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April 09, 2009

A.P. Exec Doesn’t Know It Has A YouTube Channel: Threatens Affiliate For Embedding Videos

A.P. Exec Doesn’t Know It Has A YouTube Channel: Threatens Affiliate For Embedding Videos

Here is another great moment in A.P. history. In its quest to become the RIAA of the newspaper industry, the A.P.’s executives and lawyers are beginning to match their counterparts in the music industry for cluelessness. A country radio station in Tennessee, WTNQ-FM, received a cease-and-desist letter from an A.P. vice president of affiliate relations for posting videos from the A.P.’s official Youtube channel on its Website.

You cannot make this stuff up. Forget for a moment that WTNQ is itself an A.P. affiliate and that the A.P. shouldn’t be harassing its own members. Apparently, nobody told the A.P. executive that the august news organization even has a YouTube channel which the A.P. itself controls, and that someone at the A.P. decided that it is probably a good idea to turn on the video embedding function on so that its videos can spread virally across the Web, along with the ads in the videos.

April 07, 2009

Google's Book Settlement Is a Ripoff for Authors

Lynn Chu Says Google's Book Settlement Is a Ripoff for Authors - WSJ.com

To get through the 385 pages of mind-numbing legalese of the Google settlement, it might be better to be Nino Scalia, Bob Bork or David Boies. Preferably all three at once. Absent brain enhancement surgery, understanding this monstrosity by May 5, 2009, is going to be rough.

That's the date by which every author and publisher in America is supposed to decide whether to "opt in," "opt out," or simply "ignore" a vast compulsory licensing scheme for the benefit of Google. Most, about 88%, are expected to "ignore." That's because they know their online display rights have value, and the last thing they want is to be herded like sheep into a giant contract commitment.

After Google began digitizing the University of Michigan library in 2004, the Authors Guild, the Association of American Publishers and a handful of authors and publishers filed a class-action lawsuit for copyright infringement. Last November, those "class representatives" reached an out-of-court settlement with Google that would, if approved by the federal court, permit Google to post out-of-print books for reading, sales, institutional licensing, ad sales, and other publishing exploitations, by Google, online. The settlement gives the class-action attorneys $30 million; a new, quasi-judicial bureaucracy called the Book Rights Registry $35 million (more on this later); and $45 million for owners infringed up to now -- about $60 a title. It remains subject to a final fairness hearing, slated for June 11.

March 30, 2009

Fireproof is the worst movie ever

Here is a selection of the "best" scenes:

Everything about Fireproof is the worst ever. From the plot to the acting to the writing to the values on display (being manly involves drinking hot sauce, not dancing, not looking at porn) the whole thing is just egregious.

Here is the plot in 60 seconds:

March 25, 2009

Iran considering death penalty for subversive bloggers

Think Progress -- Iran considering the death penalty for ‘offensive’ bloggers.

Under a strict interpretation of Islamic law, Individuals can be sentenced to death for two main categories of crime. The first is murder. The second is known as ‘fasad,’ which means spreading mischief or undermining the authority or stability of the state. What that constitutes is open to interpretation. In the past it has been applied to rape, adultery, drug-related offenses, and homosexual behavior. Iran now wants to introduce the death penalty for bloggers who write about and promote illegal activities.

March 17, 2009

Missouri cops suggest that every adult who plays Animal Crossing is a potential pedophile

The Escapist : News : Police Say Adults Shouldn't Own Animal Crossing

Police in Missouri have put a new twist on age-inappropriate gaming by saying there is "no reason" adults would own games like Animal Crossing unless they're using them as pedophile bait.

The Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force is warning parents about online predators who use games like Animal Crossing: City Folk to connect with kids across the country. Parents tell their kids to never talk to strangers, but a report by ABC affiliate KMIZ says interacting with both in-game animals and other players is "the heart of the game," and that "to really reach the next level, the game urges you to exchange letters, gifts and favors." But what kind of favors, exactly?

The evil, child-molesting kind, apparently. "There is no reason an adult should have this game," said Task Force Coordinator Andy Anderson. He added that adults who own Animal Crossing and similar games likely have them for "the wrong reasons." Evil, child-molesting reasons, no doubt.