Sir Francis Drake, Vice Admiral Royal British Navy, was more than an English sea captain, privateer, navigator, slaver, and uber-politician of the Elizabethan era, his hijinx and adventurous life was held high in the minds of most throughout the last – 20th- century. Queen Elizabeth awarded Drake a knighthood in, he was second-in-command of the English fleet against the Spanish Armada in 1588. He also carried out the second circumnavigation of the world, from 1577 to 1580. He died of dysentery in January 1596 after unsuccessfully attacking San Juan, Puerto Rico. He was a real man our Drake, and until now we knew not where that man’s finally resting place was.
More than four centuries after Drake went to his watery grave off Panama’s coast, archaeologists believe they have found two of the last ships he commanded. Read the full article »»»»
Whats most amusing about this story isn’t Hallmarks heart-felt grab at revenue - that’s what business does - No, No, the most amusing angle seems to have been missed by mainstream print media – possibly because most newspapers are printed locally !
A Boston lawyer – Simon Glik- is suing the city and police officers who arrested him for using his cell phone to record what he described as a rough arrest. Glick suspects that the police who arrested him wanted more to protect themselves from a possible misconduct complaint than to enforce the state’s privacy laws. The charges against Glik were thrown out of court. However, Glik sued for violations of his civil rights. The First Circuit ruled today that the officers are not protected by qualified immunity.
Glik won a victory – 26 August 2011 – when a Federal Appeals Court stated that the officers could not claim “qualified immunity” in the case because they were performing their job when they arrested Glik under a state law that outlaws audio recordings without the consent of both parties.
“Just because it’s upsetting to the police officers and they’re unhappy about being recorded, doesn’t allow them to make an arrest,” said Howard Friedman, an ACLU attorney representing Glick “If a person is standing, as Mr. Glick was, many feet away and simply recording, that’s not a crime, even if the officers don’t like being recorded.”
In its ruling, which lets Simon Glik continue his lawsuit, the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston said the way Glik was arrested and his phone seized under a state wiretapping law violated his First and Fourth Amendment rights. The court noted that past decisions on police recording had involved fulltime reporters, but said the First Amendment does not apply just to professional news gatherers.
The First Amendment issue here is: is there a constitutionally protected right to videotape police carrying out their duties in public? Basic First Amendment principles, along with case law from this and other circuits, answer that question unambiguously in the affirmative. It is firmly established that the First Amendment’s aegis extends further than the text’s proscription on laws “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,” and encompasses a range of conduct related to the gathering and dissemination of information. As the Supreme Court has observed, “the First Amendment goes beyond protection of the press and the self-expression of individuals to prohibit government from limiting the stock of information from which members of the public may draw.
The filming of government officials engaged in their duties in a public place, including police officers performing their responsibilities, fits comfortably within these principles. Gathering information about government officials in a form that can readily be disseminated to others serves a cardinal First Amendment interest in protecting and promoting “the free discussion of governmental affairs.”
“Gathering information about government officials in a form that can readily be disseminated to others serves a cardinal First Amendment interest in protecting and promoting “the free discussion of governmental affairs.”
The court continued that while exercise of these rights do come with limits in certain circumstances, an arrest on the Boston Common, a public area and the apotheosis of a public forum is not one of them.
“Moreover, changes in technology and society have made the lines between private citizen and journalist exceedingly difficult to draw. The proliferation of electronic devices with video-recording capability means that many of our images of current events come from bystanders with a ready cell phone or digital camera rather than a traditional film crew, and news stories are now just as likely to be broken by a blogger at her computer as a reporter at a major newspaper. Such developments make clear why the news-gathering protections of the First Amendment cannot turn on professional credentials or status”
There is an incredibly dubious double standard with the application of such video ~ audio laws. Filming the police doing something “good” and there is no problem, film them doing something “bad” and your likely to end up in jail. The First Amendment right to gather news is, as the Court has often noted, not one that inures solely to the benefit of the news media; rather, the public’s right of access to information is coextensive with that of the press. With the boundaries having shifted on who gathers news, the court recognized the proliferation of news gathering in the 21st century to include citizens, in-fact there are now more bloggers gathering news than there ever have been journalists. The freedom of individuals to passively oppose or challenge police actions without risking arrest is one of the principal characteristics by which we distinguish a free nation from a police state.
October 2007 : Simon Glik used his cell phone to record Boston police officers making what he thought was an overtly forceful arrest of a young man in a Boston park, he never thought he’d be the one shackled in the back seat of a police car. Police spotted Glik using his cell phone’s camera with its sound-recording feature recording their actions, they arrested him for breaking a Massachusetts law that prohibits secret electronic recording, deemed “wiretapping.” Clearly however, Mr Glik made no secret of his recording of the indecent?
Was Glik wiretapping ? In Massachusetts, a “two-party consent” state since the 1960s, if one participant in a conversation wants to record it, he or she needs to notify the other. Courts have interpreted this state’s law to prohibit secretly recording not only one’s own phone conversation, but even a face-to-face encounter. (Other states, like New York, are “one-party consent” jurisdictions, where only the taper, or a third party to whom the taper has given permission, needs to know the conversation is being recorded.)
Glik, a 31-year-old lawyer, suspected that the cops who arrested him wanted more to protect themselves from a possible misconduct complaint than to enforce the state’s privacy laws.
Glik appeared in Boston Municipal Court represented by his lawyer, June Jensen, Jensen requested that the judge dismiss the Commonwealth’s charges against Glik. Neither the criminal complaint nor the police report on their face stated facts to demonstrate that what Glik did was prohibited by the laws under which he was charged, they said. Handing down his decision 3 days later, Judge Mark Summerville dismissed the charges, agreeing with Glik that non-secret recordings were lawful.
Summerville’s decision was good news for Glik, who had, ironically, been seeking a job as a prosecutor, but who has had difficulty getting hired — despite graduating at the top of the New England School of Law class of 2006 — because of the outstanding criminal charges. Despite Summerville’s decision, police are unlikely to stop arresting citizens in the future who record their misconduct. They are truly a law unto themselves.
The police had argued three separate issues in this case.
1. They’re arguing that in 2007 there was no clearly established “right to record” in public, so the police could not have known they were violating Mr. Glik’s rights.
2. They argue that no such right exists today.
3. The police allege that he is still in violation of the wiretapping act because it was not clear to police he was actually recording them. To be clear, Mr. Glik was standing on public property filming police on public property. He was stationed a short distance away and was holding his cell phone up in front of him, pointed at the police. He made no attempt to interfere, nor did he say or do anything other than record what happened.
“This case is really important here in Boston and should be important across the country, not only for the rights of citizens, but also for the rights of media members and media organizations. Both the rights of citizens to exercise the first amendment and the ‘rights’ of media organizations to report the news could be seriously crippled by repeated rulings in favor of the police in situations like these” said Radley Balko a local Bostonite and publisher of The Agitator
After placing the suspect in handcuffs, one of the officers turned to Glik and said, “I think you have taken enough pictures.” Glik replied, “I am recording this. I saw you punch him.” An officer1 then approached Glik and asked if Glik’s cell phone recorded audio. When Glik affirmed that he was recording audio, the officer placed him in handcuffs, arresting him for, inter alia, unlawful audio recording in violation of Massachusetts’s wiretap statute. Glik was taken to the South Boston police station. In the course of booking, the police confiscated Glik’s cell phone and a computer flash drive and held them as evidence.
So, friendsicles: how many of you had the email from “beejoli” forwarded to you this morning and have subsequently sent it along to others? thousand, we’re betting!? Its validaty remains unknown but we do know Gawker is dutifully trying to track down “beejoli” to see if her random night with the notoriously foot-loving director is on the up. We have a sneaky suspicion this is simply the Hollywood PR wheels turning. Tarantino’s next film Django Unchained is due for release in the not so distant future. Is Hollywood just reminding us to Not Forget our favorite Director, an odd insurance perhaps, we know it’s not a fundraiser, Tarantino has secured finance on the flick? Here’s the email, judge for yourselves and please pass along any information about it, pretty please.
————— Forwarded message —————
From: Beejoli Shah
Date: Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 11:24 PM
Subject: I meet Quentin Tarantino, hilarity ensues
To: Kira O’Connor
You are either getting this e-mail because I’ve promised I would tell you this story and haven’t yet, you’re besties with someone I used to hook up with, or because my need for attention and adulation has reached such an all time high that I decided to pick 15 of you at random to listen to this story (most likely explanation), but all the same, below is the (in)famous but true story of how I met Quentin Tarantino…Adam and Ethan, I’ll be expecting your short film script of this in my inbox in the next couple of weeks…
During a morning phone call March 4 to the Access Hollywood Live show, our Charlie told hosts Billy Bush and Kit Hoover, “My mum – actress Janet Templeton – is Jewish” Carlos Irwin Estevez went on ”So I guess that would make me Jewish and my children Jewish. And Brooke Mueller, my ex-wife, is Jewish. So I guess I should have rolled that out, too.”
A perplexed Bush told Charlie, “You’re getting accused of anti-Semitic remarks – you might want to say, ‘By the way, I’m Jewish!’ “
Our Charlie responded, “I know, I know – stupid me. I just got caught sleeping, caught napping, which is rare for me. Anywho … But I’m proud of it. There you have it.”
Charlie, 45, star of the hit TV comedy “Two and a Half Men,” which has been suspended for the rest of this season and may be canceled, lashed out last month at the Anti-Defamation League following its charge that Charlie had exhibited “borderline anti-Semitism” in referring to his producer, Chuck Lorre, by his Hebrew name, Chaim Levine. Charlie has demanded an apology from the ADL.
Our Charlie, has a long history of drug and alcohol abuse, that he’s still ranting is testament - he believes – to his inherited genetic superiority, Go Charlie Go!
Courtney Love, the singer and actress, has become the first high-profile celebrity to be sued over comments made on the social media site Twitter. Love seems perpetually involved in feuds using social media – most of which her celebrity targets usually ignore. However, one “up and coming” fashion designer, Dawn Simorangkir, aka Dawn Younger-Smith, had enough and filed a libel lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court.
The problems apparently stem from Love’s dislike of the fees that Simorangkir was charging for her creations – or more to the point, that the designer was charging Love at all, from the wording of the libel filing. The 21-page filing (PDF) of the situation, dated Mar 26, 2010, is entertainment in its own right.
From the top of page 2 of the deposition:
“Little did Simorangkir know that by entering into Love’s line of vision, Simorangkir would become the latest victim of Love’s volatile personality, hair trigger temper, and malicious and tortious behavior. Whether caused by a drug induced psychosis, a warped understanding of reality, or the belief that her money and fame allow her to disregard the law, Love has embarked in what is nothing short of an obsessive and delusional crusade to terrorize and destroy Simorangkir, Simorangkir’s reputation and her livelihood… Love has gone as far to threaten Simorangkir’s Life. Love’s approach is not subtle. In particular, Love publicly made the menacing and disturbing statement that Simorangkir will be ‘hunted til your dead “
Love used her Twitter account to describe Dawn Simorangkir, a Texas-based fashion designer, as a “drug pushing prostitute” during a dispute over payment for clothes. The comment was automatically picked up by 40,000 people through the social networking platform, and they in turn passed it on to others. The singer also made derogatory remarks on other social media outlets including MySpace.
Miss Simorangkir has brought a potentially groundbreaking legal case in which she claims false statements published by Love damaged her career and may have cost her millions of dollars. Celebrities and politicians have jumped to create Twitter accounts, using it to communicate their movements, thoughts and opinions to thousands or, in some cases, millions of “followers”. The Love case will test the boundaries of what celebrities can say in the social networking arena. The case is likely to focus on whether the statements should be regarded by fans as factual, and therefore potentially defamatory, or merely as opinions which would be protected as free speech under the First Amendment to the US Constitution.
Miss Simorangkir’s lawyer, Bryan Freedman, told The Hollywood Reporter: “There has never been anything like this case before.” The case is due to go to court in Los Angeles later this month, with the fashion designer asking for unspecified damages.
The lawsuit alleges that Love “embarked on what is nothing short of an obsessive and delusional crusade to destroy Simorangkir’s reputation and her livelihood.” She accuses Love of “spreading vile and vicious lies through marathon rants” on social networking platforms. James Janowitz, a lawyer for the singer, said: “We don’t believe there is any defamation, and even if there were defamatory statements, there was no damage.”