Evening Links

Thursday, January 10th, 2008
  • I know nothing about British history, but this article is awfully interesting. It’s not all that surprising that the colonial powers were ruthless, I guess. I was just surprised at the extent of the carnage. If the Guardian piece is accurate, I mean.
  • More copyright lunacy. Prince orders a YouTube video taken down because in it, one of his songs is playing in the background.
  • Meanwhile, corporations are snatching personal photos off the web and using them in advertising and marketing campaigns without the owners’ permission.
  • What’s up with Missouri, lately? Here, a small town mayor wants litterbugs tossed in the slammer.
  • Congress earns its lowest approval ratings in history, then votes itself a pay raise.
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16 Responses to “Evening Links”

  1. #1 |  Vermin Kol | 

    If one does the math for the minimum wage, there is a $4300 a year difference between the old wage of $5.15 and the highest of $7.25 an hour.

    The difference in pay raises within the Congress, Supreme Court and the VP is between $4000+ and $5000+ a year.

    Seems to me that the Ruling Elite decided that since the peasantry got a pay raise, they’re entitled to the same amount if not more. Tit for tat. Doesn’t matter that the Ruling Elite make 10-15 times more than minimum wage earner.

  2. #2 |  Tom Bux | 

    Yeah, it is copyright, but it is petty to pull those videos. Petty and shows why the record industry is dying.

    What is next? Will they pull the videos on my blog of me and my son if there is the television on in the background?


  3. #3 |  ClubMedSux | 

    “Yeah, it is copyright, but it is petty to pull those videos. Petty and shows why the record industry is dying.”

    I think that’s what a lot of people miss with the whole RIAA mess. I hear so many talking heads get into technical arguments about fair use, the legality of file sharing, etc. To me the real story is how the RIAA’s methods are horrible from a business perspective. Does it really matter if they win a bunch of lawsuits when their sales continue to sink and sink?

  4. #4 |  Phil | 

    The recency of the Mau Mau “atrocity” (1950s) described in the Guardian article prompted me to to a little research. The “atrocity” as it turns out was a truly horiffic war between white settlers and natives — not simply a one-sided act of opression. The Mau Mau were astonishingly brutal. Of course, they were responding to the utter destruction of their culture and way of life.

    You can’t really compare it to the soviet/nazi atrocities though, because the latter were so one-sided — you don’t hear much about Jews or Soviet dissidents killing and mutilating Nazi/Soviet children and animals to intimidate their oppressors into leaving.

    Once the Mau Mau insurrection got going, the killings by both sides were incredibly brutal, and neither side really had much humanity toward the other — comparable to the U.S. wars with natives in the prior century.

    A description of the war is here:


  5. #5 |  Hazel Stone | 

    What’s noteworthy in each of these cases, Lessig says, “is that bloggers, a community typically associated with piracy, are rallying in support of copyright.”

    Um, what? Does anyone have a clue what this individual is referring to?

  6. #6 |  John Payne | 

    I have never heard a figure anywhere near as high as 100,000 deaths in the Mau Mau uprising, and the professor I had for African history was a Kenya specialist, so I’m inclined to defer to his expertise. While I like George Monibot as a writer, he is a bit of a sensationalist, so I’m sure he went looking for the highest possible figure he could find.

  7. #7 |  UCrawford | 

    As somebody who read a lot about British history I certainly agree that there were a lot of brutal instances in their colonial period, but as somebody who also lived in England for several years I can also attest that the Guardian will usually attempt to present those instances in the worst possible light while minimizing or ignoring half of the viewpoints or rationales for why those events happened. Not that they don’t bring up valid points or catch some pretty good stories, but they are pretty openly one-sided (usually offering views predicated on the idea that free markets and profit are inherently evil).

  8. #8 |  Sudha Shenoy | 

    The statements in the column are intemperate & baseless. I wrote about the wild charges made in Mike Davis’ book:


    These charges, as also the column, are good examples of anti-imperialism: sticks to beat the ‘colonialist’ with. History is another thing altogether. It’s _much_ more difficult to write about.

  9. #9 |  scottp | 

    I live in Jacksonville, FL, and littering here seems to be some sort of pastime. It’s not at all unusual to see whole bags of trash discarded on the side of the road.
    Of course, the bag is usually broken open and the contents are strewn all over.
    I wouldn’t throw litterbugs in jail, I’d make them perform community service by picking up trash.

  10. #10 |  Tom G | 

    I’ll say this again (in regards to the article about Congress voting itself a pay raise):
    Is there some reason that news organizations cannot provide LINKS when they talk about bills getting voted on? I mean to one of the sites such as Thomas (Library of Congress) which let you see who voted, what the whole text of the bill is, etc. I think there is one other site but I don’t remember what its URL is.
    http://thomas.loc.gov/ – the Library of Congress URL for legislation.

  11. #11 |  pris | 

    The Turkish response Guardian article and Orhan Pamuk is 3 years old. I heard Orhan Pamuk speak on the first anniversary of his Pulitzer Prize in Nov’07. His family and his life were threatened, he was told if he continued to speak about the Turkish atrocites he would not be able to return to his home in Instanbul. He continues to have a security presence. He will no longer even speak about the subject. Sounds like our government putting the kabosh on Guantanamo discussions and the loss of our rights.

  12. #12 |  Nando | 

    The use of someone’s photo without their permission, once it’s been uploaded to a site, may actually be totally legal. I don’t remember if it was Flickr or not, but I actually sat down and read the EULA (you know, that long blabber that nobody reads and they just click “accept”) and I found that, once you uploaded the picture to their site, the picture now became their property (meaning they could sell it to Fox for their broadcast, if they liked). Needless to say, I don’t use online picture sites with the exception of Picassa.

    So, if those pictures used for commercial purposes came from sites where the EULA clearly stated that the pictures became their property once uploaded, the photographers have nothing to complain about (RTFM, or in this case RTFEULA).

    BTW, I’m sure we’re all familiar with contests where you mail stuff in and the first thing they tell you is that, once you do, everything becomes their property and you can no longer request it back. It’s kind of the same thing, but online.

  13. #13 |  andyinsdca | 

    Pictures online present a very interesting copyright problem. For example, if I have a pic on my personal website (not Flickr or whatever), is it in the public domain? Do I still retain rights? And if I do retain the rights, how do I go about enforcing it? I can’t possibly police every download/view of the picture, because it’s easy enough to right-click..save image in a browser. Taking this one step further, if I use the picture in a Fark thread (for example) the content becomes property of Fark, supposedly. Do I still retain my rights to the pic?

    And what if I hotlink an image from a major corporation on Fark. Does the corp still hold the rights? Does Fark? Do I?

    Too many question and I’m not sure the answers are forthcoming, given the current technology.

  14. #14 |  Rob Davidson | 

    “Congress earns its lowest approval ratings in history, then votes itself a pay raise.”

    Which makes me wonder which part of the 27th Amendment they don’t understand?

    “No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.”

  15. #15 |  Bill Gates » Gates AIDS funds yield mixed results - San Francisco Chronicle | 

    […] the negative publicity surrounding that case would have made it over to the UK, but apparently not. The Agitator points us to a story that Prince’s representatives have forced a UK taxi driver to take some […]

  16. #16 |  Confrontations | Free The Animal | 

    […] United. This article illustrates why pretty clearly. That's George Monboit in the UK Guardian (via Balko) and it's about the propensity of the British to forget "their own" atrocities vis-รก-vis […]