Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Dinosaur "Old World" System Seeks to Tax Alternative Media

Dees Illustration
Activist Post

Perhaps it is fitting that what Donald Rumsfeld once disparagingly called "Old Europe," should seek to impose a "Drudge" tax on the powerful new world system of news aggregating and commentary.

Although some might see The Washington Times itself as part of the Old World dinosaur media, they penned an excellent editorial highlighting the essence of bureaucracy and crony capitalism in Germany's push for a tax which actually punishes those providing a service that the public clearly desires: independent news service.
This action has far more to do with protectionism than protecting intellectual property rights. Websites such as the indispensable Drudge Report, Times 24/7, Real Clear Politics, Digg, Fark and Reddit collect news from sources spread across the Web. These sites are wildly popular because they draw the important stories together in one convenient place, fulfilling a very specific need among a news-hungry public. (Source)
The war on news aggregators by government interests should be the clearest sign of all that this is a product we must defend.

The WT editorial is shortsighted in only one respect: they imply that Google is a stalwart of the entrepreneurial spirit, and the great protector of the common man fighting against government bureaucracy and overreach.

Google has repeatedly done the bidding of those who would silence the voice of alternative media.  Back in January 2011, Google changed its algorithm to punish the loosely defined "content farmers;" 12% of search results were affected.

Google has also been exposed as having connections to U.S. intelligence agencies, and now DARPA, which has all but guaranteed that aggregators of anti-establishment articles will be targeted.  The result has been that even massive websites like Infowars have been de-listed from Google News.

Agree or disagree with Alex Jones, but his sites receive hundreds of millions of views on their many media platforms; that they would have their news and commentary de-listed, as well as censored from Google-owned YouTube, illustrates exactly how corporate-owned media silently colludes with government to silence alternative voices even when overt government regulation is absent.  Furthermore, Google has responded to an increasing number of U.S. government content removal requests, and they have complied with recent country-wide censorship in India, while having an on-again, off-again relationship with China.

YouTube in particular has employed a strategy of restricting certain videos critical of government to the over-18 category, even though many of these do not contain profanity, or anything that would normally be interpreted as offensive -- except the criticism itself.  In doing so, potentially viral videos like the one below have been relegated to common status. Luckily, mirror videos are being posted:

Additionally, given recent developments by mega-media corporations colluding with the government to "combat piracy," independent bloggers and small aggregators have every reason to demand more clarity of the rules that should apply to aggregation. 

Here are just a few of the reasons that concerns are warranted:
David Carr reported in the New York Times that a group of website owners and bloggers are seeking to create a "Code of Conduct" to guide content aggregators how to repost material in a manner acceptable to all publishers.  Carr asks:
So where is the line between promoting the good work of others and simply lifting it? Naughty aggregation is analogous to pornography: You know it when you see it.
Obvious suggestions for self-policing include author attribution, a linkback to the source, only using extended excerpts with permission, and maintaining all original embedded links.  This common sense approach forms a type of cooperative aggregation based upon how most would want their own original content to be shared, and how Creative Commons license with attribution currently works.

Slightly more controversial is the formation of a Council on Ethical Blogging and Aggregation.  As highlighted in the New York Times article, this would be similar to the accepted editorial guidelines of the American Society of Magazine Editors.  Whether or not this voluntary measure would be practical to apply across such a massive and diverse spectrum as the Internet remains to be debated, but the fact that private solutions are being offered, rather than calling for government intervention, is a correct first step in our view.  

One thing is for certain: the crippling effects of government intrusion are a guarantee.  Hopefully Europe takes a stand against Angela Merkel's tax on productivity and innovation in the same way America did against the FTC's similar attempt referred to as the "Drudge" tax.

We are currently witnessing the economic fallout of the crony capitalist model as it plunges toward full spectrum failure.  Any initiative to "reinvent journalism" should not come from corporate and government mouthpieces, but from those seeking freedom of thought and expression within the only free-market economy left:  the Internet.

Please let us know your thoughts about these developments in the comment section below.

Read other articles by Activist Post here.

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Tatiana Covington said...

Just don't pay it!

Anonymous said...

Increasingly it's going to be a no pay no play system.

Anonymous said...

We just have to keep raising our voices. Stop buying anything in print, stop watching their crap corporate news, and stop paying anything that supports their warmongering system. Takes courage, but what else have we got?

Anonymous said...

The new laws are destroying the web.

Hell of music blogs gone including my own 6+ years) now dead

Hell of *.blogspot.com blogs dead.

A bunch of legal nonsense about rss feeds (which I remind the system admin are openly available pages their own sites published)

Gerald Celente video blog has been down since feb

Many youtube channels gone dark (including my own of 4+ years)

If you want to talk software, a lot of just open projects people had are disappearing. Many OLD versions of software and source code disappearing
in liew of programs which now require licenses, and monetary decision.

Take for example QNX, everyone remembers the old famous qnx disk, but now you can't make that work, and at the same time RIMM/BBX bought QNX they ditched the qnx4 for qnx6 which is hella broken (go get a hobby/non commercial license and find out), you can barely compile midnight commander on it. Seems like the whole new pkgsrc project is dying due to everything being broken dang near. The Momentics IDE while it has lots of stuff, is extremely difficult to use to build /svn projects

what else. I'm sure everyone's notice things disappearing more and more now. It's like the web is slowly turning into an app store, where profits and quick turn around are more important than creativity, security, or basic decency to the human race. Where broken things stay broken because nobody is willing to put the time in to fix them. Is that the society we want, where it's more important to remember where your serial number is as opposed to if you can program your way out of various things life hands you. Do you want your kids to know how to solder, or is it more important to have the latest piece of firmware out of China which is all surface mount or smaller?

I ain't saying china shouldn't fabricate chips, nor the app stores sell their apps. But there has to be some balance, or the future will be one without anybody who can fix stuff at the base root electronic level. Look how freaked out people got when Jobs died. There should be more minds like Jobs, or Linus, or several others out there so if something bad does happen to programmers, there are more than several to take their place.

Anonymous said...

First, it is past time to arrest the domestic enemies within the three branches of our government.
Remember Senator Barack Obama informed the Boston Globe, based upon his extensive knowledge of the United States Constitution: “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”
Yet, Congressman Jones introduces bill that would subject Panetta & Obama to impeachment for that very reason.
The Pentagon & Obama declared a Coup D’etat on our Constitutional government. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s testimony asserting that the United Nations and NATO have supreme authority over the actions of the United States military. During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing yesterday, Panetta and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey brazenly admitted that their authority comes NOT from the U.S. Constitution, but that the United States is "subservient to and takes its marching orders from the United Nations and NATO" (foreign entities), international bodies over which the American people have no democratic influence. Obama and his administration has routinely cited the "authority" of the United Nations (foreign entities) over the US Constitution, over the country he was elected to represent.
The UN, NATO have no legal authority here in the USA. The only legal authority that’s required to deploy the United States military is of the Congress, the president, US laws and the US Constitution.

Remember, If their "authority" comes from UN and NATO, then they have NO authority in the USA.
Their treasonous acts and words are on video, and there is no longer any excuse for them to have not been arrested.
President Barack Obama has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.
Obama tried to legitimize his failure to obtain Congressional approval for military involvement by * sending a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner in which he said the military assault was “authorized by the United Nations (U.N.) Security Council.”
In boldly asserting the authority of international powers over and above the legislative branch, Panetta and Obama are openly declared that they no longer represent the American people and instead are representatives for a global dictatorship that has usurped the sovereignty of the United States.

To get our natural rights back, to defend freedom, we must arrest, hold until we replace the domestic enemies within the judicial branch, and then prosecute them, starting with Obama, Panetta, Dempsey as traitors to the USA.
If we do not do this, the UN will be running our country, and look who make up the majority in the UN. Look at the "freedoms", "rights" the people in those nations have.
The three branches of our government, the military, all law enforcement, the heads of the States, all federal employees are required to take an Oath to support and defend the Constitution and not an individual leader, ruler, office, or entity. Once given, the Oath is binding for life, unless renounced, refused, and abjured. It does not cease upon the occasions of leaving office or of discharge.
“Bound - Being under legal or moral obligation"
"Perjury - violation of an oath"
"Solemn: “marked by the observance of established form or ceremony”, “legally binding, Common legal phrase indicating that an agreement has been consciously made, and certain actions are now either required or prohibited”, “The other requirement for an agreement or contract to be considered legally binding is consideration - both parties must knowingly understand what they are agreeing to”.

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