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  • Aug 15th, 2019 @ 11:37am

    There was actally a study...

    ...that came out about two years ago which conclusively proved that video games have zero to do with violent behavior. I know the study was done somewhere in the Nordic countries, but I haven't been able to find it online in a while - does anyone know a link where the study can be accessed, because when it comes to stuff like this latest thing, it would be very useful to trot out. ALthough with all due respect, I have to admit I don't have a problem with ESPN postponing broadcast on the tournament out of respect for a period of time that would include funerals and such, but shouldn't two weeks be plenty of time for that, not two months? It seems like far too long a period to me...but then again, it might not feel that way to the families of the victims...

  • Jul 10th, 2019 @ 4:12pm

    Well...

    Did anyone see the CBS Sunday Morning piece on "Impossible" burgers and cultured meats this past weekend? I have to be totally honest here - the people who run these two companies come across as totally arrogant, holier than thou, "We know what's best for EVERYBODY and we're going to force our way down your throats" kind of people. Both company heads are on record as saying that they're in this to drive the meat industry to it's knees, that they want to stop the whole world from ever eating meat again. No indication what they intend to do with the animals when the planet gets overrun by them. Not to mention that, as an unabashed steak lover, watching the process of both products being made does not give me an appetite to try either one of them...bleah...if interested, you can check it out at https://www.cbsnews.com/news/wheres-the-beef-hamburger-patties-made-from-plants-2019-07-07/

  • Apr 4th, 2019 @ 6:24am

    The point everyone is missing..

    ...is that Spielberg isn't saying that Netflix needs to be excluded entirely, but that they need to play by the same rules. Netflix has repeatedly shown reluctance to do that. They insist on day-and-date streaming without a theatrical window in most cases. Only because Cuaron insisted on it did "Roma" get a theatrical release, and it was larger than most that Netflix does. Amazon played by the rules at first, which was hugely beneficial to "Manchester By The Sea" but they are starting to slide on that position now. Netflix has been skirting by on the rules with as few screens as possible, and while that sort of sucks, it's what many indies do as well. So that works for qualifying. And any rules change would also affect indies as well, most likely. Netflix also has a nasty habit of badmouthing the theatrical experience, which also doesn't sit well with many filmmakers or film fans, including myself. I love Netflix, but i'd prefer to see a film in a theater any day.

    As far as the DOJ's veiled threat goes, I think they're barking up a barkless tree - Netflix never releases box office numbers, so it's impossible to see how it would financially hurt them; to release such information would undercut their streaming model in a number of ways, I would bet. But the way the letter from the DOJ was worded, they've undercut their own argument - Netfilx does NOT depend on box office profits and technically earns its primary profit on each affected film as a streaming service shoulld - once a month, when subscribers pay their monthly subscription fee. So the DOJ "financially competitive" model suggested in their letter is completely moot, leaving the DOJ with absolutely nothing to stand on. If they try and sue the Academy, they're going to come away with their tails between their legs, wasting taxpayer money with an unwinnable suit, and look like the absolute idiots that they are...

    Bottom line - if it streams, and ONLY streams - it's a TV Movie, not a theatrical film, and thus is an EMMY contender, not an Oscar contender. If they put it in theaters in the qualifying run required by the Academy, it can be an Oscar contender too. It's that simple. It's completely black and white and people are too stubborn, too busy looking for the totally non-existent gray areas, to acknowledge that fact...

  • Mar 11th, 2019 @ 3:59pm

    Re: 'Look, lots of money, now won't you please go away?'

    Gotta say I wish you were right, but you're probably not. I live in Revere, and they'll do what they always do - stonewall, whine, kvetch, and spend thousands of dollars of taxpayer money only to lose the suit in the end, maybe three or four years down the road. If there's one thing this city is good at, it's stretching out court cases against it for as long as humanly possible...

  • Mar 4th, 2019 @ 1:13pm

    Wow...

    I can't believe there are so many people who just don't get it. And you cherry-picked your story, Karl - there was a clear reasoning behind it:

    Streaming =Television=Emmy

    Not terribly hard to understand. And I also don't get the disdain for seeing a film in a theater. It's a wonderful experience. Just think about it this way...if we had streaming in the 1940s or 1950s, all of the movies that are considered "classics" now, from "Cool Hand Luke" to "Cinderella" to "The African Queen" to "Midnight Cowboy" would have been just 'TV-movies"...and there's just something so wrong about that idea.

    Netflix has it's place in the industry. But Ted Sarandos' problem is that he refuses to try and play on the equal field already set up - he's determined to be a disruptor - he's determined to be the Mark Zuckerberg of the film industry, and apparently to be just as big as a dick to get there. So many people here on Techdirt have this incredible (and many ways deserved) disdain for the way Facebook and Google have taken over everything, pushing everyone else out of the way. What exactly do you think is the difference between those entities and Netflix?

    Answer - NOTHING.

    If Netflix was TRULY interested in film, they would play by the rules currently in place, and then use that foot in the door to move for more gradual changes. Instead, they come speeding through the door like a battering ram, demanding changes to the status quo that they haven't even EARNED the right to ask for, and when they don't get their way, they sulk.

    And those "release windows" everyone here seem to think are so antiquated are one of the driving factors keeping independent cinema alive today. Only an indie chain like Landmark can make money showing a film in the theater that is also available on OnDemand, and for small films, there are a lot of those today. But most arthouses are either mom and pop owned or community run, and for those theaters, the release window helps ensure that they can continue to operate. The Boston area has lost A LOT of smaller theaters over the past several years because they just can't compete with streaming - that's dozens of jobs lost, and a poorer theatrical experience.

    All Netflix has to do - as well as all the other streaming services like Amazon and upcoming Disney+ and Warner - to get in the awards game is agree to play by the rules already established - 90 day windows, legitimate week-long runs in NY and LA to Oscar-qualify (no "FourWalling"), and a modicum of respect that Netflix at least does not have for the way things are.

    As everyone here already knows, the legacy entertainment industries are some of the most antiquated business models on the planet, but in this case, where thousands of jobs in the theatrical exhibition industry could be at stake in the not too distant future, things need to move more slowly. Take a year, cut the window to 60 days and then 45 days. Paramount's experiment with "Scout's Guide To the Zombie Apocalypse" and several other titles a few years back proved that the window can be drastically cut down and both theater and studio CAN make money that way...but it's not going to happen overnight.

    And just for the record, I don't work for the film industry, but I'm a huge fan of the theatrical experience, and we work hard on our websites and podcasts to try and bring that love to others, to get them to the theater more often, to see more films. To me, the theatrical experience is special, and i'll always love it. YMMV, of course, because I know some places have only shit for theatres, or people who are shit running them. But when you find a gem of a theater, and you are in a theater full of like minded film fans watching something current unfold, or a newly remastered print of an old classic, or a Warner Brothers cartoon marathon, there's nothing that can compare to the experience...

    Just my two cents...have at it, everyone...:-)

  • Feb 11th, 2019 @ 1:30pm

    SO in other words

    So, Mike, you're saying that the EU is taking the Poison Pill "USFL Sure Deal Approach", and hoping it doesn't blow up in their face? Like this?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Football_League#USFL_v._NFL_lawsuit

    Good Luck with that...I wonder if a court would be as kind to them in the EU as they were to the USFL here after that disastrous suit? IN any case I guess we'll have to hope the EU gets as badly f**ked as the USFL did..and by their own hand too...

  • Feb 5th, 2019 @ 1:31pm

    Here's an idea..

    I know a surefire way to get these bozos to back down...

    Simply find your local EU Parliament rep and say to them...

    "You DO realize that Article 13 will officially destroy one of the most beloved spectacles in history, right? That Article 13 will make it impossible for the Eurovision Song Contest to exist? Do you want to be responsible for destroying a 64 year tradition of beloved and ballyhooed pop pablum every spring? The ESC Fan community will eat you alive, you know...after all, you've destroyed their reason for existence? "

    OK, I'm being flip, but I'm also being totally serious - it DOES make this particular show kind of impossible, because fans all over the world share the music and get people interested, and if the music can't be shared with the rest of the world for fear of reprisals, they're not going to do it anymore, and Eurovision basically will dry up and blow away without the massive fan community out there...it's grown massive in size since the internet came along, and there's no going backwards now...so maybe it's time to hit these EU ninnies where it hurts...let the fan community go after them...I GUARANTEE you Article 13 will disappear overnight if these fans realize what's at stake...and let the EU Parliament have it right between the teeth...

  • Feb 4th, 2019 @ 7:25pm

    I know this is showing my naivete on this..

    But isn't there some sort of provision in the trade area of the United Nations charter that can be used to stop this shit dead in it's tracks? I seem to remember reading a few months ago that the UN had issued some sort of edict or proclamation that they were wholly against the EU enacting either Article - so can't this mostly completely toothless organization find some balls, find a provision that they can make stick, then actually step up and block this crap?

    Like I said, i'm showing my naivete here, but there has to be some LEGAL means for stopping a small group of less than 500 people, all arrogant know it all bastards, from enacting something that will affect the entire planet and the way the internet is comprised therein...especially since it will affect the livelihood of literally MILLIONS of people...

    OK, have at it...heh heh

  • Dec 19th, 2018 @ 7:30am

    Re: Re: As someone who keeps close tabs on the movie industry...

    True enough, but the fact that NATO commissioned it is still worrisome to me...I wish it had been a totally independent study to make sure it's completely without bias..

  • Dec 19th, 2018 @ 7:22am

    As someone who keeps close tabs on the movie industry...

    I think the survey is good news...IF it's accurate. And to me, it's accuracy is thrown into serious question by the fact that it was commissioned by the major theater owners group, in the way that telecom surveys funded by Verizon are questionable at best...

    It reeks of NATO trying desperately to convince people that theatres are still viable. I personally think they are, but I can say this - NONE of my friends who go to the theater on a regular basis stream all that much, most of them still use Redbox for home viewing. And the ones who stream regularly rarely if ever set foot in a multiplex, although some of our areas' smaller indie-centric theaters benefit from them more often...

    Just my 2 cents...

  • Sep 20th, 2018 @ 6:54am

    All respect to gamers...

    But ESPN is hitting hard times...all that cord-cutting, I guess...I mean you have the elite of the sports networks, one of if not the first sports-dedicated networks on the air, and they've lately went back to their original standards of broadcast, which is "we'll carry ANY Sport no matter if only five people are watching" which is how you explain ESPN's recent coverage of Professional Cornhole (REALLY?) and Spikeball tournaments...now can we start covering the now very real sport of Quidditch sometime soon? :-) ON the other hand, I think gamers definitely deserve this honor, and it's about time too, now let's try getting ESPN to cover their tournaments...they've been around a lot longer than some of the stuff ESPN is carrying lately...

  • Jul 4th, 2018 @ 8:59am

    Re: 'Over' would be the better option actually

    Ah there you go again, Mr Voss, twisting words to mean something entirely different...so how long have you been lurking on the TechDirt comment section?

  • Jul 4th, 2018 @ 8:55am

    Re: Re: I see nothing wrong with cutting off EU members

    You Know, you're absolutely right. I think a full embargo until the the EU accepts and guarantees that the internet belongs to the world, not just the EU, is a far more effective idea...but then again, isolation breeds contempt, so you have to be careful or we could have World War III on our hands...

  • Jul 3rd, 2018 @ 8:16pm

    I see nothing wrong with cutting off EU members

    The idea that I have to supply my blog readers and listeners the ability to listen if they reside in the EU doesn't wash with me, and we have quite a few listeners of our podcasts over there. But we've already decided that if they pass this monstrosity, our little site will survive, but only by blocking ALL EU countries. We run a small movie news site and several entertainment podcasts. If I can't have the freedom to do what I need to do to report on EU celebs, their movies, music, and the like, then fuck 'em. I think the whole of the world should just cut the EU off from EVERYTHING For one week. One Week. Think about ONE WEEK not being able to access ANY major corporations like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and the like. Just cut them off. You show the people of the EU, who cannot like this mess, what they will be in for and just like here with SOPA, it will die a fast and resounding death. It's the ONLY WAY to show the EU that they're going to destroy the entire internet if this keeps going forward. Period. They refuse to listen to the experts, to the press, even the UN for pete's sake. Maybe the people can make the difference. And cutting them off is the only surefire way to make them get up and start working to save their own butts, along with the rest of the world.

  • Jun 13th, 2018 @ 6:49am

    Re: The REAL solution

    Oh For Pete's sake, SHHHH! We don't want to give these guys ideas, now...heh heh

  • Jan 5th, 2018 @ 1:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Sad thing is...

    Actually, I don't need to hear it - I've always thought it was kinda corny. And I certainly see your point with respect to the UK anthem and how someone with your personal beliefs wouldn't approve of that sort of song; I wouldn't either under those circumstances. I think my idea about finding a song to celebrate the country and it's people rather than static ideals, like the flag, the Royals, and such, falls in line with that, a little bit at least. And for the record, I'm not a fan of football at all, either American or UK...i'll take my extreme sports any day...:-)

    And as for Trump, he wasn't the first and won't be the last to make us all look like idiots to everyone in the world - there are 535 people in the Capitol building who have been doing that since the country began...a lot longer than the billionaire in chief has been doing it...sure they change every few years, but the idiocy they all love to do doesn't change...and people like Nancy Pelosi and Maxine Waters have it down to an artform...heh heh heh...

  • Jan 5th, 2018 @ 7:19am

    Re: Re: Sad thing is...

    "The sad thing is, you're blaming the press for accurately reporting that the president is using their protests to attack them, rather than blaming your president for attacking them to begin with."

    I don't have to like him to acknowledge that he's 'my' president; he IS in the office, after all. I didn't particularly care for the last two occupants of the office either. It is what it is. And I was referring to the way the media hijacked the issue - I agree that they were absolutely correct in pointing it out, but isn't it their duty to also try in their reports to highlight the REAL reason for the protests? Many of them couldn't be bothered to do that, and I think they should have been a bit more explanatory in their coverage in that way, and it would have been nice if they had bothered to be a bit more sympathetic to the players; by focusing the arguement on the President's tweets, it turned the issue in a completely different way, and the players, who were/are genuine in what they were protesting, got the blame from everyone, which made things worse than they already were/are - sorry if I didn't make that more clear.

    "Why do you think that a song deserves respect, especially one that hasn't been your national anthem for a century yet? Shouldn't the constitution, freedom and equality be more important than the song?"

    to me, the song deserves respect because it officially represents our country, not because of what it says; the song was an odd choice to begin with and it is VERY dated, and in reality is more representative of our FLAG more than our country. Hell, in all honesty, I'd prefer "America The Beautiful" or even "This Land Is Your Land" or something as goofy as "The Great American Melting Pot" as an anthem lyrically, because they speak of the beauty of the land (or in the case of "Melting Pot" of our country's diverse immigrant-centric population), and not one battle fought in a time of a war that no one remembers and that history doesn't teach us much about. I guess I'm thinking of it this way - if an athlete had an attack of "crazy feet" (VERY dated Steve Martin reference, heh heh) when our anthem was played after winning a gold medal at the Olympics, people would be outraged...not because of the song but because the person representing us made an asshat of himself and in turn made everyone in the US look like idiots...

  • Jan 5th, 2018 @ 4:48am

    Sad thing is...

    The players in the NFL have completely lost their message by the news media turning this into another chance to bash the President because of his inability to stop shooting his tweet off...the players should be coming down HARD on the networks, the cable news stations, and the print media for diluting what they're trying to do. I admit, I wish they'd find another way to get their point across, because I do feel it's a bit disrespectful to the Anthem, but they absolutely have the right to do it unless it's prohibited by the team's rules. And most of the teams have avoided that hot potato for right now, but may not in the future if they keep taking massive hits in ratings and thus in revenue generated for the greedy bastard owners ...heh heh..

  • Dec 18th, 2017 @ 7:20pm

    A Quick word...

    ..about Moral Rights. True they've never been accepted for music in this country, but notice that it hasn't stopped dozens of artists - Bon Jovi, Mellencamp, Springsteen, et al - freaking out when someone they don't support uses one of their songs, even when the song has been properly licensed, and most of them are. I don't remember which artist had a moral hissyfit about John McCain using one of their songs, but even though McCain was able to prove the song had been appropriately licensed for use at one of his rallies when running for President, he still stopped using it because the person asked him to. He didn't have to, but he did. I'm not sure how I feel about that either. On the one hand, it was a goodwill gesture. On the other hand, if the candidate properly licensed the tune, the artist got his 1/10th of 1% royalty on it, and as such, should have probably have sat back and collected his check. The whole thing is bogus anyway, and hopefully the courts can set the FCC back on the correct path and force them to enforce net neutrality...honestly, how this simple issue turned into a political hot potato I will never understand...it's just ridiculous...and like Mike, I had to be converted - I was against it until I did some really thorough research and realized the Wheeler FCC was right on the money with their rules...anyway, just my 2 cents on the matter...

  • Jun 28th, 2017 @ 5:45pm

    The easiest way around this is the simpleist

    Whenever a country - in this case Canada - makes one of these utterly preposterous determinations, Google should simply de-list the main domain of that country - in this case, .ca - from the ENTIRE Google network, and flag anything that comes up mentioning Canada or a specific city in that country. And lock up Google Canada as well. That way, no one in the world will have Canadian sites come up in their search results. And make Google itself unavailable to the same rule. After about 30 days of howling and pounding by local businessmen and patrons in the country the issue is with, when their investment and tourism dollars drop like a stone, they'll rethink how they plan to do things when it comes to so-called "global" decisions...

    Sure, it's technically blackmail, I suppose...but well worth the fun and hijinx it might cause...and since Google is NOT based in Canada, and is not subject to Canadian laws unless it specifically pertains to that country, I don't think they'd have any way to fight back... Just think of it as another SOPA campaign...

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