Tag Archives: facebook

Yet Another Post On SOPA

[Ed. Note: Cross-posted in part from my tumblr blog. See the additional note at the bottom of this post.]

I generally don’t blog politics. It can be bad for business. However, the SOPA/PIPA legislation, which pitted new tech against old media, requires a response.

Piracy is a serious problem that may or may not need additional attention (we already have the DMCA to protect copyright interests). However, the legislation as drafted is bad law. While hardly scientific, most if not all of the entertainment lawyers I discussed the bills with agree – even the ones who work at the studios.

If these bills became law then it would be legal for the government to shut down sites without due process. In effect, fair use can be ignored and sites are guilty until proven innocent. Litigation can be costly and few would opt to fight in the face of substantial legal fees and an unprofitable victory.

The clip above is a parody using someone else’s copyrighted work. It’s likely that such works – notwithstanding what you think of this particular parody – could survive on the net.

That’s not how our country is supposed to work and that’s certainly not how this law should work. This legislation can be redrafted to stem piracy without sacrificing our core values.

If you haven’t already, I urge you to read the current drafts of SOPA and PIPA and tell me if you still support these bills.

[Ed. Note: Prior to posting here and on Tumblr, a music executive friend of mine and I debated the merits of the bills on Facebook. Much of what I wrote above was part of that debate. After I blogged about it, my friend posted a link on Facebook to a blog post in favor of the legislation. You can find that here. In essence, the post in support argued that those in opposition - even those that took the time to read the bills - were misinterpreting the language and intent of the legislation. However, the fact that the language may be open to misinterpretation or, as many believe, exposes the true intent of the legislation, proves my point. If this legislation is broad enough to be misinterpreted by so many people, including intellectual property/entertainment lawyers, law professors, media executives and politicians, then they certainly can be and will be used for unintended or nefarious purposes if they become law. As I write this, I am sure my friend is formulating a response. I will keep you posted.]

Twitter Impersonator

"Mr And Mrs. Vader" courtesy of Cayusa

As with the Internet, cyber-squatters are hording the names of celebrities and other well-known people on Twitter. Some are even going so far as to pose as fictional characters like Don Draper from Mad Men.

If you’re an actor, be sure to register your name on Twitter while it’s still available (if it’s not too late already).

In this age of self-branding and the rising reliance on the Internet by the public at large, the famous and the famous to be need to maintain control of their names especially on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.

Twitter’s policy is to shut down fake Twitterers, most notably an ersatz Christoper Walken. However, there are exceptions to Twitter’s practices.

As reported in The Hollywood Reporter and elsewhere, CNN recently had to pay to recover the Twitter name “CNNbrk.” Let’s not even think about the attorneys’ fees.

Do not pass Go. Get your Twitter name now for free or pay later! [Thanks to Stephen Strauss for the heads-up on this one!]

Twitteriffic

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Although I have had a profile on Ryze and Linkedin for a while, I have no real interest in social networks like My Space and Facebook. Linkedin and Ryze are business networking sites while My Space and Facebook tend to appeal more to the young and the single than to the older married crowd for obvious reasons. Young people generally are “early adopters” who, given their marital status, actively seek out meeting new people. Older, married people not so much. However, given the latest marketing push for my law practice and on the advice of various law blogs, I plan on signing up for profiles on these sites. Most importantly, my daughter is heading into adolescence and I want to know more about the sites she surfs on despite family prohibitions.

I have been playing with the latest incarnation of the social networking site, Twitter, for the past month or so after reading about it on Fred Wilson’s blog. As NPR describes it, Twitter “imposes a limit of 140 characters for messages. In addition to appearing on the Web, Twitter entries pop up on the instant-messaging (IM) systems and cell phones of the user’s personal contact list.” Twitter seems destined to be the next big thing; marrying the multi-zillion dollar text messaging business on cell phones with a social networking website.

After signing up, I emailed a bunch of my more Web-savvy friends and clients to join me. The narcissistic charge I get from thinking that anyone might really care about what I was doing at any given moment became quite addictive. To my dismay, most of the people I invited tended to be more old (aka traditional) media than new despite their chronological age (i.e., they were mostly young). Apparently, they were NOT as web-savvy as me. With Twitter updates like “blowing my nose” and “making pancakes with the kids” as part of my Twitter-reportage, my audience was less than thrilled. Both my 20-something assistant and intern snickered at me and my newly found web hipness. They simply didn’t get it.

I must admit here that I really don’t get it either. But with fellow Twitterers like Barack Obama and David Letterman, clearly I am on to something. I quickly added Letterman and Barack to my Twitter friends list so that I could instantly receive the latest top 10 list entry or Obama campaign bromide texted to my cell phone. With access to Redsox play by play (the Mets and Yankees next please!) and possible “Twittersodes” of the “L Word,” Twitter is at the crossroads of integrating television programming, the ‘net and text messaging (if the cell carriers are willing to reduce the costs). I am going to continue to play with the service and I’ll keep you posted – on Twitter, of course.