Kellia’s World – Recommended Reading

Challenging the assumptions we live by — Because I want to.

Posts Tagged ‘EFF’

Fox News Censors Political Expression

Posted by kelliasworld on January 13, 2009

January 7th, 2009

Commentary by Corynne McSherry

In a scenario that has become depressingly familiar, a news organization has again used the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) to censor legitimate political speech. Citizen Media Law Project reports that YouTube cancelled Progress Illinois’ YouTube channel after Fox News had sent three notices of copyright infringement demanding the takedown of Progress Illinois’ videos. In the videos, Progress Illinois, a union-sponsored blog, apparently used short clips of Fox News coverage of local and national political events to set up political commentary about those events. Progress Illinois sent a counternotice asking YouTube to restore the video, but that won’t happen for several days, i.e. long after public interest in the event Progress Illinois is talking about has waned.

We haven’t been able to view the videos, but from what we’ve heard it seems likely that the uses in question were fair, and therefore noninfringing. If so, it is especially shameful that a news organization, which itself depends heavily on fair use to do its own reporting and commentary, should ignore fair use and thereby chill the free speech of others. Moreover, Fox News may have lost sight of its own best interest in another way. As CMLP put it:

Fox’s heavy-handed response to Progress Illinois’ use of its clips highlights the network’s myopic view of the media ecosystem in which it operates. Rather than seeing Progress Illinois as a competitor attempting to steal website traffic from WFLD-TV, the network should be grateful that its political coverage is generating buzz in the blogosphere.

It’s also disappointing that YouTube hasn’t already restored the videos. When similar shenanigans took down campaign videos by Senators McCain and Obama during the presidential election season, we called on YouTube to take steps to protect online speech, among them human review of videos that have been subject to a counternotice, and immediate restoration of videos that are clearly noninfringing fair uses.

Fox News bears the primary blame here, but we’ve said it before and it bears repeating: the Internet can continue to revitalize our political lives in exciting and unforeseen ways—if, and only if, service providers, users and content owners all do their parts to protect free speech.

http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/01/fox-news-censors-political-expression

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Monitor Election Problems Nationwide with OurLiveVote.org

Posted by kelliasworld on October 31, 2008

Search by State or County for Real-Time Voter Reports on Election Day

San Francisco – Reporters, bloggers, and voters across the country can monitor problems at the polls on Election Day on OurVoteLive.org, a project built and hosted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on behalf of Election Protection, the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition, and its toll-free voter-assistance hotline, 866-OUR-VOTE.

OurVoteLive.org collects and analyzes reports from calls to the 866-OUR-VOTE hotline, which is staffed by hundreds of volunteers across the country. Tested during the presidential primaries, the site is already documenting over a thousand examples per day of voters needing information or reporting problems such as registration and identification issues, difficulties with voting machines, and polling place accessibility issues. Over 200,000 calls are expected to come into the hotline and be documented on OurVoteLive.org through Election Day.

“Improved transparency in all aspects of the electoral process is critical to ensuring accurate results as well as diagnosing systemic problems and helping voters,” said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Matt Zimmerman. “OurVoteLive.org is helping the Election Protection Coalition make that possible.”

In addition to call incident data, OurVoteLive.org also features maps, nationwide trend information, and an active election issues blog that will highlight important election incidents as they develop.

“OurVoteLive.org will allow us to help more voters more effectively,” said Jonah Goldman, director of the National Campaign for Fair Elections at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which leads Election Protection. “We — along with election officials and the media — will be able track trends and identify problem areas quickly so that we can remove any barriers that voters face as they cast their ballots.”

Election Protection has more than 100 partners at the national, state and local level and is providing live voter protection services now through Election Day across all 50 states. On November 4, Election Protection will mobilize tens of thousands of volunteers, including 10,000 legal volunteers to monitor polling places, educate voters, facilitate a dialogue with local and state officials, provide legal support to poll monitors, and answer the 1-866-OUR-VOTE voter services hotline — a monumental undertaking designed to ensure smooth voting in November.

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