Another embellishment that could work really well for a twisty time-travel film like Looper: have slightly-alternate versions of the movie replace it during its run, ideally in secret.
The post-viewing discussions would then be delightfully confusing, and perhaps only by seeing them all would you get the full, full story.
(The 'Clue' movie way-back-when had three alternate endings in theaters.)
Even if not for narrative innovation, can we be very far from A/B Tested movie cuts, where on opening night every theater has a unique variant and after audience reactions some cuts are discarded while others proliferate?
Asshole geniuses may bruise a few people's feelings, but leave enduring work that stands alone, without regard to their personality. The asshole damage they can do is capped by their lifetime and personal interactions; the genius good they can do is unbounded by infinite reproduction.
But, given the observation leading this article, the incentives for creation and the personality are now more linked than before. We've actually *lost* one of the benefits of mass-reproduction -- detaching the work from the personality-outside-the-work -- when we go to voluntary payments. Some asshole geniuses will, at the margin, go into other fields (like banking or law) rather than creating great works. Not a win for the culture.
Not that I think this jusitifes (or that it would even be possible) trying to go back to the old system of copy-tolls. It's just an observation about the texture of the new deal. Maybe culturally we'll adapt, when we get bored with all the nice-guys, by adopting an ethic of even paying those we don't 'like' when they make us think.
IV is smart. Their agreement with customers of their protection service, like Google, may specific procedures for how acquisitions are treated... and with the suit, IV manages to stake a claim at some higher rate than otherwise.
Or, the agreement is silent, but IV thinks they have enough leverage to shake a payday from the traditional cash pot often set-aside, in a big acquisition, for clearing pending pre-acquisition disputes. It might even be the case that such disputes, once resolved, get deducted (up to a level a little like a deductible) from the prior MMI owner's payments. So Google may be indifferent to IV taking its pint of blood: they pay the same either way, and get MMI at the end... only the current MMI shareholders get bled.
My understanding regarding NY: Amazon is pursuing a court challenge there. While the challenge is alive (it lost at a lower level, but has been appealed), Amazon is paying New York sales taxes into an escrow account. As long as they're on the hook for sales taxes during the appeal, and hopeful of a victory, it seems they're also maintaining the affiliate program.
Having sales-affiliates who are under incentive payment plans (commissions as a percentage of sales) isn't an absurd basis for a tax nexus. And the relevant Supreme Court ruling came from 1992, and relied at least a little on how onerous it was, back then, to keep track of sales taxes everywhere. Now, there's practically 'An App For That'.
Amazon doesn't even like to pay sales taxes in states where it has actual physical distribution centers, which store and ship retail-purchased products, like it has in Nevada and Texas. (It uses a system of subsidiaries to try to avoid liability.)
Last year, the Texas comptroller decided Amazon owed almost $300 million in back taxes based on its in-state distribution center, kicking off a battle there with many twists and turns:
• GOP comptroller demands back-tax payment
• Amazon declares intent to leave state
• GOP governor announces opposition to GOP comptroller's decision
• Amazon's hometown newspaper, the Seattle Times, editorializes that Amazon should stop trying to dodge sales taxes in Texas and elsewhere
• Texas's GOP legislature passes bill (like the California one) establishing additional Amazon liability based on the affiliate logic – supporting and going beyond the Comptroller
• GOP governor with rumored presidential ambitions vetoes bill
• Texas GOP legislature starts working on ways to pass measure over veto
• Amazon offers Texas legislature 5000 – no, two weeks later, make that 6000! – new distribution jobs in state if they pass a multi-year Amazon-specific sales-tax exemption.
Since Texas has no income tax, they can't make up that exemption on the employees' income taxes – the sales tax is the state's main source of revenue. So far, the legislature has rejected Amazon's offer.
This highlights one of the reasons a national popular vote (rather than the electoral college) could create more, rather than fewer, problematic situations like Bush/Gore 2000.
By the median voter theorem, the two parties will adjust themselves so that most elections tend towards a 50-50 split. A nationwide popular vote makes a few thousand votes *anywhere* potentially result-changing. Both parties have regions where their partisans dominate; both parties have some ethically-challenged-if-its-for-the-cause rank-and-file, especially at the local levels where there's less focused media attention.
So, sneaking in a small number of votes to run up the victory totals in the most partisan, least-mentally-balanced strongholds could more easily swing the whole election. It means that instead of having to watch a few swing states very closely – states that by definition have healthy organizations on both sides – every single partisan outpost needs to be suspect.
In a close election, everyplace becomes Florida/Palm Beach County (or Waukesha County), simultaneously.
Reminds me of a favorite (though far-fetched) idea for encouraging federal fiscal responsibility I read about long ago: have two currencies, one for all private use (including taxpaying), one that's used to pay all government workers, dependents, and contractors. The exchange rate between the two would float such that for any given rolling reference period, payments in Gov$ must equal receipts in Priv$.
All at once, all the constituencies whose tight-feedback-loop lobbying and politicking throw budgets into long-term deficit would pay a lot closer attention to government overpromises -- because the main way they'd be reconciled would be automatic devaluation of Gov$.
You see this lots of times at protests and picket lines. As soon as filming (or a live news 'stand-up') starts, behavior changes: chants start, marching begins, signs are repositioned, people crowd around. Cameras off, back to waiting around.
Of course the same applies to officials and law-enforcement: as soon as there's awareness of a camera, postures/tone/behavior changes.
You can't fully trust any photo or video as an accurate representation of the same area without a camera.
Also interesting in the account you linked: the Demand Media connections. The first squatter/squatter-representative is AcquireThisName.com, which shares board members (at least) with Demand Media. The eventual auction was through NameJet, a 'partner' of Demand-owned eNom.
So perhaps that's part of the Demand Media secret sauce to take note of before its IPO: making money by holding domains hostage, even if they are clearly associated with others' trademarks.
This idea of the destination of a link changing out from under you having any bearing reflects a total misunderstanding of jurisprudence.
No trial will apply tests of defamation or precedents robotically; this isn't a logic puzzle where the legal system is trying to trap people for unintentional communication. Nor would you be likely get in trouble for forwarding a link to a long discussion thread, where a few comments were defamatory.
The issue would be: was your communicative intent spreading damaging and malicious falsehoods? Judges and juries have to assess this all the time, and (at least in the US) they err in the favor of speakers. Only if there's strong evidence you chose links specifically for their damaging falsehoods would there be some danger of liability... and if you're choosing links with malice and a disregard for the truth in a calculated effort to harm someone, well, then, you deserve liability. You shouldn't be able to 'launder' your own malicious intent just by expressing it through the language of hyperlinks.
so we'll just leave it to the judges and prosecutors to decide on the spot whether to fine us or not
No, it'll take a trial. Just like other potentially-defamatory speech is judged.
If you "excerpted lots of dematory statements", then you would be creating yourself a new work that is libelous.
Exactly. And a curated/forwarded collection of links can be a new work, too. So if I asked you, "what do you think is the truth about Mike Masnick?", and you responded with a list of links that were all individually defamatory -- malicious lies intended to destroy his reputation -- well, you've communicated something tangible, that reasonable jurors can evaluate if called upon to do so. The indirection of using links doesn't help any more than the indirection of selective quoting. You've made communicative choices -- from a vocabulary of words that include all possible links -- and your choices sent a clear message that was intentionally false and malicious, legally defamatory.
You can't use a robotic defense -- "but I personally didn't say anything!" -- because jurors are not compilers; they can and do evaluate the totality of the situation including your plainly visible intent.