School use of Rage Against The Machine track could result in funding cuts
Censorship , Education / February 2015

CENSORSHIP Education   Back in 2010, Arizona passed a somewhat controversial law that effectively banned ethnic studies within the collective school system. Now, John Huppenthal, a state superintendent of public education, is claiming that the use of Rage Against the Machine and other politically-charged music in the Tucson school curriculum is a direct violation of that law. In a “note of noncompliance” complaint sent to Tucson’s school district chiefs last week, Huppenthal argued that when U.S. History students at Cholla High school are asked to dissect the lyrics of a politically charged rap-metal band Rage Against the Machine – then band’s 1992 single “Take The Power Back” — a song that was being taught as part of a Mexican-American history lesson — this defied the restrictive law. An “Introduction to Hip-Hop” essay penned by rapper KRS-One that’s used in an English class was also cited as a violation. Huppenthal pointed to the lyrics of “Take The Power Back”, noting that that type of “content” was forbidden in Arizona classrooms and that courses that taught it were breaking the law. That is, these classes are working to promote “the overthrow of the government” and “resentment toward a race or class of…

An inconvenient judgment against Al Gore
Education / November 2007

EDUCATION Film & TV We were not quite sure what heading to put this story under, but, a High Court judge in London had agreed with a complaint made by a school teacher that Al Gore’s film,  An Inconvenient Truth was not entirely accurate and contains certain unsubstantiated data. Mr Justice Barton said schools could screen the film but must make available balancing materials. For example Gore claimed that sea levels could rise twenty feet in the ‘future’ whereas the respected Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggests less than a tenth of this figure (18 inches) over the next 100 years. The judge also found no evidence that polar bears were drowning because of melting ice and that the film was guilty of ‘alarmism and exaggeration’. However the judge also commented that there was good support for the four main hypotheses of Gore’s film – that climate change is mainly caused by human created emissions; that global temperatures are rising and will continue to so do; that unchecked climate change will cause serious damage; that government and individuals can reduce the impact of climate change. The case was brought by Stewart Dimmock, a school governor from Kent, with funding from a…

The sound of silence. Fair dealing and the use of lyrics and music by academics and musicologists

COPYRIGHT Music Publishers, Record Labels, Education ARTICLE:  This is a link to an article which argues that musicologists are being penalised by record companies and music publishers who refuse to allow them permission to transcribe songs from their artists. It’s unfair and it’s got to stop, says Professor Sheila Whiteley, from the University of Salford. The Guardian, Friday August 5, 2005 See:,9865,1542685,00.html For an article debating the issues in using the exception of ‘fair dealing’ when using copyright material without permission (related to film and TV) see ‘Fair Dealing – Or What Connects Princess Di, L. Ron Hubbard and A Clockwork Orange? by Carrollanne Lindley, trademark attorney and partner, Kilburn & Strode, London.