Who Said That?

The graduates of McGill University who finished their degrees after World War II ended are the great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents of those who are graduating from university and college over 65 years later.  The quotes beside each graduates’ name speaks volumes of how they interpreted the world around them.  Since most of the quotes fail to acknowledge the author of the quote, I thought it would be fun to see how many of these quotes are recognized by those who follow or visit my blog.  Today’s quote is this:

Integrity is an essential attribute of personality.

Feel free to add the name of who you believe was — or may have been — the person who first spoke or first wrote those words, in the Comments Section below.

The Value Of Search Engine Optimization aka SEO

Recently I took a look at where the Elyse Bruce and Idiomation blogs ranked according to Google and its search engine.  Both blogs were doing very well and ranked in the top 50 domains.

WEBSTATS_REDACTED_19 May 2015

Both blogs had excellent search engine optimization (SEO) scores.  Both blogs were popular in terms of traffic from the United States as well as abroad.  And both blogs had relatively low PageRanks, due in large part to backlinks.

What’s a PageRank?

PageRank is a ranking system on a scale of 1 to 10 that’s used by Google to determine the value of websites in search engine results, and is determined by an algorithm that counts the number and quality of incoming links to a website or blog.  That’s great, but just as with everything else in business, PageRank is easily manipulated.

What’s a Google Bomb?

When a group of people form a coalition with the intent of artificially elevating specific website rankings in the web search results, they create what’s colloquially known as a Google Bomb.  By linking a key phrase from a website to many other websites, a Google Bomb is creating, leaving a false positive with the PageRank algorithm.  This results in search engine optimization (SEO) fraud, and actually impacts negatively on the websites participating in Google Bombing activities.

What are backlinks?

Backlinks are also very important in determining rankings.  The phrase you use to link to a page or document actually matters.  Used as intended, your website or blog will benefit from your efforts; used as a Google Bomb, your website or blog may seem to benefit from it at first, but will inevitably suffer in the long run.

Is gaming the system a good approach to improving PageRanks?

While everyone loves traffic to their website or blog, your brewing a great big steaming cup of trouble when you insert keywords and phrases with text color that matches the site’s background color, or you insert misleading keywords and phrases into your site.  The bottom line is that word gets around when a webmaster games the system, and when Google alters their algorithms, the website or blog gaming the system winds up plummeting in the rankings.

What does all this mean?

As with brick-and-mortar business, your online business needs to focus on content and quality first.  Whether they come to your site for entertainment purposes or for information, provide users with what they expect to find on your website or blog.  Don’t hoodwink them.  Nobody likes the bait-and-switch game.

Final Note

Remember that when you use relevant keywords and phrases in your site content and structure, you will attract legitimate readers, viewers, followers, and fans to your website or blog.  It will create a positive user experience for readers, viewers, followers, and fans, and is more likely to create secondary and tertiary benefits for your business.

Elyse Bruce

SUGGESTED READING

How To Ruin Your Google Rank
http://google.about.com/od/googleforbusiness/ss/Ways-to-Ruin-Your-Google-Rank.htm

Should I Pay To Submit My Site To Search Engines?
http://websearch.about.com/od/faqs/f/compny.htm

Ten Search Engine Optimization Myths Debunked!
http://websearch.about.com/od/searchenginemarketing/a/seomyths.htm

What Is Black Hat SEO?
http://websearch.about.com/od/seononos/a/spamseo.htm

Who Said That?

The graduates of McGill University who finished their degrees after World War II ended are the great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents of those who are graduating from university and college over 65 years later.  The quotes beside each graduates’ name speaks volumes of how they interpreted the world around them.  Since most of the quotes fail to acknowledge the author of the quote, I thought it would be fun to see how many of these quotes are recognized by those who follow or visit my blog.  Today’s quote is this:

Everything happens to everybody sooner or later if there is time enough.

Feel free to add the name of who you believe was — or may have been — the person who first spoke or first wrote those words, in the Comments Section below.

Who Said That?

The graduates of McGill University who finished their degrees after World War II ended are the great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents of those who are graduating from university and college over 65 years later.  The quotes beside each graduates’ name speaks volumes of how they interpreted the world around them.  Since most of the quotes fail to acknowledge the author of the quote, I thought it would be fun to see how many of these quotes are recognized by those who follow or visit my blog.  Today’s quote is this:

Forget my frailties; thou art also frail:
Forgive my lapses; for thyself may’st fall.

Feel free to add the name of who you believe was — or may have been — the person who first spoke or first wrote those words, in the Comments Section below.

Breaking Down The (DMCA) Takedown

Copyright and trademark infringement is rampant these days as we all know, and if you own copyrights and/or trademarks, this means you have to be vigilant — in real life as well as online — for infringements of your copyrights and/or trademarks.  But far too few entrepreneurs and small businesses know where to begin when they learn that someone has infringed their copyrights and/or trademarks, especially if the site where the infringement has happened isn’t YouTube, Tumblr, Instagram, or any other large entity that will respect a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice.

This first thing you have to do when you find your intellectual property infringed upon is to send a DMCA notice to the company.  If that yields no results, then send a DMCA notice to the web hosting company.

What copyrighted materials does a DMCA takedown notice cover?

 In a nutshell, it will take down any copyrighted materials as long as you can prove that it you own the copyright, that your copyright has been infringed upon, and that you haven’t given permission for the third-party to use your copyright.  This means that any text (including Word. Doc documents, plain text etc), video (including MPG, AVI, RM, MOV, Quicktime, Windows Media Player, RealPlayer), music and audio (including MP3, MP4, MIDI, WMA, WAV), images, pictures and photos (Including JPG / JPEG, GIF, PNG, PSD et al) even when they are posted to social media; and software can be part of a DMCA takedown notice.

What does the notice need to include?

In short, the following eight items must be part of your DMCA takedown notice:

1.  Your full name and email address;
2.  Name of Infringing work;
3.  Original Content URLs;
4.  Infringing Content URLs;
5.  State that the website’s use of your copyright or trademark is infringing on your copyright and/or trademark;
6.  A good faith belief statement stating that the copyright and/or trademark owner, its agent, or the law, has not authorized the use of the infringed copyright and/or trademark.
7.  A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the person filing the complaint is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed; and
8.  A dated electronic signature of the copyright owner or a person authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner.

NOTE If you file your DMCA takedown notice via email or website contact page, a digital signature must be preceded with /s/ followed by your name.

What if the contact information to send a DMCA takedown notice to isn’t available on the website?

There’s no cloak-and-dagger involved here as a WHOIS search only requires that you input the name of the website where the alleged infringed copyright materials are found, and hitting the submit or send button.

What if the website isn’t hosted in a notice-and-takedown country?

This doesn’t mean you are out of luck because you aren’t.  You can file a DMCA takedown notice with search engines which will minimize the damages incurred from having your copyrighted materials on the website in question.

Can I write my own DMCA takedown notice if I don’t know any legal jargon?

You don’t need legal jargon for a DMCA Takedown Notice to be effective.   All you have to do is to make sure that your DMCA takedown notice conforms to the format set out by the government.

What if the website refuses to honor the DMCA Takedown Notice?

While that would certainly be disconcerting, you aren’t without options.  At that point, you still have the option to file a complaint through the FBI and National White Collar Crime Center partnership, using the IC3 form found HERE.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) deals with matters of “online fraud in its many forms including Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) matters, Computer Intrusions (hacking), Economic Espionage (Theft of Trade Secrets), Online Extortion, International Money Laundering, Identity Theft, and a growing list of Internet facilitated crimes.”

What if my copyrighted materials aren’t registered with the Copyright Office in the U.S., the Canadian Intellectual Properties Office in Canada, or any other similar government department in another country?

Copyright exists at the time of creation which means that creators are entitled to copyright protection as laid out in their country’s Copyright Act.  As long as you can prove that you are the owner of the allegedly infringed copyright, you can file a DMCA Takedown Notice.

Final Note

Don’t be afraid to take a stand against theft especially when it impacts on your business.  You worked hard to get to where you are, and no one has the right to dip into your bank account and relieve you of your royalties without your express permission.

Elyse Bruce

SUGGESTED READING

DMCA Takedown 101
http://brainz.org/dmca-takedown-101/

The DMCA Takedown Notice Demystified
http://www.sfwa.org/2013/03/the-dmca-takedown-notice-demystified/

How To Write A DMCA Takedown Notice
http://www.thelaw.com/guide/ip/copyright/how-to-write-a-dmca-takedown-notice/

In Plain English: A Quick Guide TO DMCA Takedown Notices
http://copyrightalliance.org/2012/03/in-plain-english-a-quick-guide-to-dmca-takedown-notices#.VVIzNvD2uNU

The Notice And Take Down Provisions of the DMCA
http://www.ivanhoffman.com/dmca.html

Responding To A DMCA Takedown Notice
http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/responding-dmca-takedown-notice.html

Subject Matter and Scope of Copyright
http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.pdf

Who Said That?

The graduates of McGill University who finished their degrees after World War II ended are the great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents of those who are graduating from university and college over 65 years later.  The quotes beside each graduates’ name speaks volumes of how they interpreted the world around them.  Since most of the quotes fail to acknowledge the author of the quote, I thought it would be fun to see how many of these quotes are recognized by those who follow or visit my blog.  Today’s quote is this:

As for me, all I know is that I know nothing.

Feel free to add the name of who you believe was — or may have been — the person who first spoke or first wrote those words, in the Comments Section below.

Baltimore Burning

According to the U.S. Government Census of 2014, 63.3% of Baltimore is black or African-American alone, 31.6% is white alone, 4.6% is Hispanic or Latino alone, and then there’s the rest.  In other words, the facts are that Baltimore is predominantly a black or African-American city.

The mayor of Baltimore is African-American.  The Baltimore police department is administered by Commissioner Anthony Batts who is African-American, and Deputy Commissioner of Patrol Garnell Green, who is also African-American.  The state attorney is African-American.  In other words, those who are in positions of power are African-American, not white.

Of the six members who make up the Baltimore City Senate Delegation that represents Baltimore’s interest in the Maryland General Assembly, four of them (66.7%) are African-American.

When the mayor of Baltimore hired the Police Commissioner, she stated to the Baltimore Sun that with the hiring of Anthony Batts in 2012, the city would become “the safest big city in America.”  One of the first things Anthony Batts did was to disband the Violent Crimes Impact Section that December, and to create the Special Enforcement Section.

According to the Washington Post who quoted Census data, in the Baltimore police department, 46% of police officers are white.  And according to information from former Massachusetts governor (and former Baltimore mayor) Martin O’Malley, when he left office in January 2015, 43% of police officers in Baltimore were African-American (it’s doubtful that the percentage has dropped significantly between the end of January and the end of April when the Freddie Gray incident took place).

Of the six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, three are African-American:  Caesar Goodson Jr. (who drove the police van), William Porter, and Alicia White.  And of the six officers charged, the three who are African-American face the most serious charges as determined by the state attorney.  The charges, along with the maximum sentence for each charge, are as follows:

Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr.

Second degree depraved heart murder – 30 years
Manslaughter (involuntary) – 10 years
Assault (2nd degree) – 10 years
Manslaughter by vehicle (gross negligence) – 10 years
Misconduct in office (8th Amendment)

Officer William G. Porter

Manslaughter (involuntary) – 10 years
Assault (2nd degree) – 10 years
Misconduct in office (8th Amendment)

Lt. Brian W. Rice

Manslaughter (involuntary) – 10 years
Assault (2nd degree) – 10 years
Assault (2nd degree) – 10 years
Misconduct in office (8th Amendment)
False Imprisonment (8th Amendment)

Officer Edward M. Nero

Assault (2nd degree) – 10 years
Assault (2nd degree) – 10 years
Misconduct in office (8th Amendment)
False Imprisonment (8th Amendment)

Officer Garrett E. Miller

Assault (2nd degree) – 10 years
Misconduct in office (8th Amendment)
False Imprisonment (8th Amendment)

Sgt. Alicia D. White

Manslaughter (involuntary) – 10 years
Assault (2nd degree) – 10 years
Misconduct in office (8th Amendment)

For those of you who are unclear as to what the charge of depraved-heart murder means, this charge allows prosecutors to charge Caesar R. Goodson Jr. with murder without having to prove that the intent was to kill Freddie Gray.  The charge means that prosecutors only have to prove that the officer knowingly did something that he either knew, or should have known, was likely to kill Freddie Gray, and that he showed “extreme indifference” to the possibility of harm to Freddie Gray.

Does this excuse what happened to Freddie Gray while he was in custody?  Of course, it doesn’t.

What it does is to underscore that the claims by rioters, vandals, looters, and activists that his death was an act of racism means that African-Americans are out to get other African-Americans.  There is social media fueled outrage that only serves to inflame the situation and not to arrive at the facts and move through those facts to create solutions to the problems that create these powder keg situations in the first place.

At one point last week, two weeks into the rioting, 98 police officers had reported injuries, with 43 requiring emergency treatment.  Thirteen were out on medical leave, fifteen returned to light duty, and the remaining fifteen returned to full duty after treatment.

There were reports that another prisoner sharing the police van with Freddie Gray, but separated from him by a metal partition, believed that the noises he heard on the other side of that wall was that of Freddie Gray trying to intentionally hurt himself.  Keep in mind that this is what the other prisoner thought was going on, and has not been proven or disproven.

There were reports that Freddie Gray was unarmed, and other reports that Freddie Gray was armed with a spring-loaded switch blade.

But regardless of whether Freddie Gray injured himself, and whether he did or didn’t have a spring-loaded switch blade when apprehended by the police (after being chased through a West Baltimore housing project), the fact of the matter remains that Freddie Gray did not receive proper medical attention that may have saved his life.

And even though State Attorney Marilyn Mosby has claimed there is systemic racism against African-Americans, the fact of the matter is that this isn’t really about racism.  It’s about whether police brutality is rampant in certain police forces.  It’s about whether some police officers are abusing their position as police officers, and causing harm to the community they have sworn to serve and protect.

The Baltimore police officers union has asked that a special arm’s length independent prosecutor be appointed to the investigation.

In the end, we may never know what really happened to Freddie Gray.  Rather than polarizing this into a race war, isn’t it time Baltimore pulled together and made this about rooting out those on the police force and in the community whose focus is on dividing the city into war zones?

Elyse Bruce

SUGGESTED READING

Attorney General Expected To Announce Civil Rights Investigation Into Baltimore Police
https://gma.yahoo.com/attorney-general-expected-announce-civil-rights-investigation-baltimore-025833751–abc-news-topstories.html

Baltimore Celebrates After Police Charged In Black Man’s Death
http://news.yahoo.com/baltimore-celebrates-police-charged-black-mans-death-180819847.html

Baltimore Police Commissioner: There Is A Sense Of Rage And Rightly So
http://www.wcnc.com/story/news/nation/2015/05/01/baltimore-police-commissioner/26685431/

Baltimore Probe Into Black Man’s Death Fails To Support Charges
http://news.yahoo.com/baltimore-probe-black-mans-death-fails-support-charges-165020584.html

Baltimore Protesters March Again After Police File Gray Report
http://www.wcnc.com/story/news/nation/2015/04/30/baltimore-freddie-gray-police-van-protests-injured/26623821/

Curfew Law Very Egregious
http://news.yahoo.com/latest-police-custody-death-6-officers-charged-150534486.html

Freddie Gray Death: Baltimore Mayor Says She Is Sickened And Heartbroken
http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/baltimore-unrest/freddie-gray-death-mayor-says-she-sickened-heartbroken-n352056

Freddie Gray’s Death Ruled A Homicide: Six Baltimore Officers Charged
http://news.yahoo.com/freddie-gray-sustained-fatal-head-injury-in-back-of-police-van–report-124521845.html

Prisoner In Van Thought Gray Was Trying To Injure Himself
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/prisoner-in-van-said-freddie-gray-was-banging-against-the-walls-during-ride/2015/04/29/56d7da10-eec6-11e4-8666-a1d756d0218e_story.html

Prosecutor Charges 6 Baltimore Officers With Freddie Gray’s Death
http://cbs12.com/news/top-stories/stories/medical-examiner-freddie-grays-death-ruled-homicide-25455.shtml

Protesters Clash With Police In Philadelphia
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/freddie-gray-protesters-clash-police-philadelphia/

What Is Depraved Heart Murder?
http://www.wcnc.com/story/news/2015/05/01/maryland-depraved-heart-murder-charge/26716749/

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