Posts Tagged 'Johannes Mehserle'

The Terrible Myth

In light of the extremely lenient sentence that ex-BART cop Johannes Mehserle received last week for killing an unarmed Oscar Grant, it seemed appropriate to post this excerpt from a speech William Kunstler gave in the 1970s regarding the legitimacy of the United States justice system.

The above video is also included in the thought-provoking documentary William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe.

Oakland PD Lifts Flickr Looting Photos

Photo by Thomas Hawk

Photographer and blogger Thomas Hawk is helping the Oakland Police Department apprehend looters. He didn’t agree to that, mind you. When reading a San Francisco Chronicle article about police trying to track down looting suspects in the aftermath of BART cop Johannes Mehserle’s manslaughter conviction, Hawk recognized his own photos in the batch. It seems that, to aid their police work, the Oakland PD took photos off Flickr from the riots and released them to the media.

The legal issue here is hazy – at least Hawk’s photos were under Creative Commons, which means people are able “to copy, distribute and transmit the work” with the condition that attribution is given. But the Oakland PD did not give attribution and, seemingly, released them as their own. To cover themselves, the Chronicle uses the credit “Obtained from Oakland Police.”  

Does it seem weird to you that law enforcement are essentially breaking copyright law to aid in their police work? How hard would it have been to include the photographers’ names with the photos?

Post from Thomas Hawk

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