The growing business of licensing is fundamentally changing both the way people interact with entertainment and the face of entertainment itself…
“A lawsuit filed on June 16 by an American scholar alleges that Stephen Joyce, grandson of the writer James Joyce, along with estate trustee Sean Sweeney, improperly withheld access to materials and attempted to intimidate academics… In the struggle to define copyright as it applies to literary rights, web rights and the extent of time a work is withheld from public domain, the Joyce estate’s fearsome vigilance stands out.”
A federal appeals court has ruled that companies which market “sanitized” versions of Hollywood films to consumers who wish to skip the sex, violence, and profanity are violating U.S. copyright law. The companies have been ordered to stop selling the edited titles, and to turn over their entire inventory to the original production studios immediately.
Frank Gehry will design a new Guggenheim outpost in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. Gehry, who also designed the Guggenheim’s much-vaunted museum in Bilbao, Spain, expects ground to be broken shortly in the city’s new cultural district, with completion slated for 2011.
The Detroit Symphony may still be looking for a music director to replace the departed Neeme Järvi, but the ensemble is enjoying rising attendance and a stability that most other American orchestras would kill for. How did they accomplish such a thing in a city famed for its crippling poverty? Rather than simply making an appeal to the business community for help, the DSO has become a major investor in the urban revitalization of its hometown, and is endeavoring to show the community the same long-term commitment it requests from others.
The tiny country of Luxembourg opened its spectacular new I.M. Pei-designed modern art museum this month, an enterprise nearly twenty years in the making. “Still, this striking symbol of modernity is not quite what its name implies. Because Luxembourg owned virtually no Modern art, and the museum could hardly afford to start building a collection of works by, say, Picasso, Braque, Matisse, Dalí, Miró and the like, this is really a museum of contemporary art… The size and sober grandeur of Mr. Pei’s building still suggests a museum awaiting a collection. But at least the museum exists, something that at times seemed less than certain.”
“A Columbia University professor known for challenging the art historical establishment asserts that a painting purchased in 2004 by the Metropolitan Museum of Art for an estimated $45 million is not the work of the early-Renaissance master Duccio di Buoninsegna, to whom it has long been attributed. The Met’s scholars have dismissed his argument, citing detailed scientific testing and scholarly study of the work.”
Politicians are known for using their influence to do favors for friends in trouble. But when is the last time you heard of a conservative Republican senator pulling strings to get a pal released from an Arab prison after a drug conviction? Senator Orrin Hatch, the floor is yours…
“In the age of widespread broadband access, iTunes video and video sites like Youtube.com, television viewers are migrating en masse to the Internet, looking not only to watch their favorite shows online but also for ways to discuss and engage with those shows. As a result, the blogs, communities like livejournal.com and message boards devoted to television shows are becoming more popular — and mainstream — forums for viewer discussion and feedback. And the people behind the shows have taken note.”
Often lost in our continued marveling at the words of William Shakespeare is the fact that the Bard’s plays are often shockingly violent. A handful of new British productions embrace the bloody brutality, and Ben Brantley says that it’s impossible to miss the wider significance of the interpretation. “Besides demonstrating that there’s more than one way to skin a corpse, these contrasting takes on Titus anatomize the impact of a world where slaughter and torture are everyday occurrences, and especially on those whose job is to kill… The current investigations into the alleged rape and murder of civilians by American soldiers in Iraq have made such presentations tremble with inescapable timeliness.”