What Are You Missing? March 31-April 13

April 14, 2013
By | 6 Comments

78274-playboy-app-store-iphoneA few interesting news stories you may have missed…

1) News Corp’s COO Chase Carey is threatening to turn Fox into a pay cable channel if courts continue to allow the new internet television broadcaster Aereo to profit from its retransmissions of Fox programming. Courts have so far ruled in favor of Aereo twice.

2) The popular social media site and bibliophile hang-out, Goodreads, will soon be under the ownership of Amazon.com. While Amazon VP Russ Grandinetti says this will help self-publishers “promote their books on Goodreads,” a number of Goodreads members are apparently leaving the website to prevent Amazon from monitoring what they are reading.

3) Speaking of good reads, Playboy announced it will start delivering its magazine through a new iPhone application. However, due to the no-nudity policy on iPhones, the app will not include any of the publication’s erotic photos.

4) Dolby announced that several more titles — including Man of Steel and Wolverinewill receive the company’s Atmos treatment later this year. The new 64-channel surround sound format was introduced last summer and has been wired in more than 90 theaters worldwide. As of now Dolby has no plans to make Atmos available for home theaters.

5) Continuing WAYM’s interest in HBO GO’s potential to provide a GO-only subscription, HBO now suggests they are looking to provide live streaming of non-boxing sporting events through their GO service. And in case this should ever come up, if you are a New York Times columnist you should maybe think twice about announcing to your readers that you steal HBO GO from a friend.

6) Continuing WAYM’s interest in covering the potential Hulu buyout, last Friday former News Corp president Peter Chernin made an offer to buy the streaming website for $500 million. Chernin was involved in developing Hulu for News Corp during its launch in 2007. Among other investments, Chernin is also looking to buy Fullscreen, a company that supports and advises creators of online content for websites like YouTube.

7) In Kickstarter news, the Veronica Mars Movie Project has ended its record-breaking Kickstarter run with 91,585 total backers, more than any other project in Kickstarter’s short history. The crowd-sourcing website was also slated to help Roger Ebert re-launch his weekly television show, though those plans have been sadly cancelled.

8) The digital cinema projection company Cinedigm has continued its push to distribute movie and television content by acquiring digital and VOD rights to more than 1,000 episodes of Australian television. Cinedigm is also now conducting DCP instillations on more than 100 drive-in screens across the country.

9) In DreamWorks Animation news, the company has acquired the intellectual property rights to those Troll dolls from yesteryear. The company also appears to be recovering from Rise of the Guardian‘s disappointing release last November, with The Croods currently exceeding $200 million at the foreign box office, making it the second film in 2013 to gross more than $300 million worldwide.

10) The script-thief’s revenge… and does he take requests?


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

6 Responses to “ What Are You Missing? March 31-April 13 ”

  1. Cynthia B. Meyers on April 14, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    Re: “if you are a New York Times columnist you should maybe think twice about announcing to your readers that you steal HBO GO from a friend.” Is the word “steal” appropriate here?

    Mike Masnick points out that because the CFAA may be employed to criminalize the sharing of passwords, the CFAA is clearly ridiculous because it would criminalize nearly every internet user:


    Rather than reify the copyright companies’ insistence that unauthorized access to their content is a form of “stealing,” perhaps it could be pointed out that the refusal of HBO Go to allow non-cable subscribers to pay for access results in such password swapping. Wouldn’t it be better to characterize this as a market problem, not a criminal problem, which could be solved with a different business model?

  2. Eric Dienstfrey on April 14, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    Hi Cynthia, you raise an interesting issue. I would agree that HBO’s current model seems to encourage the sharing of passwords between internet users, but trying to call this only a “market problem” seems just as problematic since people are still acquiring unauthorized access to content without actually paying for that access. The price of the product might affect the behavior of consumers, but I’m not sure that a notably high price also changes the definition of the word “steal.”

  3. Eric Dienstfrey on April 14, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    Yikes! I think my response may have come across as snarky. Sorry about that.

    • Cynthia B. Meyers on April 14, 2013 at 4:19 PM


      No worries! I didn’t take your reply as snarky, just under-informed. 🙂

      Hope some of this info will convince you (and other readers) to reconsider using the word “stealing” when discussing these issues.

      Nina Paley’s humorous cartoon might provide comic relief:

  4. Eric Dienstfrey on April 14, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    Hi Cynthia,

    Thank you for the links! I am generally familiar with the scholarship regarding internet piracy, though I have not been following the discussions on techdirt.com.

    A few quick points in response…

    Just to be clear, you can have a market problem and still have someone steal products within that market. I’m not sure if you are saying that by calling it a market problem this then prevents people from using the word “steal” when describing certain events, but if you are saying this then I very much disagree.

    I also want to make sure that we are both in agreement that Wortham could have acquired authorized access to HBO GO if she were willing to pay for a full HBO subscription, as pricey as that might be. In many of the criticisms of HBO that i’ve read online, the arguments seem to pretend that HBO is preventing people from paying for HBO by not offering a GO-only option. This is obviously not the case. HBO is merely overpricing their product, but when companies do this it still means that acquiring the product illegally is a form of stealing. Otherwise, there are some university press hardbacks that I’d like to acquire through some “crafty workarounds.” 🙂

    Finally, the core of our disagreement seems to be about the concept of subscription access, specifically if subscription access can ever be stolen. I say it can and you say it cannot, and I’m not sure we will ever convince each other that one particular ontology of the concept is more accurate than the other. For instance, I agree with you that an unauthorized access does not prevent another person from accessing the website, but such prevention consequences are not essential to the act of stealing, at least not in common or legal parlance — think plagiarism.

    It will be interesting to see if scholars like yourself will succeed in changing the discourse on internet piracy by substituting another word for “steal.” Even if you were to take out of the equation a more obstinate person like myself, this does seem like an uphill battle.