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French law strikes blow against citizen journalism

Blogging in France may require an ‘official press’ pass. David Kaplan at paidContent reports the French Constitutional Council has approved a law that makes it illegal to record acts of violence by anyone other than professional journalists.

French lawmakers wanted to stop youths recording fights and posting the video to the web. Unfortunately as David says, “bloggers who record a protest that gets out of hand could be the ones singled out as criminals.”

We have the same problem with gangs in the US recording violence and playing the videos on YouTube as a recruiting and enforcement tool. Scary, but we’ve got this thing called the First Amendment which gives us Freedom of Speech. It was nice of the French to fight allow aside of us a couple hundred years ago to make sure we got this right.

As a side note, citizen journalists with cell phones recording video are going to act as a check on our governments use of police power. Pretty powerful stuff when a person loads on YouTube a video of over reaching by police.

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