Links: Justice; Greed; Public Relations Idiocy; Fact is Fiction; it was Never Aliens; and Foote's Final Day

Glenn Greenwald refers us to an interview with Benjamin Ferencz, a prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials, who, with Greenwald, laments the modern idea that the the Nuremberg principles no longer apply because they're from an ancient, entirely different era (/sarcasm).

The funny thing about Greenwald's article is that I always took the cries that Bush is a war criminal to be melodramatic kowwing.  When you consider that his war killed just as many people as those Nazi war criminals, however, it suddenly dawns on you that Bush really is one, after all.  The only difference between the Iraq War and Second World War, to be frank, is the scale.  Both leaders (Hitler and Bush) started wars that caused countless deaths - Hitler is held accountable for his actions; why not Bush?

Of course, unlike bin Laden, Bush will never be brought to justice (Barack Obama has already prevented that from happening), but it's a step going from knowing someone won't be prosecuted and therefore not caring to thinking they should be prosecuted.  I've taken that step.


The RIAA got $105 million out of LimeWire, but here's the kicker: none of that money will go towards the artists that made the music that was "pirated".  In fact, none of it will go to any artists at all.  I present that without comment*.


Staying with file-sharing, the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP) had their website taken down after the Music Publishers Association sent a "bogus DMCA takedown notice" to their registrar, GoDaddy.  GoDaddy, you may know, tends to bend to these notices fairly quickly, regardless of whether they're bogus or not.

Now, the cause of this bogus claim?  Sergei Rachmaninoff's The Bells, which is in the public domain in Canada, where is hosted.  Although I don't agree with the MPA's actions one bit, I can understand the claim - while Bells is in the public domain in Canada, it is not in the public domain in many other countries, including the UK, where the MPA operates.  Nevertheless, this claim is has absolutely zero ground on which to stand, just like the ICE's idea that it can take down websites operating outside of the U.S.  The International Music Score Library Project is hosted in Canada, where its actions are legal.  End of story.  The MPA might as well be limp, because it's not getting any tonight, anyway.


Luis Vuitton's PR suicide suffered a post-mortem blow when its underhanded attack against artist Nadia Plesner was lambasted by a judge in a case they ultimately lost.  Rather than take her on in court, Vuitton's lawyers "went behind Nadia’s back to get an ex parte order", which meant she to pay "5,000 euros per day in fines".  Of course, Plesner, whose offending piece was a painting featuring a small, malnourished child holding what looks like a Luis Vuitton bag, could never pay such a fine, especially when the painting was done for charity in the first place, so she struck back with her own lawsuit.

In addition to losing the case, Luis Vuitton was also ordered to pay her legal fees.  Mark one down for the little guy, and give bonus points to Vuitton's PR department for shaving the Norwegian forest cat.


You may have heard about this story before.  Facebook hired a PR firm to go around Silicon Valley pitching anti-Google news stories to newspapers and bloggers.  Unfortunately, their plot backfired when one of those bloggers "turned down Burson’s offer and posted the emails that Burson had sent him."

Hiring a PR firm to perform a smear campaign against a big rival?  Now, that's some shady stuff... on the level of what politicians would do.


The interview you have to listen to this week is the Fresh Air interview with Annie Jacobsen, author of Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base. I really think I ought to just let you listen to what is said for yourself, rather than read it here without proper context.

All I'll say is that what you'll hear is shocking, amazing, and disgusting.  Both the best and worst of human nature is revealed.


I recently started reading Dan Brown's The Da Vinci CodeNo, I didn't choose to do that.  Someone asked me to, and I wasn't going to say no (to her).  It's a pretty rough read so far, but if I ignore half of it, it's kinda interesting.  Sorta.  My biggest problem with it (besides the writing itself) is that I don't know what is fact and what is fiction.

Yes, in the beginning of the novel, Brown says what is fact, yadda yadda, but the problem with that is the example of the Priory of Sion.  Brown (and many others) appears to have been duped by the various myths and falsehoods surrounding this order.  Thankfully, I managed to find something to help ease my confusion: Massimo Introvigne's paper on the history of the Priory of Sion.

This paper, I have to say, is much more interesting than what I've read in the book so far** - but that's just me.  The true history of the name, order, and people behind it is fascinating.  It's worth exploring no matter what you think of Brown's novel.


And, finally, Sportsnet has a great video of Adam Foote's final day of professional hockey.

Man, I'm gonna missing watching Foote tear opposing players apart for a looooong time.  What a player.  (Original link:  Mile High Hockey)

* I lied.  It's worth mentioning that when record labels themselves were sued by artists for piracy (yes, labels don't want to pay for music, too), the payout was $45 million.

** Of course, there's supposed to be some secret revealed, or something or other...

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