U.K. National Portrait Gallery threatens U.S. citizen with legal action over Wikimedia images

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Tud95B on 07-09-2019

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

The English National Portrait Gallery (NPG) in London has threatened on Friday to sue a U.S. citizen, Derrick Coetzee. The legal letter followed claims that he had breached the Gallery’s copyright in several thousand photographs of works of art uploaded to the Wikimedia Commons, a free online media repository.

In a letter from their solicitors sent to Coetzee via electronic mail, the NPG asserted that it holds copyright in the photographs under U.K. law, and demanded that Coetzee provide various undertakings and remove all of the images from the site (referred to in the letter as “the Wikipedia website”).

Wikimedia Commons is a repository of free-to-use media, run by a community of volunteers from around the world, and is a sister project to Wikinews and the encyclopedia Wikipedia. Coetzee, who contributes to the Commons using the account “Dcoetzee”, had uploaded images that are free for public use under United States law, where he and the website are based. However copyright is claimed to exist in the country where the gallery is situated.

The complaint by the NPG is that under UK law, its copyright in the photographs of its portraits is being violated. While the gallery has complained to the Wikimedia Foundation for a number of years, this is the first direct threat of legal action made against an actual uploader of images. In addition to the allegation that Coetzee had violated the NPG’s copyright, they also allege that Coetzee had, by uploading thousands of images in bulk, infringed the NPG’s database right, breached a contract with the NPG; and circumvented a copyright protection mechanism on the NPG’s web site.

The copyright protection mechanism referred to is Zoomify, a product of Zoomify, Inc. of Santa Cruz, California. NPG’s solicitors stated in their letter that “Our client used the Zoomify technology to protect our client’s copyright in the high resolution images.”. Zoomify Inc. states in the Zoomify support documentation that its product is intended to make copying of images “more difficult” by breaking the image into smaller pieces and disabling the option within many web browsers to click and save images, but that they “provide Zoomify as a viewing solution and not an image security system”.

In particular, Zoomify’s website comments that while “many customers — famous museums for example” use Zoomify, in their experience a “general consensus” seems to exist that most museums are concerned with making the images in their galleries accessible to the public, rather than preventing the public from accessing them or making copies; they observe that a desire to prevent high resolution images being distributed would also imply prohibiting the sale of any posters or production of high quality printed material that could be scanned and placed online.

Other actions in the past have come directly from the NPG, rather than via solicitors. For example, several edits have been made directly to the English-language Wikipedia from the IP address 217.207.85.50, one of sixteen such IP addresses assigned to computers at the NPG by its ISP, Easynet.

In the period from August 2005 to July 2006 an individual within the NPG using that IP address acted to remove the use of several Wikimedia Commons pictures from articles in Wikipedia, including removing an image of the Chandos portrait, which the NPG has had in its possession since 1856, from Wikipedia’s biographical article on William Shakespeare.

Other actions included adding notices to the pages for images, and to the text of several articles using those images, such as the following edit to Wikipedia’s article on Catherine of Braganza and to its page for the Wikipedia Commons image of Branwell Brontë‘s portrait of his sisters:

“THIS IMAGE IS BEING USED WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER.”
“This image is copyright material and must not be reproduced in any way without permission of the copyright holder. Under current UK copyright law, there is copyright in skilfully executed photographs of ex-copyright works, such as this painting of Catherine de Braganza.
The original painting belongs to the National Portrait Gallery, London. For copies, and permission to reproduce the image, please contact the Gallery at picturelibrary@npg.org.uk or via our website at www.npg.org.uk”

Other, later, edits, made on the day that NPG’s solicitors contacted Coetzee and drawn to the NPG’s attention by Wikinews, are currently the subject of an internal investigation within the NPG.

Coetzee published the contents of the letter on Saturday July 11, the letter itself being dated the previous day. It had been sent electronically to an email address associated with his Wikimedia Commons user account. The NPG’s solicitors had mailed the letter from an account in the name “Amisquitta”. This account was blocked shortly after by a user with access to the user blocking tool, citing a long standing Wikipedia policy that the making of legal threats and creation of a hostile environment is generally inconsistent with editing access and is an inappropriate means of resolving user disputes.

The policy, initially created on Commons’ sister website in June 2004, is also intended to protect all parties involved in a legal dispute, by ensuring that their legal communications go through proper channels, and not through a wiki that is open to editing by other members of the public. It was originally formulated primarily to address legal action for libel. In October 2004 it was noted that there was “no consensus” whether legal threats related to copyright infringement would be covered but by the end of 2006 the policy had reached a consensus that such threats (as opposed to polite complaints) were not compatible with editing access while a legal matter was unresolved. Commons’ own website states that “[accounts] used primarily to create a hostile environment for another user may be blocked”.

In a further response, Gregory Maxwell, a volunteer administrator on Wikimedia Commons, made a formal request to the editorial community that Coetzee’s access to administrator tools on Commons should be revoked due to the prevailing circumstances. Maxwell noted that Coetzee “[did] not have the technically ability to permanently delete images”, but stated that Coetzee’s potential legal situation created a conflict of interest.

Sixteen minutes after Maxwell’s request, Coetzee’s “administrator” privileges were removed by a user in response to the request. Coetzee retains “administrator” privileges on the English-language Wikipedia, since none of the images exist on Wikipedia’s own website and therefore no conflict of interest exists on that site.

Legally, the central issue upon which the case depends is that copyright laws vary between countries. Under United States case law, where both the website and Coetzee are located, a photograph of a non-copyrighted two-dimensional picture (such as a very old portrait) is not capable of being copyrighted, and it may be freely distributed and used by anyone. Under UK law that point has not yet been decided, and the Gallery’s solicitors state that such photographs could potentially be subject to copyright in that country.

One major legal point upon which a case would hinge, should the NPG proceed to court, is a question of originality. The U.K.’s Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 defines in ¶ 1(a) that copyright is a right that subsists in “original literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works” (emphasis added). The legal concept of originality here involves the simple origination of a work from an author, and does not include the notions of novelty or innovation that is often associated with the non-legal meaning of the word.

Whether an exact photographic reproduction of a work is an original work will be a point at issue. The NPG asserts that an exact photographic reproduction of a copyrighted work in another medium constitutes an original work, and this would be the basis for its action against Coetzee. This view has some support in U.K. case law. The decision of Walter v Lane held that exact transcriptions of speeches by journalists, in shorthand on reporter’s notepads, were original works, and thus copyrightable in themselves. The opinion by Hugh Laddie, Justice Laddie, in his book The Modern Law of Copyright, points out that photographs lie on a continuum, and that photographs can be simple copies, derivative works, or original works:

“[…] it is submitted that a person who makes a photograph merely by placing a drawing or painting on the glass of a photocopying machine and pressing the button gets no copyright at all; but he might get a copyright if he employed skill and labour in assembling the thing to be photocopied, as where he made a montage.”

Various aspects of this continuum have already been explored in the courts. Justice Neuberger, in the decision at Antiquesportfolio.com v Rodney Fitch & Co. held that a photograph of a three-dimensional object would be copyrightable if some exercise of judgement of the photographer in matters of angle, lighting, film speed, and focus were involved. That exercise would create an original work. Justice Oliver similarly held, in Interlego v Tyco Industries, that “[i]t takes great skill, judgement and labour to produce a good copy by painting or to produce an enlarged photograph from a positive print, but no-one would reasonably contend that the copy, painting, or enlargement was an ‘original’ artistic work in which the copier is entitled to claim copyright. Skill, labour or judgement merely in the process of copying cannot confer originality.”.

In 2000 the Museums Copyright Group, a copyright lobbying group, commissioned a report and legal opinion on the implications of the Bridgeman case for the UK, which stated:

“Revenue raised from reproduction fees and licensing is vital to museums to support their primary educational and curatorial objectives. Museums also rely on copyright in photographs of works of art to protect their collections from inaccurate reproduction and captioning… as a matter of principle, a photograph of an artistic work can qualify for copyright protection in English law”. The report concluded by advocating that “museums must continue to lobby” to protect their interests, to prevent inferior quality images of their collections being distributed, and “not least to protect a vital source of income”.

Several people and organizations in the U.K. have been awaiting a test case that directly addresses the issue of copyrightability of exact photographic reproductions of works in other media. The commonly cited legal case Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. found that there is no originality where the aim and the result is a faithful and exact reproduction of the original work. The case was heard twice in New York, once applying UK law and once applying US law. It cited the prior UK case of Interlego v Tyco Industries (1988) in which Lord Oliver stated that “Skill, labour or judgement merely in the process of copying cannot confer originality.”

“What is important about a drawing is what is visually significant and the re-drawing of an existing drawing […] does not make it an original artistic work, however much labour and skill may have gone into the process of reproduction […]”

The Interlego judgement had itself drawn upon another UK case two years earlier, Coca-Cola Go’s Applications, in which the House of Lords drew attention to the “undesirability” of plaintiffs seeking to expand intellectual property law beyond the purpose of its creation in order to create an “undeserving monopoly”. It commented on this, that “To accord an independent artistic copyright to every such reproduction would be to enable the period of artistic copyright in what is, essentially, the same work to be extended indefinitely… ”

The Bridgeman case concluded that whether under UK or US law, such reproductions of copyright-expired material were not capable of being copyrighted.

The unsuccessful plaintiff, Bridgeman Art Library, stated in 2006 in written evidence to the House of Commons Committee on Culture, Media and Sport that it was “looking for a similar test case in the U.K. or Europe to fight which would strengthen our position”.

The National Portrait Gallery is a non-departmental public body based in London England and sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Founded in 1856, it houses a collection of portraits of historically important and famous British people. The gallery contains more than 11,000 portraits and 7,000 light-sensitive works in its Primary Collection, 320,000 in the Reference Collection, over 200,000 pictures and negatives in the Photographs Collection and a library of around 35,000 books and manuscripts. (More on the National Portrait Gallery here)

The gallery’s solicitors are Farrer & Co LLP, of London. Farrer’s clients have notably included the British Royal Family, in a case related to extracts from letters sent by Diana, Princess of Wales which were published in a book by ex-butler Paul Burrell. (In that case, the claim was deemed unlikely to succeed, as the extracts were not likely to be in breach of copyright law.)

Farrer & Co have close ties with industry interest groups related to copyright law. Peter Wienand, Head of Intellectual Property at Farrer & Co., is a member of the Executive body of the Museums Copyright Group, which is chaired by Tom Morgan, Head of Rights and Reproductions at the National Portrait Gallery. The Museums Copyright Group acts as a lobbying organization for “the interests and activities of museums and galleries in the area of [intellectual property rights]”, which reacted strongly against the Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. case.

Wikimedia Commons is a repository of images, media, and other material free for use by anyone in the world. It is operated by a community of 21,000 active volunteers, with specialist rights such as deletion and blocking restricted to around 270 experienced users in the community (known as “administrators”) who are trusted by the community to use them to enact the wishes and policies of the community. Commons is hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, a charitable body whose mission is to make available free knowledge and historic and other material which is legally distributable under US law. (More on Commons here)

The legal threat also sparked discussions of moral issues and issues of public policy in several Internet discussion fora, including Slashdot, over the weekend. One major public policy issue relates to how the public domain should be preserved.

Some of the public policy debate over the weekend has echoed earlier opinions presented by Kenneth Hamma, the executive director for Digital Policy at the J. Paul Getty Trust. Writing in D-Lib Magazine in November 2005, Hamma observed:

“Art museums and many other collecting institutions in this country hold a trove of public-domain works of art. These are works whose age precludes continued protection under copyright law. The works are the result of and evidence for human creativity over thousands of years, an activity museums celebrate by their very existence. For reasons that seem too frequently unexamined, many museums erect barriers that contribute to keeping quality images of public domain works out of the hands of the general public, of educators, and of the general milieu of creativity. In restricting access, art museums effectively take a stand against the creativity they otherwise celebrate. This conflict arises as a result of the widely accepted practice of asserting rights in the images that the museums make of the public domain works of art in their collections.”

He also stated:

“This resistance to free and unfettered access may well result from a seemingly well-grounded concern: many museums assume that an important part of their core business is the acquisition and management of rights in art works to maximum return on investment. That might be true in the case of the recording industry, but it should not be true for nonprofit institutions holding public domain art works; it is not even their secondary business. Indeed, restricting access seems all the more inappropriate when measured against a museum’s mission — a responsibility to provide public access. Their charitable, financial, and tax-exempt status demands such. The assertion of rights in public domain works of art — images that at their best closely replicate the values of the original work — differs in almost every way from the rights managed by the recording industry. Because museums and other similar collecting institutions are part of the private nonprofit sector, the obligation to treat assets as held in public trust should replace the for-profit goal. To do otherwise, undermines the very nature of what such institutions were created to do.”

Hamma observed in 2005 that “[w]hile examples of museums chasing down digital image miscreants are rare to non-existent, the expectation that museums might do so has had a stultifying effect on the development of digital image libraries for teaching and research.”

The NPG, which has been taking action with respect to these images since at least 2005, is a public body. It was established by Act of Parliament, the current Act being the Museums and Galleries Act 1992. In that Act, the NPG Board of Trustees is charged with maintaining “a collection of portraits of the most eminent persons in British history, of other works of art relevant to portraiture and of documents relating to those portraits and other works of art”. It also has the tasks of “secur[ing] that the portraits are exhibited to the public” and “generally promot[ing] the public’s enjoyment and understanding of portraiture of British persons and British history through portraiture both by means of the Board’s collection and by such other means as they consider appropriate”.

Several commentators have questioned how the NPG’s statutory goals align with its threat of legal action. Mike Masnick, founder of Techdirt, asked “The people who run the Gallery should be ashamed of themselves. They ought to go back and read their own mission statement[. …] How, exactly, does suing someone for getting those portraits more attention achieve that goal?” (external link Masnick’s). L. Sutherland of Bigmouthmedia asked “As the paintings of the NPG technically belong to the nation, does that mean that they should also belong to anyone that has access to a computer?”

Other public policy debates that have been sparked have included the applicability of U.K. courts, and U.K. law, to the actions of a U.S. citizen, residing in the U.S., uploading files to servers hosted in the U.S.. Two major schools of thought have emerged. Both see the issue as encroachment of one legal system upon another. But they differ as to which system is encroaching. One view is that the free culture movement is attempting to impose the values and laws of the U.S. legal system, including its case law such as Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp., upon the rest of the world. Another view is that a U.K. institution is attempting to control, through legal action, the actions of a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil.

David Gerard, former Press Officer for Wikimedia UK, the U.K. chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation, which has been involved with the “Wikipedia Loves Art” contest to create free content photographs of exhibits at the Victoria and Albert Museum, stated on Slashdot that “The NPG actually acknowledges in their letter that the poster’s actions were entirely legal in America, and that they’re making a threat just because they think they can. The Wikimedia community and the WMF are absolutely on the side of these public domain images remaining in the public domain. The NPG will be getting radioactive publicity from this. Imagine the NPG being known to American tourists as somewhere that sues Americans just because it thinks it can.”

Benjamin Crowell, a physics teacher at Fullerton College in California, stated that he had received a letter from the Copyright Officer at the NPG in 2004, with respect to the picture of the portrait of Isaac Newton used in his physics textbooks, that he publishes in the U.S. under a free content copyright licence, to which he had replied with a pointer to Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp..

The Wikimedia Foundation takes a similar stance. Erik Möller, the Deputy Director of the US-based Wikimedia Foundation wrote in 2008 that “we’ve consistently held that faithful reproductions of two-dimensional public domain works which are nothing more than reproductions should be considered public domain for licensing purposes”.

Contacted over the weekend, the NPG issued a statement to Wikinews:

“The National Portrait Gallery is very strongly committed to giving access to its Collection. In the past five years the Gallery has spent around £1 million digitising its Collection to make it widely available for study and enjoyment. We have so far made available on our website more than 60,000 digital images, which have attracted millions of users, and we believe this extensive programme is of great public benefit.
“The Gallery supports Wikipedia in its aim of making knowledge widely available and we would be happy for the site to use our low-resolution images, sufficient for most forms of public access, subject to safeguards. However, in March 2009 over 3000 high-resolution files were appropriated from the National Portrait Gallery website and published on Wikipedia without permission.
“The Gallery is very concerned that potential loss of licensing income from the high-resolution files threatens its ability to reinvest in its digitisation programme and so make further images available. It is one of the Gallery’s primary purposes to make as much of the Collection available as possible for the public to view.
“Digitisation involves huge costs including research, cataloguing, conservation and highly-skilled photography. Images then need to be made available on the Gallery website as part of a structured and authoritative database. To date, Wikipedia has not responded to our requests to discuss the issue and so the National Portrait Gallery has been obliged to issue a lawyer’s letter. The Gallery remains willing to enter into a dialogue with Wikipedia.

In fact, Matthew Bailey, the Gallery’s (then) Assistant Picture Library Manager, had already once been in a similar dialogue. Ryan Kaldari, an amateur photographer from Nashville, Tennessee, who also volunteers at the Wikimedia Commons, states that he was in correspondence with Bailey in October 2006. In that correspondence, according to Kaldari, he and Bailey failed to conclude any arrangement.

Jay Walsh, the Head of Communications for the Wikimedia Foundation, which hosts the Commons, called the gallery’s actions “unfortunate” in the Foundation’s statement, issued on Tuesday July 14:

“The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally. To that end, we have very productive working relationships with a number of galleries, archives, museums and libraries around the world, who join with us to make their educational materials available to the public.
“The Wikimedia Foundation does not control user behavior, nor have we reviewed every action taken by that user. Nonetheless, it is our general understanding that the user in question has behaved in accordance with our mission, with the general goal of making public domain materials available via our Wikimedia Commons project, and in accordance with applicable law.”

The Foundation added in its statement that as far as it was aware, the NPG had not attempted “constructive dialogue”, and that the volunteer community was presently discussing the matter independently.

In part, the lack of past agreement may have been because of a misunderstanding by the National Portrait Gallery of Commons and Wikipedia’s free content mandate; and of the differences between Wikipedia, the Wikimedia Foundation, the Wikimedia Commons, and the individual volunteer workers who participate on the various projects supported by the Foundation.

Like Coetzee, Ryan Kaldari is a volunteer worker who does not represent Wikipedia or the Wikimedia Commons. (Such representation is impossible. Both Wikipedia and the Commons are endeavours supported by the Wikimedia Foundation, and not organizations in themselves.) Nor, again like Coetzee, does he represent the Wikimedia Foundation.

Kaldari states that he explained the free content mandate to Bailey. Bailey had, according to copies of his messages provided by Kaldari, offered content to Wikipedia (naming as an example the photograph of John Opie‘s 1797 portrait of Mary Wollstonecraft, whose copyright term has since expired) but on condition that it not be free content, but would be subject to restrictions on its distribution that would have made it impossible to use by any of the many organizations that make use of Wikipedia articles and the Commons repository, in the way that their site-wide “usable by anyone” licences ensures.

The proposed restrictions would have also made it impossible to host the images on Wikimedia Commons. The image of the National Portrait Gallery in this article, above, is one such free content image; it was provided and uploaded to the Wikimedia Commons under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation Licence, and is thus able to be used and republished not only on Wikipedia but also on Wikinews, on other Wikimedia Foundation projects, as well as by anyone in the world, subject to the terms of the GFDL, a license that guarantees attribution is provided to the creators of the image.

As Commons has grown, many other organizations have come to different arrangements with volunteers who work at the Wikimedia Commons and at Wikipedia. For example, in February 2009, fifteen international museums including the Brooklyn Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum established a month-long competition where users were invited to visit in small teams and take high quality photographs of their non-copyright paintings and other exhibits, for upload to Wikimedia Commons and similar websites (with restrictions as to equipment, required in order to conserve the exhibits), as part of the “Wikipedia Loves Art” contest.

Approached for comment by Wikinews, Jim Killock, the executive director of the Open Rights Group, said “It’s pretty clear that these images themselves should be in the public domain. There is a clear public interest in making sure paintings and other works are usable by anyone once their term of copyright expires. This is what US courts have recognised, whatever the situation in UK law.”

The Digital Britain report, issued by the U.K.’s Department for Culture, Media, and Sport in June 2009, stated that “Public cultural institutions like Tate, the Royal Opera House, the RSC, the Film Council and many other museums, libraries, archives and galleries around the country now reach a wider public online.” Culture minster Ben Bradshaw was also approached by Wikinews for comment on the public policy issues surrounding the on-line availability of works in the public domain held in galleries, re-raised by the NPG’s threat of legal action, but had not responded by publication time.

IndyMac Bank placed into conservatorship by US Government

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Tud95B on 03-09-2019

Saturday, July 12, 2008

In what regulators have described as the second-largest bank failure in the history of the United States, IndyMac Bank has been closed by the Office of Thrift Supervision and placed under the conservatorship of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) due to plummeting shares and the start of a run on the bank. This is the fifth FDIC-insured failure of the year.

The FDIC has said that it will transfer all insured deposits and substantial assets, to the new IndyMac Federal Bank which, as the name implies, is controlled by an agency of the federal government. The aim is for the transfer to be completed by Monday.

In a press release, the FDIC attempted to reassure customers by saying that, “insured depositors and borrowers will automatically become customers of IndyMac Federal, FSB and will continue to have uninterrupted customer service and access to their funds by ATM, debit cards and writing checks in the same manner as before.” As an FDIC-insured bank, all FDIC accounts are guaranteed up to US$100,000. The FDIC has also placed a special advance, guaranteeing any funds over $100,000 for 50 cents to the dollar.

This move by the FDIC is expected to cost the organization at least four billion USD per year.

In the days leading up to the conservatorship, market analysts have predicted the failure of IndyMac due to the fact that it was shedding jobs and closing many of its branch offices.

Greenspan’s testimony suggests “more of the same”

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Tud95B on 24-08-2019

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the Federal Reserve has suggested that there will be more of the same in coming months from the Fed. In his speech during testimony before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday, Mr. Greenspan noted that the economic fundamentals of the U.S. appeared to be stable. On Thursday, Greenspan spoke before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services and when faced with questions regarding Social Security reform issues, he hinted that he was in favour of partial privatization of Social Security – but the general consensus on Wall Street is to expect more of the same.

However, economic advisors were somewhat disappointed that most of the testimony in both speechs was focused on the upcoming Social Security reform and did not address monetary policy as broadly as they’d hoped. Mike Moran, chief economist at Daiwa Securities America Inc, is quoted in the Investors Business Daily as saying “Chairman Greenspan provided few explicit insights into his plans for monetary policy.”

Greenspan reiterated his concerns about market reactions to the burgeoning federal deficit. “We are not sure to what extent and how much the market will respond,” he said.

Parsing Greenspan’s reports to Congress is a Wall Street obsession, but the general consensus from his recent testimony is to expect little change in the current Fed policy. Economists expect “measured” hikes to the central bank’s short-term interest rates from the next few meetings of Fed policy-makers.

“In my view the bottom line is that we are in for more of the same,” said Steve Stanley, chief economist at RBS Greenwich Capital to the Associated Press.

Wikinews interviews Spanish Paralympic track and field athlete Alberto Suárez Laso

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Tud95B on 23-08-2019

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

With the IPC Athletics World Championships scheduled to start this Friday, Wikinews interviewed Spanish T12 classified long distance runner Alberto Suárez Laso at Madrid–Barajas Airport Monday before he departed for Lyon, France. Suárez is scheduled to compete in two events, the T12 5,000 meters and marathon events.

((Wikinews)) Hi this is Laura Hale. I’m interviewing Alberto Suárez, who is a visually-impaired runner competing for Spain in the IPC World Championships. What events are you doing? ((es))Spanish language: ?¿En qué eventos estás?

Alberto Suárez Laso : Marathon and 5000m. ((es))Spanish language: ?Maratón y 5000m.

((WN)) You have a World Record? Are you going to smash it and give Spain a gold medal? ((es))Spanish language: ?¿Vas a romper el record mundial y darle a España un oro?

Alberto Suárez Laso: This time it’s a bit complicated because I’m going a bit injured. ((es))Spanish language: ?Esta vez está un poco complicado porque voy un poco lesionado

((WN)) Ah. You finished second in London [the 2012 Summer Paralympics]? ((es))Spanish language: ?¿Terminaste segundo en Londres?

Alberto Suárez Laso : I finished first.

((WN)) The injury has impacted you training? ((es))Spanish language: ?¿La lesión ha perjudicado tu entrenamiento?

Alberto Suárez Laso : For the last three weeks I’ve been doing gym and walking machine only. I have pain in my Achilles tendon. ((es))Spanish language: ?Llevo tres semanas solo con gimnasio y elíptica. Tengo dolor en el tendón de Aquiles.

((WN)) So, as someone who writes from an international perspective, do you think Spain’s got all that stuff to help you properly? The medical support, stuff to help you recuperate and be a great runner?

Alberto Suárez Laso : I hope so. We’re there, they’ve been treating me very well and I hope to be able to run without pain, which is the most important thing. I’ve got the training, but I need to remove that pain. ((es))Spanish language: ?Espero que sí. Estamos ahí, me están tratando bastante bien y espero correr sin dolor, que es lo fundamental. La preparación la tengo, pero hay que quitar ese dolor.

((WN)) Do you run with a guide?

Alberto Suárez Laso : No.

((WN)) Okay, so are you T-13?

Alberto Suárez Laso : T-12.

((WN)) Oh. So it’s optional for a guy at T-12?

Translator : He could, but he’s not too badly impaired. He can run by himself.

((WN)) So is your preference to run without a guide?

Alberto Suárez Laso : It’s complicated because of the pace I run at. I would require several guides, and it’s hard to find them. ((es))Spanish language: ?Es una complicación por el ritmo al que corro. Necesitaría varios guías y es dificil conseguirlos.

((WN)) Do most of your competitors run with guides?

Alberto Suárez Laso : Not among the first ones. Well, there are a couple that do run with guides, but the rest don’t. ((es))Spanish language: ?Los primeros no. Bueno, hay un par de ellos que corren con guía, los demás no.

((WN)) Is there anything you would like to say about this competition coming up that people from an international sporting community would find valuable to know?

Alberto Suárez Laso : Mm, I don’t know what to say!

((WN)) Okay. Thank you very much! ((es))Spanish language: ?¡Muchas gracias!

Alberto Suárez Laso : You’re welcome! ((es))Spanish language: ?De nada.

Fort Lauderdale Condos For Sale: Will They Sell Faster In 2012?

Filed Under (Loan Agreements) by Tud95B on 23-08-2019

By Mike Benton

Fort Lauderdale has everything you might look for in a second home location-tropical climates year round, ocean breezes, golf galore, nautical lifestyles, sports venues for every sports lover, and the many amenities found in a greater metropolitan area. In addition, Florida is a very tax friendly state with no state income tax and the option of the Homestead Tax Exemption. With a growing population of over half a million residents, this area has something for everyone.

Apparently, many people are recognizing the value of owning a primary residence or second home in the greater Fort Lauderdale area. In addition to the steady improvements we are seeing in the Fort Lauderdale real estate market, we are also noticing an increased number of people relocating to this beautiful area for reasons related to career relocation or retirement. How do we know this, you ask? The answer is simple: the number of Fort Lauderdale homes for sale are shrinking, and the competition for the existing Fort Lauderdale homes for sale is increasing.

YouTube Preview Image

The same goes for the number of Fort Lauderdale condos for sale, particularly waterfront condos in Fort Lauderdale. The prices for oceanfront condos have obviously decreased, but we arent seeing any further decrease in waterfront property value. In fact, the growing competition for the Fort Lauderdale condos for sale on the market seems to be triggering a slight but significant value increase in waterfront condos for sale here. Will that trend continue? Were not sure, but we have a hunch that it will due to a combination of record low mortgage interest rates and the growing rental market.

One of the best real estate investment options is a one of the many Fort Lauderdale condos for sale, particularly a waterfront condos on Las Olas or the nearby beaches. These make excellent seasonal rentals for those who wish to use it as a second home while offsetting the mortgage costs with renters. There are also some well priced condos near local universities that can easily be rented on an annual basis to college or graduate students. These are often rented to longer term renters who attend school near Davie, FL. We find that our investors usually have an excellent cap rate with either of these choices.

If you are in the market to buy one of the many Fort Lauderdale homes for sale, please take a look at the inventory on this site. You may also wish to send us an email, as some of the best deals are those short sale homes that fell through, or become available again and are not yet listed on MLS. The same goes for those looking for the best Fort Lauderdale condos for sale. Whether you want an oceanfront luxury condo in Fort Lauderdale for your primary residence or a triplex in Davie, FL for investment purposes, we can find the best available investment for you.

You can also read a review with further information regarding the optimistic real estate market forecast for 2012 here, where we discuss some excellent market indicators and the price index relative to the Fort Lauderdale Homes for Sale.

About the Author: Mike Benton is a real estate professional specializing in short sale and foreclosure properties in the greater Fort Lauderdale area. He has 10 years of real estate experience, with 6 of those focusing on successful transfers of short sale and foreclosure properties. Learn more at

Fort Lauderdale Homes for Salefortlauderdaleforeclosures.org/?attachment_id=1186 Source: isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=1289373&ca=Real+Estate

Gastric bypass surgery performed by remote control

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Tud95B on 18-08-2019

Sunday, August 21, 2005

A robotic system at Stanford Medical Center was used to perform a laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery successfully with a theoretically similar rate of complications to that seen in standard operations. However, as there were only 10 people in the experimental group (and another 10 in the control group), this is not a statistically significant sample.

If this surgical procedure is as successful in large-scale studies, it may lead the way for the use of robotic surgery in even more delicate procedures, such as heart surgery. Note that this is not a fully automated system, as a human doctor controls the operation via remote control. Laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery is a treatment for obesity.

There were concerns that doctors, in the future, might only be trained in the remote control procedure. Ronald G. Latimer, M.D., of Santa Barbara, CA, warned “The fact that surgeons may have to open the patient or might actually need to revert to standard laparoscopic techniques demands that this basic training be a requirement before a robot is purchased. Robots do malfunction, so a backup system is imperative. We should not be seduced to buy this instrument to train surgeons if they are not able to do the primary operations themselves.”

There are precedents for just such a problem occurring. A previous “new technology”, the electrocardiogram (ECG), has lead to a lack of basic education on the older technology, the stethoscope. As a result, many heart conditions now go undiagnosed, especially in children and others who rarely undergo an ECG procedure.

US swimmer Phelps suspended over ‘pot pipe’

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Tud95B on 18-08-2019

Friday, February 6, 2009

United States swimmer Michael Phelps has been banned from competition and his training stipend revoked for three months by USA Swimming after Phelps was photographed smoking from a glass pipe, often used for smoking cannabis. The picture was published last Sunday by British tabloid News of the World.

USA Swimming, which is the governing body of swimming in the United States, however said that no “anti-doping” rules had been violated.

“This is not a situation where any anti-doping rule was violated, but we decided to send a strong message to Michael because he disappointed so many people, particularly the hundreds of thousands of USA Swimming member kids who look up to him as a role model and a hero,” it stated. “Michael has voluntarily accepted this reprimand and has committed to earn back our trust.”

HAVE YOUR SAY
Should Phelps have been punished at all? If so, was the punishment strict enough?
Add or view comments

The suspension will end in time for Phelps to train for the US Championships, which are to be held on the 7th of July.

Phelps has also lost sponsor Kellogg, who said that it would not renew its deal with the swimmer next month.

Phelps won a record eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing last year, and has since become one of the world’s most famous athletes.

Earthquake, tsunami combo caused devastation in Pichilemu, Chile

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Tud95B on 11-08-2019

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Pichilemu, Chile – Last Saturday, Chile was hit by a 8.8 earthquake. Many coastal towns were also hit by a tsunami, and Pichilemu was one of them. Its inhabitants were surprised by the giant waves that destroyed the most of the costanera and that reached the city square.

Pichilemu, that means in Mapudungun language small forest, is one of the most famous Chilean resort towns in the central zone of Chile. It is recurrently visited by surfers from all the world, because the Punta de Lobos beach is considered one of the best for surf practice worldwide.

Central Pichilemu was not severely damaged by the earthquake, but the tsunami caused significant destruction. The Fishermen Creek, located in front of the beach, was completely destroyed, and its machines are now unusable. Most of the Agustín Ross architecture that characterized the city, three of them being National Monuments of Chile, were damaged. The Agustín Ross Mirador, a famous location in front of the beach, located less than 200 meters from the Fisherman Creek, was completely destroyed. Its famous balustrades were washed away or thrown asunder. Many restaurants, kiosks and a circus were affected by the tsunami.

The rural parts of Pichilemu, like Ciruelos, Rodeillo and Espinillo feature houses constructed from adobe. Many were more than 100-years old, and were destroyed or are now uninhabitable.

The most powerful aftershock was produced almost 40 kilometers in front of the coast of Pichilemu, at the 03:10 local time (07:10 UTC) in March 2, with an intensity of 5.5 in the Richter scale, according to the USGS.

The Intendant of the O’Higgins Region, Juan Núñez, had a meeting with the Governor of the Cardenal Caro Province, Loreto Puebla, the Mayor of Pichilemu, Roberto Córdova, and naval and military authorities, juntas de vecinos representatives. They decided to leave the Carabineros police force to maintain the security of the city.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

The Arturo Prat square was severely damaged by the earthquake and later by the tsunami. In the left picture, can be seen some kiosks, all of them were destroyed, as can be seen on the right picture. Image: Diego Grez.

A boat that was originally in front of the Fisherman Creek of Pichilemu, was thrown almost a block away by the powerful tsunami that hit Chile last Saturday. Image: Diego Grez.

A fair was located in front of the beach, called Feria Internacional Artesanal, where Peruvian and Chilean craftsman were selling their crafts. All of their premises were destroyed, and later looted by the people that were passing by the costanera. Image: Diego Grez.

This is how looked the Agustín Ross ‘Mirador’ (balcony) in the past. Image: Diego Grez.
The Famous Agustín Ross balcony (mirador), before and after the earthquake and tsunami. Image: Diego Grez.

A strong aftershock was originated around Pichilemu, in March 5, 2010, at 12:34:32 AM at epicenter (03:34:32 AM UTC). Image: USGS.

Professional athletes in US linked to online steroid ring

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Tud95B on 11-08-2019

Thursday, March 1, 2007

A steroid distribution network exposed by a New York prosecutor is reported to have connections to a number of high-profile professional athletes, including retired boxer Evander Holyfield and current Los Angeles Angels outfielder Gary Matthews, Jr.

Federal agents raided two pharmacies in Florida and Alabama which were tabbed by a prosecutor in Albany County, New York as having links to illicit distributors of steroids. Eight people have been arrested in connection to this ring, and up to 24 people are individuals of interest to federal agents and may be arrested before the investigation is over.

According to records seized during the raids, customers of the pharmacies included Holyfield, Matthews, former baseball star Jose Canseco, and former pitcher Jason Grimsley. Investigators reportedly have found evidence that performance-enhancing drugs were prescribed to a number of professional athletes as well as international bodybuilders. Further evidence showed that Dr. Richard Rydze, team doctor of the Pittsburgh Steelers, purchased $150,000 worth of human growth hormone on his personal credit card. Calls to Dr. Rydze were not immediately returned.

Those arrested include Stan and Naomi Loomis, owners of Signature Pharmacy in Orlando, Florida. Two other employees of the pharmacy (including Loomis’s brother, Mike) were arrested as well. P. David Soares, Albany County prosecutor, indicated in filings from his office that Signature is believed to be a “producer” of anabolic steroids. Grimsley and Rydze were reported to be customers of Signature Pharmacy. Holyfield, Matthews, and Canseco were allegedly on customer lists from Applied Pharmacy Services in Mobile, Alabama. Both pharmacies and their owners are implicated in the steroid ring.

According to SI.com, Matthews received shipments of Genotropin, a synthetic growth hormone. The shipments were sent to the address of one of his former minor-league teammates in Mansfield, Texas. Matthews claimed he did not know why his name was on Applied Pharmacy’s customer list. He did not comment further on the situation, stating that he was not “in a position to answer specific questions.”

On Wednesday, Holyfield indicated that he was “not overly concerned about the situation.” He did mention that the only purchase of medical supplies that can be attributed to him were medications for his father, who died of a heart ailment in January. Later that evening, Holyfield released a more pointed denial, stating, “I do not use steroids. I have never used steroids. I resent that my name has been linked to known steroid users by sources who refuse to be identified in order to generate publicity for their investigation.”

Mars studies find water

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Tud95B on 11-08-2019

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Studies of Mars point to evidence of the presence of liquid water on the planet’s surface and a vast amount of underground ice near the equator within the past few million years. Liquid water is believed to be a key ingredient for life, therefore the presence of water on Mars helps support chances of extraterrestrial life, reported the journal Nature today. In the studies, strong indications of glacial and volcanic activity were presented. The combined research on this subject, including a study in December 2004 indicating that five volcanoes were active as recently as two million years ago, justifies further search for signs of life on Mars scientists say.

A few million years is a mere minute on the geological timescale of Mars which has been around for 4.5 billion years.

The scarred surface of Mars cannot be attributed solely to asteroids. New images of the landscape taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on the European Space Agency’s Mars Express Mission show that flowing water, large glaciers and active volcanoes have also taken their toll on the face of Mars.

Some evidence collected by two Mars rovers that NASA sent to explore the planet shows that Mars was hotter and more humid millions of years ago than it is today. Also important were active volcanoes that can stimulate the forming of microbial life as they do here on Earth. Scientists recently discovered bacteria near the mouths of undersea volcanic vents on Earth where bacteria live off sulfur instead of oxygen and discharge methane as a by-product of their life cycle. Though controversial, the discovery of signs of methane gas in Mars’ atmosphere also interests researchers who believe it indicates the possibility of subsurface life.

Geologist James Head of Brown University led a group of researchers who examined landforms thought to be glacial during the Viking program in the 1970s. They found evidence that glaciers moved from the poles to the equator between 3.5 and 4 million years ago, suggesting that Mars is currently in an interglacial period.

A third study looked at an area of frozen water roughly the size of the North Sea that formed near the equator around five million years ago. It is now thought that the ice was once liquid water carried along by volcanic eruptions in a region known as Cerberus Fossae.

Researchers have long assumed water on Mars had all evaporated into the Martian atmosphere. A 1991 hypothesis, then considered outrageous by suggesting Mars was no stranger to floods, is now supported by recent findings. The HRSC data suggests water is still present both in liquid form and ice. Mars Express will deploy a special radar instrument in early May which should be able to detect water and ice even several miles beneath the surface.

Should water be found on Mars, the chances of finding life are great. Many extremophiles, bacteria living under extreme conditions such as extreme salinity or heat, have already been discovered on Earth. In February 2005, scientists announced the discovery of bacteria that survived in a state of frozen suspension for 32,000 years.

Likewise on Mars, a sample of ice could offer great insight into the evolution of the Martian environment and atmosphere. These discoveries may offer a great chance to get objective evidence for Mars research.