Will you advocate for an Internet that respects creators?

From Creative America:

As you know, the problem of content theft involves a complex system of players that includes advertisers, advertising networks, payment processors, search engines, universities and others who, one way or another, are part of an online ecosystem that allows criminals to profit off others’ creative works.

This week, in a positive development, the content community and internet service providers (ISPs) officially launched the Copyright Alerts System, a collaborative effort to educate consumers about the importance of copyright protection and help them find better ways to enjoy digital content.

Call on CEOs to stop supporting advertising on illegal content websites now!

In addition, in recent weeks, more and more voices — the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab, bloggers like Vox Indie, Music Tech Policy, and The Trichordist to name a few — are shining a light on the ongoing problem of advertising networks funneling revenue to illegal, content-infringing websites.

The Copyright Alliance, an ally in protecting creators online, has launched a petition calling on CEOs of major corporations to stop tacitly supporting pirate sites by advertising on the networks that pay these websites.

Will you sign the Copyright Alliance’s petition asking advertisers to stop advertising on pirate sites?

Together, we can advocate for an Internet that works for everyone, including creators and makers who deserve to be protected from online theft.



Copyright Advocates

Stop advertising on pirate sites

“The rise of ad-supported pirate networks is a relatively new phenomena stemming from the birth of large peer to peer (P2P) Internet sites in 2001. In the last five years a huge number of new ad networks have sprung up to service the seemingly infinite ad inventory of the broadband era. Much of that inventory sits on the more than 150,000 pirate entertainment sites.” USC Annenberg Ad Transparency Report, February 14, 2013. 

Sign this letter to the CEOs of brands that appear on multiple occasions on infringing sites. Ask them to take a pledge to keep their ads off of illegal sites. Keep in mind that this list is not a comprehensive list of brands that appear on pirate sites.

An Open Letter to the CEOs of Brands Advertising on Infringing Sites:

We, the undersigned, are just a few of the millions of artists and creators living, working, and creating across the United States. It has come to our attention that your companies are advertising on websites that illegally host or distribute creative content. We want to make you aware of the harm your companies do to independent artists and small businesses when you advertise on these sites.


Advertising on these sites encourages others to exploit our work for economic gain without a return to us. It deprives us of the opportunity to build communities with fans when they visit illegal sites to obtain our work, rather than our sites. It also gives consumers a false sense of security by lending an air of legitimacy to these sites. And, it rewards activities that are illegal.

Advertising on these sites also damages your own brands by association.

We understand that it can be difficult to know where your companies’ ads might end up because of the complexity of online advertising. However, difficult does not mean impossible. It appears that other companies make ad buys in ways that don’t result in their brands being tarnished and our work being exploited.

We ask you to encourage your companies to do the same.


You are in the best position to employ high-quality control standards and to demand the same from the ad networks you use. We encourage your companies to uphold high ethical standards for advertising placement, just as you do in other areas of business.

Please ask your online advertising purchasers to adopt practices like those detailed in the Statement of Best Practices to Address Online Piracy and Counterfeiting, released last year by the Association of National Advertisers, the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), and the Interactive Advertising Bureau. The practices outlined here, if adopted by major companies like yours, would go a long way towards ensuring a free and fair online marketplace for artists and creators to thrive. A report released by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Innovation Lab on February 14, 2013, under the direction of Jonathan Taplin, has identified the top ten Ad Networks placing ads on infringing sites. And, according to research and documentation by artists working in tandem with this project, your companies have been identified as brands that repeatedly advertise on infringing websites.

Now that this issue has been brought to your attention, we hope that you will take affirmative steps to address this problem.


We ask you to start by signing the following pledge here, which is also written below:

“I support the rights of artists, creators and innovators to be compensated for the fruits of their labor. I run my business ethically, and value my brand.  I pledge not to advertise on sites which illegally exploit the work of creators without their permission.”



Letter to be sent to CEOs and marketing directors of :

Adobe, ADT Security, Alaska Air, Amazon, American Express, AT&T, Audi, BMW, Boston Market, Boy Scouts, British Airways, Century 21, Charter, Citibank, Cox Communications, Crate & Barrel, DirectTV, Dish Network, ebay, Electronic Arts, Emirates Airline, Ferguson Showrooms, Ford Motor Company, GoPro, Google Chrome, Hertz, HP, Hilton Hotels, Hyatt Hotels, Hyundai, Jet Blue, Kayak, Kohler, LegalZoom, LG Electronics, Macy’s, Marvel Avengers Alliance, Mazda, MiniCooper, Musicians Friend, My M&M’s, Nationwide Insurance, Neiman Marcus, Netflix, Nissan USA, Priceline, Princess Cruises, Register.com, Rejuvenation Inc., Sheraton Hotels, Skype, Sprint, State Farm Insurance, Sweetwater Sound, Target, TuneCore, United Airlines, Urban Outfitters, Virgin Atlantic, Visa, VW, W Hotels, Weight Watchers, Wendy’s, Westin, Williams Sonoma, Yahoo

Sign the Petition here!


Outsource Me…

I am reposting this here, because it is considered a ‘Personal Blog’ and is not appropriate for my topic at Examiner.com.  I understand that, and I should have thought of that before posting it there. 

Thank you for reading and feel free to comment!


I have been writing for Examiner.com since September 2010. Even though I applied for two other topics at the time as this one, my topic is Mesa Unemployment Benefits Examiner. I picked that as one of my choices because I was unemployed at the time (and still am), and it is a topic I can safely say I know something about. However, the topic turned out to be more limiting than I thought it would be. Even though the unemployment situation here locally and also nationally in the United States has gotten a great deal of attention, I am a local Examiner, and my content is supposed to be localized. Not only that, there are only so many ways and so many times you can tell your readers how to apply for benefits, and where to apply and so forth. Therefore I have also written articles about local job fairs and specific company hiring events; and have started reporting statistics weekly on the unemployment rate as they are released by the U.S. Department of Labor.

I have not written anything on my personal situation, and in fact I have made an effort to NOT bring my personal situation into the articles I have been writing. With my personal situation coloring so much of my daily life sometimes it is difficult to be impersonal about what I write. Because of that I have decided to start today with a description of how I came to be where I am now.

A little over two years ago I was laid off from my job at a major financial institution in Phoenix, Arizona. My job was to assist customers via email and telephone contact with questions about their credit card payments and other issues related to credit cards and online banking. After a rough few years during which I had been laid off a couple of times and lost a job I had worked at for over ten years, I felt with this position as if I were making some progress again. The job paid fairly well and the benefits were the best I had ever had on any job. I felt as though the company was secure and so was my position. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

One of the frustrations we had on the job in my position was that we frequently had to transfer customers to other associates when their issues were really not that difficult to solve. We simply did not have the proper access to assist them. Then one day not too long before I was laid off we were told things would be changing; departments would be consolidating and the responsibilities and access would be similar across several departments. Therefore we would have to transfer customers less often and would be able to deal with more issues ourselves. The company began to set up training classes so associates could learn new programs on the computer system, and associates began picking what sessions would be best for them. My team, which had gone through training together and onto the floor as a unit, would also be split up amongst several other teams.

Then we were hit with another announcement: the overnight shift would be shutting down and the associates working on that shift would have to be absorbed into the rest of the department.

What was behind this announcement? Outsourcing. Our call center was not a twenty four hour operation; it actually shut down at 8p.m. local time. However, there was an overnight shift that focused solely on answering email. During the day when we were not as busy on the phones, or there was a heavy volume of email we also answered some, but email was the only focus of the night shift. The company had now decided to ship the email department to Guadalajara, Mexico. Everyone, including the night shift now had to fill out shift bids. Since I was new I believed I was likely to be stuck with whatever no one else wanted; however I was pleasantly surprised to find I was able to keep the shift I was already working even after absorbing the night shift. Therefore I thought everything was going to be okay. Unfortunately I was wrong.

One day I was called into a conference room with my team manager and his supervisor and told I was to be laid off. They did not call it a lay off, but that is of course what it really was. My team was the newest team, so of course we were the first target.

I am still not sure how many people from my team were actually laid off, thought I know it was at least four. I also do not know if there were people laid off from other departments, or from other teams. What I do know is that my plans and my life were once again in turmoil, and it was and is, a direct result of outsourcing. Outsourcing can and does affect people; it can and does hurt people. When a worker loses a job to outsourcing it is through no fault of their own, and beyond their control.  And it is often something that is depressing and extremely difficult to bounce back from.

Biggest corporate tax dodger – unbelievable

Subject: Biggest corporate tax dodger – unbelievable


It’s crazy, but the New York Times reported that while GE made over $14.2 billion in profits last year, they didn’t pay any federal tax. In fact, they got $3.2 billion in taxes back, from all of us taxpayers. I can tell you, as I sit down to do my taxes now, that really had me steamed.

And the tax loopholes that GE spent millions lobbying for keep their profits and jobs overseas, while they cut health care and retirement benefits for American workers. That had me absolutely sick.

The worst part is, GE’s CEO, Jeff Immelt, was appointed chair of President Obama’s Jobs Council—to advise the President on things like American workers and corporate tax. It’s just perverse. 

That’s why I signed a petition to get America’s Chief Executive Tax Dodger, Jeff Immelt, off the President’s Job Council. Can you join me at the link below?



NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation Fact Sheet

NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation Fact Sheet:

Take Action: Defend NPR & Join the “Muppet Lobby”

Take Action:  Defend NPR & Join the “Muppet Lobby”

Well, we’re only a few weeks into the 112th Congress, and already Republicans are trying to pull the plug on public media.  They’ve announced a budget plan to ZERO out all funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the nonprofit responsible for funding public media including NPR, PBS, Pacifica and more.

Fortunately, we’re working with our friends at CREDO and a number of other allies to fight back.  And over 400,000 people have already signed our petition to Congress to fully fund NPR and defend public service media.  Wow! 

Join them: Take action, spread the word (forward this email, share on FB, tweet it, etc.), and fight back.

National public broadcasting is remarkably cost effective, providing local news and information free of charge for millions of viewers — while only receiving about .0001% of the federal budget (that’s right — less than one ten-thousandth of a percent).

Oh, and not only is the Republican leadership trying to gut funding, they are openly mocking supporters of NPR and PBS.  Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina not only vowed to pursue the cuts, he derieded supporters of PBS as the “Muppet lobby.”  

Well, we’ve got our own message for Senator DeMint:  Muppet Lobby?  You BET we are!  If we have to choose between “Big Bird” and “Big Oil,” we know where we stand.  

And you can tell him that yourself:  Take action at Left Action, sign our petition, and tell Senator DeMint, “I Stand with the Muppet Lobby!” 

And a reminder, if you want to get even more involved with Left Action, here are other steps you can take:

Thanks again.


John Hlinko and the Left Action team


D-backs’ FanFest ramps up excitement

D-backs’ FanFest ramps up excitement 

By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com | 02/12/11 9:30 PM EST

PHOENIX — For Ken Kendrick, the beginning of baseball season is not the first pitcher-catcher workout of Spring Training. Nor is it the first full-squad workout.

For the D-backs’ managing general partner, the 2011 season officially got underway Saturday with the Arizona Diamondbacks Subway FanFest at Chase Field.

An estimated 12,500 attended the event, which featured tours of the clubhouse, question-and-answer sessions with players, autograph and photo sessions and a host of interactive inflatables.

play video
FanFest at Chase Field
2/12/11: The D-backs host FanFest at Chase field, giving fans the opportunity to spend time with players and coaches
Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks
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“This is the real start of it here for me,” Kendrick said as he mingled on the field with fans. “You have the players here with the fans interacting, and you have the people here who really, really care about the Diamondbacks. These are our core fans that are always here and I enjoy getting to see them and see how excited they are about things getting going again.” There were a lot of new faces for fans to familiarize themselves with, from starter Armando Galarraga to reliever Kam Mickolio. Manager Kirk Gibson’s coaching staff was there as well, including newcomers Alan Trammell, Don Baylor, Charles Nagy and Eric Young. “It’s nice to see the fans,” catcher Miguel Montero said. “We’re having a lot of fun with them today. It’s always good. I see a lot of people out here that are supporting us and now we just have to support them with some more wins.” Kendrick said he sensed a lot of optimism among fans after a season in which the D-backs made significant organizational changes. Gone are GM Josh Byrnes and manager A.J. Hinch, and in their place are Kevin Towers and Gibson. The D-backs’ pitchers and catchers start reporting to the club’s new Spring Training facility — Salt River Field at Talking Stick — on Sunday. “It’s a chance for a new beginning in various ways,” Kendrick said. “You start with Salt River, the new Spring Training complex, and Kevin Towers, a new general manager with a great history, Gibby getting his first opportunity to put together a coaching staff and a big change in the roster. So you’re hopeful heading into the spring, and I’m enthusiastic about getting good, and I think the chances are that we’ll be pretty good.”

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @dbackswriter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Original article at this link contains four videos that will not properly display here.

D-Backs Announce Champs’ 10-year Reunion

D-backs announce champs’ 10-year reunion

2001 World Series winners will come back to desert Sept. 9-11

By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com | 02/11/11 12:29 PM EST

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks will turn back the clock Sept. 9-11 when they officially celebrate the 10th anniversary of the club’s World Series championship with the “2001 World Championship Reunion Weekend.”

The weekend will begin with the D-backs wearing throwback jerseys for the Sept. 9 game against the Padres. The club will wear the traditional home white top with purple pinstripes and the “A” logo. That was one of the uniform tops the club wore from 1998 through 2006, when its color scheme was purple, turquoise, copper and black. In 2007, the team switched to its current color scheme of sedona red, sonoran sand and black.

“The players on the 2001 team will always be remembered by D-backs fans for our proudest achievement,” D-backs team president and CEO Derrick Hall said. “So we want to make sure we have as many of them return to Chase Field in September to recreate those special memories.”

The Diamondbacks celebrated after winning Game 7 of the World Series over the Yankees on Nov. 4, 2001. (Matt York/AP)

Members of the 2001 team will be in attendance and will be recognized during a pregame ceremony Sept. 10. The players will also be celebrated during the game as the organization relives an inning-by-inning recap of the club’s Game 7 win over the New York Yankees.

The team said it will announce which players from the 2001 team will be in attendance at a later date.

The first 15,000 fans entering the ballpark on Sept. 10 will receive a 2001 World Championship Replica Ring, courtesy of Chase.

“I can’t believe it has been 10 years since our magical season in 2001 that created so many thrilling memories for D-backs fans throughout Arizona,” said Luis Gonzalez, who currently serves the D-backs as a special assistant to the president and CEO. “I am looking forward to seeing my former teammates and reliving the many memories from the 2001 World Series with our fans in September.”

To close out the weekend, the D-backs will honor first responders in remembrance of the many Americans who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

D-backs fans can purchase tickets to the “2001 World Championship Reunion Weekend” beginning Saturday, when D-backs 10-Pack ticket packages go on sale at SUBWAY D-backs FanFest, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. MST at Chase Field.

The D-backs’ 10-Pack packages include 10 flex tickets to 2011 regular-season games, $10 in D-bucks and a free MLB All-Star FanFest ticket. The ticket packages can also be purchased by calling (602) 514-8400.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @dbackswriter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs. 

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