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September 20, 2007

University of Hawaii's film school demands all students sign over their creative rights for all their films

EFF: DeepLinks

The University of Hawai’i’s Academy of Creative Media claims that it is “more than just a film school” because it seeks to “empower students to tell their own stories of Hawai’i” through film and digital media. Too bad that empowerment stops once the student has completed his or her project.

Taking a page from the University of Southern California, UH is requiring film students to sign a lengthy agreement assigning copyright in their student works to the university. If students won’t sign, they are kicked out of their film production classes. If they do sign, UH gets exclusive rights to their work—they can’t sell it, rent it, show or display it, copy it or make “derivative” works from it. What is worse, UH won’t even promise to identify the student as the author of the work. As Professor Larry Lessig points out, this theory makes students into little more than artistic sharecroppers.

According to UH, it’s a simple quid pro quo—copyright assignment in exchange for education: “The University is providing you with a valuable opportunity to learn, grow and create during the course. Only a portion of the cost of providing courses is covered by your tuition and fees. Universities commonly use earnings from the licensing or sale of intellectual property to help cover their operating costs.” UH has also said that it will use its rights to protect UH’s reputation—in other words, to make sure students don’t go submitting works to festivals, posting them on YouTube, sending them to prospective employers, and so on, without UH permission. If any university tried to control the release and distribution of a professor’s latest book, such a policy would immediately be recognized for the censorship that it is. Too bad that recognition doesn’t extend to students.

Hoax, or most horrible restaurant ever?

New Bestiality Restaurant lets you Pork your Pork | Inventor Spot

I vote hoax.

Lurking underground in the heart of Tokyo's trendy Roppongi is a true heart of darkness - a members-only club that combines forbidden sex practices with the art of fine dining.

. . .

The gist of it is, members pay a hefty fee at the door to be allowed to... have sex with the animal of their choice - which is subsequently killed, cooked and served to the violator and his party for dinner!

(via)

Dan Rather sues CBS for $70 Million

The Associated Press: Rather Lawsuit Says He Was 'Scapegoat'

NEW YORK (AP) — A $70 million lawsuit filed by Dan Rather alleges CBS and its former parent company intentionally botched the aftermath of a discredited story about President Bush's military service to curry favor with the administration.

CBS spokesman Dana McClintock called Rather's complaints "old news" and said the lawsuit filed Wednesday in state Supreme Court in Manhattan was "without merit." Former CBS parent company Viacom Inc. had no comment.

The lawsuit claims Rather was made a "scapegoat" to placate the Bush administration after questions arose about the story, which concerned President Bush's military service during the Vietnam War.

September 19, 2007

The pirates of the straits of Malacca

Malacca Strait Pirates - Article Text, page 1 - National Geographic Magazine

“I can smell the sea from here,” says the prisoner. That seems a wild improbability coming from a man in a soundproof cell in northern Malaysia, several miles as the gull flies from the closest salt water. All I can smell in this humid, whitewashed prison is the faint tang of ammonia used to clean the floors.

It is hard to know what to believe of the prisoner’s claims. At times he has declared his innocence and then later confessed to being a willing criminal. He mentions he has three children, later the number is four. His passport lists his name as Johan Ariffin, but Malaysian authorities doubt that’s his real name. His age is noted as 44 (streaks of gray in his black hair make that plausible) and his residence as Batam, an Indonesian island just south of Singapore. Men like him often come from Batam, a guard says.

Though his jailers remain unsure who he is, they know exactly what he is: lanun (pronounced la-noon). When asked for a direct English equivalent, an interpreter explains that there is none, that it is a word freighted with many layers of culture and history. The short, imperfect answer is: The prisoner is a pirate.

Complete bastard urinates on dying woman, films it for YouTube

BBC NEWS | England | Tees | Man admits urinating on ill woman

A Hartlepool man is facing jail after he urinated on a disabled woman who lay dying in the street.

The 27-year-old shouted "this is YouTube material" as he degraded Christine Lakinski, 50, who had fallen ill, magistrates heard.

Miss Lakinski, who suffered a number of medical conditions, died from natural causes, an inquest found.

. . .

Anderson had smoked a cannabis joint and been drinking when he and two friends spotted her.

He tried to rouse her by throwing a bucket of water over her, before urinating on her and covering her with shaving foam. The incident was filmed on a mobile phone.

(via)

September 18, 2007

Cultural Genocide

via Raw Story | Researchers say many languages are dying...