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Freedom Fighters-FR mentioned in Liberal paper
badger herald ^ | 05/09/02 | Kate McDonald

Posted on 05/09/2002 11:21:02 AM PDT by ElRushbo

Freedom fighters

by Kate MacDonald, Staff Writer May 09, 2002

One of the most influential and monumental First Amendment battles of this new millennium is being fought in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The unhappy marriage of print media and the Internet has finally reached an impasse. Free Republic bills itself as a "loosely organized group of grassroots Americans who support the constitution and look for honesty, integrity and honor from those in government." Nice PR. Really, this staunchly conservative activist group's popularity and fondness for a good battle have turned quite a few heads on Capitol Hill. Active members, who call themselves FReepers, include Dr. Alan Keyes, Gary Aldrich, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Congressman Bob Barr and Matt Drudge. In its fifth year, the Free Republic has grown to over 60,000 members with chapters all over the country. The crux of their movement is Freerepublic.com, a massive forum-driven website where the pseudo-militant grassroots conservatives can convene to pontificate at the virtual podium on the devious workings of government and media.

There is no noise on the Internet, but these ranters are screaming loudly enough to garner the reproach of more than easily offended liberals. The FReepers frequently use examples from current media to facilitate their arguments. Their practice of posting entire articles lifted from news sources all over the country has infuriated commercial media.

Crying theft, unfair competition and intellectual property rights, The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times have filed suit against Free Republic.

What a delicious irony, that a group of enlightened and loquacious defenders of constitutional privilege are now entangled in this trenchant imbroglio calling into question the very principles their movement was founded upon.

The Free Republic calls their media adversaries "elements of the socialist propaganda machine" and claims that the practice of posting articles is tantamount to "gathering in our virtual town hall where we virtually pass around newspaper clippings."

The newspapers claim their copyrighted material is produced at great expense to them. They post these materials online, and the ad revenue from their websites is necessary to sustain their operation.

As both sides are armed with strong and persuasive rhetoric, the issue is exacerbated by the fact that Free Republic is a nonprofit movement. All of its funding comes from private donations. Therefore, there is soundness in the Freepers' assertion that they are not stealing the articles for commercial gain but rather passing them around to educate and illuminate each other on issues of immediate relevancy.

The district judge disagreed and ruled erroneously in favor of the Post and the Times, saying that Free Republic is a commercial enterprise. Free Republic is appealing to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and will likely have its arguments heard in September. In the meantime, the group is barred from allowing its members to post full-text articles from The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times.

The FReepers are calling this legal fight no less than a "life-and-death struggle." In fact, this description is the truth. If this battle falls in favor of the commercial media, the Free Republic will die. With its principled dedication to the First Amendment called into question, the group is being forced to defend it absolutely. If it fails, then the fundamental foundation of the group's movement will have been destroyed. No structure can stand without a foundation.

The fight that Free Republic is embroiled in is broader and farther-reaching than just the relatively small group of people involved. The U.S. Constitution is the foundation upon which our democracy is built. Its first and foremost amendment is being challenged in the name of monetary gain.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals must recognize that to rule in favor of the commercial media in this case will weaken and debase the words supporting this country. Chipping away at the foundation doesn't bode well for any American: conservative, liberal, or purveyor of socialist propaganda.

Kate MacDonald (kmacdonald


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Free Republic; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: hughhewitt
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1 posted on 05/09/2002 11:21:02 AM PDT by ElRushbo
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To: ElRushbo

Pseudo-militants

2 posted on 05/09/2002 11:25:29 AM PDT by toenail
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To: ElRushbo
The U.S. Constitution is the foundation upon which our democracy constitutional republic is built.

She almost got it right.

3 posted on 05/09/2002 11:28:12 AM PDT by Reagan Man
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To: ElRushbo
Good find.
4 posted on 05/09/2002 11:29:15 AM PDT by KDD
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To: ElRushbo
Free Republic will never die!!!!
5 posted on 05/09/2002 11:31:03 AM PDT by alisasny
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To: ElRushbo
You say this is a lib paper? Pretty good article, how pleasantly surprising.
6 posted on 05/09/2002 11:31:30 AM PDT by the gillman@blacklagoon.com
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: Reagan Man
Perhaps we ought to contact Ms MacDonald and educate her.

Wasn't too sure were she was going at first but she seemed to end the article correctly.

8 posted on 05/09/2002 11:32:28 AM PDT by blackbart1
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To: ElRushbo;registered
pseudo-militant grassroots conservative

I'm proud to wear that title. Perhaps a bumper sticker is in order?

9 posted on 05/09/2002 11:33:39 AM PDT by bloodmeridian
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

To: bloodmeridian
BTTT
11 posted on 05/09/2002 11:37:38 AM PDT by f.Christian
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To: Jim Robinson; John Robinson; BobJ
Ping!
This is worth a read.

CD

12 posted on 05/09/2002 11:38:52 AM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: ElRushbo
This is the conservative (for Madison Wisconsin) student newspaper on the U.W. campus. I was on the U.W.M. campus from 1969 to 1975 (interesting times) and am aware that the Badger Herald was started in 1969 as the conservative alternative to the then "official" student newspaper, The Daily Cardinal. The Cardinal was, and probably still is, as far left a publication as you could find. I don't know if it is still the "official" campus paper, or if both are now official. Anyway, for a big university student newspaper, the Badger Herald is prettty good.
13 posted on 05/09/2002 11:39:39 AM PDT by FairWitness
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To: ElRushbo
Good job!
14 posted on 05/09/2002 11:39:55 AM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: ElRushbo
No link...is it "badger" as in Wisconsin.....?????..that would be amazing.....can you provide a little more info?...
15 posted on 05/09/2002 11:40:01 AM PDT by ken5050
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To: ElRushbo
Actually, we could just move to UseNet and post through anonymous remailers. We might lose a few guys, but it would work. Wouldn't cost anything, either.
16 posted on 05/09/2002 11:40:27 AM PDT by proxy_user
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To: All
Link to original article

"Kate MacDonald (kmacdonald@badgerherald.com) is a senior majoring in many, many things, including film and Italian."

17 posted on 05/09/2002 11:43:14 AM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: FairWitness
trust me, this is a liberal paper... go to www.badgerherald.com and find out for yourself. Madison, Wi is very liberal. Much more so then Berkely--IMHO.
18 posted on 05/09/2002 11:43:28 AM PDT by ElRushbo
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To: Constitution Day; psyops; Colorado Tanker; Libertina; pissed off janitor; happygrl;Dennisw...
Excellent Post, ER!
19 posted on 05/09/2002 11:43:32 AM PDT by sleavelessinseattle
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To: ken5050
See #17.
20 posted on 05/09/2002 11:44:22 AM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: mykdsmom; ncweaver; ncpastor; Howlin; Pamlico; kachina; Congressman Billybob; a4drvr; blackbag...
A gotta-read-this bump!
21 posted on 05/09/2002 11:45:28 AM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: Constitution Day
Thanks...wow.....
22 posted on 05/09/2002 11:46:20 AM PDT by ken5050
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To: Constitution Day
Abbastanza una signora giovane bella, no?
23 posted on 05/09/2002 11:48:00 AM PDT by Pistias
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To: proxy_user
"Actually, we could just move to UseNet and post through anonymous remailers. We might lose a few guys, but it would work. Wouldn't cost anything, either."

CROWDS + PUBLIUS

24 posted on 05/09/2002 11:48:21 AM PDT by toenail
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To: ElRushbo; aristeides; Donald Stone; Joe Montana; Wally Cleaver; Plummz; thinden
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals must recognize that to rule in favor of the commercial media in this case will weaken and debase the words supporting this country.

Isn't the Ninth Circuit Court stacked against us? We'll have to take it to the Supremes won't we?

25 posted on 05/09/2002 11:50:01 AM PDT by Fred Mertz
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To: ElRushbo
trust me, this is a liberal paper...

As I tried, maybe not too successfully, to point out in my post #13, the Badger Herald, relative to the campus and the other paper (the Daily Cardinal) is conservative. Relative to Free Republic, I am sure it is liberal. I provided links to both papers in my post #13 for anyone who has the stomach to do a comparison.

26 posted on 05/09/2002 11:51:08 AM PDT by FairWitness
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To: sistergoldenhair
ping
27 posted on 05/09/2002 11:52:16 AM PDT by facedown
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To: Pistias
I don't speak Italian, but if you're asking if I think she's a beautiful woman, then yes!
28 posted on 05/09/2002 11:52:31 AM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: toenail
The problem is not the posters, but the guys running the web servers. They present too obvious a legal target. Those running Usenet servers can just say, 'OK, send me your DMCA notice--oops, it's too late, that article expired'.
29 posted on 05/09/2002 11:52:47 AM PDT by proxy_user
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To: sleavelessinseattle
It will be really interesting to see how one of the most liberal courts in the country, the Ninth Circuit, deals with the First Amendment rights of a conservative forum. My guess is that, like this author, they will come down on the side of free speech.

A pseudo-militant bump!

30 posted on 05/09/2002 11:54:36 AM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: Constitution Day
Hmmmm.... Kate's a cutie, too!!!
31 posted on 05/09/2002 11:54:59 AM PDT by Willie Green
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To: ElRushbo
Their practice of posting entire articles lifted from news sources all over the country has infuriated commercial media.

Wrong!!!! We lift stuff from all over the world, and as soon as the rest of the backward planets catch up to us, it will be from all over the universe.

32 posted on 05/09/2002 12:02:18 PM PDT by scouse
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To: ElRushbo
pseudo-militant grassroots conservatives

Mmmmmm, yes, I'm a pseudo-militant. Hey, what's a pseudo-militant? A false militant? Someone who believes himself to be a militant? Am I dangerous? Or am I just pseudo-dangerous? So many questions arise when looney lefties try to make themselves sound intelligent by making up their own little taglines to call people by. It's almost cute.....

33 posted on 05/09/2002 12:03:11 PM PDT by Space Wrangler
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To: madfly;Libertarianize the GOP;Ernest_at_the_Beach;boston_liberty;GovernmentShrinker
fyi
34 posted on 05/09/2002 12:04:50 PM PDT by Free the USA
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To: ElRushbo
If we don't get the answer we need in the Ninth Circuit, we should appeal to the Supremes. If it takes a special fundraiser, so be it. Count me in.
35 posted on 05/09/2002 12:10:37 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Constitution Day;ElRushbo
The fight that Free Republic is embroiled in is broader and farther-reaching than just the relatively small group of people involved. The U.S. Constitution is the foundation upon which our democracy is built. Its first and foremost amendment is being challenged in the name of monetary gain.
Great find ER! Thanks for the ping CD. The author is "dead-on" correct in her summation minus the democracy mistake. It all boils down to monetary gain vs Constitutional right. I believe that in the end FR will win the case. The sad part is that if FR loses it will be a loss for all Americans not just us.
36 posted on 05/09/2002 12:14:53 PM PDT by callisto
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To: Constitution Day
Sort of cute....she wrote a few glimmers of truth....maybe there's hope for her.
37 posted on 05/09/2002 12:19:38 PM PDT by wardaddy
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To: ElRushbo
Drudge is a FReeper? Last I checked he hated us and removed the link to FR from his site.
38 posted on 05/09/2002 12:23:39 PM PDT by Phantom Lord
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To: callisto
The sad part is that if FR loses it will be a loss for all Americans not just us.

That's not sad! It means we're fighting for what's important and right. May all our battles have that quality.

39 posted on 05/09/2002 12:32:34 PM PDT by Physicist
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To: ElRushbo
If this battle falls in favor of the commercial media, the Free Republic will die.

Not at all true.

If it came to that, the resulting solution is relatively easy, though somewhat cumbersome:

Simply have 2 browsers open side-by-side. One pointed toward the article. Since it would be open to the original source, that original source has no complaint. The other pointed to the forum. The article could still be discussed, dissected, and skewered.

It is a work-around solution. The link from the forum can easily be modified to open the "linked" article in a new browser (TARGET="_blank"). Ms McDonald sounds the death knell based on a lack of her knowledge of web technology.
40 posted on 05/09/2002 12:37:58 PM PDT by TomGuy
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To: Phantom Lord
Drudge is a FReeper? Last I checked he hated us and removed the link to FR from his site.

PL,

I think that's true.
I don't know the story on why he hates FR, but I wouldn't have found this site had it not been for Drudge Report.

41 posted on 05/09/2002 12:39:33 PM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: Fred Mertz
The Ninth Circuit is the most left-wing of the U.S. courts of appeals, but it tends to be quirky on libertarian issues. Its leading leftist, Reinhardt (now a senior judge,) wrote the opinion allowing the civil suit in the Randy Weaver case. A combination of leftists and rightists formed the majority in the en banc opinion allowing criminal prosecution of Horiuchi. Free Republic is more likely to win in the Supreme Court, but I wouldn't count us out in the Ninth Circuit.
42 posted on 05/09/2002 12:44:25 PM PDT by aristeides
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To: ElRushbo
Active members, who call themselves FReepers, include Dr. Alan Keyes, Gary Aldrich, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Congressman Bob Barr and Matt Drudge.

Right. Someone please point me to the profile pages for Dr. Keyes and Ms. Coulter.

43 posted on 05/09/2002 12:51:15 PM PDT by TigerTale
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To: ElRushbo
Great article, this woman should be proud of her intellectual honesty, I know I'm proud for her. FreeRepublic has such a wide spread base now that the WP and the LAT have made a serious miscalculation. Instead of seeing article after article from those two sources (great free advertising) most people notice that the papers are seldom represented here. As a result, many go away with the impression that they are not worth reading.

Whether the articles are left or right, the very fact that they are debated here makes them relevant.

44 posted on 05/09/2002 12:55:13 PM PDT by McGavin999
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To: Constitution Day
Thanks for the ping.

MKM

45 posted on 05/09/2002 12:57:22 PM PDT by mykdsmom
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To: colorado tanker
From your keyboard to God's Ear! Maybe the new Justice Department top down directive regarding the 2nd Amendment, will be accompanied by a general caveat about what this government is supposed to work for...which is US!!! Educational Use only...I mean do they want to close the periodical section of the Libraries, too?
46 posted on 05/09/2002 1:14:04 PM PDT by sleavelessinseattle
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To: colorado tanker
Don't be so sure about the 9th circuit court of appeals. They hate conservatives and free speech. Marilyn Hall Patel? Isn't the famous commie/hater of napster from there? I know she's a SF judge, but she's a stinker.

I have no faith, none whatsoever in the 9th circuit court. And I live in SF. My only hope is the Supreme Court who I'm sure WILL come down on our side.

47 posted on 05/09/2002 1:17:45 PM PDT by I_Love_My_Husband
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To: blackbart1
Wasn't too sure were she was going at first

Yeah with that whole pseudo yelling and screaming thing...

48 posted on 05/09/2002 1:20:19 PM PDT by maxwell
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To: ElRushbo
Great find!
49 posted on 05/09/2002 1:21:23 PM PDT by sistergoldenhair
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To: ElRushbo
BTTT
50 posted on 05/09/2002 1:54:37 PM PDT by kattracks
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