13 December 2004

Monday Morning Miscellany

OK, so the title of this entry isn't excessively creative. So sue me.
  • Over at LLRX—an incredibly useful resource—there is a useful debunking of some copyright myths. Well, I do have one quibble with it. One of the myths deals with the "publication without notice" problem. The answer is not completely correct; the critical date for when notice was no longer necessary is 01 April 1989 (effective date of Berne accession), not 01 January 1978 (effective date of Copyright Act of 1976). But, if anyone is trying to rely on the "no notice" provision, they've probably got much more serious problems…
  • Business in the US are fond of decrying the class action as harmful to business. Apparently, though, it beats the alternative: serial litigation. Or, anyway, the Dutch business community seems to think so. <SARCASM> The American business community would actually prefer immunity, or failing that the virtual immunity afforded by adhesive arbitration clauses—so maybe this isn't really moving toward the "American model" after all. </SARCASM>
  • 'tis the season for inordinate greed. It's always that season in Hollywood (after all, there really aren't any "seasons" in La-La Land); it's just that December every year always involved two or three major stories concerning Hollywood accounting practices. This year, one of those stories involves DVD revenues, and how they are split up. An article in the NYT presents the actors' side of the story, which neglects the writers, directors, film editors, cinematographers… in other words, all of the other creative people. Far be it from me to defend Hollywood accounting, which on a good day makes Enron look transparent and honest; but the situation as it stands reflects so much personal animus, and so much rivalry among the various parties, that no equitable solution appears possible. At least in publishing, we only have to worry about two parties (the author, and possibly the illustrator) getting ripped off.