June 16, 2008

Augh! [6:24 pm]

I was hoping that Glenn Greenwald was getting bad information over the weekend, but it looks like, once again, the Congressional Democrats have no spine when it comes to FISA-overreaching by this Administration> Apparently, telcom company amnesty is now going to be given on a showing that the President said that what he asked them to do was legal: Congress Nears Deal on Surveillance Bill.

Just think of the precedent — whatever the President says is legal *is* legal? The end of a government of laws, not men, apparently.

See also Steny Hoyer’s Offices Lied to Me Today.

permalink to just this entry

Whew - Thank Goodness for WIPO [11:12 am]

I mean, no telling what a 10 year old Scot might do to besmirch C. S. Lewis’ IP: Scots family embroiled in Narnia Internet dispute (pdf)

A Scottish family have become embroiled in an intellectual property dispute with the estate of the author C.S. Lewis after buying a Narnia Internet domain name for their 10-year-old son as a birthday present.

Richard and Gillian Saville-Smith, who live in Edinburgh, paid 70 pounds ($140) to purchase the domain name Narnia.mobi from the internet registration company Fasthosts in 2006 so their son could have it as an email address.

They were asked to return the domain name to the C.S. Lewis company, owner of the author’s estate, but refused. The family then received a 128-page legal complaint filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Switzerland.

Sadly, the article even includes famous last words in these sorts of disputes:

“If the WIPO decides in favor of the C.S. Lewis estate, that would be the end of it for us. However, I don’t expect they will, because their case is flimsy and we’ve done nothing wrong.”

permalink to just this entry

OT: Thinking and Connectedness [7:17 am]

In Praise of Being Cut Off

We were comfortable enough at the Commodore. You got used to the shelling. Some Beirut kids, it was said, could not sleep without the sounds of war because that was all they had known.

It was good to be cut off. As a journalist, that’s what you wanted to be: cut off, except for that telex line.

I became a journalist because I wanted to tell stories. To find stories you must give yourself to the moment. Time must weigh on you, its lulls, accelerations and silences. The life within, the deeper story, does not yield itself with ease.

[...] I worry about stories dying, replaced by stuff. Content for platforms does not a story make. Today, you arrive anywhere and surf the Net. Being “always on” is being always off, to something.

Related: In a Changing World of News, an Elegy for Copy Editors (pdf)

The copy editor’s job, to the extent possible under deadline, is to slow down, think things through, do the math and ask the irritating question. His or her main creative outlet, writing clever headlines, is problematic online, because allusive wordplay doesn’t necessarily generate Google hits. And Google makes everyone an expert, so the aging copy editor’s trivia-packed brain and synonym collection seem not to count for as much anymore.

The job hasn’t disappeared yet, but it is swiftly evolving, away from an emphasis on style and consistency, from making a physical object perfect the first time. The path to excellence is now through speed, agility and creativity in using multiple expressive outlets for information in all its shapes and sounds.

As newspapers lose money and readers, they have been shedding great swaths of expensive expertise. They have been forced to shrink or eliminate the multiply redundant levels of editing that distinguish their kind of journalism from what you find on TV, radio and much of the Web. Copy editors are being bought out or forced out; they are dying and not being replaced.

permalink to just this entry

Exercising Market Power [7:10 am]

Hey, Wal-mart does it — the myriad opportunities of technological mediation and careful design: Small Publishers Feel Power of Amazon’s ‘Buy’ Button

Amazon, the online retailing giant with a fast-rising share of the consumer book market, has adopted the literary equivalent of a nuclear option for rebellious publishers who balk at its demands.

[...] “The buy button is their weapon of choice and that’s how they impose market discipline,” said Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild, an American trade group that also briefly lost the buy icon, for titles sold from BackinPrint.com, a print-on-demand service for infrequently purchased works. “This is such a clear indication that once they have the clout they are willing to use it to the full extent that they can. It’s ugly with Amazon and will probably get uglier.”

Amazon is saying little about its tactics. But bloggers have been organizing letter-writing campaigns and petition drives accusing Amazon, which bills itself as “Earth’s most customer-centric company,” of transforming itself into the bully of the publishing industry.

permalink to just this entry

MySpace and Advertising [7:01 am]

Some work for News Corp ahead, and we’ve already seen some of their ideas: MySpace Might Have Friends, but It Wants Ad Money

In the fiscal year that ends in two weeks, the News Corporation unit that encompasses MySpace will miss its $1 billion revenue target. When the News Corporation announced the projected shortfall in April, several analysts downgraded the company, sending shares down 5 percent.

With an eye toward monetization, MySpace is being redesigned beginning Wednesday with a new home page, which will be less cluttered and more hospitable to advertising. (The home page will also feature a “splash page” for an ad about the new Batman movie, “The Dark Knight.”) The redesign, to be done by early fall, will include a new navigation bar, search tool and video player.

The redesign is intended to address a problem of social networking sites, which is that many user pages have the aesthetic appeal of a 14-year-old’s high-school locker. But there are still many questions left about the advertising value of social networks.

permalink to just this entry

FCC Chair Martin To Approve SatRadio Monopoly? [6:52 am]

Hey, if folks keep swallowing the notion that the “introductory rate” is good enough reason to get cable or whatever, of course this makes sense — but I’m not sure that you can really fool enough people to get the satellite radio market to grow much. But, hey, I won’t buy cable TV so what do I know? F.C.C. Chief Backs XM-Sirius Deal (pdf)

he chairman of the Federal Communications Commission is recommending approval of the $5 billion merger between the nation’s two satellite radio broadcasters in exchange for concessions that include turning over 24 channels to noncommercial and minority programming, The Associated Press has learned.

That condition — along with others, including a three-year price freeze for consumers — convinced FCC Chairman Kevin Martin on Sunday to recommend approval for Sirius Satellite Radio Inc.’s buyout of rival XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. [...]

[...] ”As I’ve indicated before, this is an unusual situation,” Martin said in a statement. ”I am recommending that with the voluntary commitments they (the companies) have offered, on balance, this transaction would be in the public interest.”

The companies also agreed to an ”open radio” standard, meant to create competition among manufacturers of satellite radios, according to FCC officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement has not yet been made public.

permalink to just this entry

Parody [6:43 am]

‘Goodnight Bush’ - Bashing the President, With Nods to a Classic

The manuscript — unsolicited and addressed simply to “Editor in Chief, Little, Brown” — arrived at its destination in a clear envelope, “which was very clever,” said Geoff Shandler, the Little, Brown editor in chief who received the package. “Without opening it, I could see some of the cover image they had designed.”

Such was Mr. Shandler’s introduction to “Goodnight Bush,” an unauthorized parody of the 1947 children’s bedtime classic “Goodnight Moon,” written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd.

[...] “I thought it was brilliant,” said Mr. Shandler, whose company also published the parody “Yiddish With Dick and Jane.” That book, from 2004, prompted the owner of the rights to the classic “Dick and Jane” primers to sue in 2005, alleging copyright and trademark infringement.

The publisher of “Goodnight Bush” is counting on the fair use doctrine, which allows limited amounts of copyrighted material to be used without permission. [...]

Wonder how this would fit with the AP’s construction of the term?

permalink to just this entry

June 2008
S M T W T F S
« May   Jul »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930  
posts

0.167 || Powered by WordPress