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February 09, 2012

Marvel sues Ghost Rider co-creator for $17K, despite dude being wholly broke

This is definitely more ammo for the we-should-boycott-Marvel crowd. And all of Marvel's entreaties against piracy sound a bit more hollow after this. Blog@Newsarama -- Marvel Demands $17K From Ghost Rider Co-Creator
The final judgement has been handed down in the long running Gary Friedrich vs Marvel (Ghost Rider) case, and now we know the full amount that Friedrich owes Marvel. That’s right, Marvel, a company that stands to make millions of dollars from the upcoming Ghost Rider II movie, and is paying Nicholas Cage millions to portray a character that Friedrich created, now wants money from Friedrich – in specific $17,000. Essentially, Disney/Marvel counter-sued Friedrich over ownership of Ghost Rider, demanding all moneys he had made from selling prints of the character at conventions and the like, and won, so now Friedrich – who, by his own accounts, is unemployed and has no assets – finds himself owing the corporation that he believes stole his creation $17,000 with no way of paying. It’s one thing for Marvel to reassert itself legally as the owner of the character, but demanding $17,000 from someone who’s essentially penniless? That just seems cruel, and maybe worse for Marvel, something that can only lead to bad publicity for the company (and at a time when its treatment of Jack Kirby and the Kirby estate is getting some mainstream media attention, too). The sooner the decision is made to waive the “debt,” the better.

February 08, 2012

Pinterest caught sneakily modifying users links to direct referral cash to Pinterest

So if I as a hypothetical Pinterest user post a book review with an Amazon affiliate link to buy the book (which would generate a bit of income for me, if anyone actually bought it) Pinterest is changing the identification in the affiliate links so that *they* get paid, and not the person who did any of the actual, y'know, referring or affiliating. Pinterest is quietly generating revenue by modifying user submitted pins. | LL Social
If you post a pin to Pinterest, and it links to an ecommerce site that happens to have an affiliate program, Pinterest modifies the link to add their own affiliate tracking code. If someone clicks through the picture from Pinterest and makes a purchase, Pinterest gets paid. They don’t have any disclosure of this link modification on their site, and so far, while it has been written about, no major news outlet has picked up on the practice or its implications. Pinterest doing this is big news in my opinion for two reasons: Pinterest is monetizing their site while in the early beta stage, which is almost unheard of for a newish social network. Pinterest has taken this action in a quiet, non-disclosing way.

January 24, 2012

Arkansas Democratic Campaign Manager Comes Home To Find Child’s Cat Murdered, ‘LIBERAL’ Written On Dead Body

Arkansas Democratic Campaign Manager Comes Home To Find Child's Cat Murdered, 'LIBERAL' Written On Dead Body | ThinkProgress
The campaign manager of Arkansas Democratic congressional candidate Ken Aden arrived home last night to find his child’s pet cat murdered on the front porch with the word “LIBERAL” scrawled across its lifeless body. Aden’s campaign manager, Jake Burris, lives in central Arkansas with his four kids. Blue Arkansas has more on the scene at Burris’s home (emphases are ours): Last night, Jake and his four kids had come back to their Russellville home. As they were getting out of the car, one of his children discovered their family cat dead on the front porch. One side of the animal’s head had been bashed in and an eyeball was hanging out of its socket. But there was something even more horrifying to be found on the corpse. Written across the animal’s fur in black marker was the word “LIBERAL“.

January 21, 2012

Undercover cops fathered children with women they were surveilling, abandoned them when the case was closed

Undercover police had children with activists | UK news | The Guardian
Two undercover police officers secretly fathered children with political campaigners they had been sent to spy on and later disappeared completely from the lives of their offspring, the Guardian can reveal. In both cases, the children have grown up not knowing that their biological fathers – whom they have not seen in decades – were police officers who had adopted fake identities to infiltrate activist groups. Both men have concealed their true identities from the children's mothers for many years. One of the spies was Bob Lambert, who has already admitted that he tricked a second woman into having a long-term relationship with him, as part of an intricate attempt to bolster his credibility as a committed campaigner. The second police spy followed the progress of his child and the child's mother by reading confidential police reports which tracked the mother's political activities and life. The disclosures are likely to intensify the controversy over the long-running police operation to infiltrate and sabotage protest groups. Police chiefs claim that undercover officers are strictly forbidden from having sexual relationships with the activists they are spying on, describing the situations as "grossly unprofessional" and "morally wrong".