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August 13, 2011

The BBC thinks any picture linked by someone on Twitter is public domain

The BBC used a photo from the London riots that Andy Mabbet, a photographer, had taken. They didn't get his permission or give him any attribution. When he asked for them to give proper credit in the future the BBC declared that any image linked through twitter was public domain. Which is just incredibly stupid. Their response to him is below. More at the link. The BBC’s fundamental misunderstanding of copyright | Andy Mabbett, aka pigsonthewing
Dear Mr MABBETT [I've no idea why thay capitalised that — AM] Reference CAS-918869-HR7W5Y Thank you for your contact. I understand you were unhappy that pictures from Twitter are used on BBC programmes as you feel it may be a breach of copyright. Twitter is a social network platform which is available to most people who have a computer and therefore any content on it is not subject to the same copyright laws as it is already in the public domain. The BBC is aware of copyright issues and is careful to abide by these laws. I appreciate you feel the BBC shouldn’t be using pictures from Twitter [I didn't say that — AM] and so I’ve registered your comment on our audience log. This is a daily report of audience feedback that’s made available to many BBC staff, including members of the BBC Executive Board, channel controllers and other senior managers as well as the programme makers and producers of ‘BBC News’. The audience logs are seen as important documents that can help shape decisions about future programming and content. Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.

BART jams all cellphones to prevent protesters from possibly organizing

This seems really illegal! To defuse 'flash' protest, BART cuts riders' cell service. Is that legal? - CSMonitor.com
The decision by Bay Area Rapid Transit officials to cut off cellphone service Thursday evening – to forestall a planned protest – raises a fundamental question: Do Americans have a basic right to digital free speech or to digitally organized assembly? Because July protests against BART police shootings had turned violent, BART officials took the unusual step to protect public safety, they said. The tactic may have worked: No protests took place Thursday night at BART stations. Temporarily shutting down cell service and beefing up police patrols were "great tool[s] to utilize for this specific purpose," BART police Lt. Andy Alkire told Bay City News Friday. The protests, planned for sometime between 4 and 8 p.m. in transit stations, would likely have disrupted service for many of the 341,000 daily BART passengers. This may be the first time a government agency in the United States has ever deliberately disrupted cellphone service to defang planned protests, criminologist Casey Jordan told CNN. “I haven’t been able to find another incident in which this has happened,” she told CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux Friday. . . .

August 11, 2011

Britain considering banning text messages, face coverings

When you ban people from communicating with each other you never look like the good guy. This has Evil Empire written all over it, doesn't it? In U.K.: Talk Of Banning Masks, Blocking Text Messages : The Two-Way : NPR
The wave of violence that swept across cities in Britain over the past week has led to Prime Minister David Cameron saying that: — Authorities may block instant messaging services "when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality." — The police have been given the power to order protesters to remove facemasks "under any circumstances where there is reasonable suspicion that they are related to criminal activity."