Monday, December 06, 2004

"Just" A Blogger

Having not taken the time last Friday to properly cite the host of this pic and the ensuing chatter about the photo, got me wondering about 'fair use' and the lines between journalists and non-journalists, er, journalists and bloggers and everyone else with an internet connection and something to say, for better or worse.

Do bloggers, who regularly excerpt articles, make fun of Preznit Bush, post controversial pics (photoshopped or not), need their own legal aid society?
In the latest instance of something that any news organization would consider "fair use" arousing the ire of corporate attorneys, veteran blogger Jason Kottke, who'd long followed the saga of Jeopardy wiz Ken Jennings, has drawn the wrath of lawyers from Sony. Kottke had posted an audio clip of Jennings' loss, then took it down after he heard from the lawyers, and replaced it with a transcript. The lawyers were still not happy -- although they don't seem to have gone after the Washington Post for publishing something quite similar. Maybe the thinking is, Kottke isn't a "journalist," he's "just" a blogger. If so, then we're in for a bumpy ride, because the old line between journalists and non-journalists is now written in invisible ink, the border's unguarded, and hordes are streaming across.

Scott's Bonus Link: You can blog, but you can't hide.
Buckle your seat belts, folks!


At 9:30 PM, Blogger MrV said...

Great post, interesting idea. Where did you get your source if you don't mind.

At 8:25 AM, Blogger Capitola said...

I'd tell you, but then I'd have to, you know....


At 3:30 AM, Blogger tas said...

Shorter answer: Yes, we will need our our legal aid society.

Short answer: Corporations were fine with the fact that websites existed, anybody could have one, and anybody could say whatever the fuck they wanted on them. But now that blogs have exploded and any blogger who's been around for a while and has a readership of 50-75 people can feasibily (sp) have something they wrote net massive amounts of popularity within a day or two, that's a ticking timebomb. It's way too much freedom than the government and corporations would like us to have. Our government doesn't give a damn about our civil liberties. I don't know if you've ever read Bejamin Netenyahu's "Fighting Terrorism," but in it, he takes a hardline stance against civil liberties, arguing that since most people won't use all of those liberties, then why do they need them? He advocated just taking most of them away before they could cause any trouble. I'm not sure how much influence this book has on our current maybe-they-were-elected leaders, but I do know that Netenyahu is the type of guy that neoconservatives dig. And looking at recent history (ie: Patriot ACT), we can assume that oue current leaders and Netenyahu see eye-to-eye on the civil liberties issue, which is bad news for us.

The more exposure, and thus power, we has bloggers gain, then the closer we will come to being smacked down by the government. We should prepare to deal with such a situation before it arises.


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