GOP Candidate Cho Gets Another My View Column

The December 9, 2007 Chapel Hill News ‘My View’ column titled GOP chair Cho to challenge Price contained the following:

A former Presbyterian minister and tae kwon do instructor, Cho is a writer raising two children in Chapel Hill. He has been writing a monthly My View column for the Chapel Hill News. His column will go on hiatus during his run.

Now on December 26, 2007 Mr Cho has another column in the Chapel Hill News titled ‘Soul patrol.’ (It’s not online yet. I just pulled it out of my driveway at 12AM.) At the end of Mr. Cho’s column today is this excuse,

This is his last My View for now. Cho’s column is on hiatus as he campaigns for the Republican nomination for U.S. House District 4.

To me this column contradicts the first one. His column was supposed to “go on hiatus.” Second, its a clear violation of the News’ journalistic principles. Will Congressman Price get a My View column so he can promote his personal values too?

Cross posted from BlueNC.

America Doesn’t Want Bigger Media

Stop Big Media! On Tuesday the FCC is meeting. Part of their agenda is relaxing ownership rules. This means even fewer companies will own more newspapers, radio stations, and TV stations. That’s not what our county needs.

Put your picture on the wall, sign the petition, and tell your friends.

More Detail: Media Consolidation: What happens after the FCC vote? from The Moyers Blog.

Just Pay the Writers Fairly Dammit!

Have to say I was pretty confused about the details of the TV writers strike. But then I saw this video.

I was impressed that some actors and producers spoke out in solidarity. But now that the smart writers of The Daily Show have laid it out… I grok it. Viacom is being fat cat greedy!

This video helped me understand why we need them so much. These folks are our teachers. Well some of them. Maybe not the folks who write for reality TV. 🙂 hugs and kisses! This vid is funny and educational BTW. It explains a lot!

Thanks for sharing this Albert! More info at the United Hollywood blog.

Stop Media Consolidation

Watch this Bill Moyer’s video about the latest FCC attack on our media freedom. It explains the threat very clearly. Such amazing footage of the Seattle FCC hearing held recently.

More info here on Bipartisan Bill to Put the Brakes on FCC

If you are on Facebook consider joining the 100,000 by 12/18/07 to Fight Media Consolidation group. Here are some action items.

1. Invite all of your friends this group. Most of the “100,000” or “1 million” strong groups are meaningless. If we can get thousands of people on facebook to contact the FCC and their Senators there is a good chance we can actually stop this disastrous rule change.

2. Contact the FCC

3. Contact your Senators

4. Learn More
Please do whatever you can to spread the word about this. Media consolidation is one of the most overlooked issues in contemporary political discourse. Without access to diverse and distinct media sources, our Democracy itself is in peril. Make sure your voice is heard on this critical issue.

Your Comments are Valuable

Ever notice how your comments on the Chapel Hill News blog Orange Chat end up in the paper? First time I noticed my comments there I though, “Wow. That’s cool. My words in print for people to see.” Its kind of like a letter to the editor. But now I am concerned that all this user generated content isn’t being obtained ethically.

Comments on a blog are information. Information is a commodity. It has real value. To discover this value you need to know how to use it. But before you do that where do you get this commodity? You ask people to give it to you. What do you provide in return? The going “rate” is space to leave a comment and the “privilege” to have it put in front of thousands or millions of people. If you can get these returns by creating your own blog and doing some Search Engine Optimization yourself then you may be able to compete with large corporations. This is the entrepreneurial democratization of commerce. This is one way sites like Digg or are making money in the Internet age.

I am not against this practice. Its a popular form of business. But are these businesses compensating you fairly? I believe the majority of the people out there using sites, leaving comments and clicking links, are not fully aware of the resources they are creating. User generated content is quite important to democracy and community. But when we don’t understand its value we may not be equal partners in business transactions.

Our comments and letters are actually a type of free user generated content turned into profit. When you sign up to log into many sites and leave comments you can relinquishing your rights to what you write in your comments. Try reading the terms and services. Notice that little check box above a submit button? Usually there is a link there to some confusing legalese. Contained therein are words that strip you of your copyrights. (Not all sites. Comments on this blog are the exclusive property of there authors.)

Those few words you write in comments on Orange Chat may not have any value else where but they do contribute to the content of the paper. There are a ton of “free” websites that collect user generated content and leverage it to create sales from advertising online. In fact this is a main tenant of Web 2.0 business models. Take free data, represent it, sell ads, and provide premium services. aka the Freemium Business model.

The past few years has shown a real change in the relationship that journalists have with blogs. Before newspapers started blogging we wrote about local issues on our blogs. We made two way conversations possible and integrated first person stories about events and ideas. All before many journalist knew what a blog was or thought them worthy of concern.

Now we see how important local blogs are to local political reporting. Reporters read local blogs like Orange Politics to understand what some are thinking and discussing. Blog comments can be the ultimate research tool in understanding street level thought about local events. Blogs can be lead generation machines. Especially for a reporter who may not live in a local community for a long enough time to know people or the issues.

I applaud journalist use of blog and their comments for research. But recently I think some may have crossed the line. I believe our copyrights have been violated.

RE: Councilman seeks recount Front page story in the Chapel Hill News on Sunday November 11, 2007. In this story several comments left on where reprinted verbatim. Orange Politics was referenced as the source, but that was not enough to fulfill the copyright terms of the sites Creative Commons license.

The Chapel Hill News use of comments in their for-profit publication appears to violate the Creative Commons license this website uses. This license applies to the posts and comments.

The Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 1.0 Generic license that uses has the following conditions:

You are free:
* to Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work
* to Remix — to adapt the work

Under the following conditions:
* Attribution. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).
* Noncommercial. You may not use this work for commercial purposes.

* For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. The best way to do this is with a link to this web page.
* Any of the above conditions can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder.
* Nothing in this license impairs or restricts the author’s moral rights.

Has the Chapel Hill News obtained written or verbal permission from commenters Tom Jensen or Mark Marcoplos to waive these conditions?

Has the Chapel Hill News made it clear to others the license this site uses by linking directly to this site and/or comments? (FYI, each comment on this site has a unique URL.)

Here are direct links to the comments quoted in the Chapel Hill News that appear to violate the Noncommercial condition of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 1.0 Generic license.

Tom Jensen’s Comment on Orange Politics reprinted in the Chapel Hill News

Mark Marcoplos’s Comment on Orange Politics reprinted in the Chapel Hill News

I, Brian Russell, hereby provide permission to reprint my comments or posts on Orange to not for profit publications. All other publications must obtain written permission from myself to publish any text. Thank you.

All in all I am quite happy that journalists use Orange Politics as a source. I object to their lack of direct linking to specific sources and disregard for the legal terms of websites. The people who work hard on non-profit sites like Orange Politics do it for there community, not for profit. When for profit websites like lift text verbatim they profit unfairly from there communities hard work. Ignorance of our copyright terms is not an excuse.

This problem could be fixed in several ways. I’d like to see the Chapel Hill News, and all other for profit media companies, to link to all sources inside a stories body content. (using a URL) Also they could obtain direct written permission from each copyright holder if they intend to profit from their republished comments. Finally I think all modern journalists, editors, owners and others need training in modern copyright law especially as it pertains to the Creative Commons license.

Ignore the Indy this week

When I first read the front page story of the most recent triangle Independent Weekly I though about writing a letter to their editor. (Notice how I don’t link to them?) Then I thought about not blogging about it. Now I am telling my fellow blog friends to ignore it. Not to blog about it. But its hard… So instead of writing my own FULL point by point rebuttal I’ll just say this.

I love journalist. I am a news junkie. I read a paper in my hands. I am your fan Mr. Newspaper Man and Woman. I don’t want your job. I respect your opinion. I know how amazing your talents are. Your hard work impresses the hell out of me. Especially when you defend the First Amendment. So why do you keep writing attacking screeds of fear?

I am so tired of this blogger vs journalist bull shit.

Colbert does NYT OP-ED

Has the sky fallen? Cause our fav conservative Stephen Colbert has a guest Op-Ed column in the New York Times. It damn funny too. Here is my favorite part. Being a southerner of Appalachian descent… it makes me laugh out loud.

So why I am writing Miss Dowd’s column today? Simple. Because I believe the 2008 election, unlike all previous elections, is important. And a lot of Americans feel confused about the current crop of presidential candidates.

For instance, Hillary Clinton. I can’t remember if I’m supposed to be scared of her so Democrats will think they should nominate her when she’s actually easy to beat, or if I’m supposed to be scared of her because she’s legitimately scary.

Or Rudy Giuliani. I can’t remember if I’m supposed to support him because he’s the one who can beat Hillary if she gets nominated, or if I’m supposed to support him because he’s legitimately scary.

And Fred Thompson. In my opinion “Law & Order” never sufficiently explained why the Manhattan D.A. had an accent like an Appalachian catfish wrestler.

I think I just heard Colbert claim he was “the son of a poor appalachian turd miner. The Grandson of a goat ball licker.”.

via Andy Bechtel