Barack Obama’s campaign strategy revealed on Powerpoint. This is clearly a response to the McCain camp’s very slick slide show — whiich was quite frankly, more visually impressive — on Apple Keynote, which is below:
Al Gore on the problem: “What is missing is a sense of urgency.” This is the best speech I have ever seen Al Gore give. This is better, even more passionate and inspiring than the Academy Award winning “An Inconvenient Truth.” Please watch it and share it with others, before it’s too late. You owe it to your children and the future of our planet.
For more info on climate crisis, visit the Alliance for Climate Protection.
For more info on what you can do in your own life to help out, visit Carbonrally.com.
News: Michael Arrington at Techcrunch has the complaint filed by EMI today against VideoEgg + Hi5. Once I read the complaint, I’ll provide some analysis.
For photos from the event, click here.
News: I wanted to thank Tom Goldstein at Scotus blog (the premier site for Supreme Court action) and Dan Slater at Wall Street Journal’s law blog for referencing my last post that suggests how the Supreme Court’s decision in the gun case (DC v. Heller) is helpful to speech technologies + the freedom of the press.
The basic pivot point that connects the 2nd Amendment and the Free Press Clause in the 1st Amendment is that they are the only 2 provisions in the Constitution in which the Framers sought to protect a right to a technology — the right to “keep and bear arms” in the 2nd amendment and the right to the freedom “of the press” (meaning the printing press). I’ve outlined the history of the Free Press clause in an article you can download here. My article shows that the Framers clearly intended the Free Press clause to be a limit on the Copyright Clause, specifically to prevent the government from directly regulating or restricting the technology of the printing press. Indeed, the history behind the Free Press clause is strikingly similar to the history behind the 2nd Amendment in terms of both the English abuses in restricting a technology (guns or the printing press) and the Framers’ subsequent ratification debate between Antifederalists and Federalists.
If the Supreme Court follows the same approach in interpreting the history and text of the Free Press Clause as it employed in the gun case, then the result is likely to be that Congress’s efforts to restrict speech technologies under copyright law would be unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court rules 2nd Amendment right to “keep + bear arms” — why should Free Speech supporters and technology companies be happy?June 26, 2008
News: The Supreme Court announced its 5-4 decision today in the gun-control case in District of Columbia v. Heller, declaring the DC gun control law banning handguns unconstitutional. You can download the opinion here. Justice Scalia wrote the majority opinion and applied a close textual analysis of the Second Amendment, along with a review of the history of various uses of the words “keep,” “bear” and “arms” in England, state constitutions, and contemporaneous writings.
Analysis: Here are my initial reactions. First, it is amazing that this is the first time in 217 years that the Supreme Court has definitively ruled on the Second Amendment right. That’s a very long time of silence. Second, I’m not an expert in gun control, so I can’t speak to those issues. But for technology companies dealing with speech-related technologies, the Court’s precedent on guns may actually be very good for speech technologies.
As I’ve said in the past, there are only 2 provisions of the Constitution that deal with technologies: (1) the Second Amendment’s “arms” and (2) the First Amendment’s “press,” referring to the printing press. If the Court interprets the Free Press clause in a parallel manner to the way it has interpreted the Second Amendment, it is very possible that Congress’s present or future attempts to regulate speech technologies under copyright law could be unconstitutional.
My theory is laid out in detail in my article “Freedom of the Press 2.0,” an early draft of which you can find online.
UPDATE: A number of people have read this post and may be skeptical about the connection. I’ve written a few more words about the historical connection between guns + the printing press, between the 2nd Amendment and the 1st, on a subsequent post you can find here. Although the Framers were dealing with two very different technologies (guns + press), the origin of and debate over both clauses followed a strikingly similar path.
And I should add Justice Scalia himself cites (p. 29) to a Massachusetts supreme judical court opinion and a 1868 con law treatise (p. 46) that make the direct analogy to the freedom of the printing press and the right to bear arms:
“The liberty of the press was to be unrestrained, but he who used it was to be responsible in cases of its abuse; like the right to keep fire arms, which does not protect him who uses them for annoyance or destruction.”
“The [2nd Amendment] clause is analogous to the one securing the freedom of speech and of the press.”
And then Justice Scalia himself draws the analogy to the First Amendment, although only the free speech clause (free press is often overlooked):
“The First Amendment contains the freedom-of-speech guarantee that the people ratified, which included exceptions for obscenity, libel, and disclosure of state secrets, but not for the expression of extremely unpopular and wrong-headed views. The Second Amendment is no different.” (p. 63)
UPDATE: I’ve just written an Essay on this topic. Click here to download a copy.
News: I’ve just published my Fifth Report analyzing the videos of the presidential candidates on YouTube. Barack Obama continues to beat John McCain in popularity on YouTube by wide margins.
One of the most amazing and inspiring stories ever.
if you want to watch the 1.0 version, click here.
Tim Russert was an icon for “Meet the Press” on NBC. He will be sorely missed.
News: Paul sent in this blog post chronicling how Esmee Denters just went over the 100 million view mark on YouTube. Amazing!
Would Al Gore on the ticket as VP be the “dream team” for the Democrats?
How to use the government’s surveillance cameras in UK to make your own music video — The Get Out Clause shows howJune 16, 2008
News: Several friends have sent me this video, and I’ve been meaning to blog it. It’s video compiled by the British government’s surveillance cameras of a band that purposely shot themselves in front of the videos to make a music video. It turns out in England a citizen has a right to obtain such surveillance video taken of them from the government. The band is called the Get Out Clause, and the song and video are very cool! The lead singer sounds a little like Chris Martin of Coldplay.
News: YouTube has launched a new feature called “annotations” that allows user to write text overlays in videos, as well as enable linking within videos to allow you to click through to several different videos. Val’s Art Diary uses the annotations to discuss the Arnolfini Marriage painting. Check it out!
News: p2p software was the bane of the music and movie industry, going back to Napster. Now, Viacom-owned Spike TV is turning to p2p to promote one its upcoming shows called the Factory, which will be available for free downloading and sharing on Limewire and other p2p networks. More from LA Times and Techdirt
Analysis: Viacom, of course, is suing YouTube. So it’s interesting to see one of its companies try to tap into the peer-to-peer networks and free file-sharing of its copyrighted shows. I do think it’s good for Viacom and other media companies to try to promote their shows through p2p networks.
Analysis: CNET’s Don Reisinger has a pretty scathing review:
“Let’s face it — the YouTube acquisition was a major blunder and regardless of how successful the company is in other areas, there’s no reason to suggest advertisers are willing and ready to place ads on videos of 18-year olds shooting milk out their nose or 80-year old men mooning a parade.
“As far as I can tell, much of the online advertising money is going to sites like Hulu where the content is controlled, the shows are regulated, and the demographics of the audience are easily obtained.
“How does YouTube and its content compare? The audience is huge, but it’s filled with a diverse set of people who generally view a select few of the more popular videos; the videos are barely regulated; and the content isn’t controlled in the least. Why should any advertiser want to send cash to a service like that? * * *
“Will YouTube become the dump of advertising where strip clubs and brothels will advertise on sexually-oriented videos and unknown politicians will sell themselves on left- or right-leaning clips? I certainly don’t see Johnson and Johnson sending ad dollars to YouTube anytime soon.”
News: In 2006, Cassandra Malloy delivered a 2-minute valedictory speech–titled “Beatles Valedictorian Speech”–at her high school graduation. The video is below, which she put on YouTube. The speech cleverly used Beatles’ lyrics and song titles to advise her fellow classmates. The Beatles references were mashed together in 1-minute.
Well, apparently in 2007, some other valedictorian made a Beatles graduation speech–titled “the Perfect Beatles Graduation Speech” and posted it on YouTube. The video is no longer accessible.
And, now in 2008, another high school student, 18-year-old Melanio C. Acosta IV, from Circleville, Ohio (who is going to Ohio State!), made a Beatles graduation speech. At first, according to news accounts, he admitted he plagiarized it and gave up his status as valediction. Now, though with a lawyer helping him, he says he only borrowed the idea from the YouTube video, but didn’t plagiarize. He’s even threatening to sue the high school for his valedictorian status back.
Analysis: What’s very interesting is that Melanio Acosta admits to getting his ideas from the 2nd video “The Perfect Beatles Graduation Speech.” But the speaker in the 2nd video, it turns out, might have copied at least the idea for the Beatles graduation speech from Cassandra Malloy, in the 1st video!
I haven’t seen Acosta’s speech, so can’t really say what I think about the plagiarism charge. Obviously, anyone is free to quote snippets from a few Beatles songs and mash them together in a graduation speech. Attribution to the Beatles was clear in the 1st speech by Malloy, and I assume in the other 2 speeches because that’s what made the speech funny and effective.
The more difficult question arises if any of the subsequent speakers simply took the exact same Beatles quotes in the exact same order, with substantially the additional words sprinkled in by Malloy in the 1st speech. Malloy’s speech was very short, but it sounded to me that she added in some of her own original content (it wasn’t just a string of Beatles quotes). So a close paraphrase or copy of her speech without attribution might raise not only a plagiarism issue, but a copyright infringement issue as well.