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 V.15 No.29 | July 20 - 26, 2006 

Thin Line

MySpace Matters—I'm stoked to note that MySpace updated its terms in the user agreement to include an explanation of how it handles the rights to material posted there [Thin Line, "Hey, This Isn't 'My'Space," May 18]. Thanks, Webmonkey, for pointing this out. All you MySpace users out there owe it to yourselves to look it up, especially if you are one of the bazillion bands on the site posting songs, lyrics and incessant event invites.

Under “Proprietary Rights in Content on MySpace.com” in the terms and conditions, it says: “After posting your content to the MySpace Services, you continue to retain all ownership rights in such content, and you continue to have the right to use your content in any way you choose.” That's good. It goes on to say that you've given the site a limited license to “use, modify, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce and distribute” the stuff you post there. But, according to this section of the terms, that's just so the site can legally compress audio files and allow other users to check it out. Nice.

Still, please remember that the terms and conditions agreement can change. You know, the one you and I blindly agreed to when we signed up for the service? And when it does change, if you log in, you've agreed to it. So it's important to check the agreement out from time to time and make sure you're still comfortable with the deal you're making. I'll keep my eye on it, too, and try to write about the media monolith here.

Good On the Journal—Everyone likes to pick on the big guy. That's what they say in movies about prison, anyway. We here at the Alibi big house enjoy getting our shots in as much as the next inmate. Sometimes a pat on the back can go far, too—or at least get you a couple of smokes.

But enough with bad metaphors. I was glued to T. J. Wilham's July 12 Journal article, “5 Calls Before Police Showed; APD Changes Its Responce Policy,” a gruesome tale of a domestic violence situation that resulted in the deaths of a pregnant 21-year-old and her ex-boyfriend.

The story did more than gawk and rubberneck the way so many police stories do. It delved deeper and shone some light on APD's mishandling of domestic disputes. According to the article, the now-deceased woman's friends called 911 to report that a neighbor had seen the woman dragged into the house by her ex-boyfriend. They continued to make calls to 911 for an hour and a half. The police didn't show until it was too late.

Wilham did a top-notch job with the article, looking into the priority classifications of phone calls, and speaking both to APD and friends and neighbors to establish a timeline. Through the research and time he put into the story, he turned a standard crime report into the kind of piece that could actually make a difference to policy makers, not to mention the next woman who's in danger. It's a great piece of reporting. Nice work, T.J.

 

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