Wednesday, January 31, 2007

EFF warns ABC to back off blogger

A press release from Tuesday:

EFF Warns ABC to Back Off Blogger

Bogus Copyright Infringement Claims Violate Law

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
warned ABC, Inc., last week not to pursue its bogus
copyright infringement claims against 'Spocko' -- a blogger
who sparked nationwide debate over a San Francisco radio
station -- and asked the media giant to retract its
baseless threats.

The free speech battle began when Spocko posted audio clips
of what he deemed to be offensive talk-radio rhetoric from
ABC-owned and San Francisco-based KSFO-AM on his blog at In response, ABC, Inc., sent a
threatening letter to the blogger's hosting company,
claiming that copyright law prevented Spocko from posting
the clips. The hosting company responded by shutting
Spocko's website down, forcing him to move to a different
provider. In a letter sent to ABC, Inc., last Thursday, EFF
warned that further false copyright claims could compel
Spocko to take action to protect his free speech rights.

"Copyright law is not designed to silence speech that you
dislike," said EFF Staff Attorney Matt Zimmerman. "ABC and
KSFO know that their legal threats were absolutely
groundless. Their time and efforts are better spent
explaining why they think Spocko is wrong, and letting the
public decide, instead of resorting to thuggish legal

EFF's letter to ABC is the latest development in its
ongoing campaign to protect online free speech from the
chilling effects of bogus copyright claims. In November,
EFF reached an agreement with the corporate owners of the
popular children's television character Barney the Purple
Dinosaur to withdraw meritless legal threats against a
website publisher who parodied the character.

For the full letter to ABC:

For more on Spocko:

For this release:

Monday, January 29, 2007

Welcome back, Jane!

It was good to see and hear Jane Fonda at last weekend's anti-war rally in the Capitol.
Fonda has stayed away from the anti-Iraq War movement the past few years, in part because of the continual fallout of her own involvement in the anti-Vietnam War era. Many people still can't forget her visit to North Vietnam and the photo of her with the North Vietnamese anti-aircraft guns.
Well, much time has passed. Fonda has apologized for that incident, though she still continues to take heat. ("Fair and balanced" Fox News called her "Hanoi Jane" on their home page. Shame on them.)
But hearing and seeing her at the Capitol rally was like old-home week. One of the pioneers of the modern day anti-war movement has returned.
A few conservatives we know have nothing but bad to say about her. Tough. We didn't agree with everything Jane did back then, but she wasn't afraid to say what she thought about the war. We sure could use more of that now.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Colbert spins O'Reilly like a top

What was Bill O'Reilly thinking in inviting Stephen Colbert on his show? Colbert came to the show in character and never stepped out of it. O'Reilly never seemed to pick up on that. It was beautiful. Colbert made a bumbling idiot out of O'Reilly. O'Reilly never seemed to get the joke. Watch and enjoy. It's good to see Bill get pwned.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Advertisers fight back over talk radio garbage

It was a local story last week, now USA Today has picked up the tale of the blogger who punched a hole in the stupid right-wing blatherings of San Francisco right-wing rant station KSFO.
KSFO has been a public embarrassment since it moved to the right with its ultra-conservative garbage. At one time that group included clown brain Michael Savage. It doesn't now.
Still, though, advertisers are abandoning KSFO after the blogger, Spocko, unearthed some of the stupid comments KSFO on-air "talent" has been making. Here are two cited by USA Today in their article:

•In November, morning co-host Melanie Morgan said of then-incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a San Francisco Democrat: "We've got a bull's-eye painted on her big, wide, laughing eyes."
•Evening host Brian Sussman in December referred to Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., who has a Kenyan father and a white American mother, as a "halfrican." In October 2005, Sussman asked a caller to prove he wasn't a Muslim by saying "Allah is a whore."

Clearly, this kind of stupidity doesn't need to be on the airwaves -- and subsidized by ABC, which owns KSFO. ABC's lawyers, however, didn't take this bad publicity lying down and sued Spocko. Spocko had to move to another web hosting service after his original one shut down his website as soon as ABC rattled its sword.
Good that he's back up. Good that this stuff is coming to light. Stupid of ABC to be associated with this garbage. Free speech doesn't mean rampant stupidity, ABC!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

An inconvenient nomination

I'm sure right wing movie fans are stewing over the nomination of Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" as Best Documentary. The big question is, of course, whether Gore will show up on Oscar night. Some wags are saying if he doesn't it'll be because he has bigger goals in mind.
Speaking of inconvenient, was it so hard to not nominate "Dreamgirls" for best picture? Hollywood has sure put on a racially challenged face this year with the Gibson-Richards-Richardson brouhahas (see post below). Nominating a film about a fictional black singing group would have helped ease that pain. But no-o-o-o-o-o!
Shame on you, Hollywood. Shame on you.

It's embarrassing, Hollywood

When Mel Gibson ranted about Jews to the cops who arrested him for drunk driving, it seemed, um, unusual. When Michael Richards ranted about blacks during a comedy club appearance, it seemed, um, unusual -- and a little disturbing. Two Hollywood celebrities with racially challenged attitudes revealing their shortcomings in a very public way?
Now we have "Grey's Anatomy" star Isaiah Washington, who's under fire for using a gay slur about a co-star.
What's going on here?
Celebrities, like the rest of us, are human. But celebrities, unlike the rest of us, show their faults in public. And if they have them -- which, being human, they all do -- need to work harder to show the rest of us their faults aren't as stupid as these.
All of these incidents were just that -- downright stupid. Gibson ranting to cops while drunk? Richards getting ticked about latecomers to his comedy show? Washington just ticked? This is childish stuff. A four-year-old could have kept from doing this stuff. (Find me a four-year-old child.)
I'm not saying celebrities need to be examples for us. But this kind of stupidity shouldn't be tolerated in Hollywood. Or anywhere else.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

I say Obama, they say ...

Leave it to the Republicans to start the 2008 presidential campaign off on a low end. They've done everything but blame 9/11 on Barack Obama already. And that doesn't include all the nice things they've been saying all along about Hillary Clinton.
Now that they've both begun preliminaries for the presidential race (Clinton just announced today, a reactive strike to Obama's announcement earlier in the week), the flame-throwing will really begin.
Just remember, Republicans, while you're digging up all that nasty stuff about Clinton and Obama and spewing how they don't espouse core American values, read this stuff I grabbed from Wikipedia about your guy Rudy Giuliani:

Rudy Giuliani's first marriage to Regina Peruggi was annulled after fourteen years because he discovered he and his wife were second cousins. In May of 2000, the New York Daily News broke news of his relationship to his now-third wife, and Giuliani then called a press conference to announce that he intended to separate from Donna Hanover. Hanover, however, had apparently not been told about his plans before his press conference.

When you live in glass houses ...

Thursday, January 18, 2007

That silly Fox ...

I love when people get all hot and bothered over Fox News Channel and its supposed right-wing bias.

C'mon? Fox News Channel is hardly political. You ever look at its website? The biggest news the last two weeks has been Rosie O'Donnell vs. Donald Trump? Big Mouth vs. Big Hair! Trump, of course, is dying for publicity for "The Apprentice" so he'll do anything to get it, even "debate" Rosie O'Donnell. Big deal.

And I love some of the headlines on the site. Here's a few I just pulled. And yes, they're real:

- Israeli Woman Inseminated by Dead Soldier
- Empire State Building Parachuter Off the Hook
- "Half-Animal" woman found in Cambodia
- Man serves meatballs cooked in own fat

Jeez, this stuff is better than the National Enquirer and Weekly World News! No wonder Fox pulls in such big numbers. Hell, I'd watch those stories.

So keep it going, Fox News. Who needs loudmouth Bill O'Reilly and conservative pretty boy Sean Hannity when you have meatballs cooked in their own fat.

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