PM Brown Announces the Permanent High Office of Hacking and Tinkering in the Chancellory of the Exchequer

EFF, April 1:
What with all the hubbub over President Barack Obama's DVD box set naff gift to Prime Minister Gordon Brown being region-coded and locked-out, Her Majesty's Government has responded with the announcement of the Permanent High Office of Hacking and Tinkering in the Chancellory of the Exchequer (hereby known as PHOHTCE). Brown warned that this was an urgent matter to be resolved by Thursday, at which time the G-20 movie night will take place, adding emphatically "and there's no need to bish bash bosh about it."

The controversy made the papers when it was revealed that "King Ralph," one of the classic American films included in the set, was not available in a Region 2 coded DVD, since none of the discs were readable with the UK DVD players available at 10 Downing Street. To avoid diplomatic embarrassment as transatlantic relations grew tense over differences in approach to economic stimulus, the Prime Minister's office simply purchased new UK copies of all the DVDs. Her Majesty the Queen's office, who had similarly inquired about the availability of the movie in British format when she was offered it as a gift from President George W. Bush in 2004, had subsequently received a VHS copy complementary from the London offices of the Motion Picture Association (MPA).

Concerned about criticism over the narrow focus of the new office, Prime Minister Brown reminded the press corps that both Afghanistan and Iraq will be implementing anti-circumvention provisions in their copyright laws in the coming year as a priority of the United States Trade Representative for the region. "This is the time for the new generation to continue the heroic work of Bletchley Park," referring to the World War II British codebreakers.
For more, see the full EFF article. Don't forget to place tongue firmly in cheek beforehand.


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