100% ‘fair use’ political ad censored by DMCA

This is a perfect illustration of how the unbalanced copyright laws are abusive.

The political ad of Obama singing the song ‘Let’s Stay Together’ while showing images of him with rich lobbyists is as textbook  ‘fair use’ as there is.  Yet, the song rightsholder, BMG, had it yanked off the interwebitudes:

‘A YouTube video produced by the Romney for President campaign got hit by a takedown request on Monday, highlighting the challenges that the Digital Millenium Copyright Act can pose for free speech.

Yet the “notice and takedown” process established by the DMCA and apparently utilized by BMG in this case doesn’t give the Romney campaign much recourse. It can file a counter notice stating that it believes its clip to be fair use, but YouTube is required to wait a minimum of 10 days before putting the video back up. In a campaign where the news cycle is measured in hours, 10 days is an eternity.’

Because sometimes, delaying a message is just as good as stopping it…

Another dimension of the problem is that individuals unfairly censored under the current policies are penalized for the other side’s failure – without any accessible or effective recourse or remedy readily available.  They are, in a very real sense, guilty until proven innocent – at their own cost and by their own effort.

This is so contrary to our common law tradition I don’t know where to begin!

And it’s only going to get worse – unless we shift our enforcement focus from ‘fair dealing’ to ‘fair ‘use’ (as, hopefully, seems to be happening up here, in Canada).



Prime Number Patterns

An excellent set of videos explaining the theory of relativity – Part 1

With the recent findings about the Higgs boson, the interest in the scientific theories that best describe our reality has risen.

Aside:  I don’t know how true this story is, but it is amusing and for this amusement value alone that I’ll repeat it.  Why is Higgs called ‘the god particle’?  Well, it was annoyingly difficult to find.  Very annoyingly.  Annoyingly enough that when a physicist was submitting an article to a journal about yet another experiment that failed to detect it, he titled it ‘The God-damned Particle’. The journal editor, not wanting to print such potentially offensive language, had edited it to remove the ‘damned’ from the title.  Ever since, it has been known as ‘The God Particle’!

While surfing, I came across a set of excellent videos about the theory of relativity.

They seem to have struck a balance between being too difficult to follow and being simplified to the point of error.  As in, this series is neither!

The series is not yet finished – the author, ozmoroid, keeps adding more.  So, I thought I’d start posting some of the earlier videos – starting at the beginning – and slowly catch up to where he is now.


Update:  Ooops – here is the intro….