Archive for February 27th, 2004

Spell “washed up”

Feb 27, 2004 in Pop Culture

Fox, which has contributed greatly to the decline of the integrity of heterosexual marriage with shows such as “The Littlest Groom” and “My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance”, is becoming a bit more intellectual, at least on Friday evenings.

Tonight’s prime time offering is a celebrity spelling bee, featuring recognizable television actors from years past. Currently, it’s down to Carol Leifer (anyone have an idea who she is?) and Brett Butler (who played a redneck single mom on her own sitcom).

And these words aren’t simple either. They’ve throwing some real stumpers out. On the last round, the celebs had the opportunity to allow an 8-year-old spelling bee champ to spell the word if they couldn’t spell it. George Wendt (Norm from Cheers) and Alan Thicke (the Dad from Growing Pains) did well, and Gena Lee Nolin, Corbin Bernsen and Alice Cooper made total idiots of themselves on live television. The elimination rounds should have ended much sooner for these people.

Next week there’s a live IQ Test during this time slot (which is actually well suited for television, since IQ tests are timed). Oh, and Brett Butler won. Who says rednecks are dumb?

A possible solution to file sharing copyright issues

Feb 27, 2004 in Current Events

Digital copyright issues have been on a lot of people’s minds lately, especially with the Grey Tuesday protest and all. I was just thinking that I had no idea how it could be possible to resolve the copyright issues surrounding file sharing.

But the fine folks at the EFF have done just that:
Voluntary Collective Licensing of Music File Sharing.

The EFF is proposing a blanket licensing scheme similar to that used by performing rights companies such as ASCAP and BMI. File sharers would pay a small monthly fee (possibly an added fee to to one’s high speed internet bill or college fees) that would allow them to openly share music. It’s quite similar to the existing performance licenses for radio.

Of course, it’s not perfect; some file sharers will buck the system and download illegally anyway, and what to speak of existing pay-per-download services such as iTunes and Napster? They certainly wouldn’t be happy allowing file sharers to download music legally for free. But the idea itself is a step in the right direction. Now, the hard part, of course, is getting the record labels to listen. And I have a feeling that it’s going to take years of lawsuits and industry shake-ups for them to even get to this point.