Short Takes: News From All Over: March 24, 2005

Lars Ulrich, Fair Use Crusader?
By Xeni Jardin,
Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich is winning back some of the points he lost when he sued thousands of fans for illegally downloading his band’s music through Napster. His new cause: protecting fair use — the doctrine that says you can copy, share, and modify copyrighted works provided it’s for the purpose of education, criticism, satire, or to create derivative works. When Sony Music, Metallica’s record label, recently forced the Milwaukee cover band Beatallica to shut down its website, Ulrich came to the rescue, personally financing Beatallica’s legal defense. — Leif Utne

Military Mascots
By Staff, Military Mascots
A dog is a soldier’s best friend — evidenced by the great lengths to which US troops are going in order to bring home the cuddly, orphaned pets they’ve adopted in Iraq. To help navigate the tricky ins and outs of bringing home Iraqi dogs and cats, Military Mascots has formed what’s been described as ‘an underground railroad of sorts.’ — Hannah Lobel

Extreme Cinema Verite
By Louise Roug, Los Angeles Times
US soldiers are directing their own music videos, combining violent war footage with pounding heavy-metal music, to glorify their exploits in Iraq. Viewers back home may wonder what’s worse — seeing the images of death and destruction, or knowing troops in Iraq are using them for inspiration. — Marca Bradt
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Fossil Fools Day Call to Action
By Staff, Global Exchange
April 1 is just around the corner, and who’s more deserving of an April Fools’ send-up than Ford Motor Co.? The automaker’s long been playing a hoax of its own — touting its weak environmental initiatives while doing little to improve its rank as the worst of the lot when it comes to fuel economy in the United States. So Global Exchange is turning the tables on the company with a ‘Fossil Fools Day’ of action on April 1. The group is calling on folks to ‘adopt’ a dealer, send faxes to CEO Bill Ford Jr., ticket SUVs with mock violations, and stage actions at Ford dealerships. Tips and tools for the action are available on Global Exchange’s Web site. — Grace Hanson

Youth Media Reporter
By Staff, Youth Media Reporter
It seems that in the postmodern news age, you know you’ve arrived when you create media about your media. Such is the case with the savvy, burgeoning youth media, which now has its own web site of self-reflection in the Open Society Institute’s recently launched Youth Media Reporter. — Hannah Lobel

Sacrificial Ram
By Daniel Duane, Mother Jones
Environmentalists and trophy hunters may make strange bedfellows, but their union is bearing impressive results. By teaming up with hunters — and their hefty bank accounts — a Wyoming-based conservation group has managed to boost the bighorn ram population in Mexico’s Vizcaino Biosphere by auctioning the rights to kill some of the rare and threatened animals. — Hannah Lobel

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