US Supreme Court upholds ban on partial birth abortions

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Supreme Court of the United States on Wednesday April 18 has upheld the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. The 5-4 vote reflected the change in vote count resulting from the retirement of Justice O’Connor and the confirmation of Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito.

The Intact dilation and extraction procedure, also known as partial birth abortion, involves removing an intact late-term fetus from the womb via the cervix. While it is a relatively rare operation – 0.17% of all abortions in the US in 2000, it has become a focal point in the abortion debate.

The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act bans the procedure in cases where the fetus is terminated during the operation, unless it is performed to to save the life of the mother.

Justice Kennedy wrote in the opinion of the court: “respondents have not demonstrated that the Act would be unconstitutional in a large fraction of relevant cases.” Further, he said, “Respondents have not demonstrated that the Act, as a facial matter, is void for vagueness, or that it imposes an undue burden on a woman’s right to abortion based on its overbreadth or lack of a health exception. For these reasons the judgments of the Courts of Appeals for the Eighth and Ninth Circuits are reversed.”

In a concurring opinion, Justice Thomas stated that he joins “the Court’s opinion because it accurately applies current jurisprudence, including Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U. S. 833 (1992).”

In dissent Judge Ginsburg wrote: “Today’s decision is alarming. It refuses to take Casey and Stenberg seriously. It tolerates, indeed applauds, federal intervention to ban nationwide a procedure found necessary and proper in certain cases by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.”

Justice Kennedy’s words also recall the complicated issues of standing related to such cases. An issue in Roe v. Wade was the impossibility of any individual having standing in a court proceeding regarding abortion rights, since court proceedings take more than the 9 months of pregnancy, retiring any individual plaintiff’s standing before an appeals process can take place. The criterion of “a large fraction of relevant cases” may effectively deny standing to any plaintiffs who wish to litigate particular restrictions in some relevant future cases.

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Wikinews interviews Stephen Murphy about the upcoming by-election in the Higgins electorate of the Australian parliament

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

With two by-elections coming up in Australia, many minor parties and independents will be looking to gain a seat in the House of Representatives. Stephen Murphy is one of the independents.

Mr Murphy is a computer programmer from the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick.

“After growing up in South-East Melbourne I studied Science at Monash with first class Honours, worked in Europe for 10 years and have recently returned to Australia. I work in finance as a computer programmer and speak five languages,” Mr Murphy said.

Wikinews reporter Patrick Gillett held an exclusive email interview with Mr Murphy, candidate for the Division of Higgins.

((WN)) Why do you want to get into parliament?

Stephen Murphy: I am standing up for what I believe is the correct course of action on the biggest issue in Australian politics in 100 years – Kevin Rudd’s flawed emissions trading scheme (ETS).

((WN)) What would the three main policies you are taking into this by-election be?

SM: I will oppose the emissions trading scheme, ensure that all government policy is based on accurate scientific evidence and return common sense to Canberra

((WN)) How would you address these policies?

SM: By asking for a Royal Commission into climate change so that the facts (such as that global warming stopped in 2001 and the emissions trading scheme will not change the climate one bit) are openly presented to the Australian people.

((WN)) Sending asylum seekers to Indonesia: good or bad?

SM: Any government policy that does not properly consider all implications (be it emissions trading, or any other issue) is a bad one.

((WN)) Is the Australian dollar’s near parity with the US dollar a sign that the Australian economy is healthy, the US economy in chaos or both?

SM: It’s a sign of both. Many countries around the world look with envy at how well (relatively) Australia is doing, to our credit! It is of concern that the American economy is in such bad shape and that their levels of debt seem unsustainable.

((WN)) How do you rate the governments economic stimulus package?

SM: The economic stimulus package was poorly targeted and poorly carried out. When we could have been building roads, dams, railways and hospitals yet instead we were paying for tattoos, PlayStations and overseas holidays.

((WN)) Should it be wound back?

SM: The question about levels of stimulus spending is a complicated one and requires expertise in economics, however one could say in general terms that all government spending should be well targeted and spent in the most efficient way.

((WN)) Is Kevin Rudd a better Prime Minister than John Howard?’

SM: Australian voters are the best judge of that and we will know in 2019 🙂

((WN)) Is the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme an effective solution to climate change? Why?

SM: Absolutely not. The CPRS will not change the climate by any amount that we can measure – it’s just a new tax that will hurt Australians and drive businesses and jobs overseas. Since 2003 there has been mountains of new scientific data which contradicts the popular theory that human carbon dioxide emissions are causing significant global warming. Recently, many of the scientists who wrote the IPCC report (on which the ETS / CPRS is based) have been reported as manipulating scientific data to create scary global warming scenarios. The science is definitely not settled

((WN)) Is there a better solution?

SM: We can very easily refocus the momentum and goodwill that has been generated on climate change and channel this energy into other worthwhile environmental projects in Australia that will make a difference.

((WN)) Why should the electorate vote for you?

SM: I will oppose the ETS and support responsible environmental policies instead of radical environmental policies that could end up costing every Australian taxpayer $4550 per year in new taxes.

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The Main Reason For Hair Loss

By Tony Scorch

Avoiding unnecessary concern and fear about hair loss is easily obtained by simply educating oneself on the possible causes and available follicular replacement therapies (hair replacement treatments) available in this day and age.

The primary cause of up to 90% of balding can be contributed to a condition known as Androgenetic Alopecia. This type of hair loss affects both men and women. Finding extra handfuls of hair falling out can be quite unsettling. Going bald affects not only the outward appearance, as a sign of premature aging, but can also lead to depression and a lack of self-worth.

There are three basic elements that must co-exist in order for this kind of baldness to occur. One is that certain hormones need to be reacting in a particular way, the next is that this needs to be happening for an extended period of time and the third is a genetic susceptibility to baldness.

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Sometimes as early as the twenties or thirties, people begin to notice more hair than usual falling out each day. It is normal for 20-100 hairs per day to fall out; when a greater amount begins coming out regularly, this may be an early warning sign of future baldness and a good time to research follicular enhancement technologies and begin treatments.

This can occur in both men and women, since they both produce the hormones that are commonly associated with men: testosterone, androsteinedione, and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). People with a predisposition for baldness produce too much of an enzyme known as 5-alpha-reductase. Then through an interesting process this enzyme changes testosterone into DHT. Sooner or later, the hormone DHT binds with the receptor sites and these vulnerable hair follicles become unstable.

There are many types of drugs that have given cause for positive expectations as follicular replacement therapies for their ability to retard the production of DHT, one such drug is Propecia. According to the studies, when used in the early stages of hair loss, Propecia can be beneficial in slowing, ending or even in some cases, reversing hair loss.

The growth cycle of hair consists of three stages, anagen-the growing phase, catagen-the transitional and resting phase and telogen which is the final phase when the hair falls out and a new hair begins to grow and the cycle starts all over again. For most people this growth cycle can range from 3 to 8 years. However, a person with balding in their genes may find each growth cycle becoming progressively shorter and any new hair that does grow may start to become more and more thin. Going bald takes time, so noticing the subtle clues is important.

A number of factors including nutritional deficiencies, poor thyroid function, aging, nervousness, hormonal imbalances, chemotherapy and the use of various prescription drugs may explain the remaining 10% of people who experience hair loss.

By becoming a knowledgeable consumer you will be able to choose the type of follicular replacement therapies from the many available options that will best suit your hair loss needs. You may choose treatments ranging from drugs to various shampoos or topical lotions, hair replacement systems, natural remedies and several different types of surgery.

About the Author:

Hair replacement in Clermont Florida

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Hair Loss,Full Hair Care Services

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United States helped Kyrgyz pro-democracy programs

Sunday, April 3, 2005

Shortly before parliamentary elections were held in Kyrgyzstan, an opposition-run newspaper ran photographs of a palace under construction for since-deposed president Askar Akayev. This newspaper received grants from and was printed on a printing press financed by the US government.

The US government itself confirms this. In fact, nearly one year ago in May 2004, Lorne Craner, US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor revealed:

We did a project recently… in Kyrgyzstan where there had only ever been one printing press. We funded the operation of another printing press there so that newspapers that were once unable to print day by day — due to censorship and lacks of facilities — are now able to print much more often, basically every day now.

Kyrgyzstan became the nation with the highest per-capita foreign assistance level in central Asia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Most of the money came from the US, under the FREEDOM Support Act, passed in 1992 to help former Soviet republics in transition. Money ear-marked for Kyrgyz pro-democracy programs totaled about $13.3 million dollars last year.

According to a US State Department statement, the programs receiving the money “focus on improving political processes and accountability of government institutions, strengthening civil society and public advocacy, and supporting independent media.”

Akayev, in an interview with RIA Novosti, said that the opposition which had taken over the government in Kyrgyzstan was supported “with financial and technical support from the USA.”

As proof, he cited a report which was posted on the Internet and attributed to the US ambassador in Kyrgyzstan. “The scenario was carried out to a tee. In it he writes that president Akayev has to be toppled, removed. And because the country is key, a neighbor of China, with a Russian [military] base, it’s necessary to increase influence there.”

The New York Times described this report as “crudely forged” and Kyrgyzstan’s new leaders have pledged to keep both the US and Russian military bases in the country and maintain friendly diplomatic relations with Russia.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=United_States_helped_Kyrgyz_pro-democracy_programs&oldid=825668”

Gay marriage banned in three states; other ballot measures decided

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Voters in California, Florida and Arizona voted on Tuesday to ban gay marriage, bringing about a victory for conservatives on a day which did not bring many conservative wins.

Meanwhile, voters in Colorado, South Dakota and California voted on measures which would have restricted abortion in those states. In Massachusetts and Michigan, voters passed measures that loosen marijuana laws. Finally, in the state of Washington a measure was passed that allows physician-assisted suicide.

The California ballot measure, Proposition 8, overturns the recent June ruling by the California State Supreme Court in the case In re Marriage Cases which reversed a 1977 statute passed by the California State Legislature and a 2000 ballot measure, Proposition 22, which also banned same-sex marriage by defining marriage as between a man and a woman. The wording of Proposition 8 is identical to Proposition 22. It was noted that many of the African-Americans and Latinos who cast their votes for Obama, also voted for the measure. The measure passed at 52% to 48%.

Lesbian comedian Ellen DeGeneres noted, “This morning, when it was clear that Proposition 8 had passed in California, I can’t explain the feeling I had. I was saddened beyond belief. Here we just had a giant step toward equality and then on the very next day, we took a giant step away.”

Okay, so I am taking that to mean I do not have to pay my state taxes because I am not a full citizen.

Singer Melissa Etheridge, who is also a lesbian, stated that she would no longer pay taxes due to the passing of Proposition 8, announcing in a blog post, “Okay, so I am taking that to mean I do not have to pay my state taxes because I am not a full citizen.”

Also in California, voters rejected a measure which would require parental notification for a minor to receive an abortion. The measure was rejected with the same percentage as Proposition 8, 52% to 48%. Meanwhile in Colorado, voters rejected a measure that would define life as beginning at conception. While the measure did not specifically mention abortion it would have required legislators and courts to confront legal rights for fetuses – effectively preventing abortion. The measure was defeated in a wide margin, 73% to 27%

In South Dakota, voters also defeated an anti-abortion measure which would have outlawed abortion in all cases except in the case of rape, incest or if the mother’s health was in serious question. If passed, the law would most likely have been challenged as unconstitutional.

In Michigan, voters approved a measure which legalizes medical marijuana. Meanwhile, in Massachusetts, voters approved a ballot question that decriminalizes possession of small amounts of marijuana in which the possession of an ounce or less would be punishable by a $100 fine. The measure will also require minors under the age 18 to participate in and complete a drug awareness program and do community service. Failure to do so, would net the minor a $1,000 fine.

“Tonight’s results represent a sea change. Voters have spectacularly rejected eight years of the most intense government war on marijuana since the days of ‘Reefer Madness,'” said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. “The people were ahead of the politicians on this issue; they recognize and want a more sensible approach to our marijuana policy,” said Whitney Taylor, the chair of Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy, which backed the Massachusetts proposition.

Also, in Massachusetts, voters overwhelmingly, in every single Massachusetts city and town, rejected a ballot measure which would have eliminated the state income tax by 2010, the ballot measure was sponsored by the Committee for Small Government, which is headed up by two libertarians, Michael Cloud, a Libertarian Party candidate for U.S. Senate in 2002 and Carla Howell, Libertarian Party candidate for governor in the 2002 Massachusetts gubernatorial election.

The last time the income tax elimination measure was on the ballot was in 2002, where it was defeated, narrowly by 45.3%. This stunned supporters of the income tax, who mounted a fierce campaign against the measure this time warning Massachusetts residents that repealing the income tax would have drastic effects on the state’s finances, leading to cuts in services, education and local aid.

Finally, voters passed a question which bans dog racing in Massachusetts, which will lead to the closure of Massachusetts’ two greyhound racing tracks, Raynham-Taunton Greyhound Park and Wonderland Greyhound Park.

The campaign against dog racing was headed up by the Committee to Protect Dogs and endorsed by GREY2K USA and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals along with other animal protection organizations who claimed that dog racing was inhumane as the dogs were stuffed into cramped cages and endured injuries. The measure was opposed by the park owners including George Carney who owns the Rayham-Taunton park and Charles Sarkis, a restaurateur who owns Wonderland.

“We did it. We did it for the dogs,” said Carey Thiel, executive director of GREY2K USA. “For 75 years, greyhounds in our state have endured terrible confinement and suffered serious injuries. We’re better than that,” Thiel added.

One campaign supporter, Sandy Bigelow noted, “It means everything. We’ve worked so hard for the dogs and they heard us. It feels so good. Oh, God, it feels so good.”

George Carney said of the results, “It’s not a very pleasant thing right now. Some of these people have been here 40 years. Here’s a company that did nothing wrong, paid their federal taxes on time, paid the town on time. The town is going to be a severe loser, and a lot of people here dedicated their life to the company.”

We did it. We did it for the dogs.

Both sides used emotionally-charged advertisements, the anti-racing side showing “sad-eyed greyhounds,” while the pro-racing side highlighted the workers who would be out of work when the tracks close.

Both measures must now come before the Massachusetts Governor’s Council for approval.

A ballot initiative approved by voters in the north-western state of Washington will make it the second state to permit physician-assisted suicide. Initiative 1000 follows the ten-year-old example of the Death With Dignity Act of neighboring Oregon, and will allow physicians to prescribe a lethal dose of medication for a terminally ill patient to administer themselves. It was approved by a margin of 16%, and the ‘Yes’ campaign outspent the ‘No’ campaign by more than three-to-one. The law comes into effect in 2009.

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Teds Woodworking Plans Is It Worth Your Money?

Submitted by: Gordon Holterman

Brief Overview Of Teds Woodworking Plans

Whether or not you are new to woodworking (and looking to pick up some woodworking skills), or you are an advanced or even a professional woodworker, Teds Woodworking plans is something you would definitely love.

In Teds Woodworking plans, you will discover in a 200-page guide everything you need to know about the hobby of woodworking (best suited for beginners). Also, you will find a total of more than 16,000 woodworking projects, as well as full, detailed plans for each and every project (suitable for beginner, advanced, and professional woodworkers).

Plus, you’ll also find in Teds Woodworking plans, over 150 instructional videos for those who would prefer to learn woodworking by watching videos, instead of reading.

Pros & Cons Of Teds Woodworking Plans

In this section, we shall be taking a look at both the positive, as well as negative points, about Teds Woodworking Plans.

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Among some of the positive points include We find the entire package to be extremely comprehensive, where you will get all the necessary information including schematics, blueprints, materials list, dimensions, etc. which is absolutely helpful in helping one to easily get started.

Also, each and every single plan that you will find in the members’ area of Teds Woodworking is very clearly drawn, along with very detailed step-by-step instructions on exactly how the entire plan should be done and put together.

Having listed down some of the positive points, let us now move onto the negative points. One negative aspect we have noted about this package is that, you may need some time to download the plans due to their large file sizes. However, there is an option for you to upgrade your purchase to receive a physical DVD of the entire package so you need not spend time downloading each and every plan in the members area.

Customers’ Feedback About Teds Woodworking Plans

Most of the customers who have bought Teds Woodworking plans have full of praises about it. Many of them like the fact that everything is very nicely laid out, with lots of great woodworking plans that they can work on.

Also, Ted has included many full-color pictures, with every thorough descriptions of every aspect of each woodworking project detailed, making it extremely easy for anyone to be able to understand and follow through.

Plus, at the price that Ted is selling the entire package, many advanced woodworkers actually said that Ted is in fact, selling himself short!

Our Final Verdict

All in all, we find Teds Woodworking plans one of the most complete woodworking products in the market place.

Ted has designed the entire package in such a way that makes it suitable for everyone For beginners, the clear and concise instructions for each of the plans makes it extremely easy for one to be able to follow through. And for advanced, as well as professional woodworkers, you will appreciate the fact that there are a huge variety of different woodworking projects that you can work on (there are more than 16,000 projects you will find in the members area).

Also, Ted has a wonderful after-sales customer service support which allow you to get help from time to time (when you need them), and all emails are being responded to within 24 hours This is something we find extremely desirable (especially for beginner woodworkers).

With that, Teds Woodworking plans is something where we highly recommend!

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New Zealand suicide rate decreases

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

A new report released by the New Zealand Ministry of Health titled “Suicide Trends” shows that the suicide rate in New Zealand has decreased 15% since its peak in the late 1990’s, but the attempted suicide rate is increasing.

There were 12 deaths per 100,000 people between 1983-’85. 16.7 deaths per 100,000 people between 1996-’98. And 14.2 deaths per 100,000 people between 2001-’03. But there were 73.1 attempted suicides per 100,000 people between 1995-’97 compared to 82.5 in 2002-’04.

Jim Anderton, Associate Health Minister, said “It provides some comfort to see the long-term trend still appears to be heading in the right direction, with a continued decline or levelling off of self-inflicted deaths but there is no room for complacency.”

The suicide report also shows that:

  • The 25- to 34-year-old age group has the highest suicide rate
  • Between 2000-’03 Maori has the highest suicide rate
  • Men were less likely than woman to go to hospital for attempted suicide because more men died from suicide.

The New Zealand Government has put NZ$10.3 million towards direct suicide prevention. New Zealand News agencies are banned by law from reporting suicide deaths.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=New_Zealand_suicide_rate_decreases&oldid=4536112”

African nations gather to support a ban on cluster bombs

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A 39-nation coalition in Africa passed a declaration on Tuesday to ban cluster bombs in a nearly unanimous vote. The gathering in Lukasa, Zambia was the first meeting of the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) in Africa.

“Africa is ready for Dublin,” summarised Zambian delegate Robert Mtonga, referring to the upcoming May 19-30 meeting in Ireland to discuss a global ban on the weapons. “Too often Africa’s voice is pushed to the margins in international decision-making. But in banning cluster bombs worldwide, a common African voice will speak volumes and win the day”.

Too often Africa’s voice is pushed to the margins in international decision-making. But in banning cluster bombs worldwide, a common African voice will speak volumes and win the day.

Mtonga was critical of South Africa, the lone voice against Monday’s decision and the continent’s largest producer and stockpiler of cluster bombs, and called on the country to destroy its munitions and join the coalition to outlaw their use. Egypt, the only other African nation to produce the controversial weapons, voiced support for the ban.

“Strong political will” was credited with the resolution, by CMC co-ordinator Thomas Nash in recognising the drive “to stop the proliferation of this outdated weapon”.

In a released statement the CMC said that 19 African countries, including South Africa, have endorsed the Wellington Declaration. The Wellington Declaration is the basis for the upcoming negotiations at the Dublin Diplomatic Conference in Ireland in May.

While countries such as Germany and the United Kingdom have tabled the idea of a “transition period” during which time cluster bombs would remain a legitimate weapon of war, the African delegation was resolutely against the idea, calling for an immediate ban.

Cluster munitions are dropped from aircraft, opening in mid-air and releasing a large number of smaller explosives over a wide area. Writer Theodora Williams stated that their use usually results in “…the death and maiming of thousands of innocent civilians”.

There are currently 13 African nations that possess cluster bombs although Uganda has recently announced they are destroying their stockpiles. The weapons have been used in eight African conflicts in the past 35 years. In addition to Ethiopia, Morocco, Nigeria and the Sudan, other nations known to have used the weapons are the former Yugoslavia, Eritrea, France, Israel, the Netherlands, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tajikistan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the United States, China, Russia, and Israel have resisted any ban on cluster bombs, arguing that they can be used in self-defense. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the United States has lobbied allies to create loopholes in the upcoming Oslo treaty, to allow for the use of cluster bombs. Reuters reported that a U.S. official had stated that cluster bombs should not be banned if they are used responsibly in state conflicts.

In October 2007, Uganda became the first African country to state it would destroy its cluster bomb stockpiles. Uganda has announced a pan-African meeting to take place after the Dublin meeting, which would seek to garner support for the signing of a treaty in Oslo set to take place in December 2008. The weapons have been used in eight African conflicts in the past 35 years.

The CMC is an international network composed of over 250 civil society organizations in 60 countries, with the stated aim of protecting civilians from cluster munitions. Members of the CMC have been working to complete an international treaty to ban cluster munitions by 2008.

At the February CMC committee meeting in New Zealand, only 82 of the 122 nations present endorsed a draft ban on the production, usage or storage of cluster bombs.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=African_nations_gather_to_support_a_ban_on_cluster_bombs&oldid=774203”

Payment pending; Canadian recording industry set for six billion penalties?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A report published last week in the Toronto Star by Professor Michael Geist of Canada’s University of Ottawa claims a copyright case under the Class Proceedings Act of 1992 may see the country’s largest players in the music industry facing upwards of C$6 billion in penalties.

The case is being led by the family and estate of the late jazz musician Chet Baker; moving to take legal action against four major labels in the country, and their parent companies. The dispute centres around unpaid royalties and licensing fees for use of Baker’s music, and hundreds of thousands of other works. The suit was initially filed in August last year, but amended and reissued on October 6, two months later. At that point both the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA) and Society for Reproduction Rights of Authors (SODRAC) were also named defendants.

January this year SODRAC and CMRRA switch sides, joining Baker et al. as plaintiffs against Sony BMG Music, EMI Music Canada, Universal Music Canada and Warner Music Canada. David A. Basskin, President and CEO of CMRRA, with a professional law background, stated in a sworn affidavit that his organisation made numerous attempts over the last 20 years to reduce what is known as the “pending list”, a list of works not correctly licensed for reproduction; a list of copyright infringements in the eyes of the Baker legal team.

The theoretical principle of the list is to allow timely commercial release while rights and apportionment of monies due are resolved. Basskin complains that it is “economically infeasible to implement the systems that would be needed to resolve the issues internally”. And, “[…] for their part, the record labels have generally been unwilling to take the steps that, in the view of CMRRA, would help to resolve the problem.”

The Baker action demands that the four named major labels pay for and submit to an independent audit of their books, “including the contents of the ‘Pending Lists'”. Seeking an assessment of gains made by the record companies in “failure or refusal to compensate the class members for their musical works”, additional demands are for either damages and profits per the law applicable in a class action, or statutory damages per the Copyright Act for copyright infringement.

[…] for their part, the record labels have generally been unwilling to take the steps that, in the view of CMRRA, would help to resolve the problem.

This forms the basis for Professor Geist’s six billion dollar calculation along with Basskin’s sworn testimony that the pending lists cover over 300,000 items; with each item counted as an infringement, the minimum statutory damages per case are CA$500, the maximum $20,000.

Basskin’s affidavit on behalf of CMRRA goes into detail on the history leading up to the current situation and class action lawsuit; a previous compulsory license scheme, with poor recordkeeping requirements, and which, had a decline in real terms to one of the lowest fees in the world, was eventually abolished and the mechanical license system introduced. The CMRRA went on to become a significant representative of music publishers and copyright holders, and the pending list an instrument to deal with situations where mechanical rights were as-yet not completely negotiated. Basskin’s affidavit claiming the list grew and circumstances worsened as time progressed.

The Mechanical Licensing Agreement (MLA) between the “majors'” industry body, an attached exhibit to the affidavit, is set to expire December 31, 2012; this is between CMRRA and the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA). With the original MLA expiring at end September 1990, CMRRA negotiated more detailed terms and a “code of conduct”. Subsequent agreements were drawn up in 1998, 2004, 2006, and 2008.

Basskin asserts that the named record company defendants are the “major” labels in Canada and states they “are also responsible for creating, maintaining and administering the so-called “Pending Lists” that are the subject of the current litigation”; that, specific to publishing, divisions of the four represent the “‘major’ music publishers active in Canada”. Yet the number of music publishers they represent has decreased over time due to consolidation and defection from the CRIA.

Geist summarizes the record company strategy as “exploit now, pay later if at all”. This despite the CMRRA and SODRAC being required to give lists of all collections they represented to record labels, and for record labels to supply copies of material being released to permit assessment of content that either group may represent interested parties for. Where actual Mechanical License Agreements are in place, Basskin implies their terms are particularly broad and preclude any party exercising their legal right to decline to license.

Specific to the current Mechanical Licensing Agreement (MLA) between the CMRRA and the CRIA; a “label is required to provide an updated cumulative Pending List to CMRRA with each quarterly payment of royalties under the MLA.” The CMRRA is required to review the list and collect where appropriate royalties and interest due. Basskin describes his first encounter with pending lists, having never heard of them before 1989, thus:

[…I]n the early years of my tenure, CRMMA received Pending Lists from the record labels in the form of paper printouts of information. The information contained on these lists varied from record label to record label, [… i]n fact, within a few days after my arrival at CMRRA, I recall my predecessor, Paul Berry, directing my attention to a large stack of paper, about two feet high. and informing me that it was PolyGram’s most recent Pending List. Prior to that introduction I had never heard of Pending Lists.

Alain Lauzon, General Manager of Canada’s Society for Reproduction Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (SODRAC) submitted his followup affidavit January 28, 2009 to be attached to the case and identify the society as a plaintiff. As such, he up-front states “I have knowledge of the matters set out herein.” Lauzon, a qualified Chartered Accountant with an IT specialisation, joined SODRAC in 2002 with “over 20 years of business experience.” He is responsible for “negotiation and administration of industry-wide agreements for the licensing of music reproduction and distribution”; licensing of radio and online music services use is within his remit.

Lauzon makes it clear that Baker’s estate, other rightsholders enjoined to the case, SODRAC, and CMRRA, have reached an agreed settlement; they wish to move forward with a class proceeding against the four main members of the CRIA. He requests that the court recognise this in relation to the initially accepted case from August 2008.

The responsibility to obtain mechanical licenses for recordings manufactured and/or released in Canada falls with the Canadian labels by law, by industry custom, and by contractual agreement.

The preamble of the affidavit continues to express strong agreement with that of David Basskin from CMRRA. Lauzon concurs regarding growing use of “pending lists” and that “[…] record labels have generally been unwilling to take the steps that would help to resolve the Pending List problem.”

With his background as an authority, Lauzon states with confidence that SODRAC represents “approximately 10 to 15% of all musical works that are reproduced on sound recordings sold in Canada.” For Quebec the figure is more than 50%.

Lauzon agrees that the four named record company defendants are the “major” labels in Canada, and that smaller independent labels will usually work with them or an independent distribution company; and Basskin’s statement that “[t]he responsibility to obtain mechanical licenses for recordings manufactured and/or released in Canada falls with the Canadian labels by law, by industry custom, and by contractual agreement.”

Wikinews attempted to contact people at the four named defendant CRIA-member record labels. The recipient of an email that Wikinews sent to Warner Brothers Canada forwarded our initial correspondence to Hogarth PR; the other three majors failed to respond in a timely fashion. Don Hogarth responded to Wikinewsie Brian McNeil, and, without addressing any of the submitted questions, recommended a blog entry by Barry Sookman as, what he claimed is, a more accurate representation of the facts of the case.

I am aware of another viewpoint that provides a reasonably deep explanation of the facts, at www.barrysookman.com. If you check the bio on his site, you’ll see that he is very qualified to speak on these issues. This may answer some of your questions. I hope that helps.

Sookman is a lobbyist at the Canadian Parliament who works in the employ of the the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA). Hogarth gave no indication or disclosure of this; his direction to the blog is to a posting with numerous factual inaccuracies, misdirecting statements, or possibly even lies; if not lies, Sookman is undoubtedly not careful or “very qualified” in the way he speaks on the issue.

Sookman’s blog post opens with a blast at Professor Geist: “his attacks use exaggeration, misleading information and half truths to achieve his obvious ends”. Sookman attempts to dismiss any newsworthiness in Geist’s article;

[… A]s if something new has happened with the case. In fact, the case was started in August 2008 (not October 2008 as asserted by Prof. Geist). It also hasn’t only been going on “for the past year”, as he claims. Chet Baker isn’t “about to add a new claim to fame”. Despite having started over a year and a half ago, the class action case hasn’t even been certified yet. So why the fervour to publicise the case now?
HAVE YOUR SAY
Should the court use admitted unpaid amounts, or maximum statutory damages – as the record industry normally seeks against filesharers?
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As the extracted [see right] stamp, date, and signature, shows, the court accepted amendments to the case and its submission, as Professor Geist asserts, on October 6. The previously mentioned submissions by the heads of CMRRA and SODRAC were indeed actions within the past year; that of SODRAC’s Alain Louzon being January 28 this year.

Sookman continues his attack on Professor Geist, omitting that the reverse appears the case; analysis of his blog’s sitemap reveals he wrote a 44-page attack on Professor Geist in February 2008, accusing him of manipulating the media and using influence on Facebook to oppose copyright reform favourable to the CRIA. In the more current post he states:

Prof. Geist tries to taint the recording industry as blatant copyright infringers, without ever delving into the industry wide accepted custom for clearing mechanical rights. The pending list system, which has been around for decades, represents an agreed upon industry wide consensus that songwriters, music publishers (who represent songwriters) and the recording industry use and rely on to ensure that music gets released and to the market efficiently and the proper copyright owners get compensated.

This characterisation of the pending list only matches court records in that it “has been around for decades”. CMRRA’s Basskin, a lawyer and industry insider, goes into great detail on the major labels resisting twenty years of collective societies fighting, and failing, to negotiate a situation where the labels take adequate measures to mechanically license works and pay due fees, royalties, and accrued interest.

What Sookman clearly overlooks is that, without factoring in any interest amounts, the dollar value of the pending list is increasing, as shown with the following two tables for mid-2008.

As is clear, there is an increase of C$1,101,987.83 in a three-month period. Should this rate of increase in the value of the pending list continue and Sony’s unvalued pending list be factored in, the CRIA’s four major labels will have an outstanding debt of at least C$73 million by end-2012 when the association’s Mechanical Licensing Agreement runs out.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Payment_pending;_Canadian_recording_industry_set_for_six_billion_penalties%3F&oldid=2496317”

Energy Efficiency Ideas For The Office

Energy Efficiency Ideas for the Office

by

Hershel Mckinney

Many companies are utilizing energy efficient products for their business to save funds on power bills and to make their buildings greener. Every year there are new improvements on old products that make them more energy efficient than the last product such as hot water heaters, air conditioners, and windows. Greener products are easier over the pocket book and all over better for the environment.

Heating and Air Conditioners

In the summer months it may get incredibly hot and might drastically increase electric bills to remain the office cool. Many people turn their lights down within their homes to decrease the quantity of heat generated in their residence, however, this is not possible to do in an office setting. Old air conditioning systems may be sucking up the many electricity to run. A new air conditioning system will actually use 40% and also less electricity than an older style. Heating units may have the same problem once they are old or aged. An upgraded furnace tend to make a huge difference to the next power bill.

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Windows and Commercial Skylights

Even with an updated air conditioning unit, a room or office can have trouble cooling down as a result of inefficient windows. Single pain windows and windows that not seal will allow heat in from outside the house. The same problem will arise in the winter months. Cold air will leak with the window and the office will have to run the heater more than should be needed. Increasing the thickness with the window by installing some sort of dual pain window can provide more insulation. During the summer the office will stay cooler and the building will remain warmer in the winter months. Many business install commercial skylights on their building to allow more light in the office without having to turn on the lights. Commercial skylights are energy efficient plus they can give the office a clean and skilled look.

Tips for People

Employees can also help minimize the quantity of electricity that is used around the office. After using office equipment which include copy machines, fax machines, computers, and coffee makers employees can turn them off or quite possibly unplug them. Computer screen savers don\’t actually reduce energy make use of. Turning the monitor off provides improvement over leaving it on when the computer is not being used. There are energy successful laptops and desktops that can be purchased to save money in the long run. Battery chargers for handphones and laptops should be unplugged once they are not in use because they still use energy even if they are not charging anything.

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Article Source:

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