Hollywood: It’s time to get creative, use the Net

Dan Gillmor takes Hollywood to task for failing to use the Internet creatively.

When I teach in Asia every fall, I can’t legally watch my favorite American network TV shows unless I persuade someone to record them while I’m away. This is ridiculous. Last November, staying in an apartment that included a broadband Internet connection, I just downloaded them — yes, from a peer-to-peer file sharing system… I would have been delighted to pay for this convenience, but of course Hollywood won’t hear of such a thing, not yet, anyway. Another business opportunity for someone?

Save Betamax

Just a reminder: today’s the day to call in to oppose the INDUCE act. You can still sign up. Update: I made my calls, everyone I talked to seemed bored and slightly annoyed at getting the calls but hopefully the message will get through.

Save Betamax – National Call-In Day September 14

Downhill Battle is organizing a national call-in day to oppose the INDUCE act. Sign up to call Senators who support the act on September 14th. The INDUCE act threatens to reverse the Supreme Court’s Betamax ruling that made VCR’s legal:

The Betamax ruling is the only thing that protects your right to own a VCR, tape recorder, CD-burner, DVD-burner, iPod, or TiVo. It’s that important. But new legislation that’s being pushed through the Senate by lobbyists for the music and movie industries would override the Betamax decision and create a huge liability for any business that makes products which can copy sound or video. This legislation (formerly known as the INDUCE Act) would essentially give Hollywood veto power over a huge range of new technologies. And if they get this power, they’ll definitely use it: just as they tried to stomp out the VCR in the 70’s and 80’s, the music and movie industries want to force all content to go through their own restricted channels.

I’ve never actually called a Congresscritter’s office but this bill is sneaking through because Congress thinks it’s below the public’s radar, we need to make our voices heard.

Vote or Not

The creators of Hot or Not are giving away $100,000 to a registered voter and another $100,000 to the person who refers the winner to the sweepstakes. Go register and I’ll get the referral.