About fifty years ago, the governor of Indiana received a letter complaining about obscenity in the lyrics of a rock'n'roll song, and passed that letter on to the FBI. For the following two years, FBI agents examined potential lyrics of the song (which were incomprehensible on the recording, partly due to the singer's braces) to find grounds for an obscenity prosecution. They ultimately failed, but produced a 140-page report, listing numerous possible obscene readings of what the lyrics could be, and in doing so, turned Louie Louie by The Kingsmen from a footnote into a bona fide rock'n'roll rebel anthem. [more inside]
Over at the Freedom to Tinker blog, Steve Schultze posts about a recent ruling against Craigslist in their suit against PadMapper an online service that helps users of craigslist via mapping, and 3Taps, a platform that documents and stores historical transaction information... Craigslist responded by filing 17 claims... [more inside]
This rather bland article on the French Wikipedia about a military radio station (now in English!) became on April 6 the most viewed page on the site, after agents of the DCRI (French Homeland Security) summoned the president of Wikimedia France, Rémi Mathis, to the DCRI headquarters last Thursday and (allegedly) forced him to delete the page under threat of prosecution, on the grounds that the page divulged classified military information. The page was quickly undeleted by other users, as could be expected. Mathis, an historian and library curator at the French National Library is also known as an advocate for freedom of panorama.
Someone claiming to be an attorney is attempting to scrub the Internet of "private, obscene, lewd and pornographic photographs" of Colton Haynes, the star of MTV's new series Teen Wolf. Turns out, however, that the photos are neither private, nor obscene, nor porographic: they were part of a playful photo-spread published by XY Magazine in March of 2006. Or as Queerty so elegantly puts it, "XY Boytoy All Grown Up & Having Legal Regrets Now That He's On MTV." Markedly different, they point out, than when Real World star Dustin Zito tried to scrub out his gay porn past.
"In most cases, when a book that deals with potentially classified military information is due to be published, one of the United States's many government divisions inspect it, redact sensitive parts, and either let publication continue or stop it entirely. But a clash in opinion between the U.S. Army and the Defense Intelligence Agency may lead to the DIA buying up all 10,000 copies of [a] new memoir's first printing -- and promptly pulping the books." "The publication of Operation Dark Heart, by Anthony A. Shaffer, a former Defense Intelligence Agency officer and a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve, has divided military security reviewers and highlighted the uncertainty about what information poses a genuine threat to security."* [more inside]
Chris Ware was commissioned by Fortune to illustrate their May cover. His "hilarious, beautiful, meticulous" submission, which included "Guantanamo Bay prisoners, Mexican factory workers, and a few potshots at business execs and money-grubbing politicians," was rejected. Hi-res Flickr version here. Previously (1, 2)
As someone who's not interested in being threatened with a lawsuit, I thought I'd mention that Michael Savage is in no way connected to Rockstar Energy Drink, which just happens to be run by his son, with his wife acting as director, treasurer, and secretary of both companies, and run from the same address. When Charles Tsai claimed otherwise, his Facebook boycott group was taken down, his account was disabled and he was forced into making a public apology. [more inside]