…It has been hailed as the art form of the 21st century.
…It is redefining music videos.
…And reinventing the videogame.
…It might be the future of cinema.
But there’s a catch: if you make machinima, you might be breaking the law.
Or are you?
Find out at Stanford University. “Play Machinima Law” from April 24-25, 2009. This two-day conference will cover key issues associated with player-generated, computer animated cinema that is based on 3D game and virtual world environments. Speakers include machinima artists/players, legal experts, commercial game developers, theorists, and more. Topics include: game art, game hacking, open source and “modding,” player/consumer-driven innovation, cultural/technology studies, fan culture, legal and business issues, transgressive play, game preservation, and notions of collaborative co-creation drawn from virtual worlds and online games. Films will be shown throughout the conference, including: Douglas Grayeton’s Molotov Alva and His Search for the Creator and Joshua Diltz’ Mercy of the Sea.
The good souls at the Center for the Study of Complex Systems at the University of Michigan have come up with a fantastically suggestive way of seeing the relationships between “money and government.” Here for example is contributions to the Senate by industry and sector. Here you can see contributions by entities that received TARP funding. Wonderful work that will feed lots of insight and reflection.
On Tuesday, April 7, the National Federation of the Blind will protest in front of the Authors Guild headquarters, at 31 East 32nd Street, New York City. The protest criticizes the Authors Guild’s bullying of Amazon to get them to shut of the Text-to-Speech functionality on the Kindle 2. The Authors Guild demands that blind people wanting this added and enabling technology must either submit to a burdensome special registration system and prove their disabilities or pay extra for the text-to-speech version.
Fred von Lohmann has a fantastic essay on the complexity in knowing whether the President’s gift to the Queen violated the law.
Does anyone doubt it is time to begin a formal and serious discussion about how best to craft a copyright law for the 21st century? Does anyone think such a law should yield such ambiguity to such a simple question?
I am very happy and very very proud to report a big victory in Golan v. Holder. As you may recall, Golan was filed at the time Eldred v. Ashcroft was in the Supreme Court. The case challenged the URAA, which restored the copyright to works in the public domain. We lost in the district court, but then the CA10 reversed that decision, holding (for the first time ever) that the First Amendment restrained Congress when it changed the “traditional contours of copyright” beyond those explicitly mentioned in Eldred (idea/expression dichotomy and fair use). The CA10 sent the case back down to the district court, and Friday, Judge Babcock granted our motion for summary judgment, holding that the URAA violated the First Amendment to the extent it restored copyright against parties who had relied on works in the public domain.