Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is scheduled to open in the UAE on 28th December. Whatever the actual reasons may be, the official line is that it clashes with Peter Jackson's King Kong, which has just opened.

The local free newspaper, 7DAYS has been campaigning to get the release date preponed: "Why should we have to wait for six weeks?" Today's paper is triumphant. The headline appears to suggest that the UAE release is now 21st December, before Christmas (Huzzah!)

But as the big print giveth, the small print taketh away. There will be one special one-off showing on 21st December, at which the cinema will be packed, doubtless with the Annoying Ring Tone Owner's Club. Hoi polloi will still have to wait until the 28th or later.

On page 2 of the same newspaper, an article reports how s0rryduba!.b10g$p0t.c0m (with digits and punctuation changed into lower-case letters) has been banned here. A blow to free speech it may be. But criticising the telecomms monopoly is criticising the government, and the latter is against the law.

I shall have to be careful about what I post!

Edited on 11th December 2005 to add: I see that Eisalat has unblocked s0rryduba! But the owner of the blog has now taken down the entire text.

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