Stop Outsourcing Local News (or I Can See You Fine From Here)

The short of it?

For more on the subject, here is This American Life’s segment about local news getting reported by people literally on the other side of the world.

If you want to help put a stop to this practice before it becomes an industry standard, head over to FreePress.net’s petition to Sam Zell, The Tribune Company’s chairman, and tell him to stop outsourcing local news!

COICA. PIPA. SOPA. ACTA. TPP. Stop.

You know how in the movies the good guys have an initial victory, then the bad guys come back worse than ever, but though the odds are outrageous the heroes come back in the end with some insane plan to save the day?  Well, that’s what is happening this Saturday, February 11th.  Where?  Everywhere!


View ACTA Protests Worldwide – Brought to you by stoppacta-protest.info in a larger map

Who are the good guys and bad guys again?  To translate from above, the internet had an initial victory with the PIPA & SOPA copyright bills in the United States, but now there’s all kind of secret shenanigans going on internationally to push through trade agreements with the same absurdly overreaching copyright and intellectual property provisions as SOPA, just this time on a global scale.  For this round, the response is being led in Europe as the EU has not yet ratified ACTA.  The action, however, will be happening worldwide, with over 200 cities planning protest events.

In case you haven’t been keeping score, this is how the saga has progressed:

1 – COICA, Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act – S.3804 – [Wikipedia|Bill Text] 2 – PIPA, or Protect-IP, Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act – S.968 – [Wikipedia|Bill Text] 3 – SOPA, Stop Online Piracy Act – H.R.3261 – [Wikipedia|Bill Text] 4 – ACTA, Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement – [Wikipedia|Text] 5 – TPP, Trans-Pacific Partnership – [Wikipedia|Text]

The timeline is the most shocking part.  COICA was introduced in September of 2010.  In 17 months, the entertainment industry and its faithful servant, the United States government, have managed to get three pieces of legislation shot down by overwhelming public opposition, yet still had the time and the nerve to try to get their way by bypassing every democracy on Earth.

In the U.S., Obama has already signed us on to ACTA, although that doesn’t mean it will stick.  As Digital Commons explains it, “The problem is that the President lacks constitutional authority to bind the U.S. to the agreement without congressional consent; but that lack of authority may not prevent the U.S. from being bound to the agreement under international law.”  Then again, Obama might be left holding the bag on this one, as Poland and the Czech Republic have now suspended their ratification of ACTA and the European Parliament is about to get an earful encouraging them to not even bother.

Now back to the movies.  Yes, you’ve already had to hear and do a lot about this crap, you’re tired, it’s Friday and you want to go home, but we can’t walk away yet.  There would be no entertainment industry if the heroes never finished the job.  Go ask a focus group.  We’ve got to see this through and it is going to require a little more effort.

What can you do?  Once again, Fight for the Future has everything you need at KillACTA.org.  Join in one of the events mapped above, sign the TPP petition and don’t hang up your spurs until you write your representatives about ACTA, which you can take care of right here, in Brainerd…

From KillACTA.org:

Stop ACTA & TPP: Tell your country’s officials: NEVER use secretive trade agreements to meddle with the Internet. Our freedoms depend on it!


For European users, this form will email every MEP with a known email address.
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Here’s to happy endings!

Fracking, Not Frakking

The kids are always talking about propagating fractures in rock layers to release the natural gas trapped underneath, but what is “fracking” all about?  Thankfully someone has made a beautiful website to quickly walk you through the entire process…

Why should you care?  Because fracking got an exemption in the Safe Drinking Water Act, despite the hazardous stew it leaves underground.  Also, there already happens to be bills stagnating in Congress to take the exemption away.  Let’s go ahead and take care of this very specific little oversight.  Go direct to taking action here or enjoy Linda Dong‘s site, Dangers of Fracking, which will take you to the action and further resources at the end.

[via Daring Fireball]

#MoveYourDomain Day

posted in: Action, Ape Con Myth | 0

We’ve talked about SOPA, one of the Internet Blacklist Bills currently simmering in Congress, and the actions against it.  We’ve also talked about the need to do business with the companies we want to see thrive, as opposed to just the ones who make it convenient.  Now, the two are coming together.

Today, Go Daddy customers have been called on to transfer their domains as part of the #MoveYourDomain Day of action in protest of Go Daddy’s support of SOPA.  As such, at midnight on this December 29th, 2011, Ape Con Myth initiated the transfer of the following domains:

ApeConMyth.com
SandwichCorp.com
TheShutUpSociety.com
TheParty.us
YellowTreeGranfalloon.org

They will now be residing with ACM’s hosting company, Dreamhost.

If you have a domain with Go Daddy, want to get out, but don’t know where to go with it, a few registrars are offering discounts along with donations to EFF for each transfer.  And for those happy enough with Go Daddy’s reversal on SOPA, what are your feelings on elephants?

American Censorship Day: This is NOT a Drill

posted in: Action, Ape Con Myth, Video | 0

This one is pretty simple.  If you like the internet, whether it be Facebook, Ape Con Myth or anything in-between, you’ve got a little work to do.  Today, Congress begins hearings on PROTECT-IP, a bill that will allow for widespread and systematic censorship of the internet.  And today, the internet is fighting back.

Fight for the Future sums up the situation here:

[vimeo 31100268 w=640&h=360]

The word is Congress might try to push this through by the end of the month.  There is no time to waste if you have any interest in wasting more time on the internet in the future.  Write your representatives, sign a petition, and if you’ve got the time and gumption, call your representatives to follow up.

This is not a joke.  This is not a drill.  If you’re getting tired of having to do this kind of stuff, let your representative know that too.