Happy 2012 everybody!
Joshua Johnson’s KQED Forum on Rogue Sites — KQED recently hosted a discussion of rogue sites legislation featuring EFF-attorney-turned-Google-lawyer Fred von Lohmann, indie filmmaker Ellen Seidler, Rep. Darrell Issa, and NBC Universal general counsel Rick Cotton. Chris Castle takes a good look at some points that didn’t come up or weren’t fully addressed.
Does the DMCA Work? — Interesting analysis from Dr. Christopher S. Harrison on the recent decision in UMG v. Veoh and Megaupload’s recent lawsuit against Universal. “These two cases exemplify the Bizarro World the DMCA has become, in which the business models of service providers require copyright infringement on a massive scale … but labels get sued over takedown notices.”
The Original and Traditional Meaning of “Freedom … of the Press” — Eugene Volokh announces his recent article arguing that “freedom of the press” as it was understood by the Constitutional Framers refers to the press-as-technology rather than, as some have argued, press-as-industry. A good read for those who have been following my own series on copyright and the freedom of the press.
Finding a Job in Film (for Prop Makers) — My brother Eric, recently transplanted to North Carolina from NYC, where he served as assistant props master at the Public Theater, provides some useful advice for theater professionals looking to transition into the film world.
Reddit has gone mad with power — After calling for a boycott on GoDaddy for its support of SOPA, (the number of GoDaddy subscribers actually increased during that time, according to the article) users of the web site turned their attention to defeating political supporters of the bill in the upcoming election. They eventually chose Rep. Paul Ryan (who hasn’t stated a position on the bill). As Gawker notes, “The thinking of the internet hive mind is shallow and frantic, scrambling from one outrage to the next.”
France Animation v Robinson – a case comment — Barry Sookman examines a recent decision from the Quebec Court of Appeals that he calls a “gold mine for copyright lawyers.” Among the many interesting portions is the Court’s discussion that punitive damages are available under Quebec law because copyright infringement violates fundamental rights and freedoms.
Removing the legal eye patch — The Boston Globe came out in support of SOPA this week. “While opponents of the bill cry censorship, their fears seem to based on the belief that it somehow creates a slippery slope – that blocking an illegal download of an Adele album will be logically followed by blocking a search for information about the Arab Spring. The government already has cracked down on online child pornography without a corresponding attack on civil liberties. There’s no reason that the First Amendment would be endangered if the Justice Department beefed up its enforcement of copyright law as well.”
In a Big Year for New Soul, a Small But Influential Label Turns 10 — I’ve long been a fan of Daptone Records, the pioneers of the retro-soul sound that was most famously featured on Amy Winehouse’s Back in Black. The Atlantic takes a look at the label as it celebrates its first decade.