aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Monday, October 31, 2005
The Analog Hole
Hollywood has fielded a shockingly ambitious piece of “Analog Hole” legislation while everyone was out partying in costume. Under a new proposed Analog Hole bill, it will be illegal to make anything capable of digitizing video unless it either has all its outputs approved by the Hollywood studios, or is closed-source, proprietary and tamper-resistant. The idea is to make it impossible to create an MPEG from a video signal unless Hollywood approves it.
Here are a couple ideas he’s heard from lobbyists:
1. You can “accept a contract” by changing the channel. If you change the channel from 3 to 4, and the show on channel 4 has a signal that says it can’t be recorded, then by watching channel 4, you’re “making an agreement” to waive your time-shifting right in exchange for the show. This is like a shopkeeper hiding a “I reserve the right to punch you in the nose” sign somewhere in his shop and then randomly clobbering his customers, answering any complaints by saying that you agreed to it when you came through the door.
2. Everything with value has a price-tag. Today you can rewind TV, fast-forward it, skip the ads, move it to another device in your house, or stream it to your web-browser on the road. Tomorrow all of these features will only exist if they are permitted, on a case by case basis. The studios will “enable the business-model” of charging you money for the stuff that you get for free today. Here’s a quote: “Doing this stuff has value, and if it has value, we should be able to charge money for it.” They do indeed have value: you currently enjoy that value. Under this proposal, the value will be stolen from you and sold back to you piecemeal.
As I urge students to become aware of cpyright issues, and maybe even start their own FreeCulture chapter on our campus, I’m struck by how accepting they are of the imposed restrictions. They appear to buy right into Hollywood’s arguments.
I can only hope that Cory is right:
Americans will forgive a lot of sins from their elected representatives, but there’s one thing they won’t stand for and that’s breaking their TVs.
“It gives me hope,” said Ed Smith, 53, of Glen Burnie, MD:
With a message of humility, faith in times of suffering and God’s unconditional love, a bishop with the Archdiocese Of Baltimore celebrated Mass yesterday at a service devoted to gay and lesbian Catholics.
“As bishop, being here this afternoon in this community, I do so with genuine affection and gentleness to you,” Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski, the eastern vicar, told those gathered at St. Bernadette Roman Catholic Church in Severn, a parish that has had a thriving gay and lesbian ministry since 1997.
Via Andrew Sullivan.
I thought defrocking the lesbian minister was bad enough, but it turns out the Methodists think it’s fine to refuse gay people, who are allowed to worship, membership in the church. How Christian is that?
In the best-known of the cases decided yesterday, the Judicial Council removed from the ministry Irene Elizabeth Stroud, who told her Philadelphia congregation in 2003 that she was a lesbian in a long-term relationship with another woman.
But church experts said the most significant decision could prove to be the little-known case of the Rev. Edward Johnson, pastor of South Hill United Methodist Church in South Hill, Va. Mr. Johnson’s decision to keep an openly gay man from joining his congregation was upheld by the Judicial Council as the rightful exercise of his pastoral discretion. He had been suspended for a year without pay by fellow ministers in Virginia, but the Judicial Council ordered his regional leaders to find a new appointment for him.
We’re talking rural Virginia here. In rural Virginia “fellow ministers” suspended him.
I heard this story on the radio before the Rosa Parks story. It struck me that Rosa was expected to ride in the back of the bus. She could ride, just not equal with whites.
The Methodists now says gays can worship, just not equally with heterosexuals.
Rosa Parks, prop
In that context the decision to let Rosa Parks lie in state in the US Capitol building looks “more GOP publicity stunt than a truly heart-felt gesture to honor one of the heroes of the civil rights movement.”
Of Judge Alito’s visit to pay respects he wonders, “I’d like to know if Judge Alito was coming to Washington anyway to pay homage to Rosa Parks, whether or not he was going to be the Supreme Court nominee.”
Billmon and Atrios both make the point that one Alito dissent “would immunize an employer from the reach of Title VII if the employer’s belief that it had selected the ‘best’ candidate, was the result of conscious racial bias.”
Billmon calls Frist’s tag along “gilding the lilly of hypocrisy.”
Newspapers are not dying
But they must change:
“A newspaper’s core product isn’t news or information. It’s community influence,” said Philip Meyer, a professor at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and author of The Vanishing Newspaper: Saving Journalism in the Information Age. “That’s created with high-quality editorial product ... (In cutting staffers), newspapers aren’t just eating their seed corn, they’re burning down the barn.”
Some experts have suggested newspapers develop story ideas thinking of the Internet first, with expansive, multilayered content online that is truncated for the print paper. Meyer expects newspapers eventually will publish less frequently, with breaking news handled by well-read Web sites.
“The newspaper business needs a lot of crazy ideas,” he added, citing the success of USA Today, which journalists once derided as “McPaper” for its short stories and colorful layout.
Ink on dead trees just doesn’t cut it:
Ball State University professor Bob Papper, who has co-authored a study analyzing 5,000 hours of media use among 400 subjects, said his numbers show newspapers should work harder to develop online environments.
In his survey, just 27 percent of those ages 25 to 34 looked at a newspaper daily, compared to 71 percent ages 65 and up. Those same 25- to 34-year-olds spent an average 3.6 minutes with a newspaper each day; from age 35 to 44, the figure jumped to 8.2 minutes, with both groups spending more than 10 times that duration online.
“(Newspapers) must stop defining (their) business as ink on dead trees,” Papper said. “You need to define your business as providing information to people. Ink on dead trees is just one way of delivering that information to people.”
My, how times have changed. Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, Scalia and now Alito. My mom will be thrilled. We’re the darlings of the Religious Right.
I’m reminded of this from Ed Kilgore on how evangelical Protestant leaders once demanded Catholics’ leave their religion at the door:
The evangelical Protestant inquisition of John F. Kennedy in Houston in 1960 is the most famous example of conservative demands that a Catholic leader swear absolute fealty to the principle of separation of church and state. But there was an earlier and much more savage inquisition back in 1928, when Al Smith, the first Catholic to be nominated for the presidency, was bitterly opposed by conservative Protestant ministers, especially in the South, for the possibility that his faith might somehow affect his policies in office.
As it happens, I’m currently reading an interesting book (Happy Days Are Here Again, by Steve Neal) about the 1932 presidential campaign that has a short but fascinating section about Smith’s persecution for his faith, and his brave but futile response. And here’s what the preeminent American Catholic political martyr of the 20th century had to say:
“I recognize no power in the institutions of my church to interfere with the operations of the Constitution of the United States or the enforcement of the law of the land. I believe in absolute freedom of conscience for all men and in equality of all churches, all sects, and all beliefs before the law as a matter of right and not as a matter of favor. I believe in the absolute separation of church and state.”
Today, peculiarly enough, such views are considered by the likes of the Justice Sunday crowd as “secular humanist,” “anti-Catholic,” and “anti-Christian.” It’s clear that poor Al Smith, were he resurrected today and lifted to public office, would again suffer persecution from the same people, but for the opposite reasons.
UPDATE: And 2 from Trenton.