Disney has now been put in the possibly awkward position of complaining about “overzealous copyright holders,” and talking about the importance of user rights and fair use to protect free speech and the First Amendment. No, really.Disney, of course, owns ABC. Back in May (though the complaint appears to incorrectly state March), ABC aired a two-hour program entitled The Last Days of Michael Jackson. The Michael Jackson Estate was not pleased and sued for copyright infringement. The complaint itself is quite a read.
A NEW STUDY from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University is making headlines for projecting that Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’s “Medicare for All” bill is estimated to cost $32.6 trillion — a number that’s entirely in line with 2016 projections, and is literally old news. But what the Associated Press headline fails to announce is a much more sanguine update: The report, by Senior Research Strategist Charles Blahous, found that under Sanders’s plan, overall health costs would go down, and wages would go up.
THE RESTAURANT LOBBY IS making a masked pitch to kill Initiative 77, a ballot measure designed to gradually raise the minimum wage in Washington, D.C., for bartenders, waitstaff, and other “tipped” employees, to $15 an hour by 2025.The current federal floor for “tipped” workers — defined as employees who receive at least $30 a month in tips — is $2.13 per hour. Tipping, originally embraced by Reconstruction-era Americans as a way to avoid paying salaries to newly freed slaves, now supports a two-tiered system in which tipped workers experience some of the lowest pay of any industry. (Waitresses are twice as likely to use food stamps than the general population).But you’d never glean any of that from the restaurant lobby’s pitch.
The character of Drew Cloud ran a “independent, authoritative news outlet” named the The Student Loan Report, which was created after Cloud purportedly “had difficulty finding the most recent student loan news and information all in one place.” How nice. But like so many things in 2018 Cloud wasn’t real, something only confirmed with the company that created him after The Chronicle spent more than a week trying to verify Cloud’s existence.
UNTIL HE WAS stripped of his top-secret security clearance in February, presidential adviser Jared Kushner was known around the White House as one of the most voracious readers of the President’s Daily Brief, a highly classified rundown of the latest intelligence intended only for the president and his closest advisers.Kushner, who had been tasked with bringing about a deal between Israel and Palestine, was particularly engaged by information about the Middle East, according to a former White House official and a former U.S. intelligence professional.
DMCA 1201 allows the Copyright Office to grant “use” exemptions, but not “tools” exemptions. That means that if the Copyright Office likes your proposal, they can give you permission to jailbreak your gadgets to make some use (say, install third-party apps on your phone, or record clips from your DVDs to use in film studies classes), but they can’t give anyone the right to give you the tool needed to make that use (law professor and EFF board member Pam Samuelson argues that the Copyright Office can go farther than this, at least some of the time, but the Copyright Office disagrees).
National outrage has led to the cancellation of a suspicious $300 million contract doled out to a tiny Montana company that was oddly tasked with rebuilding large parts of Puerto Rico’s electric grid. A separate $200 million contract has faced little scrutiny, but may ultimately be even more scandalous for what it says about the effort to rebuild the island in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
RettighedsAlliancen (or Rights Alliance as it’s more commonly known) is an anti-piracy group which counts some of the most powerful local and international movie companies among its members. It also operates on behalf of IFPI and by extension, most of the world’s major recording labels.The group has been involved in dozens of legal processes over the years against file-sharers and file-sharing sites, most recently fighting for and winning ISP blockades against most major pirate portals including The Pirate Bay, RARBG, Torrentz, and many more.In a somewhat surprising new announcement, the group has revealed it’s become the latest member of DIFO, the Danish Internet Forum (DIFO) which “works for a secure and accessible Internet” under the top-level .DK domain. Indeed, DIFO has overall responsibility for Danish internet infrastructure.
SENATE DEMOCRATS AND their progressive allies spent the last week-and-a-half in a full-blown mobilization against an existential threat to the Affordable Care Act.Now that it has fizzled out, the lead author of the measure, known as the Graham-Cassidy bill, has an admission to make: He had no clue what he was doing.“It’s been the most amazing journey of my life. I’ve taken the eye off the ball on terrorism, I’m just amazed the whole planet hasn’t crumbled because I wasn’t on it,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said of the weeks he’s spent leading the health care repeal effort.
Less than six hours after its passage by the Republican-controlled state legislature, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law this week a measure that, effective immediately, allows candidates to raise unlimited sums of money for super PACs, which can then promptly spend that money supporting those candidates—or attacking their rivals.It also allows consultants to simultaneously work for a campaign and a super PAC at the same time, making a joke of the supposed independence of the two groups.