Archive for January 28th, 2008

How Conveeeenient.

I don’t like this at all:

Apparently even the cease-and-desist letters sent to sites to inform them to stop violating copyrights are now – copyrighted.

TechDirt is reporting an update to a case they first covered back in October where a lawyer tried to claim his cease-and-desist letters fell under a copyright, and thus no one could legally reprint them without his express permission. The people’s advocacy group, Public Citizen, saw this as a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution, and moved to stop it.

Yet from the look of a press release put out yesterday by the lawyer in question, it seems the judge agreed the man’s claim. The publication of a letter can now result statutory damages for as much as $150,000 per occurrence plus attorneys’ fees that can average $750,000 through trial.

Ya know, I’m not a lawyer or a psychic, but I’m pretty sure that cease-and-desist letters were not the kind of intellectual content that copyright law was written to cover. In fact, this doesn’t really look like the protection of intellectual content at all, so much as protection against embarrassment and exposure for sleazy lawyers and their clients who use C&D letters to harass and intimidate.

It’s just a theory.

(h/t Caro Kay)

January 28th, 2008 at 11:45pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Constitution,Corruption/Cronyism,Judiciary,Wankers

Monday Media Blogging Redux

Because I just can’t leave well enough alone. Behold the shocking video of a bear on the loose in this family’s yard!

Don’t worry, they were eventually able to return this majestic creature to his habitat unharmed.

(h/t Dan Vera)

1 comment January 28th, 2008 at 10:07pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Monday Media Blogging

Freudian Slip?

Well, that was unintentionally revealing. Just before the State Of The Union address got underway, Brian Williams said:

The President likes the trains on time…

You know, I can think of someone else who liked the trains on time.

January 28th, 2008 at 09:15pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Media

Is It Too Late To Change My Endorsement?

I just realized who would be the perfect Democratic nominee:


32GB unlocked iPhones for everyone!!!

Also, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld & Rove in jail, the rule of law restored, publicly financed elections, electric cars, American troops out of Iraq, fair and impartial judges, fair and impartial media, religion out of politics, a sane and compassionate immigration policy, and tough, smart Democratic politicians who care about the environment and ordinary citizens at least as much as they care about the rich and powerful.

Did I miss anything? (I was promised flying cars…)

NOTE: “Religion out of politics” should be considered shorthand for gay marriage, abortion rights, and stem cell research.

January 28th, 2008 at 09:11pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Uncategorized


Usually my comment spam gets trapped by my spam filters, but the ones that get through tend to be doozies. Today I got:

maiming coached seaport?hologram,illusively …


linearizing,snoopy gamblers tinkles …

They almost, tantalizingly make sense. I love the spam that sounds like avant-garde poetry.

Also, I got a couple more of those lewd e-mails with the same general formula as before. From Glenda Walter and Anibal Harmon, respectively, in Subject / Body format:

CockMonolithicLenora / JuliaSchlongBroad

BigDickKenya / PenisWide-ranging Jerald

That last one is just brilliant.

January 28th, 2008 at 08:06pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Spamoptikon

FEC Damns Self With Faint Praise

David Mason, FEC chairman, responds to an NYT op-ed about how slow and ineffective his agency is:

The contention that enforcement action is slow and ineffective also flies in the face of basic facts. The time required to complete investigations and conciliation in enforcement actions has declined by 30 percent in recent years, with the commission resolving 85 percent of cases within 15 months. At the same time, the F.E.C. has received civil penalties approaching $6 million in 2007, following a record receipt of $6.2 million in penalties in 2006, more than double the levels in previous years.

Wow, 15 months and $6 million – that sure is sticking it to the big-money donors, all right.

My favorite part: The fact that the op-ed that Mr. Rapid Response is responding to is from January 3rd.

January 28th, 2008 at 11:56am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Elections,Politics

Monday Media Blogging

It looks like there is a very formidable late entrant in the Republican primaries – this could be a serious problem for Hillary in the general.

And what a running mate!

(h/t Woody)

January 28th, 2008 at 11:22am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Monday Media Blogging

Post-Partisanship Is A Two-Way Street

Paul Krugman reminds us that it’s not enough to have to have an oh-so-civil, across-the-aisle-reaching, “post-partisan” Democratic president to improve the tone in Washington:

Whatever hopes people might have had that Mr. Clinton would usher in a new era of national unity were quickly dashed. Within just a few months the country was wracked by the bitter partisanship Mr. Obama has decried.

This bitter partisanship wasn’t the result of anything the Clintons did. Instead, from Day 1 they faced an all-out assault from conservatives determined to use any means at hand to discredit a Democratic president.


No accusation was considered too outlandish: a group supported by Jerry Falwell put out a film suggesting that the Clintons had arranged for the murder of an associate, and The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page repeatedly hinted that Bill Clinton might have been in cahoots with a drug smuggler.


[T]hose who don’t want to nominate Hillary Clinton because they don’t want to return to the nastiness of the 1990s — a sizable group, at least in the punditocracy — are deluding themselves. Any Democrat who makes it to the White House can expect the same treatment: an unending procession of wild charges and fake scandals, dutifully given credence by major media organizations that somehow can’t bring themselves to declare the accusations unequivocally false (at least not on Page 1).

The point is that while there are valid reasons one might support Mr. Obama over Mrs. Clinton, the desire to avoid unpleasantness isn’t one of them.

What a tradeoff – we would get a Democratic president who capitulates to the Republicans… and gets savaged just as much as he would if he had vowed to wipe the Republican Party from the face of the earth and proceeded to govern like Dubya’s liberal twin. Fantastic.

Which brings me right back to what I have never been able to understand about the Obama campaign. Obama inspires people with this idea that he would somehow be a transformational agent of change, yet his avowed strategy is to work with Republicans to try to somehow bridge the gap and find common ground between the parties. How exactly will that bring about change? President Obama would get rolled, and the country would continue drifting to the right, albeit (maybe, hopefully) a little more slowly.

I want a Democratic president who will stand their ground and say NO, as clearly and loudly as possible, and who recognizes that the Republicans, as well as most of the media, are his or her sworn enemies. If the Republicans want “compromise,” let them yield some ground first. If the media wants access, let them stop acting as right-wing propaganda outlets first.

If that sounded like an endorsement of Hillary, it shouldn’t. She does understand what she’s facing, but she also belongs to the establishment, business-as-usual, hawkish corporate DLC wing of the Democratic party. I just don’t trust her to consistently take the right stand on the issues that are important to progressives, particularly Iraq, Iran, the Constitution, and the ever-increasingly concentration of power and money in the hands of a few privileged elites.

That’s why I’m still endorsing Edwards, who has a much more progressive and oppositional message, and would be much more likely to fight for actual substantive change. I still would have preferred Dodd, though. He showed far more courage and leadership than any of the three frontrunners, and got precious little to show for it.

1 comment January 28th, 2008 at 07:46am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Clinton,Democrats,Elections,Media,Obama,Politics,Republicans

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