Links for February 9th 2009 through February 16th 2009:
- Vigilantes publish alleged arsonist’s image online [The Age] – “Facebook vigilantes, frustrated at a court order protecting a man charged with lighting one of the deadly Victorian bushfires, which killed at least 11 people, have published his photograph and address on the social networking site and threatened his life. The move potentially breaches an order suppressing his image and address amid fears of a violent backlash by angry victims. Victoria Police has contacted Facebook seeking the removal of the details and urged people to let police do their job. This morning the suppression order on naming the man, Brendan Sokaluk, 39, was lifted, but the order remains in place on publishing his street address or his image. At least two Facebook groups have been created to name and shame the alleged arsonist, and thousands of Facebook users have joined them. Membership is growing rapidly as word spreads.” (While I completely understand people’s anger, this sort of social networking lynch mob mentality is really quite dangerous.)
- Fair Use Held Hostage by ABC-Disney [Just TV] – Jason Mittell’s tale of how aquiring copyright permission from ABC/Disney for a cover image for his new book, Television and American Cuture, became a debacle with Disney refusing to license the cover image unless the publishers licensed every internal Disney image – something that should be covered by fair use – but with the book already at the printers, the publishers gave into Disney’s demands. As Mittell notes, Disney are legally able to do this, but it’s a bit of a slap in the face for fair and educational uses.
- Murdoch looks for new ways to monetise MySpace traffic [The Age] – “”Rupert Murodch has delivered a sobering assessment about the internet as a growth engine, revealing search and advertising revenues at News Corp’s Fox Interactive Media division – which houses the popular MySpace networking site – have stalled. The new-media unit, which has invested heavily to expand MySpace, contributed just $US7 million ($10.4 million) to News Corp’s $US818 million second-quarter operating income, the company said on Friday. There was a “slight downturn” in revenue at the social networking site, Mr Murdoch said. That compares to $US179 million News Corp made from newspapers including The Wall Street Journal and information services such as the Dow Jones news wire. Asked about his views on the long-term viability of the internet, Mr Murdoch said generating a return on investment for assets such as MySpace, which News Corp bought for $US580 million in 2005, was still a challenge. “I think we have to find new ways to monetise our huge audiences,” he told analysts.”