Friday, July 28, 2006

quick shout from cakovec

Taking advantage of free wifi in our hotel quickly turns into all night tappity after our nice gigs. I'll report on Croatia gigs later at the Riddim Method site - with pictures!

but I have been remiss in my Intellectual Property discussions. I'll let mr. Tim Rutherford, whom I met with a whole lovely crew of peeps in London our last night there, fill us in on some latest developments. We should be staying on top of this. The aftereffects of legal changes are more serious when they target infranstructure, because infrastructure dictates choice, to some extent, especially choice for the majority of people, and choice for people with less power, specifically. So when certain interests (like the currently powerful and wealthy copyright owners) use law to regulate technology and software and how it can be developed..people may not know what they are missing.

(Like if our VCRs had been made without record buttons, back in the day. Well, some were, I guess, but you take my point)? Anyway how would I have shown my friends the late great Max Headroom TV show, all 13 episodes, never syndicated or sold officially.. but I taped'em all, because I knew greatness when I saw it, and now more people know about it. One day, they may clamor for it to be released again, because they learned about it from the few of us who recorded it and reshowed it.

Maybe this is what happened with Eyes On The Prize? you remember the discussion, the fury and the hand-wringing? Well I would ilke to know the full story, but for whatever reason PBS will apparently be releasing it on DVD (unconfirmed, from academic gossip), as well as rebroadcasting the first two espisodes. DO NOT MISS THEM, TV-OWNERS. The greatest documentary on the civil rights movement to date (I'm happy to be informed of more). I am curious as to whether they obtained all the rights to all the music, especially, which I imagine was the most expensive re-licensing holdup.

The episodes will be re-broadcast on "The American Experience" during the first 3 weeks in October (check local listings). It will air in blocks of 2-hours/night.

I really wonder what the effect was, of the massive discussion and numerous unauthorized viewings that downhillbattle generated with their "Eyes on the Screen" campaign. I'm in the camp that says they increased interest in the works, reminded people of their importance to our collective knowledge and history. It's possible that Blackside used this interest to generate financial backing, or an argument could be made that our society and culture needs works like these, or these works themselves, and thus the claims of the orginal rights owners should be overruled. I think the first and less radical is more likely, but I'm hoping the second argument still gets an airing: at what point are we allowed to overrule or transcend private property rules?

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