In December, we wrote about the unbelievably stupid arrest of Rokudenashiko (nee Megumi Igarashi), a Japanese manga artist who makes art with castings of her genitals. She's actually been arrested twice – once for distributing 3-D printable data of her vagina (really, her vulva or pudendum, for the pudants reading this), and another time for for an art display of whimsical sculptures (described by prosecutors as "obscene objects") at a store in Tokyo. Examples of the obscene objects are shown above and below:
Rokudenashiko's been in jail awaiting trial, after a judge refused her lawyer's request to release her. Judge Noriki Ando said Rokudenashiko must remain in prison out of a "fear she may destroy evidence or flee."
Rokudenashiko's trial is now underway. Her lawyers will defend the artist by claiming that her "work is not a precise reproduction of the vulva and does not cause sexual arousal."
The Guardian points out the hypocrisy of the case against Rokudenashiko:
Her case has attracted worldwide attention and criticism of the apparent double standards in the Japanese law’s treatment of sexual imagery. While the country has a thriving pornography industry, its obscenity laws ban the depiction of genitalia, which usually appear pixelated in images and videos.
Commentators pointed out the hypocrisy of her initial arrest, which came soon after Japanese authorities resisted pressure to ban pornographic images of children in manga comics and animated films.
If found guilty Rokudenashiko could spend two years in prison for distributing obscene objects.
Here's a profile of Rokudenashiko, showing how she makes her "vagina sculptures."
And here she describes her (successful) crowdfunded plan to make a "pussy kayak":
Hobby Lobby is so offended by the idea of contributing to its employees' birth control expenses that it fought all the way to the Supreme Court over the issue. But its retirement plan has over $73M sunk into funds that include companies that make contraception.
For years, Google has intervened in regulatory and court proceedings on the side of net neutrality (except for its embarrassing and inexcusable joint filing with Verizon on mobile rules). But now that Google is running its own gigabit broadband service, it has told the FCC that it's perfectly reasonable to discriminate on the basis of which packets are flowing and how they were generated -- justifying its own terms-of-service that block running "servers." Without this policy, it would be harder for Google to sell a "business" service that was distinct from the gigabit home service.
Taking a news organization effectively offline to protest the content of its coverage is not exactly supporting free speech—but this was about lulz, not logic. And as I said on Twitter when news of the attack first broke: PBS doesn't operate like CNN or Fox News, with a centralized news production process. Attacking PBS like this because one episode of one show wasn't A+ is like firebombing an entire grocery store because one apple you bit was bad.
Of course, unlike a firebombing, PBS will recover just fine. While the hack was ongoing last night, the organization coped by publishing to Tumblr and interacting more directly on Twitter with viewers. But a bunch of poor IT admins at PBS HQ, and affiliate stations around the country whose logins and passwords were exposed, probably had a really crappy Memorial Day (and will have a lot of cleanup and stress in weeks ahead). None of this helps Wikileaks, Manning, or journalism.
After hacking PBS.org, Lulzsec posted fake news stories, including one claiming Tupac was alive and living in New Zealand. They also exposed the site's inner workings and posted the login information for PBS member stations across the country.
The judges in a Dutch copyright case plagiarized a legal blogger in writing their opinion. The case held that framing and embedding is a form of copyright infringement (a maximalist copyright view that I find pretty dubious as a policy matter), and the relevant section from the opinion, "in case law and legal literature it is generally held that an embedded link constitutes a publication. After all, the material can be viewed or heard within the context of the website of those who placed the link, and placement causes the material to reach a new audience" is identical to text that appeared earlier on SOLV lawyer Douwe Linders's blog. Dutch copyright's fair dealing rules allow for some quotation without permission, but passing off someone else's text as your own is plagiarism, and weakens the fair dealing claim as well.
Bruce Schneier calls bullshit with eloquence: "For if we are observed in all matters, we are constantly under threat of correction, judgment, criticism, even plagiarism of our own uniqueness. We become children, fettered under watchful eyes, constantly fearful that -- either now or in the uncertain future -- patterns we leave behind will be brought back to implicate us, by whatever authority has now become focused upon our once-private and innocent acts. We lose our individuality, because everything we do is observable and recordable."
But JWZ has the kicker, when he reminds us that Eric Schmidt's Google blackballed CNet's reporters after CNet published personal information about Schmidt's private life: ""Google representatives have instituted a policy of not talking with CNET News reporters until July 2006 in response to privacy issues raised by a previous story..." "To underscore its point about how much personal information is available, the CNET report published some personal information about Google's CEO Eric Schmidt -- his salary; his neighborhood, some of his hobbies and political donations -- all obtained through Google searches...."
Hey, Eric: if you don't want us to know how much money you make, where you live, and what you do with your spare time, maybe you shouldn't have a house, earn a salary, or have any hobbies, right?