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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has backed away from a DMCA take-down request to remove a YouTube video of a Tibetan protest at the Chinese consulate in New York.

The video in question (see below) was clearly not an example of copyright infringement. YouTube and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) both pushed back against the IOC, which then withdrew their complaint. As the EFF notes, however, the inaccurate title of the video was “Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony,” so in all likelihood, the IOC was filing DMCA notices for Olympics content, which has been springing up on YouTube faster than they can take it down.

Anthony Falzone, Executive Director of the Fair Use Project, was impressed that YouTube went beyond the call of duty in pushing back at the IOC. With the sheer volume of DMCA requests that YouTube must be fielding with the Olympics, taking the time to double-check the content is certainly impressive. At the same time, however, it highlights how much work YouTube has to do in terms of policing copyrighted content. The number of legal notices they have to respond to consume time and resources that might be put to better use.


Authorities have fired an official in central China after city inspectors beat to death a man who filmed their confrontation with villagers, China’s Xinhua news agency reports.


The killing has sparked outrage in China, with thousands expressing outrage in Chinese Internet chat rooms, often the only outlet for public criticism of the government.  The incident has also alarmed advocates of press freedom, who say municipal authorities had no right to attack a man for simply filming them.

Police have detained 24 municipal inspectors and are investigating more than 100 in the death of Wei Wenhua, a 41-year-old construction company executive, Xinhua reported on Friday.

The swift action by officials reflects concerns that the incident could spark larger protests against authorities, whose heavy-handed approach often arouses resentment.

On Monday Wei happened on a confrontation in the central Chinese province of Hubei between city inspectors and villagers protesting over the dumping of waste near their homes.

A scuffle developed when residents tried to prevent trucks from unloading the rubbish, Xinhua said.

When Wei took out his cell phone to record the protest, more than 50 municipal inspectors turned on him, attacking him for five minutes, Xinhua said. Wei was dead on arrival at a Tianmen hospital, the report said.

Qi Zhengjun, chief of the urban administration bureau in the city of Tianmen, lost his job over the incident, Xinhua reported Friday.

The beating was condemned online. “It’s no longer news that urban administrators enforce the law with violence,” said an editorial on the news Web site Northeast News, according to The Associated Press.

“But now someone has been beaten to death on site. It has brought us not surprise, but unspeakable anger.”

Chen Yizhong, a columnist on Xinhua’s Web site, asked why violence by city inspectors is allowed to continue. “Cities need administration, but urban administrators need to be governed by law first,” he wrote.

An international press freedom group, Reporters Without Borders, protested the killing.

“Wei is the first ‘citizen journalist’ to die in China because of what he was trying to film,” the group said in a statement.

“He was beaten to death for doing something which is becoming more and more common and which was a way to expose law-enforcement officers who keep on overstepping their limits.”

From Burmese Bloggers w/o Borders:

MAE SOT, Thailand: One of the main organizers of the September protest marches in Myanmar, Ashin Kovida, a 24-year-old Buddhist monk, escaped to Thailand last week by carrying a false identification card, dying his hair blond and wearing a crucifix.

On Thursday, Ashin Kovida offered details of his harrowing escape and insights into what has remained a central question about the September protests: Who organized the orderly lines of saffron-robed monks who marched through Yangon – and how.

Ashin Kovida crossed the border to Thailand illegally and said Thursday that he was planning to request refugee status. He is wanted by Myanmar’s military government, which accuses him of storing explosives in his monastery in Yangon, the largest city in Myanmar. The monk called that accusation absurd.

In a six-hour interview in this border town, he painted a picture of a bare-bones organization, a group of 15 monks in their 20s who organized the September demonstrations. He said he had been elected leader of the group and had been inspired by videos of the popular uprisings in Yugoslavia against the government of Slobodan Milosevic. The group received financial help from three well-known Burmese dissidents – an actor, a comedian and a poet – but did not receive any foreign assistance during their protests, Ashin Kovida said.

Read the rest of this entry »

THE mystery of what happened to Burma’s saffron army, the thousands of monks who inspired a nation to rise up against a brutal regime, then vanished overnight, has been unlocked.

Taken from their monasteries in a wave of midnight raids, they have been held in primitive, humiliating conditions designed to break them down physically, emotionally and spiritually.

The account of an 18-year-old novice, who was taken from the Mingalar Rama monastery in Rangoon, reveals that while the military may be in physical control, the monks still wield a powerful spiritual weapon.

Read the rest of this entry »

These images were taken inside Burma during the recent uprising. Obviously I cannot name who took them for safety reasons, nor do I want to link to the person who allowed me to post them. If you recognize these pictures… thank you, for letting the truth be shown.

(9) A young Burmese Buddhist monk holding a bowl upside down (24-9-07).jpg

(16) Burmese Buddhist nuns marching with prayers (24-9-07).jpg

(15) Burmese Buddhist monks marching, praying (24-9-07).jpg




Burma Point –

October 2, 2007

Press Release
U.N. Actions on Burma Should be Re-examined

People of Burma have constantly been hoping that United Nations would rescue them from the country ruled by the worst regime in the world. Many people have dropped their hopes only because the world body proved that it is unable to do anything concretely to intervene in order to save them from recent and current killings by the brutal regime in Burma.

In the midst of the recent killings, the U.N. sends a special envoy Mr. Ibrahim Gambari to Burma to ease the situation there. However, the top generals are still playing games with the top U.N. official, who once said after his first visit to Burma that the regime was ready to “turn a new page”. While Mr. Gambari is running up and down in the country to reconcile the nation, the generals are continuing to kill more monks, young students and ordinary citizens, according Burmese media.

The question is “Can the U.N. do anything to save those peaceful people?”

On September 29, Burma Point received a report that the U.N. office in Rangoon is useless. We have also receieved similar reports in the past about the office led by Mr. Charles Petrie, the U.N. country coordinator.

The particular report says that people tried calling the hot line numbers provided by the U.N. office on the night of September 28, when they heard that soldiers were approaching monasteries to make arrests. But a male employee at the office replied to one of the callers saying he would put it in record and he would also inform the U.N. When others made calls, an official responded that the office “could not do anything to help”.

It is obvious the fact that monks and people are being killed and dissapearing according to our sources. As a matter of fact, even food donors to protesters and onlookers are now being arrested and perhaps tortured. Some have been sent to infamous Insein jail without any legal charges by the authority. Now, the rest of the many peaceful monks have been forced to take off their robes. Many teachers and their students, who are in their teens, were ordered to kneel down and slapped by soldiers because they were somehow involved in the movement, said a woman. Thus, we strongly condemn the act of the regime that calls themselves State Peace and Development Council (SPDC).

Myint Soe, a former Central Working Committee member of the National League for Democracy party, which is led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, said that the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Rangoon is corrupted. Much of the planned development programmes are incomplete.

“Projects staffs and participants who are going to attend the workshops or trainings had to take recommendation letter from police station and even Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) about whether he or she has not involved in any criminal cases and political activities”, Myint Soe, Secretary of National League for Democracy – Liberated Area, explained.

USDA and police in Burma are, today, the real criminals that have killed hundreds of peaceful monks and people. Should our people continue to get recommendation letters from these departments?

We are very sadden and disappointed the fact that the U.N. continues to stay silent on the corruptions that exist between its officials and the ruling regime.

We, again, request that the U.N., the world leading organization, to protect and stand by its principles stated in its Universal Declaration of Human Rights by raising the loudest voice and taking concrete actions to prevent further killings and tortures by the ruling SPDC.

Contact: Moe Chan – 646-643-8689, 718-396-1464

Evening at the Shwedagon Pagoda
Photo From Helmut Schadt

From the Irrawaddy News Magazine

Burma Information Blackout: The Media War

“…This week, the incoming news has slowed down, and images are in short supply, yet the violent crackdown continues. Burma news has slipped back, replaced by the Ukraine election, the South Korean president’s visit to the north and events in Iraq.

The regime also successfully kept a lid on information about the UN envoy’s visit as Ibrahim Gambari spent much of his time in Naypyidaw, the dusty new capital where the regime’s propaganda war machine churns out its bizarre version of events.

But the news we received from Rangoon was appalling. Pre-dawn raids on monasteries did not stop. My colleague in Rangoon told me, “Monks were hunted down by soldiers, and they are now in hiding,” some monasteries were deserted and civilians protected monks by providing them hideouts. Notorious Insein Prison and temporary detention centers were filled with monks and civilians.

Reports suggest that monks in detention centers continue to hold to the alms boycott, refusing to accept alms or food from regime supporters. Some reports say that monks went on a hunger strike.

We also learned this week about the tremendous hardships faced by average people and reporters in Rangoon.”


Doing my rounds of the news tonight, I began to fall into a deep despair as I saw Burma and the monks slipping slowly from the pages and falling into obscurity. Anger washes over me and I am incensed that we are not taking more note of this. Thousands of monks have been injured and removed from their monasteries. The military is still raiding monasteries, still removing monks from hospitals and other places.

And what are we doing?

Writing about Britney Spears, Baseball, or how much Ford sales have plummeted.

I’m sorry… but some things are more important. Even on the BBC website it talks how Clinton is now the lead fundraiser (shame it’s all going to be wasted on bullshit political campaigning and not humanitarian work… )

Anyway, that being said, at least the BBC had a report tonight:

“”I’m really scared,” said one woman when she was sure no-one else could hear.

“I don’t want to be the next one to get a knock on the door from the soldiers in the middle of the night,” another man said.

They have good reason to be concerned. Thousands of monks and others who led the marches of the past few weeks have now been arrested – and these arrests are still continuing.

Most are picked up under cover of nightfall and corralled into large, heavily-guarded buildings on the outskirts of the city, such as the Government Technical Centre and the National Library.

The government has yet to confirm any details about the names or numbers of detainees, and families are left unsure whether their loved ones are imprisoned, dead or in hiding.”

More here:

BBC Asia

From the Democratic Voice of Burma:

“A monk being treated at Rangoon general hospital for gunshot wounds, caused when soldiers fired on protesters in Sule last Tuesday, was moved by government officials to an unknown location, according to a witness.

The monk, assumed to be aged around 30, was sent to Rangoon general hospital’s intensive care unit with a gunshot wound to his arm. Two members of the National League for Democracy in Thingangyun township, Ko Mya Than Htike and U Htun Shwe, and another unknown civilian were also sent to the hospital.
Ko Mya Than Htike’s wife told DVB that all four patients were shot and wounded during the government guards’ violent crackdown on protesters near Sule Pagoda on September 27 and were later taken to the hospital by civilian bystanders. She said the monk was seen being taken away from the hospital ward by police officers on Saturday morning.
“Now the monk is gone. We don’t where he was taken to. He had a plaster-cast on his arm where he has the gun-shot wound. It was police officials who took him away,” said Ko Mya Than Htike’s wife.
She added that her husband and the other two patients remained at the hospital under the close supervision of government officials to prevent information on their situation from reaching the media.
“The rest of them, including my husband, are still there in hospital. We were only allowed to see him briefly after his arrival at the hospital and the next day. The officials said they don’t want the news to spread.”
She said that Ko Myint Than Htike suffered leg injuries from the bullet wound and is still not able to walk while U Htun Shwe was shot in his arm. The unknown civilian, who could only be identified as an older male, assumed to be over 50, had a bone in his leg shattered by a bullet and faces the possibility of losing his leg.”

From Here: Democratic Voice of Burma

Many monks were beaten, shot, and injured… so where are they taking them now?


No Losar


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