November 30, 2009

Dear Peter Mandelson... Dan Bull Sings His Opposition To Kicking People Off The Internet

I watched this video over at and it is freakin' awesome...especially if you're familiar with the U.K's equivilent to our RIAA and what their practices are. Enjoy the video and click HERE to find out more.



November 23, 2009

I am personally a Beavers Fan. But this month I am on the Ducks' least some of their fans. 
A video was posted to You Tube by some Oregon Ducks fans under the group name “Supwitchugirl” and it is a rap song called 'I Love My Ducks.' It's hilarious and went viral quickly. (I was personally 'Tweeted' it a dozen times.)

But the marketing arm of the UO athletic department asked the students to take it down earlier this week because the Duck mascot appears repeatedly in it, and the rights to the mascot are a copyright of the Walt Disney Co. — an agreement between the UO and Disney that dates back to at least the early 1940s. The Duck, after all, is based on Donald Duck.

Apparently Disney hasn't made an official complaint, but the marketing department doesn't want it to go that far.

“There is a misconception that the athletic department is opposed to the video,” UO athletic department spokesman Dave Williford said. “And that’s not true. We’re opposed to the Duck being in the video. It’s a great piece. We just would like the Duck removed from the video, then we don’t have an issue.”
This story has even gone viral to some degree and even posted a story about it.
I agree with Tech Dirt and think that it's silly as the video is doing no harm to Walt Disney's a great video and song is freakin' awesome! So forget Disney and the marketing department. Here's the video below:



November 17, 2009

NASA launches Web resource for 2012 predictions

Over the past few weeks, we've heard more and more about 2012 when, according to some,the world will end. Responding to all that talk with a healthy dose of skepticism, scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration have launched a Web page to dispel the myths surrounding the momentous occasion.
On an FAQ page called, "2012: Beginning of the End or Why the World Won't End?" NASA wrote that much like the Y2K scare a decade ago, the end of the world won't come in 2012.
"Impressive movie special effects aside, December 21, 2012, won't be the end of the world as we know," NASA scientists wrote on its 2012 page. "It will, however, be another winter solstice."
According to NASA scientists, "nothing bad will happen to the Earth in 2012." The scientists wrote on the page that "our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012."
But it's further down on the page where the scientists bring out the big guns. They said although the myth surrounding 2012 contends planets will align and crash into Earth, "there are no planetary alignments in the next few decades, Earth will not cross the galactic plane in 2012, and even if these alignments were to occur, their effects on the Earth would be negligible. Each December the Earth and sun align with the approximate center of the Milky Way galaxy but that is an annual event of no consequence."
In the end, it was a simple comment from NASA senior research scientist Don Yeomans that might sum up the agency's feelings on 2012: "There apparently is a great deal of interest in celestial bodies, and their locations and trajectories at the end of the calendar year 2012. Now, I for one love a good book or movie as much as the next guy. But the stuff flying around through cyberspace, TV, and the movies is not based on science."
Originally posted at Cutting Edge

November 6, 2009

from the nice-try dept Via

Back in September, we wrote about Glenn Beck's misguided attempt to gain control over the domain name used as part of an internet meme that is critical of Glenn Beck, (it's a dead site now, keep reading). If you're unfamiliar with the meme, it's mocking a favorite tactic of various cable news talk show hosts, to "ask questions" that are accusatory in nature, whether or not there's any substance to back them up. Glenn Beck didn't accuse the site of defamation or anything, but filed a domain name complaint, saying that it violated his trademark. As we noted at the time, the trademark claim was really questionable -- and, of course, only served to draw more attention to the site and the internet meme. 

The site brought on lawyer Marc Randazza who filed one of the most brilliant responses(pdf) to a legal threat that you'll ever see. It's quite amusing. Randazza takes the old "moron in a hurry" test up one level, using the "abject imbecile" test. And then there was this:
We are not here because the domain name could cause confusion. We do not have a declaration from the president of the international association of imbeciles that his members are blankly staring at the Respondent's website wondering "where did all the race baiting content go?" We are here because Mr. Beck wants Respondent's website shut down. He wants it shut down because Respondent's website makes a poignant and accurate satirical critique of Mr. Beck by parodying Beck's very rhetorical style. Beck's skin is too thin to take the criticism, so he wants the site down.
Apparently, Randazza's letter worked wonders. The WIPO Arbitration Panel has rejected the attempt to take the domain, saying that it was a legitimate use of Beck's name:
In the present context, this Panel considers that if Internet users view the disputed domain name in combination with a visit to Respondent's website, the "total effect" is that of political commentary by Respondent, capable of protection as political speech by the First Amendment under the Hustler Magazine standard. Respondent appears to the Panel to be engaged in a parody of the style or methodology that Respondent appears genuinely to believe is employed by Complainant in the provision of political commentary, and for that reason Respondent can be said to be making a political statement. This constitutes a legitimate non-commercial use of Complainant's mark under the Policy.
Either way, now that the site's owner has prevailed, he apparently feels he has made his point, and has agreed to voluntarily hand over the domain (pdf), along with an explanation in the First Amendment and how not to respond to internet memes:
It bears observing that by bringing the WIPO complaint, you took what was merely one small critique meme, in a sea of internet memes, and turned it into a super-meme. Then, in pressing forward (by not withdrawing the complaint and instead filing additional briefs), you turned the super-meme into an object lesson in First Amendment principles.

It also bears noting, in this matter and for the future, that you are entirely in control of whether or not you are the subject of this particular kind of criticism. I chose to criticize you using the well-tested method of satire because of its effectiveness. But, humor aside, your rhetorical style is no laughing matter. In this context of this WIPO case, you denigrated the letter of First Amendment law. In the context of your television show and your notoriety, you routinely and shamelessly denigrate the spirit of the First Amendment....

Although the site is Dead as mentioned above, it is still available through the magic of Google Cache: So here's a link:

And here's a link to the comments section back at TechDirt and a BIG thank you to them for being so cool!

I just read this and was really surprised that Bradley's Estate would have the courts file against his former band mates & friends.