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Here we'll explore the nexus of legal rulings, Capitol Hill policy-making, technical standards development, and technological innovation that creates -- and will recreate -- the networked world as we know it. Among the topics we'll touch on: intellectual property conflicts, technical architecture and innovation, the evolution of copyright, private vs. public interests in Net policy-making, lobbying and the law, and more.

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June 2, 2005

When Congress Has to Blog Because Mainstream Media Won't

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

What if you had a document, potentially as explosive as the Abu Ghraib photos? What if you had on the record comments from British officials saying they "did not dispute the document's authenticity"? What if you then got a US Administration official to describe it as "absolutely accurate"? What if you were a respected member of Congress and you still couldn't get mainstream US media to cover the story?

Then you'd be John Conyers, you'd be holding the so-called "Downing Street Memo," and you'd be forced to turn to blogging and creating your own website in an attempt to get some attention paid to a story that has gotten no publicity in the US.

More to come, I'm sure.

Comments (2) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Speech


COMMENTS

1. The media is scared, biased or unprepared on June 3, 2005 8:58 AM writes...

We can only sympathize with Congressman Conyers.

Based on very personal (copyright related) experience I can only deduct that the media is scared, biased or unprepared, or all of the above.

While on a daily basis the local media here in San Juan, Puerto Rico has stories about beauty pageants that appear to be paid advertisement our story has not been mentioned in the press.

What is our story: The biggest theft and abuse in copyright history. All of our music was stolen by music publishers. The theft (copyright infringement) went to trial and the judge made hundreds of errors and no one has written a story about it. So I had to publish all the facts on our web page: http://www.gvenegas.com .

I have a theory about this: New papers are afraid they may wind up in court at sometime, so they have to be very careful about stories that make judges look bad. Then we have the condition that the judge that made the hundreds of errors is a columnist in our leading newspaper (a nice conflict of interest).

One would think that a story where there is is a letter, presented during the trial, from a big music publisher that asks one of its executives to get 14 songs composed by my father "without the author suspecting" that they are going to be copyright registered would be of interest to many.

Then there is fear of the government and the security apparatus and of politicians that have great influence over the press. For example, our two leading newspapers are owned, one by the family of the founder of a political party, a former governor. The other newspaper is partly owned by a former governor who is a leader of the same political party previously mentioned.

And the radio "press". Practically all large radio stations in Puerto Rico have been sued for copyright infringement and their cases are languishing, unresolved, in court for many years . While i think that the radio stations will prevail, their legal fees will be huge and unrecoverable. All of this makes them very nervous of the subject of copyright... so they are not interested in our story.

Then the subject of copyrights and legal matters is (unnecessarily) more complicated than beauty pageants and entertainment reporters are not well prepared for complex issues.

The bottom line: The media is either scared, biased or unprepared, or all of the above, for some reason or another.

Rafael Venegas
http://www.gvenegas.com

Permalink to Comment

2. The media is scared, biased or unprepared on June 3, 2005 9:45 AM writes...

An addd note:

Maybe there is no free press after all.

Permalink to Comment


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