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Starnik's Journal of AMAZEMENT
The Life and Times of a Dull Person
Recent Entries 
1st-Apr-2012 09:34 pm - Image Meme
Starscream - Starnik
• Post ten of any pictures currently on your hard drive that you think are self-expressive.

• NO CAPTIONS!!! It must be like we're speaking with images and we have to interpret your visual language just like we have to interpret your words.

• They must ALREADY be on your hard drive - no googling or flickr! They have to have been saved to your folders sometime in the past. They must be something you've saved there because it resonated with you for some reason.

• You do NOT have to answer any questions about any of your pictures if you don't want to. You can make them as mysterious as you like. Or you can explain them away as much as you like.

What do these say about me?Collapse )
6th-Feb-2011 12:53 pm - Sports and Gender
Hey Kid - Starnik
Some interesting highlights from Sports and Entertainment Law.

In 1931, Virne Beatrice “Jackie” Mitchell, a 17-year-old woman pitching for the Chattanooga Lookouts, struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in an exhibition game. Baseball commissioner Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis responded by banning women from professional baseball on the grounds that it was “too strenuous” for them to participate.

Title IX [gender equity legislation] was slipped into a civil-rights law because conservative Southerners thought the idea of granting equal opportunities for women would derail the bill. It was signed into law by President Nixon. The legislation did not specifically mention athletics, but it did require the promulgation of regulations to achieve gender equity in educational opportunities.

The NCAA continues to oppose the addition of new sports such as women’s football, wrestling, rugby, and dance and cheer, despite the growing interest in those sports on the part of women. Instead, they encourage competition in synchronized swimming, tennis, and other sports that appeal to women of higher socioeconomic status. The NCAA’s reasons for such efforts are not clear.
2nd-Feb-2011 11:22 pm - Birthday
Lucy Crying - Starnik

I turn the big ol' 26 today. Kinda depressing how close I am now to 30. OH WELL GUESS I'LL WATCH SOME CARTOONS.
Stifl & Olly - Starnik

I want to see your sickest, flyest, killer, most skootypuff rhymes, people.
15th-Jan-2011 06:52 pm - Rainbow Dash is my favorite
Eyebrow - Starnik
Wait, wait, wait.

Just HOW many of my friends are watching My Little Pony: The Friendship is Magic?
11th-Jan-2011 11:36 am - Copyrights Again
Starscream - Starnik
Here's another account from the book I'm reading. First, some background info: Back in the 1970s-80s, when videocassette market was new and fresh, the movie and TV industry did their best to find that home recordings were a violation of copyright law in an attempt to pressure Sony (who had invented the Betamax) to agree to a licensing fee similar to the compulsory licensing compromises for the music recording industry or cable television. The district court held that home use of video recorders was a fair use, and Sony couldn't be held responsible for the public's use of the machine if a person violated copyright. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit reversed, finding that home use of video recorders wasn't fair use, and Sony could be held liable for supplying a product who's primary and intended purpose was to tape commercial television programs, virtually all which were copyrighted.

The public response to the decision was immediate and generally hysterical, with cartoons and commentary overwhelmingly conveying a sense of fear and outrage. The most prevalent image was that of a police officer or FBI agent whisking away home videotapers in handcuffs. Congress promised to make an amendment to copyright law overturning the decision, but eventually didn't have to; the Supreme Court reversed the Ninth Circuit in a 5-to-4 squeaker of a decision.

Furthermore, at this time Video Rental Markets were picking up steam. The First Sale Doctrine allows that once someone buys a particular copy of a copyrighted work, they may dispose of that copy however they want, including by sale or by rental. This allows video rental stores to buy a copy of a movie and then make money by renting it out again and again without paying any royalty. There used to be an audio version of these rental stores, but the Recording Industry reacted swiftly enough to get Congress to make an exception to the First Sale Doctrine for them. The same went for Software Programmers. There are various theories as to why, from conspiracy theories about lobbying efforts to the idea that Congressmen weren't keen on taking away a cheap form of entertainment for their constituents.

In any event, the copyright owners of movies and television programs got neither the license for home video recording nor the rental amendment they said was necessary for their continued survival. James Lardner wrote this about movie industry's two big defeats:

"Looking back on the collapse of the movie industry's lobbying efforts, [Jack] Valenti agred with Dale Snape's assessment. 'You've got to be proconsumer, and we were never able to show that we were proconsumer,' he said. He singled out the press as another big headache. The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post, had come out against the rental bill, as they had against the royalty. 'We got completely snookered-just absolutely destroyed-in the press!' Valenti exclaimed.... 'But I suppose we lost this battle when those cartoons appeared about video police coming into your homes. The cartoonist killed us. We became the objects of ridicule. Moliére once wrote that most men don't object to being called wicked, but all men mightily object to being made ridiculous, and the Moliére line is quite relevant today.'"

I just find this fascinating, especially the part about cartoonists being named as a decisive factor.
10th-Jan-2011 01:45 pm - Copyrights
Starscream - Starnik
I'm finally studying Copyrights this year! Here's an interesting excerpt from one of the books I'm reading.

"The granting of property rights in creative works isn't the only way to foster creativity. We could decide not to grant special rights to our writers, and trust that the good ones will be able to get enough money from public or private sources to continue their good work, either by grants or through tangentially related jobs (like playing the organ or waiting tables). But the primary solution our society has adopted, following the model of England and of the rest of the world, is to support the arts indirectly by creating economic incentives for people to create the works.

It's not a perfect system. There are probably many deserving works that for one reason or another aren't going to succeed in the marketplace. But how many starving artists would toil away at their trade if it weren't for the prospect, however remote, that if they make it big they will be handsomely rewarded? Since the odds of any creative person's actually succeeding are rather small, we have to make the payoff, if they're successful, sufficiently large to tempt them.

I call it the lottery incentive theory. If you make the jackpot big enough, a lot of people will wait in line to buy tickets, even if the odds against winning are astronomically high. And it's a relatively cheap system, because you don't have to pay off very many of the participants to keep them playing."
9th-Dec-2010 11:09 am - Best/Worst day ever?
Hey Kid - Starnik
Yesterday, I spent the morning studying for my Trademarks exam, then picked up some great comics like Thor: The Mighty Avenger #7 (A series I strongly recommend to anyone who's interested in a lighthearted, fun, almost story-book series with great writing and excllent artwork), and saw Tangled (also a very fun movie, I recommend seeing it).

Today my alarm didn't go off, so I woke up about 30 minutes before the exam started at 8:30am. I managed to get there on time, but had to forego breakfast, showering, shaving, etc. And then the first question on the test was an extrodinarily devious little trick problem that played on difference between Certification Marks and Trademarks, something we probably spent about ten minutes covering on the first day of class. What a difference a night makes.

At least now I have a week to prepare for my Federal Income Tax Law exam.
25th-Nov-2010 11:06 am - Turkey Day
Starscream - Starnik
I hope everyone is having a good thanksgiving! My sister and I helped make some pies. They turned out pretty good I think!

As for an update on my life, everything is going pretty smoothly. I have one semester left of law school, and next semester I might have an internship working with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). While my main interest is copyright law, I've been taking an immigration law course this semester and found the issues very interesting, so it's not like I'm going completely out of my element.
7th-Oct-2010 04:11 pm - Hit me baby one more time
Angry Doom - Starnik
So, my laptop's battery died while taking notes in class. So I set up an appointment with the Apple Store to have it looked at, but while driving out to the store my car overheated and broke down. I had forgotten my cell phone, so I had to hike towards a church and borrow theirs to call an auto shop for their tow-trucking service. They towed it to the auto dealership about two blocks away for $68, and the auto shop said they'd have to hold it overnight before they could look at it. I ended up having to call a cab service to drive me back to school when I realized my apartment key was still on the keychain I left with the auto store, so I had to pay to borrow a duplicate from the front desk and unlock my room. My computer is still borked, though it works as long as I keep it plugged in (guess I'm going pencil and paper for note taking tomorrow!).

Shitty day.
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