Breaking News

Journalists Ask Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz to Include Question About Open Government in Presidential Debate 

 

NEW ORLEANS – The Society of Professional Journalists, American Society of News Editors and OpentheGovernment.org are leading a campaign asking presidential debate moderators Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz to include a question about open government in an upcoming presidential debate.

As the debate’s moderators, Cooper and Raddatz are charged by the Commission on Presidential Debates to ask about topics of broad public interest “as reflected in social media and other sources.”

Twenty-six organizations that represent many working U.S. journalists ask Cooper and Raddatz to fulfill their roles as watchdogs by challenging each candidate to answer the following question: 

What steps do you believe are necessary and what policies would you implement to guarantee and advance public access to government information and sources?

The groups are asking the public to also persuade Cooper and Raddatz to ask this question by Tweeting at them by clicking on the buttons on the OpenOurGov web page and using the hashtag #OpenOurGov.

The campaign was announced today by Walsh and Seaman during the Excellence in Journalism 2016 conference in New Orleans. 

Read the full story and learn to how get involved here


EU Court: Links to Photos are OK -- Unless You're Making Money 

 

Can you legally link to a photo without permission? Yes and no, the European Union (EU) court ruled Thursday.  The ruling doesn't have force in the United States, but often, copyright rulings there are predictive of what we will soon see here. 

The EU court said it's OK to link if you aren't doing it to make money.  If, for example, you blog for fun and link to a cute photo.  However, the court also said that if a site belonging to a for-profit business links to a photo without getting permission, that's a copyright violation. 

The ruling went further:  A business must do more than get permission before it links to a photo.  It's also obligated to make sure the site to which it's linking has the legal right to use the photo in the first place.

The case came up because Dutch celebrity sites sued Playboy for blocking their photo link attempts. 

In Europe, business-oriented publications are reporting "Court says photo links are illegal," while those generally read by the public say "Photo links are fine."  To further muddle things, the court didn't specify what must be done to determine a photo is legally used.  Ask one question?  Use a search engine?  See documentation?  

Copyright laws in European countries tend to be updated more frequently than in the U.S., so, as noted, we often look to their rulings to get a sense of "what next?"  Also, all western nations, including the U.S., have signed an international treaty on copyright law, the Berne Convention.  It obligates every country to protect the rights of authors and other creators at least as well as it does their own.

In this instance, the EU ruling may mean we all have the right to be confused.

--- Salley Shannon, ASJA Advocacy chair

More info:

https://www.neweurope.eu/article/feel-free-hyperlink-eu-court-justice-decision/
http://fortune.com/2016/09/08/cjeu-hyperlinks-playb


Legal victory for writers is a blow to pirates
(Hardie-har-har!)


August 12, 2016--In a ruling that will make Internet service providers (ISPs) all over the country decidedly nervous, Cox, which operates in 18 states, has been found guilty of the copyright violations of one of its subscribers. 

Over several years Cox received numerous complaints that customers were infringing by downloading works without permission.  Cox did nothing.

ISPs have always held that, given their multitudes of customers, they could hardly be on the lookout for possible copyright infringements.  They've taken the attitude further by tending  not to act even when handed evidence of specific violations, including book pirating.  The case was brought by BMG Rights Management, which said it had given Cox evidence of tens of thousands of violations. The verdict, however, hung on 1,397 individual instances of infringement.

It was that specific knowledge that undid Cox.  Ruling on the appeal of a prior court's verdict, Judge Liam O'Grady of the Eastern Court of Virginia found Cox guilty of infringement and set a $25 million fine. 

This is the first time an ISP has ever been held liable in this manner.  Moreover, because Cox didn't terminate the accounts of reported infringers, the court ruled that Cox wasn't entitled to the DMCA "safe harbor" protection that shields providers without such knowledge.     

The award might have been higher, but a six-person jury decided there was insufficient proof that Cox had itself profited from the pirated works.

--- Salley Shannon, ASJA Advocacy chair

More stories on the decision:

Torrent Freak

OTC Markets

Lexology
 

 

 

  • A blank piece of paper is God's way of telling us how hard it is to be God.
    – Sidney Sheldon
  • A critic is a man who knows the way but can't drive the car.
    – Kenneth Tynan
  • A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self–addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation to the editor.
    – Ring Lardner
  • A young musician plays scales in his room and only bores his family. A beginning writer, on the other hand, sometimes has the misfortune of getting into print.
    – Marguerite Yourcenar
  • All the words I use in my stories can be found in the dictionary – it's just a matter of arranging them into the right sentences.
    – Somerset Maugham
  • Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.
    – Christopher Hampton
  • Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life.
    – Lawrence Kasdan
  • Copy from one, it's plagiarism; copy from two, it's research.
    –Wilson Mizner
  • Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them.
    – Flannery O'Connor
  • I just wrote a book, but don't go out and buy it yet, because I don't think it's finished yet.
    – Lawrence Welk
  • I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
    – Douglas Adams
  • I'm writing a book. I've got the page numbers done.
    – Stephen Wright
  • It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.
    – Robert Benchley
  • It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word.
    – Andrew Jackson
  • Most writers can write books faster than publishers can write checks.
    – Richard Curtis
  • No fathers or mothers think their own children ugly; and this self–deceit is yet stronger with respect to the offspring of the mind.
    – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
  • There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
    –Somerset Maugham
  • Writing a novel is like paddling from Boston to London in a bathtub. Sometimes the damn tub sinks. It's a wonder that most of them don't.
    – Stephen King
  • Writing a novel is like spelunking. You kind of create the right path for yourself. But, boy, are there so many points at which you think, absolutely, I'm going down the wrong hole here.
    – Chang–rae Lee
  • Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.
    –Samuel Johnson