Freedom of the Press???--Remember the Constitution Buddy

There are three recent news items all to do with censorship of the press:

This about AP suing a subscriber may be the most bizarre. Does AP know how its YouTube channel works? Seems like they are now suing their own subscribers for playing videos available on AP's YouTube Channel. Note the the words "misguided legal theories" third paragraph (which I have shown in bold type).

Maybe the Associated Press can file this one under "That's news to me."

At least one representative of the venerable news agency, which recently declared that it was tired of the Internet riding on its coattails, was apparently unaware the agency had an official YouTube video channel.

The AP recently sent a letter to WTNQ-FM in Tennessee--an affiliate of the Associated Press, by the way--accusing the country music radio station of copyright violation for embedding videos from the AP's official YouTube channel on its Web site, according to a station employee's blog. The AP channel includes embed code for its videos, which allows any Web site or blog to embed the videos on their sites--a feature that can be turned off.

Separately, on Monday the Associated Press said that it would go after news aggregators and other Web sites that "walk off with our work under misguided legal theories."

Here's another story, Goldman Sachs hires law firm to shut blogger's site, from the UK Telegraph (not traditionally known as a guardian of American freedoms.)

The bank has instructed Wall Street law firm Chadbourne & Parke to pursue blogger Mike Morgan, warning him in a recent cease-and-desist letter that he may face legal action if he does not close down his website.

Florida-based Mr Morgan began a blog entitled "Facts about Goldman Sachs" – the web address for which is – just a few weeks ago.

In that time Mr Morgan, a registered investment adviser, has added a number of posts to the site, including one entitled "Does Goldman Sachs run the world?". However, many of the posts relate to other Wall Street firms and issues.

According to Chadbourne & Parke's letter, dated April 8, the bank is rattled because the site "violates several of Goldman Sachs' intellectual property rights" and also "implies a relationship" with the bank itself.

... snip ...

Mr Morgan is unlikely to go down without a fight.

He claims he has followed all legal requirements to own and operate the website – and that the header of the site clearly states that the content has not been approved by the bank.

On a special section of his blog entitled "Goldman Sachs vs Mike Morgan" he predicts that the fight will probably end up in court.

I've saved the worst for last. Here a lower court has ruled to force a web blogger to reveal a confidential news source. Scrappy Mortgage Blogger Fights Bad Court Ruling.A reader points us to this Citizen Media Law Project report on an unlikely new front in the battle for press freedom and an unlikely freedom fighter.

A court in New Hampshire’s Rockingham County recently ordered the website Mortgage Lender Implode-O-Meter and its owner and editor Aaron Krowne to disclose the source of a chart it published showing a company called The Mortgage Specialists’s 2007 loan volume.

This was in the process of the Implode-O-Meter reporting on a nasty couple of settlements The Mortgage Specialists’ agreed to after the states of New Hampshire and Massachusetts said the company committed fraud. The Implode-O-Meter quoted the Union Leader’s report:

... snip ///

So Mortgage Implode-O-Meter wrote a roundup of the case and posted an internal Mortgage Specialists document (since temporarily removed) sent to it by an anonymous tipster. It seems pretty clear to me that this blog is a news site and the chart was part of its newsgathering.

Mortgage Specialists asked the Implode-O-Meter to take down the chart, which it did, as well as a
comment a reader posted that it says was false and defamatory, which Implode-O-Meter also took down. But Mortgage Specialists wanted to know who leaked it to them and who was responsible for the posted comment. The Implode-O-Meter refused to disclose these people, and Mortgage Specialists sued. Something tells me it wouldn’t have sued the Union Leader for doing journalism.

The county judge, one Kenneth R. McHugh, ordered the Implode-O-Meter (whose incorporated name is awesome: Implode-Explode Heavy Industries Inc.) to hand over its source, to out its commenter, and to refrain from republishing the chart or the comment.

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I can't quite figure out what their newspeak is angling at - to be honest.

There is something odd going on with Amazon. A group are boycotting them for not rating (whatever that is--I didn't know they had a rating system) books like Fannie HIll, Lady Chatterly's Lover, and Brokeback Mountain--presumably for sexually explicit content. But they continue to rate Mein Kampf. I have heard that the Conservative Tea Parties have called for burning books objectionable to them. It may be that Amazon is under attack from these circles and has caved.

I am not supporting a boycot but I would like to know more about what's going on with this.


Apparently LGBT books are the one's primarily being target according to CNET News.

Amazon says it was not intended and is a gltich in their system.: 

"Essentially, there's a glitch in our system and it's being fixed," Amazon spokesperson Patty Smith told CNET News."

... snip ...

Here's a sampling of books titles that the petition's backers noted are still ranked in the listing system (all notes and descriptions on the titles are supplied by the petition supporters):


• "Playboy: The Complete Centerfolds" by Chronicle Books (pictures of over 600 naked women)
• Rosemary Rogers' "Sweet Savage Love" (explicit heterosexual romance)
• Kathleen Woodiwiss' "The Wolf and the Dove" (explicit heterosexual romance)
• Bertrice Smal's "Skye o'Malley," (which are all explicit heterosexual romances)
• Alan Moore's "Lost Girls" (which is a very explicit sexual graphic novel)


The petition supporters note that the following titles with gay and lesbian themes are no longer ranked on Amazon:


• Radclyffe Hill's classic novel about lesbians in Victorian times, The Well of Loneliness, and which contains not one sentence of sexual description;
• Mark R. Probst's YA novel "The Filly" about a young man in the wild West discovering that he's gay (gay romance, no sex);
• Charlie Cochrane's "Lessons in Love" (gay romance with no sex)
• "The Dictionary of Homophobia: A Global History of Gay & Lesbian Experience," edited by Louis-George Tin (non-fiction, history and social issues)
• "Homophobia: A History" by Bryan Fone (nonfiction, focus on history and the forms prejudice against homosexuality has taken over the years)


NB Woman shouting burn the books at end of the video. Hat tip to the online site Gawker, which is following the story and posted this YouTube video.