Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Monday, January 19, 2009

Made for You and Me

Those who click on the YouTube link to the beautiful restored Pete Seeger and Bruce Springstein performance of "This Land Is Your Land" I posted yesterday will now discover this message: "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Home Box Office, Inc."

One is reminded of these lines from the restored version of the song captured in this public celebration of our shared joy in electing our President Barack Obama to the Executive Branch of our democracy:
There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me;
Sign was painted, it said private property;
But on the back side it didn't say nothing;
That side was made for you and me.

Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me.

According to Joe Sudbay over at AmericaBlog HBO censored openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson's Invocation for the event, which means, apparently, that nobody can ever see that -- despite the explosive political significance of that Invocation in the context of lying homogay bigot Rick Warren's Invocation scheduled for the Inaugural itself -- since HBO imagines it owns the rights to the material reality of a news event it happened to broadcast.

Hey, HBO, turning tides can drown you if you're too dumb to pay attention to what's happening around you. It will be enjoyable to observe these greedy brainless corporatist fucks walking this one back.

4 comments:

jimf said...

> HBO imagines it owns the rights to the material reality
> of a news event it happened to broadcast.

Yes, many media corporations seem to imagine they own
the "material reality" of the world in this way.

It's as if public events were a sporting event, to which
the "rights" have been assigned (by whom? by the folks
who get to decide which journalists and which cameras
are allowed in -- inside a building, inside a country,
inside a public event, or inside a theater of war, I guess) to
a duly-chartered (and duly-charged) business entity.

There's nothing new about this, I suppose.

Speaking of cameras, here's a funny (and disturbing) news
item:

"When photographer Duane Kerzic first heard about Amtrak's
'Picture our Trains' photo contest, he never imagined that
Amtrak police at New York's Penn Station would confuse his
picture-taking for suspicious activity and arrest him. Amtrak's
police and marketing department have to communicate better
than that, don't they?

Well, we already know the answer to that. Kerzic was charged
with trespassing after refusing to delete the photos of the
trains from his camera."
http://www.gadling.com/2009/01/06/amtrak-photo-contest-participant-arrested-by-amtrak-police/

And see also:
http://www.rcfp.org/newsitems/index.php?i=6157

So much for the reciprocality of the "panopticon", eh?
**We** spy on **you**, **you** no spy on **us**.
But we knew that already, right?

BTW, speaking of media companies: Back in 1996, when I first got
Web access at home (via a Sony Web TV appliance), I
Alta Vista'ed (no Google back then ;-> ) all sorts of things.
One thing I wanted to find out was whether there was any
footage for sale of the General Motors Futurama II ride
from the '64-'65 New York World's Fair that I had seen and
been mightily impressed by when I was 12. Sure enough,
I found an ad for an archival newsreel footage company in
Manhattan, and discovered they had such a thing in their
catalog. So I went there and asked how I would go about
getting a tape copy of that footage (which I was prepared
to spend pretty big bucks for. $250? Well, OK. :-0 ).
They were mightily perplexed when I showed up in their
lobby. "What is your affiliation? You're a freelance
film-maker, or what company do you work for?" Uh, nobody.
"Well, I'm sorry, we can't make our archives available to
mere **consumers**!! In fact," (the lady went on to add
portentously [and pretentiously], "I can't even allow you
to **screen** that footage." Well, f*ck you! What'ya
think -- you **own** my memories? (Well yes -- ask the
Walt Disney Corporation about that!). I didn't actually use gutter
language to her, BTW, but I did point out that their
advertising on the Web said nothing about these restrictions
(you're just supposed to **know** these things if you're
in the biz, I guess), and she replied, frostily, "Thank you,
I suppose we'll have to correct that." ("Now run along,
you insect." And f*ck you again, b*tch!)

I didn't let that stop me, BTW. Realizing my mistake (i.e.,
knocking on the front door), I called in a favor from a friend
who **does** work as a film editor. **He** was able to get
me a VHS copy of that footage -- for nothing. Intellectual
property, you gasp? Copyright? Human decency? The sacredness
of business contracts? F*ck that, I say! :-c


Who's the leader of the club that's made for You and Me?
M-I-C K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E!

Anonymous said...

"...greedy brainless corporatist fucks..." (referring to HBO)

For a PhD, your blog reads more like a hyper-testosteroned 14 year old sometimes.

Dale Carrico said...

For a PhD, your blog reads more like a hyper-testosteroned 14 year old sometimes.

I should hope so. If you had insinuated that this is so not just "sometimes" but all the time I would have to take exception to that. I don't know what having a PhD. has to do with it, tho. Sometimes only a nice vulgarism gives you le mot juste.

jimf said...

> Sometimes only a nice vulgarism gives you le mot juste.

Merde! En fran├žais, aucun moins.