01 March 2004

In the News

This is a rather boring Monday. The "news" was last night.

Although I'm pleased that Peter Jackson & Co. were finally honored by the Academy for the quality of their work, the way in which it was done was rather annoying. ROTK is by no means a bad film; it is not as strong as either FOTR or TT. It's particularly ironic that this, the by-far-of-the-three weakest script (largely hidden by the sheer grandeur of the images), garnered an Academy Award. ROTK was certainly worthy of nomination; I narrowly preferred Master & Commander, particularly because the script of that movie never seemed to lose its sense of direction as the middle third of ROTK did.

The first boring item is yet another mistaken rehash of the Creative Commons license at the San Francisco Bay Guardian (a weekly newspaper). The article relies far too much on hyperbole and anecdotal evidence for its points, without ever coming to grips with the very real flaws in the CC license. (For example, the CC license does not—and cannot—inhibit an heir from asserting revocation rights under § 203.)

The second boring item is yet another misuse of terminology concerning POD publishing by the New York Times. Contrary to the assertions in this article, it concerns "POD vanity publishing." POD is a printing technology that changes particular price points for print runs and break-evens; it may support other business models, but it is not a business model itself, and aside from the specific numbers it is no different from the more-traditional definitions of "vanity publishing" and "self-publishing." As I've remarked before, it all comes down to two questions: Who is paying, and who owns the product? The technology used in the middle only changes the magnitude of the first answer, not its nature, and does not change the second answer.