Underbelly shoots pirates. Burnt last year by rampant piracy of its hit series Underbelly, the Nine Network this year is offering free legal downloads of Series Two. There are some restrictions, such as only being able to watch the download in Australia, but it seems to be working. Downloads from P2P networks of the show are way down on last year, even after taking into account that most downloading the show in 2008 were Victorian.

Now we’re talking, until you get the bill. Telstra announced Tuesday that it will start rolling out 100mpbs broadband to Australian capital cities, starting with Melbourne.

If you live online, the idea will have you salivating, although with Telstra providing the service it won’t come cheap. The rollout has serious political implications for the Rudd Government’s National Broadband Network, but more interestingly, it comes after Telstra publicly stated that it couldn’t and/or wouldn’t roll out a high speed network without Government support.

But what they failed to mention in the announcement is that the capacity started deploying in January, as revealed by Stilgherrian in Crikey on 12 January.

The best things in life are free. Facebook this week simultaneously launched Hebrew and Arabic versions of their popular social networking site. Several wire services described the rollout as coming from “engineers”. While engineers were responsible for pressing the go button, volunteers take the credit for the translations. Despite US$516 million in funding and revenue of around US$300 million a year, 850 Arabic speakers and 870 Hebrew speakers gave their time for free to help out.

What copyright law? As reported by Margaret Simons in Crikey Tuesday, the Australian online community is up in arms over a video yanked from YouTube on copyright grounds that took the p-ss out of the lackluster digital television offering Freeview.

What Margaret didn’t add is that under both Australian and US copyright law, parody works of this kind are protected free speech. Without getting all legal in this column, see The Copyright Act 1968 Section 41A for the Australian law, and the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107 for the US equivalent. YouTube though shouldn’t be blamed in this instance. If the complaint came under US law (where the video was hosted), they are obliged to pull the video until a counter claim is lodged.

Apple doesn’t like buttons. While music fans rejoiced at the news of a new buttonless iPod Shuffle, tech blogs buzzed over a report that Apple has ordered 10 inch (25.4cm) touchscreen displays from a Taiwanese factory. What hasn’t been nailed down is what Apple might do with the displays. Suggestions include an eBook reader to take on Amazon’s Kindle, a touchpad computer (if you like, a giant iPhone), or a small netbook laptop similar to the Asus EeePC.

The ABC wouldn’t do this. The BBC News Technology programme “Click” deliberately hacked into 22,000 PCs worldwide to prove how easy it was. The BBC defended the show, noting that “the programme did not access any personal information on the infected PCs and the botnet was destroyed after finishing the experiment.” Let’s hope that’s a reasonable defence in a court of law. [via The Next Web]

Dumbest thing you’ll read this week. So your house has been broken in to, and the thief is still in your house. Do you A: call the cops, or B: Twitter it. COO of popular web video company Revision3 David Prager picked B.

Duncan Riley is the publisher of The Inquisitr and a former reporter for tech start up news site TechCrunch.

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