That said, the whole situation highlights (yet again) the nuttiness that is the end result of an "ownership society." Evil empire is a simple phrase that references Star Wars. The idea that it alone should be controlled by the New York Yankees seems preposterous.
He attends a public meeting and thinks he's "being ambushed"...
No, I used that term, based on my own speculation.
All we know for sure is that this reporter consistently asks for quotes and he has emailed the reporter in question and stated that he dislikes the reporter from asking for quotes after meetings.
Seems reasonable to me. I don't think it helps genuine free speech causes and issues to be conflating them with this kind of incident which is more a case of a politician not wanting to talk to a publication.
It's not even a freedom of information issue. The reporters just trying to get a quick and easy "quote" he can use rather than to figure out a way of summarizing the meeting himself. There's nothing being hidden or repressed here.
What if this was David Cameron and Rupert Murdoch? Would you be backing Murdoch and calling it a free-speech issue then?
The source article doesn't state he dislikes being quoted, the journalist's tweet actually states,
"Amused after @chrishawtree sends me email saying he dislikes he asking him for quotes after meetings. Is that not a job of a local cllr?"
So it seems Tim has followed the Grauniad into the trap of Tabloid truth twisting. He's not asking not to be quoted, he just doesn't want to provide quotes to the Argus and wants the reporter to stop ambushing him after meetings.
Now as to his public record I have no idea if he is a good councillor or not, but one thing I can say is a councillors job is NOT feeding quotes to newspapers in order to increase/maintain their PR - it's to represent his community to the council and government.
I'm sure the Argus are free to quote-mine him from other public speeches, including his Twitter feed, which it seems they do.
Is it a smart move to engage a newspaper this way? Probably not, but I don't see this as a freedom of speech issue - more of a freedom not to speak issue.
Some days, I just really wish we could split the internet up.
One internet for all the politicians, rights-holders and other sinkholes of humanity to argue over...
...and the other internet for the rest of us, ordinary folk who don't want to sue/monitise/censor/destroy each other, who just want to get on with the common-wealth sharing of information and pictures of cats.
All Americans should be proud of their Pooper Hole.
It's such a shame I am not in the US even though I was aiming for it, I'm going to miss the Pooper Hole.
I gather there is nothing quite like getting together with several burly men, to celebrate and watch a Pooper Hole.
I know Americans get very excited about their Pooper Hole, is very important to them and they like the idea of sharing their Pooper Hole with all their friends and family.
I understand that a lot of people put a lot of things into the Pooper Hole in order to make it wide and accessible to a large audience. A lot of money is also put in the Pooper Hole. Let's hope all that cash doesn't make it a dirty Pooper Hole game.
Since the DMCA process itself is usually pretty automated, what's to stop an ISP or video hosting service automating an opt-in DMCA counter-claim for their users?
It would have to be opt-in, because otherwise it would expose every user to a lawsuit automatically. But if you're a creator and are confident that every video you post will be fair use, or your own work - you should be able to automatically set up a DMCA counter notice that your service provider can automatically respond with and keep your content up.
When it comes to unfair contract terms... I've had plenty of success by writing a formal letter to a company trying to make a financial claim on a contract I have signed, stating exactly that their contact terms are unfair and therefore unlawful and I do not intend to continue.
I've also backed it up with examples and willingness to test my assertion by stating they should cease and desist from contracting me unless it is via a court summons. I have not yet been taken to court, my guess is the other parties in each case were unwilling to see their claims of a fair contract tested.
I get the feeling that people telling me this is not possible don't have much experience in business or in negotiation. It's always a 2 sided affair and usually the big mean company will have something to lose. It just takes a while for someone with a big picture mentality inside the company to work out what's about to happen.
Nice try Kryton... but it's cynicism like that which stops people from appealing to the courts as their last line of defense in a democracy.
My experience with magistrates in general is they tend to be pragmatic and fair. Even with a corrupt magistrate, you have the chance of appeal - or you break the law and become a prisoner of conscience.
If the law is wrong, it's the duty of every citizen to disobey that law.
In this case though the worst you're looking at is bankruptcy if the legal costs are high - and either way, a company like Machinima would face a PR nightmare - I would argue they have more to lose as you would be endangering their future existence.
And what magistrate is going to make a rule that "Yes, Machinima owns everything you do in future", making you pay their legal costs to the point of bankruptcy and then ruling that even after bankruptcy you are still owned by them - there's just zero chance of this happening.
Based on my reasoning above, I think those who are saying that it's not worth the trouble fighting something like this are contributing in spreading the FUD that these companies are all-powerful and cannot be stopped. It's just bullshit and people need to take a stand.
It's not just the little guy who fears going to court... sometimes big corporations are aware that one judgement could potentially end a business model - they also have something to lose. You just have to be ballsy enough to call them on it.
Speaking for the UK in particular, there are a lot of industries whose business models depend on unlawful methods. They operate on the basis that most people fear going to court (even as plaintiff) and therefore so few challenge their claims.
If only 1 or 2 out of every 10 "customers" are willing to challenge them, it's still more profitable to drop their claims, than to risk a judgement that prevents from collecting from the other 8 cowards.
I would self fund, but keep record of bills and costs for my time - I would also bill myself per hour of time spent on the case.
The point that some seem to be missing is they are actually stipulating they own your life and any future earnings from creative works.
It's not simply a one-time patent troll that can be settled with to go away... therefore it's worth fighting for - because going bankrupt from losing a case (which you are highly unlikely to lose) - is worth it if they already consider you a contractual slave.
In my case it's not just hypothetical - I have done this before on numerous occasions with banks, gyms, ebay, council, police... I'm not afraid of taking on legal challenges myself and have won enough times to make it worthwhile.
I understand that people fear the idea of courts and costs but if everyone just invested some time and cost to fight back against such injustice then the courts would be swamped and lawmakers might have to sit up and take notice.
Personally, I would consider such contract null and void - I would pay a solicitor or lawyer to write one letter to Machinima or any predatory company with a missive that simply states upon learning the contract was unlawful, I no longer consider myself bound to it.
I would then go about my business / life. If the predatory company attempted to DMCA any of my content - I would use legal avenues available to me to have it reinstated and claim my copyrights on my own material. Furthermore, I would issue DMCA requests against every video featuring me that the company has posted on the web.
Finally, if they wanted to take any of it to court, I'd welcome the opportunity and defend myself. A rational judge or magistrate would not need much to see the contract as unlawful.
All the time this would be generating such negative publicity for the company - they'd most likely lose their userbase, and at that point start losing their ability to make any profit whatsoever.
I'd be quite willing to be a test-case/martyr for the cause since I don't see it as a battle that could be lost.