Friday, March 1, 2013

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.

Thanks,

Tim

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."

Sincerely,



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!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Amazing Race's Amazing Moment

This past Sunday, December 9th, the conclusion of the twenty-first season of the CBS television show 'The Amazing Race' was broadcast.

For those of you who do not know, 'The Amazing Race' is a multiple Emmy Award winning competitive reality show that takes eleven or twelve teams of two contestants each to various locations around the world. (One season the teams consisted of family units of four contestants each.) The prize for the winner of the finale is one million dollars in cash, and there are prizes for winning each particular leg along the way.  For example, second place finishers Jaymes and James each won a new Ford Escape for winning the next to last leg of the race.  The show's exotic locales are often visually stunning as well as eye opening to both the contestants and the show's fans. 

Another good thing about the show is that, unlike some shows like 'Survivor', it is not necessary to be devious or to trick other contestants to win. It does happen once in a while on 'The Amazing Race' (There was an incident on this season of the show involving contestants James and Abba's money that upset some fans.); however, sneakiness is not generally a part of this show.  

At each location the teams must perform some task that is usually related to the local culture. There is often a choice of two tasks, and if the tasks can not be completed there is a four hour penalty. Most weeks one team is eliminated, but some weeks it is a non elimination, and the team that finishes last that particular week has to perform an extra task to stay in the race. The final task of the race is always something related to the places the teams have traveled to during the race, and this season was no different. In the shadow of the United Nations building in New York City, the final three teams had to match the words for 'hello' and 'goodbye' with the flags from various countries the teams had been to during the course of the race.

So, what was the amazing moment for 'The Amazing Race' this season? It was the winning team of Josh and Brent. Josh and Brent are a gay couple with a fifteen year relationship.  For the past three years Josh has been living in the city during the week to work while Brent remained on their farm.  They wanted to win the money so they could pay off their bills and live in the same place together again. (Other contestants have interesting stories as well; for example, James wanted to win to help out his father who is battling cancer.) 

The fact Josh and Brent are a gay couple is not what is amazing; there have been gay contestants on the show before, and there are certain to be more on the show in the future.  Underdogs and discounted nearly the entire race, Josh and Brent slipped under the radar and won the race.  Even as the final three teams raced, third place finisher Lexi Beerman was still discounting them as competition.  Moments after host Phil Keoghan pronounced them the official winners of the race, Josh kissed Brent. 

What is so amazing about that kiss?  The fact that a loving couple of so many years was able to show that love on a highly rated television show like 'The Amazing Race' is amazing.  It shows that we have actually made some progress in the United States in recognizing LGBT couples as equals.  I am virtually certain that there are those out there who do not see things the way I do, and didn't like Josh and Brent kissing each other on the show.  These are probably the same people who are against the gay marriage initiatives in various parts of the United States.  I, however, thought it was wonderful.  I give Josh and Brent kudos for persevering, having a loving relationship, and for not being afraid to show it.  I also compliment Phil and the other contestants for being happy for them.   

Cast member Rob French, a monster truck driver who practically defines the term redneck, stated at the end of the show Josh and Brent had really opened his eyes and that it was not for him to judge other people's lifestyle.  There's that word 'lifestyle' again, as if it were a choice, but at least Rob is making progress.  If even one person can learn something from people like Josh and Brent, then we are indeed making some progress! 

Click here to watch the full broadcast of the final episode of 'The Amazing Race'.

Click here to watch full episodes of each week of 'The Amazing Race'.

Click here to watch a video clip of the winning moment.

Click on this link to meet the teams from this season of 'The Amazing Race'.

Click here to meet the show's adventurous host Phil Keoghan.

Watch this exclusive secret scene-Josh and Brent 'Underdogs On Top'.

Click here to view photos from this season of 'The Amazing Race'.

Visit the Human Rights Campaign website for more information on how you can help support the campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equal Rights.

Click here for more information on the state of marriage equality in the United States.

The Amazing Race's amazing moment captured.


One CBS official photo of Josh and Brent.

Join Josh and Brent on Facebook, and subscribe to their newsletter.  Also, click here to follow them on Twitter, and here to visit their official website!  Josh and Brent also have a show on The Cooking Channel known as The Fabulous Beekman Boys that chronicles their life on Beekman Farm in upstate New York.





Friday, January 20, 2012

Johnny Weir Announces His Return to Competitive Figure Skating

Update:  Please read Misfit Mimes' blog 'Unstoppable'!  Wonderful in it's simplicity and the beautiful photo of Johnny and Vitya!

Vote for Johnny Weir as 'Best Improv Ice Skater'

One vote per person per day.
Voting ends on January 31st, 2012.
The “Best Improv-Ice Skater” will be announced during Pandora Unforgettable Moments of Love on Ice on Saturday, February 4, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. EST on NBC.


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Ever since Johnny Weir announced in late 2010 he was taking a year off from competitive figure skating his fans have been wondering if he would return to competition.  The 2014 Olympics are set to take place in Sochi; a city in Krasnodar Krai, Russia, on the coast of the Black Sea.  Any fan of Johnny's knows how much he loves the Russian culture and the Russian people, and the feeling is mutual.  These factors would seem to influence his decision on whether to try and make the 2014 Olympic team or not.
There is also a sense of unfinished business where Johnny Weir and the Olympics are concerned. 

Weir, though he did not perform badly at Torino in 2006, faltered and failed to win the Olympic medal he so desired.  The next four years were up and down for Weir competitively, and he fell out of favor with the United States Figure Skating Association.  There was no love lost between the organization and Weir; however, he performed well enough at the 2010 U.S. Championships in Spokane, Washington to qualify for the United States Olympic Team and competed at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Washington. 

Any fan of Weir's knows what happened next.  After performing a near perfect short program titled 'I Love You, I Hate You', Weir performed a stunningly beautiful long program he had named 'Fallen Angel'.  He had placed sixth after the short program, and he remained in sixth place after his Fallen Angel free skate.  While some believe the placings were fair, many figure skating fans were shocked at Johnny Weir placing sixth in Vancouver.  Without going too heavily into the politics of figure skating, the hurtful comments made about Weir and any other issues involved; Weir's sixth place finish was extremely difficult to understand for many figure skating fans. 

Since the Vancouver Olympics, Johnny Weir has absolutely thrived.  He has skated in numerous figure skating shows, appeared on talks shows and at events, written an autobiography and embarked on a book tour, designed a line of ladies dresses, released a single titled 'Dirty Love', been interviewed and photographed numerous times including for the JW Art Project, appeared at fashion shows and walked runways at New York Fashion Week, become the face of 'Glitter and Ice' for Mac Cosmetics, and filmed season two of his reality show 'Be Good Johnny Weir'.  And that list is only part of what he has been up to in the last two years!      

Oh yeah...  There was that little thing about getting married on New Year's Eve to the wonderful Victor Voronov!

But back to the unfinished business...

As a long time fan of Johnny Weir there are few things I would like more for him than for him to have the Olympic medal I feel he so richly deserves.  I'd love to see him compete and make the team in Sochi and just show everyone for the umpteenth time just how good he really is.  I do have concerns, however. He's never been a favorite of the figure skating establishment, and that is unlikely to change any time soon.  The current scoring system does not favor a skater with the artistic brilliance he possesses, though he can certainly hold his own technically.  And of course, he IS a three time United States champion.

He'll be twenty nine years old in Sochi; not old in human terms, but certainly not young in competitive figure skating terms. However, I'm a fan and I will support him in whatever he decides to do...  And as a friend of mine on Facebook said, figure skating desperately needs Johnny Weir.  At a time when the sport is in a slump, at least partly due to the convoluted judging system and the near robotic state skaters, especially male skaters, are forced into to score enough points to win; as I stated above, Weir is thriving.  He is enormously popular, possibly the single most popular skater around the world; and yes, competitive figure skating DOES need him.  However, as another friend stated, HE doesn't need IT.

Now that I've said those words...  Oh Wednesday,  January 18th, Johnny tweeted his fans these words:

"Coming to you guys tomorrow with some BIG news! Life is funny & it can change in a second. Cherish it all. The good & the bad."

This tweet caused an enormous amount of buzz amongst Johnny's fans, some of whom speculated for hours on Twitter and other sites about what Johnny could possibly mean by that.  Obviously it was something good, right?  But the tone of the rest of the tweet...the good the bad?  What on earth did THAT mean?

Well, we found out Thursday, January 19th 2012 when Johnny Weir announced his return to competitive figure skating! 

After releasing an official statement about his comeback, Johnny appeared at a press conference at which he announced his plans to return to competitive skating with an eye toward making the 2014 Olympic team and competing in Sochi.  He will retire for certain after the next Olympics.

Almost immediately skating fans, especially Johnny's fans, were abuzz with talk of his competitive return.  Within a very short period of time a number of articles had already been written, many of them from major journalistic entities such as Sports Illustrated, USA TodayESPN and the New York Times.  More are certain to follow.

All I can say at this point is, GO JOHNNY GO!

VIDEO of his twenty minute press conference may be found here and here!  (I can't figure out how to embed it, so leave me alone about it, okay?)

I have also posted sixteen photographs from his press conference. He looks great, doesn't he?  Beautiful smile and I love the hair!









NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 19: Figure skater Johnny Weir announces his competitive figure skating comeback at a press conference at West Bank Cafe on January 19, 2012 in New York City. (Photos by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)   

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Read my friend Misfit Mimes blog 'The Official Johnny Weir Blog'!  She rocks!

Johnny Weir on Twitter

Johnny Weir's Official Website

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@JohnnyGWeir tweet:
The moment I tweeted you all from my press conference about my comeback as captured by


The Tweet in question:

And one more Tweet for the road:

Along with my response:

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Little Holiday Music...

Merry Christmas to all my friends and family members around the world!

Thanks to my friend Lauren and her blog The Bumblebee Protocol for giving me this idea for posting Christmas music!  I wish I had thought of it sooner!


Norad tracks Santa Claus as he travels around the world!

There are so many good (and bad) holiday songs I can not possibly name them all!  There are also some very good (and bad) versions of Christmas songs.

Some of my favorite Christmas songs:

Michael Crawford 'O Holy Night' (His version is absolutely my favorite one!)

Another source for Michael Crawford 'O Holy Night'

Josh Groban 'O Holy Night' (Josh has a beautiful voice, but he doesn't hit the notes the way Michael does.)

Bruce Springsteen 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town'
I think this is the version we've gotten used to hearing Bruce Springstseen sing on the radio. It was done at CW Post College back in 1975. I did see him do it live once, at a concert November 25, 1984 at Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas.  I love it!

Band Aid 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' (Enough said!)

Bing Crosby 'White Christmas', also here! (From the movie 'White Christmas'!)

But the song was introduced in the movie 'Holiday Inn':

Bing Crosby and David Bowie 'The Little Drummer Boy' and 'Peace On Earth'

Gary Hoey 'Ho, Ho, Hoey', 'The Twelve Days of Christmas', and 'You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch'. (Trust me, his guitar version of the Grinch is awesome!)

The Little Drummer Boy by a local band, and also by Neil Diamond.

I've always said I would love to see a good rock version of 'The Little Drummer Boy', with an awesome drum solo. One was done a number of years ago, but I can NOT remember who sang it, so I can't really even look for it.

Gene Autry 'Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer' (his was the original version); and Burl Ives version here!

Jimmy Durante sings 'Frosty the Snowman'

A Soldier's 'Silent Night'

Another Soldier's 'Silent Night'

And 'A Soldier's Christmas'

I heard a punk rock type version of 'Silent Night' about twenty five years ago. It was great, but again, I can NOT remember who sang it, so I really can't even look for it!

Luciano Pavarotti 'Adeste Fideles'

Believe it or not I learned this song in Latin back in the Dark Ages.  But I doubt seriously if any of us even came close to sounding remotely like Pavarotti!

Andrea Bocelli 'Noche de Paz' ('Silent Night')

Boney M 'Mary's Boy Child'


Bonus Holiday Videos:

ADAM SANDLER - CHANUKAH (HANUKKAH) SONG [PART 1]

Adam Sandler: The Chanukah Song Part 2

ADAM SANDLER - CHANUKAH (HANUKKAH) SONG [PART 3]

U2 'New Year's Day'

Dan Fogelberg 'Same Auld Lang Syne'

Barry Manilow 'It's Just Another New Year's Eve'

Happy Holidays from the Arizona Diamondbacks!  There's a video!






Tuesday, June 14, 2011

From Johnny Weir, A Note To His Fans

Update June 15th:

Read my friend MisfitMimes Blog Freedom

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Early on June 14th Johnny Weir posted this note to his fans on his official website:

Johnny Weir: A Note to My Fans

To my fans,


I want to formally announce that I will not compete in the upcoming season. I have dreamt of returning to competition for the upcoming season, but due to many obligations in my professional life, I will not be able to devote enough time to my training and my representation of the United States in international competition.

I realize that a huge percentage of my fan base is awaiting my return to the competitive ice and I beg your pardon for not fulfilling your wishes this year. I do not want any of my fans to lose hope as I am still on the ice, still training hard whenever my schedule permits. I still have a very competitive attitude, and after one more year off the competitive ice, I hope to return, and my team and I are already taking a very rigid approach to my schedule in 2012 so that I will have proper time to train for the figure skating high season.

I have had many big successes in my professional life since my performance at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, and I continue to strive for perfection in every aspect of my public life. I wake up every day and go to sleep every night hoping that I’ve made my fans around the world proud with whatever I am doing, whether it’s a skating show, a public appearance, or a new episode of my TV show. I would be nothing without my thousands of fans around the world, and I hope I can continue to make you proud. I will be back on the ice, competing for you, very soon.

In the meantime, my fans can look forward to my collaborations with MAC cosmetics and eDressMe.com; “Spectacular,” an ice concert I am creating for this fall; a new season of my hit reality show, Be Good Johnny Weir, on Logo; and of course skating around the world in exhibition performances.

I’d like to thank my many fans across the globe for your continued support and faith in me. No matter what, my eyes are still firmly fixed on Sochi and the 2014 Olympic Games.

Thank you.

Johnny G. Weir

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I am looking forward to all the things Johnny has mentioned! It must have been a difficult, even agonizing decision for him to make to take another year off from competition. But he has to do what is best for him, and right now he has to take the opportunities that are coming his way. He may never have another chance to do so! I support him in whatever he chooses to do; it is his life!

Go Johnny go!




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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Johnny Weir at L.A. Pride Parade PicSpam

June 14, 2011 Update:

More than a hundred photos on Facebook, posted by LA PRIDE / Christopher Street West

June 13, 2011 Update:

Read my friend Misfit Mimes' Blog with pictures, video and wrap up: Happy Pride!

Article: Exclusive: Grand Marshal Johnny Weir Snaps At Anti-Gay Protestors At Parade

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Johnny Weir appeared as Grand Marshal of the L.A. Pride Parade on Sunday June 12, 2011 in West Hollywood, California.  Here are some pictures of Johnny and his appearance at the parade!  The parade was also carried live on West Hollywood Channel 10 and also via webcast.

@EricAltSalons twitpic of he, Johnny and Tara dressed for the parade
Johnny and Tara on the way to L.A. Pride posted by Tara Modlin
On the float Twitpic posted by Masayobenoist
Johnny Weir, Grand Marshal of the LA Gay Pride Parade Twitpic by GayWeHo
Eric Altomare and Johnny on the float from YahooNews
@EricAltSalons twitpic of Tara on Johnny's float
@EricAltSalons twitpic of himself on Johnny's float
@EricAltSalons twitpic of Johnny's 'Victory Sign' dance
@tmodlin yfrog close up of Johnny
@JohnnyGWeir's yfrog view from his float
@tmodlin's yfrog view from the float
Grand Marshal Johnny Weir & Margaret Cho by Amanduh on Instagr.am
@tmodlin yfrog of Johnny, herself and 'Dirty Love'
Johnny wows the crowd
L.A. Pride Guide Magazine cover




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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Johnny Weir talks Gay Pride in Los Angeles

Updated June 12, 2011 with two links and two photos!  Also, this information is a bit late (it is also available in the included links to the LA Pride Website and parade), but the parade can be watched live in two places: via West Hollywood Channel Ten or via the live webcast at this link!

Twitpic provided by Eric Altomare of he, Johnny and Tara Modlin's parade outfits:


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Johnny Weir has attached his name to a Gay Pride celebration for the first time.  L.A. Pride 2011 is actually a three day event beginning Friday June 10th and continuing through Saturday and Sunday with a two day festival and parade.  Sunday June 12th Johnny will ride a float down Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood as Grand Marshal of Christopher Street West's 41st annual Pride parade.

Johnny Weir on being honored in Sunday's pride parade (Article includes the video below)
Johnny Weir talks gay pride parade (Video)


Saturday June 11 tweet from Johnny Weir:
Purple Party Event Friday June 10, 2011

 Festival Main Stage Saturday June 11, 2011


L.A. Pride Official Website

Photo Gallery: LA PRIDE 2011 Opening Night Purple Party

Johnny Weir: The Grandest Marshal of Them All

Pride, Music, Fun and Madame Tussauds

400,000 people expected at LA Pride parade on Sunday in West Hollywood


Read my friend MisfitMimes Blogs:

Proud
Next Stop: LA PRIDE!

LA Confidential: PRIDE Preview Petit Picspam!

If It's Wednesday, This Must Be Miami ... No, Wait, Philly ... No, Crap, It's Thursday

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