NHK's children's show Pythagora Switch features fiendishly clever, astoundingly amusing interstitial segments with beautiful little Rube Goldberg machines, possessed of a Miyazakiesque whimsy and a Mujiesque minimalism. These are wonderful -- and at 30 seconds each, you can watch a whole ton of 'em. Read the rest
Charles Duan from Public Knowledge sends us "a video we put together for Fair Use Week about copyright and fair use, to the tune of 'Let It Go' from Frozen, and full of clips of other fair use videos." Read the rest
Less than a week after an officer from a nearby force shot and killed Philando Castile during a traffic stop, leaving him to die in front of his child and girlfriend (and the world on livestream) the Minneapolis Police Department has perjured itself in issuing a copyright takedown notice to Youtube in order to suppress a controversial recruiting video that depicted the jobs of MPD officers as being a firearms-heavy shoot-em-up. Read the rest
When Oracle bought Sun Microsystems, they acquired Java, Sun's popular programming language, pitched from its inception as an open standard for the networked computer. Read the rest
This week, Marvel Comics published the first issue of Captain America: Steve Rogers in which it's revealed that since his earliest days, Captain America has been a double agent for Hydra, the thinly veiled allegory for the Nazis; in an epic Twitter rant, Livejournal alumnus and Dreamwidth cofounder Denise Paolucci explains the way that perpetual copyright and business concentration has neutralized the ancient custom of collective storytelling of epic narratives, magnifying the harm from bad corporate decisions. Read the rest
Marcus Rosentrater composited the first six Star Wars movies into a single videostream, with the audio mixed so that you can -- more or less -- work out all the individual dialog and SFX, and with selective transparency in the video streams to let the action from each frame shine through the overlays (you can also watch a similar work created with just the original trilogy). Read the rest
The Hollywood studios always claim to be "pro-fair-use" but when the US Trade Representative made a move to put fair use into the Trans Pacific Partnership, the MPAA sent a scathing, furious letter to the Obama administration condemning "the inclusion of fair use' in free trade agreements" as "extremely controversial and divisive." Read the rest
Art from New Media Rights writes, "We spend our time working with online video creators on fair use, so we created The Fair Use App. We filtered down our experiences working with video creators to create an app that can help them better understand:" Read the rest
Pat from American University's Center for Media and Social Impact writes, "Can an artist use images from Facebook in her collage? Can an art teacher show pictures he took at an exhibition in class? Can a museum put a collection online?" Read the rest
Dave Kellett and Fred Schroeder created the movie Stripped about the past, present, and future of comic strips and their creators. Dave is the creator and cartoonist of two webcomics titles, Sheldon and Drive, and the co-author of How To Make Webcomics. He is one of a small but growing group of webcomics artists who are self-sufficient. Fred is a veteran cinemographer, nominated for Best Cinematography at Sundance for his work on Four Sheets to the Wind. He has been shooting commercials for much of his career.
Together, they matched Fred's filmmaking skills with Dave's personal knowledge of the field and his contacts to create the first feature-length documentary on the topic, funded in part through two Kickstarter campaigns. They don't pull punches about the difficulties of being a comic-strip artist, but they show all the joy and love that goes into the work along with many potential bright lights already illuminating parts of the field and shining on the horizon.
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The Beastie Boys have apparently published an open letter to GoldieBlox (the letter is mentioned in this NYT post, but not linked to, and does not appear on the Beastie Boys' official website) arguing that GoldieBlox misunderstood their earlier communications questioning parodying their song "Girls" in a viral video ad.
In last week's filing with the Northern District Court of California, GoldieBlox's lawyers stated that they had been "threatened" by the Beastie Boys' lawyers, who had claimed that the video was "a copyright infringement, not fair use" (for detailed fair use analysis, see this EFF post) and a "big problem."
According to the NYT story, the open letter in response to the suit claims that the earlier communication from the Beastie Boys' lawyers was intended as an information query ("When we tried to simply ask how and why our song 'Girls' had been used in your ad without our permission, YOU sued US") and not a threat.
It's not clear if the initial communication from the Beasties' lawyers to GoldieBlox was written or verbal, and if it was written, it has yet to be published. Update: Here's the text of the Beasties' open letter to GoldieBlox:
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Like many of the millions of people who have seen your toy commercial "GoldieBlox, Rube Goldberg & the Beastie Boys," we were very impressed by the creativity and the message behind your ad.
We strongly support empowering young girls, breaking down gender stereotypes and igniting a passion for technology and engineering.