News Tidbits—week of July 13th

Monday, July 13th

  • Religion is playing a major part in the hesitancy of Javanese batik designers to copyright their creations. “They believe that each time they create something, it is not they who worked, but it is God who worked through their human body and soul,” so how could they assert authorship when they believe they are not the authors?
  • Last Thursday, reality TV competition show “So You Think You Can Dance” had plans for a Michael Jackson tribute, honoring the late artist’s legacy. These plans were cancelled, however, when the producers were unable to acquire permission to perform the songs. How sad is that? (I wonder if the Philippine Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center had a license for its tribute…)

Tuesday, July 14th

  • Every once in a while it’s nice to hear stories about people not getting sued. DJ Steve Porter’s remixed, autotuned version of a Slap Chop infomercial (with none other than Vince Offer) has almost 4 million views on YouTube. Someone savvy behind the Slap Chop decided to embrace the remix—rumor has it, it’s going to start airing on TV as a real commercial.

Wednesday, July 15th

  • A coalition of Christian churches and the Islamic Society of North America has banded together for a common cause: broadband for all. The “Bring Betty Broadband” campaign seeks ubiquitous high-speed Internet connections in the name of social justice. The effort is part of the So We Might See campaign, “a national interfaith coalition for media justice.”

Friday, July 17th

  • In response to a notification that several of the books sold for Amazon’s Kindle were unauthorized copies, the online bookstore remotely deleted the files from user’s Kindles and refunded their money. The fact that Amazon even had the capability to do this came as a surprise—especially to those whose files were deleted. The ultimate irony, of course, is that one of the deleted books was George Orwell’s 1984. Big Brother is watching…
  • A sculptor is suing the Postal Service over a stamp with a photo of his sculpture—apparently done without his permission. The sculpture, however, is part of the Korean War Memorial in DC and the Postal Service got permission from the photographer.

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