Everyone Creates: a website celebrating the creativity that the internet has unlocked for millions of people

When we debate copyright policy on the internet, the story is pitched as "creators vs technology," but that leaves out the millions of people who create, but who are not part of the traditional entertainment industry -- people whose self-expression, artistic fulfillment, and audiences matter every bit as much as the audiences for creators who sign on to the big labels, studios, publishers and news bureaux. Read the rest

Popehat's new First Amendment law-podcast is great!

Make No Law is a just-launched podcast hosted by Ken "Popehat" White (previously), a former Federal prosecutor who writes some of the best, most incisive legal commentary on the web; the first episode deals with the oft-cited, badly misunderstood "fighting words" doctrine and its weird history in the religious prosecution of Jehovah's Witnesses (my sole complaint is that he didn't work in E. Gary Gygax). Read the rest

Happy Data Privacy Day! A turning point for anonymity, privacy, and the tools that deliver them

Last week, we celebrated Data Privacy day. Everything we do online—whether on a computer or on a mobile device—is being tracked, traced, compiled, crunched, bought and sold by familiar tech-titans like Google, Facebook, Verizon and hundreds of lesser known data brokers who help advertisers build frighteningly detailed digital profiles of users by harvesting data from a variety of sources, including customer databases and online platforms. After I lecture to my students on this topic, rattling off a dozen mechanisms by which corporations and governments can spy and pry on us, threating both anonymity and privacy, their reaction is usually either indifference (because, you know, they think they have nothing to hide) or for those that I’ve convinced they should care, some measure of despair.

Trump will not make a state visit to UK unless Theresa May bans protests

The President of the United States, whose Bill of Rights bans the government from making a law "respecting...the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances," has told the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, birthplace of the Magna Carta and signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees the freedom of assembly, that he will only visit the United Kingdom if the residents of that country are legally barred from protesting his visit. Read the rest

Peter Thiel, "libertarian," wants to buy Gawker's archive, which would give him the power to censor stories he didn't like

Libertarian wisdom holds that "the answer to bad speech is more speech," but if you're a Peter Thiel libertarian (that is, the kind of "freedom lover" who doesn't think women should vote, wants to spy on everyone in the world, and secretly wields power to censor the free press), then "the answer to bad speech is secretly backing lawsuits by washed-up pro-wrestlers in order to kill a media outlet whose reporting you don't like." Read the rest

Donald Trump is suing my publisher, and its response is magnificent

Henry Holt is a division of Macmillan (owners of Tor Books, who publish my novels); they're the folks who published Michael Wolff's bestselling Fire and Fury, which has so thoroughly embarrassed Donald Trump that the President of the United States has threatened to sue them. Read the rest

The Paradox of Tolerance: should intolerance be tolerated?

With the rise of white nationalist groups whose allies in government extend all the way to the President of the United States, tech companies are finding themselves in the uncomfortable position of deciding where tolerance begins and ends -- where they have a duty to step in and silence certain kinds of speech. Read the rest

The GOP tax plan will pay millionaires to subsidize failing religious schools

Until the GOP tax plan came along, rich people who donated to religious schools only get partial tax write-offs for their gifts, because the constitutional principle of separation of church and state obliged them to use special scholarship funds that were not under direct state control. Read the rest

How killing Net Neutrality irreparably harms public libraries and the communities they serve

New York Public Library president Tony Marx presides over the largest public library system in America, in a city where 2,000,000 people lack broadband internet access, so he understands as well as anyone the way that libraries bridge the digital divide, a divide that gets deeper and more daunting every day, as key services and opportunities move online. Read the rest

Group behind voter ID, stand your ground, ag-gag, private prison, anti-muni-wifi, and killing Obamacare now planning rules for jailing pipeline protesters

The American Legislative Exchange Council is a big-business-backed think tank whose funders run the gamut from oil companies to Tesla motors; they specialize in drafting insane, racist, voter-suppressing laws and getting them enacted at the state level, primarily by Republican state governments. Read the rest

Christmas is under attack: vandals steal Satanic Temple's tree-topper from San Jose's Christmas in the Park event

Christmas is under attack! The Satanic Temple was one of the many faith organizations who applied to put a tree at the record-breaking Christmas in the Park event in San Jose, an event that in no way abridged the separation of Church and State because it allowed any religion to participate. Read the rest

Religious fanatics go to the Supreme Court for the First Amendment right to trick women into bearing unwanted children

"Crisis Pregnancy Centers" are fake abortion clinics run by religious fanatics who use online fraud to get them to the top of the search results in order to lure women seeking abortions to visiting a place they believe to be an abortion clinic, but which is really a religious mission where the people pretending to be medical professionals dispense misinformation about the medical risks of abortion, then apply high-pressure sales tactics to bully and trick women into carrying unwanted pregnancies to term. Read the rest

200 Trump inauguration protesters face 70 years in prison each over 6 broken windows

Donald Trump is the least popular president to serve in US history, so it's no surprise that the call for mass, "J20 demonstrations" at his inauguration would be answered by massive crowds. Read the rest

Alarmed by racy material in Cosmo, Utah state senator wants to revive state pornography czar

Utah state senator Todd Weiler (@goptodd, (801) 538-1035) made his nutjob-religious-grandstander bones by proposing preinstalled mandatory porn-filtering software on all mobile phones, has found a new calling: calling for the revival of the state's moribund "porn czar" in order to stamp out the scourge of sexy women's magazines, especially Cosmo. Read the rest

Court tells Trump that he can't demand details and data on everyone who talked about protesting his inauguration

Dreamhost is the hosting provider for disruptj20.org, a website where 1.3 million people discussed plans for protesting Donald Trump's inauguration; in August, Trump's DoJ got a warrant demanding all the communications, IP addresses and other details on all 1.3 million people who used the site. Read the rest

Everything is a Remix covers Fair Use

Everything is a Remix (previously) is an important, entertaining series of short videos that trace the ways the creation is built on earlier creation -- that "originality" is just mixing existing things in new ways. Read the rest

Comcast sues Vermont over the state's insistence that it actually provide decent internet

Comcast enjoys an effective monopoly over internet service in Vermont and it's about to get an 11-year extension to its permit to use billions of dollars' worth of public rights of way in the state, and in return, the state has asked Comcast to roll out at least 550 miles of new cable for "under-served" Vermonters over the 11 years. Read the rest

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