March 16, 2006

When Moviegoers Vote With Their Feet [11:17 am]

When Moviegoers Vote With Their Feet

The decline in attendance for three consecutive years “is a trend that must be reversed,” Mr. Glickman declared in his address Tuesday; he still called himself “bullish about the moviegoing experience.” A former secretary of agriculture, Mr. Glickman suggested that the film industry undertake something similar to the “Got Milk” campaign that promoted the dairy industry as a whole.

For his part, Mr. Fithian defended the idea of maintaining the interval between a movie’s initial release in theaters and its later release on DVD and video. Most studios, he said, had come out in favor of maintaining the delay.

With the rising popularity of flat-screen, surround-sound home entertainment systems, the competition to theaters is stiffer than ever, a challenge at least as great as the arrival of television in the 1940’s, and the videocassette recorder in the 1980’s.

See also Saturday Interview: Seeing DVD’s as a Boon to Theaters

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Causing Unrest [11:11 am]

From the NYTimes: Op-Ed Contributor: Hop on My Bandwidth

SHOULD we be worried about wireless “piggybacking?” Millions of homes now have wireless Internet networks, and many of them are not protected by passwords. “Piggybacking” occurs when someone — a next-door neighbor or a stranger parked across the street — finds an open network and logs on.

News reports tend to paint the practice as a growing problem. Reporters use words like “stealing,” “hacking” and “intrusion.” But despite the alarmist talk, the articles rarely explain what the problem is.

Maybe that’s because there is none. To the contrary, the increasing ubiquity of free wireless Internet access is something to celebrate.

But I’m biased: If “piggybacking” is a crime, I’m a serial offender. [...]

[...] What’s definitely not needed is legislation. People already have the tools they need to control their networks; we just need to do a better job of teaching people how to use them. If Internet service providers object to piggybacking, they already have the option to sue their customers for violating their terms of service, but that’s between the provider and its customers. The piggybacker doesn’t know whether his host is breaking the provider’s terms of service.

Personally, I think sharing your connection is just being a good neighbor. Think of it as the 21st century equivalent of lending a cup of sugar.

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Kevin Martin In Action [9:01 am]

Get this — it’s a fine for a CBS program: FCC Levies Record Fine for TV Show [pdf]

Federal regulators on Wednesday proposed a record $3.6-million fine for a single TV episode, targeting CBS stations and network affiliates for airing a simulated orgy in the hit drama “Without a Trace.”

In a related order, the Federal Communications Commission also upheld, as expected, a $550,000 fine against CBS-owned stations for showing singer Janet Jackson’s bare breast during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show.

CBS-owned stations and the network’s affiliates bore the brunt of the indecency fines, the first issued by the FCC under Kevin J. Martin since he took over as chairman one year ago. Six other broadcasters were fined a total of $355,000.

You can find the orders, etc at the FCC site

NYTimes’ TV Stations Fined Over CBS Show Deemed to Be Indecent

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