Publishers Worry About Google’s Digital Book Deal

A first look at the contract between Google and universities to digitize their libraries has some publishers concerned. “Some publishers argue that Google doesn’t have the right to make and hold digital copies of their intellectual property. At the same time, they worry that universities will use their digital versions to make books available to students and faculty online, suppressing sales of additional copies.”

Fair And Balanced (Awwww…Not Really)

Why is public television getting dumped on? “To some degree, public television has positioned itself for abuse. The charter of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting says it must adhere to “objectivity and balance in all programs or series of programs of a controversial nature.” Unfortunately, Americans have little appetite for truly “fair and balanced” coverage. If we did, the News Hour With Jim Lehrer would be a smash hit and Fox News would be banished to the media dustbin.”

Public Access TV Vs. Denver

Denver’s public access TV station is in a fight with the city’s government. “The Denver City Council and management at DCTV are butting heads over the latter’s budgetary habits. Like, spending too much. City funding for a public-access channel – $500,000 annually – was part of the deal. That contract ran out last year. To keep the channel on the air, the city fronted DCTV $115,000 for operating expenses and $150,000 for equipment. A divorce is imminent.”

Herbie, Fully Loaded… With Product Placement

“In an era when on-screen advertising is routine — even unobtrusive when done well — the makers of “Herbie” use every opportunity to stick a parade of Cheetos, Pepsi, Dupont, etc. in your face. Not only is this supremely distracting, but Disney’s hyper-marketing even slows the dialogue as actors struggle to say such things as “Nextel Cup Series” as if they’re reading off cue cards held by stern-looking corporate lawyers.”

No Stuntmeister Oscar

Movie stunt coordinators are thwarted again in their attempt to get a new Oscar award category for stuntmasters. “At a time when the academy is trying to find ways to reduce the numbers of statuettes given out, and looks at categories with an eye more focused on reduction than addition, the board is simply not prepared to institute any new annual awards categories.”

Midori In Asia: Of East And West

Midori begins a tour of Asia, and blogs about it on ArtsJournal: “To be reminded that Japan was completely closed (at least officially) to the West and its influences for over 250 years until 1854, and at what lightning speed some elements of the Western culture have become part of Japanese society is absolutely breathtaking. More to the point, in my case, I grew up thinking (and feeling) that music was Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, even Stravinsky, Bartok, and Prokofiev. There was classical music, which was “music,” and then everything else bulked together in one. All other genres of music were exotic and mysterious including jazz and Traditional Japanese music. For me, a Schubert lieder was much more “normal” and “understandable” than the infamous Japanese song “Sakura, Sakura.”

Live 8 – The Responsibility Of Artists?

Are we getting numb to big celebrity-promoted causes? There have been a lot of them. Live 8 doesn’t aim to raise money though; it’s looking to shine some celebrity attention on an issue. “It’s what artists have always done – comment on society and raise awareness. The question to ask is, ‘Are you an artist or an entertainer?’ Because artists do more than entertain.”

In Los Angeles – Concerns About New Play Development

“In the four weeks since Center Theatre Group’s new artistic director Michael Ritchie announced that he would eliminate most of the company’s formal programs for developing new plays — including the annual New Work Festival as currently constituted and labs for Latino, Asian, black and disabled writers — his actions have been the talk of the theater community.”