Archive for the ‘copyright’ category

Intellectual Property Rights in a Digital Age: Revisiting Barlow’s “Economy of Ideas”

May 4, 2008

Reflecting an Internet Decade with John Perry Barlow
by Ben Walker, with Charlie Nesson
Berkman Center for Internet and Society

In the March 1994 issue of Wired, Berkman fellow John Perry Barlow fired a revolutionary shot heard ’round the world. In his essay

he announced to the world that everything we know about intellectual property is wrong. Ten years later in 2004, Audio Berkman producer Benjamen Walker speaks with John in a special audio production. The video montage was added in 2008, celebrating


Community Media: Selected Clippings – 02/08/08

February 9, 2008

ED Annie Folger Preserving Public Access in Washington DC
Midpenisula Community Media Center (CA)

The Media Center’s Executive Director, Annie Folger, recently flew out to Washington DC to speak in front of Congress, representing the Alliance for Community Media. She was fighting for Comcast and AT&T to continue to providing PEG (Public, Educational and Government) services as they currently are (or better) and to abide by local, state, and federal laws.  Click the video below to watch the CSPAN broadcast. Annie’s main speech starts at 48mins, and then is questioned throughout the rest.

Here are some of the issues being addressed:   —>

Forsyth Co. TV debuts
by Nancy Badertscher
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA)

Forsyth County government is now as close as the television set.  TV Forsyth debutted last month on Comcast channel 23, allowing local residents to watch government from the comfort of their sofas.  The station is broadcasting meetings of the County Commission, Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals, and Board of Education.  The channel is offering original local programming, as well as an electronic bulletin board with information on government meetings, events and programs.   —>

Fayetteville’s budget ‘A solid looking picture…’
by Trey Alverson
Fayette Daily News (GA)

—>  One revenue related issue that does worry Steele is the effort afoot in the Georgia General Assembly to do away with franchising fees for power, phone and cable companies.  The issue arose Thursday when the council unanimously approved a franchising fee of 5-percent for AT&T.  Steele took this opportunity to explain franchising fees to the public and to stump politically against their removal

“Franchising fees began in 1948 when cities and Georgia Power got together over how to deliver electricity to mostly rural areas,” Steele explained.  According to the mayor, the program they agreed upon allowed companies access to the municipalities’ right of way in exchange for a small fee per customer.

Steele says that the companies pass these fees on to the consumer and now state legislatures are trying to get rid of them.  “Franchise fees account for 11.9-percent of the city’s budget,” Steele said. “I know I’m being political now, but you should call your local legislator and tell him to mind his own business.”   —>

Resident To Moderate TV Program
Garden City News (NY)

Garden City resident Patty Knap will serve as one of the moderators of “The Healthy Respect Program.”  The American Family Association’s weekly public access cable television show will be aired on Cablevision’s Channel 20 on Tuesday, February 12 from 8 to 9 p.m. It will also be re-aired on Tuesday, March 11th.  The program, intended for teenagers, will focus on a discussion of current moral issues affecting families. It is one of New York’s largest public access TV programs.

Final Rerun of Video of Aspen Ridge/Hill Place developers’ meeting with Town Branch neighbors on Jan. 12, 2008
by Aubrey Shepherd
Aubrey’s View (AR)

LAST CHANCE TO SEE REPLAY of Town Branch Neighborhood and Ward 1 meeting with developers planning to replace Aspen Ridge developers to create student housing in the Town Branch overflow area and former wetland west of South Hill Avenue between Sixth and Eleventh streets in south Fayetteville, Arkansas.

8:45 pm Friday Feb. 7, 2008 — Ward 1/Town Branch-Neighborhood Meeting on Cox Cable channel 18, Fayetteville Public Access Television, the CAT!

9:30 am Saturday Feb. 8, 2008— Talking about how the neighborhood used to be — Robert Williams on Town Branch Neighborhood — on Cox Cable channel 18, Fayetteville Public Access Television, the CAT!  Robert Williams, whose property on South Hill Avenue is bordered on the west by the Aspen Ridge dredged and filled wetland, spoke while looking northwest from the intersection of South Duncan Avenue and Eleventh Street where a wetland area dredged out for a future street on rainy days is called Aspen Bayou by people who drive by.

Noteworthy Television This Weekend: Marvin Franklin’s Art
by Toby von Meistersinger
The Gothamist (NY)

The February edition of the MTA’s monthly television show, Transit Transit (Saturdays, 3:30 p.m., WNYE 25) , has a segment about Marvin Franklin, the NYC Transit Authority track inspector who was killed last year in an on the job accident in Brooklyn. The piece talks with some artists who knew Franklin and his co-workers and covers the opening of an exhibition of his work at the New York City Transit Museum in December.

In case you didn’t know, Transit Transit is produced entirely by MTA employees who volunteer for the job and it shows. So if you are a fan of the MTA or merely curious about some behind the scenes transit goings on we recommend it. Plus, it can be unintentionally funny. The show repeats every Saturday during the month on WNYE and will also be on several cable public access channels.   —>

Editorial: Obama and the media
Seattle Times

—>  The Seattle Times endorsed Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination for many reasons, not the least of which is that he makes the most plausible — indeed, utterly believable — argument he can foment change in this weary nation.  But his populist bent on media issues is especially encouraging. He doesn’t merely speak about it; he fights for it. He co-sponsored the recently introduced Media Ownership Act, which passed the Senate commerce committee in December.

The bill would force the Federal Communications Commission to, as Obama said, “place its public charge ahead of its concern for corporate profits.” Indeed, the bill was a response to the FCC’s brazen deference to hungry corporations gobbling up community voices at the expense of communities best served by a diversity of owners and opinions.

Obama is especially concerned about the mounting obstacles to women and minorities entering the ranks of media ownership and management. The bill would force the FCC to weight the scale to the public good.

Comcast Lobbyist Wired for Web Access
Associated Press

Comcast Corp., the nation’s largest cable operator, paid Capitol Solutions LLC $300,000 in 2007 to channel its issues to Congress.  According to form posted online Monday by the Senate’s public records office, it paid the lobbying firm $160,000 in the second half of 2007.  The firm lobbied on issues related to Internet traffic prioritization, customer access to the NFL Network channel and set-top boxes for converting TV signals from digital to analog. Comcast also paid the firm $140,000 on the same issues in the first half of the year.   —>

Hopefuls await nod to run access TV
by Stacy Brown
Times-Tribune (PA)

It could be decision day for hopeful operators of Scranton’s public access cable channels.  A three-member panel appointed to review three proposals to operate public access channels 61 and 62 is scheduled to meet with Mayor Chris Doherty this morning. One of the three should get the nod at the conclusion of the meeting.  “I think we may have an announcement (today),” Mr. Doherty said.

“I don’t know who the panel will recommend, I thought we’d let someone with the background of this panel make the choice.”  The panel consists of Thom Welby, a marketing executive for WNEP-TV; former WYOU-TV videographer Mark Monahan and Shiloh Baptist Church Pastor Reginald McClain.

The competitive process produced three candidates who submitted proposals to City Controller Roseann Novembrino last month.  They include civic group Scranton Today, which has operated the channel for 10 years and is facing competition from Electric City Television and the NEPA Public Access Project.  Electric City Television is an entity developed by Scranton Today veteran Chris Balton. NEPA Public Access Project is a nonprofit group connected with Ozzie Quinn’s Scranton and Lackawanna County Citizens and Taxpayers’ Association.   —>

Democracy Now! Needs Money Now For New $6 M. Loft
by Max Abelson
New York Observer

The exclamatory independent news program Democracy Now! won’t be broadcasting out of a Chinatown firehouse for much longer.  According to city records, the left-leaning TV/radio group (Newt Gingrich once told co-host/founder Amy Goodman that he warned his mother not to speak to reporters because of people like her) have paid $6 million for a raw loft at 217 West 25th Street.

But the Sixth Avenue space was massively expensive for DN!, which has the lovably homespun feel of an angry teenager’s basement public access show—though it’s broadcast on 650 TV and radio stations. So they put no money down, records show, taking out a $6 million mortgage paid for by the literary Lannan Foundation, run by J. Patrick Lannan Jr.  “Because we were so desperate,” development director Karen Ranucci told me, “they were so generous.”

Still, they’ll have to repay the loan. “We are so in debt–and that’s why we’re having a concert!” Their Feb. 20 gala will feature Willie Nelson, Danny Glover, Jackson Browne, plus playwrights Wally Shawn (he lives nearby!) and Sarah Jones. “What better way to earn some money,” Ms. Ranucci said, “than to have Willie Nelson drive across the country?” So true.  Tickets range from $200 to $20,000–for a premier table for 10, which includes “dinner with Willie Nelson and all these characters.”

But DN! doen’t necessarily want to leave its firehouse space on Lafayette Street, which it’s been renting from the Downtown Community Television Center. “They needed their space, so we’re leaving,” Ms. Ranucci said about DCTC, “the sooner for them that we could find a place, the better.”

Besides the $6 million purchase price, building offices and an actual TV studio in the loft runs at least $2 million. “We’re trying to get as much used equipment as possible,” Ms. Ranucci said. Plus, the loft will have a classroom for training future journalists. “We work with interns now,” she said, “but we’re all sitting on each other’s laps. We’re crushed in our current digs.”

Recut, Reframe, Recycle: An Interview with Pat Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi (Part Two)
by Henry Jenkins
Confessions of an Aca-Fan

Your team has had good luck developing a set of guidelines to provide more clarity to documentary producers about when their deployment of borrowed materials is protected under current legal understandings. Can you describe some of the impact that this report has had? What lessons might we take from those experiences as we look at the challenges confronting amateur media makers?

PA: Documentary filmmakers found their hands tied creatively, without access to fair use. So in November 2005 they developed a consensus statement, Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use, through their national organizations and with our coordination, which describes four typical situations that come up for them, and what the principles of fair use are, along with the limitations on those principles. For instance, the Statement shows that in critiquing a particular piece of media, you can use that media to illustrate your point. The limitation is that you can’t use more of it than makes your point. Common sense and good manners require that you let people know what it is (provide credit)…

… You’ve drawn a distinction between acceptable use and fair use. Explain. Why might a push towards an acceptable use policy prove useful in responding to the current challenges facing amateur media makers?

PJ: In a so-called “acceptable use” policy, a copyright owner (or a group of them) might announce that it simply won’t challenge certain kinds of quotations from its material without giving an opinion, one way or another whether those are the kind of uses (i.e. fair ones) that people actually have a right to make. There’s been some talk recently on the part of content owners about this approach, and we certainly don’t oppose it. Anything that brings any additional clarity to is welcome.

But owners’ announcements about “acceptable use” would be no substitute for “Best Practices” developed by and for particular creative communities. For one thing, “acceptable use” rules are always subject to unilateral change, as markets develop or business models morph. For another, “acceptable use” policies are likely to be more restrictive than fair use. To give one example, most discussions of “acceptable use” focus on private and strictly not-for-profit uses, including education. But fair use also operates robustly in the commercial environment (think of book publishing, for example) and that is exactly the environment into which on-line video production is moving as running platforms becomes a profitable business. So while some of us could benefit from “acceptable use,” we all need fair use.

YouTube contributors are not the only group which confronts uncertainties about Fair Use. You’ve also been looking at the impact of these confusions and anxieties on Media Literacy educators. What have you heard? What kinds of classroom practices are being restricted as a result of fears or confusions about Fair Use?   —>

CFRC connects community
Local stations’ intimacy meaningful amongst growing media conglomeration
by Courtney Kirkby
The Queen’s Journal (Ontario)

Not so deep in the basement of Carruthers Hall, just south of the dormant Clark Hall Pub and the Campus Bookstore, lies one of Queen’s campus’ best kept secrets: Queen’s radio. Fifteen years short of a century old, adorned with an eclectic selection of art—everything from recent poster art by local artists to an array of framed dog portraits—CFRC 101.9FM is full of more life than any other place I’ve encountered in my four years in Kingston.

CFRC pumps out meaningful broadcasting 24 hours a day, seven days a week, barring a minute or three of dead air every once in a while—unavoidable given the constant stream of new programmers, many of whose first words sent out to radioland are mediated by the black and silver microphones in CFRC’s main control rooms.

In 1922 Douglas Jemmett and Robert Davis first planted the CFRC seed in Fleming Hall that has since grown deep roots in Kingston. They built an experimental AM radio station to increase the Wireless Club’s ability to participate in public broadcasting. This makes CFRC one of the oldest radio stations in the world, topped only by the Marconi Companies and a few others…

… The Queen’s bubble was first broken in this station in 1977, when it was recognized that broadcasting year-round, seven days a week couldn’t be sustained through a strictly student effort. The community was invited in to start broadcasting. Some broadcasters from that era remain on-air today.   —>

Online Media: Community TV Comes Full Circle – Part I
by suzemuse (3 comments)

Chris Brogan wrote an interesting post the other day that has really got me thinking. His thought about how to make it in this burgeoning world of online media:  ” …it’s people who are figuring out the triangle, delivering something of quality, and are connecting targeted content to interested audiences.”

Hmmm. Sounds to me like Community Television to me. Over the next few blog posts I shall endeavour to explain.  Community Television. Public Access TV. Cable Access Programming. I’ve been involved in community television since I was about 10 years old. More than 27 years.

It started in the small town in which I grew up called Masset, on the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii). My Dad, along with some other townspeople, helped start a small (VERY small) community television station using some old leftover TV equipment. They hooked up a couple of cameras, an A/B switch, stuck a microphone on a table and went on the air. Kids from the community (me and my brother included) read community announcements. This community-based TV station was called Masset-Haida Television (MHTV) and it still exists today, last I heard, on Channel 13. Go to . See the blue station logo? That is the very logo my Dad designed back in 1979!   —>

Govt ‘ambushes’ media
by Brigitte Weidlich

GOVERNMENT plans to establish a Media Council in Namibia to ‘police’ media ethics and to provide a platform for the public to complain about media reports.  This was announced by Government spokesperson, Information and Broadcasting Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, in Windhoek yesterday.  The move follows a recent congress resolution by the ruling Swapo Party.

Briefing reporters, the Ministers said Government was aware of “the uneasiness among the media fraternity about the call by the Swapo congress for the creation of a media council by Government.  “Our Government has to implement the SADC Protocol on Culture, Information and Sport, to which it is a party,” she said.  The new institution is purportedly in line with a protocol on culture and information all 14 member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) had to adhere to, she said….

Nandi-Ndaitwah gave no indication when the Media Council wold be established, but said that the media would be consulted.  “But Government has the last say in this matter, also under which Government institution it should be run or if it would be an independent body,” said the Minister.  “Ever since I took over at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, I have been calling on the media to get their house in order and to get a media council or media mediator off the ground, to accommodate complaints from the public,” she said.

“The argument that laws are in place to deal with media transgressions does not hold water, simply because the process of going to court is expensive, tedious and it takes too long,” she added.  “Unfortunately, the media has been dragging its feet on this very important issue.  My Ministry will start working on the matter to assist the media to provide quality services to the Namibian people.  The input from the media institutions will be sought, but Government will have to finalise the process as you have let your time pass without doing what was expected,” she told reporters.

Article 20 of the SADC Protocol stipulates that “State Parties shall take necessary measures to ensure the freedom and independence of the media”, while Article 21, which deals with the code of ethics, says, “State Parties shall encourage the establishment or strengthening of codes of ethics by various sectors of the media through the creation of an enabling environment for the formulation of such frameworks.”  Nowhere does it stipulate that a media council should be set up by governments.

Asked if the existing independent Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa), which has its headquarters in Windhoek, was not sufficient for public complaints, Nandi-Ndaitwah did not answer directly, but repeated that the “public, being the customers of the media” required an institution to launch their complaints.   —>

Social Media Measurement
by Paul Hyland
Paul’s Web Space 2.0 – Politics, Culture, Technology

Social media applications are developing at such a rapid clip that measurement technologies haven’t really kept pace. I have the daunting task of determining what success means for the social media efforts underway at, and then even more challenging, how to measure it. In my mind, success in our community efforts can be envisioned following a continuum of goals:
1. Traffic…
2. Engagement…
3. Impact…

These ideas cover only the measurement of social media content contributed to our site by our readers. Left untouched (so far) is the impact that will be felt as we engage in the larger conversation on the World Wild Web, via RSS feeds, social networks, widgets, social bookmarks, tagging and the like. Look in a future post for my treatment of the measurement of and ROI related to these efforts, the effects of which are even less well understood at this point.

I realize that this is already way too long, but I also want to pass along quality reference and background material from some of my favorite thinkers in this space.   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 01/22/08

January 23, 2008

Airwaves, Web Power at Auction
by Stephen Labaton
New York Times

WASHINGTON — The auction for rights to a highly valuable swath of the nation’s airwaves will begin Thursday and is expected to include multibillion-dollar bids from the nation’s two biggest wireless phone companies, Verizon and AT&T, as well as Google.  Although industry executives and analysts agree that Google is unlikely to win any licenses, the company already has an invaluable victory: in setting the auction rules, the Federal Communications Commission has forced the major telephone companies to open their wireless networks to a broader array of telephone equipment and Internet applications.

The radio spectrum licenses, which are to be returned from television broadcasters as they complete their conversion from analog to digital signals in February 2009, are as coveted as oil reserves are to energy companies. They will provide the winners with access to some of the best remaining spectrum — enabling them to send signals farther from a cell tower with far less power, through dense walls in cities, and over wider territories in rural areas that are now underserved.

And the licenses are on the auction block just as it is becoming obvious to industry players and investors that wireless broadband is rapidly becoming the next big thing, the mobile Internet.   —>

New Report Concludes: To Be Competitive, Cities Must Own High Speed Information Networks
by Christopher Mitchell

The United States, creator of the Internet, increasingly lags in access to it. In the absence of a national broadband strategy, many communities have invested in broadband infrastructure, especially wireless broadband, to offer broadband choices to their residents.

Newspaper headlines trumpeting the death of municipal wireless networks ignore the increasing investments by cities in Wi-Fi systems. At the same time, the wireless focus by others diverts resources and action away from building the necessary long term foundation for high speed information: fiber optic networks.

DSL and cable networks cannot offer the speeds required by a city wishing to compete in the digital economy. Business, government, and citizens all need affordable and fast access to information networks.

Today’s decisions will lay the foundation of telecommunications infrastructure for decades. Fortunately, we already know the solution: wireless solves the mobility problem; fiber solves the speed and capacity problems; and public ownership offers a network built to benefit the community.

Download the full report –

HiperBarrio’s Citizen Journalists Bring Their Local Community Together (Columbia, SA)
by David Sasaki
Global Voices

The impetus for Rising Voices, a citizen media outreach project funded by a Knight Foundation News Challenge award, surged from the observation that the great majority of self-published bloggers, podcasters, and photographers featured everyday on Global Voices were highly educated, urban, and upper-middle class. While the growth of citizen media has allowed for an unprecedented level of global connectedness, that network of new voices has yet to expand beyond the wealthy neighborhoods of urban centers across the globe.

Until now. Thanks to the hard work of Rising Voices’ project coordinators, an international readership is discovering the local stories of previously unheard voices including young women in Dhaka, Bangladesh, motivated interns in Sierra Leone, and residents of the largely indigenous city of El Alto, Bolivia.

Rising Voices, however, is much more than an initiative to bring local voices to a global audience. We are also interested in the potential of citizen media to create more unity in already established local communities. With this in mind, the facilitators and participants of HiperBarrio recently organized a town hall meeting which brought together over 100 residents and community leaders from San Javier La Loma, a hillside community which endured the brunt of the violence during Medellín’s Esobar era and the subsequent chaos that followed until as recently as 2002.

The event, which was to take place in La Loma’s cancha acustica (the barrio’s only public space), was moved to an auditorium in the local church when the afternoon’s drizzling rain refused to let up. The Colombian digital magazine, equinoXio, published a four-part series about the unusual citizen media event with contributions from two of HiperBarrio’s talented participants, Catalina and Julio Restrepo, as well as one of the facilitators, Alvaro Ramirez. Their articles, two of which have been translated from Spanish below, reveal how HiperBarrio has brought a sense of unified community to what was once one of Medellín’s most violent and most divided neighborhoods.   —>

Colorado’s Legislative TV Debut Impresses
by Jim Spencer (1 comment)
Colorado Confidential

It is too soon to pronounce Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff a TV star. But it is not too soon to pronounce his leadership in televising his body’s legislative sessions visionary.  Colorado Open House, the state’s legislature’s new television show, debuted Monday with moving speeches about the civil rights movement on Martin Luther King Day. Romanoff later said the timing was coincidental. But it could not have been more compelling.   —>

Pegging the Right Audit
by line of flight
Maui Talk (HI)

Got an e-mail today regarding Senator Ihara’s Senate Bill 2618. Apparently, the distinguished gentleman from Waikiki has decided that there is incestuous back-scratching between all of the public, education, government (PEG) access non-profit organizations, the cable companies and the state.

In paragraph 3 of section 1, the bill reads, ” Allegations of wrongdoing have arisen in regard to the department of commerce and consumers affairs, which regulates the access organizations. These allegations include possible partisan preferential treatment of candidates for recent state and federal elections, allegations of malfeasance by department of commerce and consumer affairs personnel, and forcing the access corporations to change their bylaws to give majority board appointment power to the director of commerce and consumer affairs. There was also an allegation of wrongdoing in the governor’s refusal to appoint members to the cable advisory committee during crucial times.”

Ironically, these allegations all point to wrongdoing on the part of the state’s Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, not the PEG access organizations.

In paragraph 4 of the same section goes on to state “allegations have also arisen against the access organizations themselves[.] Furthermore, now that there is only one statewide cable monopoly, there is concern that self-dealing can and will arise between the department of commerce and consumer affairs, the access organizations boards, the majority of which are appointed by the department of commerce and consumer affairs and the minority of which are appointed by the cable company, and the cable company.”

Now, I can’t speak for O’ahu and ‘Olelo which has historically had a very cozy relationship with the state, but Maui’s situation cannot be understated. The state hates Akaku. Akaku has sued the state regarding governance issues and state interference in no less than 5 lawsuits some of them active.   —>

Has AT&T Lost Its Mind? A baffling proposal to filter the Internet.
by Tim Wu (24 comments)

Chances are that as you read this article, it is passing over part of AT&T’s network. That matters, because last week AT&T announced that it is seriously considering plans to examine all the traffic it carries for potential violations of U.S. intellectual property laws. The prospect of AT&T, already accused of spying on our telephone calls, now scanning every e-mail and download for outlawed content is way too totalitarian for my tastes. But the bizarre twist is that the proposal is such a bad idea that it would be not just a disservice to the public but probably a disaster for AT&T itself. If I were a shareholder, I’d want to know one thing: Has AT&T, after 122 years in business, simply lost its mind?   —>

SCTE ET: TV expert says AT&T’s video play has 12-18 months left
by Mike Robuck

AT&T will be out of the video business within the course of the next 12 to 18 months, according to president Phillip “Swanni” Swann.  Swann was speaking at the luncheon keynote address during Wednesday’s SCTE Conference on Emerging Technologies (ET) when he made his prediction about AT&T’s future in video. Swan, who claims an 89 percent success rate with his prognostications, made nine other video-related predictions for the year.  In the case of AT&T, Swann said the company has spent too much time and money for its 250,000 video customers while Verizon has racked up one million subs for its service.   —>

The Future of Public TV – PBS & YouTube
by Robert Paterson
Robert Paterson’s Blog

PBS have announced that they will expand their offering on YouTube.

“PBS announced this week that it will add video, including previews from its award-winning series and specials, as well as exclusive online features and program excerpts to its YouTube channel.  The broadcaster currently offers more than 700 videos to its 3,000 YouTube channel subscribers and said that consumer demand led to the decision to add more content.

“PBS said that Bill Moyers Journal featuring interviews with two candidates seeking party nominations for the presidential election (Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich) drew more than 11,000 views since they were posted on the PBS YouTube channel two weeks ago.—>

Public Broadcasters Opt for CC
by Michelle Thorne
Creative Commons

Public broadcasters often ask themselves: how to better enable tax payers to access the works that they have paid for? This was the question that the BBC, the public broadcaster for the United Kingdom, addressed in 2004 during the debate over its charter renewal. The result of their deliberations was a yearlong pilot, the Creative Archive Licensing Group project, launched in September 2005.

The objective of the Creative Archive was to make BBC material available online to UK citizens. The content was released under a Creative Archive Licence, a license similar in some respects to the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commerical ShareAlike License, but more restrictive in that it allowed only non-profit educational & personal use, forbade promotional or campaign use, and limited these rights to within the UK.

During the pilot period, the Creative Archive received much praise. At its conclusion in September 2006, the BBC had released nearly 500 clips, full programs, audio tracks, and images. As the recent director of the Creative Archive Paul Gerhardt noted in an interview, viewers respected the licenses, and during the trial period, only two minor licensing breaches had been reported. However, a hurdle for the initiative was the fact that the Creative Archive could only license simple rights material from the BBC, which meant that no third-party programming could be included in the Archive.

Still, as Herkko Hietanen points out in Community Created Content, “The [Creative Archive] was in line with BBC’s goal ‘ to turn the BBC into an open cultural and creative resource for the nation’.” The Creative Archive was indeed a significant step for public interest and one of the BBC’s most applauded initiatives. And so, although the Creative Archive is not longer in active use, the philosophy of open licensing has continued to grow within the BBC.

Today several departments in the BBC publish content under Creative Commons licenses: album reviews (for example) and a partnership with MusicBrainz, a community music metadatabase that uses CC licenses. Furthermore, under other licensing conditions, the BBC has opened up its website to developers at It also offers television and radio programs to stream or download through its iPlayer, although the player’s format has been the source of some criticism.   —>

February 2nd: Community Media Coming Together
by Gordon Smith (1 comment)
BlogAsheville (NC)

Mountain Area Information Network (including WPVM) and BlogAsheville are coming together on February 2nd at the Rocket Club in west Asheville for the chance to put our heads together and get our community media on. This get together is long overdue.

Wally Bowen is the founder and leader of MAIN. He’s working on a lot of different angles and planes, and when we got together for a cup of coffee last month, the ideas started flying fast. When we were running out of time, having only just scraped the surface of our common interests, I realized that we’ve really got to get all the bloggers’ brains in on the conversation. Then it occurred to me that MAIN and WPVM would be really fun to party with. Let’s get even more motivated, intelligent, witty, media-savvy folks with common interests in the same room together.   —>

Cable TV rates on the rise
by Todd Wallack
Boston Globe (MA)

The price of watching CNN, ESPN and other pay-television networks is going up — again. Comcast, RCN, Verizon and satellite providers are all increasing their rates.  Comcast Corp., the state’s largest cable TV provider with about 1.6 million customers in Massachusetts, plans to raise rates an average of 4 percent next month.   —>

Wasn’t Competition Supposed To Bring Lower TV Prices?
Everybody raising prices in Northeast…
by Karl (158 comments)
Broadband Reports

Remember all of the talk about how when the phone company got into the TV business, you’d see lower prices? Apparently they were just kidding. The Boston Globe notes that RCN, Comcast and Verizon are all raising prices in the region. Comcast will raise rates by an average of four percent next month. RCN is raising their standard TV rates by five percent. Verizon will be raising rates for FiOS TV customers by as much as twelve percent. Comcast explains the rate hikes to the paper:   —>

Broadband – Open up those highways
Rapid internet services are a boon. But not all regulators understand them
The Economist

In eras past, economic success depended on creating networks that could shift people, merchandise and electric power as efficiently and as widely as possible. Today’s equivalent is broadband: the high-speed internet service that has become as vital a tool for producers and distributors of goods as it is for people plugging into all the social and cultural opportunities offered by the web.

Easy access to cheap, fast internet services has become a facilitator of economic growth and a measure of economic performance. No wonder, then, that statistics show a surge in broadband use, especially in places that are already prosperous. The OECD, a rich-country club, says the number of subscribers in its 30 members was 221m last June—a 24% leap over a year earlier. But it is not always the most powerful economies that are most wired. In Denmark, the Netherlands and Switzerland, over 30% of inhabitants have broadband. In America, by contrast, the proportion is 22%, only slightly above the OECD average of just under 20%.

In terms of speed, Japan leads the world. Its average advertised download speed is 95 megabits per second. France and Korea are ranked second and third, but are less than half as fast, and the median among OECD countries is not much more than a tenth. America’s average speed is supposed to be a bit above the median, but most users find that it isn’t, or that the faster speeds are vastly more expensive. A New Yorker who wants the same quality of broadband as a Parisian has to pay around $150 more per month.

What accounts for the differences among rich countries? Two or three years ago demography was often cited: small, densely populated countries were easier to wire up than big, sparsely inhabited ones. But the leaders in broadband usage include Canada, where a tiny population is spread over a vast area. The best explanation, in fact, is that broadband thrives on a mix of competition and active regulation, to ensure an open contest.   —>

‘Roll Call’s’ roles for real
by Frank Mulligan (1 comment)
Taunton Call (MA)

“Roll Call” fans will never have to worry about a writers’ strike.  That’s because much of the material is culled from police reports by the local cable TV access show’s co-hosts, Community Police Officers Steve Crowninshield and Mike Bonenfant, who logged their 90th episode on Jan. 16.  That 30-minute show featured the veteran officers’ usual banter, community-safety information and police stories right from the source – the cops themselves.   —>

Winter Concert – EHS – Easthampton, and
Demolition Derby – Franklin County Fair – Greenfield
Easthampton Community Access Television (MA)

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 01/21/08

January 22, 2008

Colorado House of Representatives gets new TV channel
by Kathryn Dailey
The Reporter-Herald (CO)

The Colorado Channel launches today, giving viewers the opportunity to watch the Colorado House of Representatives during session…
• On cable: Comcast Cable TV channel 165
• On Comcast On Demand: For the first year Comcast will provide a limited version of the service. The proceedings will be delayed one week.
• Online: Visit the Colorado Channel Web site at

Officials to consider going into cable TV business
by Jeff Farrell
The Mountain Press (TN)

The city of Sevierville will ask Sevier County Electric System to consider going into the cable television business.  During the annual retreat in Kingsport for the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and city staff, Alderman Barry Gibbs asked about the possibility of providing cable service in the city.  That may not be so easy, a spokesman for privately owned Charter Communications says.  After some discussion, aldermen asked city staff to draft a resolution asking the electric system to study the feasibility of starting a cable franchise.

“I’d be real interested,” Gibbs said. “There’s an awful lot of public service opportunities.” That would include the opportunity to broadcast events like BOMA meetings.  It’s not unheard of for public utilities to start cable franchises; the city of Morristown did so in 2005, officials noted.  The Sevier County Electric System is owned by the city of Sevierville. City Administrator Doug Bishop said the agency already has technicians, utility poles and other equipment, and the county could have the population density to support the project.  “It seems like the numbers will run really strong,” he said.   —>

Mount Olive may get cable channel
Cablevision agreement would include public access spot, tech grant
by Meghan van Dyk
Daily Record (NJ)

The township would gain its own public access channel and a $25,000 boost to kick-start production if an ordinance authorizing a Cablevision franchise renewal is approved at Tuesday’s township council meeting.  The ordinance, passed unanimously by the council on its first reading last week, renews the nonexclusive Cablevision franchise that expired last year amid Verizon’s bid for a statewide franchise.

Under the franchise, Cablevision would create an exclusive Public, Educational and Governmental access channel for the township and offer a $25,000 technology grant — $7,000 up front and $2,000 a year for the next nine years — to be used for technology at the township’s discretion.  “The high school has a full-blown studio,” municipal business administrator Bill Sohl said. “Once the franchise is adopted, we will work out arrangements with them.”   —>

City Eyeing Public Access TV Options
Santa Clarita has a year to figure out a way to save public channel.
by Katherine Geyer
The Signal (CA)

The city of Santa Clarita will spend the next year figuring out how to continue providing programming on its public access channel thanks to a 2006 state law that relieves cable companies of the responsibility of operating a public access studio beginning in 2009.  Santa Clarita’s franchise agreement with Time Warner Cable Inc. ended Jan. 2 as a part of a state law allowing cable companies to franchise with the state instead of individual cities.  Beginning in 2009, the operation of the Public, Education and Government Channel — or Channel 20 — will be the responsibility of the city.   —>

Decatur looks to formalize its cable contract with Comcast
by Mike Frazier
Herald & Review (IL)

The Decatur City Council will vote Tuesday on a cable franchise agreement with Comcast.  Insight Communications and Comcast in recent weeks completed an agreement to divide their partnership involving cable systems in the Midwest. Under the deal, Comcast assumed ownership of cable systems serving customers in Decatur and other communities in Illinois and Indiana.

The Decatur City Council in November approved a new cable franchise agreement with Insight Communications.  Under the agreement, the city will receive about $750,000 to go toward public programming over the next decade and will recover legal fees used to iron out a new agreement.

Mayor Paul Osborne said to his knowledge the details of the agreement with Comcast are essentially the same as those with Insight.  The city had been negotiating a cable franchise agreement with Insight since an agreement expired in 2003.  The city council rejected an earlier proposed franchise agreement because it lacked adequate funding for public access programming, among other shortcomings, council members said.   —>

Donations bring computers, books, basketball tourney to schools
by Shawn Regan
Eagle-Tribune (MA)

—>  The computers from Haverhill Community Television are part of an ongoing effort to bolster technology at the high school. The city’s public-access television station has also promised $100,000 to equip the high school’s new television studio with a state-of-the-art control room including production computers and cameras. The station is holding the money until the new studio is built, said Darlene Beal, executive director of Haverhill Community Television.   —>

Operators Opt For Calif. Oversight
Broadcast Newsroom

(Multichannel News) _ Operators big and small have taken advantage of California law allowing operators to replace local franchise terms with state oversight.  The state franchising law went into effect last year, but included terms that did not allow incumbent operators to drop their local franchises until Jan. 1 of this year.

New providers AT&T and Verizon Communications gained state authorization from the state Public Utilities Commission last March. Incumbents began applying in September, with Wave Broadband the first to earn state approval. Other small operators to apply have been Cableview Communications, serving Esparto, and Northland Communications, serving Mt. Shasta.

Comcast has been granted state authorization for most of its major markets, including cities and counties in its San Francisco Bay area cluster. Time Warner Cable got state regulatory authority for its systems in Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange County systems, among others. Cox Communications was authorized for San Diego city and county and its one Los Angeles city franchise, as well as San Marcos.  Charter Communications was granted state oversight for its major system, Long Beach, as well as other properties in the state.

Cable fee eyed by Abbottstown Borough
by Melody Asper
Evening Sun Correspondent (PA)

The Abbottstown Borough Council is considering signing a contract with Comcast Corp. so the municipality can receive a franchise fee.  That might add a bit to borough coffers, but it would come out of residents’ pocketbooks.  Councilwoman Debbie Shearer originally proposed the fee, noting Comcast’s cable lines already go through the borough but the borough does not get any financial benefit.  “Our borough has never received a franchise fee from Comcast and we are losing out on a good bit of money, even though their wires are running through the town and a lot of residents are connected,” Shearer said.

Shearer said Comcast predicted the 5 percent fee would equate to revenues of about $700 per month, or $8,400 per year.  The borough would also get free Internet service if it entered into the franchise contract. Currently, the borough pays $49.95 per month for Comcast Internet service.  However, if franchise fees are put into place, Comcast then adds that amount to each resident’s bill, Shearer said.  Shearer said that if a 5-percent fee were enacted, it would add $1.25 to a resident’s $25 bill, or $2.50 for someone who has a $50 Comcast bill.   —>

Oceola Officials Postpone Wireless Livingston Approval

Oceola Township has decided to stay out of the “Wireless Livingston” plan for now. The program intends to blanket the county with free wireless internet access by the end of 2008. Township Supervisor Bill Bamber says it came to the board’s attention that a significant source of revenue comes to the township through cable franchise fees. However a new state law says cable companies wouldn’t have to pay the fees if any other internet service provider in the area doesn’t. Bamber says the township isn’t against the Wireless Livingston project; they just want to make sure it doesn’t rush into anything they may end up regretting. (JM)

Cable to FCC: We Find Your Lack Of Faith Disturbing
Comcast investigation sparks new complaints…
by Karl  (18 comments)
Broadband Reports

Kevin Martin’s indecency campaigns, the set-top box waiver dispute, his pro-telco franchise reform push and, most recently, the capping of ownership limits already had the cable industry complaining that the FCC boss had it out for them. With the FCC’s recent announcement that they’d be investigating Comcast’s traffic shaping practices (even if we’re not sure anything will actually come of it), it’s apparently time to dial-up the rhetoric.

“There is an agenda from a Republican chairman that is anti-free market and anti-competitive,” Kyle McSlarrow, president of the National Cable and Telecommunication Association tells The Times of Trenton. “It is disturbing.” The FCC disagrees, insisting Martin’s campaign is about helping consumers. “Our focus is not on the welfare of a particular industry, but the welfare of consumers and insuring they receive the benefits of competition in the form of lower prices, more choice and better services,” says an FCC spokesman.   —>

Texas Community Media Summit Website
by Colin Rhinesmith
Community Media in Transition

The Texas Community Media Summit is taking place on March 1 this year at UT at Austin…  The website (built on Drupal) caught my attention because of how the content in the left sidebar is laid out. After the list the contents, including overview, summit agenda and other details, the site provides a list of TX community television stations followed by a list of TX vloggers, and TX community and free radio stations. It is great to see community television stations and vloggers highlighted next to each other within the context of community media in TX.   —>

Schmashmortion In Schmacago
by Margaret Lyons (21 comments)
The Chicagoist (IL)

Tomorrow marks the 35th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, so anti-choice protesters marched downtown yesterday and Trib editorial board members wrote syndicated columns calling abortion “evil”.  But there are pro-choice activists working throughout Chicago and Illinois, too, and today’s Trib has a story about the the Chicago Abortion Fund, a group that helps poor women pay for abortions. The CAF also works to destigmatize abortion by holding “leadership groups” and launching a public access TV show. There’s also the Midwest Access Project, which “envisions a society in which integrated, comprehensive reproductive health care is fully accessible to all.”

Watchdog journalism the key, seminar told
by Achara Ashayagachat
Bangkok Post

As mainstream media outlets in Asia struggle with corporate and state control, watchdog or citizen journalism has emerged as a powerful new movement in recent years, leading Filipina journalist Sheila Coronel said yesterday. Globalisation and market forces have opened up Asian media since the 1980s like never before. The introduction of television sets in Asian households and, later, the availability of the internet has had both good and bad impacts on journalism, said Ms. Coronel, director of Columbia University’s Centre for Investigative Journalism,  She was speaking at an East-West Centre conference on ”Changing Dynamics in the Asia Pacific” yesterday.   —>

Pakistan’s Geo News, Geo Super back on cable

KARACHI: People have enthusiastically welcomed resumption of Geo News and Geo Super transmissions on cable.  A ceremony held in Geo offices at I.I. Chundrigar Road Monday, which was attended by hundreds staff members of the television network.  People from various walks of life have welcomed restoration of Geo News transmissions on cable. The students of Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad have said Geo News returning back a key progress towards access to information in the country.   —>

Visual artists on copyright reform
Visual and media artists join forces with fellow creators in developing copyright platform

In anticipation of revisions to the Canadian Copyright Act, Canadian Artists’ Representation/Le Front des artistes canadiens (CARFAC), le Regroupement des artistes en arts visuels du Québec (RAAV) and our affiliates have been working to prepare a platform document as partners in the Creators’ Copyright Coalition (CCC).  Highlights of the platform for the visual and media artists community will include:

1) Ratifying the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty (WCT), which includes allowances, where necessary, to protect both the rights of users and creators;
2) Improving compliance and recognition of the Reproduction Right;
3) Improving compliance and recognition of the Exhibition Right;
4) Amending of Canadian Copyright Act to include droit de suite, or resale right;
5) Reinforcing and expanding the licensing responsibilities of copyright collectives in the digital environment;
6) Extending protection and reaffirming creators’ Moral Rights;
7) Affording photographers, printmakers and portrait artists the same rights as other visual and media artists.

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 01/20/08

January 21, 2008

Televising local municipal meetings in the air
Move on to bring sessions to TV. Viewers in Lackawanna County watch meetings there.
by Bill O’Boyle (2 comments)
Times Leader (PA)

Taxpayers gave rave reviews when Luzerne County Commissioner meetings were televised briefly in 2001.  An estimated 25,000 viewers tune in weekly to Channel 61, the Lackawanna County public access station that airs Lackawanna County Commissioner and Scranton City Council meetings.

This phenomenon of allowing the cameras to roll as legislators do their work started nearly three decades ago with the advent of C-SPAN and is spreading to municipalities throughout the nation.  And, it could be coming to a TV screen near you.

Citizen activist Tim Grier wants to videotape Wilkes-Barre City Council and Luzerne County Commissioner meetings because he believes that would give residents a more complete picture of what elected officials are doing.  He’s not alone.  Some county and city officials welcome the idea – and so do local media experts and some citizens who were interviewed last week…

…[Professor Jayne] Klenner-Moore said with advance notice and advertising, viewership would increase over time, particularly when hot button issues arise.  “I think that any opportunity for the citizenry to participate in any way in local government is of great value,” she said. “I would recommend that if this does happen then someone should do audience analyses of what is being watched, how often, and for what reasons. This will help to understand how the process can be improved.”

Mount Carmel seeks programs for public access channel
by Jeff Bobo
Kingsport Times-News (TN)

Mount Carmel leaders can’t promise they’ll make you a star, but they can get you on TV if you’re willing to volunteer time toward creating programming for the town’s public access TV station.  Since last March, Mount Carmel has controlled public access Channel 16 for Charter Cable customers in Mount Carmel, Church Hill, part of Surgoinsville and much of eastern Hawkins County.

It’s currently used mainly as a message board for Mount Carmel announcements and a calendar of events. But Alderman Rick Gabriel and other town leaders have a vision for this channel, and they’re asking the public to help make this vision come true.

“Our public access channel is a tremendous resource for promoting our communities, our businesses, and for informing and entertaining our residents,” said Gabriel, who will be chairing the newly formed Public Access Cable TV Committee. “It’s public access, and it should be for the public and by the public. That’s why we’re asking for the public’s help.

“We want to present programming produced in our communities for our communities.”  The committee’s inaugural meeting is scheduled for Friday at 5 p.m. in the Mount Carmel City Hall boardroom. Videography enthusiasts interested in producing programming for the channel are encouraged to attend this meeting.

The committee is interested in meeting people willing to volunteer their time to film school sporting events; school concerts or other school events; community festivals and parades; church events; city council meetings; chamber of commerce promotions; or any other type of community interest programming suitable for all ages.  The committee is also interested in hearing new ideas for potential programming.

Mount Carmel Police Chief Jeff Jackson noted that the operative word is “volunteer” because Mount Carmel doesn’t have any money to spend on this project.  Thus far the police department has taken the lead in the public access TV programming, mainly because Patrolman George Copas has the technical expertise to operate the control panel.   —>

Aspiring TV stars offered chance to audition for show promoting city
by Jennifer Gentile
The Reporter (CA)

Vacaville’s public access station, Channel 27, is calling all aspiring TV stars to try out for its newest show.  Auditions are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday in building G of Country High School, located at 100 McClellan St. Producer Dave Baker encourages men and women, ages 20 to 50, to bring a smile and something to read in front of the camera.

“We’re trying to do sort of an ‘around town’ show, with interviews with public figures and business owners,” Baker said. “It’s basically sort of a magazine program, and we need someone to be the anchorperson.”

The show “is something we came up with to showcase the city a little bit,” he said. The station’s programing now features resident-produced pieces, as well as footage from community events like Fiesta Days and Merriment on Main.

Describing the person he wants for the new show, Baker said the anchor must be comfortable on camera.  “We want someone who’s professional looking, who has a vibrant personality,” he explained, “someone who can come up with interview questions and is comfortable talking to people.”   —>

AT&T fights against local franchise rules for video services
by Brian Lawson
Huntsville Times (AL)

Whether Huntsville is going to get the latest 21st century video technology will depend, it seems, on how a law passed in the 19th century is interpreted.  Telecom giant AT&T, which offers voice and Internet services here, has been moving into the video delivery market with Internet Protocol TV, essentially TV that comes through the phone line…

… it is a wide-open question whether Huntsville customers will ever enjoy the service.  AT&T says it will be reluctant to enter the Huntsville market if the City of Huntsville seeks to require it to enter a franchise agreement for video services, similar to deals the city has with Comcast and Knology.

Dave Hargrove, AT&T’s regional manager for external affairs, said the company is willing to pay the city the same rate, up to 5 percent of its annual gross revenues for video services, but it does not want to be subject to “build-out” requirements that are common in franchise agreements, which compel companies to work to offer their services citywide.  “We don’t believe a city government should be in the business of telling a business how to deploy its services, where to deploy and at what rate,” Hargrove said. “We think the marketplace should decide.”   —>

Mystic Babylon Open Mic Poetry Podcast TV: Cable Access 29: Podcast 51
by John Rhodes
Mystic Babylon Open Mic Poetry Podcast (CA)

Hello. This is John Rhodes and this is the third special airing on this Access TV Channel in San Francisco of my poetry show, which is also podcasted from my audio/video poetry podcast site Mystic Babylon. Today we are grateful to have as our guest Clive Matson, who will be reading for around 18 to 20 minutes. I will end the show reading from my podcast novel, “Little Bird Told Me” . Please also visit my podcast novel site, which is serially produced for free.

Video Vortex: Participatory Culture
by Twan Eikelenboom
Masters of Media

Do you think Participatory Culture is all about friendly cooperation? Fans flocking to Star Wars conventions or squad based play in the latest MMORPG? The Participatory Culture session at the international Video Vortex conference in Amsterdam, proved that practices such as “cutthroat capitalism” also belong in this category. And how can, from an Asian instead of a Eurocentric perspective, the changing concept of authorship be understood when everyone can build new meaning upon an original work? This session provided practical examples as well as theoretical context.   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 01/19/08

January 21, 2008

‘Unfinished business’
Star Tribune (MN)

—>   Charlayne Hunter-Gault will be the keynote speaker at Monday’s 18th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast at the Minneapolis Convention Center, sponsored by the General Mills Foundation and the United Negro College Fund. The event is sold out but will be broadcast live at 8 a.m. on Twin Cities Public Television. For more information, go to  Editorial writer Denise Johnson recently spoke with Hunter-Gault about King’s legacy, race, and civil and human rights. Here are excerpts from the conversation…

Q:  During your career, you have been the first woman, first African-American or both in several positions. Now we have a presidential campaign with the first black and first woman as frontrunners — and one in which race has been raised in interesting ways. What’s your assessment?

A:  Race is featured in a very contentious primary — again that reminds us to be vigilant. But I’m not pessimistic. I’m encouraged even when the discourse is contentious. However uncomfortable that makes us, we talk about it, we debate it and that’s healthy. This is some of the most-energetic debate about race I’ve seen in a long time — especially since 9/11, when people were so traumatized. Americans are coming out of that dismal period to actually engage in what democracy means and take on some of the unfinished business of the civil-rights movement. Race is that unfinished business.

Q:  And how should it be addressed?

A: Debate, discussion, honest conversations. MLK said the movement must include blacks and whites, young and old, north and south. We need organizations that embrace all kinds of Americans who will talk openly, more groups that include people who disagree. No one can do it alone. We need people of all races, classes and backgrounds.

That’s why this campaign is so exciting; it has awakened young people, poor people. Having the discussion involving two people with good [civil-rights] credentials helps. [Obama and Clinton] are not symbolic figures. They are people of substance who have earned their positions.

In America, we’ve had periodic eruptions around race. We talked about two separate societies after riots in 1968, then discussions occurred again after Rodney King. But there isn’t an ongoing, constructive conversation. We need to figure out how to harness this energy into something lasting that benefits we the people. —>

Community TV tackles in-depth news
by Shanna McCord
Santa Cruz Sentinel (CA)

A new local news source is taking on the mainstream media with a show aimed at in-depth story-telling in Santa Cruz County — touted by its producers as substance over sound bites and nightly stories that only skim the surface.  Scoot over KSBW, KION and KCBA, the network affiliates with coverage in the county. Community Television of Santa Cruz County has developed a new current affairs program called “Epicenter,” which airs on channels 25 and 71 at 7:30 p.m. every Monday

The one-hour news show is designed “to fill a void” left by local media outlets, and cover topics its producers believe are ignored or under-reported by the daily press.  “With the nightly news, you only get two-minute run and gun, just the facts ma’am,” producer Emery Hudson said.  Topics covered by “Epicenter,” which first aired earlier this month, so far include immigration, health care reform, biodiesel and issues plaguing Watsonville.  When it comes to local network news, KSBW, headquartered in Salinas, is the only station with a reporter permanently assigned to Santa Cruz.   —>

Muscatine Community College’s new Community Television Theater open house
New TV studio livens up production at MCC
by Cynthia Beaudette
Muscatine Journal (IA)

Area audiences can see locally produced television shows in a whole new light, now that the renovation of the Muscatine Community College Community Television Theater is complete.  Studio director Chad Bishop said the improved, expanded facility makes it possible to create higher quality local programming.

Expenses for approximately half of the updates were funded through a grant Bishop applied for through the Muscatine-based Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust.  The rest of the approximately $36,000 project was funded through the studio’s regular budget, the Eastern Iowa Community College District and Muscatine Power & Water.  The project has doubled the size of the studio to 1,200 square feet, Bishop said…

Texas Community Media Summit
by jon

I’ll be attending the March 1 Texas Community Media Summit – I was at a similar gathering 2-3 years ago, which was useful, but citizen media was new; it’s matured since then, and I suspect we’ll have more to talk about this year. This summit is for “Texas community media makers, stakeholders, activists, and advocates.” If you’re a Texas blogger, you should be there.

Switch To Digital TV Leaves Some Viewers Outside The Box
Tampa Tribune (FL)

If you can’t find your government and education channels on your TV, you’re probably among the Bright House customers left behind in its channel realignment last month.  Unless you have a digital-ready TV or the right brand of converter box, you can no longer watch your local government boards in action.

There is a possibility the change won’t stick. A federal judge in Michigan has temporarily prohibited another cable company, Comcast, from making a similar move. She correctly found it was not in the public interest to deprive some subscribers of easy access to government channels.  Tampa is making a similar legal argument here. The reasonable complaint is that the minimum offer to every cable subscriber should include the ability to watch the government, education and public-access channels.

Instead of joining the lawsuit, Hillsborough County commissioners worked out a deal with Bright House to equip the TVs at County Center with free converter boxes. The deal, approved last week, also gives the county $150,000 in free TV advertising over two years.  The only commissioner voting against the arrangement was Rose Ferlita, who observed, “It’s a matter of people looking at this like we got hush money to do what we want to do, and they have to pay the buck to continue watching us protect their community.”   —>

Greece school district rejects giving towns cable access
by Meaghan M. McDermott (7 comments)
Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (NY)

The Greece Central School District has rejected a proposal to allow west-side towns to use a television studio at Olympia High School for cable access services.  Kathryn Firkins, director of constituent services for the town of Greece, said she was notified earlier this week by district officials who said the district decided not to move forward with the proposal.  She called the development “unfortunate” and said local town leaders will meet in coming weeks to discuss their next steps.  “I don’t know what those options might be,” she said.  Board of Education President Roger Boily declined to comment.

Talks about cable access have been ongoing among the district, Greece, Ogden, Gates, Parma and Clarkson since 2004. The towns initially wanted to hire the district to provide cable access television.  In June, the Board of Education voted down that plan. Negotiations have been going on to allow the municipalities to find an independent provider who would contract with the school to broadcast from the Olympia facility.

Gates town Supervisor Ralph Esposito blasted the move.  “I think the school district made a very bad decision,” he said. “I think they neglected their taxpayers and their students. This was a no-brainer.”  Funding for cable access comes from franchise fees that Time Warner Cable pays local municipalities. Towns and villages provide a portion of those fees — about 4 percent — for public cable access.  Esposito noted that municipalities would have paid for using Olympia’s studio, and that Greece students would have been able to learn television production skills at the studio. The district currently offers one television production course using the $660,000 studio.   —>

Time Warner Cable responds to city’s fears
by Ed Gebert
Times Bulletin (OH)

VAN WERT – Is the city of Van Wert losing control over cable television and video service at the end of the year 2011? Pat McCauley, government affairs manager at Time Warner Cable, says that the city will continue to enjoy the same benefits it receives right now, including the franchise fee.  “You know there has been a lot of confusion with the state franchises and how they will affect communities,” McCauley said. “Cable companies do not have the authority to reduce franchise fees. That is done only with the direction of the city. We have to set those at what the city tells us to set them at. We can’t change those.”

City Councilman Gary Corcoran, who represents the city on the Van Wert Public Access Television Board, still isn’t convinced that the city won’t lose out eventually.  “I would agree with that until the franchise agreement expires,” he stated. “Nothing will change until 2011. At that point, something could change.”   —>

The Right Tool for the Right Job
Exploring the possibilities and opportunities of the Open Media Web and developing the methods, formats and protocols to make it possible.
by Tara Hunt

One of the core messages that came out of the Media Web Meetup III: the Producers was this:

“Copyright laws, DMCA, etc. were tools that were instituted to help large organizations protect themselves from large organizations, it did not imagine the negotiations of individual producers in the Open Media Web. Instead of bringing the massive amount of baggage these tools wield into our communities of indie content producers, we should start talking about how – as a community – we need to figure out an ethical set of protocols for how to handle these negotiations…and these protocols needs to be flexible, relationship-based and anchored in social capital.”

Ironically, these protocols appear to exist moreso in the world of text than they do in the world of multi-media. What do I mean by that? Think about what happens in blogging communities. Very early on in the days of blogging, a community protocol was established around attribution, even when attribution desires were not voiced. If you were blogging about an idea that someone else had or using a quote from another blog, it was attributed and there was a link back to the original idea/text. Now, if you didn’t do that, you weren’t served a takedown notice, you may be seen as a jerk (relationship based) and people would lose respect for you (the loss of Social Capital) and they would stop reading your blog (real social consequences). There are grey areas to this (flexible), but in general, successful bloggers err on the side of caution and attribute as much as possible.

And this works great. It not only keeps people honest, but it has benefited the entire community, circulating ideas and helping encourage more people to contribute those ideas (the myth of the ’stolen ideas’ is busted when bloggers get recognition and prestige from publishing theirs openly, which encourages others to do the same). There were no laws separating bloggers from bloggers here. No centralized rulebook. It happened organically through a series of communications and experiences in the early growth of the community.

But when it comes to multi-media, we somehow passed over an early opportunity to establish similar protocols. Images, audio files and videos are constantly passed around online without attribution, used without permission and then big, expensive, heavy legal tools are wielded to stop this behavior. When a photographer’s image is posted on a website that doesn’t attribute or get permission, the same social stigma doesn’t take place. Photographers are told, “That’s what happens when you post your work online”. And, more often, a photographer won’t find out that their work is being lifted anyway, since multi-media isn’t as searchable (a simple filename change throws off the trail).

Even though their heart is in the right place, Creative Commons doesn’t really alleviate this situation, and it may even exacerbate it.   —>

All Things Access 108
by Bonnie Schumacher
Find Your Voice on Community TV (MN)

Click to Play

This is an episdoe of St. Paul Neighborhood Network’s Access Department’s program All Things Access. It contains a technical tip on audio/video gear, a profile of an SPNN member, an interviw with a Non-Profit, and a community interest piece.

What is SPNN?
by Bonnie Schumacher
Find Your Voice on Community TV (MN)

Click to Play

Learn about the community Access television station, St. Paul Neighborhood Network. Find out how you can make your own program and cablecast it to the St. Paul community,

“Refusing to Kill” (video)
by dandelionsalad
Dandelion Salad

Payday sent us a video that we use to start off the show this week.  “Refusing to Kill” features seven Refuseniks from around the world speaking out against murder, rape & other torture. Payday is an international and multiracial network of men which works with the Global Women’s Strike. The range of participants in this project are impressive

“Indymedia Presents” is a 28 minute weekly cable public access program produced on behalf of the Seattle Independent Media Center (IMC) by PepperSpray Productions. In addition to SCAN Channel 77 in Seattle, “Indymedia Presents” also airs on channels in greater King County (Channel 23), Bainbridge Island (Channel 12), Port Townsend, WA (Channel 47 & 48), Olympia, WA (Channel 22), Vancouver, WA (Channel 11), Portland, OR (Channel 22 and a few others), Tucson, AZ (Channel 73), St Paul, MN (Channel 15), Minneapolis, MN (Channel 17), Fort Wayne, IN (Channel 57), and on New York City’s Manhattan Neighborhood Network, (Channel 34).  Indymedia Presents is also available as an RSS feed at: Blip TV–

Central Authors
Central Connecticut State University

Central Authors is an annual series of 12 half-hour programs produced for Connecticut’s cable television stations.  The format allows our faculty and staff the familiar comfort of the classroom lecture . . .but in the Campus Bookstore. It also provides them the luxury to wax over their work for the full 30 minutes without interruption. Essentially the full span of scholarship defines the topical domain with presentors ranging from seasoned veteran authors to ‘first-book’ pens.

Youth to mayor: ‘Facebook us!’
by Carol Martin
SooToday (MI)

Participants in today’s Youth Forum at Sault Ste. Marie City Hall were fully engaged.  And that’s just what everyone wanted.

“How do we get the amenities where the youth actually put their handprint in this community, so they’ve got something started and they want to stay because they want to follow through on that opportunity?” asked Mayor John Rowswell. “We’re bringing their ownership into where we’re going to grow the community in the future.”

Youth Community Forum Co-Chair Alvin Olar says that youth in Sault Ste. Marie are very active, have accomplished much so far and have many good ideas of where to go next.  “We have been effective,” Olar says. “We’ve taken research, we’ve identified the recommendations and we’ve implemented them – we have a Youth Council, we have an alternative youth publication [Fresh Magazine], we have Buskerfest. We’ve done a lot as a volunteer group.”  Olar says it’s now time to move forward and identify partners, such as the City, schools, YMCA and United Way that youth can work with to further identify their needs, act on recommendations and make the Sault more attractive to young people.

The mayor proclaimed 2008 ‘Year of the Youth’ at the beginning of the forum and in his proclamation he encouraged all citizens to join with local young people in showing their appreciation and admiration for our future leaders.  During the forum today, youth in attendance echoed that sentiment, wanting to see:

– A more positive portrayal of youth in the media.
– More recognition of youth achievement.
– More diverse opportunities for fulfilling employment.
– More access to art and entertainment they are interested in.

Several suggested using to organize and promote the things they are interested in.  Some also said they wanted to see less talk and more action when it comes to services for youth, such as a youth centre and an administrator to run it.  They liked the idea of a one-stop-shopping centre with information and resources about things that concern youth.   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 11/06/07

November 6, 2007

Lawmaker hopes to help rural cable users ease ‘digital divide’
by Steven Walters
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)

Madison – A state senator from western Wisconsin will try to rewrite a controversial cable franchise bill to require AT&T, cable and other companies to contribute up to $7.5 million to a new “digital divide” fund to make sure rural areas get the same services as cities and suburbs. Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma) said she will try to make sweeping changes to the Assembly-passed cable deregulation bill, which is scheduled for a Senate vote on Thursday. She said her changes will be modeled on a law passed in Illinois.

Vinehout said the bill up for a Senate vote was written largely by AT&T, so it does not contain needed consumer protections and offers no assurances that rural areas – such as her part of Wisconsin – will get the next generation of telecommunication services  “I’m representing the people that weren’t at the table” when AT&T, cable companies and a few legislators wrote the bill, Vinehout said in an interview…  Vinehout said the changes she and Sen. Mark Miller (D-Monona) will offer would:

• Require AT&T and other large telecommunications companies to either make services available in at least 90% of Wisconsin or pay $7.5 million into a “digital divide” fund, which would be administered by the Public Service Commission. The fund would be used to make sure rural areas get access to new technology. Illinois created a $15-million fund, Vinehout said.

“We have a huge difference between access to technology in rural areas and urban areas,” said Vinehout, who said the only options available to her Alma farm are dial-up service or installing a satellite dish. “What we find increasingly is that the rural areas are left out.”

• Require telecommunication companies to pay 1% of their gross receipts to local communities to continue public-access channels, in addition to a maximum 5% payment specified in the Assembly-passed bill. Under that bill, funding for public-access channels would continue for up to three years.  (If the Assembly-passed bill became law, Vinehout said Eau Claire’s community-access channels would lose more than half of their subsidy.)

• Specify consumer-protection requirements for cable and telecommunication companies in state law.  (Under the bill up for a Senate vote, Vinehout said, “We would lose, or roll back, the consumer protection standards that exist now for cable companies.”)

• Require cable and telecommunication companies to continue to provide service to libraries and other public buildings.   —>

CAT may get temporary budget in December
by Emilie Rusch
Columbia Missourian

By January, Columbia Access Television could finally have more stable funding — for nine months.  But once the fiscal calendar page flips from 2008 to 2009, the public access channel’s funding could be less certain.  If the City Council continues on the course set in Monday’s work session, CAT will have to start competing for funding in fiscal 2009 with other public communication programs, including the educational and government access channels.

Allocating the increased cable franchise fee money could mirror the city’s yearly application process for community development and arts grants, which council members agreed was a fair way to disperse public funds.  And while CAT is optimistic things will work out, it’s still frustrating news, CAT director Beth Federici said after the work session.  “We can’t be expected to come back every year,” Federici said. “I can’t hire staff and say every year, ‘You’re going to have to defend your salary.’ We need funding that’s way more stable than a yearly application process to run a TV station.”   —>

Access denied to some Dedham viewers
by Patrick Anderson
Daily News Transcript (MA)

DEDHAM –  The town’s new independent cable access station has begun programming this fall, but a disagreement between cable providers has kept it off some residents’ television sets.  Dedham Public Television, which began broadcasting a town government, education and public access channel in September, has only been available to Comcast subscribers, because the town’s other providers, Verizon and RCN, have been unable to connect to the system.

For years, Comcast was the town’s only cable provider and was responsible for providing all public access programming.  But as competition has stiffened from newcomers Verizon and RCN, Comcast has moved out of the public access business. This year the company turned over that responsibility, which is funded by all three companies, to the nonprofit Dedham Visionary Access Corp.  When DVAC took over cable access responsibilities and introduced Dedham Public Television this fall, Comcast was the first to be connected to its new Eastern Avenue studio.   —>

Op Ed: Time For A Falmouth Internet
by David S. Isenberg
Falmouth Enterprise (MA)

Falmouth can’t trust its Internet providers anymore. Two weeks ago, the Associated Press caught Comcast covertly blocking file exchange among peer-to-peer programs such as BitTorrent, Gnutella, and Lotus Notes. Comcast does this by injecting reset messages into Internet file exchange sessions. Reset messages tell one computer in an Internet file exchange that the other computer wants to end the exchange. Comcast’s reset messages are injected in the middle of the connection to fool both ends. The result is unsuccessful file transfer. There are no reports that Comcast’s Falmouth customers are affected yet, but Comcast has not renounced the practice, so it’s only a matter of time.

Until 2005, Comcast couldn’t legally interfere with our Internet activities, but a series of FCC and court decisions now makes it perfectly legal for Comcast, Verizon, and other Internet access providers to decide what our Internet connection can and can’t do. Congress is debating Network Neutrality legislation that would return control of our Internet connection to us. (When a Network Neutrality bill came before the House Judiciary Committee in May 2006, Representative William D. Delahunt was the only Democrat there who didn’t vote “Yes.” He voted “Present.”) So far, Network Neutrality remains an actively debated proposal.   —>

Pakistanis find it on the Web
Musharraf’s crackdown on news and dissent has managed to miss a vibrant Internet community.
by Shahan Mufti
The Christian Science Monitor

Islamabad, Pakistan – When Hamzah Tariq, the owner of a small software-development firm, returned home on Saturday night after Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf had declared a “state of emergency,” he discovered that all of the news channels were missing from his cable signal. The only option: PTV, Pakistan’s state-run news channel.  “There was a ridiculous show about bridal makeup and then I read the ticker at the bottom: ‘Chief of the Army Staff declares emergency. Suspends 1973 constitution,’ ” says Mr. Tariq. After half an hour of meticulously applied mascara, there was a news bulletin. “The newscaster came on and read out those same lines, nothing more, and said “and now, some sports.”

So Tariq and millions of other Pakistanis, faced with a ban on about a dozen domestic and international TV news stations and curbs on newspapers, are finding breaking news in live video feeds and special blogs set up online – the only forum of public discourse that the media ban has missed.  Indeed, Pakistan today is a very different country from the one Musharraf took over eight years ago. In his 1999 coup, the military had only to target the offices of PTV, the only TV news source in the country at the time, and cut off all phone lines provided by the state-owned company to complete an information blackout.  Since then, Musharraf has allowed for a blossoming of free and independent media – a force with which, ironically, he now finds himself in contention.

A recent Gallup report suggests that today, more than 15 percent of urban Pakistanis now have Internet access. A small percentage compared with some nations, but a good chunk of Pakistan’s politically active middle class. There are also estimated to be more than 60 million mobile phone users, says Mr. Rehmat. Together, the technologies have connected people in ways unimaginable a few years ago and fed a growing hunger for real-time news.

As a result of the ban, which pushed all TV news off the air, GEO-TV’s news website added streaming video. But the typical 100,000 simultaneous logons that the website allowed quickly proved insufficient. Citing “enormously heavy traffic,” the website went “light” on Sunday by removing all other content except for text updates of breaking news. Later that day, the channel upgraded its servers to allow 500,000 simultaneous users.  “We’re getting millions of unique hits,” says Asif Latif, the webmaster at GEO’s Karachi headquarters. “But our viewers were feeling deprived, so we decided to go online with our telecast and sacrifice the website content.”

Blogs and social networking sites have also managed in the past three days to organize protest rallies, start international petitions, and plan strategies for opposing military rule. Many independent blogs are now also hosting channels like GEO-TV, AAJ-TV, and ARY. While not shown on TV in Pakistan, TV news networks here continue to send reports abroad via satellite. So, Pakistanis living in London or Los Angeles get the news. They, in turn, are putting the footage on their own websites, enabling Pakistanis back home to see the news.

“We Oppose Emergency in Pakistan,” a group on the social networking website Facebook, now has more than 3,000 members. The website has appointed officers and coordinators in at least 30 different cities across the globe. From Pakistan to New York, London, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Switzerland, expatriate Pakistanis are organizing protests and discussing strategies for the days to come. The group helped stage a protest outside the Pakistani embassy in London on Monday, which drew hundreds.

“This just isn’t sustainable,” Rehmat says of the government crackdown. As an example, he mentions the rumors that circulated Monday about a possible military coup against Musharraf. The rumors were so pervasive, the president had to publicly deny them. The government, he says, is digging its own grave by cultivating a credibility deficit.  “People had become very used to knowing,” says Rehmat. “You can’t just take that away from them. It’s only going to create more hate.”

Fixing the “clear mismatch” between technology and copyright law: six ideas
by Anders Bylund
Ars Technica

A lobby group from the free-speech, fair-use side of the tracks just presented a six-step reform program for outdated US copyright laws. Public Knowledge president Gigi Sohn presented the plan in a New Media conference speech at Boston University recently and expressed no patience with the “disconnect between the law and the technology” of media production and distribution.  “For the past 35 years, the trend has been nearly unmitigated expansion of the scope and duration of copyright, resulting in a clear mismatch between the technology and the law,” she said. Advances in technology keep making it easier to copy and distribute songs, movies, books, and so on. Meanwhile, the kind of legislation that gets big-money lobby support from content producers makes it increasingly illegal—but not necessarily harder—to use these new powers of information and entertainment.

The question is: how to fix it? According to Sohn, fair use reform is at the top of the list. The US must allow for more incidental and non-commercial media uses; it is currently far too easy to break the law without knowing it, as anyone who has ever worked in a library knows. Sohn also argues that the landmark Betamax decision from 1984, which gave consumers a green light to make use of recorded materials at home and to “timeshift,” should be elevated from a mere legal precedent into actual law. Innovation in media distribution is currently harmed by the fear of spurious lawsuits, as Big Content argues that the Betamax decision should only be interpreted in the most limited sense (as only applying to analog signals, and only applying to timeshifting on a VCR).

She also criticizes the DMCA, arguing that it needs some limitations to keep the number of frivolous takedown notices to a minimum. Sohn suggests that copyright holders be given a dual-edged sword: give them power, but also punish them for “knowingly or recklessly” demanding takedowns without a real case. In other words, shut down the SLAPP suits and the other forms of censorship that comes via the DMCA.

Then there’s the whole kerfuffle with digital radio. Sohn thinks the music industry suffers from a “byzantine” licensing system in need of a clear and simple legal framework. Traditional radio broadcasters enjoy lower royalties than their new-media rivals (e.g., web radio) thanks to “solely a historical accident,” and the playing field needs to be leveled. At the same time, it’s simply too hard to find the rightful owners of a composition and its recorded performance and get cleared to use them. Public Knowledge wants that quagmire cleaned up, too.   —>

A Day Full of No Iran War Activity
by Bruce Gagnon
Organizing Notes (ME)

Today I spent a couple of hours working at the voting polls here in Bath gathering signatures on a petition calling on the Maine congressional delegation to speak out now and forcefully against Bush’s impending attack on Iran. We will have had volunteers there from morning til the polls close at 8:00 pm.  Our local group, PeaceWorks, is doing this in several towns in our MidCoast Maine region today.  The response from the public was better than I had expected. I had little trouble getting people to sign the petition or take the leaflet that we had prepared on the subject.

Earlier in the day we taped my public access cable TV show on the same subject – an Iran attack. We turned the tables and had one of our PeaceWorks leaders, Rosalie Tyler Paul, interview me. Usually I do the interviewing. Eric Herter produces my show, which is called This Issue, and is now editing it and putting maps of Iran and photos of everyday Iranian life into the final product.   —>

Ithaca DSA Presents: Humanitarian Crisis for Immigrants
by Theresa Alt
Ithaca Action Network (NY)

Ithaca Democratic Socialists of America Presents #324:  “Humanitarian Crisis for Immigrants.”  Arnoldo Garcia talks about the wall to keep immigrants out, dangerous border crossings, workplace raids, and a history of discrimination against speakers of languages other than English…  This program will be available Tuesday in the Alternatives Library in Anabel Taylor Hall on the Cornell Campus.

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media