Monday, September 30, 2013

News: Record Company Picks Copyright Fight With Wrong Guy


From NPR.
Record Label Picks Copyright Fight — With The Wrong Guy

by Laura Sydell, All Things Considered
Sept. 27, 2013

An Australian record label may have picked a fight with the wrong guy. The label sent a standard takedown notice threatening to sue after YouTube computers spotted its music in a video.

It turns out that video was posted by one of the most famous copyright attorneys in the world, and Lawrence Lessig is suing back.

Lessig, a Harvard Law School professor, has lectured around the world about how copyright law needs to adapt to the Internet age. In his lecture, he shows examples of people who have used the Internet to "share their culture and remix other people's creations."

One of the examples he likes to show is a series of remixes that use the song "Lisztomania" by the French band Phoenix. Someone remixed that song with clips from the iconic '80s movie The Breakfast Club. The remix went viral and inspired other videos in which people pretended to be Breakfast Club actors dancing to the song.

Lessig posted his lecture on YouTube, which uses a technology that scans videos to find copyrighted songs.

One day, "the computer bots finally got around to noticing that I had used a clip from this song," he says. "Liberation Music then fired off threats of a lawsuit to me if I didn't take it down."

At first, YouTube took it down. But being a copyright attorney, Lessig knew his rights. He was entitled to use these clips in a lecture under a legal doctrine known as fair use.
"If I'm using it for purposes of critique, then I can use if even if I don't have permission of the original copyright owner," he says.

Liberation Music eventually backed down. But Lessig decided to invoke another part of the copyright law, "which basically polices bad-faith lawsuits," he says — threats made fraudulently or without proper basis.

Lessig is suing Liberation Music because he wants labels to stop relying on automated systems to send out takedown notices, he says.


Famous Blades Of The Day

Remember Famous Shoes Of The Day? Same guy: Federico Mauro.

More here.

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Real-Life Inspirations For 17 Simpsons Characters

From Mental Floss.


Mr. Burns, Homer’s boss, is the richest man in Springfield (or the world). Mr. Burns was based on Olav Thon, a Norwegian businessman who reputedly took over a couple of businesses in his town and shut them down. Also, Frederick Olsen, a reclusive millionaire, who owned several companies, including Timex, is mentioned as a Mr. Burns influence. And Matt Groening’s high school teacher, Mr. Bailey.


The original breakout star of the series, Bart’s name is an anagram of the word “brat.” Bart’s character was based on another very mischievous cartoon character, Dennis the Menace. Creator Matt Groening said he was “always disappointed” that the Dennis the Menace TV show character wasn’t as mischievous as the comic strip.


Gumble is Homer’s best pal and the town drunk. Barney was based on a character from The Jackie Gleason Show of the 1960s called Crazy Guggenheim (played by actor Frankie Fontaine). Crazy Guggenheim was a rum-soaked drunken character who would chat with Jackie in comedy skits. Jackie played the bartender, the straight man to Crazy.


Springfield’s resident mad scientist was originally scripted to be an evil scientist. But during his first reading of the character, actor Hank Azaria ad-libbed his impression of Jerry Lewis’ character in The Nutty Professor. Everyone loved Hank’s interpretation and his Nutty Professor slant on Frink stuck. (Jerry Lewis later guest starred on a Simpsons episode, playing Professor Frink’s father.)


Apu runs Springfield’s local Kwik-E Mart. This very ethnic character was based on Peter Seller’s character in one of his best films, The Party.


Otto Mann was based on Guns ‘n’ Roses guitarist Slash. Both Otto and Slash have long black curly hair and both collect snakes.


Krusty the clown is Springfield’s TV star, a blasé, shlocky, Catskills-based comic. Krusty was based on a real-life clown named Rusty Nails, a semi-funny, semi-scary clown Matt Groening used to watch as a child. Krusty’s biography on the show was based on comedian Jackie Mason, a world-weary Jewish comedian whose father was an Orthodox rabbi.


The quintessential cheesy, grade B movie actor, Troy McClure is actually a combination of two grade B movie stars: Troy Donahue and Doug McClure. In real life, Doug McClure was not offended by the character, but flattered instead. His daughter often called him “Troy.”


Moe Szyslak, the very cranky local bartender and one of Homer’s trusted pals. Moe was based on the voice of acting great Al Pacino (Moe’s favorite film is The Godfather.) and possibly comedian Rich Hall, a friend of many Simpsons writers.

See the rest here.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

News: Russian Man Finds Dog That "Looks Like Putin"

From The Moscow Times.
Kiev Man Finds Dog That 'Looks Like Putin'

20 September 2013 | Issue 5217

A man in Ukraine has found a canine whose piercing gaze is strangely reminiscent of President Vladimir Putin's.

The dog, found in central Kiev and first reported by the website, is thought to be a mix between a Staffordshire terrier and a German shepherd.

The canine even appears dressed to be a head of state, with white markings on its chest seemingly forming a furry tie.

Further details about the dog — and the man who found it — were not immediately available.

Internet commentators were quick to joke about the dog, saying that Putin looks more like the dog than the dog looks like Putin and making references to Mikhail Bulgakov's "Heart of a Dog," in which a dog turns into a man.

Popular Irish comic presenter Graham Norton asked wryly on Twitter: "Geeeeeenius! I wonder if it bites the gays?"

(continued here)

Hilariously Inappropriate Prince Philip Quotes Of The Day

They say he suffers from foot-in-mouth disease, but I think he's a gifted comedian.

Thanks, Woodwoman, for the link (The Mirror).
After being told that Madonna was singing the James Bond Die Another Day theme in 2002: “Are we going to need ear plugs?”

To female sea cadet last year: “Do you work in a strip club?”

At a project to protect turtle doves in Anguilla in 1965, he said: “Cats kill far more birds than men. Why don’t you have a slogan: ‘Kill a cat and save a bird?’”

To President of Nigeria, who was in national dress, 2003: “You look like you’re ready for bed!”

To expats in Abu Dhabi last year: “Are you running away from something?”

In Canada in 1976: “We don’t come here for our health.”

On the Duke of York’s house, 1986: “It looks like a tart’s bedroom.”

To a British trekker in Papua New Guinea, 1998: “You managed not to get eaten then?”

Using Hitler’s title to address German chancellor Helmut Kohl in 1997, he called him: “Reichskanzler.”

To then Paraguay dictator General Stroessner: “It’s a pleasure to be in a country that isn’t ruled by its people.”

To Cayman Islanders: “Aren’t most of you descended from pirates?”

To Scottish driving instructor, 1995: “How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?”

A VIP at a local airport asked HRH: “What was your flight, like, Your Royal Highness? Philip: “Have you ever flown in a plane?” VIP: “Oh yes, sir, many times.” “Well,” said Philip, “it was just like that.”

“I’d like to go to Russia very much – although the bastards murdered half my family.” 1967.

On how difficult it is in Britain to get rich: “What about Tom Jones? He’s made a million and he’s a bloody awful singer.”

Turning down food, 2000: “No, I’d probably end up spitting it out over everybody.”

His description of Beijing, during a visit there in 1986: “Ghastly.”

On Princess Anne, 1970: “If it doesn’t fart or eat hay, she isn’t interested.”

To a group of industrialists in 1961: “I’ve never been noticeably reticent about talking on subjects about which I know nothing.”

“I don’t think a prostitute is more moral than a wife, but they are doing the same thing.” 1988.

While stuck in a Heriot Watt University lift in 1958: “This could only happen in a technical college.”

Read more here.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

New Netflix Gas Lets Users Inhale Multiple Seasons Of TV Shows

From The Onion.
New Netflix Gas Lets Users Inhale Multiple Seasons Of TV Shows

LOS GATOS, CA—Netflix unveiled its brand-new fume-based streaming service Monday, finally allowing its nearly 26 million worldwide subscribers to instantly inhale multiple seasons of their favorite television shows in just one sitting, company sources confirmed.
“With Netflix Gas, we’re really hoping to tap into a demographic that’s a little more fast-paced, a little more on-the-go, and that just wants to sit down whenever they have the chance and breathe in three or four seasons of, say, Fringe in less than 10 seconds,” said company spokesperson Brian Cohn.

He explained that the new service is $11.99 per month and comes with a complimentary Entertainment Mask that fits comfortably over users’ mouths and—via a combination of nitrous oxide, vaporized ether, and the gaseous state of the entire series of Sports Night—allows them to transmit all 45 episodes of the show directly into their bloodstreams and into their brains.

“Frankly, we think this distribution model is going to be the future of how Americans watch television.”

Reports indicate that the media company has already approached director Sam Mendes to create an original drama series based on the life of Al Capone solely for Netflix Gas.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Obscure Chinese Proverbs Of The Day

From McSweeney's.
Obscure Chinese Proverbs

by Dennis Mahoney

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane.

At dawn, we are all children of the new day. Except for bastards.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will starve before mastering the skill, thus saving you today’s delicious fish.

A door without handles is merely a wall. Or a hole. Or a weird window.

A slave with no master is free, but a master with no slave is lazy and bitter, with a soft, oily body and bad hair, complaining to the dog, who could not care less.

The gem cannot be polished without friction. Nor can boils. Nor testicles.

Go forth and boldly seek your fortune! Or go to grad school, I don’t care.

Pleasure and pain are twin serpents in the garden of your desire, which is full of weeds, animal carcasses, and poison-berries.

He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever and yet appears much wiser than he who asked five minutes ago.

Keep your broken arm inside your sleeve, where the maggots cannot feed upon it.

When you drink the water, remember the spring. That week at Myrtle Beach! Dude, remember that girl’s tits?

Lumbergh Memes & Parodies Of The Day


Face Mashup Of The Day: Steve Buscemi & Emma Watson

Well this is slightly disconcerting.

Monday, September 23, 2013

15 Examples Of Why Patrick Stewart Is Awesome (Of The Day)

Q: What did Captain Picard say when he took his sewing machine to the repair shop?
A: Make it sew!

Thanks, I'll here all week. But enough about me; enjoy the awesomeness that is Sir Patrick Stewart.

And the internet's most famous facepalm:


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