21 January 2009

Cocktail Weenies

Just a few small selected link sausages from the post-Inauguration pupu platter.

  • Feeling lost in the publishing world? Find your station on this subway map of publishing. For some reason, though, you can't get here from there... perhaps because I'm obstinately not in New York, and therefore outside the reach of the subway.
  • I'm not the only one who disliked the Williams "quartet" at the inauguration: WaPo, LAT. The real problem with Williams as a composer is his bombast. It's hard to say that a set of variations on a Shaker melody is "bombastic," but this was... in common with virtually all of Williams's compositions. Obama should have gone straight to "Appalachian Spring," or to Barber, or to Gershwin, instead of "commissioning" an occasional piece, as that is exactly the problem with the Bush-era worldview: That America can "commision" the soundtrack for any occasion, instead of acknowledging the soundtrack(s) that already exist. And it's not like there's a paucity of quasiclassical American works that wouldn't have worked better; even variations on the theme from The Magnificent Seven or the march from The Great Escape would have been a better choice!

    Perhaps, though, this did serve a purpose: Providing another piece for a creative Colorado judge to use in punishing today's youth (I particularly like that the judge himself chooses to listen to both Simon & Garfunkel and Pink Floyd).

  • Who owns the film library of Ingmar Bergman? It's not even as simple as this article makes it sound... but then, principles of international choice of law and enforcement of judgment are not simple to anybody, and applying those principles to the particular facts of a matter gets even more complex when there's substantial forum-shopping involved.
  • The effective copyright terms, they are a changin'. Whether one agrees with this decision normatively or not, it at least makes the term of protection for sound recordings more predictable. In Europe. Maybe.
  • Last on the platter, read this essay on the decline of newspapers and apply the memes in it to the book-publishing industry.