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August 15, 2012
As Others See Us
When sourcing Copyfight stories I'm almost always using US or Commonwealth sources (particularly Canadian and UK). That's largely due to my own language deficiencies and the result is a particular set of views on topics.
In the past few years Al Jazeera has emerged as one of the biggest and most important non-English-centric sources of news and its Al Jazeera English channel, now about six years old, has hit global attention bigtime with coverage of the last two years in the Middle East. Recently, Al Jazeera English's "Fault Lines" series turned its attention to the legal battles in the US over control of networks.
In this 25-minute segment, Fault Lines' Sebastian Walker focuses on the movie industry, home entertainment, and the copying of movies in particular. The content is not likely to be novel to most readers of this blog and if you're interested in diving more into this let me re-recommend Decherney's book on the topic.
Walker goes into some depth on US legislation aimed at controlling the Internet, particularly SOPA/PIPA and the Web site blackout that appears to have been a key factor in turning back those particular bills. Clay Shirky gives good soundbite, as usual. And then, maybe because it's a source that isn't beholden to US-centric interests, Walker goes on to point out the great hypocrisies of Obama and Hilary Clinton, who utter wonderful worlds about Internet freedom when it's an Arab dictatorship shutting its own people down, but then go right back to supporting restrictive legislation and secret copyright-distorting treaties like ACTA at home.
The emperor has some pretty translucent skivvies on, and US media aren't saying anything about it. I like living in the future, though, where we don't have to depend solely on these media.
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