Coming up on Thursday the 28th at the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction at Kansas University, Cory Doctorow will be doing a lecture entitled The Coming War on General Purpose Computing: Every single political issue will end up rehashing the stupid Internet copyright fight. I wish I was anywhere near there so I could attend and hear one of the most innovative and insightful thinkers of the last dozen years give this presentation. If you are nearby, don’t miss it; seating is free, but limited, so you want to get there early. If someone records it and puts in on TED or YouTube, I will post it here, which will at least be better than missing it entirely.
In the meantime, here is a very related presentation he gave back in 2011 that should give you an idea of the subject matter. The Copyright and Intellectual Property questions are very complex, because the solutions to protect one group’s rights would often wipe out every other group’s rights, and what we need is a system that will protect everyone’s rights at once. There is a solution to be found, but not without a lot of work to find common ground and implement a best practices list that actually works for all of us. I appreciate the fact that Doctorow looks at the problem from lots of angles and is not shy about expressing his opinions about all of the components involved with the process.
This stuff is important; it deserves your attention and understanding. Yeah, it may take a bit of time and effort to comprehend but the rewards of getting it right will be amazing for the entire human race. Don’t let the future be determined without taking a moment to find out about the arguments and making your voice heard in favor of the aspects you consider worth fighting for.
There is a great set of three articles over at Anime News Network about copyright’s as they apply to fandom, written by a lawyer who specializes in Intellectual Property law. While they specifically address Anime fans, the concepts discussed are equally valid for any genre fans. They are well written and easy for the non-lawyer to understand, and I highly recommend checking them out. The first article is What Is A Copyright And What Does It Do?, the second is Copyrights And Fandom, the third is Defending Yourself. There is a fourth article yet to come, discussing what is in the courts and pending legislation, and how it may effect your ability to watch or buy shows or merchandise. As with all discussions about the law online, there is a legal disclaimer at the end of each article. Ironic, that.
It is in Nevada, not outer space, but I figured if I called the post Alien Bordello all of my hits would probably come from the INS, rather than someone interested in sleeping with an Orion Slave Girl or the like. Which actually might be appropriate, since I feel confident any aliens on the premises would be crossing national borders to work there rather than extraterrestrials. But according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, a new brothel called the Area 51 Alien Travel Center will have everything short of a theme park and be targeting the Captain Kirk wannabe’s passing through the state. If this had been built in the 50s, 60s, or even 70s it might have been a big deal, and pulled in a lot of money from the pocket protector set (of which I am one). But apparently they haven’t heard that Nerds and Geeks have been cool for the last several decades, and mostly have girlfriends these days; except for those nerds and geeks who ARE the girlfriends, and they all have boyfriends. So I am a bit confused about exactly who they think the target audience is going to be. Anyways, thanks to The Taylor Network by way of the Sci-Fi Party Line News for the heads up on this one.
This is the second time in 72 hours I am posting a second entry for the day, and like the previous one, Tv Ratings Explained, it is touching on one aspect of how the business of distributing intellectual property works, specifically of the Sci-Fi TV and Movie programs we all love so much. This time around the factor being examined is Territory Rights, which are the licensing contracts that set up who can distribute a given property in each part of the world. What makes this article timely is the fact that it is an official response from US distributor Funimation about the situation that forced them to shut down their simulcast of Fractale, as I reported yesterday. What makes me want to endorse their position is the fact they are explaining how the business model and industry works in a way that makes intuitive sense, and telling people how they can support it if they want to continue to enjoy streaming video. There are too many companies that have legal teams running wild trying to change laws unreasonably and suing everyone on the planet just to fill their own pockets; companies that actually treat their customers as intelligent partners rather than victims should be appreciated when you find them.
A millionaire murdered at a New York convention turns out to have delusions of being Batman, right down to owning a fully working Batmobile and 4 warehouses full of other Batman devices and memorabilia. His wife (who set him up to be robbed of a million dollars in 2002) and his stepdaughter are fighting over the estate, while the police have not yet named a suspect. Meanwhile, Wired has come out with its list of the Top 10 Science Fiction Languages, and yes, Klingon got the number one spot. While Sindarin, which also made the list, is almost as fully realized, you can’t search google in it; only in Klingon. This one had me rolling on the floor; IJustine with a little bit of Nerdcore…
IO9 scores again, with two excellent articles today. The first talks about the new shows on SyFy, and how they are for the most part recycled old shows. They are right on the money about Warehouse 13, and the combination of two old favorites is quite entertaining (the web page is nicely done as well). They also touch on Eureka (I disagree with their conclusions on that one), and the forthcoming Alien Nation and (possibly?) Quantum Leap. The other article I enjoyed today was on science fiction lawyers, which is a larger list than I would have expected. And that’s surprising, because I knew everyone mentioned; but they forgot Eli Stone and a few others. The first teaser trailer is out for Burden, a movie that has already been nominated for multiple awards before being released. Independent films often make the festival circuits pre-release, and this one is no exception; you can see it at the DragonCon Film Festival in September, Action On Film IFF on the 25th, and the International Film Festival Ireland at the beginning of September.