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Better Distribution by Giving It Away?

Piracy CrusadeA scholar on piracy gave his book away, and boosted his sales.

The great “intellectual piracy” debate is generally conducted without data, but a recent example provides an intriguing case study. Communication scholar Aram Sinnreich writes about piracy and copyright. His latest book, The Piracy Crusade, argues that the music business’ fight against downloaders has been bad for business and for creative expression.

And he practiced what he preached. He made chapters of the book available for comment as he was writing it, and got his publisher, University of Massachusetts Press, to make it available under a Creative Commons license.Read more...

Will spectrum auctions disappear public TV?

In an important op-ed in public TV’s industry bible, Current, longtime public TV advocate (and spectrum guru) John Schwartz highlights a grim reality: the FCC’s recent Report and Order on spectrum auctions could jeopardize the future of public TV.

The problem: Public TV stations, like all other TV stations, can put their spectrum up for auction, and do what they like with the proceeds. Read more...

When Subjects Attack Filmmakers, Is Freedom of Expression at Risk?

When filmmakers take on tough subjects, do they need to take extra precautions? Crude, Bananas!, Venus and Serena, Central Park 5 all confronted legal challenges. Other important films, such as Gasland and Hot Coffee, have faced smear campaigns. Read more...

Social-Issue Docs Shine at AFI Docs

At AFI Docs, now in its second year, powerful, well-crafted social issue movies struggled to make connections with audiences committed to their issues.

The festival that grew out of Silverdocs weathered a second year, although still in search of budgetary stability after losing one presenting sponsor (Audi) and picking up another (ATT). Now positioned as a “best of fests” documentary festival, and notably U.S.-centric, it claims to “connect audiences and documentary filmmakers to policy leaders in the seat of our nation's government.” Read more...

HathiTrust Decision: Good News for Media That Matters

HathiTrustThe June 10 appeals court decision on HathiTrust advances the useability of fair use, protects innovation and helps makers of media that matters.

HathiTrust is a service of a consortium of more than 90 libraries. Read more...