Sunday, December 12, 2010

Northern Manhattan Parks Master Plan

A tip of the hat to Osi Kaminer, who pointed us in the direction of this web page pertaining to the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation's master plan for parks in northern Manhattan. The page includes an interactive map which allows you to vote on existing proposals or to submit your own:

Saturday, December 11, 2010

On Chess: Players were pawns for overzealous cops

Shelby Lyman

Peaceful play can be hazardous - at least at the chess tables of Inwood Hill Park in New York.

Several weeks ago, seven men were levied with $50 tickets for playing chess in a park area restricted to adults accompanied by kids. Nearby was a playground - empty of children at the time.

A police spokesman offered an explanation:

"It's the broken-windows theory: Small things can turn into bigger things."

Aggressive action to protect children from predation is commendable, but residents in the neighborhood remain divided over the logic of the raid. Couldn't kinder, gentler means have been used? The modus operandi of the New York police - they swooped down on their targets wearing bulletproof vests - has provoked at least a few comments.

Perhaps the police had been advised that chess players wield a few weapons of their own.

In 1972, during the Bobby Fischer-Boris Spassky matches, the public learned of the use of the dreaded "poison pawns."

The officers might have also heard of the fire-breathing dragon variation of the Sicilian opening, not to mention the sometimes lethal hippopotamus defense or the rarely used orangutan.

Shelby Lyman is a Basic Chess Features columnist.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Marijuana Lab Discovered at Inwood Building Torched by Fire

By Carla Zanoni

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

INWOOD — A sophisticated marijuana lab was discovered by firefighters investigating a fast-moving blaze that tore through a six-story apartment building Thursday morning.

Homegrown plants amounting to an "aggregate weight of several pounds of marijuana" were recovered in an apartment at 510 West 218th St., according to 34th Precinct Capt. Jose Navarro. The fire broke out Thursday morning, and killed two pets and left dozens of families homeless.

"During the fire rescue operations, an apartment used to grow marijuana plants was discovered," Navarro said in an e-mail. He added that the apartment as unfurnished "with the exception of a sophisticated array of ventilation, automatic room temperature control and power source equipment."

The discovery triggered an investigation by the 34th Precinct and the NYPD Narcotics Division, Navarro said.

Fire officials said the marijuana lab did not conribute to the start of the fire, and that the fire was caused by an accidental electrical malfunction in the building.

Neighbors said they were not surprised to hear about the lab.

"This is a quiet section of Inwood," resident Marianna Suerte said. "It makes it the perfect place to grow drugs and not get too many questions."

A 25-year resident of the neighborhood who did not want to be identified said she was also not surprised to hear about the discovery. Although the neighborhood has drastically changed from its drug and gang heyday during the 80s and early 90s, she said there are still pockets of concern.

"There are a lot of shenanigans going on in this building," she said. "You see some pretty unsavory people coming in and out."

A resident of the building, who also asked that his name be withheld out of safety concerns, agreed.

"Am I surprised there was a marijuana lab here?" he asked. "Of course not. There's weed everywhere in Inwood."

Net Zero Energy Buildings

The New York Academy of Sciences presents a panel discussion on net zero energy buildings on January 25, 2011.

Net Zero Energy Buildings: Moving from Demonstration Projects to the Mainstream

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 | 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented by the Green Buildings Discussion Group

Since the completion of the Lewis Center at Oberlin College in 1999, which at 13,000 sf was at that time the largest net zero energy building (nZEB) in the country, the green building community has been conceptualizing and developing strategies to scale up nZEBs and make them more commonplace within the industry. Yet, for years energy neutral buildings have remained rarities and typically have been low-intensity use buildings under 15,000sf.

The recent completion of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Research Support Facility (RSF)—a 220,000 sf office and lab building with a data center in Golden, CO—has led to new optimism. The NREL-RSF is a testament to a new level of performance, and to an approach to design and construction that rewards cooperation and respects the expertise of all team members. Dr. Paul Torcellini of NREL will describe the design process, which included an analysis and rethinking of occupant behavior and office interiors and led to an innovative building design with unique features that allow the building to operate as an nZEB. Building on this insight into the inspiring work of the NREL-RSF team, Bert Gregory of Mithun will discuss his firms' involvement in net zero energy buildings and neighborhoods such as the Lloyd Crossing and Project Green planning efforts. He will present inspiring projects that are achieving new levels of sustainability in a challenging marketplace and will provide expert insights into metrics, best practices, trends, and prospects in the realm of low/net zero energy buildings. 

Panel Agenda


Chris Garvin, Terrapin Bright Green
Catherine Pfeiffenberger, Skanska


Chris Garvin, Terrapin Bright Green


Bert Gregory, Mithun
Paul Torcellini, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Networking reception to follow.

Net Zero Energy Buildings | The New York Academy of Sciences

The Green Buildings Discussion Group of the New York Academy of Sciences will be presenting a discussion of net zero energy buildings on January 15, 2011:

  • Net Zero Energy Buildings: Moving from Demonstration Projects to the Mainstream

    Tuesday, January 25, 2011 | 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    The New York Academy of Sciences

    Presented by the Green Buildings Discussion Group

    Since the completion of the Lewis Center at Oberlin College in 1999, which at 13,000 sf was at that time the largest net zero energy building (nZEB) in the country, the green building community has been conceptualizing and developing strategies to scale up nZEBs and make them more commonplace within the industry. Yet, for years energy neutral buildings have remained rarities and typically have been low-intensity use buildings under 15,000sf.

    The recent completion of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Research Support Facility (RSF)—a 220,000 sf office and lab building with a data center in Golden, CO—has led to new optimism. The NREL-RSF is a testament to a new level of performance, and to an approach to design and construction that rewards cooperation and respects the expertise of all team members. Dr. Paul Torcellini of NREL will describe the design process, which included an analysis and rethinking of occupant behavior and office interiors and led to an innovative building design with unique features that allow the building to operate as an nZEB. Building on this insight into the inspiring work of the NREL-RSF team, Bert Gregory of Mithun will discuss his firms' involvement in net zero energy buildings and neighborhoods such as the Lloyd Crossing and Project Green planning efforts. He will present inspiring projects that are achieving new levels of sustainability in a challenging marketplace and will provide expert insights into metrics, best practices, trends, and prospects in the realm of low/net zero energy buildings. 

    Panel Agenda


    Chris Garvin, Terrapin Bright Green
    Catherine Pfeiffenberger, Skanska


    Chris Garvin, Terrapin Bright Green


    Bert Gregory, Mithun
    Paul Torcellini, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

    Networking reception to follow.

Inwood Fire Kills Dog, Forces Dozens From Their Homes

By Carla Zanoni

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

INWOOD — A dog named Murphy and a cat named Kelly were killed in a fast moving fire that tore through two stories of an Inwood apartment building Thursday morning and sent four people to the hospital for smoke inhalation.

The Red Cross said 46 residents of a 6-story building at 510 West 218th St. — 31 adults and 15 children — were forced out of their homes and into the early morning cold after the blaze broke out in a second-floor apartment at roughly 7:38 a.m.

At least four other pets were also evacuated from the building. Residents clutched their shivering dogs in American Red Cross blankets trying to keep warm while watching firefighters battle the blaze. Later they were taken to Columbia University’s Baker Field to receive services and information about when they might be able to return home.

City Councilman Robert Jackson spoke to the residents in the early afternoon telling the crowd they would be allowed to return to their homes temporarily once the building received clearance from the FDNY and Department of Buildings.


"Get your valuables and your medication, now that you are safe, that is what is important," he said.

Inwood native John Galvin, best known in the community for his paranormal investigations, lived with his wife, Kristen, in the second floor apartment where the fire started.

He said he received a call from his wife who said flames rapidly scaled the walls of their apartment as she tried to escape and rescue their miniature dachshund named Murphy.

A neighbor tried to help when Murphy leapt from Kristen Galvin's arms and ran into the burning apartment.

Kristen Galvin was one of five people taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation where she was evaluated and then released, according to her husband.

The dog died in the blaze according to fire officials, Galvin said.

A man who lives on the third floor of the building said his cat, Kelly, also died in the fire, but officials said they could not yet confirm the animal's death.

Martin Vasquez, 28, who lives in the building next door, was on his way to work when he spotted a woman on the fire escape.

"I saw a lady come from the fire escape. She was screaming," Vasquez said. "So I started knocking on all of the doors and then went [home] to make sure my wife and three kids were OK."

Two firefighters and three residents were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation, including two firefighters, according to FDNY Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Saccente.

None of the injuries were thought to be serious.

The fire quickly spread from Galvin's second floor apartment to the hallway and then to an apartment on the third floor, Saccente said.

"The flames just shot up the side of the building," neighbor Shane O'Neil said. "It was so fast."

Flames could be seen rising up from the courtyard between 510 West 218th St. and its neighbor building 108 Park Terrace East.

Rebecca Kuehl who has lived in the Park Terrace East building for two years said she watched the flames from her apartment window.

"I could hear people screaming from their fire escapes and then we heard the sirens," she said. "It was scary."


Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Latest Cause Celebre

My wife tells me that Fox NY and WCBS both had reporters on Beak Street this morning, apparently preparing reports...

Granny's $100 ticket - for throwing out newspaper


Posted: 1:24 AM, December 8, 2010


What a bunch of garbage!

An elderly Manhattan woman living on Social Security was slapped with a $100 ticket -- just for throwing away a newspaper in a city trash can.

Delia Gluckin, 80, tossed the paper in a bin right outside her Inwood apartment building Sunday morning, only to be ambushed by an overzealous Department of Sanitation agent wielding a citation book.

"I was walking to take the subway downtown and dropped it in a trash can, and this lady in a blue uniform ran up to me," Gluckin told The Post.

"I thought she was going to ask for directions. She said, 'You just dropped garbage in there,' " according to Gluckin.

LITTER OF THE LAW: Delia Gluckin, 80, got a $100 trash ticket when she threw a newspaper away.
Matthew McDermott
LITTER OF THE LAW: Delia Gluckin, 80, got a $100 trash ticket when she threw a newspaper away.

"I said, 'I didn't, it was just a newspaper,' and I offered to take it out," said Gluckin, who had tossed her Sunday Post out.

Sanit cop Kathy Castro wrote Gluckin the summons for putting "improper refuse" in a city litter basket.

"She acted as if I had a committed a crime," said the outraged octogenarian.

"I said, 'Look, lady, I'm a senior citizen . . . I'll just take it back.' I even said to her, 'Am I your first customer of the day? I really felt intimidated . . . I have a feeling she just wanted to make her quota."

The green mesh can, at the corner of Beak Street and Seaman Avenue, is marked with signs that read "litter only" and "no household trash."

In a statement, Sanitation admitted, "Being fined for tossing a newspaper into a basket is odd.

"Too many apartment dwellers use the corner litter basket as their personal household dumping site."

Gluckin said she'll fight the fine.

"I was never in trouble with anybody," she said. "I'm on a fixed income; I would have to sacrifice to pay the fine. And if I don't pay in 10 days, they up it to $300."

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Required Viewing - the Maccabeats make Chanukah cool

As per Manhattan Times (

Just in time for Chanukah, Yeshiva University’s a cappella group the Maccabeats have scored an international YouTube hit with their video “Candlelight,” sung to the tune of Taio Cruz's "Dynamite." Part of the video was filmed in Ft. Tryon Park. Check it out now and you could be the viewer who tips it over 1,000,000 hits.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Hey, NPR, your "Inappropriate Language" filter needs work!

Okay, folks, a little puzzle for you. Why did this comment lead to an "inappropriate language" warning from NPR's filters when I tried to submit it?

If it is the authors (and not just you) who claim that they have established that current configurations of human sexual behavior are, in any sense, in opposition to "human nature" because they are cultural accretions then they are talking out of Culture is part of human nature. Culture is the means by which Homo Sapiens has been able to adapt to and reshape such a multitude of environments. It is equally possible to describe the human brain as accretions of earlier and later developments...and some of those later accretions developed (in part) to process human culture. Should we accept only those parts that most nearly resemble our earliest evolutionary antecedents' as being "truer", somehow? I have no doubt that the book you review is a valuable one and I am considering adding it to my reading list. I will, however, be careful about the conclusions I draw from their evidence.

The answer after the jump:

Monday, November 29, 2010

Access To Knowledge In The Age of Intellectual Property

edited by Gaëlle Krikorian and Amy Kapczynski

  From Zone Books.  It may either be purchased in hard-copy or downloaded for free, and redistributed on a non-commercial basis.  Derivative works are not permitted.

The end of the twentieth century saw an explosive intrusion of intellectual property law into everyday life. Expansive copyright laws have been used to attack new forms of sharing and remixing facilitated by the Internet. International laws extending the patent rights of pharmaceutical companies have threatened the lives of millions of people around the world living with HIV/AIDS. For decades, governments have tightened the grip of intellectual property law at the bidding of information industries. Recently, a multitude of groups around the world have emerged to challenge this wave of enclosure with a new counterpolitics of “access to knowledge” or “A2K.” They include software programmers who take to the streets to attack software patents, AIDS activists who fight for generic medicines in poor countries, subsistence farmers who defend their right to food security and seeds, and college students who have created a new “free culture” movement to defend the digital commons. In this volume, Gaëlle Krikorian and Amy Kapczynski have created the first anthology of the A2K movement, mapping this emerging field of activism as a series of historical moments, strategies, and concepts. Intellectual property law has become not only a site of new forms of transnational activism, but also a locus for profound new debates and struggles over politics, economics, and freedom. This collection vividly brings these debates into view and makes the terms of intellectual property law legible in their political implications around the world.

Download now or preview on posterous
ZoneBooks_A2K_.pdf (6593 KB)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Death of French Culture?

After a few minutes of listening to the podcast to which this description refers it becomes clear that what they are really talking about is the decline of the influence of French culture in the rest of the world. Even Donald Morrison, the author of the book, seems to concede that culture is thriving within France. He simply judges it to be the wrong kind of culture on the basis of its unexportability. He ascribes this to extensive French subsidies for the arts. As Noelle Lenoir points out, however, the government subsidized just as much culture in the 60's, when France was a global cultural powerhouse. So maybe the suggestion of Laurie Taylor, the host of the show, is the correct one: France has simply been steamrollered by Anglo-American culture (with an emphasis on the American) because it has been steamrollered by America's global economic clout. The fact is, however, that I cannot begin to judge the inherent worth of contemporary French culture because I know so little about it...much less than I knew about 60's French culture at the time.
Has French culture become provincial and inward looking? France aspires to be a global cultural power. But a new book - 'The Death of French Culture' - argues that its government creates a walled garden producing cinema and literature for its own market but not for the world. Gone are the days of geniuses like Emile Zola and Francois Truffaut who spoke to millions. Laurie Taylor is joined by the book's author Donald Morrison and by Noelle Lenoir, a former French minister for European affairs. They consider whether protectionism has caused a decline in French creativity and if state subsidies produce mediocre art.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Who Owns Yoga?

Yoga is practiced by about 15 million people in the United States, for reasons almost as numerous — from the physical benefits mapped in brain scans to the less tangible rewards that New Age journals call spiritual centering. Religion, for the most part, has nothing to do with it.

But a group of Indian-Americans has ignited a surprisingly fierce debate in the gentle world of yoga by mounting a campaign to acquaint Westerners with the faith that it says underlies every single yoga style followed in gyms, ashrams and spas: Hinduism.

The campaign, labeled “Take Back Yoga,” does not ask yoga devotees to become Hindu, or instructors to teach more about Hinduism. The small but increasingly influential group behind it, the Hindu American Foundation, suggests only that people become more aware of yoga’s debt to the faith’s ancient traditions.

That suggestion, modest though it may seem, has drawn a flurry of strong reactions from figures far apart on the religious spectrum. Dr. Deepak Chopra, the New Age writer, has dismissed the campaign as a jumble of faulty history and Hindu nationalism. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has said he agrees that yoga is Hindu — and cited that as evidence that the practice imperiled the souls of Christians who engage in it.

The question at the core of the debate — who owns yoga? — has become an enduring topic of chatter in yoga Web forums, Hindu American newspapers and journals catering to the many consumers of what is now a multibillion-dollar yoga industry.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Lessig Calls For WIPO To Lead Overhaul Of Copyright System

Intellectual Property Watch
5 November 2010

Lessig Calls For WIPO To Lead Overhaul Of Copyright System

By Kaitlin Mara @ 3:47 pm

Influential copyright scholar Larry Lessig yesterday issued a call for the World Intellectual Property Organization to lead an overhaul of the copyright system which he says does not and never will make sense in the digital environment.

A functioning copyright system must provide the incentives needed for creative professionals, but must also protect the freedoms necessary for scientific research and amateur creativity to flourish.

In the digital environment, copyright has failed at both, said Lessig.

“And its failure is not an accident,” he said. “It’s implicit in the architecture of copyright as we inherited it. It does not make sense in a digital environment.”

The copyright system will “never work on the internet. It’ll either cause people to stop creating or it’ll cause a revolution,” said Lessig, citing a growing system of copyright “abolitionism” online in response to a worrying tendency to criminalise the younger generation.

“If and only if WIPO [the World Intellectual Property Organization] leads in this debate will we have a chance” at fixing the copyright system, he said.

Lessig spoke at the 4-5 November WIPO Global Meeting on Emerging Copyright Licensing Modalities – Facilitating Access to Culture in the Digital Age. This event is a part of the ongoing implementation of the WIPO Development Agenda. Lessig is a professor at Harvard Law School.

He also spoke on video with Intellectual Property Watch after his speech, which can be seen below.

Larry Lessig speaking to Intellectual Property Watch
at the World Intellectual Property Organization, 4 November 2010.

Copyright Online: What has Changed?

Reading a book in physical space is unregulated, said Lessig: reading, lending, or reselling a book is not “fair use” – it is free use. They are unregulated acts.

But online, every use is a copy. This is “not about a generation that can’t respect the rules, it’s a problem in the design of the system.”

“Most of us can no longer spend even an hour without colliding with the copyright law,” Lessig said, quoting University of Michigan Law School Professor Jessica Litman.

“At the turn of the century, US copyright law was technical, inconsistent and difficult to understand, but it didn’t apply to very many people or very many things.… Ninety years later, the US copyright law is even more technical, inconsistent and difficult to understand; more importantly, it touches everyone and everything,” Litman wrote.

Francis Gurry, WIPO director general, said in his opening speech that the technical infrastructure of the digital environment is both key to the description of what is lacking about copyright and key to the solution.

“An idea whose time has come” is a global database of repertoire, which called “an essential piece of global infrastructure or as an essential global public good.” This was mentioned frequently in subsequent panels at the event.

WIPO Blue Sky Commission

Creative Commons licences, a suite of licences that build on copyright law by allowing a user to select allowed freedoms, have helped but are not enough, said Lessig.

WIPO needs to form a “blue sky commission,” a “group that has the freedom to think about what architecture for copyright makes sense.”

This architecture must be: simple – “if it’s going to regulate 15-year-olds it should be something that 15-year-olds can understand”; and targeted – regulation makes sense in some areas, such as protecting professionals, but not in others, such as in amateur remixing. It also must be effective, and realistic in consideration of “actual human behaviour.”

This realism involves acknowledging what has changed since the advent of the internet, and also what has not.

For all of human history, Lessig said, human culture was “read-write.” That is, people participated in the creation and recreation of culture. The 20th century has been unique in human culture, because the development of technologies of broadcasting and vinyl records produced an environment which enabled “efficient consumption, but inefficient amateur production.” This created a world that was “read only,” a “passive, consuming culture.” The internet has brought back that read-write environment.

The war on piracy has been going on for 10 years. “For some, the response to a totally failed war is to up the stakes, to punish more vigorously.” But this will only fuel the copyright “abolitionist” movement, said Lessig, adding he was “against extremisms, because both lead to destruction of core value of copyright.”

“We are not going to kill these technologies,” Lessig said. “We can’t stop the kids’ creativity, only drive it underground. [We] can’t make our kids passive, we can only make them pirates.”

Larry Lessig and Francis Gurry speaking at WIPO.


Kaitlin Mara may be reached at


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Study Of Public Domain, Copyright At WIPO Offers Recommendations

Intellectual Property Watch
26 November 2010

Study Of Public Domain, Copyright At WIPO Offers Recommendations

By Catherine Saez @ 8:48 am

A better definition of the public domain is needed, but copyright and public domain are not antagonistic, said a study commissioned by the World Intellectual Property Organization presented this week. Also this week, a book on the role of copyright in access to knowledge in Africa was launched.

The study was presented in a side event to the WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP), which monitors the implementation of the 45 recommendations of the WIPO Development Agenda and is meeting from 22 to 26 November. Among those recommendations, some are specifically targeted towards the preservation of the public domain.

The public domain is an important part of copyright and IP in general, said study author Severine Dusollier, professor at the University of Namur (Belgium). The study was completed in May, and commissioned by WIPO as part of a series of studies and surveys to address concerns raised under recommendations 16 and 20 of the WIPO Development

Dusollier presented the study during the side event and at the plenary on Tuesday.

Recommendation 16 asks to “consider the preservation of the public domain within WIPO’s normative processes and deepens the analysis of the implication and benefits of a rich and accessible public domain.” And Recommendation 20 asks to “promote norm-setting activities related to intellectual property that support a robust public domain in WIPO’s member states (…).”

There is no antagonism between copyright and public domain, Dusollier said. The role of the public domain is to promote cultural heritage, and make it available. It allows low-cost access to works and can even give “a new life” to works out of copyright, and new interest from the public, she said, giving the example of the work of Freud which went into the public domain in Europe last year. In only the first six month of 2010, a number of new editions of Freud’s work were released, she said.

One of the main problems of the public domain is a question of definition, she said. It is by default defined by elements not protected by copyright. However, there is need for a more positive definition, not only the inverted image of copyright, she said. This leads to a situation where there is no protection of the public domain as such and no fixed boundaries as the public domain is linked to variations of copyright laws.

The difficulties related to the public domain definition also come from the principle of territoriality which makes it very difficult to identify the public domain in a cross-border project for example. The temporal scope of the protection also varies widely from one country to another, she said. The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works gives 50 years minimum protection but most countries have 70 year term of protection, up to 100 years in Mexico. A number of countries have repeatedly extended copyright term, which has led to increasing criticism from civil society.

The study offered a set of recommendations. To address identification issues, the rule of territoriality should be discussed, said Dusollier. Also, work should be done on the validity of the relinquishment of copyright, such as the publishing of works under a Creative Commons licence, and some international effort should be put into developing infrastructures for data. On availability and sustainability, the study recommends an enhanced role of cultural institutions such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and libraries.

Work should also be undertaken to assess the effect of any extension of copyright on the public domain, Dusollier said, adding that renewed exclusivity in public domain material by IP rights or technical measures of protection on this material should be prohibited.

Dusollier made a personal recommendation to pay special attention to technical protection measures, which have been applied to music because music is not protected by neighbouring rights, but could prove problematic if applied to other areas such as e-books. A new Shakespeare edition with two new introduction pages could be copyrighted for those two pages and have technical protection measures preventing access to the rest of the text, though it is in the public domain.

Access to Knowledge in Africa and Copyright

Separately, on 23 November, Geneva-based think tank IQsensato and the African Copyright and Access to Knowledge Project (ACA2K) launched a book entitled, Access to Knowledge in Africa: The Role of Copyright.

The book aims to provide readers with a clearer picture of the legal and practical issues created by copyright for access to learning materials in Africa and provides information on best policies and practices that would enable a wider access. The book is based on the work of ACA2K and focuses on access to knowledge in eight African countries: Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Senegal, South Africa, and Uganda.

Licensed under creative commons, the book can be downloaded here.

Catherine Saez may be reached at


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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Adventures In The Economy of Attention

In a post published earlier Tuesday on his blog, Four Four (, Mr. Juzwiak, a senior editor at, recounted how he and Kate Spencer, the editor of the VH1 site, came up with the idea for a video compiling Ms. Swift’s facial reactions to her victories at the Country Music Association Awards, the Grammys and other awards ceremonies. On Nov. 16 they published their video, “Taylor Swift Is Surprised,” at Four Four and

That same day, Mr. Juzwiak said, he was contacted by Sean O’Rourke, a research coordinator for “The Tonight Show,” who wanted to use the video on the broadcast. In that conversation and in several subsequent exchanges, Mr. Juzwiak said, he expressed concern that he and Ms. Spencer be properly credited for their work.

The montage Mr. Leno played on Monday night seemed to take its inspiration from “Taylor Swift Is Surprised,” using several of the same awards-show scenes in the same order for the same duration. (The “Tonight Show” segment, however, uses some high-definition video where Mr. Juzwiak and Ms. Spencer’s segment used YouTube clips or video they recorded on their DVRs.)

But when Mr. Leno introduced the segment, he told Ms. Swift, “We put together a little montage of you being surprised.” Neither Mr. Juzwiak nor Ms. Spencer was mentioned, and Monday’s “Tonight Show” carried no closing credits.

In his post on Tuesday Mr. Juzwiak wrote that he wasn’t going to “stand by and watch when someone’s going to be so rude as to swipe something I worked on just because it was made for the Internet.”

He continued: “Newsflash to the mainstream media: just like you have actual human beings making you work, so does the Internet! A little respect for the people providing your content would be nice!”

This is a situation Mr. Juzwiak has found himself in before. In May NPR ran a correction to a report it had broadcast on “Morning Edition” and posted on about cellphones in contemporary horror movies, acknowledging that it “did not adequately attribute” a video Mr. Juzwiak posted in 2009 that the report drew on. (The NPR correction was published after Mr. Juzwiak waged a very public complaint campaign on his blog and on his Twitter account.)

In the case of “Taylor Swift Is Surprised” Mr. Juzwiak said that he had been told by “The Tonight Show” that he and Ms. Spencer would receive attribution on Tuesday for their contributions, an account that was confirmed by a press representative at NBC.

Early Wednesday morning, just before Mr. Leno signed off for the night, “The Tonight Show” made good on its word: a credit appeared that read, “Last night’s Taylor Swift montage provided by Rich Juzwiak of and Kate Spencer of”

In a telephone interview on Wednesday morning Mr. Juzwiak said he almost preferred that “The Tonight Show” had credited him and Ms. Spencer after the fact rather than up front, explaining that this paid him higher dividends in “the economy of attention.”

“It’s preferable just in the sense that it gets me more attention,” he said. “A lot more people cared. I feel like a few people would have high-fived me on Twitter if they had seen this thing go down. This reached people who don’t care about Jay Leno whatsoever, who weren’t watching his show anyway.”

A press representative for “The Tonight Show” declined to comment further on Wednesday.

Copyright: what do we want it to do? |

Teenage girl watching YouTube YouTube’s users produce 29 hours of video every minute, the vast majority of it independently produced material. Photograph: David J. Green/Alamy

A recurring question in discussions of digital copyright is how creators and their investors (that is, labels, movie studios, publishers, etc) will earn a living in the digital era.

But though I've had that question posed to me thousands of times, no one has ever said which creators and which investors are to earn a living, and what constitutes "a living".

Copyright is in tremendous flux at the moment; governments all over the world are considering what their copyright systems should look like in the 21st century, and it's probably a good idea to nail down what we want copyright to do. Otherwise the question "Is copyright working?" becomes as meaningless as "How long is a piece of string?"

Let's start by saying that there is only one regulation that would provide everyone who wants to be an artist with a middle-class income. It's a very simple rule: "If you call yourself an artist, the government will pay you £40,000 a year until you stop calling yourself an artist."

Short of this wildly unlikely regulation, full employment in the arts is a beautiful and improbable dream. Certainly, no copyright system can attain this. If copyright is to have winners and losers, then let's start talking about who we want to see winning, and what victory should be.

In my world, copyright's purpose is to encourage the widest participation in culture that we can manage – that is, it should be a system that encourages the most diverse set of creators, creating the most diverse set of works, to reach the most diverse audiences as is practical.

That is, I don't want a copyright system that precludes making money on art, since there are some people who make good art who, credibly, would make less of it if there wasn't any money to be had. But at the same time, I don't think that you can judge a copyright system by how much money it delivers to creators – imagine a copyright system for films that allowed only one single 15-minute short film to be made every year, which, by dint of its rarity, turned over £1bn. If only one person gets to make one movie, I don't care how much money the system brings in, it's not as good as one in which lots of people get to make lots of movies.

Diversity of participation matters because participation in the arts is a form of expression and, here in the west's liberal democracies, we take it as read that the state should limit expression as little as possible and encourage it as much as possible. It seems silly to have to say this, but it's worth noting here because when we talk about copyright, we're not just talking about who pays how much to get access to which art, we're talking about a regulation that has the power to midwife, or strangle, enormous amounts of expressive speech.

Here's something else copyright can't and won't do and doesn't do: deliver a market where creators (or investors) set a price for creative works, and audiences buy those works or don't, letting the best float to the top in a pure and free marketplace. Copyright has never really worked like this, and it certainly doesn't work like this today.

For example, it's been more than a century since legal systems around the world took away songwriters' ability to control who performed their songs. This began with the first records, which were viewed as a form of theft by the composers of the day. You see, composers back then were in the sheet-music business: they used a copying device (the printing press) to generate a product that musicians could buy.

When recording technology came along, musicians began to play the tunes on the sheet music they'd bought into microphones and release commercial recordings of their performances. The composers fumed that this was piracy of their music, but the performers said: "You sold us this sheet music – now you're telling us we're not allowed to play it? What did you think we were going to do with it?"

The law's answer to this was a Solomonic divide-the-baby solution: performers were free to record any composition that had been published, but they had to pay a set rate for every recording they sold. This rate was paid to a collective rights society, and today, these societies thrive, collecting fees for all sorts of "performances" where musicians and composers get little or no say. For example, radio stations, shopping malls, and even hairdressers buy licences that allow them to play whatever music they can find. The music is sampled by more or less accurate means and dispersed to artists by more or less fair means.

Fair for all?

Of course, some artists argue that the sampling and dispersal are unfair, but it's a rare artist who says that the principal of collective licensing is itself a form of theft. No one wants to get a phone call every 15 minutes from some suburban barman who wants to know if playing their 20-year-old hit on the karaoke machine is going to cost 15p or 25p in licence fees.

There is an ancient copyright agreement that Victor Hugo came up with called the Berne Convention that most western nations are parties to. If you read the agreement closely, it seems to make this whole business of blanket licensing illegal. When I've asked international copyright specialists how all these Berne nations can have radio stations and karaoke bars and hairdressers and such playing music without negotiating all their playlists one at a time, the usual answer is: "Well, technically, I suppose, they shouldn't. But there's an awful lot of money changing hands, mostly in the direction of labels and artists, so who's going to complain, really?"

Which is by way of affirming that grand old Americanism: money talks and bullshit walks. Where the stiff-necked moral right of a copyright holder to control usage rubs up against the practicalities of allowing an entire industry's capacity for cultural exchange and use, the law usually responds by converting the moral right to an economic right.

Rather than having the right to specify who may use your works, you merely get the right to get paid when the use takes place.

Now, on hearing this, you might be thinking: "Good God, that's practically Stalinist! Why can't a poor creator have the right to choose who can use her works?" Well, the reason is that creators (and, notably, their industrial investors) are notoriously resistant to new media. The composers damned the record companies as pirates; the record labels damned the radio for its piracy; broadcasters vilified the cable companies for taking their signals; cable companies fought the VCR for its recording "theft." Big entertainment tried to kill FM radio, TV remote controls (which made it easy to switch away from adverts), jukeboxes, and so on, all the way back to the protestant reformation's fight over who got to read the Bible.

Given that new media typically allow new creators to create new forms of material that is pleasing to new audiences, it's hard to justify giving the current lotto winners a veto over the next generation of disruptive technologies. Especially when the winners of today were the pirates of yesteryear. Turnabout is fair play.

So the best copyright isn't the one that lets every creator license every use of her work piecemeal. Instead, it's the system that allows for such licensing, except where other forms of licensing – or no licensing at all – makes sense. For example, in the US, which has the largest, most profitable broadcast and cable industry in the world, the law gives no compensation rights to rightsholders for home recording of TV shows. There's no levy on blank cassettes or PVRs in exchange for the right to record off the telly. It's free, and it has conspicuously failed to destroy American TV.

There are whole classes of creation and copying that fall into this category: in fashion, for example, designs enjoy limited or no protection under the law. And each year's designer rags are instantaneously pirated by knock-down shops as soon as they appear on the runway. But should we protect fashion the way we do music or books?

It's hard to see why, apart from a foolish consistency: certainly, every currently ascendant fashion designer who'd benefit from such a thing started out by knocking off other designers. And there's no indication that fashion is under-invested, or fails to attract new talent, or that there is a lack of new fashion available to the public. Creating exclusive rights for fashion designers might allow more money to be made by today's winners, but these winners are already making as many designs as they can, and so the net diversity of fashion available to the world would fall off.

It's all about balance

Back to the question: what does a good copyright look like?

Well, it's got to be both evidence-based and balanced. For example, if architects come forward with the claim that they need to be able to control photos of their buildings or no one will invest in an architect's education, they'd better have some pretty compelling evidence to back up that claim. On the one hand, we have the incontrovertible fact that today, prospective architects spend a lot of money on professional training without any such guarantee.

Of course, it's easy to imagine that more people would enroll in architecture schools if designing a building gave you a copyright in its likeness – everyone who wanted to photograph a public road would have to pay you a licence fee for the use of "your" building. But given that there's no evidence that architecture programmes are wasting away for want of students, and given that architects seem to be thriving as a trade everywhere, the evidence suggests that we don't need to give architects these rights.

That's evidence, but what about balance? Well, say that tomorrow, the number of architects did shelve off radically, and no one could find anyone to draw up plans for a new conservatory or mansard roof anymore.

How could we save architecture? Well, we could give architects a copyright in the likeness of their buildings, and essentially put architects in the rent-collecting business: rather than devoting all their time to designing buildings, architects would spend most of their time sending legal threats to sites like Flickr and Picasa and TwitPic whenever some poor sod uploaded a picture of his flat's exterior Christmas decorations and inadvertently violated the architect's copyright.

This would certainly make more money for some architects (especially ones whose buildings were situated near public webcams – everyone who operated one of those would have to stump up for a license!). But the public cost would be enormous. Instead of the mere absurdity of coppers going around ticking off tourists for photographing public buildings (as though bombing was a precision undertaking, requiring that terrorists photograph buildings in detail before wandering into them with bombs under their coats and blowing themselves up); we'd have vast armies of private security guards representing the far-flung descendants of Christopher Wren and that miserable bastard who designed the awful tower-block at the end of my road in 1965 or so, hassling anyone who took out a camera to snap a picture of the car that just ran them over, or their kids adorably eating ice-cream, or their mates heaving up a kebab into the gutter after a night's revels.

Google Street View would be impossible. So would holiday snaps. Amateur photography. Fashion shoots. News photography. Documentary film-making.

Essentially, the cost of recording your life as you live it, capturing your memorable moments, would go to infinity, as you had to figure out how to contact and buy licences from thousands of obscure architects or their licencees. Surely in this case, the costs outweigh the benefits (and yes, I'm perfectly aware that certain European countries were stupid enough to give architects this right – there are also places in the world that prohibit women from driving cars, where they chop down rainforests to graze cattle, and where the used car adverts feature florid men wearing foam cowboy hats screaming into a camera – if everyone in France jumped off the Eiffel Tower, would you do it too?).

Making copyright work right online

So a balanced and evidence-based copyright policy is one that requires creators to show a need for protection, and also that the protection sought will deliver more benefit than the cost it implies.

How would this apply to the internet? Take music downloads. By the music industry's own account, the pay-per-download systems only capture a minute fraction of the music traded on the net. But a blanket licence that ISPs could opt into that entitled the ISP's customers to download and share all the music they wanted would deliver evergreen profits to the record industry – without necessitating spying, lawsuits, and threats of disconnection from the internet.

If the price was right, practically every ISP would opt into the system, since the cost of the legal headaches attending the operation of a service without such a licence would be more expensive than getting legit. Then we could focus on making the collection and dispersal of fees and the sampling of music downloading as transparent as possible, bringing 21st century metrics to bear on making sure that artists are fairly compensated (rather than spending vast sums figuring out which music fans to send legal threats to this month).

Now, take $300m CGI summer blockbuster films: if the producers of these things are to be believed, the ongoing capacity to produce glitzy, big budget productions demands that services like YouTube be shut off (see, for example, Viacom's lawsuit against Google over YouTube).

If this is true – I'm no movie exec, maybe it is – then we need to ask ourselves the "balance" question: YouTube's users produce 29 hours of video every minute and the vast majority of it is not infringing TV and movie clips, it is independently produced material that accounts for more viewer-minutes than television. So, the big studios' demand amounts to this: "You must shut down the system that delivers billions of hours of enjoyment to hundreds of millions of people so that we can go on delivering about 20 hours' worth of big budget film every summer."

To me, this is a no brainer. I mean, I love sitting in an air-conditioned cave watching Bruce Willis beat up a fighter jet with his bare hands as much as the next guy, but if I have to choose between that and all of YouTube, well, sorry Bruce.

The rejoinder I hear from the film industry in these discussions is downright bizarre: they cite the fact that all those billions of hours' worth of material on YouTube cost very little to make, and consequently, YouTube is able to pay very small sums of money in ad revenue and still get all that video. To hear an industrialist damning a competitor because he's figured out a way of making a competing product that costs a lot less is just weird. There is no virtue in spending a lot of money.

Anyone can do it. Spending small sums of money to make something great – well, that's just magic.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

SNL Kagan: TV Subscribers Down for Second Consecutive Quarter - The Hollywood Reporter

NEW YORK - Research firm SNL Kagan made it official on Wednesday - the U.S. multichannel TV industry experienced its second subscriber decline in the third quarter following a drop in the second quarter.

And one of its analysts weighed in on the cord cutting debate that has gripped the industry, suggesting that it is real and that new online video, or so-called over-the-top, options may indeed play a role in the trend and make it a fundamental challenge for cable operators.
Cable executives on the other hand have pointed to a weak economy and other factors - such as accelerated growth in last year's digital TV transition that saw customers sign up, often thanks to special promotions, that are now in some cases leaving - as key drivers of what they argue will be a temporary phenomenon.
Total industry subscriber count fell by 119,000 customers in the third quarter, compared with a 346,000 gain in the year-ago period. For the second quarter, it had recorded a decline of 216,000.
The culprit were cable operators, which lost 741,000 basic video customers in third quarter, the single largest quarterly drop for cable since SNL Kagan began compiling data in 1980.
Telecom firms added 476,000 customers, and satellite TV providers added 145,000 subscribers, according to SNL Kagan.
"Operators are pointing to a continuation of the forces that pushed subscriber gains into negative territory in the second quarter, including the weak economy, high unemployment and elevated churn of former over-the-air households,” said SNL Kagan analyst Ian Olgeirson. “However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to dismiss the impact of over-the-top substitution on video subscriber performance, particularly after seeing declines during the period of the year that tends to produce the largest subscriber gains due to seasonal shifts back to television viewing and subscription packages.”

In an event organized by the Paley Center for Media, Time Warner chairman and CEO was asked about the second straight pay TV subscriber decline.
Citing heated competition for subscribers between cable, satellite and telecom firms, he said there could be a situation where people could cut their cable suscription cord. But he also highlighted the current recession as a key driving force. The good news for cable network owners like TW though is that the overall long-term trend has been up in subscribers, advertising revenue and the like.

Business Models For Musical Performers: A Mimiandeunicean Perspective

Stealing Labor:


Stealing Labor

Killing Music:

Killing Music


from Nina Paley's Mimi & Eunice


Sunday, November 21, 2010

"Put up or shut up" time for US Copyright Group

The US Copyright Group (USCG) has sued more than 16,000 people this year for sharing movies online, with the lawsuits all based on anonymous IP addresses—but it has yet to actually name a single defendant. When an ISP looks up the subscriber name associated with an IP address, USCG doesn't immediately add that name to its lawsuit; it sends out a settlement letter, asking the person to pay a few thousand dollars in order not to be sued.

How long can this go on before the lawyers either have to sue or stop threatening to sue? Not long. Federal Judge Rosemary Collyer, who oversees several of these cases in the DC District Court, wants to see action. In March 2010, USCG brought cases for the films Far Cry and The Steam Experiment, and Collyer set an initial deadline to name defendants in July, later extended to November 18. When November 18 came along, USCG asked the judge to extend their time again… for nearly five years.

The request stems from the fact that ISP Time Warner had earlier complained about the cost of processing all these lookups. As a result, Time Warner only has to do 28 USCG lookups each month—and those are split between the two separate cases. In the Far Cry case, for instance, this means that USCG will only learn the identities of 14 people each month. With almost 800 IP addresses to look up in the Far Cry case alone, this could take 58 months to resolve, and the lawyers want that entire length of time before they have to name anyone in a federal lawsuit.

Collyer is having none of it. "The request is patently unfair and prejudicial to all John Does who have been identified by an ISP," she wrote on Friday. 

Instead of five years, USCG has until December 6 to name those it wants to sue (and it can only sue those it believes the court has personal jurisdiction over). The order only applies to the IP addresses for which ISPs have provided a name; those IP addresses that have yet to be looked up are exempt, but Collyer has no intention of letting the whole process drag out for years when accused file-swappers are already filling her docket on a daily basis with complaints about jurisdiction. If USCG has the names, it needs to act.

One attorney representing file-sharing defendants told Ars this weekend that the order was "what it looks like when a judge starts to lose her patience," and that Collyer wants USCG to "sh-- or get off the pot." Another attorney called it a "step up or step off" order.

Since USCG already knows most of the names behind the 4,577 Far Cry and the 1,653 Steam Experiment IP addresses, we should—finally—know within weeks who it actually intends to sue in these cases.

Oringinality, Tradition and the Individual

Melvin Bragg, on the BBC radio program(me) In Our Time, conducts a fascinating discussion on the idea of "originality" in art.  Participants dicsuss, at several points, this remarkable essay by T.S. Eliot on Tradition and the Individual Talent.




How Can Technology "Want" Anything?

NPR's Radiolab brings us a fascinating discussion...

Download now or listen on posterous
radiolab_podcast10tech.mp3 (23254 KB)

Johnny Cash, Paradoxicalist

Description from an auction catalogue:
A Johnny Cash handwritten "To Do" list that reads as follow: "1. Not smoke, 2. Kiss June, 3. Not kiss anyone else, 4. Cough, 5. Pee, 6. Eat, 7. Not eat too much, 8. Worry, 9. Go see Mama, 10. Practice piano." In the "Notes" section, Cash has written, "Not Write Notes." This item can be seen on page 64 of the book, Cash: An American Man, published by Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster, 2004. 8 1/2 by 5 1/2 inches

Friday, November 19, 2010

Where Are They Now?

Both of my kids, Ruth and Joel, were born and raised in Park Terrace Gardens.  Ruth is currently in her second year at Grinnell College in Iowa...but she doesn't seem to have generated any publicly-accessible Web presence lately -- except this.  Joel, who graduated Oberlin College in Ohio a year and a half ago, now works (via AmeriCorps VISTA) as a "Green Jobs Coordinator" at a non-profit in Cleveland, called Hard-Hatted Women.  He has, for some time (and on and off) maintained a politics-centered weblog named Citizen Obie.  He calls it  "a work in progress(ive) activist-analysis blog dedicated to the development of civic identity and agency".

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pulling a Tinkerbell

I stand accused, in semi-public, of being a thieving, traitorous hijacker merely for having started this website.  I will spare you the details unless you ask me to share them but be warned:  it isn't as interesting as it sounds.  Let me say that I believe that my motives have been misinterpreted and the facts of the matter misunderstood; the accusation has NOT caused me to go into any tailspins of self-doubt.  Those accusations do, however, make me wonder if this site is worth continuing.  This question, in turn, leads me to pose a question which I hadn't intended to pose for a few months yet:  Should I continue this website?  Do you care if it lives or dies?  Clap if you believe in fairies (I know I'll be sorry I said that...)

Putting this website together has been an effort and keeping it going will require an ongoing effort.  If you would like to see it continue please either comment below or send an email to "ptgreview" at  I'm thinking ten or fifteen "yeas" will be enough to convince me to keep going for awhile...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sita on the Big Screen – Free! Monday

Nina Paley writes on her blog:

The Big Screen Project is a giant 30 ft. x 16.5 ft. HD screen located in a public plaza behind at 6th Avenue between 29th and 30th Street in New York City. They haven’t officially launched yet, but they have started screening films, including Sita Sings the Blues. Although they plan to screen Sita several times in the coming days, this Monday Nov. 22 will be special, because I will be there!

Mon., Nov.22 – 7:00-8:30 pm

Please come on by, it’ll be more fun if there are some Sita fans around. It’s free and open to the public, everyone is welcome (they’ll try to sell you food and drinks, but no purchase necessary). Audio is provided through FM headsets, supplied for free in the food hall/bar area adjoining the plaza. It’ll probably be cold outside, so I plan to watch indoors, through the gigantic plate glass windows, perhaps while nibbling something tasty. I’ll bring my merch bag, too, if anyone wants to buy DVDs and trinkets from the source.

Other planned screening times (I won’t be there):

Tonight (Nov. 17) from 9:00-10:30
Wed. Nov.24 – 10:30-12:00
Sun., Nov.28 – 8:30M-10:00AM
Sun., Nov.28 – 3:30-5:00

Social Network Analysis -- Correspondence In the 18th Century

Here is a significant new(ish) tool for understanding the humanities. We may very well gain new insights into the development of thought, the exercise of influence, the evolution of the written word (perhaps even the spoken word), the contexts of debate and creation, and numerous other fascinating topics. It is, however, a tool of understanding. We will be wise to remember that data derived from these techniques will require analysis as careful as (if not more careful than) the scholarship which has preceded it. The facts, in these matters, do not speak for themselves. They may, however, be more noticeable...


Stanford technology helps scholars get 'big picture' of the Enlightenment

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hollywood studios sue over "bowdlerized" DVDs

The big studios are on the warpath against the Family Friendly Edited DVDs company, which deletes the risque content from Hollywood fare for resale online. A small truckload of movie makers have sued the outfit in an Arizona federal district court. The plaintiffs include Paramount, Warner Brothers, Sony, Disney, Universal, and Fox.

"Defendants are in the business of preparing, copying and distributing bowdlerized versions of movies, including the Motion Pictures, to which Defendants do not own the copyrights. This constitutes willful copyright infringement," their complaint charges.

Out bleeped spot!

"Bowdlerized"—now there's a word you don't see in print too often any more. Thomas Bowdler was the editor of his Family Shakespeare, first released in four volumes in 1807. It cleaned the nasty bits out of The Bard's major works.

"I acknowledge Shakespeare to be the world's greatest dramatic poet, but regret that no parent could place the uncorrected book in the hands of his daughter, and therefore I have prepared the Family Shakespeare," Bowdler famously declared.

Thus Lady Macbeth's famous utterance "Out, Damned spot" became "Out, Crimson spot," and Mercutio's "the bawdy hand of the dial is now upon the prick of noon"  became "the hand of the dial is now upon the point of noon."

Whatever you think of this sort of editing, Bowdler had an advantage over his heirs. Shakespeare's works were in the public domain. The flicks that Family Friendly tidies up and resells for ten bucks a pop are not. They include Bravehart, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, and Glory.

The studios don't appreciate this sort of service. They want a "temporary, preliminary and permanent" injunction against Family Friendly's activities, plus an order requiring the company to "deliver up for impound and disposal" its inventory. Looks like the outfit is already working on that, advertising a "liquidation" sale of all their fare.

This isn't the first time this sort of controversy has come up. There were similar enterprises in the middle of the decade, but most got their clocks cleaned by infringement suits.

We contacted Family Friendly for comment but received no reply.

Oh, Boy! PTG Review Has Its First Twitter Follower!

...and she sells plastic surgery in a bottle!!/EGSkincare

If you would like to be notified of PTG Review posts via twitter you need only look to the link (actually there are two, for redundancy's sake) to the right.  Come on, you know you're hanging on our every word!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Nazis Were Given ‘Safe Haven’ in U.S., Report Says -

WASHINGTON — A secret history of the United States government’s Nazi-hunting operation concludes that American intelligence officials created a “safe haven” in the United States for Nazis and their collaborators after World War II, and it details decades of clashes, often hidden, with other nations over war criminals here and abroad.

Dave Dieter/The Huntsville Times, via Associated Press

Arthur Rudolph, in 1990, was a rocket scientist for Nazi Germany and NASA.

Associated Press

Dr. Josef Mengele in 1956.

The 600-page report, which the Justice Department has tried to keep secret for four years, provides new evidence about more than two dozen of the most notorious Nazi cases of the last three decades.

It describes the government’s posthumous pursuit of Dr. Josef Mengele, the so-called Angel of Death at Auschwitz, part of whose scalp was kept in a Justice Department official’s drawer; the vigilante killing of a former Waffen SS soldier in New Jersey; and the government’s mistaken identification of the Treblinka concentration camp guard known as Ivan the Terrible.

The report catalogs both the successes and failures of the band of lawyers, historians and investigators at the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations, which was created in 1979 to deport Nazis.

Perhaps the report’s most damning disclosures come in assessing the Central Intelligence Agency’s involvement with Nazi émigrés. Scholars and previous government reports had acknowledged the C.I.A.’s use of Nazis for postwar intelligence purposes. But this report goes further in documenting the level of American complicity and deception in such operations.

The Justice Department report, describing what it calls “the government’s collaboration with persecutors,” says that O.S.I investigators learned that some of the Nazis “were indeed knowingly granted entry” to the United States, even though government officials were aware of their pasts. “America, which prided itself on being a safe haven for the persecuted, became — in some small measure — a safe haven for persecutors as well,” it said.


Quidditch World Cup 2010 - Live Coverage by Washington Square News

Colored Me – An Irish Historian Investigates American Racism, Eugenics Of The Past

When Nazi sci­en­tists looked for evi­dence to sup­port their eugenic the­o­ries, they gen­er­ally turned to the advanced work Amer­i­cans were doing on the sub­ject. Amer­i­can eugeni­cists would often use the phrase “final solu­tion” when talk­ing about the prob­lem of the unfit. They meant the elim­i­na­tion of the genet­i­cally infe­rior, through edu­ca­tional cam­paigns, restric­tive laws or by pro­grams of invol­un­tary sterilization.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

♡License to Love

Thanks everyone for your comments on Driving Without a License. Crosbie Fitch’s last comment inspired me to make this notice:

♡ Copying art is an act of love. Please copy.

What’s great about it is it’s plain old text – you can copy and paste that heart. There is no webding for the copyleft symbol. You could also use the filled-in heart instead of the outline:

♥ copying art is an act of love. please copy.

It could be shortened:

♡ Copying is an act of love. Please copy.

and varied:

♡ Copying art is an act of love. Love is not subject to law.

The ♡ could graphically substitute for a ©. For example:

♡ 2010 by Nina Paley. Please copy.

Don’t care about attribution? Keep it simple and mysterious:

♡ 2010

The ♡ can’t be trademarked (I hope), which means it can’t be controlled. That’s fine with me. Other people can, and do, use ♡ to mean all sorts of things. But it has a shared cultural meaning that transcends any use one person could put it to. Its power is that it’s not a license, not a trademark. It’s not subject to law.
Love is not subject to law.

What do you think?