Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Odex: The Appeal.

I never figured I'd post an Odex entry again after all this while. After all, the hoo-hah has largely died down ever since Odex, sensibly, took into consideration the fallacies in its actions and offered an olive branch to illegal anime downloaders.

Todayonline's article on the case.

Yesterday's verbal decision by Justice Woo Bih Li in the High Court finally clarified some of the issues which had been raised by the earlier Singnet and Starhub decisions. Odex lost the pacnet appeal and was not entitled to obtain the identities of the the alleged downloaders from the ISPs for the simple reason that the Copyright Act only empowers the owner or exclusive licensee of the infringed work to take action for copyright infringement.

As Odex was neither the owner nor exclusive licensee of the illegally downloaded anime, it did not possess the requisite locus standi (legal interest) to commence the action for copyright infringement and compel the ISPs to release the identities of subscribers who were allegedly illegally downloading anime.

Like Jonathan Kok, an Intellectual Property lawyer at Harry Elias Partnership, commented, while the ruling did clarify that the right to take action for copyright infringement did not extend to non-exclusive licensees like Odex and that the Japanese companies as the copyright owners had to take direct action themselves; that does not change the fact that downloading copyrighted materials illegally amounts to copyright infringement which remains an actionable wrong.

Indeed, Justice Woo held that the six Japanese animation companies as the copyright owners are entitled to obtain the identities of the 500 or so Pacnet subscribers from Pacnet at the cost of $13.50 per IP address. Odex, meanwhile was ordered to pay Pacnet costs of $20,000. So what does this mean?

Other than confirmation and perhaps the sense of justification amongst netizens, anime and non-anime fans alike that Odex never had the authority to compel ISPs to release the identities of alleged downloaders and arbitrarily send out the letters of demand, nothing else has changed. The crux of the matter remains the same: downloading anime illegally (ie: without the copyright owners' consent) is wrong and the copyright owner or his exclusive licensee is perfectly entitled to commence an action against the infringing parties in order to protect his copyright.

And I think after all this while and all the publicity this Odex affair has received, if you're still bit torrenting or downloading anime and get caught, you ought to be shot. Because really, you have no one to blame but yourself.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

On Tenterhooks...

Today, sitting in the mailbox with the self-explanatory title in CAPS, was this cheerless piece of news. ====================x==========================


The PLC Examination results will posted on the Board of Legal Education’s website ( under Announcements from 2.00 pm on Wednesday, 30 January 2008 to Wednesday, 6 February 2008.

In the interests of security and confidentiality, please note that the Board of Legal Education will not disclose any part of any student’s results over the telephone. We seek your understanding and co-operation in this respect.

Postgraduate Professional Legal Education
Which while accepted with quiet resignation as an inevitable eventuality was still much earlier than expected and hence disturbing. Strange though to be on such tenterhooks, I doubt I've ever felt this way since the A level results were released so long ago.

But then again the last (at least for the foreseeable future) exam I'll ever be taking in my life should probably warrant that familiar feeling anxiety and mental hand-wringing. Still I suppose it's better to get it over and done with before Chinese New Year. I guess.

Ah well, wish me luck. Even if it's too late for that... lol.

Monday, January 28, 2008

It Must have been Love.

How does one dismiss six years of relationship? With a wave of the hand? Writing down those years and memories to just a passing whim? You don't. You can't. Not if there's a shred of humanity left in you. For convenient as it may sound, turning your feelings and emotions on and off like a switch is impossible. So you remember and accept that those memories, those emotions, those experiences, will always be a part of your life, bittersweet though they may be.

6 Years 1 Month 14 Days ago, the first time I met Sean, after a month of conversing on the phone, I always knew I wanted him. As a 'BF' preferably (because at that stage, getting attached, to me at least, wasn't something that I agonised over), failing which, 'a friend' with an option for more. Having just broken up recently, he was understandably reluctant. However, neither that nor the daunting task of convincing him to be able to trust and take that leap of faith again were sufficient to deter me. There certainly was a healthy dose of lust but lust was a cruel master I was familiar with; one that promises much but delivers little and this was different. The feelings and attraction were mutual and with gusto and great determination I pursued, that one goal in mind.

What happened next as they say is history. The first six months were blissful. I was happy and truly truly in love. In fact as I told Sean, if during those first six months I had to die for him, I would have had done so willingly without a moment's hesitation. Cheesy or corny as it may sound now, the intentions and feelings were genuine, that was how unshakeable and concrete my love for him was.

Then somewhere, somehow along the way, the love that I'd once so unflinchingly stood by petered out. It's always sad when love dies, doubly so when it occurs inspite of the lack of any extraneous factors or fault of either party. And much as I tried, my subsequent efforts to resurrect it in its original form never really succeeded. I don't know, I'm so drained. Even typing this entry took a little over 6 hours after incorporating work.

It must have been love. But it's over now..

It must have been Love - Roxette.

Lay a whisper on my pillow
Leave the winter on the ground
I wake up lonely, is there a silence
In the bedroom and all around

Touch me now, I close my eyes
And dream away...

It must have been love, but it's over now
It must have been good, but I lost it somehow
It must have been love, but it's over now
From the moment we touched till the time had run out

Make believing we're together
That I'm sheltered by your heart
But in and outside I turn to water
Like a teardrop in your palm

And it's a hard winter's day
I dream away...

It must have been love, but it's over now
It was all that I wanted, now I'm living without
It must have been love, but it's over now
It's where the water flows, it's where the wind blows

It must have been love, but it's over now
It must have been good, but I lost it somehow
It must have been love, but it's over now
From the moment we touched till the time had run out.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


It's over...

6 Years 1 Month and 4 Days of laughter, tears, passion and unrivalled companionship. Over. The journey terminated as abruptly as it began.

All because I always assumed this companionship, this ability to feel so comfortable, be so wanted and commit oneself to another so fully must surely be that elusive thing called Love. It wasn't magical but I was content.

Content even to stay committed and dedicated in the relationship for the rest of my life. We had it all planned out. Car, Condo, even potential locations. But the heart is a funny thing. I'm not even sure I like it much right now. The head never fails. The heart always does.

Just when you think it is secure, kept under lock, stock and barrel from the firm commitment and quiet dedication you have affirmed so often, so strongly to the other party, in glowing contentment; someone comes along and the heart leaps, stirs and with a rousing cry, breaks free from the carefully wrought restrictions.

And the difference is appallingly, screamingly clear. The previously unwavering resolve of dedication and commitment, that warm glow of blissful companionship unable to quench the raging fires that burn within; your thoughts, feelings and entire being now completely focused on that other someone.

Let me be clear. I am wrong. Have been and will always be. The fact that I failed to distinguish unrivalled companionship from love does not change the fact that he, an innocent party, has to suffer for my stupidity. Again. But staying in the relationship out of a sense of duty and commitment is unfair to him and not an option, at all.

It's certainly not the other party's fault, the one who unwittingly made the heart militate so violently and laid bare the glaring, unavoidable difference. That person had and has no intention of playing such a part, even counselling in very firm terms not to throw away this six year relationship, to remain committed to the other party, to learn to remain focused.

But when you see the light, you cannot return to the mindless oblivion of darkness, soothing though it may be. I have gained nothing and lost everything. If I could force this unfathomable thing to love and learn to love a person, I would have done so without a moment's hesitation. If the heart could be blockaded, whipped into submission, I would have.

It however remains wild and untameable and frankly I'm quite sick of it. It would have been better if he had questioned me relentlessly as I expected or yelled at me as he was perfectly entitled to do so. Watching him twist the mug of tea in his hands as he twirled the tea bags while just nodding silently to everything I said was infinitely more disturbing.

We left in different directions with a curt nod and a ok let's go. And as I watched his departing back, a small part of me, indescribable yet tangible, died. Right now I just feel dead. No tears, no rage, no relief, nothing except a sense of finality and that what had to be done was done. Perhaps the tears will come, perhaps they won't.

A walking cadaver.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Like a Moth.

"Like a moth to a flame
Burned by the fire
My love is blind
Can't you see my desire?
" - That's the way Love goes. (Janet Jackson)

What the head knows, the heart not necessarily follows. What happens when an existence once thought absolute wavers? Like the rustling leaves on swaying branches, caressed by the bracing wind or a shower of auburn leaves over an autumn lake, the mirrored reflection of azure and crimson vanishing in a sea of ripples; the heart stirs and traipses to a different tune.

It takes two to tango. Tapping heels echoing through the darkened ballroom, he stops in a corner and turning, surveys the grey gloom in silence. Remembering the last dance, the colour, the gaiety, the passion. The thought of a new dance sends a heady rush of adrenaline, and in quiet anticipation he waits, for his partner and the dance.

What the head elucidates, the heart obfuscates. Love is blind. And like a moth to the flame I am drawn. Burnt by my desire.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Whoops now.

I absolutely love this song. Janet Jackson, for all her purported failings including the infamous nipple baring 'wardrobe malfunction' incident, is a really talented woman. I re-discovered this gem by accident while searching for the lyrics of her more popular hit single, 'That's the Way Love goes'.

Which brought vividly to mind memories of bopping to the song, Whoops Now, with a chunky National walkman then rewinding the tape just to play the song again.

It's a light hearted, happy tune that's handy for different situations ranging from brushing off the boss's request to get some urgent OT work done to telling the other half, tongue-in-cheek, that sorry I can't go cause I'm having some fun in the sun with my friends.

Whoops Now

Friday morning and all my work is done
I've packed my bags
I'm on the run
I got a feeling that I'm gonna have some
Fun in the sun with my friends and he's got me goin

Whoops now
Sorry I can't go
Whoops now
Sorry I can't go
Whoops now
Sorry I can't go
Sorry I can't
Sorry I can't go now

Friday noon and my boss is on the phone
He's telling me that I can't leave home
An extra hand at work is what he's called for
He said we need you here
To my friends I'm goin

[CHORUS (2x)]

It makes no difference if you're off work or not
You dream your weekend hand on the doorknob
Out with your friends, hey, fun in the sun now
That's when the phone rings

Friday evening and I'm all alone at home
I know my friends are havin fun
I'll plan my weekend, damn it, leave the machine on
Next time he calls he'll hear my voice sayin loud and clear
[CHORUS (2x) w/ "I'm out havin fun in the sun with my friends"]

With my friends
With my friends
With my friends
With my friends

With Ann and Rusty
Tina and Moody
Ken and Nancy
Lynette and Tony oh oh oh

Lisa and Jimmy
Gwen and Julie
Kimble and Josie
Tish and Michael oh oh oh

Karen and Terry
Betta and Katie
Don and Kevin
Ricardo and Puffy oh oh oh

Come on you guys
Anguila here we come!
Here we come now
To the restaurants
(I'm starving! let's go)
For some lobster
And some sleeping
(some sleeping?)
And some you know what else
(what else?)
You know!
(no we don't know! like what else?)
(tiddlywinks? I thought you were talking about you know what)
What?(you know!)
I like that part too


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Menethil: Call to Arms.

"In memory of the pre-Burning Crusade WoW, when being 60 was godly and shamans, the bane of Alliance. ^^"

Errath the mage grimaced at the menacing black clouds rolling forth from the north, the constant flashes of sorcery confirming that this was no ordinary storm. From his vantage viewpoint on the hill overlooking the rapidly forming formations on the battlefield, he could see that the same unease affected the experienced warriors hardened as they were by countless battles. Yet they moved nary a muscle, their faces impassive, the sense of expectancy and tension, palpable.

Daemonara, his warlock ally, gave a little sigh and uttered," This storm isn't natural, it's a creature conjured by their shamans and druids." "And none of your kind aided in its summoning?" Errath couldn't resist jibing. "No more than any of you flashy mages could ever comprehend the Shadow." she snapped before continuing in a more even tone." I would recognise it otherwise." He nodded. "Magic is but a tool that has no master. They will be here soon." Turning, they silently eyed the approaching storm.

In the past few months, the damned Undead had together with their Horde allies, the Orcs, Taurens and Trolls, made an unprecedented push south of Undercity, the Undead Capital, for more land in an effort to consolidate a foothold in Khaz Modan and ultimately Azeroth. The small Alliance force at Refuge's Point outpost in the Arathi Highlands were caught unaware by the invaders and despite fighting vailantly, were soon overwhelmed through sheer numbers but not before getting off an urgent report of the perilous situation to Ironforge. The Arathi Highlands fell quickly and as the Horde advanced south into the Wetlands, even the irascible Darkiron Dwarves had to vacate their stronghold in Dun Modr. Unchecked, the Horde turned their attention to Menethil Harbour, the last major Alliance stronghold in the Wetlands. Should Menethil fall, the path to Ironforge & Stormwind, the Dwarf & Human capitals respectively, in the south would be clear and the Alliance lands be in great peril.

Broken from his reverie by commotion in the valley below, Errath spotted a brigade of Paladins riding in hard on their warhorses on the road from Ironforge. They were greeted with ragged cheers for arrogant and aloof as paladins occasionally were, they were always a succor to allies in battles, a bane of the undead and a counter to the mysterious magic the Horde shamans employed. Magic none in the Alliance could wield. Emerging from the gates of Menethil, the Night elf hunters and druids, fresh from the voyage from Darnassus in the east, were greeted with the same enthusiasm. Any help was welcome and the nightelves like all gathered here, had responded to the urgent call to arms.

The druids took up positions beside the cadres of priests and mages while the hunters melded into the shadows with their pets as they disappeared into the nearby forests. The warlocks stood apart whispering in a small group, the occasional imp a dead giveaway. The rogues as usual were no where to be seen.

"It's starting." Daemonara whispered, clutching her wand tightly. Errath leaned on his staff and as he looked on, the grey mist seemed to thicken and shimmer, the ether heavy with the taint of magic. The priests and druids led by Courtesanna must have sensed it too for they were gesturing feverishly with their hands as they uttered silent incantations. The mist shimmered more rapidly then abruptly broke as the priests managed to dispel the enemy's spell to reveal the Horde army. With a bestial roar, the invaders surged forward and were rewarded with a resounding cry as the warriors and paladins charged to meet them head on.

The battle was on with the ring of steel on steel echoing out and screams as friend and foe alike were struck down. The roiling black clouds unleashed occasional bolts of lightning that struck at nearby Alliance warriors, sending a few running away in panic but the priests were healing and aiding the injured as half the druids worked to negate the storm, the others shape shifting into bears and panthers before running in to join the battle.

Numerous pillars of flames appeared in the enemy lines, radiating outwards to consume the hapless ones in their path as the mages started to wreck havoc and unleash fiery destruction. A few braver ones moved closer to the front line, sending coruscating waves of flame into the enemy ranks or unleashing freezing winds. A number were cut down by the Horde shamans and their deadly chain lightning which scythed through multiple enemies. But the Horde had mages and priests too and they were wrecking as much chaos in the Alliance lines.

Suddenly, a shrill whistle rang out, discernable even over the sounds of chaos and all forms of beasts burst forth from the forest, panthers, bears, vampire bats, even the occasional Giant Turtle and hurtled towards the Horde Mages, tearing through their ranks, even as the hunters emerged, raining arrows and bullets down on them. Caught unaware, a number of mages were cut down where they stood before they rallied and focused their attention the new threat. Errath could see the usual fireball arcing out of the mess and smashing into a hunter, the beasts were however making life difficult for the mages who found it hard to fend them off while blasting their masters.

The priests noticing their predicament made a move to aid the mages but were abruptly ambushed by a dozen rogues who materialised amidst them and promptly began to assassinate them. The priests fought back and Errath saw a couple of rogues fall but the priests were frazzled and the Rogues had the element of surprise and more priests fell even as the mages cried out for healing which never came.

On the battlefield, the warlocks had appeared and summoning their demonic pets, had waded into battle with them, afflicting enemies with decripifying shadow spells and wrecking mayhem on both sides. Imps, Voidwalkers and Succubi were engaged in an orgy of blasting, mauling and whipping as warlocks of the opposing factions clashed. The shamans noticing the predicament of their mages and priests disengaged and split up to help their beleaguered allies. Looking at Daemonara, Errath nodded. She knew what she had to do.

Whispering a harsh incantation, Daemonara thrust her hands upwards and fire rained down from the sky pelting the enemy with flaming brimstone. The shamans faltered, desperately summoning totems to counter this sudden onslaught. Errath smiled. Unlike his fire wielding colleagues, he had always preferred its icy counterpart, the power to freeze the life out of enemies, even shattering their mortal bodies, hugely appealing. Raising his hand, Errath summoned the power of frost and unleashed a mighty blizzard, raining down icy destruction. The shamans were sent reeling and the plaintive cries of the enemy could be heard calling out to one another, lost in the sudden storm, as one by one the warmth and life in them fled.

Herrpay, a warlock of great power ran to the center of the rapidly faltering Horde line and opened a gateway into the Void from which flame and fury poured out, spilling around him in a storm of destruction. Though injured by the intense heat, Herrpay's spells and equipment protected him. The same could not be said for the Horde who fell like chaff in the wind.

As one, the remaining survivors of the erstwhile formidable Horde Army broke and fled. Or at least attempted to, for they were hampered by the severe chill in their bones, some even freezing on the spot. Cheko, Herrpay's eccentric mage lover, pursued them with a vengeance and unleashed frequents blasts of arcane explosions. The raging blizzard soon claimed the lives of the rest even as the warriors cut down the remaining foes.

Gazing down at the carnage below, bodies littering the charred and frost covered valley, Errath laughed at the victory on hand. The Horde invasion had been halted and it would be sometime before they would pose such a dire threat again. The Horde had again underestimated the Alliance, perhaps they would learn. Perhaps.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Lost and Found

Today around three, while everyone was gainfully occupied in the office, I was at Orchard Road. Granted, I was just passing by in a cab but still the feeling of being in town on a normal day during working hours was pleasantly surreal. The sight of a largely empty street, your odd foreigner or bunch of still-on-holiday varsity people strolling along, unhurried and carefree, brought back an inexplicable warm fuzzy feeling. Attendant with the short sharp tang of vinegary jealousy.

Those certainly were the days, when gallivanting around town at any hour was a choice we were free to make and did so with great frequency. Or the blissful choice of choosing whether to attend lectures like a good student or sleep in for the day. Which as far as I was concerned, really wasn't much of a choice I needed to make at all. One that alas remains a dream now, well at least for the next 35 years or so.

A fact that I am woefully reminded of from time to time, the most recent occasion, just this morning when the incessant thrilling of the alarm clock got me up at 6.45 am and bleary eyed after a night of grinding quests on the mage; I peeped at the clock, turned it off and went back to bed. Thinking as I did so, I'll just sleep in today, the lecture can be skipped. Before some subliminal subconscious scream rudely jolted me back to the wonderful world of reality where the hours are long and the money never enough that yes lectures can be skipped but there was something else called work. Ah the joys of sleeping in, cherish it while you can, those of you who can still do so.

I digress. If you were wondering what I was doing in a cab zipping through town on a wet, lazy Tuesday afternoon, no, I'm neither rich nor suicidal enough to hop on a cab for a joy ride around town even if I do feel the occasional pang of wistful longing. I was on my way down to the NUS law library to zap some obscure version of the ISA standard form building contract that was needed before proper advice could be dispensed to the clients. Incidentally, I only discovered today pursuant to a conversation over the phone with the librarian, that the library has three levels, not two. To Aileen's strident cries of horror and disgust. Which shows you how avid a user of the library I was.

Anyway now, you know why legal fees aren't cheap, disbursements for taxi fares, meetings, phone conversations, meals for all the meetings, overtime spent on the case, etc add up to a tidy sum. Which naturally is still nothing compared to the professional fees and court fees. But what the Client wants ( to be done, not the result), the Client usually gets (within reason and with our considered opinion). Hence your request for our advice on a certain matter would necessarily indemnify us for all reasonable and incidental costs incurred in and attendant to preparing the aforementioned advice as per your instructions.

And if you can write something like the previous sentence for 75% of the letter, it's apparently considered professional, sufficiently legal and usually enough to keep the clients happy. Though why people would want to read letters with more 'ins' in a paragraph than an entire newspaper article confounds me sometimes. Sean says "Well, people still want it to sound a little legalistic, they pay for it. And if they get a letter that sounds like something your average junior college kid would write, why the hell would they pay you?" Um for our expertise? Ah never mind, for now I am slowly mastering the art of archaic legalistic gobbledygook.

The client got a discount anyway, I lost the receipt for the taxi fare trip to the library. It's probably still lodged somewhere in the Institute of Singapore Architect's Conditions and Terms for Contract between the Main Contractor and Developer book that I planted between the pages as a bookmark prior to photocopying and merrily forgot about.

On the WoW front, I should hit 70 by the end of the month with a little luck and some focused questing. Today looks like it's going to be a wasted evening and just a couple of days ago, someone was telling me weekly maintenance down times are a thing of the past. Really ah Kate? Then why are the servers down for maintenance now? Which explains why I'm blogging. ^^

We did Naxxramas the other day just for kicks, Errath the level 64 mage tagging along with a bunch of 70s. It's sad to see how fast a level 60 elite 40 man instance gets cleared by about 25 or so 70s. Still I had fun tagging along in my tier 2 mage. I even got a Malice Stone Pendant drop. Cheap thrill but it was nice to see an instance that remained largely elusive when we were still peonic 60s. For now, the grind goes on. Both in game and out.

I'll stab you with my stick! Heeyaaahh!

Thursday, January 3, 2008


Yes yes, it's been long. But better late than never isn't it? And no the ironic thing is I've not been bogged down with work, well not just yet. I prefer to call it creative inertia, you have things to blog about but by the time you get back from work, wash up and realise there's only a precious few hours left before it's time to head to bed and well.. you just end up doing other things. I haven't even watched the past 3 episodes of Bleach.

And it doesn't help that after a year long hiatus, I restarted World of Warcraft after succumbing to my cousin's relentless tempting. His logging on Errath and getting an instant guild invite back to my old guild as well as a slew of OMG! Is that the real Errath Errath? was the final straw that broke this camel's back. So yes, I have been a happy noob exploring the new lands of Burning Crusade on both the mage and priest a whole year after it was received, only to see erstwhile proteges all decked out in Tier 4 and Tier 5 gear while I still run about in my Tier 2. ^^

Somethings however remain constant and immutable like porn, sex and the fact that you'll always find some piece of work sitting on your desk or lurking in your inbox like a rabid fury warrior in WSG. Back to work. All remaining 25 mins of it. Muhahahaha.