An Oral History of Friday Night Lights (via Alex Epstein) — One of the best TV shows no one has seen wrapped up its fifth and final season last week. This oral history recounts the long odds the show faced and, despite this, how everyone remained true to its creative vision (minus the second season’s murder subplot). Great reading, as you hear not only from producers and actors, but also writers, camera operators, and others involved.
PROTECT IP’s Groundhog Day — The RIAA notes how critics of PROTECT IP frequently recycle the same arguments they’ve used before in other situations. It points out that the dire predictions made years ago didn’t come true, but that hasn’t stopped the advancement of the same predictions for this legislation. To paraphrase Mr. Masnick, how many times will IP critics claim the sky is falling before people stop believing them?
US Copyright Alert System: What About Cyberlockers? — James Gannon asks whether the recently announced agreement between ISPs and copyright owners can be extended to alleviate the substantial infringement coming from cyberlocker sites and offers a couple recommendations.
More Bunk from the CCIA: What do Derek Jeter, Tom Adams and Ari Emanuel have in common? — They all work in a “fair use” industry, at least according to the Computer & Communications Industry Association. Chris Castle picks apart the joke of a study released by the CCIA, which is more interested in creating a false wedge between content creators and technology companies than providing actual research.
Artistic originals: we invest more than we think … — Art and Artifice looks at the UK’s Intellectual Property Office’s Economics, Research and Evidence team recently published report on estimates of investment in creative works in the UK. The report estimates that approximately £4.3 billion ($7.0 billion) was invested in creating new artistic works in the UK in 2008.
Independent Filmmaker Shares His Take on the Impact of Content Theft — Jason Stall, whose recent documentary Blood Into Wine follows Maynard James Keenan’s sojourn into winemaking, talks about the effect piracy has had on him. “If you can’t raise the money you did before, quality is going to go down, quantity is going to go down and you’ve crushed the creative process.”
PayPal works with police and industry to tackle copyright infringing websites — The IFPI announced that the popular online payment service has entered into an agreement that provides for stronger action against infringers. “Carl Scheible, PayPal UK’s managing director, commented, ‘Today’s announcement shows that PayPal is very serious about fighting music piracy. We’ve always banned PayPal’s use for the sale of content that infringes copyright, and the new system will make life even harder for illegal operators. Our partnership with the music industry helps rights holders make money from their own content while stopping the pirates in their tracks.'”
Jam Tomorrow — Another excellent piece from the Cynical Musician. For new musicians whose goal is to eventually get paid for their work (and this applies to other creative professionals), the focus should be on, well, getting paid for their work. “Exposure” and giving things away are a means, not the end.
Why TV Companies Couldn’t Care Less About Original Online Video — An informative post from Ashkan Karbasfrooshan, founder and CEO of WatchMojo, about investment in premium web-only content by traditional media companies. Karbasfrooshan’s conclusion is that while such content continues to grow in popularity, and provides opportunities for start-ups to make money from lean, efficiently produced content, it doesn’t yet make sense for traditional media companies to pour more money into creating their own new media content.
Sierra Leone Celebrates New Copyright Act — The African nation’s parliament recently passed a new Act to replace the 1965 Act. Upon passage, “throngs of celebrants used loud musical sets placed on top of vehicles, plus traditional musical instruments including the popular ‘Bubu’ instruments, to party all day long along major streets in Freetown.” Also from the Afro-IP blog this week, no IP changes yet for the newly-independent nation of South Sudan.
Jewel cases! Get your empty jewel cases here! — I’ve previously heard of this strategy being touted amongst certain communities as a way around the law when selling works that might be considered infringing. Basically, you say you’re “giving away” the CD or DVD and selling the packaging. The 1709 Blog reports that a man in Florida who was using such a strategy is now facing felony charges.
Jail? For downloading too many articles??? — Copyright Librarian offers an evenhanded, objective look at the Aaron Swartz story, straightening out many of the misconceptions.
Alexander v. Murdoch — TV’s Modern Family (big fan) survives a claim of copyright infringement claim from a scriptwriter who believed a treatment he wrote was copied to create the popular show. The court gives a substantial discussion about why there is no infringement, at times hewing close to snark:
Plaintiff also claims that both works have characters with “funny Jewish names,” specifically mentioning Plaintiff’s Ben Figiwitz and Modern Family‘s “Pepper Saltzman” and “Shell Turtlestein.” Magistrate Judge Francis noted that “[i]t is not obvious why the name Figiwitz is funny, whereas both of the names featured in Modern Family are plainly designed to be humerous.” Specifically, “Pepper Saltzman” is clearly a play on salt and pepper, and “Shell Turtlestein,” the name of Manny’s pet turtle clearly refers to the poet Shel Silverstein, and not a reference to the turtle’s religion (assuming that the turtle is, in fact, Jewish).