Tagged in: music

Something Lawful: Geeky Legal News 04-15-13

Not all legal news is geeky and not all geeky news has to do with the law, but some things fall in the sweet, sweet center of that Venn diagram. If it has to do with the intersection of copyrights, trademarks, privacy, licensing, internet regulation and games, movies, tech, comics, books or the world of entertainment, I am on it. Here is the rundown of news from the past week:

  1. Night Shade Books  Plans to Sell Their Authors’ Contracts; Uproar Ensues Night Shade, a publisher of science fiction, fantasy and horror novels from authors like Jeff VanderMeere, Paolo Bacigalupi, and Kameron Hurley is not doing so hot. The publisher is in dire financial straits, and the company looking to buy out their back catalogue raised some hackles by lowballing their initial offer. After many of the authors spoke out in places like Facebook and io9 spoke about being offered a raw deal, the buying publisher increased their proposed royalty rate. (via Twenty Palaces)
  2. Scott Turow Laments the Decline of the American AuthorAccording to the author of One L, fair use, libraries, and E-books have created a toxic cocktail of copyright poison that is slowly killing off the class of successful American writers and he has taken to the New York Times to complain about it.
  3. I Ain’t Sayin’ He’s a Copyright Infringer. Producer. Rapper. Designer. Lover of Fish Sticks. Kanye West can  now add “Defendant” to his long list of titles, as he now gets to defend his song “Gold Digger” against allegations of copyright infringement in federal court. The issue is West’s use of  “Get down girl, go ‘head, get down” which the plaintiffs claim infringes their copyright in a 1974 song “Bumpin’ Bus Stop” by a group called Thunder & Lightning. the complaint also includes a racketeering claim under RICO that West and Roc-a-Fella Records, Bad Boy Records, Stones Throw Records, Bomb Hip-Hop Records, Autumn Games, Activision, Caroline Distribution and The Island Def Jam Music Group have conspired in an “illegal copyright infringement scheme and criminal enterprise involving the unauthorized, willful sampling of plaintiffs original copyrighted music on a massive scale.”
  4. The Mystery of the Disappearing Rights.  The game No One Lives Forever felt like Austin Powers, James Bond, Metal Gear:Solid, and the original Half-life were shaken together in a sterling steel martini mixer. It was a great game, but it looks like any reboot or long-lost sequel is hamstrung by the fact that no one quite seems to know who owns the rights to the franchise after 13 years of mergers and acquisitions according to Activision’s Dan Amrich. Looks like some legal intern will be digging through the basement archives this summer to run down the paper trail.(via Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
  5. The Saga Apple Doesn’t Want you to See. Last week readers of brian K. Vaughan’s kick-ass space opera Saga  were unable to buy the digital version of Wednesday after it was pulled from Apple’s main comic store app Comixology. Cries of censorship and corporate squeamishness accompanied what at first appeared as Apple refusing to allow a comic with semi-explicit depictions of gay sex. It turns out that Comixology proactively pulled the title from its submissions because they decided to save Apple the trouble. In the end, the comic went out to Ipad users, but the fracas highlights one of the dangers in the move to digital media for comics: no one can fully depend on their preferred format and provider to keep the comics coming.

The Rundown for Monday, June 7th 2010

Mistress Internet reveals her hidden delights in response to my tender ministrations:

  • Holy Terror: The Rise of the Order of Assassins » HistoryNet
    A History of the Hashish Eaters
    Filed Under:[history middleeast terrorism assassin toread ]
  • How To Destroy Angels
    Newest side-project from Trent Reznor, et al. available as a free MP3 download.
    Filed Under:[download free music nin mp3 reznor ]
  • Internet Goodies for Sunday, January 11th 2009

    Back in San Francisco and positively tingling with anticipation for classes to start, I still have a few links for my adoring public.

  • 9 Reasons Not to Attend Law School
    All true, and yet I remain undeterred.Filed Under [lawschool ]
  • People Who Deserve It
    Deserve what? A punch in the face, of course.”This blog is not written with malice or scorn, but with a sincere desire to witness the upward progression of the human race. And some people are ruining it for everybody.
    People who wear sunglasses inside.
    Savages who pee on the seat.
    This kind of conduct only perpetuates the acceptance of degenerate behavior.
    On this space log, you will find examples of socially responsible reasons to punch someone in the face. And remember, we do it for the kids.”

    Filed Under [humor blogs ]

  • Borges: Pathways of the (Postmodern) Mind
    Jorge Luis Borges and some problems of taxonomy.”At first glance, I was fascinated by the idea of so many academics being fooled by a supposed misquote. But then I saw: in these three paragraphs there are multiple levels of story going on. First of all, academic infighting: “they hoped to tear me apart.” Then the philosophical differences between Modernists and Postmodernists, which is interesting in itself, because really, their conflict is all about ways of thinking about reality. Which is, of course what Borges’ works all played with.”

    Filed Under [literature philosophy postmodernism ]

  • Zoom Baby, Zoom
    A panoramic photo with awesome details.Filed Under [photography ]
  • Is it Art?
    Re: the cultural significance of video games.”There is no other medium that produces so pure a cultural segregation as video games, so clean-cut a division between the audience and the non-audience. Books, films, TV, dance, theatre, music, painting, photography, sculpture, all have publics which either are or aren’t interested in them, but at least know that these forms exist, that things happen in them in which people who are interested in them are interested. They are all part of our current cultural discourse. Video games aren’t. Video games have people who play them, and a wider public for whom they simply don’t exist.”

    Filed Under [media videogames ]

  • NIN best selling cc-licensed music
    Lawrence Lessig considers the implications of Nine Inch Nail’s CC licensed album’s success.”Even more exciting, however, is that Ghosts I-IV is ranked the best selling MP3 album of 2008 on Amazon’s MP3 store.”

    Filed Under [music copyright creativecommons ]

  • What WWE champion Mick Foley thought of The Wrestler Mankind talks about a movie I am dying to see, but haven’t yet:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         “I even heard that I was one of his influences in preparing for the role. But what did Hollywood know about my business, anyway? Who had they ever beaten? (As we say in the biz.)”Filed Under [criticism film sports wrestling ]
  • On Language – Bleeping Expletives
    William Safire examines the media’s censorship techniques:
    “The need for today’s review is the coverage given to the participial modifier employed with great frequency and immortalized on recordings of telephone conversations made by the F.B.I. as its shocked — shocked! — agents eavesdropped on Rod Blagojevich, the Illinois governor. His favorite intensifier was reproduced in many newspapers and Internet sites with dashes as “—-ing” or with asterisks as “****ing” and was substituted in broadcasts, telecasts and Netcasts as a word descriptive of the sound called bleep.”

    Filed Under [media language profanity nytimes ]

  • Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere: writing The Other
    “I think he does an overall good job with female characters. But the imperfections of a writer like Gaiman, however small, are infinitely more revealing to discuss than are the the glaring mistakes of writers who don’t even seem to like women.”Filed Under [criticism Comics feminist ]
  • Some Modest Advice for Young Law Scholars
    “If you want to have an easy tenure case, here are some modest suggestions”Filed Under [law lawschool academia ]
  • The Sounds of Silence: My Taste in Music is Nothing New and Not Much At All

    I really don’t care about music anymore. I can’t point out the day it happened on a calendar, but somewhere along the line I just stopped getting excited about it. It’s just one more aspect of my life where I’m turning more and more into an “Area Man” from an Onion article (here’s another). It wasn’t always this way. Like everyone else, my teenage years were set to a specific soundtrack. Music was, if not the center of my universe, at least a massive object with an awesome gravitational pull that kept me coming back again and again. I listened to the radio for hours every day, turning my stereo on upon waking, listening in my car on the drive to school, and drifting off to sleep with the stereo playing on a timer. Music filled my car and was a near constant in my room – the two major loci of my teenage years. I actively sought out new bands and styles of music. I browsed through cd stores for hours at a time. I went to concerts. I listened to Biohazard and Pantera on my walkman before wrestling matches, and cranked up the Chris Isaak when it was time for love.

    But somewhere, all that changed. Like every step in the inexorable slide to old age and lameness, it happened in incremental steps. Somewhere in the undergraduate years, my tastes began to crystallize. I went from an omnivorous consumer of multiple styles and genres into a more focused afficianado of “the rock music.” Despite ready exposure to a fairly awesome college radio station, my tastes started to narrow. I still looked for new bands and albums, but only within the rock genre.

    Some time later, I noticed that I was no longer watching MTV or VH1 and that every time I turned on the radio I pushed the dial deep into the nether regions of the fm dial where NPR always lives. I don’t talk about music anymore. Gone are the drunken pontifications upon the deeper meanings of “Yellow Leadbetter” or the socio-economic implications of “The Ballad of Curtis Leow.” Looking back, I can’t remember the last time I bought new music. Oh, sure, I still pick up the new albums that come out from bands that I already know and like, but even that list is pretty scant. I don’t even have a stereo anymore, so all new albums have come from (perfectly legal) downloads. The albums I’ve acquired over the last year are:

    The Meanest of Times by the Dropkick Murphys

    Sam’s Town by the Killers

    Chase this Light by Jimmy Eat World

    Icky Thump by the White Stripes

    New Maps of Hell by Bad Religion

    Float from Flogging Molly

    The Mix-Up by the Beastie Boys


    Ghosts I-IV by Nine Inch Nails

    Ghosts I-Iv Album Art

    No entries from bands that I’m not already a fan of. My heart has grown cold and my mind is closed. The urge to expose myself to anything new has withered and died alongside my desire (if not ability to do kegstands). I honestly cannot recall the last time I heard a new song that made me want to hear anything more from that artist. At best, I feel a passive appreciation that lasts only until the next song comes up on the bar sound system.

    In short: I’m getting old. If my current 27 year old self were to have a conversation with my 17 year old self and told him that a day would come where he bought only eight albums over the course of a year (and they were all from bands that are at least 15 years old (with some at least 28 years)), it would seem ridiculous. 17 year old me would also be pretty pissed that we don’t have flying cars or hoverboards yet, but that is neither here nor there.

    Two of them are instrumental, for Pete’s sake. They are background noise for when I’m reading or writing (the chief pursuits of a 1L) because they don’t distract me too much. I like all these albums, but not with the same fervor that used to have me wearing out new cds with constant pushes of the “repeat all tracks” button as I explored every new album from multiple angles. Today, I just play them while I’m doing the dishes or something else that seems like it would benefit from a soundtrack. I don’t even use my portable mp3 player anymore, as I apparently prefer the sounds of weights clanking and people grunting over whatever the gym happens to play than to listen to my own music.

    The reason I know I’m getting old is because I’m not really bothered by progression (at least not enough to try to reverse it). Beyond some wistful curiosity, I’m perfectly content with this lame state of affairs. If I never listen to another new song for the rest of my life, I don’t think I’ll be overly troubled by it. And the day when I yell “Keep it down!” to the neighbors is surely on my horizon. It won’t be too long before I just prefer the silence. Am I alone in this?