Category: Rights

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The Flickr That Lights a Firestorm

My good high school buddy Winchell Chung shares Dazed story “Flickr is about to sell off your Creative Commons photos (And no, you won’t see a single penny from it)” today on Google+. Now there’s a clickable headline, eh? Zing Tsjeng’s article is an aggregated synopsis of good reporting done by the Wall Street Journal (naughty, naughty, do you’re own work, Zing). Herein, I reference the November 24th piece, “Fight Over Yahoo’s Use of Flickr Photos” with dek “Yahoo Starts Selling Canvas Prints From Free Pictures Uploaded to the Internet Sharing Site”.

Gist of the news is this: Flickr plans to sell photos with Creative Commons Commercial license—50,000,000 from a staggering 300,000,000 CC pics on the site . Yikes. My photos are licensed CC non-commercial, so I shouldn’t give a frak about the plans of Yahoo (Flickr’s owner). But I don’t trust the license will be observed, and there is no easy way for me to confirm this. 

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Maine Decides Whether to Shoot Bear Like Ducks in a Barrel

On this election day, I long to be back in Maine, so that I could vote on the initiative to ban bear barrels. It’s a practice unfamiliar to me. I grew up in a family of hunters, which killed for sport and food. They tracked the animals, not lured them with sweet throwaways.

I only learned about the referendum this morning, from a news story in my RSS feeds. National Geographic violates Betteridge’s Law of Headlines by asking question: “Should We Bait Black Bears With Doughnuts?” I am embarrassed for being so out of touch with important issues and politics in the Pine Tree State—they matter to family there, and to me. I may be long-time removed, but Maine will always be home. I identity myself as a Mainer, more than by any other measure. 

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O Canada, What Say You?

What do two forts share in common? Kaci Hickox, the 33 year-old healthcare worker from Fort Worth, Texas, taking refuge in Fort Kent, Maine. Surely you know of the so-called Ebola nurse and the legal scuffle about quarantining her. As an Aroostook County native born about 70 kilometers (okay, I rounded up) southeast of FK and having traveled widely across the Lone Star State, I know something about the character of both regions. Think independent-mindedness times two, which equals “Don’t tell me what to do”.

The simple story: She volunteered in Sierra Leone, where the disease rages. She returned to the wrong state, New Jersey, which put her in isolation. She fled to one of the most rural and remote areas of the Northeast. Maine’s governor demanded voluntary quarantine. She defied it. A federal judge ruled against the Gov. News reporters who couldn’t find Fort Kent with a Google Map ruined the autumn tourist trade by filling up the only hotel. We all wait to see if she stays symptom free through November 10. Pass the popcorn. The suspense is thicker than a horror flick. 

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Why is Tim Cook’s Personal Life News?

My colleague Mark Wilson takes on the task I failed to (but should have) in commentary: “Apple’s Tim Cook is gay—the fact it needs to be announced shows what’s wrong in tech“. The CEO’s admission, in a Bloomberg-Businessweek opinion piece, isn’t surprising. The news media’s overglowing reaction is the shocker, as Mark observes: “Websites have practically fallen over themselves to heap their praise on the announcement”.

What? Are bloggers or reporters afraid they might appear to be homophobic if neglecting to add their voice to the echo chamber? Many news writers called Tim Cook’s announcement courageous. This morning, in chat, I told Mark: “Your response to it is hugely courageous”. He chose not to join the echo chamber and even to risk recriminations for rightly questioning why so much news space was given to Apple’s CEO. 

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Twitter's Defiance is Good News

I love Twitter, all the more since Eric Snowden’s revelations about the U.S. government’s secret spying program. The company largely stands apart from other techs’ positions, but not completely. In December, I scolded Twitter, along with Apple, Facebook, Google, and a smattering of others for their “disingenuous and self-serving” call for global government surveillance reform.

Today, Twitter tweaks the government regarding an agreement that expands disclosure of information requests, including those that fall under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. In a startling act of defiance, Twitter chooses not to disclose the number of FISA and other national security-related requests, contending they’re scope is an “overly broad range”.

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Better (RED) Than Dead

Super Bowl XLVIII is a real snoozer, with Seattle’s huge lead, and the adverts aren’t much more interesting. Among the few catching my attention: U2 song “Invisible” free on iTunes, with Bank of America donating a buck to (Product) RED. The promotion/donation ends 11:59 p.m. EST February 3.

On Sept. 29, 2006, I posted a quick analysis about (RED), which was then freshly started, to my JupiterResearch blog. The site is long gone, but I have the posts archived. What follows is the original text, complete with the original links, including to MySpace. Facebook was just a wisp seven-and-a-half-years ago. What that brief introduction…

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Some Advice to the Washington Post's New Owner

Today, in the Guardian, former CIA analyst John Kiriakou accuses the Obama Administration of abusing the 1917 Espionage Act, claiming that “only 10 people in American history have been charged with espionage for leaking classified information, seven of them under Barack Obama”.

From Day One, the Obama Administration sought to plug any leaks. What’s said in the Oval Office stays in the Oval Office. That’s context for understanding the aggressive approach to whistleblowers. It’s philosophical. The current White House sees leaks as betrayals, so why not view whistleblowing as treason?

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Free Pussy Riot!

Punk rock roared across the globe as I started college in the late 1970s. Punkers protested their disco-loving, Baby Boomer siblings as much as “The Man”. UK punkers tapped into deep frustration among a younger population struggling for identity and future in face of global economic uncertainty.

Punk music then is much different than now. Then it was a lifestyle choice rooted in rebellion. Today, for bands like Green Day, punk, and all its garnishments, is fashionable. Mascara, colored hair, and tattoos are about fitting in to a larger, accepted social group. The real energy behind bands like the Sex Pistols is gone.