Raif Baddawi

A Saudi blogger who was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes received the first 50 of his 1,000 lashes today (Friday) in a public flogging that commenced after morning prayers outside a mosque in Jiddah.

London-based human rights group Amnesty International said Raif Baddawi will receive 50 lashes once a week for the next 20 weeks.

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Copyright trolls

If you own a blog or website, chances are you have received an email or letter from a law firm or photo agency demanding payment for a copyrighted photo you posted years ago and long since forgotten about.

These emails/letters are being sent en masse by a new breed of online predator known as the "Copyright Troll." Copyright Trolls extort money from bloggers and website owners by threatening legal action if you do not "settle" their copyright violation claims.

Thanks to a loophole in the copyright law, shady law firms and photo agencies are going after bloggers with demands for payments of $3,000 to $4,000 per image to make their problems go away.

The law firms and photo agencies usually go after small website owners and bloggers who will quickly pay their extortion demands without fighting back.

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