Posts tagged “copyright”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] Kraft Dinner mentions must stop, teacher told [CBC News] – [Kraft Dinner is a Canadian-specific brand for packaged macaroni and cheese, known among the pastacenti as KD.] Kick the KD teaches students how to avoid convenience foods and eat healthier. Clapson received a notice from Kraft Canada demanding the name be changed and any references to Kraft Dinner be removed. "We understand that the focus of the cooking program is to encourage students to prepare meals which are healthy and delicious. Please note that Kraft Dinner macaroni and cheese is a nutritious food that can be part of a balanced diet. In addition to being delicious, it is also a source of calcium and iron and a good source of protein." Clapson said he didn't know "KD was trademarked and personally enjoys the occasional bowl of Kraft Dinner." Clapson said he intends to keep running the classes and has taken suggestions for a new name. The most popular one so far has been "Kick the Crap Dinner."
  • [from steve_portigal] ‘Cinema Verite’ review: ‘American Family’ revisited [SF Chronicle] – [Fascinating article on how a recreation bio-pic of the filming of the original reality show reveals shifting cultural contexts and the challenges of authenticity] In 1971, Craig Gilbert and Alan and Susan Raymond, set out to document the lives of an everyday American family. Viewers may have subliminally understood that reality was somewhat altered through editorial choices, but they more or less accepted what was on their TV as life as it actually and naturally happened. But was it? That's the question posed by "Cinema Verite" directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini as they look back at "American Family." Did Gilbert direct the Louds' actions to make his film more dramatic? In "Cinema," Gilbert (James Gandolfini) is shown inserting himself into a scene and telling the family what to do. We also see the Raymonds (Patrick Fugit and Shanna Collins) revolting when Gilbert begins to cross the boundaries of documentary filmmaking, perhaps because he's developed a crush on Pat.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Summer Reading Programs Gain Momentum for Students About to Enter College – Nationwide, hundreds of colleges and universities, large and small, public and private, assign first-year students a book to read over the summer, hoping to create a sense of community and engage students intellectually.

    While there are no reliable statistics on summer reading programs, a recent survey of more than 100 programs by a student researcher at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn., found that most had started in the last four years, although a few go back decades.

    The range of books colleges use is enormous, covering fiction and nonfiction. Classics are largely absent, with most of the works chosen falling closer to Oprah than academic.

    Still, a certain canon of summer reading is emerging: books that are readable, short, engaging, cheap. Often, it helps if the book is a best seller dealing with some aspect of diversity, some multicultural encounter — and if the author will come to speak on campus.

  • Canada Reads — CBC Radio – Canada Reads celebrates five Canadian books for three months online, on the air and at public events. It all leads up to a week-long show hosted by Jian Ghomeshi. In this annual title fight, five celebrity panelists defend their favourite work of Canadian fiction. One by one, books are voted off the list, until one panelist triumphs with the book for Canada to read this year.
  • Beyond the Book – Beyond the Book: Mass Reading Events and Contemporary Cultures of Reading in the UK, USA and Canada is a 3-year interdisciplinary research project.

    Our main objectives are to determine why and how people come together to share reading through a comparative study of selected mass reading events.

    The mass reading event is a new, proliferating literary phenomenon. Events typically focus on a work of literary fiction and employ the mass media as a means of promoting participation in the themed activities and discussions that take place around the selected book. Beyond the Book uses research methodologies drawn from both the humanities and social sciences to investigate whether mass reading events attract new readers and marginalized communities. We also wish to determine whether this contemporary version of shared reading fosters new reading practices and even whether it is capable of initiating social change.

  • "ONE BOOK" READING PROMOTION PROJECTS (Center for the Book: Library of Congress) – "One Book" projects (community-wide reading programs), initiated by the Washington Center for the Book in 1998, are being introduced across the U.S.A. and around the world. Here's lengthy list of authors, communities, and dates.
  • The Big Read – The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. The NEA presents The Big Read in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in cooperation with Arts Midwest. The Big Read brings together partners across the country to encourage reading for pleasure and enlightenment.

    The Big Read gives communities the opportunity to come together to read, discuss, and celebrate one of 30 selections from American and world literature. This initiative supports innovative reading programs in selected communities, providing engaging educational resources for discussing outstanding literature and conducting expansive outreach and publicity campaigns, and a Web site offering comprehensive information about the authors and their works.

  • Literary Reading in Dramatic Decline, According to National Endowment for the Arts Survey – (July 8, 2004) Literary reading is in dramatic decline with fewer than half of American adults now reading literature, according to a National Endowment for the Arts survey released today. Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America reports drops in all groups studied, with the steepest rate of decline – 28 percent – occurring in the youngest age groups. The study also documents an overall decline of 10 percentage points in literary readers from 1982 to 2002, representing a loss of 20 million potential readers. The rate of decline is increasing and, according to the survey, has nearly tripled in the last decade.
  • 15 Books That Have Stuck With You (yet another of those Facebook etc. "memes" that are more like chain letters than memes) – Pick 15 books that will always stick with you. Don't take more than 15 minutes. Tag 15 friends including me because I'm interested in seeing what books my friends choose.
  • My pictures from Belgium 2009 (345 of 'em!) – Here's the whole set on Flickr. I'll continue to blog highlights from the trip.
  • Google book project far from settled – As the deadline draws near for authors and publishers to opt out of a proposed legal settlement allowing Google Inc. to forge ahead with plans to scan millions of books, more opponents of the landmark deal are stepping forward, and the local literary world is growing more perplexed.

    "Smart people, major players that are sophisticated in the ways of publishing, are still at loggerheads," said Ted Weinstein, a San Francisco literary agent. He said they're not just arguing whether the deal is good or bad, "but still expressing disagreement about what exactly it will do. That's a problem."

Wild and Free

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Me on bass, Firefly Club, Osaka, Japan, 2001

I had the TV on in the background the other night while I was doing some work around the house–I’ll admit it to you–I was watching E Hollywood True Stories, “Joe Francis Gone Wild.” (Francis is the guy who created Girls Gone Wild (NSFW))

Anyway…about halfway through the show, I heard a really familiar sound fading up in the background. I turned up the volume on the show, and, sure enough, it was a piece of a song from a CD I recorded a few years ago.

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ghost7, New Directions in Static, 2004

As the wow feeling of hearing something I had made broadcast this widely subsided, I started thinking about other aspects of the situation: shouldn’t someone have contacted me, shouldn’t I be getting paid for this?

And here’s where the irony, or at least the thought-provoking conundrum, begins.

I know how hard it is to earn a living playing music (or even just to cover your expenses). Yet I have, ahem, “friends,” who download all kinds of “free” musical content. And when I lived in Japan, I had other, ahem, “friends,” who rented lots of CDs from Tsutaya (the Japanese Blockbuster Video) and copied them onto MiniDisc to build their music collections, thus depriving the artists of their cut of a CD sale. (For a great breakdown of the traditional music industry business model, and a startling look at the reality of making a living as a musician, check out Moses Avalon’s website and book, Confessions of a Record Producer).

My initial self-righteousness about getting paid for the use of my music highlighted a clear differentiation I’ve been making between creative “product” that comes out of the “entertainment industry” and what’s made by people like me, whose primary livelihood is something other than their music, art, etc.

Now that any content placed in the public arena is almost instantaneously redistributable, whither goes the business model/s for creative production? Are songs-as-products becoming obsolete, to be replaced by songs-as-loss-leaders, a la the Starbucks/iTunes “song-of-the-week” card?

How, in this freewheeling new world, will it continue to be possible to shift enough units to pay for the production of something like a U2 album or a feature-length film?

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CD Cover, George Lynch (ex-Dokken), 2000

New analysis covered over at O’Reilly on Radiohead’s 2007 “pay-what-you-like” experiment for selling their album, In Rainbows, would seem to support the loss leader model, with the attention generated by the online trading of the album seemingly as valuable as any actual money earned through paid downloading.

I’d add as well that firing up the tour bus remains an essential part of the prospect. Aside from tribute bands, no one’s found a way yet to pirate the live performance. (Although perhaps the scenario in Kiss’ 1978 movie, where the band is attacked by a lookalike robot band, suggests one possible model.)

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VHS box, Kiss Meets The Phantom of the Park, 1978

But back to more grounded futuristic pondering. Is Karl Marx’ dream of making means of production accessible to ordinary people coming to fruition via peer-to-peer content sharing and the free flow of certain types of “raw materials?”

As the “redistributability” of content facilitated by the internet crossbreeds with technology and approaches like just-in-time production, 3D printing, and mass customization, will other types of product production also be wrested from commercial producers?

And will someone from E True Hollywood Stories please contact me about that royalty check?

iPhone – More than Talk!

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Cisco and Apple were in a dispute over the ownership of the iPhone name. There was news that a deal fell through right around the time of the announcement. One might assume this is Cisco raising the stakes a bit, trying to push Apple to make it all go away. Because this is certainly confusing the issue.

Plagiarismo no mo

Edgar’s advice was sound. I sent off a politely worded request this morning and it looks like things have changed over at DanTaylor.com

Before (chock-full of Portigal-icious scam-tastic verbage)

Welcome. My name is Dan Taylor.

I am a consultant that helps businesses and governments. I help our clients understand and recognize opportunities as well as make “things”. The “things” that I help them with cover a wide gamut of “stuff” – public policy, public opinion, strategies and tactics, products, services, software, even advertising. I go beyond the reach of traditional research to discover new insights about how people, businesses and governments; set policy, work, play, shop, entertain, eat, and live their lives around my clients’ products, services, and other “stuff”.

The services that I provide help my keep clients’ costs down, profits up and competitive advantage high.

On their own, these insights are powerful tools to inform the ongoing decisions that clients make. My specialty is recommending specific actions that are responses to these insights, including:

* improvements to existing products and services
* improvements to public policy
* improvements to infrastructure
* ideas for new products and features
* corporate branding and positioning
* new applications for existing technologies
* specific implications for design
* new positioning for existing products
* new strategic directions

After

Dan Taylor + Company is a group of people with strong multidisciplinary backgrounds in public policy, industrial design, technology, business, finance, competitive intelligence and marketing. We know that the use of our services by our clients must demonstrate measurable value to our clients.

We perform industrial design audits and analysis, emergent trend analysis, marketing, integrated product development of new products and categories, competitive intelligence, benchmarking, venture design and of course, integrated product design and redesign.

The confidence we have in our ability to add measurable value to our clients’ businesses is such that we often invite equity participation in the client company as a portion of our remuneration. Contact us to ask how we can help you attract more consumer dollars and add black ink to your bottom line. You’ll be glad you did.

Phew!

Attack of the $1 DVDs

The New York Times writes about $1 DVDs, which are not bootlegs but simply films which have lapsed into the public domain for one reason or another.

Digiview actually paid for the rights to ‘American Vampire,’ a kind of ‘Beach Blanket Beowulf’ starring Carmen Electra of ‘Baywatch.’ Whether anyone will pay for the DVD is unclear. ‘Just because it’s a dollar doesn’t mean people want it,’ said Mr. Rosenberg, of Home Media Retailing. Indeed, a nickel might be too much for a DVD of Raymond Burr in ‘Bride of the Gorilla.’

Mr. Rosenberg said the novelty of dollar DVD’s would soon fade. ‘There’s a great danger of overdistribution,’ he said. ‘This is a business without much room for profit – either in the making or the selling. A year from now, most cheap DVD’s will be gone from stores.’ One ‘Killer Shrew’ alumnus hopes to cash in while the cheapness lasts. ‘This craze could build an audience for the sequel I’m writing,’ said Mr. Best, who played the stuttering Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane on ‘The Dukes of Hazzard.’

He has nearly finished a first draft of ‘Killer Shrews II.’ The plot is fiendishly simple. ‘I return to Shrew Island to rescue a bunch of teenagers,’ he reported. ‘A new mad scientist has turned herself into a human shrew that not only chews, but swims.'”

Series

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