Assassin of Turkish-Armenian journalist ‘treated as national hero’

Category : Uncategorized

Saturday, February 3, 2007

According to news reports from Turkey, a number of the members of the Turkish security forces, though unofficially, are treating Ogün Samast, the assassin of Hrant Dink as if he were a national hero.

For instance, after being taken into custody, Samast was filmed shoulder to shoulder with the Turkish police, in front of a Turkish flag and a quote from Turkey’s founder Atatürk: “The nation’s land is sacred. It cannot be left to fate.”

On January 24th, Ogün Samast was transferred to the Bayrampa?a prison, Istanbul’s largest prison. Before the transfer, inmates from a section of the prison were temporarily moved to another section, which, as a result, housed more than 100 inmates, 80 more than its maximum capacity. Then, the now-vacant section, often subject to inmates’ complaints regarding bedbugs, was cleaned and disinfected. Finally, the walls were painted, a brand new cotton bed was put in, and red carpet was laid out on the floors of the section.

When Samast was brought to the Bayrampa?a Prison, inmates witnessed that he was welcomed with cheers and applause by the jail management, soldiers, and the guards. Witnesses also report that Samast was given two guards to serve him. He ate kebab, a luxury food compared to the food given to other inmates.

After four days, Samast was transferred to the Kand?ra F-type Prison.

Ultra-nationalist elements of the Turkish society seem to have penetrated into the Turkish security forces. These events resulted major Turkish newspapers such as Sabah, Radikal, and Vatan to accuse the Turkish security forces and the Turkish state of supporting, endorsing, and cooperating with the killers of the journalist.

A 52 year old Turkish-Armenian journalist, Hrant Dink was assassinated in front of the Agos newspaper office, at the Istanbul district of Osmanbey, where he worked as the editor and a journalist. Dink, a brave journalist who was not afraid to discuss one of Turkey’s most controversial issues, clearly called what happened to Armenians in 1915 when the land was being governed by the Ottoman Empire the Armenian Genocide.

Following her father’s assassination, Dink’s daughter, referring to the fascist obsession with pure blood, said:

They shot my father. Is their blood purer now? They were afraid to face him, they shot him in the back.

Large numbers of people marched protesting the killing of Hrant Dink on the day of his funeral, carrying placards that read “We are all Armenian” and “We are all Hrant Dink”.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Assassin_of_Turkish-Armenian_journalist_%27treated_as_national_hero%27&oldid=1396230”

GWAR frontman Dave Brockie aka Oderus Urungus dies at age 50

Category : Uncategorized

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Dave Brockie of rubber-costumed metal act GWAR was found dead in his Richmond, Virginia home late on Sunday. Better known by stage name Oderus Urungus, Brockie was 50.

Founder, singer, leader, and occasional bassist of GWAR, Brockie’s career stretches back to 1984. He and fellow Virginia Commonwealth University art students formed what they dubbed “Earth’s only openly extra-terrestrial rock band”, growing famous for satirical and obscene lyrical themes, and live shows featuring the defilement of effigies and plenty of fake blood.

Fellow founding member Don Drakulich, who still makes props and costumes for the rockers, said he was “very sad” and “shocked”. He said Brockie’s roommate found the corpse. GWAR members changed frequently and the band recovered from the sudden death of guitarist Cory “Flattus Maximus” Smoot during a 2011 tour, but the New York Daily News notes “it’s hard to envision their saga going further” after Brockie’s death.

The band ran with the backstory of crashing to “the most insignificant planet in the universe” 43 million years ago before creating humans by having sex with apes. Becoming encased with ice, the legend ran that upon thawing out in 1984 the members decided to form a band.

I am one of the blessed people that gets to do what I love to do for a living

Manager Jack Flanagan announced the death via GWAR’s website, adding a post-mortem will be conducted. “My main focus right now is to look after my band mates and his family” he said. Flanagan said another GWAR member found the body.

Brockie said in 2009 “I am one of the blessed people that gets to do what I love to do for a living.” GWAR received a Grammy nomination in 1993, with Phallus in Wonderland up for Best Longform Music Video.

Fellow Virginia rocker Randy Blythe, vocalist for Lamb of God, paid tribute online, writing on Instagram “When someone dies, a lot of the time people will say ‘Oh, he was a unique person, really one of a kind, a true original’ […] I can’t think of ANYONE even remotely like him.”

He never put much stock in ‘limits’

Blythe also took to Facebook. “Right now, if I were to truly honor Dave in the way HE would do it if it were ME that had died, I would make a completely tasteless joke about his death. But I do not have the stomach for that — Dave would, but not me. He never put much stock in ‘limits’.”

Ex-GWAR guitarist Steve Douglas said on Facebook “I have had a few bad days in my life but this one truly ranks right up there. […] you are gone and it is hurting very badly!” “I wish it was a joke” said another ex-member, Chris Bopst. “Everyone is in shock.”

Former bassist Mike Bishop paid tribute in an interview with Style Weekly. “Dave was one of the funniest, smartest, most creative and energetic persons I’ve known,” he said. “He was brash sometimes, always crass, irreverent, he was hilarious in every way. But he was also deeply intelligent and interested in life, history, politics and art.”

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=GWAR_frontman_Dave_Brockie_aka_Oderus_Urungus_dies_at_age_50&oldid=2545679”

Illinois man charged in Facebook harassment case

Category : Uncategorized

Monday, February 8, 2010

A man from the Naperville, Illinois, United States area has been accused of allegedly threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend and her current boyfriend via messages posted on her Facebook account. 

Nineteen-year-old Christopher J. Bensfield was arrested Jan. 28 at his home in unincorporated DuPage County near the far west-central part of Naperville. He is being held on a $12,500 bond at the DuPage County Jail in Wheaton. He is scheduled to appear at the DuPage County Circuit Court on a felony charge of harassment via electronic communication. Police Sergeant Gregg Bell said the ex-girlfriend, a Naperville-resident, asked Bensfield to stop sending the messages many times before she submitted printed copies of the threatening messages to Naperville police.

Court records indicate Bensfield is already on probation after pleading guilty last September to possession of a controlled substance. He was arrested in August 2008 after disobeying a stop sign in Naperville. Police searched his car and found marijuana and drug paraphernalia. This was the third time Benfield had been arrested for having marijuana since April 2007, when drugs were found in his possession at Naperville Central High School. Last October, a judge issued a fine and required him to join the DuPage County Sheriff’s Work Alternative Program. He has also received five tickets within three months in 2008 for driving violations, including speeding, driving without insurance, transportation of an open alcohol container, and driving too fast for conditions.

Bensfield’s mother also has an order of protection against him. Ms. Bensfield stated that he asked her for money in late December; he then broke into her home in Naperville’s far southeast-side, punching holes in the walls and breaking various items before leaving. Christopher was arrested Dec. 29 and faced a misdemeanor charge of criminal damage to property. He “suffers from bipolar disorder and has not been taking his medication,” according to information the Naperville Daily Herald has received from Ms. Bensfield.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Illinois_man_charged_in_Facebook_harassment_case&oldid=2714942”

Grandparents And Fostering Grandchildren In The Uk

Category : Recruitment

Grandparents and fostering grandchildren in the UK

by

Joeboydavid

Grandparents, their grandchildren and fostering

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Grandparents have long been victims of family break-up, contact has been stopped with their grandchildren and they are often never considered in the decisions made by parents. A large number of grandparents have experienced family breakdown in their childrens families. Paternal grandparents are particularly vulnerable to being cut off from their grandchildren in cases where their sons separated or divorced. However, grandparents have been relied on to act as substitute parents, positive role models and providers of advice to their children and grandchildren. In this apparently fragmented society, grandparents remain the first people families turn to when they are in serious trouble. Many grandparents have had one or more step-grandchildren, and grandfathers are particularly likely to have played a significant role in caring for grandsons when fathers were no longer living with the grandchildren. It is important for all of us to know where we come from and this is particularly important for children in foster care, and grandparents are often the best placed people to provide this information. In reality grandparents are more often than not marginalised by social services who have a duty to consider all family members when considering whats best for children prior to or who enter the care system. Social services suffer from the bad press and disastrous decisions made by a small minority of social work agencies which has caused a climate of less risk is best other than empowering and training social workers to practice the old social work value of risk taking to better childrens lives. Grandparents tend to want to spend more time with their grandchildren and see their relationship with their grandchildren as one of the major things of importance in their lives. Isnt it then about time grandparents were valued and trusted to be a greater part of the decisions both parents and local authorities take about children in trouble and children who enter the care system, as grandparents have been almost invisible when decisions are made when they are often the people in the best position when the going gets tough. Sadly in todays society, as people become older they become more and more invisible and ageism gets in the way of grandparents being at the centre of the limited choices people have for children at risk of, or are placed in our struggling care system. Its about time we valued the knowledge, capacity to love, commitment and experiences of one of vulnerable childrens best hope of a secure base, our grandparents. It is of paramount importance to choose the right fostering agency, there are over seven hundred in the UK. Simply Fostering, the UK national foster carer recruitment website provides help by answering questions and identifying the most suitable local fostering agencies with vacancies. Simply Fostering help people interested in becoming foster carers to act on the Government’s advice to ‘contact more than one Fostering Agency if you are interested in a fostering career’. For comprehensive and easy to understand information, help and advice, contact Annette or Joe at Simply Fostering. (There are over 80,000 children in care in the UK)

Contact www.SimplyFostering.co.uk for more information and www.fostering.name

Article Source:

Grandparents and fostering grandchildren in the UK


U.K. National Portrait Gallery threatens U.S. citizen with legal action over Wikimedia images

Category : Uncategorized

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

The English National Portrait Gallery (NPG) in London has threatened on Friday to sue a U.S. citizen, Derrick Coetzee. The legal letter followed claims that he had breached the Gallery’s copyright in several thousand photographs of works of art uploaded to the Wikimedia Commons, a free online media repository.

In a letter from their solicitors sent to Coetzee via electronic mail, the NPG asserted that it holds copyright in the photographs under U.K. law, and demanded that Coetzee provide various undertakings and remove all of the images from the site (referred to in the letter as “the Wikipedia website”).

Wikimedia Commons is a repository of free-to-use media, run by a community of volunteers from around the world, and is a sister project to Wikinews and the encyclopedia Wikipedia. Coetzee, who contributes to the Commons using the account “Dcoetzee”, had uploaded images that are free for public use under United States law, where he and the website are based. However copyright is claimed to exist in the country where the gallery is situated.

The complaint by the NPG is that under UK law, its copyright in the photographs of its portraits is being violated. While the gallery has complained to the Wikimedia Foundation for a number of years, this is the first direct threat of legal action made against an actual uploader of images. In addition to the allegation that Coetzee had violated the NPG’s copyright, they also allege that Coetzee had, by uploading thousands of images in bulk, infringed the NPG’s database right, breached a contract with the NPG; and circumvented a copyright protection mechanism on the NPG’s web site.

The copyright protection mechanism referred to is Zoomify, a product of Zoomify, Inc. of Santa Cruz, California. NPG’s solicitors stated in their letter that “Our client used the Zoomify technology to protect our client’s copyright in the high resolution images.”. Zoomify Inc. states in the Zoomify support documentation that its product is intended to make copying of images “more difficult” by breaking the image into smaller pieces and disabling the option within many web browsers to click and save images, but that they “provide Zoomify as a viewing solution and not an image security system”.

In particular, Zoomify’s website comments that while “many customers — famous museums for example” use Zoomify, in their experience a “general consensus” seems to exist that most museums are concerned with making the images in their galleries accessible to the public, rather than preventing the public from accessing them or making copies; they observe that a desire to prevent high resolution images being distributed would also imply prohibiting the sale of any posters or production of high quality printed material that could be scanned and placed online.

Other actions in the past have come directly from the NPG, rather than via solicitors. For example, several edits have been made directly to the English-language Wikipedia from the IP address 217.207.85.50, one of sixteen such IP addresses assigned to computers at the NPG by its ISP, Easynet.

In the period from August 2005 to July 2006 an individual within the NPG using that IP address acted to remove the use of several Wikimedia Commons pictures from articles in Wikipedia, including removing an image of the Chandos portrait, which the NPG has had in its possession since 1856, from Wikipedia’s biographical article on William Shakespeare.

Other actions included adding notices to the pages for images, and to the text of several articles using those images, such as the following edit to Wikipedia’s article on Catherine of Braganza and to its page for the Wikipedia Commons image of Branwell Brontë‘s portrait of his sisters:

“THIS IMAGE IS BEING USED WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER.”
“This image is copyright material and must not be reproduced in any way without permission of the copyright holder. Under current UK copyright law, there is copyright in skilfully executed photographs of ex-copyright works, such as this painting of Catherine de Braganza.
The original painting belongs to the National Portrait Gallery, London. For copies, and permission to reproduce the image, please contact the Gallery at picturelibrary@npg.org.uk or via our website at www.npg.org.uk”

Other, later, edits, made on the day that NPG’s solicitors contacted Coetzee and drawn to the NPG’s attention by Wikinews, are currently the subject of an internal investigation within the NPG.

Coetzee published the contents of the letter on Saturday July 11, the letter itself being dated the previous day. It had been sent electronically to an email address associated with his Wikimedia Commons user account. The NPG’s solicitors had mailed the letter from an account in the name “Amisquitta”. This account was blocked shortly after by a user with access to the user blocking tool, citing a long standing Wikipedia policy that the making of legal threats and creation of a hostile environment is generally inconsistent with editing access and is an inappropriate means of resolving user disputes.

The policy, initially created on Commons’ sister website in June 2004, is also intended to protect all parties involved in a legal dispute, by ensuring that their legal communications go through proper channels, and not through a wiki that is open to editing by other members of the public. It was originally formulated primarily to address legal action for libel. In October 2004 it was noted that there was “no consensus” whether legal threats related to copyright infringement would be covered but by the end of 2006 the policy had reached a consensus that such threats (as opposed to polite complaints) were not compatible with editing access while a legal matter was unresolved. Commons’ own website states that “[accounts] used primarily to create a hostile environment for another user may be blocked”.

In a further response, Gregory Maxwell, a volunteer administrator on Wikimedia Commons, made a formal request to the editorial community that Coetzee’s access to administrator tools on Commons should be revoked due to the prevailing circumstances. Maxwell noted that Coetzee “[did] not have the technically ability to permanently delete images”, but stated that Coetzee’s potential legal situation created a conflict of interest.

Sixteen minutes after Maxwell’s request, Coetzee’s “administrator” privileges were removed by a user in response to the request. Coetzee retains “administrator” privileges on the English-language Wikipedia, since none of the images exist on Wikipedia’s own website and therefore no conflict of interest exists on that site.

Legally, the central issue upon which the case depends is that copyright laws vary between countries. Under United States case law, where both the website and Coetzee are located, a photograph of a non-copyrighted two-dimensional picture (such as a very old portrait) is not capable of being copyrighted, and it may be freely distributed and used by anyone. Under UK law that point has not yet been decided, and the Gallery’s solicitors state that such photographs could potentially be subject to copyright in that country.

One major legal point upon which a case would hinge, should the NPG proceed to court, is a question of originality. The U.K.’s Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 defines in ¶ 1(a) that copyright is a right that subsists in “original literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works” (emphasis added). The legal concept of originality here involves the simple origination of a work from an author, and does not include the notions of novelty or innovation that is often associated with the non-legal meaning of the word.

Whether an exact photographic reproduction of a work is an original work will be a point at issue. The NPG asserts that an exact photographic reproduction of a copyrighted work in another medium constitutes an original work, and this would be the basis for its action against Coetzee. This view has some support in U.K. case law. The decision of Walter v Lane held that exact transcriptions of speeches by journalists, in shorthand on reporter’s notepads, were original works, and thus copyrightable in themselves. The opinion by Hugh Laddie, Justice Laddie, in his book The Modern Law of Copyright, points out that photographs lie on a continuum, and that photographs can be simple copies, derivative works, or original works:

“[…] it is submitted that a person who makes a photograph merely by placing a drawing or painting on the glass of a photocopying machine and pressing the button gets no copyright at all; but he might get a copyright if he employed skill and labour in assembling the thing to be photocopied, as where he made a montage.”

Various aspects of this continuum have already been explored in the courts. Justice Neuberger, in the decision at Antiquesportfolio.com v Rodney Fitch & Co. held that a photograph of a three-dimensional object would be copyrightable if some exercise of judgement of the photographer in matters of angle, lighting, film speed, and focus were involved. That exercise would create an original work. Justice Oliver similarly held, in Interlego v Tyco Industries, that “[i]t takes great skill, judgement and labour to produce a good copy by painting or to produce an enlarged photograph from a positive print, but no-one would reasonably contend that the copy, painting, or enlargement was an ‘original’ artistic work in which the copier is entitled to claim copyright. Skill, labour or judgement merely in the process of copying cannot confer originality.”.

In 2000 the Museums Copyright Group, a copyright lobbying group, commissioned a report and legal opinion on the implications of the Bridgeman case for the UK, which stated:

“Revenue raised from reproduction fees and licensing is vital to museums to support their primary educational and curatorial objectives. Museums also rely on copyright in photographs of works of art to protect their collections from inaccurate reproduction and captioning… as a matter of principle, a photograph of an artistic work can qualify for copyright protection in English law”. The report concluded by advocating that “museums must continue to lobby” to protect their interests, to prevent inferior quality images of their collections being distributed, and “not least to protect a vital source of income”.

Several people and organizations in the U.K. have been awaiting a test case that directly addresses the issue of copyrightability of exact photographic reproductions of works in other media. The commonly cited legal case Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. found that there is no originality where the aim and the result is a faithful and exact reproduction of the original work. The case was heard twice in New York, once applying UK law and once applying US law. It cited the prior UK case of Interlego v Tyco Industries (1988) in which Lord Oliver stated that “Skill, labour or judgement merely in the process of copying cannot confer originality.”

“What is important about a drawing is what is visually significant and the re-drawing of an existing drawing […] does not make it an original artistic work, however much labour and skill may have gone into the process of reproduction […]”

The Interlego judgement had itself drawn upon another UK case two years earlier, Coca-Cola Go’s Applications, in which the House of Lords drew attention to the “undesirability” of plaintiffs seeking to expand intellectual property law beyond the purpose of its creation in order to create an “undeserving monopoly”. It commented on this, that “To accord an independent artistic copyright to every such reproduction would be to enable the period of artistic copyright in what is, essentially, the same work to be extended indefinitely… ”

The Bridgeman case concluded that whether under UK or US law, such reproductions of copyright-expired material were not capable of being copyrighted.

The unsuccessful plaintiff, Bridgeman Art Library, stated in 2006 in written evidence to the House of Commons Committee on Culture, Media and Sport that it was “looking for a similar test case in the U.K. or Europe to fight which would strengthen our position”.

The National Portrait Gallery is a non-departmental public body based in London England and sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Founded in 1856, it houses a collection of portraits of historically important and famous British people. The gallery contains more than 11,000 portraits and 7,000 light-sensitive works in its Primary Collection, 320,000 in the Reference Collection, over 200,000 pictures and negatives in the Photographs Collection and a library of around 35,000 books and manuscripts. (More on the National Portrait Gallery here)

The gallery’s solicitors are Farrer & Co LLP, of London. Farrer’s clients have notably included the British Royal Family, in a case related to extracts from letters sent by Diana, Princess of Wales which were published in a book by ex-butler Paul Burrell. (In that case, the claim was deemed unlikely to succeed, as the extracts were not likely to be in breach of copyright law.)

Farrer & Co have close ties with industry interest groups related to copyright law. Peter Wienand, Head of Intellectual Property at Farrer & Co., is a member of the Executive body of the Museums Copyright Group, which is chaired by Tom Morgan, Head of Rights and Reproductions at the National Portrait Gallery. The Museums Copyright Group acts as a lobbying organization for “the interests and activities of museums and galleries in the area of [intellectual property rights]”, which reacted strongly against the Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. case.

Wikimedia Commons is a repository of images, media, and other material free for use by anyone in the world. It is operated by a community of 21,000 active volunteers, with specialist rights such as deletion and blocking restricted to around 270 experienced users in the community (known as “administrators”) who are trusted by the community to use them to enact the wishes and policies of the community. Commons is hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, a charitable body whose mission is to make available free knowledge and historic and other material which is legally distributable under US law. (More on Commons here)

The legal threat also sparked discussions of moral issues and issues of public policy in several Internet discussion fora, including Slashdot, over the weekend. One major public policy issue relates to how the public domain should be preserved.

Some of the public policy debate over the weekend has echoed earlier opinions presented by Kenneth Hamma, the executive director for Digital Policy at the J. Paul Getty Trust. Writing in D-Lib Magazine in November 2005, Hamma observed:

“Art museums and many other collecting institutions in this country hold a trove of public-domain works of art. These are works whose age precludes continued protection under copyright law. The works are the result of and evidence for human creativity over thousands of years, an activity museums celebrate by their very existence. For reasons that seem too frequently unexamined, many museums erect barriers that contribute to keeping quality images of public domain works out of the hands of the general public, of educators, and of the general milieu of creativity. In restricting access, art museums effectively take a stand against the creativity they otherwise celebrate. This conflict arises as a result of the widely accepted practice of asserting rights in the images that the museums make of the public domain works of art in their collections.”

He also stated:

“This resistance to free and unfettered access may well result from a seemingly well-grounded concern: many museums assume that an important part of their core business is the acquisition and management of rights in art works to maximum return on investment. That might be true in the case of the recording industry, but it should not be true for nonprofit institutions holding public domain art works; it is not even their secondary business. Indeed, restricting access seems all the more inappropriate when measured against a museum’s mission — a responsibility to provide public access. Their charitable, financial, and tax-exempt status demands such. The assertion of rights in public domain works of art — images that at their best closely replicate the values of the original work — differs in almost every way from the rights managed by the recording industry. Because museums and other similar collecting institutions are part of the private nonprofit sector, the obligation to treat assets as held in public trust should replace the for-profit goal. To do otherwise, undermines the very nature of what such institutions were created to do.”

Hamma observed in 2005 that “[w]hile examples of museums chasing down digital image miscreants are rare to non-existent, the expectation that museums might do so has had a stultifying effect on the development of digital image libraries for teaching and research.”

The NPG, which has been taking action with respect to these images since at least 2005, is a public body. It was established by Act of Parliament, the current Act being the Museums and Galleries Act 1992. In that Act, the NPG Board of Trustees is charged with maintaining “a collection of portraits of the most eminent persons in British history, of other works of art relevant to portraiture and of documents relating to those portraits and other works of art”. It also has the tasks of “secur[ing] that the portraits are exhibited to the public” and “generally promot[ing] the public’s enjoyment and understanding of portraiture of British persons and British history through portraiture both by means of the Board’s collection and by such other means as they consider appropriate”.

Several commentators have questioned how the NPG’s statutory goals align with its threat of legal action. Mike Masnick, founder of Techdirt, asked “The people who run the Gallery should be ashamed of themselves. They ought to go back and read their own mission statement[. …] How, exactly, does suing someone for getting those portraits more attention achieve that goal?” (external link Masnick’s). L. Sutherland of Bigmouthmedia asked “As the paintings of the NPG technically belong to the nation, does that mean that they should also belong to anyone that has access to a computer?”

Other public policy debates that have been sparked have included the applicability of U.K. courts, and U.K. law, to the actions of a U.S. citizen, residing in the U.S., uploading files to servers hosted in the U.S.. Two major schools of thought have emerged. Both see the issue as encroachment of one legal system upon another. But they differ as to which system is encroaching. One view is that the free culture movement is attempting to impose the values and laws of the U.S. legal system, including its case law such as Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp., upon the rest of the world. Another view is that a U.K. institution is attempting to control, through legal action, the actions of a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil.

David Gerard, former Press Officer for Wikimedia UK, the U.K. chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation, which has been involved with the “Wikipedia Loves Art” contest to create free content photographs of exhibits at the Victoria and Albert Museum, stated on Slashdot that “The NPG actually acknowledges in their letter that the poster’s actions were entirely legal in America, and that they’re making a threat just because they think they can. The Wikimedia community and the WMF are absolutely on the side of these public domain images remaining in the public domain. The NPG will be getting radioactive publicity from this. Imagine the NPG being known to American tourists as somewhere that sues Americans just because it thinks it can.”

Benjamin Crowell, a physics teacher at Fullerton College in California, stated that he had received a letter from the Copyright Officer at the NPG in 2004, with respect to the picture of the portrait of Isaac Newton used in his physics textbooks, that he publishes in the U.S. under a free content copyright licence, to which he had replied with a pointer to Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp..

The Wikimedia Foundation takes a similar stance. Erik Möller, the Deputy Director of the US-based Wikimedia Foundation wrote in 2008 that “we’ve consistently held that faithful reproductions of two-dimensional public domain works which are nothing more than reproductions should be considered public domain for licensing purposes”.

Contacted over the weekend, the NPG issued a statement to Wikinews:

“The National Portrait Gallery is very strongly committed to giving access to its Collection. In the past five years the Gallery has spent around £1 million digitising its Collection to make it widely available for study and enjoyment. We have so far made available on our website more than 60,000 digital images, which have attracted millions of users, and we believe this extensive programme is of great public benefit.
“The Gallery supports Wikipedia in its aim of making knowledge widely available and we would be happy for the site to use our low-resolution images, sufficient for most forms of public access, subject to safeguards. However, in March 2009 over 3000 high-resolution files were appropriated from the National Portrait Gallery website and published on Wikipedia without permission.
“The Gallery is very concerned that potential loss of licensing income from the high-resolution files threatens its ability to reinvest in its digitisation programme and so make further images available. It is one of the Gallery’s primary purposes to make as much of the Collection available as possible for the public to view.
“Digitisation involves huge costs including research, cataloguing, conservation and highly-skilled photography. Images then need to be made available on the Gallery website as part of a structured and authoritative database. To date, Wikipedia has not responded to our requests to discuss the issue and so the National Portrait Gallery has been obliged to issue a lawyer’s letter. The Gallery remains willing to enter into a dialogue with Wikipedia.

In fact, Matthew Bailey, the Gallery’s (then) Assistant Picture Library Manager, had already once been in a similar dialogue. Ryan Kaldari, an amateur photographer from Nashville, Tennessee, who also volunteers at the Wikimedia Commons, states that he was in correspondence with Bailey in October 2006. In that correspondence, according to Kaldari, he and Bailey failed to conclude any arrangement.

Jay Walsh, the Head of Communications for the Wikimedia Foundation, which hosts the Commons, called the gallery’s actions “unfortunate” in the Foundation’s statement, issued on Tuesday July 14:

“The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally. To that end, we have very productive working relationships with a number of galleries, archives, museums and libraries around the world, who join with us to make their educational materials available to the public.
“The Wikimedia Foundation does not control user behavior, nor have we reviewed every action taken by that user. Nonetheless, it is our general understanding that the user in question has behaved in accordance with our mission, with the general goal of making public domain materials available via our Wikimedia Commons project, and in accordance with applicable law.”

The Foundation added in its statement that as far as it was aware, the NPG had not attempted “constructive dialogue”, and that the volunteer community was presently discussing the matter independently.

In part, the lack of past agreement may have been because of a misunderstanding by the National Portrait Gallery of Commons and Wikipedia’s free content mandate; and of the differences between Wikipedia, the Wikimedia Foundation, the Wikimedia Commons, and the individual volunteer workers who participate on the various projects supported by the Foundation.

Like Coetzee, Ryan Kaldari is a volunteer worker who does not represent Wikipedia or the Wikimedia Commons. (Such representation is impossible. Both Wikipedia and the Commons are endeavours supported by the Wikimedia Foundation, and not organizations in themselves.) Nor, again like Coetzee, does he represent the Wikimedia Foundation.

Kaldari states that he explained the free content mandate to Bailey. Bailey had, according to copies of his messages provided by Kaldari, offered content to Wikipedia (naming as an example the photograph of John Opie‘s 1797 portrait of Mary Wollstonecraft, whose copyright term has since expired) but on condition that it not be free content, but would be subject to restrictions on its distribution that would have made it impossible to use by any of the many organizations that make use of Wikipedia articles and the Commons repository, in the way that their site-wide “usable by anyone” licences ensures.

The proposed restrictions would have also made it impossible to host the images on Wikimedia Commons. The image of the National Portrait Gallery in this article, above, is one such free content image; it was provided and uploaded to the Wikimedia Commons under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation Licence, and is thus able to be used and republished not only on Wikipedia but also on Wikinews, on other Wikimedia Foundation projects, as well as by anyone in the world, subject to the terms of the GFDL, a license that guarantees attribution is provided to the creators of the image.

As Commons has grown, many other organizations have come to different arrangements with volunteers who work at the Wikimedia Commons and at Wikipedia. For example, in February 2009, fifteen international museums including the Brooklyn Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum established a month-long competition where users were invited to visit in small teams and take high quality photographs of their non-copyright paintings and other exhibits, for upload to Wikimedia Commons and similar websites (with restrictions as to equipment, required in order to conserve the exhibits), as part of the “Wikipedia Loves Art” contest.

Approached for comment by Wikinews, Jim Killock, the executive director of the Open Rights Group, said “It’s pretty clear that these images themselves should be in the public domain. There is a clear public interest in making sure paintings and other works are usable by anyone once their term of copyright expires. This is what US courts have recognised, whatever the situation in UK law.”

The Digital Britain report, issued by the U.K.’s Department for Culture, Media, and Sport in June 2009, stated that “Public cultural institutions like Tate, the Royal Opera House, the RSC, the Film Council and many other museums, libraries, archives and galleries around the country now reach a wider public online.” Culture minster Ben Bradshaw was also approached by Wikinews for comment on the public policy issues surrounding the on-line availability of works in the public domain held in galleries, re-raised by the NPG’s threat of legal action, but had not responded by publication time.

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Common Sense Advisory announces size of worldwide translation and localization market and ranking of top 20 language services companies

Category : Uncategorized

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Common Sense Advisory, Inc., an independent business globalization, internationalization, and localization and translation research and consulting firm, announces the release of its list of the top 20 language service providers (LSPs) and its estimate of the size of worldwide translation and software localization market. The list, which includes Lionbridge (LIOX) and L-3/Titan (LLL) is based on the firm’s Human Delivered Service Company (HDSC) Index, a sophisticated assessment model that evaluates the business fundamentals, market strength, and service offerings of companies that depend on people to produce most of their revenue. The ranking of translation companies reflects recent industry mergers and acquisitions including Lionbridge’s acquisition of Bowne Global Solutions, a unit of Bowne & Co, (BNE).

Common Sense Advisory also estimates the current worldwide translation and localization market at US$ 8.8 billion, reaching a total of US$ 12 billion in 2010. “This figure is particularly relevant at a time where the market seems to be entering a new wave of consolidation,” comments analyst Renato Beninatto.

Explains Common Sense Advisory founder and CEO, Donald A. DePalma, “Many language services companies want to get bigger. Our certification model lets us benchmark one company against comparable language services firms, against offshore providers providing a full range of engineering and localization offerings, and against the service firms that make up our own innovative HDSC Index. This information is valuable to any procurement department – not to mention to any LSP thinking about where it fits in the marketplace relative to its competitors.”

Ranking of Top 20 Translation Companies is now available for free download.

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The Secrets Of Car Spray Paint Restoration And Bodywork Repair

By Mario Goldstein

Auto body Repairs Using Sand Blasting Equipment

A restoration requires you to make a choice as to which method you are going to use. In order to do this you really need to categorize the levels of restoration.

Category One – Light to Medium fix ups

Mechanical repairs and repainting

The basic mechanical work is done first to ensure safety of the vehicle components. This followed by minor body works and refinishing touch ups.

Mechanical repairs with replacements and refinishing

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Some mechanical parts are replaced as needed. Little more detail is required in the bodywork.

Category Two – In Depth Restoration

Similar to the mechanical repairs with replacements with the refinishing more in depth. Some taking apart of the vehicle is required to attend to rust and corrosion of key parts. Items have to cleaned, refurbished or replaced such as drive train parts, suspension and underbody parts. Close color match of body is required and trim may need replacing. Cars restored under this category are often pampered and not used on a daily basis.

Category Three – Just off the Assembly Line

Restoration here entails making the car look like it’s just been manufactured. Showroom quality. No body fill can be used in these restorations as well as fiberglass body panels except for some Corvettes.

Category Four – Show Piece

This is the museum category and is really not applicable because they are those that are only found in the Museums.

Getting Down to Sandblasting

Sandblasters work off of compressed air and are either pressure feed or suction feed which are the cheaper of the two. The only drawback is that part of their energy goes into drawing up the material however; they don’t require an expensive pressure tank.

Pressure feeds do require a pressurized tank, but they work extremely well.

Sandblasting is effective cost saving and messy. Should only be done outdoors. With the right grade of sand the results taking it right down to the metal and removing the rust pits. It works effectively on other parts as well. Make sure you apply a flash rust treatment to prevent rust till you get the primer on.

The one thing to remember about sandblasting is do not over do it. As soon as you hit the bare metal stop.

You can use silica sand for various other grades just be sure to be careful with what you use. For light touches, you can use the ground or English walnut shells.

The siphon blasters are a lot less expensive than the pressure blasters. Remember to remove the hardware and trim before blasting and make sure you wear the proper body protection as well ensuring you have a proper hood and gloves. Preferably, a supplied air hood would be ideal.

Sandblasting can be extremely effective provided the right techniques, tools and materials are used in a safe environment. Many individuals are against sand blasting because of the damage it can cause. They are right it can work against you but only if you go beyond what is required. The whole key to success is stopping when you hit the bare metal.

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Las Vegas ‘chili finger’ woman has history of lawsuits

Category : Uncategorized

Story sources
  • Barbara Grady, Reuters. “Wendy’s Offer Reward Over Chilli Finger” — xtra msn, April 11, 2005
  • Dave Murphy and Ryan Kim. “Loyalists still visit the Wendy’s, Some even get the chili, although business is down” — San Francisco Chronicle, April 10, 2005
  • Dan Reed, Crystal Carreon. “Scrutiny intensifies for woman who found finger in chili” — AJC, April 10, 2005
  • Ken Ritter, AP. “Wendy’s finger finder has litigious history” — Las Vegas Review-Journal, April 9, 2005
  • Brandon Bailey and Rodney Foo. “Finger-finder involved in other claims” — San Jose Mercury News, April 9, 2005
  • Rachel Konrad, AP. “Woman who claimed to find finger at Wendy’s has litigious history” — San Jose Mercury News, April 8, 2005
  • Brian Haynes. “Chili investigation comes to Las Vegas” — Las Vegas Review-Journal, April 8, 2005

Monday, April 11, 2005

Anna Ayala, the Las Vegas woman who claims to have found the notorious “chili finger” at a Wendy’s outlet in San Jose, California, has filed lawsuits against other businesses, according to researchers at the Associated Press. Her previous court battles included the national El Pollo Loco chicken-chain, a previous employer, and even General Motors.

Ayala successfully won her suit for medical expenses against El Pollo Loco, after her daughter Genesis contracted salmonella poisoning from eating at the restaurant. However, Ayala lost another suit in 2000 claiming that a wheel fell off her car.

Ayala’s original account of the incident spoke “emotionally and with disgust” to the San Jose Mercury News when she described it to the paper.

“Lies, lies, lies, that’s all I am hearing. They should look at Wendy’s. What are they hiding? Why are we being victimized again and again?” Ayala recently told The Associated Press. Ayala is now in her Las Vegas home, avoiding reporters.

“It doesn’t prove anything,” family spokesman Ken Bono told the San Francisco Chronicle. “My mom has 10 lawsuits. A lot of people have lawsuits. Why would she sue for money? She has plenty of money,” he said.

Nick Muyo, a spokesman for the San Jose Police department, said not to expect new information in the case for at least a week.

“We just want to step back and take a deep breath,” Muyo told Knight Ridder Newspapers. “From a law enforcement point of view, once you establish it is a human finger, you have to wonder is this a case of industrial accident or is this a case of unreported homicide,” he said.

Las Vegas police searched Anna Ayala’s home on Wednesday, retrieving a cooler and other effects from her home, such as a makeup case.

Despite the incident, which has dramatically reduced sales at Northern California Wendy’s outlets, die-hard Wendy’s fans are still turning up for lunch, even at the outlet where the finger was found, at 1405 Monterey Highway, just south of downtown San Jose.

“We’ve eaten here for years,” a police officer told the San Francisco Chronicle under the condition that he remain anonymous. “They’re very nice people. When we work Spartan Stadium, we always eat here,” he said.

San Jose City Council candidate Andrew Diaz still eats the chili. And he witnessed the finger discovery.

“I walked away real slow,” Diaz told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I didn’t want any commotion,” he said.

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Bangkok hit with further New Year bomb blasts

Category : Uncategorized

Monday, January 1, 2007

More bombs went off just after midnight (0500 GMT) on New Year’s Day in Bangkok, injuring eight people near a shopping mall where hours before a New Year’s Eve countdown was cancelled due to a string of six bombings earlier in the evening.

The first bomb exploded at a seafood restaurant on the Saen Saeb Canal near Pratunam Pier just seconds after midnight.

Three foreigners and two Thais were injured. One of the foreigners had her legs amputated by the blast, according to television and local newspaper reports. The foreign tourists were having dinner at the restaurant.

Police said the bomb was hidden in a tire at the pier.

A second bomb exploded in a telephone booth near a pedestrian bridge at CentralWorld, where thousands of people had gathered earlier in the evening for a countdown party and had been urged by authorities to leave the area and go home. Several foreigners were injured and rushed to hospitals.

Another bomb was found and disposed of without incident at Suan Lum Night Bazaar, another late-night venue for tourists.

A possible bomb was investigated at Buddy Bar, a popular music venue on Khaosan Road. It turned out to be a false report. Police had earlier closed the venue and other bars on the street frequented by backpackers, urging people to return to their hotels and guesthouses.

Earlier in the evening, bombs had gone off at six locations across the city, from about 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Twenty-five people were injured and three later died at hospitals from their injuries. The biggest toll was at Victory Monument, where 17 people were injured, two of them dying from their injuries. Other targets were a police booth at Saphan Kwai intersection, where two people were injured, and a market in Khlong Toei, where three people were injured, one fatally. At Seacon Square shopping mall, a bomb was found in a trash can inside the mall and taken to the parking lot, where it exploded without injuring anyone. Police booths on Sukhumvit Soi 62 and in suburban Nonthaburi were also hit, but there were no injuries.

After the bombings, Bangkok Governor Apirak Kosayothin had ordered the cancellation of the countdown celebrations at Central World and Sanam Luang and other smaller ones.

“Due to several bomb explosions in Bangkok and for the sake of peace and security, I would ask all of you to return to your homes now,” Apirak told a crowd of around 5,000 people at CentralWorld. Most of the crowd dispersed quickly and calmly.

Army Commander-in-Chief General Sonthi Boonyaratglin ordered soldiers deployed around the capital. Security was intensified on the Metro and Skytrain rail systems. The Skytrain cancelled plans to run all night and closed at midnight as usual. Department stores closed early.

Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont visited victims at a local hospital. He appeared on television looking tense, telling reporters he didn’t know who was responsible for the attacks.

Surayud was appointed premier after a coup d’état on September 19 in which the military led by Sonthi ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

The Nation newspaper quoted a “security source” as saying “the old power clique” was behind the bombing.

However, there is also the ongoing violence by Muslim separatists in the South Thailand insurgency, which has left 1,900 people dead since 2004.

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Surgeons reattach boy’s three severed limbs

Category : Uncategorized

Tuesday, March 29, 2005A team of Australian surgeons yesterday reattached both hands and one foot to 10-year-old Perth boy, Terry Vo, after a brick wall which collapsed during a game of basketball fell on him, severing the limbs. The wall gave way while Terry performed a slam-dunk, during a game at a friend’s birthday party.

The boy was today awake and smiling, still in some pain but in good spirits and expected to make a full recovery, according to plastic surgeon, Mr Robert Love.

“What we have is parts that are very much alive so the reattached limbs are certainly pink, well perfused and are indeed moving,” Mr Love told reporters today.

“The fact that he is moving his fingers, and of course when he wakes up he will move both fingers and toes, is not a surprise,” Mr Love had said yesterday.

“The question is more the sensory return that he will get in the hand itself and the fine movements he will have in the fingers and the toes, and that will come with time, hopefully. We will assess that over the next 18 months to two years.

“I’m sure that he’ll enjoy a game of basketball in the future.”

The weight and force of the collapse, and the sharp brick edges, resulted in the three limbs being cut through about 7cm above the wrists and ankle.

Terry’s father Tan said of his only child, the injuries were terrible, “I was scared to look at him, a horrible thing.”

The hands and foot were placed in an ice-filled Esky and rushed to hospital with the boy, where three teams of medical experts were assembled, and he was given a blood transfusion after experiencing massive blood loss. Eight hours of complex micro-surgery on Saturday night were followed by a further two hours of skin grafts yesterday.

“What he will lose because it was such a large zone of traumatised skin and muscle and so on, he will lose some of the skin so he’ll certainly require lots of further surgery regardless of whether the skin survives,” said Mr Love said today.

The boy was kept unconscious under anaesthetic between the two procedures. In an interview yesterday, Mr Love explained why:

“He could have actually been woken up the next day. Because we were intending to take him back to theatre for a second look, to look at the traumatised skin flaps, to close more of his wounds and to do split skin grafting, it was felt the best thing to do would be to keep him stable and to keep him anaesthetised.”

Professor Wayne Morrison, director of the respected Bernard O’Brien Institute of Microsurgery and head of plastic and hand surgery at Melbourne’s St Vincent’s Hospital, said he believed the operation to be a world first.

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