First Post (27FEB2005)
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ramblings of an information troubleshooter
gathered at bella's this afternoon
for the first read-thru of the play
'the rez sisters'. in attendance
were bella, alison, denise, lanie,
siobhan, orla, lila, lori and myself.
afterwards, i accepted the invitation
to stay for supper and we talked
about the perils of gambling addiction,
how the last season of 'west wing'
ended and what's wrong with city
monday. not a fun day
was called out for a security alarm
at the museum at 03:45. my tiny
10-day shift as keymaster wasn't even
half over yet! the thieves had broken
a window and raided a cash box.
didn't get to bed until 05:30 and so
was not quite even up to my usual
sluggish monday speed at work.
accordingly, i decided to give up on
accompanying tomorrow's planned clam
digging expedition and just tried to
keep my desk and inbox from accreting
any additional barnacles before
tackling new projects tomorrow. too
bad, i had actually already bought a
trowel for the occasion ...
log - who the heck would be
reading this website from milan,
italy ? i did work with an italian
fellow named nicola in egypt, but i
haven't heard from him since soon
after i left the seismic biz. hmm,
i *did* hear back from one of those
fellows in june, tho. he was
wondering if i still had any of the
shell scripts that we had developed
to quality control input files. it
took me awhile to dig thru the
gzipped tarballs, but i managed to
find a few in the archives. however,
the oldest PV stuff was total
after work, i attended a meeting of
the nunavut library association.
besides those of us in iqaluit, we
had librarians teleconferenced in
from baker lake and cambridge bay.
upcoming library / literacy events
we also discussed possible lobbying
and continuing education
- Literacy Week: Oct.02-08
- Canadian Library Week: Oct.12-24
- Canadian Children's Book Week: Oct.29-Nov.05
- Family Literacy Day: Jan
- ip idiocy link of the day:
of google scanning project
Jim Gerber, Google's director of content
partnerships, says the company would get
no more than 15 percent of all books ever
published if it relied solely on
Publishers shouldn't have to bear the
burden of record-keeping, agreed
Sanfilippo, the Penn State press's
marketing and sales director.
"We're not aware of everything we've
published," Sanfilippo said.
well, no shit, sherlock. otherwise,
you might have made them available
before now. however, this defence
doesn't hold much water for material
pre-1970's, when copyrights had to
be registered with a central agency.
just call them up to find out which
books you control and aren't bothering
to publish so you don't have to issue
any royalty cheques to the authors !
the only other hindering factor is
the massive consolidation of the
publishing companies, resulting in
some works that are owned by the
subsequent corporation, but which
have been deemed uneconomic and thus
not worthy of further marketing or
distribution. if they didn't bother
to keep track of these titles, why
should they care that google wants
i'm glad that google has the cojones to
follow thru on a project that the
publishers, who have already been paid
thru continual copyright term extensions,
have refused to do themselves. if they
had been smart, they would have taken the
burden of scanning the works that they
have claimed under copyright and made
them available for sampling and purchase
a bad day for the good guys
well, first michael moore is told to
stuffed by cbc. the cbc
spokesperson is quoted as saying:
We purchased the rights to do that and
that's what we're going to do.
i.e. money trumps values. shame shame.
now, some readers might suspect that my
anti-copyright bent is a recent thing
brought on by the napster-ization of
content and the digital distribution
model of the internet. in reality, i
still have yet to use a P2P service.
no, my intro to the quagmire of
intellectual property started in the
mid-80's with the whole creators'
rights movement in the comics
unscrupulous publisher marvel had
shamefully withheld the original
artwork of one of the titans of the
comic universe, jack 'king' kirby. as
far as they were concerned, once they
had paid the artist, they were allowed
to do whatever they liked with his art,
to the point where they were hocking
these bits out to private collectors.
dc comics, marvel's nemesis, also got
a bad rep for its shabby treatment of
jerry siegel and joe shuster, the
creators of 'superman'. at the end
of their lives, they were finally
granted stipends to allow them some
financial comfort that recognized
their immense contributions to the
decades of profitable commercialization
of their works in print, tv and cinema,
not to mention generations of lunchboxes.
image comics, the publisher of 'spawn',
arose in the early '90's to try to restore
a model of a creator-centered publishing
company, but in the end, they too
succumbed to the tyranny of the
marketplace, as the near-monopoly of
the distributor, diamond, enforced sales
requirements on titles before orders
were allowed to be shipped.
now, you might try to say that this
situation is just endemic to comic book
publishers, but it's actually predictable.
the idea that giving a property right to
creators will guarantee their economic
and moral satisfaction is misguided.
instead, once the creator signs on the
dotted line, assigning their creative
work to a publisher or licensee, they lose
control of their creative work, and have
very little say in what happens to it.
now, the problem is not that the market is
bad. however, by focusing solely on the
property rights, creators become subservient
to the demands of profit-seekers rather
than fulfilling their own creative
visions. cultural policy should support
the latter, even at the expense of the
former, but the proposed canadian copyright
amendments merely react to prop up creaking
business models against changing technologies
without providing a proactive forward-looking
model that would allow all creators and users
to predictably operate. putting markets
first means that creativity, and culture,
will fall thru the inevitable cracks.
how can something so good be treated so bad ?
- ip idiocy link of the day: google gets
by the authors guild
class actions: good or bad ?
signed a contract today to act as the
part-time executive director for a
legal advocacy group. the benefits
to me are increased exposure to the
local legal community, which helps me
in my day job, and the chance to travel
to national conferences to represent
the territorial branch.
in the evening, i took in a continuing
legal education talk by craig jones on
the possibility of using class actions
as a regulatory mechanism to restrain
the worst wrongdoers in the corporate
environment. his proposal to determine
aggregate harm probabalistically is a
bit troubling to me, given the
potentially hoary nature of statistics,
but if applied properly, i can see this
being a useful tool that could work to
benefit the general citizenry.
afterwards, i accompanied craig, john
and letia to the storehouse for a
couple of rounds. i was nearly dead
on my feet, but once i got back out
into the crisp air (it's close to 0
degrees celcius overnights now), i
woke up a bit and stayed up for
another couple hours at home demo-ing
hurtin' country songs for a mix to
help set the mood for our planned
production of 'the rez sisters'.
now, on to the google class action
as i posted yesterday, the authors guild
has seen fit to slap google with a
demanding an injunction for the Google
Print program. google
in blog fashion:
... many of Google Print's chief
beneficiaries will be authors whose
backlist, out of print and lightly
marketed new titles will be suggested
to countless readers who wouldn't
have found them otherwise.
and lest there are any readers who have
acquired the impression that i only read
stuff that i agree with, here's a good
by Elizabeth Hines that i think
clearly outlines the opposite position.
while i take issue with her equivalence
of the author with the copyright owner,
as well as the livelihood mantle, i
must agree with her conclusion:
... it represents a milestone in our
cultural and legal history: the clash
between the old literary world and the
new digital age. Whatever the outcome
is will reveal much about the future of
[the] internet, internet law and how much
freedom is enough in the digital world.
Either way, the stakes are high. Let's
just hope there's a way for everybody to
win with this one.
not enough sisters
one of our 'sisters' has dropped out,
so now bella is scrambling to fill
out the cast of 'the rez sisters'.
we had another read-thru this evening
where bella doubled-up parts and i
took a turn at one of the roles.
however, if we aren't able to find
a couple more people who are able to
commit to the production by next
thursday, we'll have to pull the plug
on this one and see if we can't do
something of a different scale, such
as a radio play.
i finished my monthly comic book order
on tuesday night. the 2d issue of
libris' was solicited,
featuring a librarian as an action
hero, so i read the 1st issue over
the weekend to see if it was worth
continuing to buy the series. as
sam beckett used to say after a leap,
'oh boy'. first, these guys are
fellow canucks. 2d, the head librarian
is the egyptian god thoth. 3d, they
included a 'commentary track' in the
bottom inch of each page, running thru
the entire comic. with so many movies
sourcing comics these days, it's good
to see comics taking something back.
and of course, as all good pop culture
creators are, they are aware of the
idiocies of copyright and mercilessly
poke fun at it:
Juame: What if Juame copyrights the whole
idea of a bottleneck reproductive system ?
Sex itself. The word sex, the idea of sex,
the use of sex. People would pay big money
for the right to have sex.
Roger: Now that's just getting ridiculous.
Barry: Now, now Roger. This is the law
we're talking about here. It's already
Roger: But ... but this is just madness.
You're saying that the future of the
species could be held hostage by some
lunatic lawyers and a silly copyright law.
Barry: Be fair now, Roger. I'm not sure
you can actually copyright the process of
Roger: Sure you can. Internet and dot com
companies pushed the copyright model to
protect the intellectual property of
processes. If they can copyright a
business process - well, isn't sex a
stacking the deck
went for lunch at the legion with
malcolm and chris. turns out the
place was already packed with a
visiting military contingent, so
we had to eat our buffet lunches
in the pool room. after lunch, i
visited the bank to arrange a GIC
so that i wouldn't be tempted to
splurge the money stacked up in my
after work, i took a half hour nap
before heading to jean's for an
evening card game. unlike the other
table that plays mostly no-limit
texas hold'em tourney style, we
played dealer's choice. and like
most of the other times that i've
played non-tourney, i got soaked.
jean, michelle, alex and i started
off, with janine showing up a few
minutes later. i was ahead early
and cashed out a few chips when
alex reloaded. however, my chip
stack began to dwindle as janine
proved as adept as her reputation,
taking down large pots without
breaking a sweat. she took me down
at low chicago, filling out a
full-house and the low spade to my
lowly 2 pair. once she became chip
leader, she played very tight and
coasted her way to the end of the
night as the overall champ.
i should have done the same, but
instead began to chase more pots.
for some reason, my tired mind found
it more difficult to analyze the
board for the best hand while playing
omaha, even tho this exercise is the
same as for hold'em. i began to
reload myself and ended the evening
in the ditch. while it *was* fun to
play other card games besides
hold'em, next time i'll have to try
to bet my existing chip stack to
better last the evening and be
willing to exit the table when i
merely break even, rather than
chase for an illusory win.
between lack of sleep and feeling
under the weather, i guess it
shouldn't have been a surprise that
i slept more than 20 hours today.
*gulp* oh well, maybe i'll be more
able to accomplish something useful
First Post (27FEB2005)
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