Law and Disorder brings us a legal tidbit we missed earlier this month:
The film and music businesses couldn't stop file-sharing, but the porn industry has a plan to drive piracy into the shadows in 15 months or less. Can DogFart, Lords of Porn, and Naughty Bank succeed where others have failed?
They certainly hope so. To that end, a company called Pink Visual rounded up a huge collection of porn studios and lawyers for a "content protection retreat" (CPR) in Tucson last week, one designed to get the industry working together on an anti-P2P strategy. CPR was designed to "revive" the business, and backers hope hope they can "significantly reduce digital piracy of adult content and to effectively drive those who engage in adult content piracy completely underground by January 2012."
The plan? Lawsuits against porn pirates:
But when it comes to suing end users, porn studios are as divided as every other content industry. We've seen numerous studios sue thousands of anonymous Does over the last few months, apparently taking a cue from the US Copyright Group's 14,000+ lawsuits against indie film pirates. Several of the companies involved in this new wave of litigation were at the CPR event, but others believe it's simply counterproductive to sue fans and have refused to do so.
Such lawsuits have had limited success when it comes to music and movies, but pornographers might be in a better position to coax people into settling quickly for a few thousand dollars. As Pink Visual president Allison Vivas told the Agence France Presse in September, "It seems like it will be quite embarrassing for whichever user ends up in a lawsuit about using a popular shemale title. When it comes to private sexual fantasies and fetishes, going public is probably not worth the risk that these torrent and peer-to-peer users are taking."
It's pretty clear that Sen. John McCain is giving a big assist to Republican Ruth McClung, the political newbie whose unlikely campaign against Democratic Congressman Raul Grijalva has made her a contender. But is the piggyback ride crossing the line set by McCain's own legendary campaign-finance reform laws?
Huffpo investigates here:
John McCain's Senate campaign is directly coordinating with the candidacy of Arizona Republican House challenger Ruth McClung in apparent violation of the letter and spirit of the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance reform law.
McCain's unusual involvement in the House race has much to do with the interests of uranium and copper mining companies, which have been lobbying hard to mine in the state. McClung's opponent, Democratic incumbent Raul Grijalva, chairman of a key Natural Resources House Subcommittee, has stood in the way.
McCain's violation stems from his decision to invest more than $90,000 of his Senate campaign's money to boost McClung's candidacy. When Democrats complained, McCain produced documents showing he had filed with the Federal Election Commission to declare that his campaign is making "independent expenditures" on behalf of the McClung campaign. But in order to remain independent in the eye of the law, the campaigns can't coordinate.
A McCain campaign spokesman said that no laws were broken because the campaign didn't coordinate on the specific media buy in question. "You've cracked the code — a revelation so incredible it's sure to make headlines nationwide: McClung volunteers and McCain volunteers will make phone calls at the same place for a few nights this week to ensure that the Republican ticket defeats boycott promoter Raul Grijalva and his liberal understudy Rodney Glassman. We thank the Huffington Post for getting this phone bank a bit more publicity than normal," said Brian Rogers.
Personally, if I had my choice of video games based on Paul Thomas Anderson movies, I might choose Magnolia (Dodge the falling frogs! Try to get the money for your corrective oral surgery!), but this would do, I suppose.
NPR spent the past several months analyzing hundreds of pages of campaign finance reports, lobbying documents and corporate records. What they show is a quiet, behind-the-scenes effort to help draft and pass Arizona Senate Bill 1070 by an industry that stands to benefit from it: the private prison industry.
Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce, pictured here at Tea Party rally on Oct. 22, was instrumental in drafting the state's immigration law. He also sits on a American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) task force, a group that helped shape the law.
The law could send hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants to prison in a way never done before. And it could mean hundreds of millions of dollars in profits to private prison companies responsible for housing them.
Is poisoned candy something to be worried about on Sunday? The author of Free-Range Kids contributed an opinion piece to the Wall Street Journal which decidedly says no.
I grew up with a slightly paranoid mother (thanks for keeping me alive, Mom!) who demanded that the candy be inspected before I ate enough to make myself ill, and I have kids of my own, so I understand the feeling that the world is out to get children, and Halloween is the perfect opportunity to catch parents with their guard down, but apparently the rumors that sparked those fears were all untrue.
Lenore Skenazy writes:
Even when I was a kid, back in the "Bewitched" and "Brady Bunch" costume era, parents were already worried about neighbors poisoning candy. Sure, the folks down the street might smile and wave the rest of the year, but apparently they were just biding their time before stuffing us silly with strychnine-laced Smarties.
That was a wacky idea, but we bought it. We still buy it, even though Joel Best, a sociologist at the University of Delaware, has researched the topic and spends every October telling the press that there has never been a single case of any child being killed by a stranger's Halloween candy. (Oh, yes, he concedes, there was once a Texas boy poisoned by a Pixie Stix. But his dad did it for the insurance money. He was executed.)
Anyway, you'd think that word would get out: poisoned candy not happening. But instead, most Halloween articles to this day tell parents to feed children a big meal before they go trick-or-treating, so they won't be tempted to eat any candy before bringing it home for inspection. As if being full has ever stopped any kid from eating free candy!
If my concerns didn't seem irrational enough, Skenazy quotes a professor who studied crime statistics from 30 states and concluded that Halloween is actually one of the safest nights of the year. So much for those concerns. I guess I can just stick to making sure my 3-year-old daughter doesn't accidentally see someone in a "slutty Elmo" costume.
Eat all the candy you want, kid, but there are some questions I'm not ready to answer.
Local author William Esmont's book The Patriot Paradox has been published in Kindle format ($2.99).
Summary (per a press release):
Ex-CIA analyst Kurt Vetter and enigmatic foreign agent Amanda Carter race across Europe in a quest to unearth the truth behind the murder of Kurt's brother. Trying desperately to stay ahead of a government that has forsaken them, they discover a conspiracy that threatens the very foundation of world stability. The clock is ticking and Kurt and Amanda must find a way to halt the plot before millions die.
On Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 30 and 31, "practical sustainability" will be the focus of the Tucson Innovative Home Tour and Solar Tour.
Check out the press releases below for detailed information:
This exterior view shows the masonry and insulated concrete form (ICF) construction of the home’s outer walls. The low-maintenance, low-water-use xeriscape landscaping is watered by both a rainwater harvesting system and a graywater system that reuses much of the water. (Photo provided by the Solar Institute.)
Next Generation Home Seminar “How to have a much better home at much lower cost.”
Tucson’s officially recognized Next Generation Home Program presents the best unbiased, non-commercial information, advice and ideas from local experts for on the latest advances for improving your home, remodeling, building and buying - plus an analysis of the real costs of home ownership and how you can reduce them by up to 50% and more.
When. Saturday, October 30, 8:30 - 10:30 a.m. with registration starting 8:00 a.m. The tour is 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. with tickets available at the seminar 10:30 a.m. - noon.
Where. Take the seminar and get your home tour tickets at Pima Community College’s Campus Center Auditorium (CC 180), 1255 N. Stone Ave., just north of Speedway. Lots of free parking. Just go in the main entrance.
How. The seminar is $10 per person, $5 with tour ticket. Available only at the seminar. Cash only - please bring exact amount.
For more information, see the web site at www.solarinstitute.org or call 792-6578.