Watch out for Men in Black.

Copyright infringement is a federal crime!

Fair Use vs Stealing

I recently had a problem with an unenlightened, uneducated and low-class site who stole (and are stealing)  a lot of my cartoons.

crow in black

They are a “humor” site, and they stole many dozens of my cartoons (which explains why this site was down for the last 10 days). I will deal with them separately, when my investigation is done, but because they were so very stupid, I wanted to try to explain Fair Use to my smart readers here!

Very very briefly, there are 4 rules of Fair use:

1. Purpose (entertainment, or education?)
2. Type of work (news, fiction, art)
3. Amount used in comparison to whole work
4. Monetary effect on creator

Examples of Fair Use

Here are some examples of Good Fair Use from the excellent Stanford Fair Use site :

  •     quoting a few lines from a Bob Dylan song in a music review
  •     summarizing and quoting from a medical article on prostate cancer in a news report
  •     copying a few paragraphs from a news article for use by a teacher or student in a lesson, or
  •     copying a portion of a Sports Illustrated magazine article for use in a related court case.

They added:

The underlying rationale of this rule is that the public reaps benefits from your review, which is enhanced by including some of the copyrighted material.

Continue reading Watch out for Men in Black.

Investigative report on LA County Animal Shelters.

Yeah, I know it’s not as sexy as the market fall (which Twitter is ignoring, btw- obviously everyone in there either a) has no money b) doesn’t understand Standard and Poors or c) thinks money is too crass to talk about)

But I wrote a big long report about the incompetent killing machine, the LA County Animal Shelters, and you might like to take a look. It’s in my animal/park blog, Griffith Park Interrupted. This was my first blog I started, and I have been able to see results from it, fortunately.

There are lots of pictures, too, taken by some of the worst photographers in the state, some of the shelter employees. Here’s one to whet your appetite.

cold water. That's what this is labeled. I'm going to guess there is a fish in here somewhere...
Cold Water. Yes, that's what this is labeled. I'm going to guess there is a fish in here somewhere... Half the horses listed don't have a pic at all.

Excerpt from the post:

The photographs are so bad that I started making copies of them, and put them in my collection of Worst Shelter Pictures Ever. Some look like experimental art, and others like the animal is being tortured. I’ve asked several shelters if they need new cameras. No, they have several.  Each animal is photographed on intake (or should be) by the intake officer who picked them up, so the blame (or praise?) is on them. Shouldn’t the worst photographers be disciplined or trained or put on another job?

But let’s be honest here – EVERYONE has a camera with them at all times, in their cell phone if nothing else. No one needs itraining on how take photographs anymore. And no one would take pictures this bad of their friends or family. It’s unfathomable.  So what is their excuse for photos this terrible? This is the point at which we should seriously examine their motives: are these bad pictures a way to keep animals from being adopted…job security for the shelter workers, in other words?

The 405 shuts down, but we gain our lives.

* Finally cracked TIME Cartoons of the Week with this one! Yes, it took a local LA cartoon to make good on the East Coast. Also in Daily News today, LA Observed, CalWatchdog.

You can’t know the excitement here about…a Freeway. The worst freeway. The one everyone hates to hate, the 405. The warnings started weeks ago, and lighted signs everywhere else let us know that even on the East side we’re not safe.

They’re closing the Freeway for July 16 and 17 for 10 miles – but they really start work at 7 PM on Friday night, so it’s 2 1/2 days. Just like the riots, they’re warning everyone not to go anywhere. I guess we’re allowed to walk, since they’re into fitness, however.

405 shut down cartoon, as a portent for the future rapture
405 shut down cartoon, as a portent for the future rapture - or rupture

Not that they’re improving the freeway – they’re tearing down a bridge. Half a bridge. The other half comes down a year later, but they aren’t publicizing this part as much, because then everyone would know what an assy plan this is.

I know Rob Long, and he’s a funny and clever guy, but I don’t get his take on the freeway closure here. There’s nothing funny about it…it’s just true. The 405 is horribly unpredictable and terrible.

Cartoon caption: THE PROLOGUE TO THE RAPTURE: The 405 Freeway shuts down July 16 to 17.

Interpretation of cartoon: Well, it’s funny! I saw a postcard years ago of one of the original Rapture paintings, and never forgot it, with people flying out of car crashes, graves, etc, into the sky. I was truly shocked. (Although I’m easily shocked). Somehow that stuck in my head with cars being thrown off the Freeway. Both are sort of unlikely, but hey, one of them is happening this weekend.

Found a good source for all Rapture paintings, and you can see the one I was thinking of there. I give you this link with some reservation, however: the site is called something like Jesus needs new PR, but it is both un-Christian and unethical and BAD BLOGGING for him to use all those images and not link to anyone or mention the artist in any of them!! So there!!

This cartoon also runs in Daily News this weekend.

Libertarian editorial cartoons explained