July 27, 2004  ·  Lessig

My wife, my kid and I are disappearing in August to a place that has no Internet, and only a satellite phone. In my absence, Professor Tim Wu from Virginia will be running Lessig Blog. Tim and I have worked together on “net neutrality” issues, and if we can steal him from Virginia, much more in the future.

In addition to Tim, August will also feature two special guests. During the week of August 9, Congressman Rick Boucher will guest blog. And then during the week of August 23, Judge Richard Posner will guest blog.

As when John Edwards (1, 2, 3, 4), Howard Dean (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), and Dennis Kucinich (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) were guest bloggers, I’ve advised Congressman Boucher and Judge Posner that my practice is not to block trolls, but that the practice of bloggers everywhere is not to feed trolls. I’d be grateful if members of this community could help keep the conversation constructive.

Thanks to Congressman Boucher and Judge Posner, and to Tim Wu.

July 27, 2004  ·  Lessig

Stefan Bechtold writes that the EU Commission (ok, a staff report) has decided that copyright terms for recordings in Europe should not be increased beyond the current term (50 years after publication), despite the growing pressure of recording labels to increase the term to “save” (as they put it) some of the most important Rock from entering the public domain. The story is getting press in Europe. (Independent, BBC).

This is an extremely important development in this battle. For once, a government-related entity has recognized the truth (or at least, not had its recognition crushed). I’ve already been talking to archives that are working on the idea of releasing all the recordings they can when they pass into the public domain on January 1, as a way of demonstrating the value of a wide range of work becoming available, unencumbered, for widespread use.

Here in the U.S., we’ll be able to celebrate the same in, um, 2019. Till then, for your listening pleasure, an oldie (first posted here last July): a 1937 radio program from the Columbia Workshop about creative works passing from the “copyright lane” into the “public domain“.

July 25, 2004  ·  Lessig

Roger Ailes on Outfoxed‘s use of clips (from an interview in Broadcasting & Cable, not available online):

Any news organization that doesn’t support our position on copyright is crazy. Next week, we could take a month’s worth of video from CNN International and do a documentary “Why does CNN hate America?” You wouldn’t even have to do the hatchet job Outfoxed was. You damn well could run it without editing. CNN International, Al-Jazeera and BBC are the same in how they report-mostly that America is wrong and bad. Everybody should stand up and say these people don’t have the right to take our product anymore. They don’t have a right to take a year’s worth of Dan Rather or Ted Koppel and edit it any way they want. It puts journalism at risk.

Notice the strategy: Rally the cartel to protect itself against the critics.

And the New York Post:

It’s a dangerous precedent.

Not just because it so badly twists the truth. Or violates copyright laws.

But also because it sets up every news outlet for the same low blow.

If The New York Times or CNN approve of this tack, then just wait until someone lifts an early draft of some Times piece or CNN’s out-takes.

No doubt, a double standard will kick in, and they’ll be up in arms.

But they’ll have been defamed nonetheless.

By now, Americans are used to these tricks of the Left � shady tactics for which the film’s sponsors, MoveOn.org and George Soros, are notorious.

But good people � good journalists � must stand up and deplore this trend. They should let Soros & Co. know that deception and outright theft transcend reasonable discourse.

July 24, 2004  ·  Lessig

Mr. O’Reilly,

You have declared a “war” on the New York Times. That’s good for you, good for them, and good for our democracy: Strong opinions deserve strong spokesmen. Your battle will help sharpen a debate about matters important to the Republic.

But in waging this “war,” you are continuing to abuse a man whom you have wronged, and to whom you owe an apology.

On February 4, 2003, Jeremy Glick was your guest on THE FACTOR. Glick had lost his father in the attack of 9/11. He had also signed an ad criticizing the war in Iraq. You were “surprised” that one who had lost his father could oppose that war. And so you had him on your show, presumably to ask him why. (Here’s a clip from Outfoxed putting this story together.)

You might not remember precisely what you said on that interview, or more importantly, what Jeremy Glick said. So here’s a copy that you can watch. Nor may you remember precisely what the ad that Jeremy Glick signed said. Here’s a copy that you can read. And when you’ve watched what was actually said, and read what was actually written, I’m sure you will see that the statements you continue to make about Jeremy Glick are just plain false. Not Bill Clinton “depends upon what is is” false, but false the way most Americans learned growing up: just not true.

For example:

  • in the February 4th interview, you said the ad “accused the USA itself of terrorism.” Read the ad, Mr. O’Reilly. It says no such thing.
  • in the February 4th interview, you said the ad “equates the United States with the terrorists.” Read the ad, Mr. O’Reilly. It says no such thing.
  • in the February 4th interview, you said the ad “absolutely says” that the United States is to be “equated” with the terrorists. Read the ad, Mr. O’Reilly. It says no such thing.
  • on February 5th, you told your viewers that “Glick was out of control.” He may have been out of your control. But you and our government have got to learn that just because someone disagrees with you, he doesn’t become a security threat. Again, watch the interview, Mr. O’Reilly. He was not “out of control.”
  • on February 5th, you told your viewers that Glick was “spewing hatred for this program.” Watch the interview, Mr. O’Reilly. He criticized you, not the program, for unethically using sympathy for the 9/11 victims for your own political ends. He was calling your behavior improper. You had not earned his hatred.
  • on February 5th, you told your viewers that Glick was “spewing hatred for … his country.” Watch the interview, Mr. O’Reilly. He said no such thing. He specifically distinguished the people he was criticizing from “the people of America.” He, like the rest of us, loves our country, even if we disagree with its political leaders, or your political views.
  • on February 5th, you accused him of using “vile propaganda.” What does “propaganda” mean to you, Mr. O’Reilly? He was disagreeing with your views. Why is that “propaganda”?
  • six months later, you said that Glick said that the Bushes “were directly responsible for 9/11.” Again, watch the interview, Mr. O’Reilly. He said no such thing. Indeed, he twice denied it.
  • eleven months later, you said Glick “came on this show and accused President Bush of knowing about 9/11 and murdering his own father.” This, Mr. O’Reilly, is a total, if not pathological, fabrication. Glick said nothing about Bush “knowing” about 9/11. He said nothing about Bush “murdering” his own father. Watch the interview, Mr. O’Reilly. Your statements characterizing what Glick said are absolutely false.
  • just last week, you again repeated the claim that Glick said that President Bush was “responsible for his father’s death.” He said nothing of the sort.
  • just last week, you repeated the claim that Glick “implied that the United States itself was a terrorist nation.” Glick said nothing of the sort.
  • just last week, you said Glick said “America itself was responsible for the 9/11 attack.” Glick said nothing of the sort.
  • And finally, and most extraordinarily, just last week you repeated the claim that “security actually had to take the guy out of the building, he was that out of control.” This, Mr. O’Reilly, you know to be absolutely false. Indeed, it was you who threatened physical violence against Mr. Glick after his interview, and your own staff that apologetically begged Mr. Glick to leave as quickly as he could, fearing that if you saw Glick again, as they said, you would “end up in jail.”

I understand how someone loses his temper, Mr. O’Reilly. I have done the same myself. But a decent man apologizes for his lack of control, and he certainly doesn’t continue to abuse someone he has wronged.

Mr. Glick is not the New York Times. He will not earn more money from higher ratings because you attack him so viciously. Neither he nor his widowed mother get any benefit at all from seeing Glick slandered by your show on a regular basis.

You are wrong about the facts, Mr. O’Reilly. And you are wrong to continue to do such harm. Have the courage to admit your error. Apologize to Mr. Glick, and let him go back to a life that has been made difficult enough by, as you said, the “barbarians” who killed his father. This family has suffered enough from barbaric behavior.

July 22, 2004  ·  Lessig

Jim Gilliam, one of the producers on Outfoxed, has a great account of O’Reilly’s temper tantrum about reaction to the movie.

UPDATE: thanks kd. I don’t agree that the points are “reasoned” and I certainly think it is absolutely wrong for him to continue to slander Glick as he has, but I’m happy that the debate avoid side-issues.