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Printer Fingerprinting

News came out a while ago that many of our laser printers were embedding “fingerprints” that allowed folks who knew how (like, say, the feds) to trace a printed page back to the day and time it was printed, and the serial number of the printer. Or, at least that was the theory, until the […] » about 200 words

Political Blogging Protected By FEC

Way back near the end of 2005, Lot 49 reported that the Federal Election Commission had basically ruled that bloggers are journalists:

The Federal Election Commission today issued an advisory opinion that finds the Fired Up network of blogs qualifies for the “press exemption” to federal campaign finance laws. The press exemption, as defined by Congress, is meant to assure “the unfettered right of the newspapers, TV networks, and other media to cover and comment on political campaigns.” The full ruling is available at the FEC site. A noteworthy passage: “…an entity otherwise eligible for the press exception would not lose its eligibility merely because of a lack of objectivity…” (emphasis added)

So, yeah, it’s double-edged, I mean that last line is basically the Fox News Channel exemption, but it also gives those bloggers who consider themselves citizen journalists a leg to stand on.

And the folks in that camp should be happy to have the Electronic Frontier Foundation‘s help. As Donna Wentworth says, Bloggers: You Have a Right to Remain Vocal.

The Failures Of Permission Culture

Donna Wentworth, over at Copyfight pointed out a JD Lasica piece detailing the responses from seven studios to his requests to use short (10-30 seconds) clips of their films in a non-commercial project he was working on with his child. …four of the studios refused outright, two refused to respond, and the seventh wobbled. This […] » about 300 words

Blogger’s Legal Guide

Copyfight is pointing to the EFF‘s new Legal Guide for Bloggers. Most of the content is about liability, but it also addresses issues of access and privilege that are generally granted to journalists, election law, and labor law. From the introduction: Whether you’re a newly minted blogger or a relative old-timer, you’ve been seeing more […] » about 400 words