photo: Todd Heisler/The New York Times
The New York Times has a profile of Long Island resident Hyman Strachman, "a 92-year-old, 5-foot-5 World War II veteran trying to stay busy after the death of his wife."
He is one of the world's most prolific movie bootleggers, and has shipped hundreds of thousands of discs to US troops stationed overseas, at great personal expense. The man doesn't exactly fit the MPAA's pirate stereotype, in age, appearance, or motivation. Better still, who helped him distribute the copied DVDs to soldiers? Army chaplains.
“It’s not the right thing to do, but I did it,” Mr. Strachman said, acknowledging that his actions violated copyright law. “If I were younger,” he added, “maybe I’d be spending time in the hoosegow.”
And of course you want to know what the MPAA says about the nonagenarian widower megapirate!
Howard Gantman, a spokesman for the Motion Picture Association of America, said he did not believe its member studios were aware of Mr. Strachman’s operation. His sole comment dripped with the difficulty of going after a 92-year-old widower supporting the troops.
“We are grateful that the entertainment we produce can bring some enjoyment to them while they are away from home,” Mr. Gantman said.
..through clenched jaw, no doubt.
It's a terrific piece, and you'll want to click through to see the wonderful accompanying photos, and hear audio of "Big Hy" speaking.
An official New Zealand government bulletin on yesterday’s conclusion of the still-secret Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations accidentally confirmed something we all believed was in there all along: an extension of copyright terms to match the USA’s bizarre, evidence-free, century-plus terms.
Tim Harford, the Financial Times’s Undercover Economist, writes about the Happy Birthday to You court case, which finally settled the question of whether the familiar birthday song was still in copyright (it isn’t) and uses that as a springboard to ask the question: how long should copyright last?
For most of a decade, government negotiators from around the Pacific Rim have met in utmost secrecy to negotiate a “trade deal” that was kept secret from legislatures, though executives from the world’s biggest corporations were allowed in the room and even got to draft parts of the treaty.
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