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CNN To Release Debates Under Creative Commons

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the coming-to-their-senses dept.

Television 151

remove office writes "After calls from several prominent bloggers and a couple of presidential candidates, CNN has agreed to release the footage from its upcoming June presidential debates uncopyrighted. Senator Barack Obama was the first candidate to call for all presidential debates to be released under Creative Commons, with fellow Democratic hopeful John Edwards following shortly afterwards. CNN will be the first to do so with their June 3rd and 5th Democratic and Republican debates. MSNBC hosted the first presidential debates recently but refused to release them under Creative Commons, opting instead to post online only commercial-ridden clips in Windows Media format."

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On a closely related sidenote: (5, Insightful)

c0l0 (826165) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006201)

To license (creative) work under a Creative Commons license does NOT mean to have that stuff "uncopyrighted" - not even outside of Europe, where copyright is mandatory and cannot be renounced at all (except for by the death of the work's author having passed for some 70 years or so).
"Uncopyrighted" would probably mean to have the work put into the public domain - that's, however, not true for the CC-licenses, nor is it for any other "free" license (like GNU GPL, GNU FDL, BSDL, MITL and Co.) I know. All these licenses cleverly make use of copyright to guarantee certain freedoms and/or restrictions.

Re:On a closely related sidenote: (3, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006253)

There is no-where in the world where you are prohibited from disclaiming copyright on a work.

I don't know how that rumour got started.

Re:On a closely related sidenote: (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19006315)

There is no-where in the world where you are prohibited from disclaiming copyright on a work.

Untrue. I've prohibited it in my house. If you want to disclaim copyright on a work then you can go someplace else and do it. My house, my rules.

Re:On a closely related sidenote: (3, Funny)

essence (812715) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006401)

Untrue. I've prohibited it in my house. If you want to disclaim copyright on a work then you can go someplace else and do it. My house, my rules.
Likewise, cannabis isn't illegal at my place.

It's the sort of thinking we need to overthrow this system. Start thinking of ourselves as sovereign peoples, sovereign households - streets - communities.

Re:On a closely related sidenote: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19006651)

Really? And are we going to load-shed the ultra-civilized muggings like Social Security, etc. as well?
Are you ready to go seriously libertarian, or are you just op-testing your keyboard?

Re:On a closely related sidenote: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19007383)

Social Security will be dead long before I'm ready to collect it. All it does is take a substantial portion of my salary right now. Yeah, I think I could do without that. The only social services I'm really thankful for are the free healthcare and high quality education... oh, wait.

Is that the best you can do? If so, let's divide this fucker up into a few thousand fiefdoms and go to town.

Could it be worse? Sure. Could it be worse with all the wealth our economy produces? Probably, but give it a few years and we'll be there.

Re:On a closely related sidenote: (1)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 7 years ago | (#19008291)

After all, what have the Romans ever done for us?

Re:On a closely related sidenote: (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19006743)

Start thinking of ourselves as sovereign peoples, sovereign households - streets - communities.

I've lived in places where this happens, like West Philly where I am now. People get shot for walking down the wrong street.

Re:On a closely related sidenote: (1, Flamebait)

Xizer (794030) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006857)

Then criminals can have rape houses where rape isn't illegal, houses where child molestation is legal, distribution centers for illegal weapons... What a great idea!

Re:On a closely related sidenote: (2, Insightful)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007087)

So, don't go to the rape house and you won't get raped. Keep your kids away from the molestation house. And avoid the weapons house, but if the weapons weren't illegal in the first place, there'd be no issue there.

Re:On a closely related sidenote: (2, Insightful)

essence (812715) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007309)

Then criminals can have rape houses where rape isn't illegal, houses where child molestation is legal, distribution centers for illegal weapons... What a great idea!
Take the idea of the sovereign individual. Everyone has their own sovereignty. Now rape houses and molestation houses are clearly a violation of the individuals sovereignty. Saying you have the sovereign right to abuse someone elses sovereignty is not really what I was thinking.

The idea of anarchy is that you can do what you like so long as you are not denying others of their freedom.

Re:On a closely related sidenote: (1)

mushadv (909107) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007619)

The idea of anarchy is that you can do what you like so long as you are not denying others of their freedom.

Wha? I thought that was libertarianism.

Re:On a closely related sidenote: (1)

bhsx (458600) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007849)

The idea of anarchy is that you can do what you like so long as you are not denying others of their freedom. Wha? I thought that was libertarianism.
Nah, It's Wiccan [wikipedia.org] .
En et harm none, do what ye will...

Re:On a closely related sidenote: (1)

zsau (266209) | more than 7 years ago | (#19008399)

Not even close. The anonymous coward is prohibiting something that's legal on his turf. This is quite reasonable: no-one's allowed to smoke in my house (but smoking is legal); you're not (generally) allowed to eat in a library (but eating is legal).

Your criminal houses are trying to allow something that's prohibited. This is not possible, for the very good reason you point out.

In general, you can forbid thing's that aren't; but you can't allow things that are forbidden. Unless you're forbidden from forbidding it; you can't forbid someone from ever leaving your house (i.e. imprisoning them) for instance!

Re:On a closely related sidenote: (1)

Plutonite (999141) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007011)

That's funny, I didn't know you had internet access in jail :)

On a serious note, this is NOT the thinking we need at all. It's the sort of thinking that will get you behind bars, that's all. Protesting against the system should be done by voting, not by violating the laws you disagree with. We cannot ignore the apparatus of democracy and then claim that the system failed us. I personally don't think we have become a totalitarian country (US) just yet, and if anybody was about to refute me by saying that, please consider that a solution to a problem of that size will likely need more than a little cannabis.

Re:On a closely related sidenote: (1, Troll)

essence (812715) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007331)

Protesting against the system should be done by voting
You really are deluded. Is your life that hunky dory?

So I get to vote every 3 years or so (Im in Australia) and neither of the major parties that always take power represent me. It's bullshit. Voting does nothing. The major parties are paid for by big business. And because they have the most money, they can afford more advertising etc to brainwash all the people who take no interest in politics.

Re:On a closely related sidenote: (2, Interesting)

Plutonite (999141) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007487)

Hey, I'm with you there. You guys have it easy in Australia, down here (good ole US of A) we WISH it was only about fighting corporations, rather than masses of extreme right wing/evangelist nutjobs. I never said voting changes anything, but in a democracy voting has a better chance of changing something than breaking the laws that exist because of the fact that we put democracy into use.

Also, nobody said that democracy is ideal in any way. If science was as fanatically reliant on public consensus, we would be in caves right now. But governance and morality is a different matter, and I am willing to give in to the (mistaken) majority if the only other option is to force my view on that majority. That's totalitarianism, and is doupleplusunnice. And if I violate the law, why shouldn't everybody else who is as convinced in their viewpoint as I?

Many share the view that democracy is a shitty system, but nobody has yet suggested viable alternatives. Maybe in the future we will have systems where pluralism is a more mature concept and points of view are "weighted" so as to defeat the herd-mentality problem, but for now, chaos cannot replace democracy while retaining civilization.

Re:On a closely related sidenote: (4, Informative)

a_n_d_e_r_s (136412) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006515)

In Sweden one can only publish books that are copyrighted. Any book that has noone claiming copyright for it means that the printer of the book are forced to take the responsibilty _and_ the copyright for the book. If the original author are found he/she cant disclaim their copyright.

Thus all books are copyrighted by someone - but it may not always be the original author.

  Thus every book published will have someone who holds the books copyright.

I doubt Sweden is the only country that have laws like this.

Re:On a closely related sidenote: (2, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006617)

Sounds to me like Sweden has no concept of a public domain at all then.

Which, of course, is absurd.

Don't let the americans find out.

Re:On a closely related sidenote: (1)

watchingeyes (1097855) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006619)

You mean retarded laws that make no sense? You're right, I think every country in the world has and continues to dabble in that area.

Re:On a closely related sidenote: (2, Funny)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006681)

Cool, good thing I've already claimed copyright on the bible in Sweden. I have to go call my lawyer now, a have a feeling I need to sue a TON of people.

Re:On a closely related sidenote: (2, Interesting)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006729)

In Sweden one can only publish books that are copyrighted. Any book that has noone claiming copyright for it means that the printer of the book are forced to take the responsibilty _and_ the copyright for the book. If the original author are found he/she cant disclaim their copyright.

Thus all books are copyrighted by someone - but it may not always be the original author.
What happens when a publisher or author who owns a copyright dies without heirs? Or if an author submits a book to a publisher using a false id? Or if a publisher prints a book anonymously?

Thus all books are copyrighted by someone - but it may not always be the original author.

Thus every book published will have someone who holds the books copyright.
Hmmm...sorry, but I'm really sceptical about this claim. Got any references to substantiate it?

Re:On a closely related sidenote: (1)

emurphy42 (631808) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007623)

Presumably this is why e.g. Wikipedia offers things like "I release this to the public domain; if that doesn't work for some reason, then I grant anyone the right to use this in any way".

Out of curiosity, does anyone know the reasoning behind the no-public-domain law?

Re:On a closely related sidenote: (1)

pfhlick (900680) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006279)

This is still a step in the right direction. I am looking forward to see what people will do online with this footage. I think that this is an important step for the democratic process in the United States, an inevitable consequence of information technology and the web. The next presidents will be under intense scrutiny by far more people than ever before. The internet is changing the way we choose our leadership and has the potential to make our leaders more accountable to us.

Even worse than that... (1)

YA_Python_dev (885173) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006297)

It's even worse: using a Creative Commons license doesn't mean what most people think! Some of those licenses are free/open source, but others are proprietary!

Re:Even worse than that... (4, Funny)

Jarjarthejedi (996957) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006335)

No! Not Proprietary! Anything but Proprietary! Ahh! It burns! It burns us!

(Sorry but the enthusiasm with which you said that was a little much or at least that's how I read it :P)

Re:Even worse than that... (1)

YA_Python_dev (885173) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006815)

No problem, that was funny. ;-)

"uncopyrighted" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19006331)

Sure but on the other hand it's just plain sad that releasing something with a permissive license is so uncommon that there isn't one word in the dictionary that can accurately represent this concept.

Re:On a closely related sidenote: (2)

Bacon Bits (926911) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006475)

That's why I like the Creative Commons logo. It has the nifty slogan "Some rights reserved."

Re:On a closely related sidenote: (1)

morrison (40043) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007085)

There is at least one OSI-approved free license that is based on contract law instead of upon copyright law: the NASA Open Source Agreement [opensource.org] (NOSA). The terms in the agreement do not require copyright (though that certainly strengthens the agreement enforceability) since the U.S. Government cannot claim copyright on original works within the U.S. per U.S. law, though they can be claimed internationally. Copyright in the U.S. can generally only be acquired through copyright assignment (e.g., from a contractor) so having an Open Source agreement that does not rely upon copyright is crucial for many government-owned codes.

The NOSA was tentatively considered for BRL-CAD [brlcad.org] and was the prevailing option for a while, though BRL-CAD ultimately ended up under the LGPL and BSD license (each for different parts of the package). That consideration was entirely due to copyright issues with the (large) codebase, though copyright was ultimately acquired (through assignment) allowing for the adoption of more familiar Open Source licenses.

Re:On a closely related sidenote: (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007119)

"not even outside of Europe, where copyright is mandatory and cannot be renounced at all"

Nice made up bullshit, bozo.

On another note -- kickass CNN! This is a good deal for everyone (CNN literally gets their logo plastered ALL OVER the place)

Re:On a closely related sidenote: (2)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007609)

[...] nor is it for any other "free" license (like GNU GPL, GNU FDL, BSDL, MITL and Co.) I know. All these licenses cleverly make use of copyright to guarantee certain freedoms and/or restrictions.

The BSD, MIT, and a few other licenses, are such a tiny step away from public domain, that it's pointless (and pedantic) to go out of your way to make the distinction.

Yeah, you aren't allowed to change those 3 lines at the top of every .c file, but that is all.

Uncopyrighted... (2, Funny)

26199 (577806) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006203)

Is of course quite different from a Creative Commons license. (Assuming by "uncopyrighted" they mean "into the public domain").

Seems like a good idea, anyway. What's the point of having a debate if you don't let people debate the debate?

(That was a rhetorical question, please don't comment on it).

Re:Uncopyrighted... (4, Funny)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006257)

Seems like a good idea, anyway. What's the point of having a debate if you don't let people debate the debate?

(That was a rhetorical question, please don't comment on it).
What's the point of making a comment if you don't let people comment on it?

Re:Uncopyrighted... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19006341)

What's the point of making a comment if you don't let people comment on it?
What's the point of replying if you don't contribute to the discussion?

oh wait...

Re:Uncopyrighted... (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006259)

Seems like a good idea, anyway. What's the point of having a debate if you don't let people debate the debate?
I think this is a good trend. Once the debate is recorded, let it be debated over and over again on the Internet. Perhaps this will one day lead to more honest campaigns and candidates. I'd like to see each of the debaters face the record of their campaign, by being presented with whatever the Internet has to say about them, including their voting history (what they supported and didn't) for the last 15 years or so. I would hope that this would keep the debates and election from being about the buzzword issues only.

Creative Commons != copyright free (1)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006255)

The article and summary seem to be treating "Creative Commons" and "copyright free" as synonyms. This is not the case. "Creative Commons" is an umbrella term for a number of different licenses and a dedication to the public domain. It's entirely possible (and usually the case) that Creative Commons works are copyrighted and not in the public domain.

Does anybody know if they are really dedicating the footage to the public domain, or are they using one of the more restrictive CC licenses?

Re:Creative Commons != copyright free (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006285)

It's entirely possible (and usually the case) that Creative Commons works are copyrighted and not in the public domain.
It's more than usually the case.. if something is in the public domain, you don't need a license.

Does anybody know if they are really dedicating the footage to the public domain, or are they using one of the more restrictive CC licenses?
Read the fucking article.. it's one click away..

Re:Creative Commons != copyright free (1)

vain gloria (831093) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006545)

It's more than usually the case.. if something is in the public domain, you don't need a license.
You know that and I know that. Just to muddy the waters however, creativecommons.org does in fact provide a PD licence [creativecommons.org] (dedication?) as one of its options.

Re:Creative Commons != copyright free (1)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006723)

It's more than usually the case.. if something is in the public domain, you don't need a license.

Yes, but as Vain Gloria points out, Creative Commons offers a public domain dedication too. In common usage, the term "Creative Commons works" include those works that have been dedicated to the public domain using the CC dedication.

Read the fucking article.. it's one click away..

Read my fucking comment. The article seems confused. It says "uncopyrighted" in the headline, but keeps talking about licenses in the body.

Re:Creative Commons != copyright free (4, Interesting)

remove office (871398) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006801)

Thanks to you and everybody else in here complaining (rightfully), I've edited the article on my website to hopefully reflect the corrections people are offering. The Slashdot summary is not editable by me though.

Also, in answer to your question, a specific license has not been announced yet, but CNN has indicated that people will be free to do whatever they like with it (remix it, edit it, use it in a documentary, post it anywhere they want, etc).

One of the specific points that Obama had was that he wanted the footage to be free for people to use in creating things like remixed YouTube videos, etc ("end user created content").

The Devil's in the Details (1)

jbn-o (555068) | more than 7 years ago | (#19008129)

Then until CNN decides to either place the recordings into the public domain (the only way to impose no restrictions) or pick a CC license and retain copyright, it's too early to celebrate.

Furthermore, as has been pointed out elsewhere in this thread, one must be careful which CC license is chosen. Gone are the days when all CC licenses featured a common baseline of permissions/freedoms. One might recall the recent C-SPAN licensing on Congressional floor coverage (and related footage) where the licensing terms were so vague nobody could be clear of exactly what they were getting.

Interesting (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006263)

I have posted previously about my disappointment and the mainstream media 'manipulation' of these debates. I dont really see what the difference is here. It will probably just degenerate into 'we'can do it better or cheaper with the clips than 'they can'' and does really bode well for political discourse.

Indeed (4, Informative)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006655)

The companies want to choose the "acceptable" candidates for you rather the populace choosing themselves. The primaries are very important in party politics and when people complain that they only have a choice between a douche and turd on election day must be informed that they get whittled down to that choice because they consider eleection day all important and not the primaries and that "vote". May not be fair but it is true.

The mainstream media is silent on these candidates, but Digg is abuzz with Ron Paul and Mike Gravel. Please looking up these two and consider actively spreading the word about who you like (either of these two or other candidates you find). Or do you guys want to be stuck with a Bush vs. Kerry like candidates in 2008 with both sides sucking?

Ron Paul:
http://digg.com/search?s=%22ron+paul%22&submit=Sea rch&section=news&type=both&area=promoted&sort=new [digg.com]

Mike Gravel:
http://digg.com/search?s=%22mike+gravel%22&submit= Search&section=news&type=both&area=promoted&sort=n ew [digg.com]

Re:Indeed (1)

Dirtside (91468) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007735)

Mike Gravel? Sounds like someone who ends up fighting an epic battle against Doctor Doom.

Presidential debates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19006301)

I watched one of the democratic presidential "debates" yesterday on Youtube and I think it's a pretty big stretch to call these debates.

Re:Presidential debates (4, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006345)

I think it's a stretch to call any of them presidential.

Re:Presidential debates (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006689)

Together, perhaps
they amount to a stretch mark
on, say, Rosie O.

Re:Presidential debates (1)

I_Heat_Sexylaid (675028) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006701)

This has got to rank as some of the most disgusting imagery ever used on /.

Re:Presidential debates (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006721)

Just make sure none of them get elected so we don't have to.

Re:Presidential debates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19006659)

Yes, but it wouldn't be PC to call them "circle jerks".

Breaking news : now MSNBC will do the same (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006387)

... too

(Pay attention to the MS prefix in MSNBC and you will get what i meant)

A little late in the day, isn't it? (1)

John Jorsett (171560) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006397)

If candidates wanted the debate released to the public, wouldn't it have been more useful to make that part of the terms up front?

Flip-flopping Democrats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19006871)

Absolutely correct.

I for one will not be voting for these flip-flopping cowards betraying the corporate interest under pressure from so called American voters.

This is a slippery slope; what's next, poor people being allowed to vote? I hope the corporations respond in kind and gut the donations to Edwards and Osama.

You can watch them on YouTube anyhow (3, Informative)

dircha (893383) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006411)

I don't own a television. Transcripts don't really give a complete sense of the candidate's performance. Luckily I've been able to find the debates so far for both parties on YouTube.

Just search for "republican presidential debate part" or "democrat presidential debate part" respectively on YouTube. They're split into 9 minute chunks.

I think it would be awfully bad form for MSNBC to pull these from YouTube. But I commend the candidates and CNN for making this issue public. We shouldn't have to rely on the good will (or hesitant takedown action) of MSNBC in order to get coverage of the men and women, one of whom will in a relatively short amount of time hold the highest political office in our democracy.

But sometimes I'm not sure why I care, or that I do. Especially when I see headlines like this: "FLASH: FOXNEWS O'REILLY TOPS MSNBC GOP DEBATE".

And look at the viewership numbers. That's right, not only did less than 1% of elligible voters even WATCH that debate, MORE people watched some blowhard talk about the debate than watched the debate itself.

This should dominate mainstream broadcast and print media. This should preempt regular programming on every broadcast channel.

Re:You can watch them on YouTube anyhow (2, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007583)

This should dominate mainstream broadcast and print media. This should preempt regular programming on every broadcast channel.

Calm down. This is just a couple democratic PRIMARY debates we're talking about. Later, you can expect some debates to get broadcast on various network channels.

As for EVERY channel, that's just idiotic. I am capable of changing the channel myself, thank you.

There are plenty of people that can't vote, anyhow, and don't need to be annoyed. There are also plenty of people who simply don't want to watch the debates, in-full, and will find other, perfectly valid ways to inform themselves. Shoving the debates down everyone's throat would serve no purpose, except to boost ratings on cable.

Re:You can watch them on YouTube anyhow (1)

Grave (8234) | more than 7 years ago | (#19008317)

Some folks get overzealous and become enthralled with "get out the vote" campaigns. If people do not wish to vote, they have that right. If they choose not to vote, and then complain that their elected officials are horrible, they have that right too, although they look like fools as a result.

Suggesting that viewing these debates should be mandatory is silly, especially when virtually no answers are non-rehearsed. It's also not debate when you have a bunch of people simply being asked questions. A real debate would be the candidates having to discuss and debate the issues among themselves, for public viewing and consumption. I'd love to see (although not with a dozen candidates, as this might just become unruly) topics nominated and selected by the viewership given to the candidates for a 10- or 15-minute round of debate. I suspect the results would tell us more about the character and reasoning of these candidates than the current format.

Commercial-Ridden Clips? (5, Insightful)

moehoward (668736) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006417)


Come on. The debates themselves ARE commercial-ridden clips. The pandering? The acting? The party-line quotes? The weeks of "prep time" these alleged law-makers indulge while honing their so-called "debate" skills? The "I'm presidential" BS? So what if MSCNBCNSC runs them with commercials.

After two stories on this in a few days, is Slashdot sure it wants to hang their hats here on this issue?

The debate format died 20 years ago, was resurrected by Saint Perot, and then was again laid to a peaceful sleep.

The debates now are nothing more than traps. If you attend a debate and get caught in a trap, you are dead. If you lose your temper or slip up, or say "um" too many times, you are dead. Does anyone really think that some candidate will suddenly have some nation-shocking insight that will capture us?

All debates now require that news programs compare every candidate's makeup to Richard Nixon in 1960. WTF? CCGIGO. Creative-commons garbage in...

Moe

Re:Commercial-Ridden Clips? (1)

catbutt (469582) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006501)

You're right. I suggest we just go back to dictatorship and be done with it.

Re:Commercial-Ridden Clips? (4, Insightful)

FunWithKnives (775464) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006835)

Nice knee-jerk. The GP's point was that, notwithstanding the fact that the presidential debates being available to everyone is a Good Thing (TM), it does not actually matter, if those debates are shallow and pointless (and they will be). Presidential candidates have become nothing more than actors. It is all about "talking points" and grand-standing. The actual issues are just glossed over. The important thing is how a candidate is perceived. People, by and large, don't vote for or against a candidate based on his or her stance on issues (if they even really have one). They vote for or against them based on two things:

1. Is this person toeing my chosen party's line well enough?
2. Do I "perceive" ("gut feeling," truthiness, et cetera) this person properly?

The GP is absoultely correct in his statement. In this case, I think that there are two root causes. Firstly, our government and the career politicians who comprise it do not want an informed public, by any means. An informed majority would be disastrous for these people. However, it is rather difficult to suppress information within a country that is supposed to be democratic. Dissidents do not just disappear without a trace (yet), and journalists aren't thrown in jail for articles which are critical of the government. A delicate balance must be maintained: the majority must believe that they are informed and conscious, and the information must be ladled out "properly," i.e. dumbed down to "talking points," presented as black and white, with no grey areas, and so on. In traditional totalitarian or dictatorial states, the public is left completely uninformed. That method will not work in the United States. In ours and other pseudo-democratic states, the goal is to have a misinformed public.

The second cause, I believe, is affected somewhat by the first one. The majority get their news on the run, and from the humongous conglomerates such as CNN or Fox. They do not research anything that they are exposed to further. They see the latest "Left vs. Right: Smackdown!" show on CNN, watch it for awhile, take one side or the other, and call it a day. This is how the majority establish their stances politically. When the option of further research and the establishment of a view based on the facts instead of the opinion of a talking head on a "news-er-tainment" network are given (and I have experienced this firsthand, many times), they claim that they are just "too busy" to worry about things like that. While I realize that it does take a bit more time and effort to become an informed individual, is it really too much? I also think that it might have a lot to do with the fact that policy-makers decisions, as opposed to one hundred years ago or more, do not appear to affect a great deal of our lives. The policy may be a ticking timebomb, but the majority do not realise it.

All of this amounts to what we have today: debates that are, in reality, nothing more than popularity contests. As for a solution, I honestly do not know if there is one in the short term. The majority in this country cannot be forced to care enough to become informed; they must choose to do so themselves. I have never had much faith in most people when it comes to things like this, but then again, I am a devout pessimist. Maybe I will be proven wrong at some point, who knows?

Re:Commercial-Ridden Clips? (1)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007545)

So why doesn't one of the candidates call people out on it? Surely there's room in a ten man race for an outspoken, tell-all-apologize-for-it-later approach that you want.

Also, I think the majority watches CNN on accident. As in "oops, I meant channel 63, not 36" accident. I don't think they spend enough time watching to bother forming opinions on things, as long as the impact is distant and abstract.

Re:Commercial-Ridden Clips? (1)

blank axolotl (917736) | more than 7 years ago | (#19008117)

I agree with you on almost everything, except I don't think the misinformation is due to malice on the part of the candidates, and they are not fascists in disguise. I think the reason they don't say anything meaningful is because they are afraid to. Once they say something specific, that's something their opposition can criticize them for. If they say things that don't really mean anything, there's nothing to criticize, but it looks like they are taking a stance.

Re:Commercial-Ridden Clips? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19006641)

The primary voters need to get a feel for these candidates, how articulate and prepared they are and how they respond under pressure. Can they think on their feet, or do they rely exclusively on their canned stuff? I think people watching can tell when someone is dodging a question or changing the subject.

When the emotional tense of the debate changes (for example, someone asks about the families of fallen troops in Iraq), are they sufficiently aware to notice, or are they locked into their message? This is important, because it's hard to lead a country if you can't connect with people on TV. Michael Dukakis lost a debate in 1988 when he failed to recoil at a hypothetical question about his wife getting raped.

Without debates, what we have is network news playing short clips of the top tier candidates delivering applause lines in their stump speeches in whatever town they happen to be campaigning in.

Re:Commercial-Ridden Clips? (1)

FunWithKnives (775464) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006969)

The mods must be on crack tonight. The GP was not saying by any means that there should be no debates. That is just ridiculous. He was stating that the debates have become absolutely pointless stage shows, and I agree. It is very telling that they are now scripted, with candidates knowning beforehand what they will be asked. As for your Dukakis example, do you actually think that would even be an allowed question today? The mic would probably be cut, and the questioner escorted out of the building.

Re:Commercial-Ridden Clips? (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006771)

(Score:1, Offtopic)

See what happens when you taunt the drones? Yes, the debates are scripted, just like pro wrestling, but the public seems to like it just fine. You are voting for the best looking mop. That's what TV did to the process. I think ugly people should be given some votes up front to level the playing field a bit. Election handicapping.

I hope somebody with points sees through the bad mod.

Re:Commercial-Ridden Clips? (1)

FunWithKnives (775464) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006921)

The moderation of the parent is horrible. How do these people keep getting mod points? I hope someone meta-mods the hell out of whoever is responsible for that one.

youtube (5, Insightful)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006441)

Youtube is going to be clogged with eight-billion videos of clips out of context and "deep" bad voiceovers explaining why [Candidate X] is the worst/best thing after the devil/Jesus

And the annoyance of having links of all of them e-mailed to me pales to the joy that America is becoming (slightly) more democratic

Re:youtube (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006557)

It would be way more awesome if we re-embraced freedom. It might be democratic to make laws against doing stupid shit, but it sure isn't all that free. Damnit, I want a lawnmower that lets me accidentally turn an appendage into burger without requiring heavy modification and there is no good reason not to give me one.

Re:youtube (1)

no reason to be here (218628) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006647)

Damnit, I want a lawnmower that lets me accidentally turn an appendage into burger without requiring heavy modification and there is no good reason not to give me one.


OK, true. But there is no good reason to want one, either.

Re:youtube (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006799)

Not wanting to restart the mower after noticing a stick in the way? Maybe not a good reason... Anyway, more a case in point than something I really really need.

Re:youtube (1)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006845)

"Barack Obama. The worst best thing after the Devil Jesus."

Re:youtube (1)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007517)

Actually, Devil Jesus is the best worst thing I've ever heard of!

Re:youtube (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007507)

Youtube is going to be clogged with eight-billion videos of clips out of context and "deep" bad voiceovers explaining why [Candidate X] is the worst/best thing after the devil/Jesus
...And more lenient copyright on the material in question will exactly ZERO effect on that, because that would clearly fall entirely under fair-use...

This is great news (1)

VValdo (10446) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006471)

I wanted to watch the GOP debate, but my Linux (Gentoo/GNOME) box would not load video from the MSNBC page. I was told that I needed Firefox (which I had) and Flash (which I had). I tried in OS X with Firefox and Flash. No dice. I tried with Safari (which it said would work) and Flash on my Mac. Same message.

I used the latest version of Firefox, Safari, OS X, and the Flash plugin on both machines. STILL was unable to watch on Microsoft's site. On OS X I also had the Microsoft WMV Quicktime plugins [microsoft.com] .

Just a quick poll-- has anyone ever had video working on MSNBC with a non-Windows machine? If so, what was your configuration?

W

Re:This is great news (1)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006535)

Wait, you expect a MS site to work perfectly with an operating system that hasn't made any money for MS?

Work to some extent sure. But to be broken unless you use all MS software is to be expected with MS services.

Re:This is great news (1)

theconartist (844674) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006773)

I'm watching at this very moment using ubuntu 7.04, firefox 2.0.0.3, and flash 9 (beta?). No problems at all.

Re:This is great news (1)

WK2 (1072560) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007553)

Doesn't work for me either. I'm using Debian Testing (lenny) with firefox and flash, the latest versions. The site says it works with Firefox 1.5 and Flash 8. I have Firefox/Iceweasel 2.0 and Flash 9. Sometimes newer doesn't work better. Then again, it's M$, so sometimes following directions exactly doesn't work either.

If they had just hosted wmv files, I could download those and watch them with mplayer.

I looked at the code of the page that doesn't load. Sometimes, I can just figure out where the .wmv file is from the code, and then download it. I had to turn off javascript to see it, because otherwise it forwards to an error page. The page is a convoluted mess of javascript. It would take hours to piece together and figure out how it works. I hate M$. They can't do anything right, except herd sheep.

Somewhat related question: redistribution (1)

ben there... (946946) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007617)

I've posted a couple of creative commons videos to Google, in full, and was wondering if full redistribution was something allowed by the creative commons licenses. The directors/producers didn't seem to mind. A couple of them emailed me to thank me and ask how many hits the videos got. But it is officially allowed by the cc licenses to redistribute an exact copy of the full work, or does it have to be a derivative? I think one was CC Sampling Plus if that matters.

Re:This is great news (1)

Ksisanth (915235) | more than 7 years ago | (#19008009)

I was having trouble getting it to load at first (Gentoo/Firefox 2.0.0.3/Flash 9), so I checked to be sure it was accepting cookies/javascipt and refreshed several times. Nothing: most of the page wasn't visible, no links worked, just the menu image and "loading..." text. Next I checked the source, cried a little, then changed the user agent. The page changed finally, to insist I needed IE (no mention of firefox), so I set it back to default, closed the tab, hit the link again and...it loaded up fine. I watched a few minutes of the video, decided enough of that, then tried to close it, close it, crash. It works for me, sorta, but I still have no idea what happened there.

Yes because... (0, Offtopic)

abshnasko (981657) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006555)

Guess what the MS in (P)MSNBC stands for

"Without restrictions" = ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19006599)

Does anyone know precisely which license it will be released under, or whether it will public domained?

I'm offended that it's legal to copyright this. (2, Insightful)

bobdobbs3 (641058) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006627)

American public political speech for the purposes of running a civil society should be de facto uncopyrightable. This is how you run a (supposed) democracy. If they don't like it, they can pay the entire annual FCC budget for every clip they want to keep to themselves. We GIVE them spectrum, we PAY to defend and protect it for them, this REALLY IS the very least they can do.

Personally, I think they should be compelled to air ??? hours of campaign content to help run the system that makes them their fortunes - it might start to reign-in some of the insane budgets "needed" to "win" office these days.

It's all in your head (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006983)

System work very well right now. The market responds to demand exceptionally well: we have PBS and CSPAN for the kooky minority that demands it.

If the pubic makes political copyright a larger issue, the media will meet that demand as well (as in fact they just did).

Plus, once the candidates are elected, all of their speeches given "in capacity" automatically become public domain.

What is it exactly that offends you here?

Re:It's all in your head (1)

bobdobbs3 (641058) | more than 7 years ago | (#19008405)

One company made an incomplete accommodation. Another has yet to do so. The possibility for this still exists.

Candidates' speeches given to the public for the express purpose of being placed "in capacity" should be public domain too.

My nation's political discourse is not something to be "given back" to me as a gesture of largesse of the corporations.

Utah Phillips said, "Freedom is something you assume; then you wait for
somebody to try to take it away from you. The degree to which you resist is
the degree to which you are free."

I guess we have a better sense of your degree.

But Which CC License? (1, Informative)

rmckeethen (130580) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006687)

Unfortunately, none of the referenced articles/links specifies which of the various Creative Commons licenses will be used to release the debates. Having just released a photo project under a CC license, it appears that there are at least four basickinds of CC licenses, and some varients on them:

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ [creativecommons.org]

The no-derivitives license in particular could have a big impact, especially for people looking to throw up stuff on YouTube and whatnot.

Re:But Which CC License? (2, Informative)

Phroon (820247) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006843)

The most restrictive CC license is either the Developing Nations 2.0 [creativecommons.org] or possibly the Founders' Copyright [creativecommons.org] , both of which would place the debates under normal copyright in the United States. Using either one of these would be a great disservice.

The Free Software Foundation warns about CC licences [gnu.org] :

There is literally no specific freedom that all Creative Commons licenses grant. Therefore, to say that a work "uses a Creative Commons license" is to leave all important questions about the work's licensing unanswered. When you see such a statement, please suggest making it clearer. And if someone proposes to "use a Creative Commons license" for a certain work, it is vital to ask immediately "Which one?"

For example, the nc (no commercial use) and nd (aka NoDerivs, meaning no derivative works) Creative Commons "options" clearly make any license nonfree. Please don't use them.

Re:But Which CC License? (1)

CiderJack (961987) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007051)

"people looking to throw up stuff on YouTube"

Yeah, most of the content on YouTube has that effect on me, too.

Re:But Which CC License? (1)

Constantine Evans (969815) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007133)

This seems to have become a widespread problem with the general public's understanding of Creative Commons, as the FSF had warned. Another example may be found in Obama's main website, which the article mentioned was licensed under a Creative Commons licence. If one goes to the site, a CC logo is visible on the bottom of the front page, but unlike just about every other CC logo, it gives no information about the actual licence being used, and doesn't link to any specific licence (it actually isn't even a link). The Terms of Use has no mention of Creative Commons or licensing whatsoever.

It seems that either there are people in the campaign who don't understand how licensing works, or the term is just being used for publicity purposes; but considering that CNN appears to also be making the same mistakes, my guess is that the former is the actual problem.

Re:But Which CC License? (1, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#19008367)

Unfortunately, none of the referenced articles/links specifies which of the various Creative Commons licenses will be used to release the debates.

That might be because there's no indication it WILL be CC at all...

If you would have clicked-through to CNN's press release, it simply says: "available without restrictions"

Nobody knows any more than that. Complaining about the different CC licenses, like CNN is trying to use a loophole to keep it restricted, is nonsense, and completely off-topic.

Wonderful! (1)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006803)

I dont know about anyone else here, but its nice to see something positive happening now. This is at least something in the right direction. Now if we can get CSPAN to do the same.

Re:Wonderful! (2, Informative)

remove office (871398) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006847)

Now if we can get CSPAN to do the same.

Under C-SPAN's contract, they use government-provided cameras on the House and Senate floor for constitutional reasons. Everything that is shot on government equipment is in the public domain by default. The only copyrighted-material that C-SPAN creates is material they make with their own cameras (such as footage from events outside of Congress, like the White House Correspondents Association dinner, etc).

There was a big hullabaloo over whether or not C-SPAN should use copyright material shot at committee hearings earlier this year, but AFAIK they gave in to requests from the House of Representatives (in fact I think Speaker Pelosi actually stepped in) that the footage be public domain.

Let me be the first to say.... (4, Funny)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 7 years ago | (#19006821)

Let the YouTube mashups begin!

Creative Commons is silly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19007117)

For many decades before the Internet, we had this little thing called the "public domain." What's the point of this Creative Commons crap? It just makes things more complicated.

Public Domain:
Can be re-used in public domain projects, BSD projects, GPL projects, proprietary projects, Creative Commons BY projects, Creative Commons BY-NC projects, Creative Commons BY-NC-ND projects, and EVERYTHING ELSE.

Creative Commons BY-SA:
Can be re-used in Creative Commons BY-SA projects, AND NOTHING ELSE.

Creative Commons BY-NC-SA:
Can be re-used in Creative Commons BY-NC-SA projects, AND NOTHING ELSE.

Creative Commons BY-NC-ND-SA:
Can be re-used in Creative Commons BY-NC-ND-SA projects, AND NOTHING ELSE.

How is that free? That's pointless. It has exactly the same purpose as the public domain, but doesn't work.

Don't use Creative Commons. It's nice in spirit, but it makes no sense in reality (like socialism, the war on drugs, Don't Pump Gas on May 15, etc.).

Creative Commons!=no copyright (3, Insightful)

frdmfghtr (603968) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007197)

FTA:

CNN announced that it plans to release all debate footage it broadcasts in their upcoming presidential debates under a Creative Commons type license Saturday.

"Due to the historical nature of presidential debates and the significance of these forums to the American public," CNN said in a statement, "CNN debate coverage will be made available without restrictions at the conclusion of each live debate."


FTS:

"After calls from several prominent bloggers and a couple of presidential candidates, CNN has agreed to release the footage from its upcoming June presidential debates uncopyrighted.


How does a CC license mean the same as noncopyrighted?

IT DOESN'T! Creative Commons, like the GPL, relies on copyright to license works.

Furthermore, according to the CNN website, [cnn.com] ,

The presidential debates are an integral part of our system of government, in which the American people have the opportunity to make informed choices about who will serve them. Therefore, CNN debate coverage will be made available without restrictions at the conclusion of each live debate.

To me, that reads "public domain" and not even Creative Commons. What am I missing?

Re:Creative Commons!=no copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19008203)

>What am I missing?

Nothing. You expect people to read and understand either the fucking article, or the fucking fucking article that the fucking article is based on? Just pick a random link and some markov chains and you have a slashdot summary.

Re:Creative Commons!=no copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19008319)

The only thing you are "missing" is being as ridiculously mis-informed as the mass media.

What is truly hilarious is that the mainstream media, who, let us not forget, are the ones being "encouraged to generate useful content because of copyright law" have very little understanding of copyright. Their understanding, it would seem, is so limited that the only way they can explain Creative Commons is to say "no copyright!"

(Note: another explanation is that the journalist in question does understand the difference, but doesn't think their readership will understand the distinction. This, however, is lazy journalism: if you cannot explain the pertinent facts to your readership, you should step aside and let someone smarter do your job.)

Opensource and Campaigns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19007237)

Campaigns have always had a history of turning to low cost alternatives to conserve money. Often, opensource, free software, and other channels where costs are subsidized by third parties/grassroots efforts fills this need.

You can see this behind the recent push on Youtube, where campaigns are able to skimp on bandwidth by having youtube shoulder the cost. Or handmade signs by grassroots activists to save cash for the campaign headquarters. Or the substitution of free or opensource software in place of more expensive proprietory packages.

But though campaigns may avail themselves of free/opensource solutions, they very rarely contribute code back to the community.

I think the Wes Clark '04 campaign was special in that they were a truly grassroots effort who gave back to the opensource community. They took SCOOP and modified it heavily and gave it back to the community in the form of BLOOP. Not many other campaigns can say they contributed code to the opensource community.
http://www.crummy.com/cgi-bin/msm/map.cgi/Bloop [crummy.com]

Here's hoping Wes Clark decides to run again. We can use more candidates who don't just take code, but actually give code back to the community.

Re:Opensource and Campaigns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19007295)

A better link to BLOOP:
http://www.crummy.com/software/Bloop/ [crummy.com]

good news, but what motives? (1)

Baldur_of_Asgard (854321) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007675)

On the one hand, I am impressed with both Obama and Edwards for keeping up with the times. They are at least aware of Creative Commons, which means that they are aware of copyright issues and the net - which puts them way ahead of the other candidates in terms of relevance to the modern world.

However, in Obama's case I wonder about his motives. Considering his authoritarian tendencies, I am inclined to think that this is more about politics than genuine interest in an open political discussion.

Other posters have mentioned a situation where the Obama campaign decided to forcibly take over a fan site that it wanted, and I also know that the Obama campaign wrote a rather nasty letter to Lindsay Ashford demanding that he remove a photo of Obama and family from his website, Puellula ( http://hfp.puellula.com/Press/2007-02-27.html ), and - more incredibly - demanding that Lindsay should not LINK to the Obama campaign website. His interest in open political discussions seems rather tenuous, when it comes down to it.

If this is how Obama (or at least his campaign) treats his SUPPORTERS, it certainly gives me pause for thought.

One simple phrophesy ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19008225)

I only have a single prophesy:

All the clips of the debates seen on the net will have the CNN logo watermark on them and the MSNBC branding is nowhere to be seen.

Just thinking with _both_ brain cells here
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