August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Attacks on journalists: The lies that make it possible

Attacks on journalists are made possible by PR spin, a sleeping public and the collapsed media in their easy chairs

By Brenda Norrell

Today Censored News takes a look at what others are writing and the fresh attacks on journalism, journalists and truth.

First of all, a big welcome to our news readers. Most of our readers today, outside of the US and Canada, are in Russia, Germany, France. China, UK, India, Indonesia and Romania. It is good to know that there are so many readers in China, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Germany and elsewhere where there is a history of censorship and oppression. They continue to be the largest group of global readers at Censored News each month.

Longest Walk 4 walks into Illinois!

Long Walk Photo by Susan Suhar on Aug. 14 Indiana
MARSHALL, Illinois: Day 37 (Tues. Aug. 20, 2013) Hard 20 miles today. Very hot. Got just past Marshall in the area some call Illinois. Getting vehicles checked out tomorrow. Hope we find a stay place in central Illinois soon. Wayne Hamilton has been a great host here, and the LaPlantes have come and fed us as well. -- Longest Walk 4 Return to Alcatraz
Long Walk cell to offer support: 202-436-6576

Share the love with Long Walk 4, a meal, cold water, camping spot, your friendship! -- Censored News
Photo by Mexicanos de Rostro Desconocido Sharon Heta, Maori, and husband Michael Lane, an original long walker from 1978

Using Copyright to Silence Oil Sands Satire? How Crude.


Using Copyright To Silence Oil Sands Satire? How Crude.

By Electronic Frontier Foundation

Video still available at:
When will they ever learn? The Alberta tourism bureau—which shares a law firm with some of the Canadian province's major oil companies—used a copyright takedown notice to try to smother a movie trailer that satirizes Alberta's oil sands project. The two-and-a-half-minute trailer used about four seconds of an Alberta travel advertisement to contrast its lush nature shots with images of environmental destruction in the oil fields, and to satirize its "Remember to Breathe" slogan. These are fair uses that should have been obvious to Travel Alberta's lawyers, and ordering the trailer down earns Travel Alberta a place in EFF's Takedown Hall of Shame.
The comic force behind the trailer video "Welcome to Fort McMoney" is Andy Cobb and Mike Demanskis, Los Angeles-based satirists who have authored over 100 political comedy videos. Cobb and Demanskis were inspired by an ad from the Canadian oil industry that encouraged viewers to "come see for yourself" the environment around Alberta's oil projects. They also found irony in the "Remember to Breathe" tourism slogan. Cobb described Travel Alberta's campaign to the Desmog Canada blog as "We’re making an entire region smell like someone broke wind in a refinery, while destroying the climate for like, everybody everywhere. What’s our theme? I know, respiration!"
Cobb and Demanskis decided to take up the invitation to visit the oil sands, and to film a documentary there. They made the trailer, which includes glimpses of the Travel Alberta commercial, as part of an effort to raise funds to film the documentary.
Last Wednesday, YouTube's black curtain came down on the video (it remains up on their Indiegogo fundraising page, hosted from Vimeo). The Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown request came from Travel Alberta via the Dentons law firm. Dentons, formed from a merger of several large Canadian and international law firms, also represents ExxonMobil and a company that is building a pipeline from the oil sands to the Pacific. The filmmakers sent YouTube a counter-notice, insisting on their right to show the video. Under the DMCA, YouTube is supposed to put the video back up within 10-14 days. (As of today, it's still down.)
Under U.S. law, which Travel Alberta is invoking here, using small portions of a copyrighted video to critique its message is an obvious fair use. The fair use claim is especially strong where the use of the clips won't impact the market for the original. While Cobb and Demanskis's pointing out the irony of inviting tourists to "Remember to Breathe" the air near a vast oil works might discourage some people from visiting Alberta, that's not the sort of harm that copyright law was meant to stop. Travel Alberta and Dentons know this—or they should. Using copyright to take down the "Fort McMoney" trailer is no more than a crude attempt at censorship, and it earns Travel Alberta a place in EFF's Takedown Hall of Shame.

Guardian forced to destroy Snowden files

UK Media Crackdown: Greenwald’s Partner Detained, Guardian Forced to Destroy Snowden Files
The Obama administration has acknowledged it had advance notice British officials were going to detain David Miranda, the partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has revealed the National Security Agency’s massive spy practices. Miranda was held Sunday at London’s Heathrow Airport under Section 7 of the British Terrorism Act for nine hours — the maximum time he could be detained without charge. Miranda has just announced legal action against the British Home Office for his detention. Meanwhile, The Guardian has revealed the British government threatened legal action against the newspaper unless it either destroyed Snowden’s classified documents or handed them to British authorities. "At its core, what is at stake is the ability for a human being to have dignity and for journalists to have integrity with their sources, [threatening] the whole concept of a free democracy," says computer security researcher Jacob Appelbaum, who has been detained and questioned numerous times at airports. "And I don’t mean that as hyperbole, but if everything is under surveillance, how is it that you can have a democracy? How is it that you can organize a political function, or have confidentiality with a constituent, or a source, or with a friend or a lover? That’s an erasure of fundamental things that we have had for quite some time." We’re also joined by longtime British attorney Gareth Peirce.
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