Saturday, October 16, 2004


Citeva noi cazuri de interes pentru Romania:

-Ţîmbal v. Moldova (no. 22970/02)-(in care e clar ca Moldova a luat-o mai razna decit Romania)
Violation of Article 6 § 1;Violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1

Comunicatul grefierului:
Alexandru Ţîmbal, a Moldovan national who was born in 1944 and lives in Chişinău (Moldova), complained about the failure to enforce a judgment of 16 September 1999 awarding him compensation of 8,394.4 Moldovan lei (equivalent to EUR 737.37 at the time). The judgment was enforced on 25 April 2003 after the case was communicated by the Court to the Moldovan Government.
The applicant complained of a violation of his right to have his civil rights determined by a court, guaranteed by Article 6 (right to a fair hearing) of the Convention, and his right to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions, guaranteed by Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property).
The Court held unanimously that there had been a violation of Article 6 § 1 and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 and awarded the applicant EUR 370 for pecuniary damage and EUR 800 for non-pecuniary damage. (The judgment is available only in English.)

-Bursuc v. Romania (Chamber Judgment/application no. 42066/98)-textul integral disponibil numai in franceza--mi se pare notabil ca CEDO a retinut tortura in acest caz

The Court held unanimously that there had been:

·a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (prohibition of torture) on account of the fact that the applicant was subjected to torture while in police custody;

·a violation of Article 3 of the Convention on account of the authorities’ failure to conduct an adequate and effective investigation into his treatment;

·a violation of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention (right to a fair trial within a reasonable time) on account of the length of the criminal proceedings that were brought against him.
Under Article 41 (just satisfaction) of the Convention, the Court awarded the applicant’s widow 10,000 euros (EUR) for non-pecuniary damage.

1. Principal facts

The applicant, Ioan Bursuc, was a Romanian national who was born in 1949 and worked as a legal adviser. At the time of his death in 2001 he was living in Piatra-Neamt (Romania). The Court gave his widow permission to continue the proceedings.

The facts are disputed.

The applicant asserted that he had been stopped by two police officers at approximately 8 p.m. on the evening of 27 January 1997 while in a bar at the local headquarters of the Democratic Party. They had asked him for his identity papers in an offensive manner and he had replied in the same tone. The police officers had then set about him with their batons and kicked him before dragging him away in handcuffs to a car parked some fifty metres or so away. The applicant was given a further beating by the police officers in the car and had lapsed into semiconsciousness. He was taken to the central police station where he alleged that he was violently assaulted by some eight officers who threw him to the floor, stamped on him, hit him with their batons, kicked him, sprayed him with water and spat and urinated on him.

The applicant was subjected to this treatment for more than six hours and lost consciousness several times. At about 4 a.m. he was taken to the Piatra-Neamţ Psychiatric Hospital where he was given tranquillisers before being sent to a neurosurgery unit on account of his condition.

The Romanian Government said that at about midnight on the evening of 27 January 1997 police officers were called to a bar at the Democratic Party headquarters by a security officer who said that the applicant was drunk and had attacked a barmaid. The applicant was very aggressive and refused to disclose his identity and so was taken to the police station. He had had to be restrained in the police car because of his aggressiveness; at the police station he had injured himself by throwing himself to the ground and against chairs and tables in the room in which he had been put.

On 29 January 1997 Mr Bursuc was admitted to the hospital neurosurgery service in a serious condition and diagnosed as suffering from “concussion and diffuse cerebral oedema following cerebral cranial trauma”. A medical report drawn up on that date referred inter alia to acute closed cranial trauma resulting from assault, swelling to the face including the right eye, excoriation and bruising to the face and hands, pain in the thorax and head, and dizziness. The applicant left the hospital on 4 February 1997 and the following day attended Mureş Provincial Clinic for tests which the doctors had refused to perform. He was found to be suffering from dolichosigmoid[2] and angina pectoris that were probably trauma-induced, cerebral cranial trauma with diffuse vasogenic cerebral oedema as a result of an assault, and headaches and dizziness.

On 27 February 1997 Mr Bursuc lodged a complaint against the police officers who had ill-treated him. He in turn was prosecuted for insulting the police officers who had arrested and detained him. The applicant’s complaint was initially investigated by the public prosecutor’s office of
Neamţ Provincial Court, which decided that it had no jurisdiction. Conduct of the investigation was then transferred to the Bacău military prosecutor’s office, which on 4 February 1998 decided to take no further action on the grounds that it had not been proved that the eight police officers concerned had committed an offence. The applicant’s appeals against that decision were dismissed.

In the other set of proceedings Mr Bursuc was committed to stand trial in Alba Provincial Court on the charge of insulting police officers. Those proceedings were discontinued on 12 February 2001 following his death.

2. Procedure and composition of the Court

The application was lodged with the European Commission of Human Rights on 21 May 1998 and transmitted to the Court on 1 November 1998. It was declared admissible on 4 November 2003.

Judgment was given by a Chamber of 7 judges, composed as follows:
Jean-Paul Costa (French), President,
András Baka (Hungarian),
Loukis Loucaides (Cypriot),
Corneliu Bîrsan (Romanian),
Karel Jungwiert (Czech),
Volodymyr Butkevych (Ukrainian),
Wilhelmina Thomassen (Netherlands), judges,

and also Sally Dollé, Section Registrar.

3. Summary of the judgment[3]


The applicant complained under Article 3 of the Convention of his treatment at the hands of the police officers and of the lack of an effective investigation by the authorities. He also complained under Article 6 § 1 of the length of the criminal proceedings that had been brought against him for allegedly insulting the police officers.

Decision of the Court

Article 3

The applicant’s treatment in police custody

The Court reiterated that if a person sustained injuries in custody when entirely under the control of police officers it was for the Government to provide a plausible explanation as to the cause of the injuries.

In the case before the Court, the Romanian Government had maintained that the serious injuries the applicant had sustained could have been intentionally self-inflicted or caused by a fall in the bar before the police officers’ intervention, since the applicant was suffering from a mental disorder and was drunk.

The Court noted that the forensic doctors’ reports produced during the course of the investigation indicated that the injuries had been caused by an assault, and were not self-inflicted or the result of a fall. In addition, there was no medical evidence of any psychiatric illness apart from a report drawn up on the applicant’s discharge from hospital shortly after the assault which referred to the existence of “neurosis, psychomotor agitation and poor concentration and memory”. The Court also noted that the statements which the public prosecutor’s office had obtained about the incident were contradictory and imprecise and the investigators failed to take a statement from the applicant.

The investigation had not uncovered any evidence to support the allegation that the applicant’s injuries were sustained as a result of the incident in the bar. In that connection, the Court was surprised to note that the security officer was not even charged in the course of the investigation. Although the allegation that the injuries were self-inflicted was supported by the findings of the criminal investigation department, the Court noted that neither the Government nor the domestic authorities had explained how Mr Bursuc could have caused himself injuries of that type and seriousness. There was no expert evidence to support the allegation while the depositions of the police officers who had made it were particularly brief and confused on that point.

As the Romanian Government had not furnished any evidence to support their assertions and in the absence of a plausible explanation, the Court found it established that the applicant’s recorded injuries were caused by treatment for which the Government’s responsibility was engaged.

The intensity of the blows to which the applicant was subjected had caused multiple bruising to the head, including cerebral cranial trauma as a result of an assault, with diffuse cerebral oedema entailing long-term effects. That ill-treatment had continued for several hours starting with his arrest in the bar and transfer to the police station, ending only when he was taken to the hospital in a serious condition at 4.20 a.m. Moreover, the applicant had been in a particularly vulnerable position, having being taken to the police station alone at night by at least five police officers following a minor incident in the bar.

In those circumstances, the Court found that the violence to which the applicant had been subjected was particularly serious and cruel and capable of causing “severe” pain and suffering; as such, it had to be regarded as torture within the meaning of Article 3. It accordingly held that there had been a violation of the Convention on that account.

The applicant’s death

Although she had not alleged a violation of Article 2 (right to life), the applicant’s widow invited the Court to assess the effects the ill-treatment had had on the applicant’s health. The Court found that no direct causal link could be established between the trauma sustained as a result of the ill-treatment in 1997 and the applicant’s death following a deterioration in his condition after a road traffic accident in 1999.

Consequently, it did not consider it necessary to consider whether there had been a violation of Article 2.

The investigations conducted by the Romanian authorities

The investigation, which was initially conducted by the public prosecutor’s office at Neamţ Provincial Court
and by the Neamţ police force, concerned both the matters complained of by the applicant and the charge of insulting the police. The Court noted that the evidence and statements were obtained by the Piatra Neamţ criminal investigation department, even though the police officers under investigation were still on duty. That state of affairs was incompatible with the rule that there should be no hierarchical or institutional link between the persons called upon to conduct the investigation and those implicated in the offence under investigation.

The Court noted that five months after the incident the public prosecutor’s office in charge of the investigation had declined jurisdiction and transferred the case to the Bacău military prosecutor’s office, which decided to discontinue the proceedings against the eight police officers without even hearing the applicant. In the light of the domestic regulations in force at the time, the independence of the military prosecutor who conducted the investigation was open to doubt. Like police officers at the material time, military prosecutors were active officers within the military structure that functioned on the basis of hierarchical subordination. Concrete evidence of the military prosecutor’s lack of independence as a result of that institutional link was to be seen in the biased manner in which the investigation into the allegations against the police officers was conducted in the case. Particularly striking in the Court’s eyes was the military prosecutor’s office failure to make any mention in its order discontinuing the proceedings to the findings set out in the forensic experts’ reports, the last of which had been drawn up at the request of the public prosecutor’s office at Neamţ Provincial Court and referred to an assault on the applicant.

It also appeared that the applicant’s appeal against the order discontinuing the proceedings was filed away by the representative of the military prosecutor’s office at the Supreme Court on the ground that it had already come before the Supreme Court twice previously occasions. Yet the Romanian Government had not provided a copy of any such decision.

In the circumstances, the Court found that the Romanian authorities had not conducted a thorough and effective investigation into the applicant’s allegation that he had been subjected to ill-treatment while in police custody. Consequently, it held that there had also been a violation of Article 3 on that account.

Article 6

The Court noted that the criminal proceedings against the applicant had lasted four years, including one year and nine months before the public prosecutor’s office and two years and three months before the court at first instance. In holding that there had been a violation of Article 6 § 1, it found that the length of the proceedings could not reasonably be justified by the nature or complexity of the case and that the judicial authorities should have been particularly alert to the need to expedite the proceedings, especially in view of Mr Bursuc’s condition.

Cyberspace law

Doua stiri pe care de o spatamina tot vreau sa le postez si nu apuc:
Camera Reprezentantilor a SUA a votat pentru legislatie anti spyware(HR 2929), primit cu rezerve de Information Technology Association of America . The House bill approved Tuesday is HR 4661. Mai mult despre acest subiect la AP)

--Un nou val de actiuni impotriva Europenilor care "uploadeaza" muzica pe internet (nu am timp sa fac acum o legatura cu cele intimplate intr-o actiune asemanatoare in Curtile din California acum, dar voi reveni )

-e vorba de anuntul "International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI)" a 459 de actiuni introduse impotriva celor care fac acest gen de upload,in diverse curti europene (putem vorbi de "strategic litigation") in special in UK si France,cele mai mari piete de muzica Europene, dar de asemenea in in Italia, Danemarca, Germania si Austria.(pentru detalii, avem aici o inregistrare a video conferintei in care s-a anuntat intentia, punctul de vedere al British Phonographic Industry, care s-a alaturat actiunii, o expunere a punctului de vedere al IFPI IFPI,si ceva background despre aceste actiuni,precum si un comentariu al BBC News)

Friday, October 15, 2004

Raportul de tara 2004.Extras:Justitia

Traducere neoficiala, facuta de Dragos BARLOG, unul din membrii Asociatiei
Raportul de Tara 2004
Sistemul judiciar
Paginile 18 -20

Sistemul judiciar romanesc contine 4 nivele jurisdictionale : instantele locale, tribunalele ( la nivel judetean ), curtile de apel si Inalta Curte de Casatie si Justitie.Pe langa instantele de la fiecare dintre aceste 4 nivele functioneaza parchetele.In general, cazurile deduse judecatii trec printr-oexaminare in fond in prima instanta si parcurg 2 etape de control :apelul si recursul. De asemenea, in Romania exista o Curte Constitutionala, cu o dubla competenta jurisdictionala : controlul legilor inainte de promulgare, si controlul legilor deja in vigoare,atunci cand constitutionalitatea lor este pusa in discutie in fata instantelor ordinare.Sistemul judiciar a suferit o serie de schimbari structurale, in perioada supusa raportarii. Revizuirea Constitutiei in anul 2003 a transformat Curtea Suprema de Justitie in Inalta Curtede Casatie si Justitie, acordandu-le membrilor mandate pe viata si deasemenea, a statuat separarea puterii judecatoresti de cea executiva.Inalta Curte a primit temporar competenta de a solutiona toate recursurile ( apelurile de gradul 2 ). Un Ordin al Ministerului Justitiei din iunie 2004 cerea tuturor Curtlor de Apel sa publice buletine anuale de jurisprudenta, intentia fiind aceea de a determina o aplicare unitara a legii pe intreg teritoriul Romaniei. In iunie 2004 a fost adoptat un pachet de 3 legi, referitoare la Consiliul Superior al Magistraturii, Organizarea Judiciara si Statutul Magistratilor. Acest pachet contine propuneri majore, dar acestea nu au fost inca transpuse in Strategia de Reforma a Sistemului Judiciar sau asociate Planului de Actiune menit sa implementeze procesul de reforma.Pachetul continand cele 3 legi mentionate anterior, care au intrat in vigoare la 30 septembrie, nefiind inca implementate, are drept scop imbunatatirea independentei si efectivitatii sistemuluijudiciar. Consiliul Superior al Magistraturii isi va asuma intreaga responsabilitate pentru recrutarea, formarea profesionala si sanctionarea judecatorilor si procurorilor. Legile determina modificari substantiale in sistem, stabilind infiintarea instantelor specializate, in locul actualelor sectii specializate si a completelor specializate, si reinstituind principiul colegialitatii in prima instanta, unde judecatorii vor actiona in complete de cel putin 2 persoane. Trei dintre instantele specializate in drept comercial si o instanta specializata in domeniul minorilor si al dreptului familiei ar trebui sa fie functionale pana la sfarsitul anului 2004, iar restul procesului de infiintare a curtilor speciale ar trebui sa fie incheiat pana la sfarsitul anului 2007. Pana la finele anului 2006 dosarele ar trebui sa fie distribuite judecatorilor in baza unui sistem de distributie aleatorie care sa functioneze prin intermediul unui calculator.Ministrul Justitiei nu mai poate sa numeasca magistrati in mod direct si nici sa decida promovarea acestora la instantele sau parchetele superioare ori in pozitii de conducere in cadrul Consiliului Superior al Magistraturii, ceea ce reprezinta un real progres in intentia de a creea o justitie independenta. Totusi,Ministrul este responsabil de numirea asistentilor judiciari, o importanta si influenta pozitie in cadrul instantelor, creata pentru a inlocui fostii magistrati consultanti. Presedintii instantelor sunt abilitati sa decida sectia si completul in care va actiona un judecator. Ministrul are in continuare posibilitatea sa participe la sesiunile celor 2 sectii ale Consiliului Superior al Magistraturii,fie cu drept deplin de vot, fie cu posibilitatea " de facto " de a influenta deciziile.Un sondaj realizat recent a demonstrat faptul ca majoritatea judecatorilor a suferit presiuni politice in legatura cu indeplinirea indatoririlor de serviciu. De asemenea, o practica larg raspandita consta in obiceiul Executivului de a acorda posturile de decizie din cadrul sistemului judiciar, unor anumiti indivizi : in iulie 2004, un candidat fara experienta in calitate de judecator, dar care lucrase ca si consilier politic la cel mai inalt nivel pentru multi ani, a fost numit Presedinte al Inaltei Curti. Alaturi de schimbarile de forma, referitoare la legislatie sau structuri organizatorice, ar trebui sa fie creat un sistem in cadrul caruia judecatorii sa poata dezvolta o cultura a profesiei, care sa raspunda noilor lor responsabilitati privind apararea independentei justitiei, garantarea aplicarii eficiente a legii si asigurarea unui inalt standard profesional in intregul sistem.Consiliul Superior al Magistraturii va functiona ca o instituie permanenta, dar, cu exceptia Presedintelui si Vice-Presedintelui, ceilalti membri trebuie sa isi indeplineasca in continuare atributiile obisnuite de magistrati.Ministerul FinantelorPublice trebuie sa avizeze propunerile de buget ale Consiliului Superior, precum si schema de personal. Cu exceptia propriului buget,CSM-ul nu are dreptul sa faca propuneri bugetare in ceea ce priveste sistemul judiciar, dar Ministerul Justitiei este nevoit sa obtina asentimentul formal al CSM pentru propunerile sale in domeniu.Modificarile aduse Codului de Procedura Civila in august 2003 au avut o serie de consecinte negative in ceea ce priveste functionalitatea sistemului judiciar. Inalta Curte a primit competenta judecarii tuturor recursurilor, ceea ce a dus la crearea unei acumulari fara precendt a recursurilor( de la 3 175 in 2002 panala 35. 800 la sfarsitul lui aprilie 2004 ). Acest lucru a restrans serios posibilitatea justitiabililor de a obtine o rezolvare acazului intr-un termen rezonabil. Situatia a devenit de nesuportat,iar in mai 2004 responsabilitatea recursurilor a fost inapoiata tribunalelor si curtilor de apel.Atat posibilitatea de a exercita ocale de atac la Inalta Curte asupra a ceea ce era denumit "problema minora " cat si functia Instantei Supreme de a verifica admisibilitatea cazurilor, au fost eliminate. Au fost puse in aplicare dispozitii tranzitorii pentru a redistribui dosarele catre instantele inferioare, desi acumularea de la nivelul Inaltei Curti este departe de a fi solutionata, intrucat exista in continuare aproximativ 24 000 dosare ramase. Aplicarea Codului de Procedura Penala revizuit, intrat in vigoare in ianuarie 2004, a fost, in ceea ce priveste anumite aspecte, insuficient pregatit. Viitoare reviziuri ale cadrului legal ar trebui mai atent planificate si elaborate in urma consultarii practicienilor. In iunie 2004, un nou Cod Penal si Legea Rapunderii Penale a Persoanelor Juridice pentru Falsificarea de Moneda au intrat in vigoare.Exista un necesar de 480 de posturi de judecator printre cele 4 312 posturi declarate. Aceste posturi vacante produc efecte semnificative mai ales la nivelul judecatoriilor si tribunalelor.Necesitatea recrutarii si pregatirii magistratilor este cu atat mai mare cu cat aplicarea reformei in sistemul judiciar , in special din perspectiva introducerii principiului colegialitatii si al infiintarii instantelor specializate, va atrage dupa sine imperativul cresterii numarului de magistrati. In perioada de raportare, examene de recrutare in magistratura a specialistilor in domeniul juridic au fost organizate la un nivel larg ; dar, persoanele recrutate prin acest gen de examen nu sunt obligate sa parcurga cei 2 ani depregatire din cadrul Institutului National al Magistraturii, ceea ce ar putea submina rolul INM de gardian al standardului profesional al celor nou-veniti in profesie. Desi numarul de cazuri repartizate unui judecator a scazut in timpul anului 2003 ( in cazul judecatoriilor,de la o medie de 659/an/judecator in 2002, pana la581/an/judecator ), totusi numarul de dosare pentru fiecare judecator a crescut din nou in primele 3 luni ale anului 2004. Exista o evidenta diferentiere in numarul de dosare pe cap de judecator care variaza de la instanta la instanta, situatia ramanad deosebit de dificila mai ales in orasele mari. In ceea ce priveste procedurile judiciare, orice judecata in prima instanta poate fi atacata de 2 ori si in majoritatea cazurilor solutionarea dureaza mai putin de 6 luni.Calitatea actului de justitie ramane in continuare o problema si desi proportia sentintelor care au fost desfiintate in caile de atac a scazut in 2003 comparativ cu 2002, erorile facute incadrul intsantelor inferioare continua sa fie descoperite in aproximativ 30 % din cazurile civile ce sunt reexaminate in cadrul cailor de atac. Situatia poate fi explicata prin supraaglomerarea judecatorilor, accesul limitat la jurisprudenta, lipsa de informatie privind modificarile legilislative, circulatia deficienta a in formatiei in cadrul sistemului juridic si lipsa sesiunilor detraining si specializare.Institutul National al Magistraturii a suferit o lunga perioada de instabilitate in ceea ce priveste componenta conducerii,ceea ce a dus la un progres limitat al reformei. In iunie 2004, un nou director a fost numit pentru un mandat de 2 luni, care a fost apoi prelungit cu inca 6 luni.. Recrutarea unor profesori cu experienta in profesia juridica ar trebui sa ajute la imbunatatirea calitatii formarii initiale si a celei continui, prin punerea de accent pe elemente practice, inclusiv implementarea Coneventiei Europene a Drepturilor Omului in Romania si a legislatiei europene in general. Centrul pentru Pregatirea Grefierilor continua sa furnizeze formare initiala si continua pentru acestia, dar dotarile tehnice sunt inadecvate, in raport cu responsabilitatile unei asemenea institutii.Calitatea echipamentelor si infrastrustructurii difera considerabil de la instanta la instanta, dar de cele mai multe orieste inadecvata. Sistemul de management al cazurilor este operational in cateva instante, dar el trebuie introdus la nivel national.Modernizarea trebuie continuata, in special in sensul informatizarii instantelor.Procurorul General al Romaniei detine in continuare puterea de a introduce recursuri extraordinare in materie penala. O Hotarare de Guvern din aprilie 2004 a modificat denumirea ServiciuluiIndependent de Protectie si Anti-Coruptie ( SIPA), in DirectiaGenerala pentru Protectie si Anti-Coruptie ( DGPA ) si a stabilit pentru prima oara obligatia acestei institutii de a prezenta un Raport de Activitate in fata Parlamentului. Stabilirea unei baze legale pentru DGPA si schimbarea conducerii in decembrie 2003 reprezinta elemente pozitive, intrucat activitatea era considerata ca fiind lipsita de transparenta si au existat rapoarte conform carora aceasta institutie a fost implicata in cazuri de incalcare adrepturilor omului, in special in inchisori, precum si in cazuri de influentare a sistemului judiciar. Nu exista insa in aceasta Hotararede Guvern o delimitare a atributiilor DGPA fata de cele ale PNA,considerat conducatorul luptei anti-coruptie, si inca nici un raportal activitatii acestei institutii nu a fost inca supus dezbaterii comisiilor parlamentare de specialitate. Ratiunea existentei unui serviciu de securitate militarizat in cadrul Ministerului Justitiei ramane inca sa fie demonstrata.Nu poate fi mentionat nici un progres in ceea ce priveste punerea in executare a sentintelor civile.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Piata Muncii

Dupa cum deja s-a scris prin presa, ieri a avut loc ultima "confruntare"directa intre candidatii americani la Presedentie,John & George dablaiu.Printre problemele interne discutate, aceasta mi s-a parut a fi de departe cea mai interesanta si arzatoare (este la fel de arzatoare si interesanta si in Romania, dar probabil nu se va discuta). Mai multe despre cauze si amplitudinea acesteia aici.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


O stire pe care o tin in rezerva de saptamina trecuta, cu gindul ca neavind "decontructivisti" in Romania sau exponenti ai CLS,vestea oricum nu face prea mare diferenta pentru cititorul roman.Lectura unui mesaj al lui Jack Balkin m-a convins totusi ca poate si cititorul roman merita sa afle aceasta (o recapitulare a vietii si influentei sale aici , una aici),inca una aici , aici, aici , aici, aici, aici, aici, aici, aici, aici, aici, aici, aici si aici. De asemenea, James Heartfiled despre "deconstruirea" lui Derrida, o privire asupra lui Derrida si razboiul "contra terorii",si un articol al lui Richard Wolin despre Derrida si moartea autorului(sint recunoscator PTDR pentru toate aceste linkuri).

Se maresc pedepsele pentru pirateria software

Intr-o stire postata azi pe site-ul Revista Presei se pare ca ministrul Blanculescu vine cu o noua propunere legislative - asa de prag de alegeri :
"Pirateria, in formele ei cele mai grave, va fi asociata cu crima, a declarat, ieri, Ionel Blanculescu, ministrul Controlului. „Si incalcarea drepturilor de autor este tot un fel de evaziune fiscala. Si in aceste cazuri, statul este prejudiciat, intrucat nu se platesc taxele si impozitele“, a declarat Blanculescu.
Autoritatea Nationala de Control (ANC), impreuna cu Oficiul Roman pentru Drepturile de Autor (ORDA), lucreaza la un proiect de act normativ de modificare a Legii dreptului de autor. Este cea de-a doua initiativa legislativa, dupa cea referitoare la evaziunea fiscala, prin care o frauda fiscala este asociata cu crima.
Conform proiectului de act normativ, agentii economici care incalca drepturile de autor provocand pagube foarte grave risca o pedeapsa cu inchisoarea de maximum 15 ani. Actuala Lege a drepturilor de autor prevede o pedeapsa cu inchisoarea de maximum 10 ani.O alta propunere stipulata in proiectul de lege cu privire la drepturile de autor se refera la cuantumul amenzilor contraventionale. Acestea s-ar putea majora cu 50-100% din valoarea actuala.
„Incercam sa corectam cu 50-100% valoarea actuala“, a precizat Blanculescu referindu-se la amenzile pe care le-ar putea plati agentii economici sau persoanele fizice vinovate de incalcarea drepturilor de autor. Amenzile ar putea ajunge, astfel, pentru persoanele juridice, la 3 miliarde de lei."
Vezi stire la

Ma intreb ce poate fi mai ridicol decit marirea pedepselor, cind adevaratele probleme sunt cele legate de aplicarea legii si acum - cind cei ce vind CD-uri stau linistiti pe la Universitate si nu numai...

Iar in timp ce in intreaga lume se vorbeste de modificari in modul de protectie al dreptului de autor, noi marim aberant pedepsele - de parca un judecator ar da 15 ani de inchisoare pentru cineva care vinde cd-uri, fie ele si contrafactute , si marim protectia pentru programele pentru calculator de la viata autorului + 50 de ani la viata autorului + 70 de ani - de parca acesti 20 de ani soft-ul respectiv ar mai avea o valoare...

Uhh ...

Adaugire - 14 OCt ..
si ca sa vezi cum se leaga :

US crackdown on film, music piracy,4057,11059584%255E1702,00.html

October 13, 2004
THE US announced today a tough global crackdown on film and musical piracy targeting counterfeiters and their customers in an assault modelled on the wars on drugs and terror. US Attorney General John Ashcroft unveiled the aggressive new offensive on criminal piracy in Los Angeles, the home of Hollywood as well as much of the US music industry.

Se poate si in Romania !

Intr-adevar un precedent demn de remarcat !

Decizie a CJ Cluj anulatã de instantã pentru încãlcarea Legii transparentei
preluat din Lista Romana de Drept :
Curtea de Apel Cluj a dispus, printr-o sentinþã definitivã emisã la începutul lunii octombrie, anularea unei hotãrâri a Consiliului Judetean Cluj, în urma unui proces intentat de un ONG care reclama nerespectarea Legii nr. 52/2003 privind transparenta decizionalã în administratia publicã.

Hotãrârea Consiliului Judeþean Cluj anulatã de instanþã se referea la"managementul integrat la deseurile în judetul Cluj" si a fost adoptatãîn noiembrie 2003.

Reprezentanþii Consiliului Judeþean Cluj au omis sãinformeze Clubul de Cicloturism "Napoca" despre acest proiect, desi fuseserã notificati în legãturã cu prevederile Legii nr. 52/ 2003 încãdin luna iunie a anului trecut, transmite corespondentul MEDIAFAX.

Directorul executiv al Clubului de Cicloturism "Napoca" (CCN), RaduMititean, a declarat, luni, într-o conferinþã de presã, cã sentinta reprezintã "un precedent deosebit de important", deoarece este vorba deo premierã în ceea ce priveste o hotãrâre de Consiliu Judetean."

Este pentru prima oarã când un ONG obtine în contencios administrativ anularea unui act normativ emis de o autoritate publicã localã în mod abuziv, cu încãlcarea Legii transparentei", a susþinut Mititean. El sustine cã sentinta datã reprezintã "finalul unei bãtãlii juridice de peste opt luni, cu forte inegale".

Mititean considerã cã procesul trebuie sã fie un semnal cãtre toate autoritãtile publice cã "eranerespectãrii legii nu va þine la infinit" si cã "se poate întâmplaminunea ca abuzul sã fie sancþionat de justitie".

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Dincolo de vot: Criza liberalismului American

Cum deocamdata nu vad o mare dezbatere ideologica in campania electorala romaneasca (nici prin alte parti nu prea e)ma gindesc ca nu strica citeva idei din dezbaterile care au loc pe la altii. Incep cu un articol al lui Michael J. Thompson despre oboseala democratilor.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Limita Explicarii: Urmind "De Ce"-ul pina la Terminusul sau Epistemologic

Doream sa fac un update al ultimei dezbateri dintre Bush si Kerry din aceasta seara, dar dind intimplator de articolul de mai sus al Marinei Ludwigs din Anthropoetics, m-am decis sa public mai degraba un link catre acesta pe blog. Iata mai jos pe scurt despre ce este vorba in el:

In this essay I will examine the theory and praxis of explanation and demonstrate the unsustainable character of its claims and underlying presuppositions. My involvement in this project stemmed originally from my interest in contributing to a development of a formal methodology in the humanities......
As we make a transition to less precise disciplines--first to the social sciences, then to the humanities--the role of explanation and prediction grows progressively more dim. In the humanities, we no longer expect perfect predictive validity from theoretical claims, but this does not mean that the explanatory principle has been rendered irrelevant. Although the use of the term "explanation" itself is not as explicit as it is in science, the explanatory enterprise still serves as the animating impetus behind many activities. Whether tracing through textual interpretation how a text can be brought into a correspondence with another text, or engaging in deconstructive and cultural criticism informed by the workings of language, we implicitly assume that the insights we have gleaned from our analyses have more than just local value. We expect, in fact, that in some way, they have broadened our understanding of the subject and that the next time around, we will be shrewder at spotting pertinent rhetorical figures or semantic features. We still aim at some regularity of knowledge, still hanker after some sort of an illumination. But predictiveness of the humanistic kind is loose and empirically contingent on given context, in contradistinction to reliable predictions supplied by scientific theories. And what form is our illumination to take? What kind of an understanding can we cull from the imprecise humanistic disciplines? If what we know is not sufficiently general or categorizable to yield a cogent prediction under some systematic method of interrogation, can it still be summarized and conveyed in an explanation, and if so, to what kind of an explanation would it beamenable?.......

In the following argument, I will present an overview of the existing theories of explanation in philosophy of science together with their critique, followed by a concluding section on the anthropological implications of the explanatory discourse’s failure, which I will connect to some relevant theoretical points of generative anthropology. Those who wish to skip the technical part can fast-forward to the last subdivision of this article, entitled "The Anthropological Content." Alternatively, those who do not want to wade through the entire technical argument but want to get some idea about the limit of explanation should go directly to the section on "The Breakdown of Functional and Genetic Explanations." I have structured my exposition historically, starting with the two standard competing accounts of explanation--those of the covering law and of causation, represented by Carl Hempel and Wesley Salmon, respectively. I then follow with several alternative explanatory paradigms--the pragmatic model of Bas van Fraassen, the capacities model of Nancy Cartwright, and the schematic account of Philip Kitcher. Finally, I present functional and genetic explanations in evolutionary biology, exemplified by the views of Larry Wright and Robert Cummings. I dwell on these theories in great detail, because I view them as crucial for understanding how a scientific issue becomes a problematic in the humanities........

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Pentru Bucuresteni

Cum Bucurestiului ii lipseste o discutie serioasa exact despre asa ceva, un blog interesant care mai umple golul.

Despre viitorul blogging-ului politic

Am indicat cu ceva timp in urma articolul de mai jos ("Fear and Laptops on the Campaign Trail" ) al lui Matthew Klam in NY Times (26 septembrie), despre bloggerii politici din Statele Unite, dar revin asupra lui, redind mai jos citeva pasaje care mi s-au parut interesante. Desigur, cele descrise mai jos par de domeniul stiintifico fantasticului in Romania, dar cine stie? Poate in 50 de ani de acum incolo?...

Nine blocks north of Madison Square Garden, next door to the Emerging Artists Theater, where posters advertised ''The Gay Naked Play'' (''Now With More Nudity''), the bloggers were up and running. It was Republican National Convention week in New York City, and they had taken over a performance space called the Tank. A homeless guy sat at the entrance with a bag of cans at his feet, a crocheted cap on his head and his chin in his hand. To reach the Tank, you had to cross a crummy little courtyard with white plastic patio furniture and half a motorcycle strung with lights and strewn with flowers, beneath a plywood sign that said, ''Ronald Reagan Memorial Fountain.''

The Tank was just one small room, with theater lights on the ceiling and picture windows that looked out on the parking garage across 42nd Street. Free raw carrots and radishes sat in a cardboard box on a table by the door, alongside a pile of glazed doughnuts and all the coffee you could drink. The place was crowded. Everyone was sitting, staring at their laptops, at bridge tables or completely sacked out on couches.
........ ...............
A year ago, no one other than campaign staffs and chronic insomniacs read political blogs. In the late 90's, about the only places online to write about politics were message boards like Salon's Table Talk or Free Republic, a conservative chat room. Crude looking Web logs, or blogs, cropped up online, and Silicon Valley techies put them to use, discussing arcane software problems with colleagues, tossing in the occasional diaristic riff on the birth of a daughter or a trip to Maui. Then in 1999, Mickey Kaus, a veteran magazine journalist and author of a weighty book on welfare reform, began a political blog on Slate. On kausfiles, as he called it, he wrote differently. There were a thousand small ways his voice changed; in print, he had been a full-paragraph guy who carefully backed up his claims, but on his blog he evolved into an exasperated Larry David basket case of self-doubt and indignation, harassed by a fake ''editor'' of his own creation who broke in, midsentence, with parenthetical questions and accusations.

All that outrage, hand wringing, writing posts all day long -- the care and maintenance of an online writing persona -- after five years, it takes its toll. I had talked to Kaus earlier in the summer at a restaurant in Venice, Calif., and he had said he didn't know how much longer he could stand it. After the election, he said, he might just give up. Once, he told me, ''I was halfway across the room about to blog a dream I just had, without ever regaining consciousness, before I realized what I was about to do. If the computer hadn't been in the other room, I probably would have.''

In a recent national survey, the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that more than two million Americans have their own blog. Most of them, nobody reads. The blogs that succeed, like Kaus's, are written in a strong, distinctive, original voice.
........... ............

But what pulls you in is not the data( de pe blog-n.n); it's his voice. He's cruel and superior, and he knows his side is going to win.

The .... phenomenon drew so many new people to the grass roots (or ''netroots,'' as the .... bloggers used to call them) of presidential politics that a kind of fragmentation occurred in what had been, until then, a blog culture dominated by credentialed gentlemen.....

..... Left-wing politics are thriving on blogs the way Rush Limbaugh has dominated talk radio, and in the last six months, the angrier, nastier partisan blogs have been growing the fastest. ...... It's almost as though, in a time of great national discord, you don't want to know both sides of an issue. The once-soothing voice of the nonideological press has become, to many readers, a secondary concern, a luxury, even something suspect. It's hard to listen to a calm and rational debate when the building is burning and your pants are smoking.

But at the same time that blogs have moved away from the political center, they have become increasingly influential in the campaigns -- James P. Rubin, John Kerry's foreign-policy adviser, told me, ''They're the first thing I read when I get up in the morning and the last thing I read at night.'' Among the Washington press corps, too, their impact is obvious.
During the 1972 presidential campaign, Timothy Crouse covered the campaign-trail press corps in Rolling Stone magazine, reporting that he later expanded into his revealing and funny book ''The Boys on the Bus.'' Crouse described the way a few top journalists like R.W. Apple Jr., David S. Broder, Jack Germond and Jules Witcover, through their diligence, ambition and supreme self-confidence, set the agenda for the whole political race. This summer, sitting in the Tank and reading campaign blogs, you could sometimes get a half-giddy, half-sickening feeling that something was shifting, that the news agenda was beginning to be set by this largely unpaid, T-shirt-clad army of bloggers.

A few blocks down Eighth Avenue, thousands of journalists with salaries and health benefits waited for the next speech and the next press release from the Republican campaign. Here in the Tank....
" He explained that he spent most afternoons at Starbucks, and then he would head back to his apartment to blog all night, drinking coffee, sometimes even editing and revising while lying in bed. ''You edit something when you're literally falling asleep,'' he said. ''It can be kind of scary.''

...... It was late, and I was tired and he was disoriented, trying to blog under such circumstances....

"Even before he had finished his Ph.D. in American history at Brown, he was thinking about the impending problem of how to look legit, where to fit in. His father is a professor of marine biology, and Marshall knew, as Cox had known, that academic life wouldn't work. He wanted to be a writer, and he wanted to write about serious stuff, and he wanted to do it with a lot of passion. Marshall's mom had died when he was still in grade school, in a car accident, and he says losing her made it impossible for him to live without believing strongly in something. And he does: he is a guy whose waking state hovers right between irate and incensed, and for him those beliefs require action. Coming out of school, he had a love for history and a handle on American policy issues, and he figured the rest would be simple, job-wise, if only somebody would let him write. Marshall spent three years after his Ph.D. program working as an editor at The American Prospect, the liberal policy journal, and I got the feeling -- not so much from him, because he didn't want to talk about it, but from former colleagues -- that by the time he quit, he had decided that it would be better to starve than to work for someone else. So for a while he starved.

Marshall started the blog in 2000, during the Florida recount, as a release valve, and it's still working that way; oversimplifying weighty issues, reducing them to their essential skeletons, somehow relaxes him. Since February, with the explosion of blog traffic and the invention of blog ads as a revenue source, a few elite bloggers have found themselves on the receiving end of a Howitzer of money, as much as $10,000 a month. Marshall is one of them, and now that the release valve has become a job, albeit a well-paying one, he has to resist the tendency to ruin it. He wrestles with the question of how many posts are enough, since he's a one-man operation and his advertisers have paid ahead of time, and then there are also those obligations to The Hill, where he writes a low-paying weekly column, and The Washington Monthly, another underpaid gig that harks back to his hungrier days.

When I fell asleep in my hotel room, Marshall was complaining that there are no good books on the Crusades. The next morning, he got back into his clothes from the night before. He looked like a wrinkle bomb had hit him.

The big news, the only piece of news, it seemed, about the Democratic convention was that bloggers had been credentialed as news media, sort of, and after so many months ripping the mainstream press coverage of the campaign, a little tingle hung in the air. How would the new breed thrive on the ancient media's home turf, a news event by and for the big news folks? I spent the day at the FleetCenter, in the terrific accommodations the Democrats had arranged for the bloggers: up in the nosebleed seats, Section 320, where 35 of them, the lucky ones who had been credentialed, could fight for any of the 15 bar stools they had been provided, along with some makeshift plywood desks built along the railing. Whoever got there late sat in the cramped, yellow, steeply banked folding seats, no elbowroom, bad lighting, their power cords snaking down the rows to a couple of surge protectors.

.......For the entire time we were in Boston, he never seemed curious about where the bloggers were supposed to sit, and whenever I told him I had just come from there -- at one point I even called from my cellphone, up in the nosebleeds, and waved -- he never went up to visit. He skipped the blogger breakfast that morning, and I had to drag him out to go party-hopping at night -- though when he got there, look out! (Just kidding.)

Marshall often seemed stuck between two worlds. In the blogger world, he was a star, author of one of the most popular and most respected sites. But unlike Moulitsas, who consulted on campaigns and helped develop software for political fund-raising and dreamed of marble statues in his image, Marshall seemed unsure of where blogging was leading. In the mainstream media world, he was not a major player, not yet anyway. He published occasional, well-regarded magazine pieces -- one in The Atlantic, one in The New Yorker -- but nothing earth-shattering. He didn't really seem at home there. Writing for magazines, he said, had become a big pain. Blogging was easier, freer. ''In blogging,'' Marshall said, ''there's no lead, no 'What's my point?''' The blog ad money had fallen from the sky, and it had saved him.

''Now I'm not under any financial pressure to write,'' he said. ''What I backed into, in doing this blog, was freedom. And not having to write things I didn't believe and not having to write ways I didn't want to write.'' It is this unique amount of leeway that has allowed him, over the past two years, to run at his own pace, dig deeper. On his blog, he brings attention to overlooked stories. He wrote about Valerie Plame's cover being blown eight days before The New York Times did. And a paper put out by scholars at the Kennedy School of Government analyzing the fall of Trent Lott singled out Marshall for keeping the focus on a story that had otherwise slipped off the mainstream-media radar.

.....If only he could turn his back completely on the old way, concentrate on nothing but the blog; but letting go of institutional approval and the security and camaraderie that goes with it is like jumping out a window. He can't decide between loving the big media, linking to it, hoping they'll pick up on stories, and hating it, despising it, insulting it, trying to convince you, or himself, that it's the worst thing in the world and that it's ruining American democracy.

Marshall did a little more heavy sighing and wrinkled himself up some more, rubbing his sour face, and launched into what was really irking him at this moment. ''Going it alone is harder than it looks,'' he said. He had been fairly aggressively attacking the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and had attracted plenty of fire himself. ''I've gotten tons of hate mail over the last few weeks,'' he said. ''You get a very thick skin for it. But it's hard. There's something on the karmic level. You feel the level of hate, and when you get a hundred of those, it's exhausting. Normally I'm oblivious to it, but lately it's getting to me a little.'' He had blocked mail from certain e-mail accounts, and yet, he said, ''even though I haven't answered them -- some I haven't answered in a year -- they're still writing. This one guy has subject headings like 'Why you're an idiot today.' Certain people read the site to counteract their heart medication.''

In the aftermath of what was maybe the worst week of Moulitsas's life, friends asked him if he might not consider choosing between his two roles, as a clearinghouse for activism and an outlet for information. But the site continued to grow, fund-raising chugged along for his candidates, and he wanted me to know that his survival was a big finger in the eye of anyone who said a blogger couldn't be two things at once.

But there was another role Moulitsas hadn't quite mastered yet: his place in the established machinery of the Democratic Party. Moulitsas is a rabid Democrat, devoted to the idea of the party, but he also feels a deep distrust for the party system, and so do many of his readers. Moulitsas has always been an outsider. He was born in Chicago, but moved to his mother's native El Salvador at age 4, and as the civil war there heated up in the 1980's, he remembers stepping over dead bodies. He only returned to Chicago after rebel soldiers passed along photos of Moulitsas and his brother to the family, an invitation to leave or lose their sons. Moulitsas speaks of himself, at the time of his return to Chicago when he was 9, as a tiny geek with a big mouth who couldn't speak English and who quickly learned to say things to bullies, in his heavy Spanish accent, that were just confounding enough for him to make a getaway before the bully realized he had been insulted. In high school, his American experience didn't improve. ''I had to eat fast and run to the library to read, because I didn't have any friends,'' he said. After graduation, at 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He was 5 foot 6 and weighed 110 pounds. Like everyone else, he carried a 65-pound pack on those 15- and 20-mile marches. He had been pushed around all his life, but in basic training, within spitting distance of his drill sergeants, he learned to fight back.

.....For Moulitsas and for a lot of other people new to politics in 2004 -- amateurs who liked the thrill ride Dean had taken them on -- the idea that the rules had changed seemed entirely obvious. What was important to these new activists, he told me, was winning -- winning the presidency, winning back the Senate, winning as many Congressional seats as possible. Soon after we met, Moulitsas tried to convince me how important it was for the old guard to start seeing politics through the eyes of the bloggers. That meant rapid response, he said, smart use of technology, constant two-way communication with the voters and grass-roots fund-raising. He told me the story of a flash advertisement that the D.N.C. had posted on its Web site. Moulitsas hated it. ''It was horrible, the worst thing I'd ever seen,'' he said. ''So I blogged a post saying, 'That's the biggest piece of garbage I've ever seen in my whole entire life''' (although he used stronger language than that). ''What the hell were they thinking?'' he asked. ''I was embarrassed to be a Democrat. So then I get phone calls and e-mails, 'Well, why didn't you talk to us?' I'm like: 'What's there to talk about? The thing's a piece of garbage.' And then they say: 'It was done by a volunteer. If you attack them, then volunteers aren't going to want to do stuff like that.' I'm like: 'Good! 'Cause it's a piece of garbage.' I'm like, Here's the way it goes. O.K., from now on, keep this in mind: whenever you put up anything on this site, think, How are the blogs going to react?'' He was smiling, but all the veins were pulsing in his neck. ''You can pout all you want,'' he said, ''but I'm not here to make friends with you guys and go to your little cocktail parties. And that piece of garbage is going to lose us votes.''

Although the D.C.C.C. raises a lot more money for Congressional candidates than Moulitsas does, candidates have caught on to the fact that Moulitsas's help can be invaluable. While we were sitting up there in the blogger nosebleed section, his phone rang. It was Samara Barend, a young community activist running for Congress in upstate New York. When Moulitsas hung up, he told me she was calling ''either to get my endorsement or to get me to write about the race.''

.........Moulitsas's ''friendly relations'' with particular candidates got him into a public fight with Zephyr Teachout, who became briefly famous last winter as the guru of the Dean Internet campaign, which in fact employed Moulitsas for several months. Over the summer, she complained in several online forums, and to Moulitsas directly, that he and other bloggers were blurring the lines between editorial and advertising, lines that had always been sacred in journalism. According to Teachout, they were posting comments in support of candidates for whom they were also working as paid consultants and not explaining that conflict of interest, or at least not fully enough for Teachout. In an online discussion with Jay Rosen, who heads the journalism department at N.Y.U., she wrote, ''I think where we essentially disagree is that transparency alone is enough.''

....For Moulitsas, the bigger problem these days is his own success. When we met up again at the Republican convention, we walked around ground zero, and he told me about his rising page views. ''I was losing sleep over how I'd survive the traffic,'' he said. His daily readership had surpassed 350,000, and by most counts he had become the most-read political blogger in the country. He told me he had hired a full-time programmer to take over the technical work of running his site. ''I never intended to be here,'' he said....

Moulitsas said that people had been coming in from Brooklyn and other places just to shake his hand, because they knew he would be at the Tank. ''It's weird,'' he said. ''It makes me uncomfortable. People who achieve a certain amount of celebrity plan it. They expect that public attention will be part of the package.''

Away from the Tank now, he could relax for a moment and reflect. ''I'm really self-conscious of how the blogger community perceives me,'' he said. ''I feel guilty that I don't link to more bloggers, I feel guilty that I'm more successful than other bloggers. I feel guilty that I make as much money as I do now, that I get more traffic. Rather than enjoy it, sometimes I feel really guilty about it. It's silly.''

As we neared Wall Street, Moulitsas said: ''The other angst I have about blogging is that because I depend on the income, it has become a job. You'd think I'd be happy. I make a living off of blogging! But it's interesting how, once it becomes a job, there's a certain angst that I'm kind of afflicted with. I can't quit.''

When the bloggers first arrived in Boston for the Democratic convention, some of them had high hopes for what they would be able to accomplish there -- that together they would cough up an astounding Rashomon collective of impressions and insights, interlinked, with empowering conclusions. With their new form of journalism, at once smaller and larger than the mainstream, they planned to bring politics back to the people. But those first few posts, so highly anticipated by their fellow bloggers, the ones who didn't score credentials, were more about the bus ride from the hotel, the heavy security in the parking lot; their seats in the rafters were terrible, they had trouble getting floor passes and, anyway, out on the floor, who would they talk to? Were they supposed to pretend to be regular reporters? Up in the nosebleeds, the delegates overran their special section, and it got so hot at night you could die, especially with a nice warm laptop baking your thighs; the WiFi kept fading, cutting them off from the world, from their Googling and pondering; from up in the cheap seats, the stage was minuscule, the speakers' faces were dots, the sound didn't travel. The only thing the bloggers really had the inside scoop on were the balloons hanging a few feet away from them in the rafters, in huge sacks of netting.

The bloggers had spent this year hammering the mainstream media for failing to tell the ''real story'' of Howard Dean or John Kerry or George W. Bush. And they hammered at the campaigns, too, for failing to make their message clear, for failing to adapt to surprises on the road, in the glare of all that attention. But now they were finding the campaign trail could be rough. Zephyr Teachout sat down next to me on the night of Kerry's speech and started needling the bloggers. ''Look how hard it is to work when the conditions are awful, when you're star struck, when it's hard to find anecdotes that are good,'' she said.

And as a seasoned reporter myself -- after two whole conventions -- I can safely say that you get about as many insights into the hearts and souls of the candidates on the campaign trail as you would watching a plastic fern grow. The ever-increasing scrutiny of candidates because of cable and the Internet has only made more evident how impregnable and unfathomable our political machinery has become. Political reporters hanging around drinking and smoking at the conventions said that the bus had changed a lot since 1972. You spend all day watching nothing, fake deli-counter photo ops with six camera crews, and you get yelled at if you walk into the camera shot -- that is, if you dare to go near the guy you're covering.

The news media helped create the modern campaign, and now they seem to be stuck in it. The bloggers, by contrast, adapted quickly. By the time the Republican convention rolled around in August, they had figured something out, staying far, far away from that zoo down at Madison Square Garden. They had begun to work the way news people do at manufactured news events, by sticking together, sharing information, repeating one another's best lines. They were learning their limitations, and at the same time they were digging around and critiquing and fact-checking and raising money. They still liked posting dirty jokes and goofy Photoshopped pictures of politicians, but they had hope, and more than a few new ideas, and they were determined to make themselves heard.