Ideas, Linked; Ideals, Inked.

Associated Press: “It’s Okay If WE Do It.”

I saw this article (from the AP on ESPN) today, about a push to bring the to bring a version of cricket called Twenty20 to the US. According to the article:

A Twenty20 game is a shortened version of cricket, completed in about 3½ hours to bring it closer to the length of other sports played in the United States.

Emphasis added. I wanted more information, so I went to the Wikipedia page on Twenty20 cricket, where I saw this sentence:

A Twenty20 game is completed in about three and half hours, with each innings lasting around 75 minutes, thus bringing the game closer to the timespan of other popular team sports.

Emphasis added. If you’re me, you’ll notice immediately the parallel structure of the sentences, and the fact that a thesaurus appeared to be used to change the words in the last clause (without actually changing the meaning). I cannot fathom that these are NOT copied from each other. The question is which came first.

This could have been an enthusiastic Wikipedia editor, so I checked the history page of the article, which tracks every change. It turns out that Wikipedia had it first. Here is a link to the 10 July 2009 version of the article.

Let me repeat, to be clear: Wikipedia Had It First. Which means an AP writer or editor cribbed directly from Wikipedia, changed some words, and put it in the article.

In and of itself, that is not the problem. Wikipedia is, in fact, fine with this.

The problem is copyright licenses. According to the copyright license that Wikipedia uses, if you use or re-purpose content from a Wikipedia article, the new work must have a “compatible license”.  In this case, that means the article must…

  1. Attribute Wikipedia as the source.
  2. Have a “share-alike” provision in the license which allows others to copy and re-purpose the entire adapted work as they see fit.

That means the entire AP article should, by rights, be open to re-use. However, the AP violates Wikipedia’s license – the restrictive AP copyright license is NOT compatible with Wikipedia’s open “share-alike” license. So, the AP, as far as I can reasonably tell, is violating Wikipedia’s copyright by not attributing and not having a compatible license.

Of course, in a vacuum, this is an isolated incident. But, in the real world, this flies in the face of the AP’sclaims against Shepherd Fairey, the artist who created the iconic “Obama HOPE” poster. Details of this case, in bullet form:

  • Mr. Fairey used a photo (found on Google image search) to inspire the look of the painting.
  • Nobody (Fairey included) knew the the owner of source photo of the iconic painting at first. It was thought to be a Reutrers photo for a time.
  • Someone tracked down the original, Fairey said, “yup, that one”, and the AP claimed ownership.
  • Incidentally, the photographer claims to be the owner of the photo as well, and that the AP doesn’t own it.
  • The AP claims that they deserve to “get permission”, and that the poster is a copyright violation.
  • Fairey’s lawyer and the AP’s lawyer started talking.
  • According to Fairey at a talk at the New York Public Library in March (which I attended), he was happy to pay the original usage rights he should have paid, but he did not know the identity of the owner.
  • According to Fairey, the AP had some demands (take with grain of salt, but the guy seemed like a straight shooter).
    • Demand 1: usage rights for the value of the photo after Mr. Fairey’s painting made it valuable. (Prior to that, it had one of the lowest usage rights for that type of image, which alone is anything but iconic.)
    • Demand 2: Damages.
    • Demand 3 (Possibly): A piece of the profits (since it was their photo that led to the poster).
  • Fairey claims the use of the photo was clearly within the bounds of “fair use”.
  • Fairey sued for declamatory judgement against the AP’s copyright claim on his poster.

Here’s an article on the Fairey matter.

So… The AP can crib other people’s work without following the rules, but a guy can’t use a photo in what is widely considered to be a CLEAR case of fair use? Well done, AP.

Yup… I got all that from an article on cricket in the US.


Filed under: Culture, Politics, Tech, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , ,

Need for Public Healthcare

To all those opposing a public option (essentially, a Medicare-for-all option to all Americans), here’s a simple way to explain the problem:

Assuming the 48 million number bandied about as the number of uninsured people, the equivalent population of 26 states are not covered!

District of Columbia
New Hampshire
New Mexico
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Dakota
West Virginia

And that doesn’t even cover the under-insured. If the estimates aof some 55 million are correct, add Louisiana to the list.

27 states people. Come on! Get it done, and with the public option.

EDIT: I pulled my data directly from population tables, sorted from lowest-to-highest, and kept adding till I got close to 48 million.

Filed under: Philosophy, Politics, Uncategorized, , , ,


OR: How We Got Here…

This American Life has a great episode on the financial crisis. This is required listening, and easily explains the entire situation. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Podcast Download Here, from NPR’s This American Life

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , , ,

On Being Busy…

It has been quite a busy past “couple” months. Suffice it to say, I’m back, and will be commenting on the ongoing election campaign, among other things, such as steroids, religion, and the general state of things in my world.

Questions and ideas for topics are always appreciated.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Where I Went

Some of you may be wondering why I hadn’t posted in three weeks. In essecnce, personal concerns got in the way, and then Thanksgiving here in the US (during which I was away from my computer). I’m back, though, and have a couple things in store, including catching up on all the developing posts…

Stay tuned.

Filed under: Uncategorized


Just added the “About Idealink” and the “Glossary“. I’d like to have the Glossary show up on the right-hand side of the About Idealink page. But on the About page, no right-hand bar shows up. So… I guess the Glossary will live at the top until I figure it out.

About this post: while all true, this post is a commentary on most “early blog postings”. In fact, WordPress and Blogger should just include the “I’m still trying to figure this out so please bear with me”-style post pre-loaded. You simply choose the post that best describes your plight from a drop-down menu, and you have a quick auto-generated blog posting, to get you rolling.

In fact, while we’re at it, there should also be the “I’m still alive, even if I’m not posting” list, as well as the “I no longer regularly post to this blog, and here’s a cursory throwaway post that says as much”, the “wow, I just remembered I have this blog”, the “I’ve been doing this for so long, that I’m jaded”, the “I just moved this blog over from another site and getting my bearings”, the “I recently put a lot of effort into organizing stuff, so check it out”, and the “I’m commenting on the phenomenon of blogging” lists. File this half of the post under those last couple.

Oh… Returning to the original point. Any help with the right-hand bar thingie?

PS – “thingie” is a necessary word in the “early blog posting” genre. Maybe I should add it to the glossary.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Things On My Mind



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Idealink by vijtable is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
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