Saturday, August 22, 2009
VH1 Pulls Reality Show Involving Murder Suspect, Considers Cancelling Production Of Second Show Which Also Includes Him As Contestant
Following up on my post about the hunt for Ryan Jenkins, suspected in the murder of his ex-wife, model Jasmine Fiore, I'm posting a link here to a New York Times story by Brian Stelter about VH1's response. The network cancelled showings of "Megan Wants a Millionaire," the show on which Mr. Jenkins was a contestant, and is deciding whether to continue with production of "I Love Money 3," a show with which Mr. Jenkins had become involved.
L. A. Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff has okayed the agreement between AEG Live and the current representatives of Michael Jackson's estate to exhibit some of his memorabilia in three cities, after initially granting Katherine Jackson's request for a delay. Mrs. Jackson had argued that the deal was too favorable to AEG.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Police are seeking reality show contestant Ryan Alexander Jenkins in the death of his ex-wife Jasmine Fiore. They believe he may have fled to Canada. Ms. Fiore's mutilated body was found in a suitcase last weekend. Mr. Jenkins appeared on the VH1 show "Megan Wants a Millionaire." VH1 has now postponed airings of the show. Read more here and here.
This is not the first time questions about the vetting involved for a reality show contestant have surfaced. Questions arose about Fox TV's "Who Wants To Marry a Multi-Millionaire" after it turned out that the show's chosen bachelor, Rick Rockwell, had had a restraining order issued against him by a former girlfriend. And MSNBC.com says (as does the New York Post) that Andre Birleanu, who appeared on VH1's "America's Most Smartest Model", has served time.
The individual inventor motif has been part of American patent law since its inception. The question is whether the recent patent troll hunt has damaged the individual inventor's image and, in turn, caused Congress, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and the courts to not be as concerned with patent law's impact on the small inventor. This Article explores whether there has been an attitude change by looking at various sources such as congressional statements and testimony in discussions of the recent proposed patent reform legislation, the USPTO's response to comments on two recently proposed sets of patent rules, and recent Supreme Court patent decisions. These sources indicate that the rhetoric of the motif has remained unchanged, but its substantive impact is essentially nil. This investigation also provides a broader insight into the various governmental institutions' roles in patent law.
Download the paper from SSRN here .
Thursday, August 20, 2009
From the Hollywood Reporter, news that a movie in development at Morgan Creek might not find its way to the big screen after one of the real-life individuals on whom the project is purportedly based has filed a lawsuit to stop it.
Linda Schiro and her daughter say they gave writer Nicholas Pileggi and director Antoine Fuqua interviews and information for the script of the new drama in development, based on the activities of the late Gregory Scarpa, in exchange for money and roles as consultants. Morgan Creek says it knows nothing about a lawsuit and is moving forward with the project.
Read more here.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that Skype's advertising campaign for its Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) which emphasizes the high quality of its video actually overstates the quality of the picture. The company had argued that it is really selling the ability to make and complete a call, not the actual video, but the ASA declined to accept this defense.
The ASA noted the ad did not depict a real time Skype video call but noted the Code did not prevent the use of techniques to overcome technical problems in filming TV ads.
We understood Skype had sought to mimic the effect of the blurring and slowness users could experience in a real time video call through the movement of the laptop by the new father. We also noted that the quality of a Skype video call depended upon the speed and quality of a users broadband connection. Although the sound and picture quality achieved by the filming method used in the ad was not representative of the typical performance that users could achieve, we noted it was representative of the best possible standard which could be achieved.
While we understood the technology would continue to evolve and improve, we considered that viewers would infer that the sound and picture quality depicted in the ad was typical of the performance that all users could achieve. Consequently, because we understood that that was not the case at the present time, we concluded that the ad could mislead and should therefore have included qualifying text to make clear that performance depended upon the speed and quality of a users broadband connection.
The ad breached CAP (Broadcast) TV Advertising Standards Code rules 5.1.1 and 5.1.2 (Misleading advertising), 5.2.2 (Implications) but did not breach rule 5.4.1 (Visual techniques and special effects).
Scott Gant, a lawyer at Boies Schiller & Flexner, and author of We’re All Journalists Now: The Transformation of the Press and Reshaping of the Law in the Internet Age, is filing a suit objecting to the settlement that would put an end to the class action lawsuit over Google's activities in scanning library books which it then posts online. A number of other groups representing authors and authors themselves have raised questions about the settlement, although many groups have said the settlement seems like a good compromise. Read more here in an article in today's New York Times. Here's more about the settlement and about registering's one's rights.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I argue that hip hop music and culture profoundly influences attitudes toward and perceptions about criminal justice in the United States. At base, hip hop lyrics and their cultural accoutrements turns U.S. punishment philosophy upon its head, effectively defeating the foundational purposes of American crime and punishment. Prison and punishment philosophy in the U.S. is based on clear principles of retribution and incapacitation, where prison time for crime should serve to deter individuals from engaging in criminal behavior. In addition, the stigma that attaches to imprisonment should dissuade criminals from recidivism. Hip hop culture denounces crime and punishment in the United States in a way that essentially defies the underlying crime and punishment philosophy adopted and championed by U.S. legislators for decades. Hip hop artists, since the inception of hip hop as a musical genre, have rhymed in a narrative format that starkly informs all listeners and fans that the entire foundational regime of prison for crime in the United States is suspect, illegitimate and profane. As U.S. criminal law and punishment is profane and illegitimate to many, as hip hop artists fiercely argue, then the primary foundational underpinnings of U.S. criminal justice is lost on the hip hop generation, that of deterrence and stigma. Because, as hip hop aggressively describes, crime and punishment in the U.S. is fundamentally unfair, inequitable and biased against people of color and the poor, then punishment for committing certain crimes in America is viewed by the hip hop nation as illegitimate and imprisonment for committing suspect crimes is unaffecting. Hip hop culture has engendered in the global hip hop generation a tradition of exposing racial inequality and social injustice throughout the world, but particularly within the United States. To that end, this Essay argues that much like Critical Race Theory espouses a tradition of 'looking to the bottom,' that American purveyors of crime and punishment law consider the viewpoint of the hip hop nation, which espouses a better, more equitable theory of punishment and justice in the United States.
Download the article from SSRN here.
Columnist Robert Novak, who worked for the Chicago Sun-Times since 1966, and as an on-air debater on the CNN show Crossfire from 1980 to 2005, has died of a brain tumor. He was 78. Mr. Novak was involved in the controversy surrounding the naming of Valerie Plame Wilson as a CIA agent.