Tag Archives | laws

How DMCA Can Be Abused to Silent Critics

In RIP! A REMIX MANIFESTO filmmaker Brett Gaylor explores issues of copyright in the information age, mashing up the media landscape of the 20th century and shattering the wall between users and producers.

In RIP! A REMIX MANIFESTO filmmaker Brett Gaylor explores issues of copyright in the information age, mashing up the media landscape of the 20th century and shattering the wall between users and producers.

Working for a media company, I understand the damage that illegal pirating can inflict. But I’m also guilty of doing it myself. The DMCA was meant to protect artists and their property, but it can also be used in dangerous ways. Take for example, the comic artist, Randy Queen, who filed a DMCA claim against critical posts about his work. He claimed they were infringing. They weren’t, but were removed nonetheless.

Queen has since backed down on his position.

via Comic Book Resources:

Widely ridiculed this week for filing copyright takedown notices and threatening legal action against a blog that criticized his artwork, Darkchylde creator Randy Queen now acknowledges his response “was the wrong one to take.”

“I have been having a very hard time in my personal life with the loss of my mother and my marriage having fallen apart and found myself in a very vulnerable and fragile state of mind,” he explained this morning in a Facebook post.

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LiveScience Asks: What Is Sodomy?


For something that so many cultural conservatives obsess over, there’s surprisingly little agreement over what constitutes sodomy. As it turns out, if you and your partner have sex on state lines, you might be committing a crime depending on what side of the border you do what. (Want to be extra sure? Pick up a copy of The Thrifty Traveler’s Guide to Sodomy Across The Land: An Activity and Coloring Book at your nearest Stuckey’s roadside convenience store before you go. Try the pecan logs!)

Not sure why this is exploration of sodomy laws is at LiveScience, but hey, this is a great chance to drag out this clip from Hair – an album that everyone’s mom and dad had when I was a kid. (Hopefully it’s just old enough to be creepy and nonsensical to you millennials.)

Perhaps surprisingly, there is no universal definition for sodomy, at least in the eyes of U.S.

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Russian Law Bans Profanity In Arts And Media

Photo: www.kremlin.ru (CC)

Photo: www.kremlin.ru (CC)

As if America’s right wing doesn’t want to tongue-kiss Putin already, now he’s signed a law banning profanity in the arts.

via BBC News – Russian law bans swearing in arts and media.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law banning all swearing in films, television broadcasts, theatres and the media.

Offenders will face fines – as much as 50,000 roubles (£829; $1,400) for organisations, or up to 2,500 roubles (£41; $70) for individuals.

Where disputes arise a panel of experts will decide exactly what counts as a swear word.

Books containing swear words will have to carry warnings on the cover.

Russia’s Vesti news website says that, according to sociologists’ research, swearing is common in two-thirds of Russian companies.

The law will take effect from 1 July and will not apply to cases of swearing at performances before that date.

A leading pro-Putin film director and now MP, Stanislav Govorukhin, was one of the new law’s architects.

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Moral Monday Movement Spreads through the South

Tintoretto's 'Allegory with a portrait of a Venetian senator.'

Tintoretto’s ‘Allegory with a portrait of a Venetian senator.’

Sue Sturgis writes at the Institute for Southern Studies:

After drawing thousands of protesters to the state legislature and inspiring the arrests of more than 900 people for nonviolent civil disobedience, North Carolina’s Moral Monday movement challenging the extreme conservative agenda of the state’s Republican-controlled legislature and administration is gearing up for more actions in 2014.

It’s also spreading to other states in the South where Republicans hold overwhelming power — and where legislators face re-election this year.

When the Georgia General Assembly convenes on Monday, Jan. 13, members will be met by progressive activists holding their state’s first Moral Monday protest. Among the issues the protesters are focusing on are Georgia’s refusal to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, efforts to restrict voting rights, and policies that divert education funds from public to private schools. The Georgia NAACP is leading the coalition organizing the protest.

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Arkansas Passes Bill Limiting Tattoos And Body Piercings

tattooer

PolicyMic on the latest efforts to restrict what you can do with your body:

Last March, the Arkansas State Senate voted 26 to 4 in favor of SB 387, a bill limiting tattoos, piercings, and other forms of body art that it deemed “untraditional.”

After making several modifications, the State’s House of Representatives has started to coalesce behind a compromise measure that could, plausibly, be sent to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.

Because of its vague wording, it’s difficult to construe exactly which procedures would be “limited” or outright banned. While the bill only specifically proscribes dermal implants, its language regarding tattoos is ambiguous enough that some pundits have expressed concern it could be interpreted more broadly.

This measure is flagrantly unconstitutional. The First Amendment clearly prohibits government efforts at “abridging the freedom of speech,” which our courts have repeatedly found includes forms of artistic expression like corporal modification.

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The 2005 Bankruptcy Bill: Knowing a Financial Crisis Was Imminent, Banks Lobbied Government to Pass Laws to Preserve Their Wealth

via chycho

bankruptcy

Our government representatives would like us to believe that the subprime mortgage crisis (2, 3, 4, 5) could not have been predicted. The truth is, the collapse was expected and authorities were well aware that crimes were being committed.


I. Introduction

It is said that if you want to find the corrupt, follow the money. This catchphrase, however, cannot be used as a preventative measure; it can only be used in retrospect to punish perpetrators of a crime. It does very little to protect us from predators. This is unfortunate when applied to our current crony capitalistic system; a wrong decision in our personal finances can mean the difference between living a life of debt servitude or one of freedom.

In our current centralized economic system, the best way to avoid pitfalls and preserve wealth, improving lifestyle, is to pay close attention to changes in laws and be mindful of their implications.… Read the rest

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Laws Are for Little People

lego-extraordinary-renditionDr. Paul Craig Roberts writes at Global Research:

In various articles and in my latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism And Economic Dissolution Of The West, I have pointed out that the European sovereign debt crisis is being used to terminate the sovereignty of the countries that are members of the EU.

There is no doubt that this is true, but the sovereignty of the EU member states is only nominal. Although the individual countries still retain some sovereignty from the EU government, they are all under Washington’s thumb, as demonstrated by the recent illegal and hostile action taken on Washington’s orders by France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Austria against the airliner carrying Bolivia’s President Evo Morales.

Flying back to Bolivia from Moscow, Morales’ plane was denied overflight and refueling permission by Washington’s French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese puppets and had to land in Austria, where the presidential plane was searched for Edward Snowden.

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CISPA Cybersurveillance Bill Passes In House Of Representatives

CISPAHere’s crossing your fingers that Obama stands strong on his threat to veto if the bill make it through the U.S. Senate. Via CNET on Thursday:

By a 288-127 vote today, the House adopted the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, better known as CISPA. CISPA would authorize e-mail and Internet providers to share confidential information with the federal government.

The odds of a Democrat-controlled Senate the approving legislation opposed by President Obama are slim, but today’s vote could increase pressure for some sort of legislation this year.

CISPA is “so important to our national security” that it must be adopted, said Rep. Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican who authored CISPA and heads the House Intelligence Committee.

CISPA is controversial because it overrules all existing laws by saying “notwithstanding any other provision of law,” including privacy policies and wiretap laws, companies may share cybersecurity-related information “with any other entity, including the federal government.”

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Republican Roy Blunt Revealed As Senator Who Snuck ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ Into Spending Bill

How Monsanto wrote its fondest wishes into law. Mother Jones reveals:

A recent Senate bill came with a nice bonus for the GMO industry: a rider, wholly unrelated to the underlying bill, that compels the USDA to ignore federal court decisions that block the agency’s approvals of new GM crops. Such a provision is [very] important to Monsanto and its few peers in the GMO seed industry.

Which senator pushed the rider into the bill? No one stepped forward to claim credit. But since then, Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) has revealed to Politico that he’s the responsible party. Blunt even told reporteer David Rogers that he “worked with” Monsanto to craft the rider. The admission shines a light on Blunt’s ties to Monsanto, whose office is located in the senator’s home state.

Blunt’s connections to lobbyists extend to his family. His wife, Abigail Blunt, serves as head of US government affairs for the processed food giant Kraft.

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