PROTECT IP is protecting... who?

These past couple weeks have been a strange and unsettling time in the ever-more-murky world of copyright and intellectual property.  The most concerning development is the proposed PROTECT IP act, the easier to say but still difficult to swallow successor to COICA, has been submitted in Congress.  Immediately following the bill’s introduction a number of individuals, organizations and experts have expressed their discomfort with both the bill itself and the implications it has for the future of information exchange. We at

Demand Progress have been an adamant voice in opposition to both of these bills, follow the link and add your voice to ours.  (http://act.demandprogress.org/sign/protectip_docs)

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Iowa gets "F" grade on open-records law

Iowa was one of 38 states to get an “F” on its open records law, according to this front-page article in Thursday’s Des Moines Register.

“The question posed was: Do states have a good apparatus built to … make it easier to further a complaint short of litigating?” said Charles Davis, executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. The group helped sponsor the study, which was conducted by the Better Government Association last year.

Sponsors of the study stressed the research attempted to measure how easy it was for citizens to obtain access to records, not the strength of state open records laws themselves.

There are a lot of interesting details in the article, so if freedom of information is a big issue for you, click the link.

The Register’s editorial board writes a lot about open-records law, and I give them credit for that. Unfortunately, under Gannett’s ownership, the Register hasn’t devoted nearly enough resources to solid investigative reporting.

I wish the editors were assigning more reporters to dig into the information that’s already publicly available.

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