Archive for 18/02/2010

Buju Banton


New trial date for deejay Buju Banton’s conspiracy case
courtesy of Jamaica Observer
February, 2010

The court date for deejay Buju Banton, who’s in prison awaiting trial on drug and conspiracy charges, has been pushed back to April. It was anticipated that the trial would have started in March.

According to David Markus, the attorney representing embattled Reggae singer, Buju Banton’s case was re-scheduled to ensure that it continues without a break.

“It has been pushed back because there were so many conflicts. The prosecution’s agent will be having a baby in March and April 12 is the only date convenient for all parties,” Markus told Chat!.

Banton was arrested at his Tamarac home in South Florida after Federal Agents accused him of negotiating with undercover agents to purchase five or more kilograms of cocaine at Sarasota in Tampa, Florida.

The agents claim to have footage showing the artiste tasting cocaine in a Federally controlled warehouse.

Markus could not confirm reports that prosecutors will be trying to bolster their case against the artiste by flying in witnesses from Jamaica to testify against him.

“The prosecution is not obligated to show a witness list and they have not shown us one,” Markus said.

The postponement of the start of the trial means Banton will have to spend another month in jail, as he opted to waive his right to a bail hearing. If Banton made bail he would immediately be re-arrested by US immigration authorities who have revoked a travel waiver he used during his extensive US tour last year to promote his album, Rasta Got Soul, which was nominated for a Grammy Award.

Markus intends to prove to that the US Government entrapped his client into purchasing cocaine and had used a paid informant to inveigle him for almost a year. Markus also intends to get the prosecutors to reveal the name of the paid informant and how much he was paid to trap the artiste.

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Black Author wins The Matrix Copyright Infringement Case

This little known story has met a just conclusion, as Sophia Stewart, African American author of The Matrix will finally receive her just due from the copyright infringement of her original work!!!

A six-year dispute has ended involving Sophia Stewart, the Wachowski Brothers, Joel Silver and Warner Brothers. Stewart’s allegations, involving copyright infringement and racketeering, were received and acknowledged by the Central District of California, Judge Margaret Morrow presiding.

Stewart, a New Yorker who has resided in Salt Lake City for the past five years, will recover damages from the films, The Matrix I, II and III, as well as The Terminator and its sequels. She will soon receive one of the biggest payoffs in the history of Hollywood , as the gross receipts of both films and their sequels total over 2.5 billion dollars.

Stewart filed her case in 1999, after viewing the Matrix, which she felt had been based on her manuscript, ‘The Third Eye,’ copyrighted in 1981. In the mid-eighties Stewart had submitted her manuscript to an ad placed by the Wachowski Brothers, requesting new sci-fi works..

According to court documentation, a FBI investigation discovered that more than thirty minutes had been edited from the original film, in an attempt to avoid penalties for copyright infringement. The investigation also stated that ‘credible witnesses employed at Warner Brothers came forward, claiming that the executives and lawyers had full knowledge that the work in question did not belong to the Wachowski Brothers.’ These witnesses claimed to have seen Stewart’s original work and that it had been ‘often used during preparation of the motion pictures.’ The defendants tried, on several occasions, to have Stewart’s case dismissed, without success.

Stewart has confronted skepticism on all sides, much of which comes from Matrix fans, who are strangely loyal to the Wachowski Brothers. One on-line forum, entitled Matrix Explained has an entire section devoted to Stewart. Some who have researched her history and writings are open to her story.

Others are suspicious and mocking. ‘It doesn’t bother me,’ said Stewart in a phone interview last week, ‘I always knew what was true.’

Some fans, are unaware of the case or they question its legitimacy, due to the fact that it has received little to no media coverage. Though the case was not made public until October of 2003, Stewart has her own explanation, as quoted at aghettotymz.com:

‘The reason you have not seen any of this in the media is because Warner Brothers parent company is AOL-Time Warner…. this GIANT owns 95 percent of the media… let me give you a clue as to what they own in the media business… New York Times papers/magazines, LA Times papers/magazines, People Magazine, CNN news, Extra, Celebrity Justice, Entertainment Tonight, HBO, New Line Cinema, DreamWorks, Newsweek, Village Roadshow and many, many more! They are not going to report on themselves. They have been suppressing my case for years.’

Fans who have taken Stewart’s allegations seriously, have found eerie mythological parallels, which seem significant in a case that revolves around the highly metaphorical and symbolic Matrix series. Sophia, the Greek goddess of wisdom has been referenced many times in speculation about Stewart. In one book about the Goddess Sophia, it reads, ‘The black goddess is the mistress of web creation spun in her divine matrix.’

Although there have been outside implications as to racial injustice (Stewart is African American), she does not feel that this is the case. ‘This is all about the Benjamins,’ said Stewart. ‘It’s not about money with me. It’s about justice.’

Stewart’s future plans involve a record label, entitled Popsilk Records, and a motion picture production company, All Eyez On Me, in reference to God. ‘I wrote The Third Eye to wake people up, to remind them why God put them here. There’s more to life than money,’ said Stewart. ‘My whole to the world is about God and good and about choice, about spirituality over ‘technocracy’.’

If Stewart represents spirituality, then she truly has prevailed over the ‘technocracy’ represented in both the Terminator and the Matrix, and now, ironically, by their supposed creators.

Stewart is having discussions with CBS about a possible exclusive story and has several media engagements in the near future to nationally publicize her victory. June 13th 2004. Sophia Stewart’s press release read: ‘The Matrix & Terminator movie franchises have made world history and have ultimately changed the way people view movies and how Hollywood does business, yet the real truth about the creator and creation of these films continue to elude the masses because the hidden secret of the matter is that these films were created and written by a Black woman…a Black woman named Sophia Stewart. But Hollywood does not want you to know this fact simply because it would change history. Also it would encourage our Black children to realize a dream and that is…nothing is impossible for them to achieve!’

Greg Thomas, Editor

Courtesy of CNN IReport ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-358749

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