Happy New Year, readers! I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday season. Now it’s time to get back to work.
It Turns Out Shia LaBeouf Is Your Anti-IP Laws Messiah, Internet — 2014 starts out with a bang, with this brilliant take on a recent anti-copyright screed by actor Shia LaBeouf. Be sure to check out the author’s previous piece, How Copyright Law Gave us Star Wars, as well.
Blame Silicon Valley for the NSA’s data slurp… and what to do about it — One of the top stories of 2013 were revelations about widespread NSA surveillance. But as Andrew Orlowski points out here, the NSA is only following the lead of Google, et al.
TV Broadcasters Fire Back at Aereo’s Supreme Court Claims — Just before Christmas, TV broadcasters filed their reply brief in Aereo, where they are seeking Supreme Court review of the Second Circuit’s holding that the definition of public performance is technology-dependent. Aereo is in the stack of petitions the Supreme Court will look at during its first conference of the new year on January 10, and it was featured in a SCOTUSBlog Petition of the Day.
Living by the Pen — Turkish novelist Kaya Genç discusses some of the deep challenges he and other writers have faced, but ends on an optimistic note. “For more than ninety years of republican history Turkish freelancers had been silenced either by state institutions which employed them or by the lack of a proper literary market. But as I look around and try to see how other authors from my generation are doing nowadays, I see how they no longer share the old state ideas which make freelance authors suspect in the eyes of the intellectual community. On the contrary, they are increasingly joining the ranks of independent writers. I know, from experience, that it won’t be state patronage or employment by special institutions that will save them from the cold realities of pessimism, poverty and prosecution. No, don’t make them part of the state apparatus or turn them into ideologues or employ them as editors: if you want those writers to succeed, just pay them.”
Just How Long Should Copyright Terms Be? — A thought-provoking piece from Justin Colletti. “Recently, I read a blog post from a Duke University professor who laments that ‘Under current copyright law, we’ll have to wait until 2053′, for works such as On The Road, From Russia With Love, Funny Face, Atlas Shrugged and The Cat In The Hat to enter the public domain. But he never seems to fully explain to my satisfaction: Wait for what?”
10 Great Internet Essays Condemning… the Internet — Paste Magazine rounds up some recent articles that take a critical look at the invisible technology of the internet.
Why TED is a Recipe for Civilizational Disaster — Not included in the list above, but along the same lines, is this recent TEDx talk by cultural theorist Benjamin Bratton. “Keep calm and carry on “innovating” … is that the real message of TED? To me that’s not inspirational, it’s cynical.”
How a Fabricated Story about Iron Maiden’s Love of Music Pirates Became Internet Truth — In case you missed it, last week saw the tech press breathlessly spreading a story about a band that “embraced piracy” to plan a tour. Except, as TechCrunch points out here, the story turned out to be fake.
Gibson Guitars On TV: How Props Master Danny Rowe Finds the Great Six-Strings on Nashville — Behind-the-scenes crew have the most fascinating jobs. Here, Gibson Guitars speaks with instrument wrangler Danny Rowe, who currently wrangles guitars for TV’s Nashville.
The Fascinating Method by which Megaupload Deleted Copyright Content without ever Deleting Copyright Content — The upcoming year is likely to bring new developments in the Megaupload criminal proceedings, though if what has gone on so far is any guide, then who knows what those developments may include. The DOJ publicly released hundreds of pages of evidence it had on Megaupload and its operations late last year, and here, Forbes digs into those bits that demonstrate how Megaupload operated behind a sham of DMCA compliance. Also check out the Southland Time’s editorial, Not Sitting on a Fence.