CEI Today: CEI sues EPA, copyright bots target videos, and governors seek ethanol waivers
LAWSUIT TO FORCE TRANSPARENCY - CHRISTOPHER HORNER
The Competitive Enterprise Institute today filed suit in federal district court for the District of Columbia challenging the Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to shield a senior official’s practice of hiding public service on private e-mail accounts that only he controls or can access.
The complaint demonstrates the epidemic in the Obama administration of moving controversial actions to non-public e-mail accounts. By exposing this practice, the suit will pave the way for obtaining all such public records stashed in private corners and thus out of reach of the nation's transparency laws, which clearly prohibit this kind of activity.
COPYRIGHT BOTS - WILL TEW
A string of mistaken, high-profile takedowns has caused some talk about the services video hosting sites like Ustream and YouTube use to police livestreaming content. YouTube’s take-down of the livestream of the NASA Curiosity rover’s landing was the first of these incidents. Subsequently, YouTube blocked the stream of Michelle Obama’s speech at the DNC, and Ustream cut off sci-fi author Neil Gaiman’s speech at the Hugo Awards, apparently for showing licensed clips from Doctor Who.
It’s hard to balance efficient copyright enforcement while recognizing and protecting fair use. But as things are now, over-enforcement copyright claims is less expensive than under-enforcement, and automated takedown is here to stay.
ETHANOL MANDATE - MARLO LEWIS
The Governors of Georgia, Texas, Arkansas, Delaware, Maryland, New Mexico, and North Carolina have petitioned EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to waive the mandatory ethanol blending requirements established by the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The petitioners hope thereby to lower and stabilize corn prices, which recently hit record highs as the worst drought in 50 years destroyed one-sixth of the U.S. corn crop. Corn is the principal feedstock used in ethanol production.