A boy called Hell has been barred from enrolling in a Catholic school in Australia because his surname jarred with its religious teachings, the child’s father said Monday.
An ardent fan of the New Pornographers (a great Canadian indie rock band that includes Neko Case, among others) recently posted a copy of a forthcoming B-side to his blog page on MOG, which permits users to upload songs for streaming to others. He then received an email from Web Sheriff, an online copyright enforcer hired by the record label, Matador.
The message essentially accuses the fan of being a pirate and makes a veiled legal threat, all the while pretending to “appreciate” what it means to be a fan.
On behalf of the artist’s label, we do appreciate that – of course – you are a fan of / are promoting The New Pornographers but, by the same token, you must also appreciate that, by posting a pirate copy of the album or tracks from the album – or, as in this case, a special ‘bonus’ track – pre-release (or linking to pirate copies), you are potentially causing considerable inconvenience and we are sure that you would not want to be personally responsible (or liable) for all of the resulting damage and disruption.
The message (along with a follow-up) is redolent with condescension, putting on a faux apologetic face while threatening escalating legal action. It is disrespectful, shameful, and outrageous.
My point here is not to debate whether Matador has a right to send notices like this — they do. But this is no way to talk to a fan who bought the album (that’s how he got access to the B-side in the first place) and took the time to share his enthusiasm by posting one song. I’m sure a polite request (like the one sent by The Decemberists just before their last album), explaining how the band feels about this, would have done the trick.
This is a symptom of a larger problem — this is how copyright law (and too many copyright enforcers) thinks of the fan. The law treats fans as if they are to be cattle-prodded into line, as if the fan should be grateful for the privilege of being a fan, a privilege granted at the sufferance of copyright law.
That’s completely, utterly, obviously, precisely backward.
Here’s my question — does the band know what is being done in their name? Have they signed off on these emails being sent by Web Sheriff to their fans? Are they getting copies of the responses that the fans send after getting threatened like this? (For that matter, are the label’s own marketing people even seeing these?) I suspect not.
That’s the problem. No artist would talk to a fan like this (and if they did, they should be ashamed), to the person who just bought their forthcoming album. But the copyright enforcement lawyers are on auto-pilot, without any accountability to the artists or to the fans, threatening people, suing people, and all the while insisting that this is just how copyright law works.
Pardon my French, but that’s bull****.
DRM is doomed to fail. Unfortunately, the majority of the movie companies and record labels still think it’s the best way to “protect” their media. By wearing these shirts you can show them it’s not and that it only hinders honest customers.
The contest turned out to be a great success. Nearly 50 designs were submitted and over 10,000 people picked their favorite during the voting round last month.
We’re happy to (finally) announce the winning designs.
Former Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona told a Congressional committee today that top officials in the Bush administration repeatedly tried to weaken or suppress important public health reports because of political considerations.
Dr. Carmona, who served as surgeon general from 2002 to 2006, said White House officials would not allow him to speak or issue reports about stem cells, emergency contraception, sex education, or prison, mental and global health issues because of political concerns. Top administration officials delayed for years and attempted to “water down” a landmark report on secondhand tobacco smoke, he said in sworn testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
He was ordered to mention President Bush three times on every page of every speech he gave, Dr. Carmona said. He was asked to make speeches to support Republican political candidates and to attend political briefings, at least one of which included Karl Rove, the president’s senior political adviser, he said.
And administration officials even discouraged him from attending the Special Olympics because, he said, of that charitable organization’s longtime ties to the Kennedy family.
“I was specifically told by a senior person, ‘Why would you want to help those people?’ ” Dr. Carmona said.
A 70-year-old US woman has been left bruised and bloody after an unexpected clash with police who came to caution her for not watering her lawn.
Next week, my Administration will release a report called the Mid-Session Review, which will provide you with an update on our Nation’s progress in meeting the goal of a balanced budget. We know from experience that when we pursue policies of low taxes and spending restraint, the economy grows, tax revenues go up, and the deficit goes down.
Democratic leaders in Congress want to take our country down a different track. They are working to bring back the failed tax-and-spend policies of the past. The Democrats’ budget plan proposes $205 billion in additional domestic spending over the next five years and includes the largest tax increase in history. No nation has ever taxed and spent its way to prosperity. And I have made it clear that I will veto any attempt to take America down this road.
Let’s see… $205 billion over five years, that’s $3.4 billion per month.
Now, where to find the money… How about this:
The boost in troop levels in Iraq has increased the cost of war there and in Afghanistan to $12 billion a month, and the total for Iraq alone is nearing a half-trillion dollars, congressional analysts say.
The $12 billion a month “burn rate” includes $10 billion for Iraq and almost $2 billion for Afghanistan, plus other minor costs. That’s higher than Pentagon estimates earlier this year of $10 billion a month for both operations. Two years ago, the average monthly cost was about $8 billion.
If Congress approves President Bush’s pending request for another $147 billion for the budget year starting Oct. 1, the total bill for the war on terror since Sept. 11 would reach more than three-fourths of a trillion dollars, with appropriations for Iraq reaching $567 billion.
Also, if the increase in war tempo continues beyond September, the Pentagon’s request “would presumably be inadequate,” CRS said.
But never mind all that, blame the democrats for spending too much! (this is where W. wants to cut instead)
A wrecking ball wreaked havoc on a small college town in northwest Pennsylvania on Monday.
The 1,500-pound, 3-foot-wide ball broke loose from a crane cable and rolled nearly a mile downhill.
It smashed more than a dozen vehicles and injured three people as it bounced from curb to curb.
The ball slammed into the back of a car stopped at an intersection. The force caused a chain reaction with two other cars at the traffic light.
The driver, an Allegheny College junior, said he thought a car had hit him when his back windshield exploded.
The ball came to rest in the trunk of a car and pushed it nearly 20 feet.
Workers had been using the wrecking ball to demolish part of a library at Allegheny College when the cable snapped.
It’s not always easy to get noticed in Redmond. Microsoft, after all, has more than 300,000 partners in its Worldwide Partner Program. Sure, the big guys — the global systems integrators and huge independent software vendors, for instance — get plenty of access to Microsoft executives and lots of support from the company. But, for small and midsize partners, a meeting with Microsoft folks can provide a golden — and, in most cases, rare — opportunity to get into the software giant’s good graces. And getting into Microsoft’s good graces can produce all sorts of fringe benefits, from increased marketing support to access to more and better sales leads.
That’s why partners should be prepared for their meetings with Microsoft, whether they take place on the Redmond campus or in a field sales office — or even over the Internet. But being prepared means more than just having some PowerPoint slides ready and memorizing your company’s pitch. It also means knowing what to do — and what not to do — in order to fit into Microsoft’s culture and make a positive impression. After all, with so many companies competing for Microsoft’s attention, partners need people in Redmond to remember them for the right reasons — not the wrong ones.
Kiss their ass so they can kick yours. A great read, and a great summary why I won’t develop for their platform…
A new study says past delays in Microsoft Corp.’s products are causing some businesses to think twice about renewing the long-term service agreements that include rights to upgrade to future versions of its programs.
Twenty-six percent of the 61 information technology professionals surveyed by Forrester Research said they had decided not to renew their Microsoft Software Assurance agreements when they expire, opting instead to buy the software as needed.
Microsoft questioned Forrester’s findings. The report “only looks at a subset of our customers and is not consistent with the feedback we have received,” said Stacie Sloane, marketing and communications director for Microsoft’s Worldwide Licensing and Pricing group, in a statement released by the company.
Microsoft is right, of course. Forrester is in the business of whoring themselves out to whoever brings the biggest bag of money for a report. Microsoft should know this, most Forrester reports have been very friendly to them. That they’re turning on Microsoft says more than their reports ever will. If they don’t sell “reports”, they don’t get paid. So are more people looking to buy “reports” that do NOT favour Microsoft now? Or is this just a one-off?
Can you imagine doing something like this, and then having CNN make a point out of “petting your Chihuahua, Isabella”?