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Free speech Articles

Supreme Court Rules Violent Video Games Protected As Free Speech

The Supreme Court of the United States has just ruled on a California law that would have made the renting or selling of certain “extremely violent” video games to minors against the law. Retailers would have been subject to $1,000 …

The First Rule of PS3 Hacking is Don’t Talk About PS3 Hacking
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Normally, when you buy an item from a store, and complete the purchase by leaving the premises with the item you purchased, the transaction is over.  If you want to take your new item home and, well, do whatever you’d like with it, you’re free to do so; and if you’d like to discuss your exploits, you can  do that, too.

As long as you don’t own a PlayStation 3.

What’s Digital Terrorism?
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“Digital terrorism” isn’t a phrase one hears often. There might be good reason for that: it’s not abundantly clear what digital terrorism entails. Is it hacking into air traffic control to give dangerous instructions to pilots? Is it using YouTube to promote a violent, hateful cause? Is it setting up a Facebook group to give members a chance to voice a yea in favor of something offensive? Is it trolling comment areas and flaming an author?

Why Bloggers (All People) Need To Count As Journalists
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Recently WebProNews readers fired off a couple hundred comments regarding the US House of Representatives’ definition of journalist in the Free Flow of Information Act, a law shielding journalists from having to reveal their sources. A new development in Virginia involving a citizen journalist shows why this definition needs to be broadened to include bloggers, and any other type of journalist.

Yelp Review Leads to Defamation Suit
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A California man named Christopher Norberg is in the middle of a legal dispute with a chiropractor for posting a negative review of his services on the site Yelp.com. The dispute stems from a billing experience, which Norberg referred to in his review, and the chiropractor filed a defamation suit. It is now a classic example of where the line between free speech and defamation should be drawn.

Google, Microsoft, Yahoo Take On Free Speech Restrictions

This is one of those posts where you get to tell me what opinion Marketing Pilgrim should take.

The WSJ is reporting that Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft have agreed to follow a common set of principles that will govern how they do business in countries that might restrict free speech.

Senator Asks YouTube To Remove Terrorist Clips
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In an open letter sent earlier today to Eric Schmidt, Senator Joe Lieberman brought up the issue of terrorist-produced videos appearing on YouTube.  On the YouTube Blog, corporate representatives have now responded.

Rep. Couch Feeling Heat from Ban on Anonymous Web Postings
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WebProNews previously reported how Kentucky State Representative, Tim Couch, proposed a bill that would not allow Kentuckians to comment anonymously on the Internet.

KY Rep. Seeks To Ban Anonymous Blogging
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First rule of politics for incumbents: During an election year, try not to highlight your general uselessness, especially if you share a name with a famous football player, because people will notice.

Second rule of politics for incumbents: If you go to the trouble to introduce a bill, be prepared to defend it until the bitter end, even if you know in your heart it will never pass, not in a million years, unless futility somehow becomes a desired legislative virtue.

Turkey Shuts Out YouTube
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If you’re reading this story in January of 2008, rest assured that it’s not a reprint.  You can pretty much get by with recalling an old article, though, because for the third or so separate time, Turkey’s government has become upset with YouTube and banned the video-sharing site.Turkey Shuts Out YouTube

Cingular and Verizon Are Full of It
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You would think that questions about linking to a website, or more specifically, what you’re allowed to say when linking, would have been put to rest. But that’s not true for Cingular or for Verizon Wireless, who think they have a right to control your hyperlink anchor text and where you link on their public sites.

U.S. Army Declares War On Soldiers’ Blogs

“Service before self,” says the U.S. Air Force, and the unofficial Navy motto, “Not self but country,” follows a similar line of thought.  But it’s members of the Army who are being asked something new in regards to their “selves”: Soldiers must now “consult with their immediate supervisor and their OPSEC [Operations Security] Officer” before sending e-mails or posting on blogs.

O’Reilly Turns Criticism Into Civil Discourse

After the uproar caused by his proposed code of conduct for bloggers, Tim O’Reilly could have let the subject drop into the deep waters of blogospheric controversy, only to be remembered as a cautionary tale, a footnote to the history of the Web.

Bloggers Resolve Dispute On CNN
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Before their appearance on CNN this morning, bloggers Kathy Sierra and Chris Locke issued a joint statement responding to issues raised throughout the blogosphere following Sierra’s revelation of death threats against her, as well as the depiction of her image in misogynistic sexual photos.

Google Asked To Reveal Blogger Identity
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Another anonymous blogger is in the defamation hot seat after anonymous commentators labeled a local school board member a "bigot," an "anit-Semite," and even "ugly." The target of those words didn’t take kindly to them and is demanding that Google reveal both the identity of the blogger and the commentators.

EFF Goes YouTube Ambulance Chasing
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If a YouTube user feels one of their videos was an unfair casualty of Viacom’s recent war on copyright infringement, the Electronic Frontier Foundation wants to know about it. The nonprofit organization has posted its call to the user-generated disenfranchised on their home YouTube turf.

SAFETY Act Spurs Blog Protests, Misinterpretations

A law introduced into the House of Representatives by Lamar Smith (R-TX) is whipping up a fight in the blogosphere. Aimed at combating online child pornography, the bill calls for Internet service providers to retain records on their subscribers.

Google, Yahoo, MS Devising Code of Conduct

Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Vodafone quietly disclosed they were working together with human rights organizations, investors and legal experts to develop a code of conduct for technology companies to help protect online free speech and privacy. The move is likely in response to proposed legislation that would be much more restrictive.

It’s Okay To Be Anonymous Again (For Now)

A recent court decision in Arizona is being touted as a victory for free speech and for the right to speak anonymously online.

Digg: A New Platform for Discrimination
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I’ve been pondering my stance on Digg recently. When I saw Christian Mezei’s Unofficial FAQ regarding the Digg algorithm, I began to ponder the entire concept of social media, especially given the recent controversy surrounding which content makes the front page, and which gets buried.

EFF, Bloggers, Everyone, Take On Web Bully

In his misguided desire to become notorious, Michael Crook has become the preeminent villain of the blogosphere, the target of a lawsuit by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a laughing stock, and a fascinating case study into blog-ethics, copyright law on the Internet, the tenets of Fair Use, the reach of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and how its abuse can affect free speech.