Saturday, December 10, 2011

Journalists Should Oppose SAG/AFTRA Actors Union Merger

America's two major actors unions -- SAG and AFTRA -- are once again talking merger. That's bad news for AFTRA's broadcast journalist members, because journalists and actors have opposing legal interests.

Tabloid reporter Mimi Brickmeyer explains why AFTRA's journalist members should oppose the planned SAG/AFTRA merger.


Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Feminist Gloria Allred Once Celebrated Pedophilia

Feminist attorney Gloria Allred is in the news again, this time for representing Sharon Bialek, one of Herman Cain's accusers.

Allred has made a career out of badgering (only) men accused of sexual harassment, adultery, and even pedophilia, such as Michael Jackson. But few people remember that Allred herself once celebrated pedophilia, however inadvertently.

Years ago, Allred had a radio show on KABC-AM. Her bumper music was "Gloria," written by Van Morrison, and best performed by Jim Morrison of The Doors.

Listen to some of the lyrics, either as performed by Jim Morrison:

Or read some key excerpts here:

Come on baby
Here she is in my room, oh boy
Hey what's your name?
How old are you?
Where'd you go to school?...

Well, now that we know each other a little bit better,
Why don't you come over here
Make me feel all right!...

You were my queen and I was your fool,
Riding home after school.
You took me home
To your house.
Your father's at work,
Your mama's out shopping around.
Check me into your room.
Show me your thing.
Why'd you do it baby?

And so on. It actually gets more explicit -- and the above excerpts clearly indicate that the hero of the song is a pedophile.

I'm assuming Allred never paid attention to the lyrics, and simply used the song (or allowed its use) because it was about a girl named Gloria. At some point, though (after the song had been used for months, if not years), someone must have pointed out the meaning of the lyrics to Allred, because without explanation, her radio show's bumper music was suddenly switched to another song called "Gloria," this one sung by Laura Branagan.

Ironic, that the uber-PC Allred would allow herself be guilty of such a faux pas.


Monday, October 31, 2011

Harvard's Lawrence Lessig Sees Left/Right Unity in Occupy Wall Street

Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig -- known primarily as an advocate for curbing the extremes of copyright law -- offers an interesting take on Occupy Wall Street.

Lessig theorizes that the Occupy movement has elements that should attract people from both the Right and Left. Assuming this development isn't thwarted, the Occupy Movement could herald a significant populist opposition to the Establishment's powers that be.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Rise, Consise & Krookid -- Rappers for Ron Paul

Perhaps disgusted by Barak Obama's mimicry of George W. Bush, youth and hipsters are shifting their support from Obama to Ron Paul.

Rappers "Rise, Consise & Krookid" celebrate Ron Paul's peace and thrift policies in this latest song -- What If? Ron Paul 2012.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

2011 Tabloid Witch Award Winners Announced!

The 8th annual Tabloid Witch Awards, sponsored by the Hollywood Investigator, have now been announced!

The Tabloid Witch Awards are a No Entry Fee horror film contest and festival.

Read about this year's winning horror films in the Hollywood Investigator.


Friday, September 02, 2011

Union Dancers Demand Fair Music Video Contract

Remember way back when MTV still ran music videos?

No, the format is not dead. In fact, music videos are doing financially well enough so that union dancers are demanding that producers give them a fair contract.

According to AFTRA (American Federation of Radio and Television Artists -- one of several unions that represent dancers), their members have formed the "It's About Time" Campaign to obtain a fair contract from music video producers.

In a recent press release, AFTRA says:

"AFTRA dancers have stepped up their campaign for a fair contract covering dancers and other performers in music videos by launching a social media and video campaign over the weekend.

"'It's About Time' features prominent dancers and choreographers calling for a contract that provides for safety, fair pay, residuals, health and retirement benefits and other provisions for professional performers. In this campaign, AFTRA is partnering with the Dancers' Alliance, a grassroots organization dedicated to educating dancers and building solidarity in the dance community.

"The online campaign began with a video message from dancer and choreographer Galen Hooks, who is a AFTRA Los Angeles Board member and a leader of the Dancers’ Alliance. Other participants include choreographer/director Brian Friedman, former Pussycat Doll Carmit Bachar, comedian Affion Crockett and many established dancers, including Bryan Tanaka, Randi Kemper and Shaun Evaristo.

"The campaign's theme of 'It's About Time' refers to the 30-year history of the modern music video, the recent resurgence in the popularity and profitability of music videos, and the need for dancers and other performers to finally be recognized for the talent and professionalism they bring to the music video industry.

"The launch of the campaign coincided with the weekend of the MTV Video Music Awards, which this year drew the largest audience in the network’s 30-year history.

"With the rise of Vevo and other ad-supported streaming services, music videos are generating revenue for the record labels like never before. According to ComScore, Vevo is now the second most viewed video content property after Google sites, with 63 million unique monthly viewers. Vevo is also the top partner channel on YouTube (a Google site), with nearly 60 million unique monthly viewers watching monetized Vevo content on YouTube.

"AFTRA commenced negotiations for a music video contract on June 21, 2011 with representatives of Sony, UMG, Warner, EMI, Disney and most of their subsidiary labels.

"While AFTRA has placed a high priority on achieving a fair agreement, industry representatives have been slow in responding to AFTRA's proposal and setting dates for continued negotiations."


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Police Can "Detain" You -- For Taking Photographs!

If you take photos, they'd better have some "apparent esthetic value" -- or the cops can detain (i.e., arrest) you! This is because photography is a "suspicious activity."

Other "suspicious activities" cops are on the lookout for include using binoculars or attempting to "acquire uniforms without a legitimate cause." (Better not shop at any Army surplus clothing stores -- or you may might have 'splaining to do down at the police precinct!

Writing for the Long Beach Post, Greggory Moore reports:

Police Chief Jim McDonnell has confirmed that detaining photographers for taking pictures "with no apparent esthetic value" is within Long Beach Police Department policy.

McDonnell spoke for a follow-up story on a June 30 incident in which Sander Roscoe Wolff, a Long Beach resident and regular contributor to Long Beach Post, was detained by Officer Asif Kahn for taking pictures of a North Long Beach refinery.1

"If an officer sees someone taking pictures of something like a refinery," says McDonnell, "it is incumbent upon the officer to make contact with the individual." McDonnell went on to say that whether said contact becomes detainment depends on the circumstances the officer encounters.

McDonnell says that while there is no police training specific to determining whether a photographer's subject has "apparent esthetic value," officers make such judgments "based on their overall training and experience" and will generally approach photographers not engaging in "regular tourist behavior."

This policy apparently falls under the rubric of compiling Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR) as outlined in the Los Angeles Police Department's Special Order No. 11, a March 2008 statement of the LAPD's "policy … to make every effort to accurately and appropriately gather, record and analyze information, of a criminal or non-criminal nature, that could indicate activity or intentions related to either foreign or domestic terrorism."

Among the non-criminal behaviors "which shall be reported on a SAR" are the usage of binoculars and cameras (presumably when observing a building, although this is not specified), asking about an establishment's hours of operation, taking pictures or video footage "with no apparent esthetic value," and taking notes.

Also listed as behaviors to be documented are "Attempts to acquire illegal or illicit biological agent (anthrax, ricin, Eboli, smallpox, etc.)," "In possession, or utilizes, explosives (for illegal purposes)," and "Acquires or attempts to acquire uniforms without a legitimate cause (service personnel, government uniforms, etc.)." Special Order No. 11 does not distinguish between how these behaviors should be handled and how (e.g.) photography should be handled.

Read the entire article.


Monday, August 01, 2011

Las Vegas Police Beat Up Citizen Videographer Mitchell Crooks

Although the Fullerton police's beating of Kelly Thomas is now in the news, it's only one of many police beatings -- often of innocent civilians.

Cops especially hate citizens videotaping cops -- despite Americans' First Amendment rights to tape anyone on public streets.

In the above tape, taken on March 20, 2011, office Derek Colling beats up American citizen Mitchell Crooks for videotaping him on duty.

Seems that while Big Brother is installing video cameras everywhere to monitor US -- Big Brother doesn't like to be monitored back.

Big Brother is even passing laws in some states to make it illegal to videotape cops on duty -- a clear violation of the Constitution.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Fight Big Brother's Tracking YOUR Internet Use -- Stop HR 1981

David Moon of Demand Progress reports:

"A direct assault on Internet users" is what the ACLU is calling it.

Yesterday a U.S. House committee approved HR 1981, a broad new Internet snooping bill. They want to force Internet service providers to keep track of and store their customers' information -- including your name, address, phone number, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and temporarily-assigned IP addresses.

The American Civil Liberties Union, the American Library Association, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Demand Progress, and 25 other civil liberties and privacy groups have expressed our opposition to this legislation.

Will you join us in opposition by emailing your lawmakers right away? Just click here.

They've shamelessly dubbed it the "Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act," but our staunchest allies in Congress are calling it what it is: an all-encompassing Internet snooping bill.

CNet Reports: Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California, who led Democratic opposition to the bill said, " 'It represents a data bank of every digital act by every American' that would 'let us find out where every single American visited Web sites.' "

"The bill is mislabeled," said Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the senior Democrat on the panel. "This is not protecting children from Internet pornography. It's creating a database for everybody in this country for a lot of other purposes."

Please click here to join the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Consumer Federation of America, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, Demand Progress and 25 other civil liberties and privacy groups in opposing this legislation.

Thanks for fighting for Internet freedom.

-- The Demand Progress team

P.S. The bill just passed committee, so it's time to push back hard. Will you please ask your friends to take action too?

Join the effort to protect YOUR internet privacy!


Fullerton Police Beat Homeless Man -- Kelly Thomas -- to Death

On July 5, 2011, six Fullerton police officers responded to a call that a man appeared to be burglarizing cars. They found Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old (and 135 pounds) schizophrenic homeless man. The cops then beat him to death.

Upon realizing what they'd done, the cops ran off. By the time an ambulance (and new police officers) arrived, they six guilty cops were gone. (But apparently, the Fullerton P.D. knows who they are -- there's an "internal investigation" going on.)

The six cops left Kelly Thomas in a coma. Thomas died five days later.

Here are before and after shots of Thomas:

This story remained buried for three weeks, until the London Daily Mail reported on it. Then KFI-AM's John and Ken Show picked it up, beginning coverage on July 27, and going all day on it on July 28.

John suggests that if the homeless man were black, the Los Angeles Times would have been more aggressive in its coverage. That this beating is worse than that of Rodney King (who, after all, survived).

In any event, by now the story's gone viral. The best, original source for news on this story appears to be Friends for Fullerton's Future.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

York Entertainment Seeks Family Films

If you're an independent filmmaker with a completed family film on your shelf -- and you're still seeking distribution -- good news! York Entertainment is currently seeking what you have!

YE's president, Tanya York, emails us:

"We are currently looking for 'Family' type films to acquire. If you or any of your colleagues have a finished film that falls under that genre, please let me know ASAP as we're currently finalizing our AFM [American Film Market] line-up."

Tanya York may be contacted at:

York Entertainment
13101 Washington Blvd. Ste 424
Culver City, CA 90066

Tel: 310-684-3628
Fax: 818-647-6677

Ms. York's email: york at yorkentertainment dot com


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

All Women's Horror -- 2011 Viscerea Film Festival to Screen July 17th

Los Angeles's 405 freeway is closing this weekend -- Angelinos are calling the expected traffic nightmare Carmageddon -- but that hasn't stopped the all-women nightmares at the Viscera Horror Film Festival, scheduled for this Sunday.

Viscera promises "some of the most creative and original new short horror films made by women today. Some are terrifying, some are pulse pounding, and some are hilarious. All showcase what can be accomplished when twisted, cool, darkside-proud women get down to business."


Sunday, July 17, 2011

5 p.m. -- Screenings begin.
8 p.m. -- Back patio "after party."
10 p.m. -- A second "after party at the Rosewood Tavern, 448 North Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, Ca 90036, ph: (323) 944-0980


The Silent Movie Theater
611 North Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, Ca. 90036
ph: (323) 655-2520

Tickets may be purchased at: Advance tickets

$15 online. $20 at the door.


Hollywood Hates Arabs

Jack Shaheen, author of Reel Bad Arabs, and host of a documentary version of the book, is now hosting a film series about Hollywood's portrayal of Arab.

The film series runs on Turner Classic Movies throughout July, as part of TCM's Race and Hollywood: Arab Images on Film project. Shaheen joins TCM host Robert Osborne to discuss the featured films and Hollywood's depictions of Arabs and Muslims, from early cinema to the present.

"When colleagues ask whether today's reel Arabs are more stereotypical than yesteryear's" writes Dr. Shaheen, "I can't say the celluloid Arab has changed. He is what he has always been -- the cultural 'other.' Arabs have too often been viewed as backward, barbaric and dangerously different through Hollywood's distorted lens. Unfortunately, these stereotypes are now deeply ingrained in American cinema."

Buy the entire Reel Bad Arabs DVD documentary at


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Janice Hahn "Gang Banger, Stripper" Video Goes Viral

Here's a video that's gone viral.

Janice Hahn, a Democratic member of the Los Angeles City Council (15th district), is running for a U.S. House of Representatives seat (36th Congressional District) in a special election scheduled for July 12, 2011. Hahn hopes to replace the pro-war Jane Harman, who retired shortly after winning reelection in 2010.

This video satirizes Hahn's past support of "gang intervention programs," which has supposedly made it too easy for gang members to avoid prison -- and keep plying their trade on the streets.

Hahn's opponent, Republican Craig Huey, denies any involvement in the production of this video, and has condemned it.

Despite Huey's denounciations of the video, it has gone viral, and has been much talked about on talk radio (e.g., Los Angeles's John and Ken Show).

The clueless, pro-censorship Hahn has even circulated a petition, calling on the FCC to remove the video from YouTube.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

"Food Rights" Documentary - Farmageddon -- Comes to Santa Monica

360 Degree Communications's Mary Elizabeth Murphy reports that the company's new documentary, Farmageddon, explores "the escalating fight for food rights in America" and the "many important issues around food, including farm families harmed by the overreach of government, food safety legislation, and consumer-food rights. There is a particular focus on raw milk..."

Antiwar Congressman Ron Paul is also featured in the film.

Farmageddon will have a one week theatrical run in Santa Monica, California, beginning June 24, 2011.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Growing Up Palestinian-American: Jennifer Jajeh's I Heart Hamas

It can't be easy being a Palestinian-American in Hollywood -- or anywhere in America.

Writer/actress Jennifer Jajeh, a Christian Palestinian-American, grew up in the U.S., and toured Israel and Palestine. She now courageously places her identity in the forefront, and mines her life experiences, in her one-woman show: I Heart Hamas: And Other Things I'm Afraid to Tell You.

Despite its provocative title, I Heart Hamas is getting rave reviews in major American cities.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Obnoxious Texting at the Alamo Drafthouse Theater Results in a PSA

Here's a video that's gone viral...

An obnoxious film patron in Austin, Texas was tossed out after being repeatedly warned (according to the theater owner) not to text. The patron later left an obscenity-land voice mail on the theater's answer machine -- which the theater promptly turned into a Public Service Announcement!

This PSA now runs prior to film screenings at the Alamo Drafthouse Theater.

The theater owner reports that most patrons like the PSA a lot. Only a few have complained.


Tuesday, June 07, 2011

2011 Tabloid Witch Awards to Screen at Loscon 38

The 2011 Tabloid Witch Awards are returning to Loscon, the Los Angeles Science Fiction convention, which has for many years convened every Thanksgiving weekend at the LAX Marriott Hotel.

This year's Tabloid Witch Award-winning films are expected to screen on Friday and Saturday nights, November 25 and 26, 2011. Filmmakers will participate in panels and Q&A sessions with Loscon attendees.

Loscon previously hosted Tabloid Witch screenings in 2005, 2007, and 2009.

The Tabloid Witch Awards is a No Entry Fee horror film contest and festival, sponsored by the Hollywood Investigator.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

California -- April 2011 Unemployment Rate Is 38.4% Higher Than Other States

Richard Rider reports:

Here's an unsettling thought: We have been comparing California's unemployment with the national average. But we should be comparing California vs. the average of the other 49 states.

This distinction is important because California holds about 12% of the entire nation's population, and thus materially impacts the national average.

Consider the latest figures for the month of April, 2011. If you take California's dismal 11.9% unemployment number out of the national average, the average for the other 49 states is not 9.0% -- but 8.6%. (See this report).

Bottom Line: In actual percentages, California's unemployment rate is a full 3.3% higher than the average for the other 49 states. In terms of percentage difference, that makes California's unemployment on average 38.4% higher than the other states.

Richard Rider is Chairman of the San Diego Tax Fighters.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

California, Los Angeles Crack Down on Extras Casting Ripoffs

This press release was sent "from the Office of the City Attorney, Carmen A. Trutanich:

The Los Angeles City Attorney's Office and the State Labor Commissioner this week sent a joint letter to Central Casting of Burbank, California, the entertainment industry's largest background casting business, advising it to cease and desist from charging or collecting any fee from background actors in violation of the State’s labor laws.

In an effort to achieve industry-wide compliance, City Attorney Carmen Trutanich also sent similar warning letters to 13 other companies doing business in the City of Los Angeles which supply background actors for film and television.

Recently enacted State Labor Code section 1702.1 prohibits talent services from charging fees to background actors -- commonly known as “extras” -- for registration, photo processing and other services in exchange for finding them work. Also, long-established state law prohibits any employer from requiring a job applicant or employee to pay a fee or consideration of any type to apply for a job or to process a job application.

Responding to complaints by background actors, the City Attorney’s undercover investigation found that Central Casting charges applicants a cash-only $25 “photographic/electronic image” fee, regardless of whether the applicant actually receives work, and that other casting companies collect fees ranging from $15 to $80. According to a 2008 press story linked to its own website, Central Casting registers 500 new background actors per week for jobs that typically pay minimum wage for 12-hour workdays.

“The Labor Commissioner’s office is committed to enforcing all of California’s labor laws. This includes ensuring actors are not required to pay a fee which the law prohibits,” said Labor Commissioner Julie Su. “An employer that requires a mandatory fee from actors applying for work as background performers in the entertainment industry violates this important rule.”

If found in violation, the background casting companies and their agents, directors and employees could be subject to misdemeanor prosecution with a maximum penalty for each offense of one year in jail and a fine of $10,000.

Failure to fully comply with state law also constitutes an unlawful business practice subject to injunctive relief, full restitution, and a $2,500 penalty for each violation.

The City Attorney’s office has previously sent letters to the talent service industry notifying them of the new regulations under the 2009 Krekorian Talent Scam Prevention Act that went into effect January 1, 2010. Letters were also sent through a mass mailing to casting directors instructing them not to aid and abet violations of the law by casting workshops which charge actors to audition.


Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, Public Information Office (213) 978-8340

Labor Commissioner, Erika Monterroza (415) 703-5279

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Sarah Silverman Promotes Barak Obama

Here's a blast from the past -- a promotional video that Sarah Silverman shot for candidate Barak Obama back in 2008:

Monday, April 25, 2011

Steve Colbert Explains Ayn Rand

Steve Colbert explains novelist/philosopher Ayn Rand (1905-1982):


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Rula Jebreal's Miral Depicts Palestinian Experience

Jewish American film director Julian Schnabel (Basquait, The Diving Bell) has just come out with Miral, an autobiographical feature film based on the novel by Schnabel's Palestinian wife, Rula Jebreal.

Miral has already stirred controversy in the Jewish community. Some Jewish leaders are slamming the film for being "one-sided." Schnabel admits that Miral shows Palestinian experiences from a Palestinian perspective. (Why is such "one-sidedness" never a problem when only the Israeli perspective is shown?)

Miral is not yet released on DVD in the United States, but it will likely happen. It is currently available as a PAL DVD import, which can be viewed on any region-free DVD player

You can read an interview with Rula Jebreal at, and read more about the controversy here.

Among other controversies, Miral depicts the torture of Palestinian women by the Israeli State, something that Jabreal says she suffered and which continues today to other Palestinians.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Hollywood Wants Internet Censorship -- Fight Back! reports:

We stole it right out from under them: This week, the special interests pushing the Internet Blacklist Bill called a big press conference with their allies in Congress, trying to create the illusion of broad support for Internet censorship. But our team caught wind of it and scrambled to make sure you were heard. Teaming up with conservative bloggers who also oppose the bill, we stole the story right out from under them:

* POLITICO: Groups blast Leahy piracy bill

* THE HILL: Groups slam online piracy effort

It was a great success, but we need your help now more than ever. Hollywood is dead set on passing a bill this year. Their lead sponsor has pledged to ram it through: "inaction is not an option, and we must pass online infringement legislation in this Congress." That's why an anonymous activist has agreed to match the donations of anybody who becomes a monthly sustainer, but only if you donate this week.

Become a sustainer today and help us defeat COICA and anything else the Hollywood executives throw at us. Your first two months' donations will be matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis. (You can cancel your monthly contributions at any time.)

Will you become a monthly sustainer of Demand Progress?

* Yes, I'll click here to become a monthly sustainer and have my first two contributions matched.

* Sorry, I can't, but I'll donate $5 or $10 today.

Check out some of this week's press coverage of our opposition to Internet censorship:

"In their attempts to reign in online file sharing, Hollywood moguls are once again willing to risk massive censorship," said Aaron Swartz, executive director of Demand Progress, a liberal-leaning group. (Congressional Quarterly)


But the progressive activist organization Demand Progress and a group of conservative bloggers lead by Republican National Committee Internet Director Patrick Ruffini are staunchly opposed to the bill and the administration's recent moves to seize and shut down domains linking to pirated content. (The Hill)
We won the press war this week and made sure Washington knows we strongly oppose these noxious bills. But as Hollywood ramps up their attacks, we need your support so we can keep fighting for Internet freedom.

Thanks so much for your help: We're a 100% membership-funded organization and need your support to keep up our work.

-- The Demand Progress Team

Thursday, March 31, 2011

News Broadcast Explains Threatened California Amazon Sales Tax

Here's a local TV broadcast, which sheds more light on California's impending sales tax on internet sales:

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Wal-Mart Behind California "Amazon Sales Tax" -- But Prop 26 May Block It

Previously we reported that California is threatening to destroy Amazon affiliated business with an internet sales tax.

It now seems that giant "bricks & mortar" retailer Wal-Mart is behind this tax attempt, hoping to hurt its "online only" competitors.

But good news: One analyst suggests that California's recently passed Proposition 26 imposes a 2/3 super-majority requirement in the state legislature for this tax to pass. This would require Republican votes, which might not happen.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Califorina Internet Tax Threatens Associates

The California state legislature is threatening the livelihoods of over 10,000 Californians who earn money as Amazon Associates for online retailer,

These Californians place links on their websites to Amazon. When someone clicks through to Amazon and makes a purchase, the Associate earns a commission.

Amazon is not required to collect sales taxes on purchases made to Californians because there is no "business nexus." But now California is considering a law to classify Amazon Associates as a "business nexus".

Other states have done likewise. In all such instances, Amazon ended its Associates program rather than be forced to collect the sales tax. Amazon has even ended its Associates program in big states such as New York and Illinois.

History shows Amazon is not bluffing. If California declares Amazon Associates a “business nexus,” Amazon will end its Associates program in the state.

This will hurt over 10,000 Californians' earnings -- and will lower California's income tax revenue.

This loss in state revenue will not be made up in sales taxes, because by ending the Associates program, Amazon will once more not be required to collect sales taxes.

"Bricks and mortar" retailers complain that Amazon has an "unfair advantage" because online buyers don't pay sales taxes. But they ignore that: 1. their buyers don't pay for shipping, and 2. this legislation will NOT compel Amazon to collect sales taxes -- it will only hurt 10,000 Californians trying to earn money and thus further hurt the state's revenue.

Californians, please contact your state senate and assembly representatives and tell them to oppose any attempt to force Amazon to collect sales taxes, or to declare Amazon's Associates a "business nexus."

Monday, March 07, 2011

Feds Say: Linking to a Site Is Copyright Infringment


Ever sent someone a link to a copyrighted YouTube video? Of course: Everybody has. And now the US Government seems to think that means it can put us in prison.

Bryan McCarthy ran a website that linked to various websites where you could watch online streams of TV shows and sports networks. A couple months ago, the government seized his domain name and on Friday they arrested him for criminal copyright infringement.

Tell the government that this is crazy: There's nothing wrong or illegal about sharing a link.

The government doesn't even allege that McCarthy made a copy of anything! Just that his site linked to various sites with copyrighted material. Under that sort of thinking, everyone who's sent around a link to a copyrighted YouTube video is a criminal.

This is another shocking overreach by the department of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) -- a steamship-era department that's proving once again it doesn't understand the Internet.

We need to push back -- and fast -- before they try to lock up all Americans.
Click here to tell ICE to drop its charges.

Thanks for taking a stand.

-- The Demand Progress team

P.S. We need to convince ICE to back down, and the first step is making sure they know that Americans are watching, and are disgusted by their behavior. Will you help shine light on ICE's abuses by forwarding this to your friends?


Also read how hypocritical Big Media companies are threatening YOUR copyrights.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Tabloid Witch Winner Shawna Baca Seeks Funding for Ascended Master

2007 Tabloid Witch Award winner Shawna Baca is seeking to raise $20,0000 via for her next film, Ascended Master.

This is your chance to invest in a proven filmmaker! is an effective film-fundraising tool. Last year, 2006 Tabloid Witch Award winner Mike Flanagan raised $23,150 via -- %154 of his budget!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tell Facebook, Google to Protect YOUR Online Privacy


"Imagine the cops rifling through your mail, your calendar, your receipts. All your private information, available for them to look through. To do this offline, they'd have to get a warrant from a judge and break into your house. But every day the cops -- and anyone else with a good lawyer! -- get access to your online email and calendar just by asking.

"Major online service providers like Gmail and Facebook just hand over your personal data to the police when they get a legal request -- usually without even telling you they've done so! And since you never know about the request, you never get a day in court to challenge it. Your privacy is gone before you even know it.

"Click here to tell Google and Facebook that if they're going to store your private information, they need to promise to keep it private!

"Twitter has just taken a bold stand to protect its users' privacy. When the US Government demanded they turn over information about people affiliated with WikiLeaks, they told the people affected and now they have the chance to challenge the request. But Facebook and Google are refusing to do the same! Sign our petition demanding they -- and other major Internet companies -- adopt sensible privacy protections and stop turning over your personal data to anyone who asks.

Tell Google and Facebook that they need to follow Twitter's lead and protect our privacy. We're meeting with Google NEXT WEEK, and will deliver the petition then.

Thanks for taking a stand.

-- The Demand Progress team

P.S. We're meeting with Google next week, and want to have as many people as possible signed on by then. Could you forward this email to your friends?

Monday, February 14, 2011

KCBS-TV Reporter Serene Branson Breaks Down During Grammy Award Telecast

KCBS-TV news reporter Serene Branson began speaking weirdly during last night's Grammy Awards broadcast. Some think it was an on air stroke, but that's being denied.

KCBS-TV is trying to pull the news clip from the internet (in violation of copyright's Fair Use Doctrine). News organizations like exposing others, not themselves.

Here's a parody (well within Fair Use laws) of the broadcast: