Associated Press expects you to pay to license 5-word quotations (and reserves the right to terminate your license)

In the name of “defin[ing] clear standards as to how much of its articles and broadcasts bloggers and Web sites can excerpt” the Associated Press is now selling “quotation licenses” that allow bloggers, journallers, and people who forward quotations from articles to co-workers to quote their articles. The licenses start at $12.50 for quotations of 5-25 words. The licensing system exhorts you to snitch on people who publish without paying the blood-money, offering up to $1 million in reward money (they also think that “fair use” — the right to copy without permission — means “Contact the owner of the work to be sure you are covered under fair use.”).

It gets better! If you pay to quote the AP, but you offend the AP in so doing, the AP “reserves the right to terminate this Agreement at any time if Publisher or its agents finds Your use of the licensed Content to be offensive and/or damaging to Publisher’s reputation.”

Over on Making Light, Patrick Nielsen Hayden nails it:

The New York Times, an AP member organization, refers to this as an “attempt to define clear standards as to how much of its articles and broadcasts bloggers and Web sites can excerpt.” I suggest it’s better described as yet another attempt by a big media company to replace the established legal and social order with with a system of private law (the very definition of the word “privilege”) in which a few private organizations get to dictate to the rest of society what the rules will be. See also Virgin Media claiming the right to dictate to private citizens in Britain how they’re allowed to configure their home routers, or the new copyright bill being introduced in Canada, under which the international entertainment industry, rather than democratically-accountable representatives of the Canadian people, will get to define what does and doesn’t amount to proscribed “circumvention.” Hey, why have laws? Let’s just ask established businesses what kinds of behaviors they find inconvenient, and then send the police around to shut those behaviors down. Imagine the effort we’ll save.

Welcome to a world in which you won’t be able to effectively criticize the press, because you’ll be required to pay to quote as few as five words from what they publish.

Welcome to a world in which you won’t own any of your technology or your music or your books, because ensuring that someone makes their profit margins will justify depriving you of the even the most basic, commonsensical rights in your personal, hand-level household goods.

The people pushing for this stuff are not well-meaning, and they are not interested in making life better for artists, writers, or any other kind of individual creators. They are would-be aristocrats who fully intend to return us to a society of orders and classes, and they’re using so-called “intellectual property” law as a tool with which to do it. Whether or not you have ever personally taped a TV show or written a blog post, if you think you’re going to wind up on top in the sort of world these people are working to build, you are out of your mind.

Source: boingboing.net

Tribune Co. Plans Sharp Cutbacks at Papers

Tribune Company newspapers like The Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune will quickly cut costs – by printing fewer papers and employing fewer journalists – top company executives said on Thursday.

Samuel Zell, the chairman and chief executive of Tribune, and Randy Michaels, the company’s chief operating officer, revealed the cuts during a conference call with Wall Street analysts.

They also said the struggling company has looked at the column inches of news produced by each reporter, and by each paper’s news staff. Finding wide variation, they said, they have concluded that it could do without a large number of news employees and not lose much content.

Mr. Michaels said of the changes, “This is going to happen quickly.”

Mr. Zell said, “I promise you he’s underestimating the level of aggressiveness with which we are attacking this whole challenge.”

They said the company would aim for a 50-50 split between ads and news across all the news pages (excluding classified ads and advertising supplements). Mr. Michaels said this would mean eliminating 500 pages of news a week across all of the company’s 12 papers.

“If we take, for instance, The Los Angeles Times to a 50-50 ratio, we will be eliminating about 82 pages a week,” Mr. Michaels said, leaving the smallest papers of the week at 56 news pages.

Since being taken over in an $8.2 billion deal that took the company private in December, Tribune has downsized newspapers that had already been trimmed under the previous regime. During the call and in a note from Mr. Zell to Tribune employees, the executives signaled that bigger cuts are coming.

Mr. Michaels said that, after measuring journalists’ output, “when you get into the individuals, you find out that you can eliminate a fair number of people while eliminating not very much content.” He added that he understood that some reporting jobs naturally produce less output than others.

Read moreTribune Co. Plans Sharp Cutbacks at Papers

Georgia family challenges federal vaccine law

Stefan Ferrari got his required vaccines before he was 18 months old. At the time, his parents said, he was a healthy, verbal boy.

But after his last round of booster shots, Stefan stopped speaking and, now 10 years old, he has not spoken since.

Stefan’s parents, Marcelo and Carolyn Ferrari of Atlanta, filed suit, alleging the vaccines caused neurological damage to their young son. On Tuesday, the family’s lawyer asked the Georgia Supreme Court to let the case against two vaccine manufacturers, Wyeth and GlaxoSmithKline, go forward.

Lawyer Lanny Bridgers told the court it was bad timing when Stefan received his last shots. A year later, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that thimerosal, a preservative used for multi-dose vaccine vials, be removed from childhood vaccines. The Ferraris contend that manufacturers should have made vaccines without thimerosal before Stefan was vaccinated.

But a lawyer arguing on behalf of the manufacturers told the state high court that the suit is barred by the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act.

The law says no vaccine maker shall be held liable in a civil action for damages arising from an injury or death caused by vaccines given after Oct. 1, 1988.

(The same situation we have with cellphone towers in the U.S.:
Even if all the experts in the world would 100% agree that these towers cause cancer etc. – and they do! – then those towers cannot be taken down for any health risk reason because there is a law in place that prevents exactly that and if ten million people would go to court because they got cancer than they will have to leave the court with empty hands because thats the law. (!Unconstitutional!)

How can you come up with such a law if you do not know that cellphone towers are harmful for health?

The only reason for this is like with the law regarding vaccines is to protect the corporations and to continue destroying peoples brains and it is the government that backs it all up. The Hitlers of today are much more sophisticated.

One more thing on vaccinations: There are parents, repeating what they are told by mass media and Dr.’s, that say that those kids that aren’t vaccinated are posing a health risk to those that are vaccinated!!! How come???

Think about it, if your child is vaccinated than it should be absolutely protected if the vaccination works, as big pharma and their salesman in white coats (Dr.’s), tell you. Those children that aren’t vaccinated should be those that are in trouble right? So these poor parents are totally brainwashed by big pharma, government and Dr.’s who they consider to be authorities on the subject and do not think anymore for themselves. What good fortune for governments that the people do not think. – Adolf Hitler
Let’s see how much you will trust your government after you have read this article:
Vaccines and Medical Experiments on Children, Minorities, Woman and Inmates (1845 – 2007)
…and there is a lot more that you can find on the website.
Well, wake up now. – The Infinite Unknown)

The exceptions are if the vaccine was improperly prepared or contained improper directions or warnings. Neither of these were involved in Stefan’s case, Daniel Thomasch, a lawyer for the manufacturers, told the court.

“It was the clear intent of Congress to pre-empt precisely the claims that are at issue here,” he argued.

Congress passed the law after hundreds of lawsuits were filed against vaccine manufacturers. The litigation increased insurance costs, drove out some manufacturers and threatened the continued production of some vaccines, even though the lawsuits were largely unsuccessful, Thomasch said.

Read moreGeorgia family challenges federal vaccine law

Ventura Attacks Media for Criticizing Free Speech

Attacked for simply asking questions

On the Alex Jones Show today, former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura complained right out of the gate about the fact the corporate media consistently attempts to squelch any questioning of the government. “I can’t believe how I simply asked some questions and the way you’re attacked… for simply asking questions… has our country become that, that you’re not even publicly allowed to question the government?”

Alex responded by stating that the government and its corporate media lapdog — alternately an attack dog when celebrities such as Ventura dare step outside established parameters — are disturbed by the fact Alex’s show is an increasingly popular venue for the likes of Charlie Sheen, Willie Nelson, Ventura, and a host of others unable to ask questions and get a fair hearing in the corporate media arena.

Ventura admitted that he did not want to “believe the worst” about 9/11 and wanted to accept the official fairy tale version, but after Bush and the neocons invaded Iraq, when the government claimed al-Qaeda was in Afghanistan, he sincerely began to ask questions and confront the lies perpetuated by the government and the corporate media.

Appearance on Hannity and Colmes

On April 2, in an appearance of Alex’s show, Ventura admitted that watching the documentary Loose Change, at the insistence of his son, changed his mind about the official fairy tale version of events. “When I finally did watch it I went through every emotion you could imagine, from laughing, crying, getting sick to my stomach, to the whole emotional thing,” Jesse said. “To me questions haven’t been answered and are not being answered about 9/11,” including pertinent questions about Building 7. “Two planes struck two buildings….but how is it that a third building fell 5 hours later?” asked Ventura, “How could this building just implode into its own footprint 5 hours later — that’s my first question — the 9/11 Commission didn’t even devote one page to that in their big volume of investigation.”

Read moreVentura Attacks Media for Criticizing Free Speech