The Pew Research Center today released a giant report on the Millennial generation, a.k.a. Generation Y, a.k.a Americans born after 1980....by a whopping 53 to 42 percent. People over sixty-five are opposed, 47 to 39 percent.
The report has many interesting factoids (including the percentage of members of each generation who say they sleep with their cellphone next to their heads). But one of the more provocative sections has to do with attitudes toward government.
Based on the 2009 survey data in this report, Millennials appear to be more pro-government, pro-regulation and pro-market-intervention than older generations...
Friday, February 26, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
In a statement following talks with Disney, Odeon said: The Odeon and UCI Cinema Group is pleased to announce that, following detailed negotiations with the Walt Disney Company Ltd, an enduring agreement has been reached encompassing all the different aspects of both companies' commercial relationship.So that's that, I guess. No one learned anything. Sounds like another glorious day in the entertainment industry.
"As a result of this agreement, Odeon is pleased to confirm that it will be able to continue with its plans for significant investment in new cinemas, in digital technology in 3D capability and the other exciting developments designed for the increased enjoyment of all its customers."
When Mr. Vernor tried to auction four authentic, packaged copies of AutoCAD software, Autodesk sent DMCA takedown notices to block his auctions and threatened to sue him for copyright infringement. Mr. Vernor, assisted by the lawyers at Public Citizen, took Autodesk to court and won.Public interest aside, I'm sure Netflix might be a little miffed should their entire business be deemed illegal.
Autodesk has appealed, arguing that so long as its license agreements recite the right magic words, it can strip purchasers of any ownership in the CD-ROMs on which software is delivered. If that's right, then not only don't you own the software you buy, but any copyright owner can simply recite the magic words and effectively outlaw libraries, used bookstores, and DVD rentals, among other things (eBay also filed an amicus brief on behalf of Mr. Vernor). That would be bad news not just for consumers looking to save a few dollars, but also for our ability to access older, out-of-print materials. For these materials, often libraries and second-hand sellers are the only hope for continued public access.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
A new breed of plays and musicals this season is presenting gay characters in love stories, replacing the direct political messages of 1980s and ‘90s shows like “The Normal Heart” and “Angels in America” with more personal appeals for social progress.
These productions about gay life make little or no mention of H.I.V. or AIDS and keep direct activism at arm’s length, with militant crusading portrayed with ambivalence more than ardor. The politics of these shows — there are seven of them opening in New York in the next several weeks — are subtler, more nuanced: they place the everyday concerns of Americans in a gay context, thereby pressing the case that gay love and gay marriage, gay parenthood and gay adoption are no different from their straight variations.
- the increasing maturity of audiences to deal with gay characters being more than people who sleep with the same sex; and
- the slowly dawning realization on the part of theatrical producers that they can fund works that portray gay characters with simple humanity and still make money (see point number 1).
Yet more evidence that the entertainment industry can't stop panicking about the new digital landscape.
Tim Burton's new film version of Alice in Wonderland will not be screened at Odeon cinemas in the UK, Irish Republic and Italy, the cinema chain says.
The move is in response to the Disney studio's plan to reduce the period in which it can be shown only in cinemas from the standard 17 weeks.
The plan would allow Disney to release the film on DVD at the end of May.There are always unintended consequences to any move, and in an industry with as many moving parts as the international film market, of course someone's gamble is someone else's guaranteed loss.
Odeon said it would "set a new benchmark, leading to a 12-week window becoming rapidly standard".
Although, on the face of it, the complaint that the 12-week window could become the industry standard seems a bit random. It's not as though theaters are at a loss of material to screen. And had it come from their end, couldn't theaters use the limited time only banner to fill every seat during a shorter run, like every other business does?
Instead of a rational reaction to shift in business practice (and not even a permanent one, might I add), we have the usual panic-in-the-face-of-any-change-whatsoever. Charming.
Friday, February 19, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
With much of his legislative agenda stalled in Congress, President Obama and his team are preparing an array of actions using his executive power to advance energy, environmental, fiscal and other domestic policy priorities.UGH.
“We are reviewing a list of presidential executive orders and directives to get the job done across a front of issues,” said Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff.Yeah, liberals, I see you nodding your heads there. Remember signing statements? The establishment of Guantanamo? John Yoo?
Any president has vast authority to influence policy even without legislation, through executive orders, agency rule-making and administrative fiat. And Mr. Obama’s success this week in pressuring the Senate to confirm 27 nominations by threatening to use his recess appointment power demonstrated that executive authority can also be leveraged to force action by Congress.
Mr. Obama has already decided to create a bipartisan budget commission under his own authority after Congress refused to do so. His administration has signaled that it plans to use its discretion to soften enforcement of the ban on openly gay men and lesbians serving in the military, even as Congress considers repealing the law. And the Environmental Protection Agency is moving forward with possible regulations on heat-trapping gases blamed for climate change, while a bill to cap such emissions languishes in the Senate.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
When Amy was a little girl, her uncle made her famous in the worst way: as a star in the netherworld of child pornography. Photographs and videos known as “the Misty series” depicting her abuse have circulated on the Internet for more than 10 years, and often turn up in the collections of those arrested for possession of illegal images.It's a sick kind of royalty payment -- except where Hollywood producers claim (and unions reject) that full royalties for the distribution of (non-exploitative) events via the internet is unsustainable, "Amy" is hoping the economic effects of her digital retransmission will be ruinous on its perpetrators.
Now, with the help of an inventive lawyer, the young woman known as Amy — her real name has been withheld in court to prevent harassment — is fighting back.
She is demanding that everyone convicted of possessing even a single Misty image pay her damages until her total claim of $3.4 million has been met.
Some experts argue that forcing payment from people who do not produce such images but only possess them goes too far.So here is the question as it relates to the issues of digital distribution: some are arguing that possessing, but not creating, these images does not constitute an act of abuse on the original victim, and thus they don't owe her restitution.
Hollywood producers argue that viewing a performance on your computer, rather than in the movie theater or on a television screen, constitutes a less-valuable (if not outright criminal) transaction. How long will that argument hold water?
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Now, yes, I'm a nerd -- even though I don't know thing out about coding -- but I think these issues are relevant to performing artists. As I've mentioned before, we need to be thinking proactively (and, er, creatively) about the nature of performance, recording of performance, and monetizing those recordings.
It's also hilarious:
Now, I'm not buying an iPad because they're tethered to AT&T and AT&T is terrible. But that's another issue altogether...
Is the DMCA a travesty? Is it bullshit that someone should go to jail for cracking the firmware of a device they own? Of course. Only monsters would allow the curious to go to jail for exploring. Every song ever recorded, every movie ever filmed—they're all together less important than a person's freedom.
But you know what will fix those issues? It's not bitching about how those stupid customers may or may not buy an iPad. It's fixing the legal system. (Or for most of us, myself included, letting the EFF fight those battles for us.)
The number of engineers complaining about Apple's decisions who aren't using products of other capitalist corporations who thrive in the shadow of patent law and the DMCA approaches zero: Moan away in your Google browsers on Windows running on your copyrighted Intel processors. You're really fighting the good fight.