07 August 2022

Weekend Update

I am afraid that there is no responsible opposing viewpoint this week from Emily Litella. Which would almost certainly be more factual, more relevant, and less inane than anything coming from the TV dinner guy (hint: who's the heir of Swanson TV dinners, who didn't even manage to get into that quasiselective Bay Area school?).

  • Before getting to what passes for actual entertainment-industry sausages, how about a few sprigs of local-color parsley on the platter (not nearly enough for Persian cooking)?
    • Spotted at a local store: "Free-range hot dogs." One wonders if they were humanely killed.
    • Also spotted at a local store: Jars of gefilte fish marked down for quick sale, because they were approaching their "sell-by" date. This is wrong on so many levels — the whole "point" of gefilte fish is that it never… expires — but at least it wasn't deceptively called a "best-consumed-by" date.
    • I've had many opportunities to take down pirates this week, but local tradition says they're not entirely bad, even if their jokes and "accents" are. Despite the hydros (I sort of miss the noise from the piston-engined ones, once a year).
  • Over at this blawg's only feline friend the IPKat, a guest kitty ponders recent Italian trademark rulings on designations of "Made in Italy" without reaching the question I'm more interested in, but that the courts have willfully evaded on the few occasions it has been in front of them: How does use of an undisclosed ghostwriter affect the validity of, and exclusionary power related to, an author's (or, in some instances, publisher's) brand? How about a pseudonym that hides not an "unknown but distinct" origin, but a house collective designation (e.g., Carolyn Keene) or a "rebranding" of an existing origin for purely commercial reasons (e.g., Paul French), whether voluntary on the part of the author or not? I think that's Cordwainer Bird on line one (he hasn't mastered e-mail yet)…

    All of which indicates, more than anything else, that in relation to the arts trademark is not fit for purpose.

  • Very much like the DMCA, as implemented, is not fit for protecting individual creators' interests. Which should surprise precisely no one, as individual creators were not consulted in creating the scheme — it was all about Big Tech and Big Transferees negotiating over partition of territory in the New World. Without regard to those… uncivilized persons… already living there.

    And, if anything, it has gotten much worse since my adventures not quite two decades ago, culminating in a little trip to Pasadena to see Barbie get parodied just before my… public appearance (there's a link above). Here's the key point: Name another appellate decision on the DMCA that involved a takedown requested by the natural-person creator of the allegedly infringing work with no transferee or collective-effort involvement. I'll go run a few errands while you're searching…

  • … and pondering the connection to mistreatment of CGI and visual effects workers by the film industry. If you haven't figured it out yet, it's related to the distinction between the Duke of Milan and the Sistine Chapel; to priviligio and what it took to be granted one; in an even broader sense, to whether the existence of a discernable and remediable-through-weregelt injury to a discrete property interest is a proper gatekeeper for access to judicial process. But that's perhaps — no, not just perhaps — too theoretical for Sunday morning.

I'm an atheist so I'm not doing this. In a cathedral directed to some supernatural power. But… I would. Even if I wouldn't wish Hoynes on the nation, and have a different idea of who is a feckless thug.