Daily Archives: 01/28/2012

What I (might) be watching tonight…

The business of choosing DVD rentals is a fraught one in our house.

We’ve just given up on our subscription to the UK’s leading provider of rental-by-post for the reasons which most people might cite – your top choices not turning up, the discs which you get sent being hit-and-miss in terms of cleanliness and playability, the title that you added in haste during one period of insomniac delirium and never being watched.  The short and long of it is that we weren’t watching stuff, were paying a monthly subscription no matter what and spending more money than we needed to on what is the thinking nerd’s equivalent of the unused gym membership.

Hence, we’re supporting our local Blockbuster whilst it’s still there.

We’re planning to watch this dynamic duo of films tonight:

When Irish eyes are smiling...

and somehow we missed this (hopefully) delightful valentine to nerdery and film-making last summer…

That J.J. Abrams - crazy angles, crazy guy...

I’m expecting big things, I won’t lie.  With “Fright Night”, I’ve yet to see anything that Anton Yelchin was in which I didn’t like  (and yes, that is me admitting on the Internet that I enjoyed “Terminator Salvation”).

With “Fright Night”I loved the original – it was a VHS/TV broadcast staple for me, although I’ve not seen it in years.  Here’s hoping that this revamp (sorry, had to be done) keeps the fine balance of scares to chuckles that Tom Holland’s 1985 film managed to deliver.

Also – this dude is in it:

MindFreak! Or not, what with copyright infringement and all that jazz...

So, plus ten to awesome Scots Thesp-based kick assery then?

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ACTA is the new SOPA?

Now that the internet has calmed down a bit about anti-internet legislation SOPA, should we all start worrying about ACTA instead?

ACTA Demotivational Poster via Very Demotivational.com

If you’re not up to speed on your legal challenges to a free, unregulated internet, ACTA is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement and purports to do as its name suggests and enforce the regulation of intellectual property rights in signatory countries.

This proposed legislation won’t be debated fully before the European Parliament until June,

but a prominent MEP has already resigned, citing behind-the-scenes manoeuvres by officials preparing the agreement for his reticence to participate in a debate which, it seems, is less of a debate and more of a signed, sealed and delivered mandate which doesn’t really resemble democracy or the practice thereof by my understanding.

Of course, one might argue that a 14-year-old kid firing up a sweet Torrent client and illicitly downloading the new Drake album or a dodgy copy of the new “Sherlock Holmes” is engaging in a form of anti-democratic activity which is ultimately far more harmful to musicians, producers, record labels, CD pressing plants, distribution companies, retailers and a myriad of inter-related interests and we should be doing something about that, but I digress…

Colours nailed to the mast, I feel that we need to allow musicians to make a living from making music.  I’m not at all certain that SOPA and ACTA do anything more than bolt the stable door long after the prize pony has made a run for it, but if they do anything, they might just set some alarm bells ringing in the heads of folks who use the internet and don’t think twice about downloading music without, y’know, paying for it or even thinking about the implications of what they’re doing.

Lots of people in the world are finding their respective economies tough to deal with and I absolutely understand that – things like entertainment are a luxury which many people have to think twice about before paying out money for, but a dubious downloaded file isn’t an answer and only ends up screwing over a singer or band who’s at the bottom of a long line of music industry people who get paid long before the artist does.

I’m damned if I know what the answer to this problem is – we have a generation of kids now who don’t view ‘owning’ a physical copy of music or a film as being at all relevant to them and I think that’s partially what terrifies the established entertainment businesses because they can’t keep marketing new media formats to a demographic who regard their product as being ephemeral and not something that they need to have access to on a long-term basis.  If you get your tunes online, via a phone handset, why do you need to have shelves of CD’s which you might rip once to a hard drive and then never look at again?

So, if I’m reading this correctly, the whole problem with copyright is a generational one and as long as that divide exists, there’s no good solution to it beyond some entrepeneur coming up with a service which gives the kids what they want, gets the suits their cut and somehow doesn’t screw over the creative types either?

Good luck sorting out that problem…

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