We're making progress - a media executive is up to half-right.
He's definitely right about this. Of course, he doesn't finish the analogy and note that clothing designers, manufacturers, and the police would use existing methods and laws to catch and prosecute the criminals rather than asking legislators or Wal-Mart for new laws that would prevent people from taking the clothes off the rack to look at them or try them on.
How badly does the entertainment industry need new ammunition for their tired arguments? So badly that they had to parade George Lucas out in front of the Comdex audience to have him note that stealing is bad. Of course, George didn't mention that his most recent movie ended up in file sharing programs across the world because one of his own staffers pirated a copy and put it out there for the world to take. But in his Comdex speech, apparently George didn't advocate for hiring more ethical staffers.
The upside of this article is that Chernin did go on to say the following:
That's a great sentiment that will help move discussions forward instead of apart, but I'm still waiting for any indication of what concessions or compromises the media companies are willing to bring to the table (like say, I don't know... fair use rights or the right of first sale).
Addendum: The Hollywood Reporter has a more descriptive article about Chernin's speech and in all fairness, he does say a lot of good things. I still stand by my statement, though, that given the chance, media companies will try to lock down fair use rights if they feel there are any loopholes that would allow for piracy.
Our SLS Reference Service subscribers to ALA Edition's approval program, so we recently received a copy of Magic & Hypersystems by Harold Billings. They let me look at it to get my opinion about keeping it for our professional collection, so I did one of my many sophisticated, complex tests - I turned to a random page and looked for something that interested me. Here's what I found:
There wasn't anything especially new in the excerpt I read, although I wish I had time to read the whole thing. But the phrase "national information infrastructure" made me stop for a moment. It's a message I think we need to hit home with legislators and taxpayers, especially in light of budget cuts and attempts to remove information from the public domain.
There's also a chapter called "The Bionic Library" that includes this passage:
I like the garden analogy, especially in light of our (librarians') practice of "weeding" material in our collections. Or on the internet, which is one of the things I think the whole email spam controversy is about - the need to weed (preferably before the user sees it).
I'm not suggesting that librarians become spam filters (or electronically enhanced!), but I do hope we're stepping up to the plate to help with new paradigms and garden paths. The conferences I have been attending recently suggest to me that we are, although we're not yet at a point where users are realizing the benefits. Soon, grasshopper, soon.
Oh, and the whole garden thing is also a great analogy for the entertainment industry, don't you think? Will they let it bloom or die?
Starting with the November 11 strip, Out of the Gene Pool is taking on the Net Generation and file sharing in particular ("Freeze, punks! You're now part of the music industry's "axis of evil!"). Unfortunately, not all of the strips are online yet, but today's starts with "Tonight, all major cities are empty as the music industry imprisons anyone it deems part of their 'axis of evil'..."
I vote for the proposed "ungoogleables." More:
So it will cost most people outside of the U.S. more to vote, but they actually use their cell phones for this kind of thing whereas Americans don't (yet). I'll be interested to see the results of this campaign.
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