"his lawyers seemed more focused on making a point than mounting a defense."
So true. I remember reading about the strategy they were using and I was appalled. It would have been a perfectly good academic argument (and a good policy to enact). But as a defense at trial, it bordered on frivolous. I think this goes beyond a question of Tenenbaum needing a better lawyer (in the sense of more skilled). Using your client as a vehicle for your own arguments at the expense of his legal defense is a pretty clear breach of your duty as counsel.
"The reason they put DRM on the ebooks is to prevent trading. Therefore, youre not supposed to do it"
I'm assuming you are either being sarcastic or are a recent immigrant from another dimension.
Please note that in this dimension, books which are "DRM free" do not have DRM on them. Therefore you can trade without circumventing DRM.
Please also note that in our reality ebooks are not cheaper than normal books. They are cheaper than hardcover but not mass-market paperbacks, the category they are replacing in the market. Abnormal books remain either very cheap or very expensive, depending upon whether they do, in fact, contain genuine incantations for contacting the old gods lurking beyond the edge of reality.
"The third is that they are actually asking authors to take a hit on their livelyhood just to please them."
Exactly. This places the onus on the authors to negotiate terms with one publisher that benefit a second publisher. If the first publisher doesn't want to use DRM, then the author will have to give something up in order to get them to do it. Meaning it will likely reduce their compensation.
Alternatively, if the first publisher takes the position that no-DRM is non-negotiable, then the author has a narrower choice of publishers, leading to a weaker bargaining position and, once again, less favorable terms.
As eejit pointed out, a secondary market (used games) assists sales of goods on the primary market (new games). Assuming GameStop offers 25% for trade ins, if people are willing to pay $60 for a new game with the assumption they can sell it for $15, then they are really only willing to pay $45 for it. So without the used market, those new games would be less valuable.
Notice how after the initial release demand drops and sales gradually decline to the point it becomes cost effective to sell "new" (in the sense of not used) games for $30? Well without the cushion of a potential used sale, demand for the game on its initial release and afterword would be lower, meaning initial prices would be lower and/or price drops would be required.
If you look at downloadable PC games, which are non-transferable, their prices tend to be lower than console games. Interestingly, I just went over to amazon to double-check; of the six games proffered for pre-order (All AAA), you can pre-order 5 of them for lower than the console version, 4 of them for $45 or less. The only one at full price was Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.
So basically, even without trade-in money being used to purchase more new games, I think its reasonable to argue that without the used game market, prices for games would drop significantly. If every new game sold for $45, then the videogame industry would see revenue decrease 25% I doubt it would drop that low all the time, but a much more modest 10% revenue drop would still be disastrous.
"It's interesting to see that Nielsen, nominally a Dutch company, is being sued by an Indian TV company... in the state of NY."
It looks like the suit is under the FCPA (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act), which is a US law. I'm not sure if the Netherlands has an equivalent, but that might be one reason. In the US, New York has the most experience with complex international commercial suits (probably more than Dutch Courts), so it is the logical forum state.
These serious and well known flaws in data collection shows yet another way in which the broadcasters shoot themselves in the foot by treating online viewing as a second tier platform. Assuming the figures are validated by a third party with no interest in juicing the stats (for example by placing independent auditors in-house), you can get nearly perfect numbers on how many times shows are viewed online. The numbers will be less accurate as to how many individual viewers there are, but for the purposes of ad sales I can't imagine its a bad think if people are watching shows multiple times. After all the benefits of tv ads seem to come from repetition hammering the brand into the consumers very soul.
I can only guess that there are still existing contractual relationships and/or embedded customs in the industry which lead contracts to explicitly use Nielsen ratings as benchmarks for compensation/ad rates.
A friend of mine is a patent examiner and, when describing why he liked the job far more than his life as a patent attorney, he told me that it was because he had a set number of actions he needed to take to meet his productivity requirements, so an office action or a denial counts towards productivity too. Now, given the potential for me misunderstanding his statement, this should be taken a with a grain of salt, but it seems like this is the case.
Of course, even if this is true there may be ways in which approving patents can be more "productive." For example, if an office action in which you respond to an attorney's arguments gets you the same credit as approving a patent application, but takes more effort, then there could still be an incentive to grant rather than deny.
No inflammatory petitions for me! No sirree, a stable, peaceful society depends upon tactful dissent. We must only challenge the status quo by taking positions which have been vetted and approved for admission into the status quo!
Definitely - the rise of big content was aided by economies of scale that no longer exists. Lean marketing (just like lean production, lean distribution etc.) is destroying the advantages large content purveyors have over individuals. Marketing is probably the one area where large entities can provide some non-trivial economic advantage, with ad-buys and access to journalists etc., but that is going the way of the dodo as well due to the fragmentation of taste-making media into smaller units.
"most of the publicity provided by the gatekeepers is actually dehumanizing, not humanizing."
I would agree that this is a significant chunk of what is put forth. When call the PR humanizing, I'm thinking less of the top-level publicity that comes from press releases and cover shoots than I am of the second level of PR that sells itself as journalism, but happens for PR reasons. Like when that superhuman image on the cover of the magazine is accompanied by one of those interviews in which they seem to rip away the mask and reveal deep truths about themselves. Coincidentally, these interviews tend to happen at the same time as the PR campaign for their new record/film/book. But I'm sure its unrelated and publicists are not at all involved in vetting or soliciting interviewers beforehand.
Both the straightforward PR and the false genuineness work together. If there was no mask to rip away, then the revelation wouldn't leave the reader feeling special. The insight into the artist from the interview is likely genuine in a sense, but it is also calculated in that the artist (or their management) decides to make the revelation for a reason.
I'm not arguing that it is equivalent to what Louis CK and Amanda Palmer are doing--I too find the creation of an actual connection to be far more appealing than the manufactured image--just that the goal is the same. For some people, the effect is comparable as well. Why else would people have these weirdly personal affections for major celebrities?
"Independent artists have to base their publicity on who they actually are"
Although they will probably end up doing this to a greater degree, I think its kind of unlikely that an artist, particularly a performing artist, whose livelihood is often based on projecting an entertaining persona, is going to be incapable of crafting their image. It will be less of a mass produced image, but it will still be an image (Maybe we could call it artisanal PR?). The difference is genuineness will be real, but a difference in degree rather than a difference in kind.
I think the real benefit to removing disintermediation in the process of connecting with fans isn't that the publicity will be more genuine. Rather the benefit is that as the power between artist and fan shifts so that artists have to take fans into account as individuals rather than members of a mob, the artist will be meeting fan desires more effectively.
"But, for whatever reason (and sometimes it's just something that's in the air), that connection didn't stick."
One of the major functions provided by intermediaries such as record labels is their marketing abilities. In addition to the straightforward advertising of artists, this also includes crafting the public image of the artist and arranging media exposure of that image through things like photo shoots for Rolling Stone, "unguarded" interviews in the New Yorker and public appearances. In other words, big content is an intermediary not just for the distribution of the art itself, but for the humanizing things that traditionally lead fans to view artists as a person with whom they have a connection (Stars, they're just like us!).
Dis-intermediation then doesn't just favor artists who are able to take over the logistical functions of getting art to fans and the money back to the artist; it also favors artists who are able to replace the PR intermediaries with their own form of engagement with fans. So artists who aren't comfortable with this role or who view this role as being extraneous to the art are going to be hostile to taking it on. And if they view working at creating this engagement as comparatively unimportant (or beneath them) they will probably suck at it.
Although, to be fair, I think quite a few artists are probably introverts who find developing these connections to be a bit demoralizing and overwhelming.
Not as different as you might think. Depending on the firm, particular uses may vary, but in my experience (smaller firms) these aren't anything so formal as a database, they are just collections of documents. Their authorship is rarely noted, and sometimes not even a product of the firm - its common courtesy to provide templates to other lawyers and much of the language used somewhat informally standardized across the profession (there are only so many ways to articulate a boilerplate contractual term). Its also common practice to take any language you think is good in any document you see and incorporate it into your templates. So for many documents authorship is impossible to parse.
Briefs are different (and more unique), but my point isn't that lawyers commonly copy briefs verbatim - they don't. Copying a brief earns you no money - if you bill for work you don't do, that is fraud. My point is a general one about the legal profession - we rarely, if ever, draw up things from scratch, and what drafting we do is premised upon a belief that the drafting will improve the quality of representation.
Lawyer here. Practically, copying a brief verbatim is generally not that useful. The most important part of a good brief is the argument applying the law to the particular facts of your case, which will generally be different for each case. What can be usefully derived from another brief is the case cites, which are clearly not copyrightable.
Plus there is a strong public policy rationale in favor of reduced copyright protection in briefs submitted to the court. One of the foundations of our legal system is transparency in the decisions of the courts and papers considered in making those decisions. That is why things like pleadings and motions are generally public documents. Strong copyright protection in crucial components to legal process would seriously undermine this principle.
Finally, it is extremely uncommon in the law to draft documents from scratch; because there is so much to take into account when drafting, it is very risky to do so off of the top of your head. For this reasons law firms will usually have an archive of template documents which will be used as a foundation for things like drafting new contracts and pleadings. These templates are the product of many lawyers editing and tweaking over the years. Briefs are somewhat less amenable to this, but are often used as references. So much of the practice of law is basically copying and adapting preexisting documents
The security breach was of the PSN - the hackers weren't after my FF13 save games, they were after credit card numbers and other personal info from our PSN accounts.
So it appears that this is an attempt by Sony to prevent customers from suing them for their egregiously poor security measures. For this reason, the class action bar is especially troubling, as that would be the most effective way for Sony to be sued case like this, where the damages are spread out among a large number of people in small increments. And the threat of class action suits is generally the only thing keeping companies honest absent a regulatory regime (and even in a regulatory regime, class action lawsuits can be more effective for a variety of reasons, such as regulatory capture or an inadequate enforcement scheme). Although they aren't terribly effective at compensating people (except lawyers), they are still better than arbitration).
Communications (usually) involve two or more parties. I am no expert on Cali law, but generally if one of those parties wishes to disclose information from the communications there is no privacy issue. If a third party were to intercept the communications, it might be a different story. There may be separate contractual issues if they agreed to not disclose information, but here there appears to be no such agreement.