Today's Top Stories

How The Stop Online Piracy Act Could Impact Journalists

Unless you’re wholly entrenched in the daily goings on of internet and copyright law, SOPA might be one of those things you hadn’t even heard of until yesterday, when sites like BoingBoing and Tumblr and GigaOm launched posts explaining and condemning it. SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, has many implications for casual internet users, but for journalists the repercussions of SOPA passing could be immense -- and according to Techdirt, the odds are 5 to 1 in favor of passage.

Labor law for the 1%

Starting in early 2011, the GOP launched an all-out attack on the NLRB the likes of which has not been seen in six decades. In the latest development, Hill Republicans are promoting a bill -- the ludicrously misnamed Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act (WDFA) -- that would further undermine the weak labor rights that still exist in the United States. The bill is neither democratic nor fair but tells us much about the extreme policies of Congressional Republicans on labor rights.

Occupiers Occupied: The Hijacking of the First Amendment

A funny thing happened to the First Amendment on its way to the public forum. According to the Supreme Court, money is now speech and corporations are now people. But when real people without money assemble to express their dissatisfaction with the political consequences of this, they're treated as public nuisances and evicted.

New Report Suggests National Politics an Important Factor in Unionization Rates

The national political environment, not globalization or technology, is the most important factor driving long-run changes in unionization rates in the United States and other rich economies, according to new research from the Center for Economic and Policy Research. The report, “Politics Matter: Changes in Unionization Rates in Rich Countries, 1960-2010,” reviews unionization data covering the last 5 decades for 21 rich economies.

AP says safety concern was behind memo about journalists tweeting colleagues’ arrest

AP is seeking to clarify why staffers were cautioned Tuesday not to tweet about two journalists caught up in the Occupy Wall Street eviction. “The memo was issued at a sensitive time yesterday when we were still trying to locate our two detained staffers and sort out what happened to them,” said AP Director of Media Relations Paul Colford. “There was concern for two colleagues, who had been doing their jobs in lower Manhattan, and AP had yet to report on their status.”

At Web censorship hearing, Congress guns for "pro-pirate" Google

The House Judiciary Committee today held an important hearing on the Stop Online Piracy Act with a hugely stacked deck of witnesses -- Google's lawyer was the only one of the six to object to the bill in a meaningful way. And it wasn't hard to see why. This wasn't a hearing designed to elicit complex thoughts about complex issues of free speech, censorship, and online piracy; the hearing was designed to shove the legislation forward and to brand companies who object as siding with "the pirates."

Leveson inquiry: indictment of a 'tawdry' press

It was asked on Tuesday who guards the guardians. The question yesterday was: 'Who bullies the bullies?' Or, why a minimum of 28 journalists paid a private investigator to illegally and unethically source their stories. "The pressure on journalists to deliver is relentless," explained NUJ's Michelle Stanistreet. "Often to unpredictable and unreasonable timescales, and without the resources to do the job well. Such pressures lead to short cuts and can result in the abandoning of fundamental principles."

Chief Sponsor Wavers on Web Censorship Bill in Charged Hearing

Legislation that would prevent Americans from visiting websites the government claims are violating copyright rules had a tumultuous first hearing Wednesday, with its main sponsor unexpectedly expressing reservations over the bill’s scope. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), one the chief sponsors of the bill, expressed uncertainty over allowing the Justice Department to obtain court orders demanding that American ISPs prevent users from visiting blacklisted websites.

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