Tag Archives: creators on IP

artists and IP

The NYT has two interesting stories right now featuring, shall we say, different approaches to artists and IP.

The first in a genre near and dear to my heart is a profile of Dark Horse Comics, which “built [their] publishing platform around creators’ rights … [Their] pitch was, ‘We’ll match the rights that you get from other companies and we’ll let you own the work.’”

The second is an article about Daniel Moore, a photo-realist artist (he calls it “photofuturism”) of Alabama sports moments. The University (as we in Alabama called it) is suing Moore for trademark infringement of its crimson-and-white color scheme. Yea, Alabama, Crimson Tide, yadda yadda yadda fight song lyrics sung ironically. (I went looking for the actual fight song lyrics, which did not comport with my memory, and found myself in a hell of blinking and color-challenged websites dedicated to Crimson Tide football obsession. Dave’s College Football Fight Songs is restfully simple, for those of you who want to know the actual lyrics, and not the one line that is engraved falsely in my memory.)

X-posted at sivacracy

jon stewart lambasts piracy

on the oscars, just now, jon stewart on movie piracy (i paraphrase):

Let’s face facts. It hasn’t been the best year for Hollywood.

The box office was was a little bit down and piracy continues to be a problem. If there is anyone out there involved in illegal movie piracy, don’t do it.

Take a good look at these people. These are the people you are stealing from.

Look at them! Face what you have done!

There are women here who can barely afford enough gown to cover their breasts.

Siva has a link to the video and also a better transcript (which I copied).

update

… he also made a crack about downloading music, later in the evening, introducing a musician:

Some of you won’t know who this is, but go upstairs to where your kid is illegally downloading music, and ask them, and they’ll tell you.

I wasn’t really focusing, so I may have missed more such moments. Have copyright issues come up at the Oscars before, I wonder? I’ve only seen the awards maybe 3 times out of the last 10 years or so. Have I been missing a huge goldmine of cultural references to the p2p filesharing wars?

authors vs. copyright owners

Meghann Marco, a new author, would like to have her book indexed by Google, but her publisher says no, they’d rather sue. [link from kottke.org]

As a person who spends a large part of her day trying to get people to read her book, I asked my publisher to include me in Google Print.

They said no.

I think the majority of authors would benefit from something like Google Print.

no play for fan play

San Francisco’s counterPULSE Theater got a cease-and-desist from Fox TV demanding they cancel their sold-out live action performance of “Once More, With Feeling” (the Buffy musical).

According to SFist, Buffy creator Joss Whedon said he had no objection to the staging of the show.

[link from whedonesque]

divine licensing: god and the gang of four

Two great tastes that taste great together.

Many “Daily Show” fans (well, okay, me) have been concerned about the future of “This Week in God” now that Stephen Colbert is leaving “The Daily Show” for his own spinoff. Today’s NYT (10/12) explains that the segment is going to stay, but with a new correspondent — apparently, because of divine licensing:

“God has an exclusive licensing agreement with ‘The Daily Show,’ ” Mr. Colbert said. “We’re trying to get the Devil for our show.”

In completely unrelated entertainment news, Slate informs us (10/5) that the Gang of Four is covering their own songs on what is effectively a tribute album by the Gang of Four, in tribute to the Gang of Four. (Hey, I think they’re worth it.) Go4 was a little less happy with their licensing arrangement than God, apparently:

A sraightforward repackaging of the old recordings, such as a compilation or box set, would only serve to enrich EMI, their original record company in the United Kingdom. And that’s something Gang of Four didn’t want to happen. “We have never made any money at all from record sales with EMI and still have unrecouped advances,” King wrote in an e-mail. “So we didn’t want them to benefit as they did nothing to support us.” As for their original American record company, Warner Bros., King claims that they deleted Entertainment!—easily one of the 50 most powerful and influential rock albums of all time—in 1993 and only rereleased it in 2005 in response to Gang of Four’s having become a fashionable reference point. Rerecording the songs—something that contracts typically allow artists to do after 20 years—puts Gang of Four in a strong bargaining position for negotiating a new deal with superior royalty rates. “It is our way of reasserting ownership of our own material,” says King.

peter jackson: piracy (vs. derivative works)

ordinarily i’m interested in quotes from artists & creators that evidence awareness of or interest in non-copyright maximalism. but in today’s NYT article (“King Kong vs. Pirates of the Multiplex”) there was a quote from Peter Jackson:

“Piracy has the very real potential of tipping movies into becoming an unprofitable industry, especially big-event films. If that happens, they will stop being made,” said Mr. Jackson in an e-mail message from New Zealand, where he is putting the final touches on his version of “King Kong.” “No studio is going to finance a film if the point is reached where their possible profit margin goes straight into criminals’ pockets.”

which I thought was interesting compared with an off-the-cuff conversation between Peter Jackson (PJ), Fran Walsh (FW), and Philippa Boyens (PB) on one of the LOTR DVD director commentaries:

PJ [5:42]: It’s unlikely to find a place actually because there’s nowhere to put it now really even in The Return of the King. So maybe in the 50th anniversary box set we can put it in somewhere.

FW [5:54]: Wouldn’t it be fun to do an edit of all 3 films in chronological order?

PJ: Like the, The Godfather box set?

FW: Oh is that what happens there?

PB: Did they? Oh cool.

PJ: Yeah.

FW: You could put that scene, you know, right after the, the council meeting.

PJ [6:09]: Well, you could, that’s right. I mean, well, people could do that with their – I shouldn’t suggest this, but people could, could do this with the sort of interesting software available on home computers these days, it’s, um, it’s something that any, any fan could do.

PB: Maybe they could do it for us, and we wouldn’t have to do it ourselves.

posted here 2004/12/5, on The Two Towers, Extended DVD, Directors’ Commentary, Disc 2, 5:42 – 6:24

on file sharing “the daily show”

Okay, I’m sneaking a little break away from visiting family in Virginia to breathe the fresh air of the Internet. I wouldn’t exactly call Virginia a hellhole (at least not in front of the family who lives here), but the Internet cafe (Panera Bakery) I’m surfing at blocks arthur silber’s the light of reason and poor man as Forbidden Category “Adult/Mature Content”. Sigh.

Anyway, one of the sites I can read is Wired. In the recent interview with Jon Stewart & Ben Karlin (Daily Show’s Exec Producer) (“Reinventing Television”) I noticed this commentary:

WIRED: ["The Daily Show"] is among the most popular shows traded online. People download and watch the whole thing, every day. Were you guys aware of that?

Karlin: Not only am I not aware of that, I don’t want to be aware of that.

WIRED: Well, don’t go shutting it down.

Stewart: We’re not going to shut it down – we don’t even know what it is. I’m having enough trouble just getting porn.

Karlin: If people want to take the show in various forms, I’d say go. But when you’re a part of something successful and meaningful, the rule book says don’t try to analyze it too much or dissect it. You shouldn’t say: “I really want to know what fans think. I really want to understand how people are digesting our show.” Because that is one of those things that you truly have no control over. The one thing that you have control over is the content of the show. But how people are reacting to it, how it’s being shared, how it’s being discussed, all that other stuff, is absolutely beyond your ability to control.

Stewart: I’m surprised people don’t have cables coming out of their asses, because that’s going to be a new thing. You’re just going to get it directly fed into you. I look at systems like the Internet as a convenience. I look at it as the same as cable or anything else. Everything is geared toward more individualized consumption. Getting it off the Internet is no different than getting it off TV.

WIRED: Isn’t that going to pose a challenge to the traditional network model?

Stewart: But we’re not on a traditional network: We’re on the goofy, juvenile-delinquent network to begin with. We get an opportunity to produce this stuff because they make enough money selling beer that it’s worth their while to do it. I mean, we know that’s the game. I’m not suggesting we’re going to beam it out to the heavens, man, and whoever gets it, great. If they’re not making their money, we ain’t doing our show.

And on the famous clip of Stewart on CNN:

WIRED: [T]he show was a total sensation: Something like 3 million people saw that – but mostly online. Less than a quarter of them saw it on CNN proper. It was huge, phenomenal viral video.

Stewart: It was definitely viral. I felt nauseous afterward.

WIRED: It was one of the most downloaded clips ever.

Stewart: Really? That’s not true. Pamela and Tommy Lee?

WIRED: OK, maybe that was bigger. But it was amazing that CNN was so clueless about what you gave them. Suddenly, for once, everybody wanted to see Crossfire. They could have taken the show and put it on their Web site, said Click Here, and gotten all this traffic. Instead, everyone had to go through these other sites and back doors to find it.

Stewart: That’s really half the fun, isn’t it? If CNN had put it on its Web site, it would have lost some of its allure.

Karlin: It’s people going, “Holy shit, did you see this?”

And, last but not least, my favorite quote:

Stewart: The Internet is just a world passing around notes in a classroom.

Bolivian Activist HipHop & Copyright

The NYT ran an article today (5/26) about rap/hiphop music in Bolivia. Young artists are using hiphop & rap to get their message of social justice, democracy, and peace. One young artist talks about copyright infringement:

The one CD the rappers recorded, called “Wayna Rap,” sells robustly on the streets of El Alto, pirated by the hundreds – just as the rappers like. “I do not live off hip-hop, and I did not plan to,” said Grover Canaviri, 23, who sings for the Clandestines. “I do not care if my music is pirated. The money is not important. What we want is to send out our lyrics so they can influence.”

— Juan Forero, Young Bolivians Adopt Urban U.S. Pose, Hip-Hop and All, NYT 5/26

cory doctorow & john scalzi & others discuss SFWA & ‘piracy’

cory doctorow writes about SFWA’s ongoing campaign against copyright infringement (Why writers should stop worrying about “ebook piracy”– boingboing 5/14)

cory also cited from & linked to john scalzi writing about the same thing (The Stupidity of Worrying About Piracy 5/13).

personally, i much appreciated john’s description of how he feels about readers who can’t pay — borrowers rather than thieves:

Who are pirates? They are people who won’t pay for things (i.e., dickheads), or they’re people who can’t pay for things (i.e., cash-strapped college students and others). …

As for the people who can’t pay for things, well, look. I grew up poor and made music tapes off the radio; my entire music collection from ages 11 to 14 consisted of tapes that had songs missing their first ten seconds and whose final ten seconds had DJ chatter on them; from 14 to 18, I taped off my friends; from 18 to 22 I reviewed music so I could get it for free. And then after that, once I had money, I bought my music. Because I could. As for books, I bought secondhand paperbacks through my teen and college years. Now I buy hardbacks. Again, because I can. Now, being a writer, you can argue that I’m more self-interested in paying for creative work than others, but I have to honestly say that I don’t know anyone who can pay for a book or a CD or a DVD or whatever who doesn’t, far more often than not.

I don’t see the people who can’t pay as pirates. I see them as people who will pay, once they can. Until then, I think of it as I’m floating them a loan. Nor is it an entirely selfless act. I’m cultivating a reader — someone who thinks of books as a legitimate form of entertainment — and since I want to be a writer until I croak, that’s a good investment for me. More specifically, I’m cultivating a reader of me, someone who will at some point in the future see a book of mine of the shelf, go “Scalzi! I love that dude!” and then take the book off the shelf and take it to the register.

i haven’t read his books but i love that dude!

and then john’s posting was followed by many comments from other writers … among them, scott westerfeld … which led me to scott westerfeld’s new blog. scott posted (without worrying about copyright violations!) on his blog a copy of a letter from a reader who sent him a “token of appreciation” after reading his novel in a bookstore. then scott discussed his feelings on sharing (okay) and mass for-profit reproduction (not okay) and reminded us all that writers are not the whole industry, that publishers and editors and libraries need love too.

… and it all led me to hilary rosen (!) complaining about DRM! consumer unfriendly, she says. user unfriendly. irony is not dead, after all.

old news – ll cool j vs. chuck d

We already knew this, but Chuck D. is pretty cool:

LL Cool J has come out in support of the US music industry’s legal threats music downloaders. LL was speaking to a Senate committee investigating whether the industry has been too heavy-handed .

“My question is, if a contractor builds a building, should people be allowed to move into the building for free?” he told senators.

But fellow rapper Chuck D, of Public Enemy, said people should be allowed to swap songs on peer-to-peer sites.

“P2P to me means power to the people,” said Chuck D. “I trust the consumer more than I trust the people at the helm of these (record) companies.”

The rap star later added: “LL’s a staunch American…but when you solely have an American state of mind, you’re increasingly becoming a smaller part of the world.”

LL Cool J – Supports RIAA Actions : DanceFrontDoor Dance Music [2003/Oct/1]

anti-racist protest also stings anti-bootleggers

While protesting the airing of “The Tsunami Song”, Asian-American rapper Cobra took shots at the anti-bootlegging “whiners”:

Though promoted as an antiracist event, the rally lamented the degraded state of the corporate music industry generally. One of the first performances at the demonstration came from Asian-American rapper Cobra. In front of an audience holding signs reading “Hot 97 Divides Our Community,” “Stop Hate 97″ and “I Am Hip-Hop,” Cobra recited lyrics that earnestly expressed his grievances with the state of hip-hop: “With a hot producer/Hitler would still be popular, blinged-out with Medusa [a popular jewelry brand].” In another song, he castigated greedy artists who fail to recognize the boost in visibility they get from bootlegs and online music traders: “Now you mad ’cause your bootleg’s on the Ave.?/That’s the best promotion team that you’ve ever had!…/You whiners unnerve me/You’re just an old, white exec in a throwback jersey.”

Rap News Network – Hip-Hop Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

Civil Rights Leader Calls for Copyright Civil Disobedience

“I would call upon everyone who has access to ‘Eyes on the Prize’ to openly violate any and all laws regarding its showing,” says civil rights leader Lawrence Guyot, who led the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and today is a program manager for the D.C. Department of Human Services.

from daily kos 1/17; and see also wired 12/22 and on the commons 1/18 and Toronto Globe & Mail 1/17.