Boing Boing 

YouTube blocks clip of Michelle Obama's DNC speech on copyright grounds


A YouTube clip of Michelle Obama's DNC speech, embedded on BarackObama.com, was blocked due to a copyright complaint "from WMG, SME, Associated Press (AP), UMG, Dow Jones, New York Times Digital, The Harry Fox Agency, Inc. (HFA), Warner Chappell, UMPG Publishing and EMI Music Publishing." It's not clear what happened, though my money is on some combination of YouTube's copyright bots detecting the incidental background music from the convention; and several broadcasters uploading their own version of the footage and registering it as belonging to them with the YouTube copyright bots.

A YouTube spokesman downplayed the blockage: “After tonight’s live stream ended, YouTube briefly showed an incorrect error message,” he said via e-mail. ” Neither the live stream nor any of the channel’s videos were affected.”

It’s not clear what he meant by none of the channel’s videos were affected as the video was unplayable.

The most likely culprit is YouTube’s pre-emptive content filters, which allow large media companies to upload content they claim to own and automatically block videos that an algorithm decides matches their own. That would make the glitch the second livestream copyright-policing snafu in the span of a few days: On Sunday, a similar algorithm at uStream interrupted the livestream of the Hugo science fiction awards. The award show included clips of copyrighted videos, though the algorithm didn’t know that the clips had been authorized.

In early August, an official NASA recording of the Mars landing was blocked hours after the successful landing, due to a rogue DMCA complaint by a news network.

YouTube Flags Democrats’ Convention Video on Copyright Grounds

(Image: you've got to be kidding me, from @bondad)

Today in amazing casting news: Bryan Cranston is coming to 30 Rock

Man, Bryan Cranston is popping up everywhere these days! First, he was seen directing an episode of NBC's The Office for its final season. And now, he'll appear on camera for another show entering its last year, 30 Rock. He will be accompanied by the spectacular Catherine O'Hara, who will play the mother of Kenneth the NBC page (Jack McBrayer), but it's Cranston's role that might be filling in the blanks on some legendary 30 Rock lore: he's playing Ron, the boyfriend of Kenneth's mother, who has never been seen on-screen before. (Neither has Kenneth's mother, for that matter.) I think the bigger question is why, after all that critical acclaim for his work on AMC's Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston is all about working for the struggling peacock network. (Probably because he's freaking Heisenberg and does what he wants.) (via AV Club)

Act today to stop the Daily Mail's campaign to establish opt-out censorship in the UK

A group of UK MPs, the Daily Mail and religious pressure groups are pushing for a law that would require all new Internet subscribers to opt out of an unaccountable censorwall, which will silently block a secret list of websites from their Internet connections. This is bad enough. Unaccountable block-lists are an attractive nuisance -- as we saw with the Swedish and Danish child porn filter leak, 98.3 percent of the material on the secret blacklist wasn't child porn.

But it gets worse: once the legitimacy of secret, privately maintained censorship lists has been integrated into UK Internet service, it will be trivial to add new censorship to the service without fanfare or debate. And as we've seen, this won't stop kids from seeing porn, but it will incorrectly block non-pornographic material because of incompetence and/or malice.

The Open Rights Group needs you to write to your MP today to stop this absurd, evidence-free push for national, Chinese-style censorship in the UK.

Some MPs and religious groups are mounting a campaign to push 'default on' network level blocking on the UK Internet.[1] [2] There is now a public consultation considering this idea.

However well meaning, we know from our own research [3] what happens when ISPs put blocks on the Internet. Through accident or abuse, censorship leads to lots more content being blocked than originally intended.[4][5]

Sites will get blocked if they casually mention sex. Sexual health sites will get caught.[6] The websites of clubs and bars, personal blogs and community sites get filtered. Chat sites may be banned – because they might not be sufficiently “policed”. In short, if you’re small and independent, you will suffer.

Innovation and free speech are threatened by this clumsy website blocking. And the government is considering turning this on by default.[7] You may be presented with a list of ticked “filtered” categories, and have to untick them if you want to avoid the filtering.

And if this happens at the network, then future governments can easily extend what gets filtered without having to ask you. Mass censorship would be couple of clicks away.

Stop opt-out “Adult” filtering

Stolen wallet recovered 40 years later is a miniature time-capsule


A 2011 piece from the NYT's David W. Dunlap tells the story of the recovery of a long-lost wallet that was stolen from a Times art director in 1970, and which was recovered from "a void between an old unused window on the second floor and the masonry seal behind it" in fall of 2010. The wallet is a miniature time-capsule of iconic and odd items from the era, collected in this Retronaut set.

Mr. Rodriguez happened to be on duty at the security desk and seized his opportunity. He showed the wallet to Mr. Thompson. Mr. Thompson called this reporter, who's something of a Times historian. This reporter called Mr. Resta, who retired in 1999 but still lives in New York. Mr. Resta, laying aside his understandable suspicions, agreed to meet all of us at 229 West 43rd Street, share some memories and get his wallet back.

When Mr. Cisneros handed the wallet to him, Mr. Resta opened it gingerly and turned away for a moment, overcome by the tide of memory. After composing himself, he gave Mr. Cisneros a grateful kiss. And he didn't lose a moment showing off the glamor-puss shot of Mrs. Resta from 1963. ''She still is glamorous,'' he said, with evident pride and pleasure.

Before coming into Manhattan on the morning of our meeting in November, Mr. Resta told his wife that he knew he'd find a clipping in the wallet from 1968 - Senator Edward M. Kennedy's eulogy for his brother, Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Mr. Resta can still recite the phrase that meant so much to him: ''Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not.''

CITY ROOM; Long-Lost Wallet Is Returned, Memories Intact (via Making Light)

Be My Enemy: triumphant sequel to Planesrunner


Today marks the publication of Be My Enemy, the absolutely triumphant sequel to Ian McDonald's pulse-pounding young-adult science fiction novel Planesrunner.

Planesrunner -- a rollicking, multidimensional tale of a young boy who holds the key to infinite universes, seeking to rescue his physicist father from sinister powers -- finished on a brutal cliffhanger, leaving its readers gasping and cursing for more. Now we have it.

In Enemy, there's a lot more of what made Planesrunner great -- tremendous action scenes, cunning escapes, genius attacks on the ways that multidimensional travel might be weaponized, horrific glimpses of shadowy powers and sinister technologies.

But Enemy also has more of what makes McDonald's adult fiction some of the best work I've ever read: a gifted ear for poesie that makes the English language sing, the unapologetic presumption of the reader's ability to understand what's going on without a lot of hand-holding, and a technological mysticism that never explicitly says when the literal stops and the fantasy starts.

In Enemy, Everett, the young hero of Planesrunner, is confronted with multiple versions of himself from different worlds, all facing different versions of his crisis, and some not on his side. McDonald's handling of this is deft, going beyond the good Spock/evil Spock cliches and showing us how two "good" kids could start as multidimensional twins and end as mortal enemies.

If you held off on reading Planesrunner because you didn't want to commit to a series without knowing if the author could keep up the quality, have no fear. McDonald has proven himself handily. And if you read Planesrunner like me and have been slavering for the sequel ever since, rejoice -- the time is at hand!

Here are the first five chapters, courtesy of the kind folks at Pyr!

Be My Enemy