claim for facial and psychological injuries after a glass light fixture fell off the wall when she was getting in on in November ’07.  As it turns out, she happened to be on a business trip, where she met a special friend for some fun time after dinner.

Her lawyer swayed Justice John Nicholas with the argument that sex was “ordinary incident of life” in a hotel room, and Justice Nicholas concurred, stating that she would’ve received Worker’s Comp for any “other lawful recreational activity” that might have led to injury in her room.

Which begs the question, if prostitution is legal in Columbia and let’s say a Secret Service agent on duty was injured by a pimp for not paying the full amount, would he be able to file a claim?  Only if he was a member of the Australian Secret Service, I suppose…

“He just smiled, and gave me an Australia sandwich…”

In a shocking story from the Land Down Under, Kraft has revealed that it’s changing the name of Vegemite, the national food of Australia, to, well, Australia.

 

Apparently, this is being done to celebrate the spread’s 89th(!) anniversary and as a promotional tie-in with Australia Day, which I presume is a lot like Canada Day, cept with more shrimp on the barbie, and Bryan Adams being nowhere in sight.

Mind you, this change isn’t permanent, apparently.  According to News.com.au, “The last time Kraft tried to rebrand a Vegemite product, a cheesier version of the spread which they called “iSnack 2.0″, it lasted only five days on the shelves before it was met with huge public backlash for daring to play with the national brand.”  You don’t mess with breakfast, mate!

Alas, tis probably just as well that it’s only a one-time thing, as Men At Work will not be forced to change the words to the Australian national anthem as a result.  “Australia sandwich” just doesn’t have the same ring to it, plus it has one syllable too many…

One could only hope that Kraft would follow suit and rechristen Kraft Dinner after its country of origin.  Opening a box of Canada for dinner seems much more appealing, dontcha think?