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Archive for August, 2009

What are We Against?

Life Light Up

I went to church this morning. I’ve been dabbling in going to church for a few years but it’s hard for me to find a place that I’m comfortable. I think part of the reason is that most people go to church as a family. That really came into focus for me when I saw that this church (which is for most intents and purposes new to me) offers counseling for “being single.” It even sounds strange to me as I write it now, but this morning I thought, “hmmm, yeah, that’s interesting.” The idea of being a single parishioner is all well and good, but actually showing up at the sanctuary by yourself is something else entirely.

The other challenge, of course, is finding a Christian community that’s inclusive for gays and lesbians. As I reach out into the community as a whole, I’m finding that my sexuality is once again much more “out there” (pardon the pun) than I would otherwise make it. I don’t want to go to a church that has pride flags in the sanctuary (that’s not what church is about). At the same time, I can’t be an active part of a congregation if I can’t tell people that I’m an artistic leader of the Orlando Gay Chorus.

This weekend, I’m pleased to say, there is increasing hope that the Church is coming around. On Friday, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted by at 66% margin to allow gays and lesbians in committed relationships to serve as clergy. The final decision is still up to individual congregations (as it should be) but the margin of approval among the church’s leadership, I think, is a fantastic sign.

The part of the article was the quote by one of the pastors: “We can learn not to define ourselves by negation, by not only saying what we are against….” This really rings true for me. Jesus didn’t spend so much time talking about what He was against. He spent a whole lifetime preaching about what He was for: love. I’m not sure yet, but I’d like to see if I can find a church that embraces this principle. The sermon this morning gave me a lot of hope.

In the past week I’ve also discovered a new song that pretty much sums it up.

Brothers, let us come together
Walking in the Spirit, there’s much to be done
We will come reaching, out from our comforts
And they will know us by our love

Sisters, we were made for kindness
We can pierce the darkness as He shines through us
We will come reaching, with a song of healing
And they will know us by our love!

The time is now, come church arise
Love with His hands, see with His eyes
Bind it around you, let it never leave you
And they will know us by our love

Children, you are hope for justice
Stand firm in the truth now, set your hearts above
You will be reaching, long after we’re gone
And they will know you by your love!

The time is now, come church arise
Love with His hands, see with His eyes
Bind it around you, let it never leave you
And they will know us by our love

“By Our Love”
Christy Nockels
Life Light Up
© 2009 Sparrow Records / sixsteprecords

1 comment Spirituality and Faith 08/23/2009 at 17:13 ET

The Public’s Responsibility for Their Own IP


I don’t often respond to a message board, article, or blog in the comment section. It’s too easy to get lost in the throng of off-topic, uninformed, or mean-spirited posts. This morning when I had a little time to kill because of work however, I came across an interesting article. Perhaps because I’m passionate about the topic, or maybe because it was such an unreasonable hour after a 12+ hour day, I decided to go for it. Not one to let 60 minutes of work go unnoticed, I thought I’d try to bring it to your attention.

The original article from techcrunch is Flickr v. Free Speech. Where Is Their Courage? I read the whole article even though I didn’t find the argument very compelling and I noticed a lack of supporting information in the places it was needed most (and maybe a few too many citations I didn’t care about because of what was lacking.)

After skimming through all the comments and reading most of what I thought where the good ones, I decided to respond to the author’s comment buried in this comment. If you aren’t interested in reading all that, just skip to my comment.

I think my argument stands for itself, but there’s one thing I’ll add. The author of the article makes a claim that

Yahoo/Flickr should have asked its attorneys if the copyright claim had any validity at all before removing the image … [who could have told] … you that this is clearly a fair use of the original Obama image, Time Magazine’s copyright and copyright around the movie.

I wish the author would have consulted a lawyer. The DMCA’s Online Copyright Infringement Liability Act (OLCILA) was specifically created to prevent Service Providers from having much incentive to make any judgment about the validity of the copyright claim. More than that (and let me reassert, as I did in my comment, that I’m not a lawyer), the concept of Fair Use and more specifically, parodies, is an affirmative defense. This means that you’re still actually violating someone’s copyright and can still be sued, but (if your affirmative defense is proven) will be able to get out of it in court. This status as an affirmative defense makes it even less likely that a company receiving a substantially sufficient DMCA take-down notice would question the take-down because they thought the content was a parody — the OLCLIA doesn’t really give them the ability to do that without jeopardizing their safe harbor.

To quote myself:

Like it or not, this is the check-and-balance that makes the situation livable. To make the system work, the public has a responsibility to hold people accountable by filing counter notices and suing for misrepresentation if necessary.

Add comment Computer Geek 08/22/2009 at 10:01 ET