What Legal Rights Do You Have When Injured on the Job?

In every state, employers are required to provide their employees with a reasonably safe and healthy working environment. However, in some cases, an employer may fail to provide this and, as a result, an employee may be injured. Occasionally, an employee might sustain an injury on the job even when all efforts have been made by the employer to make their workplace safe. This could include injuries such as broken bones, occupational illnesses, and aggravations of pre-existing conditions. Read on to find out more about your rights as an employee if you are injured on the job.

What Rights Do Employees Have?

Workers’ compensation laws can vary between states, and the rights and legal procedures can also vary between companies and employees. Generally speaking, in most states, employees will have the right to get medical treatment, the right to go back to their job when signed off as safe to do so by their doctor, and the right to bring a in workers’ compensation claim for the injury. If you are unable to work due to the injury, you have the right to disability compensation, and you will generally have the right to appeal any decision made by your employer that you disagree with. You also have the right to be represented by a Work Injury Lawyer.

How to Protect Your Rights

Reporting a work-related injury to your employer is the easiest and most important way to protect your rights if you are injured on the job. Most states will require that you make a report of your injury within a certain time period, up to a few days after the incident. While this might not always be possible depending on the exact circumstances, it’s important to make sure that the injury is reported as soon as practically possible. The next step to protect your rights involves filing a claim with the worker’s compensation court in your state, giving formal notice of the injury.

Your Rights Against Third Parties

In some cases, a work-related injury may not be the responsibility of your employer, but rather a third party. If your injury was caused by the negligence or carelessness of a third party such as a manufacturer of a defective piece of equipment used in your workplace, you may have the right to bring a claim against that party, known as a third-party claim. These are not usually dealt with by workers’ compensation and should be filed in state or federal courts in the form of a civil lawsuit. A civil lawsuit for any work-related injuries will typically be able to seek additional personal injury damages that cannot be recovered in a workers’ compensation claim. For example, you may bring a civil claim to seek compensation for pain and suffering, since workers’ compensation claim benefits are generally designed to only cover lost wages and medical expenses.

Understanding your rights and how to protect them if you are injured at work can help you navigate what can often be a tricky situation.

What are the duties of the lawyers?

Lawyers are the one who deals with all the legal activities that would encounter in our day to day life. They will know all the clauses and all the loopholes that are present in the legal system so that by using all those points they will fight against you to win the case that was filed against you. Mostly these people will deal with cases that don’t know by normal people how to deal with them in court. These people will deal with lots of issues including family problems land issues and many more. London divorce lawyers will deal with the problems that would encounter between the wife husband. They will try to solve the problems initially before they are getting a divorce as the divorce will separate two families. If both are willing to take divorce they will apply in court and they have to attend the court calls whenever they get a date to express their reasons to the judge. They have to inform the judge for what reasons they are seeking the divorce and divorce judge convinces them they will get a divorce.

What are all the benefits that will get after a divorce?

  • Divorce is a mutual understanding that both of the persons from the couple don’t want to live together anymore. This will be done under legal supervision so that in future no problems would face by both of them.
  • If this is done under legal supervision they will get a certificate declaring that both of them have taken divorce in the interest of both of them. London divorce lawyers will assist you in getting the divorce and all the benefits that would get after the divorce.
  • Some benefits will get with the divorce that will be received by any of the partnersand this will be decided based on those who are getting damage or loss after the divorce. This will be decided by the judge based on the argument that has been done by the lawyers.
  • You need to explain all your situations to the lawyer so that based on the words and information that you have provided the lawyer will do an argument in front of the judge and try to make justice for the person who hired. Be truthful to the lawyer and don’t hide any information from the lawyer.


Lawyers will help you in getting a divorce and all the benefits that you will get after a divorce.


Copyright Infringement – How Much Similarity is Required For “substantial Similarity”?

In order to bring a copyright infringement lawsuit, the copyright holder must be able to establish three elements. The first, ownership of a valid copyright, requires that the copyright relate to an original work of authorship that is fixed in a tangible medium. The second element requires actual copying of that work, which can be shown using either direct evidence, indirect evidence, or a combination of both. Finally, a copyright holder must prove misappropriation. It is this third element that goes directly to the question posed in this article. How much of my work can be incorporated in another work before it constitutes copyright infringement?

Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to this question. Instead, one must look to case law precedent to establish how much is too much. That being said, when alleging copyright infringement, the copyright holder must show that what was indeed taken and incorporated into the allegedly infringing work was copyright protectable. Once this is established, it is up to the plaintiff to show that the audience for the work will recognize “substantial similarities” between the two works. Although there is no set percentage, for example, to determine whether substantial similarity exists, two commonly recognized methods are available to assist in the misappropriation portion of a copyright infringement analysis.

The first method, known as the subtractive method or the abstraction/subtraction approach, first identifies what parts of the work are protectable. The method then directs the finder of fact to eliminate, or subtract, those elements that are not protectable. The remaining elements are then compared to the allegedly infringing work to determine whether substantial similarities exist.

The second method, known as the totality method or total concept and feel approach, leaves the works in their entirety when doing the analysis. In particular, the entire copyrighted work is pitted against the allegedly infringing work to determine whether a substantial similarity exist. Clearly, it is the goal of the defendant to show differences between the two works in an effort to avoid liability.

Today, courts will employ each of the above methods, and at times both methods, to aid in the misappropriation analysis. Given the factual nature of copyright law, it is not out of the question for one method to favor a copyright holder while the other method favors the alleged infringer. Therefore, it is worthwhile to, at the outset of any intended action for copyright infringement, analyze the likelihood of success under both methods. This will not only enable the copyright holder to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the particular case, but it will also allow the copyright holder to make a decision whether or not it is worthwhile pursuing a copyright infringement lawsuit. In the alternative, cease and desist letters, negotiation, for an amicable resolution, or other means short of litigation, such as copyright licensing, may be a possibility worth exploring.

Therefore, while ownership of a valid copyright and actual copying are two factors that also require particular analysis, oftentimes the misappropriation element is the determinative factor in a copyright infringement matter. Copyright holders are well-served to fully analyze the extent of misappropriation just as defendants to a copyright infringement lawsuit should constantly be looking to identify elements that negate a finding of substantial similarity.

How Attorneys Assist in Foreclosures

Costa Mesa, California is a largely populated area that has seen a large rise in foreclosures. Many people are seeking the help of Foreclosure Attorneys in the Costa Mesa area to help them keep their homes. The court systems are getting so backed-up that it is impossible to keep up with the amount of foreclosed homes by the banks and other financial institutions. To date there are 2,784 foreclosures, 3,639 pre-foreclosures, and over 4,000 bankruptcies on the court docket.

When you are faced with a foreclosure on your home, it is wise to seek out a Foreclosure Attorney who can help put a stop to the foreclosure process, and assist you with your rights. Many people who have lost their jobs in the Costa Mesa area may find that their unemployment insurance is soon to expire, and might be wise to seek the council of a lawyer before they get put into foreclosure. It is easier for an attorney to take action on your part before you have been foreclosed.

It is not impossible for lawyers to help you after the foreclosure, but it is much safer to contact an attorney beforehand. You need a Foreclosure attorney in order to get good advice on your situation, and if you can, save your home. In the California area most foreclosures are the non-judicial foreclosures. When this type of foreclosure takes place, it is not necessary for the bank or lending institution to take you to court.

What has happened is, that when you signed the deed of trust you have given authorization for our banking institution to sell your property in order to satisfy the demands of the loan. This is a procedure that is called foreclosing on your property. You know in advance if you have not made your mortgage payments, and how many you can miss before the financial institution can start foreclosure and sell your property.

When you have been notified that your home loan is in default in Costa Mesa, then you should immediately consult with lawyers to find out what you can do to save your home from being foreclosed. There is good news for property owners in that President Obama has a new stimulus package to help save homes from foreclosure.

The process is complicated, and it does take the expertise of a foreclosure lawyer to help you apply for the package deal that the President has made available to homeowners. The Foreclosure Attorney will need to work with your financial institution, whether or not they are in Costa Mesa, to get them to lower your interest rate, and your monthly payments, so that you will be able to make the payments on your home. This process requires that you do have some sort of income in order to make the monthly payments. The financial institution will be entitled to a certain percentage of your income each month to be applied towards your mortgage.

These are all legal process’s that only a Foreclosure Attorney can attend to, and help you to prevent you from losing your home. You need to find out from your attorney if you qualify. The attorney will need to find out if your financial institution is willing to work with you, and what their requirements are before any formal arrangements can be made. When the Foreclosure Attorney takes your case, they will advise you of your rights, and what procedures that you may follow in order to comply with the foreclosure laws.

Greencard Lottery – Requirements for DV Lottery 2012

The much awaited Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery entry dates for the year 2012 have been announced and the application can be given from October 5, Wednesday noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT -4) to November 3, Tuesday, Eastern Standard time (GMT -5).

The Department of State conducts the DV lottery annually by congressional mandate as stipulated in Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) which is actually the amended version of Section 131 of the Immigration Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-649).

Specific requirements have to be met if an immigrant wishes to participate in the visa lottery program held this year. The details are as follows:

The applicant should belong to or be a native of countries that come under the list of ‘qualified countries’. The term Native of a country whose natives qualify usually refers to the country in which the applicant was born. However, there are other ways of qualification under this clause. If the person is born in a country whose natives are not eligible but his or her spouse belongs to a country whose natives are eligible then the applicant can enter the spouse’s country of birth. But, both of them should be issued with visas and should have entered the United States at the same time.

Another qualifying criterion is if the parents were born or resided in a country whose natives are eligible then the applicant qualifies even if the country he or she is born is not eligible for the visa lottery program.

The applicant should have some degree of education which should be a high school education or an equivalent one where the applicant should have completed study comprising of 12 years of both elementary and secondary level of education.

Or the applicant should possess two years experience in the past five years doing work which needs a training period of minimum two years or the experience to perform the work. The qualifying work experience is set and selected by the United States Labor Department based on the O*Net online information. If the educational or training criteria are not met the applicant should not consider applying as his entry will be rejected.

A latest color photo should be given in the form of an image file along with the filled visa lottery entry forms and uploaded.

Details like the name, date of birth, gender, city or place of birth, country of birth, mailing address, the country where you reside at present, phone number and e-mail address should be provided accurately.

Regarding the educational qualifications, details like the level of education received and the name of the institution or University if the candidate has finished the graduate degree course should be given.

The country name if nativity claim is on a country other than the place of birth of the candidate should be mentioned. Marital status, information of number of children with their photographs and other necessary details should be furnished. If any information you give is not proper then your visa application may be rejected. So take care to give appropriate details.

Understanding Car Accident Claims And Whiplash

Certainly there are an enormous number of car accidents on the road every day, and inevitably in a large proportion of those either the driver or passenger is injured. Although some of these injuries are minor cuts and bruises which won’t take long to heal, in some cases the injuries can be much more severe. In these cases an accident claim is often the best way of making sure that you can cope with the immediate uncertain future.

One of the most common injuries sustained when involved in a car accident is whiplash. A whiplash injury is caused when a vehicle behind you crashes into the back of your vehicle, pushing your vehicle forwards. Because of inertia, your head is thrown backwards against the headrest, and then rebounds forwards, possibly into an airbag.

But although an airbag can help to protect your face and skull from injury against either the steering wheel or the dashboard, this flexing of the neck backwards and then forwards very quickly is what causes a whiplash.

The symptoms themselves might not appear for several hours or even a day or two, but when they do they can often be very severe and long-lasting. Restricted movement or pain in the neck area is only one of the many symptoms caused by whiplash.

Other symptoms can involve headaches, nausea, memory loss, confusion, depression, vomiting, backache and even blurred vision. Clearly with any of these symptoms it is unlikely that the person will be able to drive, nor will they be able to work. The symptoms may last for a matter of days, weeks or even months. In a few very unfortunate cases whiplash can remain virtually permanently.

Whether you were a driver or passenger involved in a road accident probably one of the last things on your mind will be contacting a solicitor and making a claim. Indeed it is highly probable that the people who do think of this straightaway are those who end up giving a bad name to compensation.

For most people the immediate concern will be for their own health and welfare, and those of their passengers. It is important therefore to make sure that immediately after an accident medical attention is obtained.

It is also important to make sure that all details are recorded, including the registration numbers and details of other vehicles involved, the name and insurance company of the driver of any other vehicle, and details of any witnesses.

Once you have received the initial medical attention is then that you will be best advised contacting a personal injury solicitor and discussing your road accident claim.

Defamation of Character and Libel on Social Networking Sites

Cross Border Issues Regarding Social Networking Defamation

Different jurisdictions apply different rules to what is regarded as defamation as well as to what is regarded as the liability of the parties involved. Because of the cross- border nature of the internet, it is important to at least identify the minimum common denominators which apply among various western jurisdictions, in order to deal with online defamation.

Generally speaking, there is almost a universal defence to defamation and this is the defence of truthfulness, which would provide a party, accused of delivering defamatory remarks, with a blanket defence against any such allegations of defamation. Whenever the comments or material posted contain factual information, it is relatively easy to ascertain the facts and decide whether or not they are truthful. If for instance a purchaser of a DVD player online claims that the newly purchased DVD broke down after 2 weeks and that the vendor refused to provide refund – this would be a factual issue.

Opinion And Defamation of Character

The problem normally starts where people post comments, which contain their opinion about the vendor or the goods purchased. For example, if the purchaser of a DVD player in the above example states in a forum comment that the vendor is a fraud or a bogus business, then the person posting the comment may well land himself in a more risky area of posting defamatory comments. To avoid getting in trouble for defamation, it is therefore best to stick with the facts and avoid providing own interpretation for the reasons behind the negative experience.

The most risky comments are those which imply dishonesty or the breaking of the law by the vendor, where this has not been proved in a court of law.

The 2 Most Common Types Of Online Defamation Of Character

The 2 most common types of complaints about online defamation are in regard to those comments which are made by individual purchasers of goods or services and those comments made anonymously by competitors. The comments made by one company against another tend to be more capable of being defamatory because there is almost always an element of malice attached to them, as opposed to being a fair comment.

In relation to defamatory comments made by individuals against other individuals, those tend to be very harmful because of the gossipy nature of those comments. The public regards gossip as an acceptable form of freedom of speech, which means that those who make these defamatory comments don’t necessarily see them as being capable as attracting a claim for defamation. This of course is wrong because defamatory comments, whether made by individuals against other individuals, or whether made by individuals against corporations have the same effect of being lies, which could spread very rapidly across the internet as well as off line and cause serious injury to their subject. The culpability of individuals and corporations therefore is the same and in both cases by spreading lies online they create a potential legal action for defamation.

Who Can Be Held Liable To Libellous Remarks Which Are Posted On Forums And Social Networking

Social networking sites are becoming a safe haven for those who wish to harm others by posting lies or gossip. It is the newest form of bullying and harassment, where the bullies find it convenient to hide behind the obscurity which social networking provides. The nature of what constitutes ‘defamation’ has largely remained unchanged for generations. What is not clear is to what extent those who permit such publications should be held liable. A person who posts lies about another individual whether by using social networking or by more traditional means such as newspaper articles, carries the same liability as they did in the past. But if traditionally newspaper publishers were to be held liable for postings made by readers in their publications, it is not clear now whether or not hosts of social networking sites and blogs carry the same level of culpability in relation to online defamation. There is therefore a grey area here but it is not in relation to what is regarded as defamation or the liability of the person who posts the untrue comments. The grey area is rather in relation to how far down the chain do people and organisations who run the social networking and blogs remain liable to what is being published on websites which are under their control.

Freedom Of Speech And Online Defamation

Thoughts are only capable of being defamatory once they are published. It is almost universally accepted that freedom of speech is not an absolute right and restrictions are being imposed on freedom of speech, whenever a state feels for example that its national security could be compromised. Almost every state in the western world has got in place emergency measures, which very often include at least some sort of restriction on freedom of speech. By definition, laws of defamation have also got an element of restriction on freedom of speech. It remains to be seen whether those restrictions on freedom of speech should or would be further restricted in the future. In the long term, I foresee a shift in the way of thinking in terms of how we perceive and understand freedom of speech should operate. I believe that it will not be long before legislators in various states will come to realise, perhaps due to being personal affected by the issue, that freedom of speech should be restrained in some way in order to protect not only the economic interests of corporations, but also the well- being and quality of life of individuals who would find it almost intolerable to live in a society where everyone in effect, is a fair target to publications of defamatory comments. This however, might not happen immediately and mainly for political reasons, things will probably get worse before any serious changes to rules governing freedom of speech are to take place.

Is Your Karaoke Host Subjecting You To Trademark Infringement Litigation?

Do you run a bar, restaurant or other venue that provides entertainment in the form of karaoke? Do you know if your karaoke host is running a legal show? Do you know how to tell the difference? Do you care?

Computers have aided to the ability to make our lives better. They help you in your business. They also help the karaoke Jockey (KJ for short) to run a show that doesn’t require him/her to lug thousands of discs around to every show. With the advent of the computer age, the KJ can now carry all those songs in a case the size of an 8 lb. computer. He can find any song by typing part of the title or artist name, keep track of the songs for each singer, keep the rotation of singers in order, and print books for singers to select their songs. But along with the convenience comes the opportunity to do things that may not be on the up and up. And that can expose you to lawsuits for copyright and trademark infringement.

The manufacturers of quality karaoke music have waged war on those that have decided they can download songs and run shows without paying for them. They are after those that are putting all that music on hard drives and selling them for a few hundred bucks. And they are after you if you know about it and even if you don’t and should.

Investigators are on the move and showing up at clubs like yours. They are documenting the use of hard drives and computer by KJ’s, even the legal ones. That’s because they want to find out if each of those shows has a set of manufactured discs that were bought and paid for backing up all that music.

If you know that they are doing this or you don’t (and are in a position that you should), you may still be subject to litigation. Even if you don’t actually have to go to trial, you will be subjected to the inconvenience of responding and you may feel the need to consult legal council to put it behind you. Your KJ will have to prove he has a disc for every song on the computer. And if you know that he’s doing it, you could also be guilty by hiring him. Copyright violations can carry penalties up to $150,000 per song and trademark infringement carries penalties up to $2,000,000 per incident. And paying your BMI or ASCAP fees may not protect you.

There are things you can do to make sure you protect yourself from the debatable tactics of the karaoke manufacturers spearheading this effort. Their motives, while admirable, are being questioned by the very people that have been paying their salaries for many years. Many legal KJ’s – the ones that have paid for all their music – are up in arms saying they are being targeted right along with the Karaoke Pirates. They are guilty and have to prove their innocence and are having to retain council to answer for unfounded charges.

While you can register with the manufacturers or the associations and require your KJ’s to register and subject themselves to audit, you may find yourself looking for a legal KJ that will not mind going through the headaches for what you’re willing to pay. But there is something you can do to protect yourself and your investment.

ASK! If your KJ uses a computer and/or does not carry discs with him, Ask where the music came from to run his show. Most Pirates will be more than happy to tell you how they downloaded it all for free. A legal KJ will be happy to show you his library to keep the gig. You may have to go to his house or place of business, but most will be happy to conform. If they are not willing, find another KJ. (The same would be true with a DJ).

Resign yourself to only hire those that are conforming to the law. You pay your BMI/ASCAP fees every year that protects you and them for the music that’s played in your establishment. They should be gracious enough to protect you from litigation by purchasing legal copies of their music.

Musical Warfare: How to Use Music As a Form of Torture and Assault


Although I could easily make this article about the most horrible songs ever written and how they get stuck in our heads, this is not what our topic is about today. In this article, we will discuss torture, its anatomy, and the role music can play in it. We will differentiate between different types of torture, how our senses can be used against us to cause us pain, the after-effects of torture, military uses of music in psychological operations, sonic technologies developed specifically for sieges and law enforcement applications, and how artists are speaking out against the use of their music in these operations. So strap yourself in and continue reading because you’re in for ride.

Pain and Perceptions of the Ear

The human ear is defenseless. It’s unable to keep sound out, so it must take in all it hears. Without earplugs, anti-noise headphones or other defensive technologies the ear is helpless to protect itself. One of the great advantages of using music as an implement of torture is that it leaves no physical mark. At least, so it seems. Because sound moves particles in the air and pushes the vibrations into our ear, the effect has a potential for danger. With an increase in the volume of sound, the vibrations push particles ever more strongly into our ear, thereby causing harm over time or immediately according to conditions. Here’s a brief description on how the ear can be damaged causing hearing loss and auditory malfunction.

Hair cells reside in the cochlea. Bundles of hair-like extensions, called stereo cilia, rest on top of them. When sound waves travel through the ears and reach the hair cells, the vibrations deflect off the stereo cilia, causing them to move according to the force and pitch of the vibration. Different forms of sound cause them to move in a variety of ways. For instance, a melodic piano tune would produce gentle movements, while heavy metal would generate faster, sharper motion. This motion triggers an electrochemical current that sends the information from the stereo cilia through the auditory nerves and eventually to the brain.

­When you hear exceptionally loud noises, your stereo cilia can become damaged and mistakenly keep sending sound information to the auditory nerve cells. In the case of loud sound sources such as rock concerts and fireworks displays, ringing happens because the tips of some of your stereo cilia have actually broken off. You hear those false currents in the ringing in your ear (or head), called tinnitus. However, since you can grow these small tips back in about 24 hours, the ringing is often temporary.

So as you can see although music torture is classified along with other forms of psychological torture, the damage that high volume sound can really cause is actually physical. If music torture causes the loss of hearing, the remedy for this physical ailment is not months or years of counseling, but rather a hearing aid. Deafness is a physical malfunction, not a psychological or emotional issue.

The Differences between Physical and Psychological Torture

Torture is the practice or act of deliberately inflicting severe physical pain and possibly injury on a living being. Although psychological and animal tortures also exist, the forms of torture can vary greatly in duration from a few minutes to several days or even longer. Reasons for torture can also vary greatly and they can include punishment, revenge, political re-education, deterrence, interrogation, coercion, or a sadistic gratification of observing the tortured in agony and pain.

Physical torture methods have been used throughout recorded history and can range from a beating to the use of sophisticated custom designed devices such as the rack. Exceptional ingenuity has been shown in the invention of instruments and techniques for physical torture, which exploit medical knowledge of the vulnerabilities of the human body such as the sensitivity of nail beds to pressure, or of the soles of the feet to heat. Other types of torture can include sensory or sleep deprivation, restraint or being held in awkward or damaging positions, uncomfortable extremes of heat and cold, loud noises or any other means that inflicts severe physical or mental pain. Physical torture is plainly the inflicting of severe pain or suffering on a person.

Psychological torture, on the other hand, uses non-physical methods to cause emotional or mental suffering. Its effects are not immediately apparent unless they alter the behavior of the tortured person. Psychological torture is less well known than physical torture and tends to be subtle and much easier to conceal. In practice the distinctions between physical and psychological torture can often be blurred. In contrast to physical torture, psychological torture is directed at the psyche with calculated violations of psychological needs, along with deep damage to psychological structures and the breakage of beliefs underpinning normal sanity.

Music torture is clearly difficult to categorize. Physically, the ear can become damaged, although no blows were inflicted upon the victim. On the other hand, music torture can prevent a victim from maintaining a normally functioning consciousness. Psychological torture also includes deliberate use of extreme stressors and situations such as mock execution, shunning, violation of deep-seated social or sexual norms and taboos, or extended solitary confinement. Because psychological torture needs no physical violence to be effective, it is possible to induce severe psychological pain, suffering, and trauma with no externally visible effects. Torturers often inflict both types of torture in combination to compound the associated effects.

In fact, music torture is most effective when it is combined with other forms of torture such as mock executions, simulated drowning, sexual and religious humiliation, stress positions or sleep deprivation, the exploitation of prisoners’ phobias, the use of mind-altering drugs, hooding, forced nakedness, the use of dogs to frighten detainees, exposing prisoners to extreme heat and cold, physical assault and threatening the use of such techniques against a prisoner or a prisoner’s family.

In addition, music torture is sometimes used with medical, pharmacological, and even tickle torture. With medical torture, medical practitioners use torture to judge what victims can endure, to apply treatments that enhance torture, or act as torturers in their own right. Pharmacological torture is the use of drugs to produce psychological and physical pain or discomfort. Tickle torture is an unusual form of torture which can be both physically and psychologically painful. But more commonly, music torture is mixed with using

The Analysis and Effects of Music Torture

So what aspects of music make it possible to turn it into a weapon of torture? Three aspects come to mind and they are a) type of music, b) loudness, or volume, and c) the length of exposure. Often in military operations such as torture or interrogations, the music of choice is usually something which is extremely annoying or very stimulating. For example, several days after Paris Hilton announced that she would release an album, the Pentagon decided to buy 50,000 copies to use against insurgents in the Anbar province in Iraq. Other choices of music can range from various types of heavy metal such as Metallica to songs from children’s T.V. shows such as Barney and Sesame Street.

The annoyance or stimulating factor of the music used is further intensified when the loudness or volume level is deafeningly high. In some cases, the volume levels have been reported to be as high as 120 – 150 dB, which equates to the sound range of a chainsaw, thunderclap and even a jet take-off. In addition, the length of exposure further exacerbates the effect of the music torture by causing the disorientation of the other senses. In psychological operations and during interrogations, it’s quite common for a single song to be played at extremely loud volume levels for a 24 hour period. All of these factors combined are what give music torture its effectiveness as an assault weapon.

The consequences of music torture reach far beyond discomfort and immediate pain. Many victims suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which includes symptoms such as flashbacks (or intrusive thoughts), severe anxiety, insomnia, nightmares, depression and memory lapses. Torture victims often feel guilt and shame, triggered by the humiliation they have endured. Many feel that they have betrayed themselves or their friends and family. All such symptoms are normal human responses to abnormal and inhuman treatment.

For survivors, torture often leads to lasting mental and physical health problems. Music torture in particular is difficult to prove, especially when some time has passed between the event and a medical examination. Many torturers around the world use methods designed to have a maximum psychological impact while leaving no or only minimal physical traces. Typically deaths due to torture are shown in an autopsy as being due to “natural causes” like heart attack, inflammation, or embolism due to extreme stress.

Physical problems can be as wide-ranging as sexually transmitted diseases, muscular-skeletal problems, brain injury, post-traumatic epilepsy, dementia, and chronic pain syndromes. Mental health problems are equally wide-ranging, but the most common are post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety disorder. One of the most terrible psychological effects of torture is the killing of desire and curiosity, while the core feature of the post-traumatic landscape of torture is psychic deadness.

Gauntanamo captive Binyam Mohamed, who has since returned to England after years of imprisonment and torture, was interviewed on London’s Mail on Sunday. In this interview, he talked about how his sonic torture started in a Kabul prison in 2002 where he was held for eighteen months in complete darkness before his transfer to Gauntanamo in 2004. His body conveys no direct physical markings of his claims of abuse, but he relates how, “There were loudspeakers in the cell, pumping out a deafening, non-stop volume, 24 hours a day. They played the same CD for a month, The Eminem Show. When it was finished it went back to the beginning and started again. I couldn’t sleep. I had no idea whether it was day or night.”

Military Uses of Music Assault

History’s most infamous musical assault occurred against the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas (1993). The story goes that the FBI wore down the compound dwellers over the seven week siege, exploiting the defenselessness of the ear, by broadcasting sleep-preventing decibel levels of massively distorted music.

A few years earlier, the U.S. tried to force out Manuel Noriega from Panama City with a non-stop bombardment of heavy metal music by the likes of Black Sabbath and Judas Priest. In December 1989, the United States invaded Panama. Noriega took refuge in the Holy See’s embassy on December 24, which was immediately surrounded by U.S. troops. After being continually attacked with hard rock music, including Van Halen’s hit song Panama and “The Howard Stern Show” for several days, Noriega surrendered on January 3, 1990.

In Guantanamo Bay and prisons in Afghanistan and Iraq reports have surfaced claiming that interrogation techniques involve the uses of extremely loud music to soften prisoners. Reports from Guantanamo Bay also indicate that disturbing chicken noises were played over a loud-speaker for more than 25 hours to induce sleep deprivation. Loudspeaker systems are also used to communicate with enemy soldiers by intimidating them with frightening voices. Apparently, this is form of sonic attack is an effective method for getting insurgents to surrender, along with intimidating phone calls made directly to the families of insurgents and enemy commanding officers.

Amnesty International has also received reports describing various kinds of humiliation and torture prisoners and detainees the world over has endured. The most common methods often reported include prolonged sleep deprivation, beatings, prolonged restraint in painful positions, hooding, exposure to loud music, and to bright lights.

Music Torture Technologies in Bullet Points

On November 18, 1998, now-defunct Synetics Corporation was contracted to produce a tightly focused beam of infrasound intended to produce effects that range from disabling to killing a target.

In 1999, Maxwell Technologies patented a HyperSonic Sound System, which is a highly directional device designed to control hostile crowds or disable hostage takers.

In 1999, Primex Physics International patented both the “Acoustic Blaster” and the Sequential Arc Discharge Acoustic Generator, which produce repetitive impulse waveforms of 165dB. Both sonic weapons are designed for “antipersonnel applications,” produce their effects with high intensity impulsive sound waves by electrical means, and are believed to be controllable at a distance of 50 feet or more.

American Technology Corporation has also development the Long Range Acoustic Device, or LRAD, 10 years earlier. This is a weapon capable of projecting a ‘strip of sound’ (15 to 30 inches wide) at an average of 120 dB (maxing at 151 dB). Because the LRAD is designed to hail ships, issue battlefield or crowd-control commands, or directs an attention-getting and highly irritating deterrent tone for behavior modification, its sonic projection is intelligible from 500 to 1,000 meters away. Wielded by the 361st PsyOps company, the LRAD was deployed to prepare the battlefield in the siege of Falluja in November of 2004. The device was armed with Metallica’s “Hells’ Bells” and “Shoot to Thrill.”

Artists Protest the Use of Music Torture

Honestly, positions are mixed among musicians in regard to the use of their music in torture. Many support the military position of do whatever it takes to stop the terrorists, while others are deeply opposed to the use of any form of torture on a humanitarian basis. For example, the Associated Press reported that Stevie Benton of the group Drowning Pool said, “I take it as an honor to think that perhaps our song could be used to quell another 9/11 attack or something like that.” My position, as a citizen and not as an artist, is based on the concept of political freedom, so I support any government that respects the freedoms of its citizens. However, when it comes to crime, I want law enforcement and the judicial system to prosecute those who violate the rights of others with an appropriate fine or incarceration. And in regard to war, military law should apply to combatants captured on the battlefield. In such cases, both forfeit their rights.

In contrast, the Associated Press also reported that various musicians were coordinating their objections to the use of their music in interrogations through an initiative called Zero dB. Zero dB is an initiative against music torture set up by legal charity Reprieve. This charity represents over thirty prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. Zero dB aims to stop torture music by encouraging widespread condemnation of the practice of music torture by calling on governments and the UN to uphold and enforce the Convention against Torture and other relevant treaties.

The initiative is backed by the Musicians Union which is calling on British musicians to also voice their outrage against the use of music to torture. Musicians and the wider public are making their own silent protests against music torture which are being shown on Zero dB. Participating musicians will include minutes of silence in their concerts to draw their audience’s attention to the USA’s use of deafening music against captives.

Among the musicians united in their objections were Christopher Cerf, a composer for the children’s show Sesame Street, Tom Morello, guitarist of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave. Others include R.E.M., The Roots, Rise Against, Rosanne Cash, Pearl Jam, Bonnie Raitt, Trent Reznor, Billy Bragg, Michelle Branch, Jackson Browne, T-Bone Burnett, David Byrne, Marc Cohn, Steve Earle, the Entrance Band, and Joe Henry. Many others are sure to follow.

Royalty Payments from Music Torture

While the Zero dB initiative seems really cool, there just seems to be something wrong with the idea that those engaged in music torture ought to pay royalties to the musician’s whose songs are used in the torture process. The Guardian reported that the US military may owe royalty payments to the artists whose works were played to the captives. For those artists who do not want their music to be used for this purpose, it’s definitely appropriate for the military to stop using their music on an immediate basis. However, once the military has ceased to use their music in torture sessions, these artists shouldn’t return to receive royalty checks. On the other hand, artists who do want their music to be used in torture sessions, for whatever reason, should be given royalty payments, unless they arrange pro-bono usage rights to the military.

Texas Criminal Justice System Moves Into The Classroom

The methods for dealing with disciplinary problems in Texas public schools are changing. Being sent to the principal for disruptive behavior or facing the school coach for punishment is becoming a thing of the past. In many school districts throughout Texas disciplinary action involves the local police department and the Criminal Justice System. In the past two decades most Texas school districts have turned to local law enforcement agencies to provide a police presence on campus. These officers are referred to as School Resource Officers. Some districts have created their own police department. These are made up of in-house school officers with police powers employed directly by the school district. Adding police officers in schools is the fastest growing area of law enforcement according to the Texas Police Association.

Many parents and community leaders are questioning the training these school police officers receive, especially giving police powers to civilian School Resource Officers, and are lobbying for training standards that take into account the school setting and dealing with children. There are also questions being raised as to the overall effectiveness of an increased police presence on school campuses.

Certain types of student behavior, even those involving low level non-violent misbehavior can result in ticketing for a Class C misdemeanor up to arrest and incarceration. Class C misdemeanors carry a fine of $60 to $500 dollars, require the student and a guardian to appear in court and remain on a student’s criminal record. If the student or family cannot pay the fine, they are subject to arrest once attaining 17 years of age.

Statistics Are Difficult to Compile

The Texas Education Agency does not require school districts to report student arrest and ticketing data and since few schools submit student crime statistics to the Texas Department of Public Safety, these statistics are difficult to compile. The Texas attorney general has published an opinion against disclosure of school district use of force policies, allowing view of policies or numbers only when voluntarily provided, as only several school districts have done.

Statewide, juvenile crime has decreased 14% over the period between 2000 and 2008. Based on available data school misdemeanor tickets have more than doubled during this time. The majority of tickets were issued to high school and middle school students; however, from the records that are available it is not unusual for very young children, in some cases 10 years old and younger to receive a Class C misdemeanor ticket at school. Of the nine school districts documenting the age of ticketed students, over a six year period, three reported issuing tickets to children six to nine and one case of a child 4 years old being given a Class C misdemeanor ticket.

Use of force

School police are in most cases armed with automatic weapons, pepper spray and tasers. Few school districts have any set policies involving the use of these weapons. In contrast, the various Texas juvenile justice agencies have placed restrictions on the use of pepper spray, for instance, on youth in their custody.

The debate concerning the use of SRO’s and school safety continues. Some argue that with the Texas school budgets as stretched as they currently are, the cost of school police is not worth the returns. Most do agree that a more transparent and inclusive method of reporting incidents involving ticketing students and the use of force by officers in school situations is needed.

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