US Senate Asks NJ Symphony For Violin Deal Records

A US Senate committee has asked the New Jersey Symphony to turn over all records concerning a sale of 30 rare instruments for $17 million. The seller – Herb Axelrod – has been arrested for tax fraud, and the Senate is investigating abuse of charitable deductions. Meanwhile Axelrod’s lawyer is denying any wrongdoing. “Herb Axelrod didn’t cheat anybody. The fact is, he hasn’t taken a dime in charitable deductions with respect to the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. All the good he has done with respect to these violins has been denigrated unfairly.”

Advertising – Losing The Message

Businesses spend $1 trillion a year on advertising. But “the advertising industry is passing through one of the most disorienting periods in its history. This is due to a combination of long-term changes, such as the growing diversity of media, and the arrival of new technologies, notably the internet. Consumers have become better informed than ever before, with the result that some of the traditional methods of advertising and marketing simply no longer work.”

Americans For The Arts Sues Bank

Americans for the Arts is suing the bank that managed the $100 million bequest from Ruth Lilly. “The lawsuit alleges that the bank, rather than selling the stock after the creation of the trusts in January 2002, held on to it during a time when the share price declined from $75 to $47. The result, he said, lowered the overall value of the gift by some $25 million.”

Who’s Who Of UK Intellectuals

Prospect Magazine lists Britain’s top 100 public intellectuals. Its most interesting value is comparing it with lists of decades past. “The list may also seem curiously old-fashioned. It offers little room for the new “isms” that have broken through in recent decades: feminism, multiculturalism, postmodernism. There aren’t many young voices: few under 45, hardly anyone under 40. It is very middle-aged, and also very male and very white.”

A $250,000 Two-Night Hamlet

how does a man with no stage training and a poor command of the English language wind up playing Hamlet in the middle of Hollywood? And what marketing genius suggested $35,000 billboards to advertise an 85-seat theater production? Yet, given such extravagant publicity, why didn’t Hamlet learn his lines? What were they thinking? All of them?”

Big Chill – Let’s Criminalize Tech Companies Who Innovate

A proposal in the US Senate extends copyright responsibility to tech companies that enable file-sharers to download copyrighted material. “In a prepared statement, Senator Orrin Hatch compared peer-to-peer networks, which allow people to exchange any digital content over their computers, to villains of literature and film, including a character in the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang who lured youngsters into danger with false promises of free lollipops. He said the networks should be held liable for creating technologies that enable often unwitting consumers to house pirated materials on their computers.”

The Cost Of Broadcasting Dirty Just Went Up

The US Senate has passed a measure that would increase fines for broadcast indecency. “Under the new measure, the maximum fine would increase to as much as $275,000 for each indecent incident. The fines would keep increasing per incident until a maximum fine of $3million a day was reached. The US House of Representatives passed a similar bill in March that set fines for indecency at $500,000.”