Twitter Updates for 2008-11-24

  • considering “Don’t Stop Believin'” is the most popular iTunes track EVER @mspiegelman may have the right idea. Go Y! Music http://tr.im/19s1 #
  • @LiveEarth India is ON like Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Now to celebrate @techzulu’s birthday at the roos in reply to LiveEarth #
  • Gmail is lookin Pantone 7451C periwinkle and chat doesn’t work. I’m playing with lala.com, rockin Tristeza and “blastin’ thru it” as we say #
  • @mvermut that’s easy — take a free ride on the ad free Live365 and tune into WOOZradio: http://tinyurl.com/6e4mbz in reply to mvermut #
  • @mvermut oops – didn’t realize that went straight to a paywall. here’s the free option: http://www.live365.com/stations/netzoo in reply to mvermut #
  • @alanataylor and others — here’s the link to revert back to “older” version of Gmail UI – http://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=1 in reply to alanataylor #
  • logged into MSN messenger 1st time ever for the one colleague on MSN. all i get is spam despite having no info besides age-old hotmail addy #
  • At mindshare. 3d printer preso. Total urban legend imho. Idealab even. Ask.com anyone? Will believe it only when I feel it #
  • Oil under $50/barrel. Remember when they said $200 by ’09? Cuz we know so much. We really think we know so what #
  • @bwank settings->themes->classic should fix yer Gmail fail. in reply to bwank #
  • RT @creativecommons: CC founder Lawrence Lessig will be on the Charlie Rose show tonight: http://ping.fm/jep7b + http://change-congress.org #
  • someone is rocking an 80’s mix outside my office and, well, the inevitable just happened. Guess he really never gonna desert me. #
  • checkin @blovi8 per @josholaila reco. what is the point? what’s wrong with craigslist? I do like the Shepard Fairey wallpaper though. #
  • what are YOUR favorite tools and strategies for tracking / analyzing the spread of specific chatter on the web, boards, 2.0hs, blogs? #
  • Hillary SoS news gave me a chill. hard to trust her neocon tendencies + jaded fingers-on-chalkboard rallying voice. Prefer her to Kerry tho #

Internet Libel OK’d by Courts

UPDATE: Comprehensive coverage of blogger reaction to the Barrett v. Rosenthal decision at CJR.

Always nice to see Internet legislation shot down in the courts — in this case, the California Supreme Court ruled that allowing prosecution of name-calling and online flame wars by third parties would lead to an uncontrollable number of ridiculous lawsuits.

The L.A. Times reports:

“The prospect of blanket immunity for those who intentionally redistribute defamatory statements on the Internet has disturbing implications,” Justice Carol Corrigan wrote for the court. But, she added, immunity “serves to protect online freedom of expression and to encourage self-regulation.”

[…]

The court explained that Internet defamation law differs from that of other media.

“Book, newspaper or magazine publishers are liable for defamation on the same basis as authors,” Corrigan wrote. “Book sellers, news vendors or other ‘distributors’ … may only be held liable if they knew or had reason to know of a publication’s defamatory content.”

Congress “chose to protect even the most active Internet publishers, those who take an aggressive role in republishing third-party content,” she wrote.

[…]

She said the threat of liability also would reduce the flow of ideas on the Internet. “The volume and range of Internet communications make the ‘heckler’s veto’ a real threat,” Corrigan said.

The defendant, Ilene Rosenthal of the Humantics Foundation, blogs here. The case was brought by the erstwhile thugs known as the Quackbusters.

Here is EFF’s FAQ on Online Defamation.

Wikipedia entry on the 1996 Communications Decency Act.

* Discussion @ /.

Universal Goes After Bank of America for U2 “One” Parody

How broke-ass will UMG and their copyright hounds get? Maria Aspan @ The New York Times tackles this hilarity:

A video of two Bank of America employees singing a version of U2’s “One” to commemorate their company’s acquisition of MBNA recently made the rounds of the blogs, prompting amusement and some ridicule from online viewers.

But the intended comic effect of their performance and the retooled lyrics (“One spirit, we get to share it/Leading us all to higher standards”) seemed lost on lawyers on the lookout for copyright violations.

On Tuesday, a lawyer for the Universal Music Publishing Group, a catalog owner and administrator, posted the text of a cease-and-desist letter in the comments section of Stereogum.com, a Web site carrying the video. It contended that Bank of America had violated Universal’s copyright of the U2 song.

The two employees featured in the video were the guitarist, Jim Debois, a consumer market executive for Manhattan, and the singer, Ethan Chandler, a Manhattan banking center manager, who provoked much of the ridicule with his earnest interpretation and also for straying a bit far from U2’s lyrics with lines like “Integration has never had us feeling so good/and we’ll make lots of money.”

Mr. Chandler, who has independently released an album and is working on another, said he was asked to write and perform the song for an August meeting of credit card division executives at MBNA headquarters in Wilmington, Del.

He said he was surprised to learn about the cease-and-desist letter, stressing that his performance was meant for an internal audience. “There was an approved list of songs to use,” he said, “and as far I knew, that was an approved song.”

Universal said on Stereogum that it had sent the letter by fax and registered mail to Bank of America last Monday. On Friday, a bank spokeswoman, Betsy Weinberger, said the legal department had not yet received it.

The letter was signed by Raul R. Gonzalez, a lawyer for Universal Music. Reached at his office, Mr. Gonzalez said, “No comment” and hung up.

Online commentators accustomed to viral marketing said they suspected that the video was the latest corporate attempt to co-opt Internet video for promotional purposes. But Ms. Weinberger said it was “absolutely not” leaked by Bank of America as a marketing ploy.

Mr. Chandler also denied any involvement in leaking the video, although he admitted that, despite the cutting online criticism, the incident had an upside. “A lot of people thought it was fake, but I really do sing,” he said. “I’ve been doing this a long time.”

Continue reading “Universal Goes After Bank of America for U2 “One” Parody”

John Gilmore on Taking ‘Secret Laws’ to SCotUS

What is a “secret law?

This question is the foundation of a cert petition filed (.pdf) with the U.S. Supreme Court recently.

I spoke with John Gilmore on a drive from San Francisco to LA last week, and discussed the objectives and background of the case, which originated in 2002 as a challenge against the unwritten law requiring one to show identification in airports. Click here to download the interview (36.1mb MP3, 26min15sec). Click at bottom to play. Continue reading “John Gilmore on Taking ‘Secret Laws’ to SCotUS”

UCLA Student Tasered for Not Showing ID in Library

fuck ucla cops fuclaUpdated below

He wouldn’t show his ID, and he wouldn’t leave on his own. So THEY SHOT HIM WITH A STUN GUN!

23-year-old Mostafa Tabatabainejad is my hero-of-the week.

The arrest was recorded on another student’s camera phone and showed Tabatabainejad screaming while on the floor of the computer lab. The video also showed the student shouting, “Here’s your Patriot Act, here’s your [fuckin’] abuse of power…”Here’s the cell-phone vid of the incident posted to YouTube:

< ---LATimes.com photo gallery – Friday protest.

Here’s the AP account from Thursday:

“As the officers attempted to escort him out, he went limp and continued to refuse to cooperate with officers or leave the building,” [UCLA Police Department Spokeswoman Nancy] Greenstein said…. Tabatabainejad encouraged others at the library to join his resistance. When a crowd began to gather they used the stun gun on him.

Click here for the Daily Bruin article.
taser gun rally LAist UCLA
Henry posted photos at LAist from Friday’s rally like this —>

And more suspended-in-disbelief commentary from Martini Republic, LAObserved, and UCLA LJ forum

UPDATES:

From the L.A. Times 11/21: Terrence Duren, an 18-year veteran of the UCLA Police Department, tased Tabatabainejad five times. A 2001 UCLA officer of the year, Duren has been the subject of other use-of-force complaints and previously recommended for dismissal. In one previous incident, Duren shot and wounded a homeless man in a University building, a case that went to trial. Duren has stated all of the past allegations against him regarding police misconduct and use of excessive force were investigated by the UCPD and proven false.[8] Prior to joining the UCPD in the late 1980s, Duren was fired from the Long Beach Police Department.

I like Reuters’ angle on the issue, including an interview with the founder of Cop Watch LA.

Keith Olbermann discusses with Daily Bruin‘s Sara Taylor here.

FOUR NEW VIDEOS
The Daily News reports:

four new videos surfaced online Thursday, showing Los Angeles police clubbing two young people as they videotaped the arrest of a third during a [July 8 Minutemen rally] in Hollywood.

Welcome Boing-ers, Cory and others dig up a bit more dirt here. The Small Print Project is still in effect — help me out here.