Freelance Writers Win Big Online Settlement

Free lance writers win a $10 million-$18 million award to compensate for work that has been posted online. “Plaintiffs, who filed on behalf of thousands of freelance writers, included the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Authors Guild, the National Writers Union and almost two dozen freelance writers. Under the terms of the settlement, freelance writers who had work published between August 1977 and December 2002 will be eligible to fill out a form — online or by mail — that will entitle them to money for works to which they had not signed away their rights to electronic publication.”

The Big Review Review

It’s not enough to just have reviews of culture these days. Now we have reviews of those reviews. “The traditional objects of culture – books, movies, art – are becoming ever more distant. In their place are reviews of reviews, museums of museums and many, many lists.”

CD Sales: A Record Year Not To Be Proud Of

“The Australian record industry has just had its best year ever. But it doesn’t want you to know about it. This month ARIA announced its sales figures for last year. In its press release, it talked about Delta, it talked about falling CD singles sales, it talked about the rise in DVD sales, but at no stage did it tell us it was the industry’s best year ever. Why bury the good news? Record industry types aren’t usually shy about success. But this time their success is a little embarrassing.”

NPR’s Edwards Problem

National Public Radio is taking a public beating over its announcement that Bob Edwards is being replaced as host of Morning Edition. “NPR is suffering a severe credibility loss because of the inexplicability of this management move. There is no rational explanation to anyone else outside National Public Radio as to why this should be done.” And yet, NPR member stations have been criticizing the show for years. “You would not have been able to go to a gathering where representatives of member stations were present and not hear talk about how ‘Morning Edition’ could be improved. I think management has done due diligence on the whole thing.”

Saving A Language Just For Women

Chinese archivists are trying to save an ancient language created just for women. “Nushu, meaning women’s script, was held so securely by its speakers and writers that women used to burn manuscripts to keep them away from men, or they would bury items containing Nushu with female friends upon their deaths. The language’s origins are unclear, but most scholars believe Nushu emerged in the third century during a time when the Chinese government prohibited education of women.”

Is Copyright Killing Creativity?

Current laws on copyright are not serving the cause of creativity and are hampering the production of new works. “Existing laws are simply not good enough to cope with the creative possibilities which are open to us all in the digital world. We need to find the balance between the freedom exemplified by the Grey Album and the anarchy towards which completely unregulated sharing of stolen intellectual property could lead.”

Missing Men – Abandoning TV For Online

“The television industry was shaken last October when the ratings from Nielsen Media Research showed that a huge part of a highly prized slice of the American population was watching less television. As the fall TV season began, viewership among men from 18 to 34 fell 12 percent compared with the year before, Nielsen reported. And for the youngest group of adult men, those 18 to 24, the decline was a steeper 20 percent.” And where did they go? They’re having fun with other technology.

Disney Wins Pooh Case

Disney has won its case against a small firm that claimed rights and royalties from the Winnie the Pooh franchise. The judge chided the plaintif for its “willingness to tamper with, and even corrupt, the litigation process constitutes a substantial threat to the integrity of the judicial process. Disney officials had earlier claimed the confidential documents were stolen on behalf of SSI by a private investigator in the early 1990s.”