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Monday, October 11, 2010
WND's Klein Misleads About Lessig, Al Jazeera
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Another day, another bogus attack by Aaron Klein on another Obama official.

An Oct. 5 WorldNetDaily article by Klein makes the misleading accusation that Obama adviser Lawrence Lessig has "mass marketed" video footage created by Al Jazeera:

In 2001, Lessig founded Creative Commons, a non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share.

In January 2009, Creative Commons launched a massive repository of broadcast-quality video footage, working with Al Jazeera to make the Arab network's video footage available for free downloading. Lessig's group mass marketed Al Jazeera's footage of Israel's December 2008 war in Gaza targeting Hamas.

Al Jazeera has been widely criticized for disseminating Hamas propaganda, including claims civilians were targeted in Israeli operations.

During the time it worked with Lessig's group, Al Jazeera said its online broadcasts increased by over 500 percent, while views of videos on its YouTube channel increased by more than 150 percent.

Klein appears to be seriously overstating what Lessig did with Al Jazeera. There's no evidence Lessig "mass marketed" Al Jazeera's videos, and Creative Commons does not operate Al Jazeera's video archive. Rather, Al Jazeera operates a video archive from which others can use video under a Creative Commons license, which according to a Creative Commons press release makes that video "available for free to be downloaded, shared, remixed, subtitled and eventually rebroadcasted by users and TV stations across the world with acknowledgement to Al Jazeera." It seems that at most, all Lessig did was help facilitate the license.

Further, as a non-profit group, Creative Commons doesn't really do any "mass marketing" beyond promoting that the video was available under a Creative Commons license.

The rest of Klein's article is his usual guilt-by-association red-baiting, such as calling Lessig a "close associate" of "an avowed Marxist."

Posted by Terry K. at 4:51 PM EDT

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