"Dark Wednesday" : Proposed internet laws antipiracy or anti--freespeech?

Illustration is a screenshot from Mozilla.

January 18, websites are joining the Electric Frontier Foundation in calling for an end to current internet blacklisting legislation S. 968 PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and  H.R. 3261 Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House. Under the current drafts, courts could order credit card firms, online payment companies like PayPal and advertising networks to stop doing business with those websites. They could also order search engines to stop linking to them and internet service providers (ISPs) to block their customers from accessing them.

Sounds like China?  No, we're talking about the USA.

Currently sites must remove specific copyrighted content if presented with a properly filled out DMCA takedown request. The notices require that the complainants must identify exactly what pages the content is on, and  prove that they are indeed the owners of the content. Even then, this process is often abused according to the Electric Frontier Foundation.

SOPA and PROTECT IP contain no provisions to actually remove copyrighted content.  Instead they focus on the censorship of links to entire domains.

Thus, if the AG served a site, it would be required to scrub every post and comment on the site containing the domain and censor the links out, even if the specific link contained no infringing content. Does this sound like free speech?

Think not?  Then join us and write and  call your Senators and Congressperson  to tell them to stop this legislation.

And to read about how to particpate in other ways, see this excellent rundown by Ars Technicha (h/t to Dan Radmacher)


Floyd Radio Show

January 7, 20 12, while  I was down at the LaPrelle's in Rural Retreat for the Big House Crafty Week, I was invited to participate in Season 1, Episode 5 of the Floyd Radio Show.  Beside helping with the final re-write and participating in some of the group skits, I  read my poem "Green Beans"

UPDATE:  The Floyd Country Store now has archived podcasts on its website.  You can hear me read "Green Beans  at 22:21.  In the above picture, Anna is wearing the dress she made during Crafty Week (from an original pattern.)  It's emerald green French eyelet lined in a gold-yellow.


Tanner Cultural Center: A Legacy to Preserve and Celebrate

In April 2010, a tornado ripped through Newport, Tennessee, damaging the roof of the Tanner Cultural Center. Although money to conduct repairs was distributed to the City through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to William Isom II and Friends of the Tanner Cultural Center, the City is now talking about demolishing the center.  This despite a the National Trust’s Rosenwald Schools Initiative to save the remaining Rosenwald Schools, of which Tanner Center is one.  Not to mention the National Rosenwald Schools Conference: 100 Years of Pride, Progress, and Preservation to be held at Tuskegee University in Alabama June 14-16, 2012.

 We need to ask that the City of Newport act as responsible stewards for this beloved community space of such great cultural significance. Won't you join me before January 10 by writing Scott Collins newportadm@newporttn.org or calling 423-623-7323 ext 18 and asking that the City of Newport instead proceed without further delay on the needed repairs and clean up of the center. (Please send a cc of your email to Issom william@800northfourth.com.)

Constructed in 1924, as a Rosenwald School with local funds and a donation from Sears-Roebuck magnate Julius Rosenwald, to serve the educational needs of the Black students in Cocke County, the Tanner Building is special because of its status as a surviving East Tennessee Rosenwald School and its utilization as a community space for the Black and rural populations of Cocke County.

There are many surviving alumni of the Tanner School living and working in the neighborhood in which the building is based. Groups that have been displaced from this structure include; AA, Families First, East Tennessee Human Resource Agency, Clean Water Expected in East Tennessee, Community House Cooperative, Head Start, The Farmers' Market, and Veteran's Affairs to name a few. The building also provided meeting space for other groups, community events and computer lab access to the neighborhood.

As noted in the the Cocke County Heritage Development Report from 2008 conducted under the direction of Dr. Carroll Van West, the school is a "legacy to be preserved and celebrated."