My new book, Arts, Inc.: How Greed and Neglect Have Destroyed Our Cultural Rights, is just out (May 10). The idea for Arts, Inc. hit me when I was chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, during Bill Clinton’s administration. I became convinced that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, copyright extension, and Clear-Channel-style media consolidation were undermining our basic rights to an arts system that really serves the public.
Things have only gotten worse. Congress and the FCC might think it’s important to institute hefty fines when Janet Jackson’s breast pops out during a Super Bowl telecast, but it’s shrinking Fair Use, globalized record companies and film studios – they serve shareholders, not art -- left-behind citizens who lack quality Internet access, and Viacom against Google and Microsoft stalking Yahoo that are the real threats to the vibrant cultural scene that’s essential in our democracy.
Arts, Inc. is on sale now. Look for interviews and reviews; I’ll be making the case around the country – at a performing arts conference in Denver next week, and at the Center for American Progress in DC in mid-July.
In Brazil, racial discrimination against darker-skinned people is rife; and the famous unequal society is especially tilted against black Brazilians, who are subjected to horrific summary executions by police in the favelas (squatter neighborhoods).
Telecomunicaciones Indígenas Comunitarias A.C. — a nonprofit telcoms company operated by and for indigenous groups in Chiapas, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Puebla, and Veracruz — has received a license to operate cellular services in at least 356 municipalities. It’s the first time the Mexican telcoms regulator has given a operations license to an indigenous social group.
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