Copyright...blah,blah, blah

A couple of weeks ago there was a dust-up concerning the Associated Press and their rather selective interpretation of the Copyright laws of these United States. It seems the AP had been very hostile to a blogger who had been posting and commenting the AP's news photos, and then had almost immediately turned around and mis-appropriated the personal photos of one newly famous call girl that had been posted on a personal blog.


The best part is that if you check out the Spitzer article in the March 24th print edition of Newsweek, you can again find one of Ashley Dupré's personal photos, but Newsweek is kind enough to give photo credit to "AP". I guess there is honor among thieves...

Now I related that copyright story to bring up another one.

Many years ago, the U.S. Navy stood tall and shot down some Libyan MiG-23s. I remember it distinctly as I was a High School military geek, and even got the first CNN airing of the Pentagon release on videotape. This was before videos of military action were commonplace, and I remember the pilot's audio comms vividly.

So why would I bring this up after an unrelated story about copyright?? Well, some audio from that actual Mediterranean dogfight (some of which is at ~1:00 of the video above) can be found in the movie "Under Siege" in the scene when an F-18 does a flyby of the USS Missouri.

So my question is, if you are a member of the U.S. military, and your likeness/voice/etc is used by the media or Hollywood in a commercial venture, are you entitled to any royalties from that venture??

Should the pilot of that F-14 be owed royalties for his 'performance' in "Under Siege"?


Passport to Deceit

Somebody at the State Dept has been snooping into Obama's passport record. Tsk, tsk.

Obama's spokesman says:
"This is an outrageous breach of security and privacy, even from an administration that has shown little regard for either over the last eight years," Burton said. "Our government's duty is to protect the private information of the American people, not use it for political purposes."
Now the State Dept has never been an out-post of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, even after 7 years of the Bush Administration (That is right Obama spokesman guy, it has been 7 not 8 years. Do the math). So, the odds are better than even that these people might not vote Republican.

To make this even more interesting, Hillary's spokeswoman said:
"It's outrageous and the Bush administration has to get to the bottom of it."
Isn't that rich. If I learned one thing from the Clinton Presidency, it is that if they accused the Republicans of doing something untoward, you could be damn sure it something they were doing themselves. Classic misdirection....

And if Hillary is *really* concerned about this 'outrageous' breach of privacy, I guess she must have actually learned something from when her husband's Administration illegally gathered all those FBI files of former Bush White House staffers.

Or, given the odds noted above, perhaps not.....


Apples & Trigger Locks

Confederate Yankee and Instapundit point out a fun Reuters article about gun collectors. It includes this graph:
The American affinity for guns may puzzle foreigners who link high ownership rates and liberal gun ownership laws to the 84 gun deaths and 34 gun homicides that occur in the United States each day and wonder why gun control is not an issue in the U.S. presidential election.

The owners are not just urban criminals and drug dealers. There are hunters and home security advocates, and then there are the gun collectors.
Now Gun Control advocates *love* to mix Apples and Oranges. In other words, mixing the criminals in with the legitimate gun owners, so that they can tar & feather the entire issue with the crimes of the former to obscure the lack of crimes by the latter.

I am willing to assume that the phrase "owners are not just urban criminals and drug dealers" is due more to the reporter's ignorance than to any deliberate attempt to mix those apples and oranges. In that spirit, I would like to point out to said reporter that 99% of the time criminals and drug dealers are not "gun owners", they are "gun possessors". There is a difference.

Legitimate gun owners and collectors actually legally purchase their weapons, and are in an entirely different category than those who come by their weapons through illegal commerce or theft, and possess them for the express reason to assist in the commission of other crimes.

In the future, please do not lump them together.

It is kind of like mixing together Governors who go home to their families, and Governors who hire prostitutes.....

Apples and Oranges.


Call of Duty

Well, the time has come...just a bit quicker than expected.

Afghanistan, here I come....

I have known I would be deploying for some time now. However with a sudden change in training requirements, I am leaving home this week on only a few days notice.

It is always fun telling your spouse that you are leaving in a few days, and won't be home for 10 months.

As I said, the deployment was expected, but the training requirement that will end up lasting a full 50% of the actual deployment was not.

Like many others in service, particularly in the Army with their prolonged deployments, there will be things that I miss while I am gone. My 40th birthday with my family. My son's 2nd birthday. Halloween, Thanksgiving, etc.... But I cannot complain. It is part of my service to my nation. I have known this since the day I joined. Of course things are always easier when you are a single 20-something, not an almost-40 husband and father. Such is life....

So in a couple of days I will be off on another grand adventure that will start with several weeks of Air Force training, another few weeks of Army Huah training (where they will teach me to shoot bigger guns, drive Humvees, and sleep in barracks), and finish with my third trip to the sandbox.

I am not sure what the future holds on the blogging front. I intend to go on as normal as long as I have access. I will be taking along my intrepid, and recently revived Apple iBook. It has already been to Qatar and Iraq, so lets hope it will survive my summer vacation in the shadow of the Hindu Kush.

While it is always an honor to serve, no matter what your role, it does seem a little more relevant if you do it on the front lines. This war is the defining moment of my generation, and to crib a famous quote, "There is hardly such a thing as a war in which it makes no difference who wins"

So, away I go....