Just want to reiterate that neither Jeffrey or I are lawyers, so take whatever we say as opinion and not as pure fact, although we try very hard to get our facts right.
As technology makes it way further and further into our society, into our work, our schools, our homes, we need to stay on top of how things are playing out in the legal sphere. The law tends to be very reactive and not very proactive. Technology is developing faster than the law can keep up.
No list of links directly related to this topic for this podcast, but if you are Twitter user, I’m going to give you the handles of some technology feeds that I pay close attention to. They all have corresponding websites, but the Twitter feeds are the best for monitoring breaking news.
ArsTechnica – @arstechnica
TechCruch – @techcrunch
Reddit Tech – @reddit_tech
Engadget – @engadget
Gizmodo – @Gizmodo
Wired – @WIRED
Internet of Shit – @internetofshit – This is a great one to watch for the outrageous items being connected to the Internet. He also focuses on how things go so terribly wrong. “Why did they connect THIS to the Internet?” is another ongoing theme. Recently he’s had a series of tweets about having to update light bulbs with new firmware/software and an Internet-connected winebottle.
Are you a budding screenwriter? Amazon sponsors a script writing competition each year. Submit your script on Amazon Studios where it will be evaluated publicly (anyone can visit Amazon, read it, and make comments) or privately where only an Amazon editor reviews it.
Amazon Studios picks the top 5 scripts from the competition to show Warner Bros. Pictures (their partner for this competition). If Amazon likes your script they may decide to buy it from you (for up to $200,000 but you won’t own it any longer and can’t earn additional money from it) or after 45 days paying you $10,000 to extend the option on it for a full 18 month period. An option means your script is off the market and you can’t show it to other producers.
Even if your script doesn’t get picked, it’s still a fine idea to submit it for evaluation and reviews from other people.
Other screenwriting contests can be found online. Do your research before submitting so you know what to expect. Here are two well-known contests (but they require a fee to enter):
At Studio 300 we have Celtx, a very intuitive script writing software package with options to create storyboards, sketches, production calenders, and call sheets. Check out books on script writing and see what Lynda.com videos (free in Studio 300) can teach you about screenplays.
Few topics generate more confusion than a discussion of intellectual property rights a.k.a. copyright. The US Constitution, in Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, empowers the United States Congress:
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.
The United States Copyright Office continues to define and refine that broad definition. Unfortunately, the result has been a confusing and often contradictory morass of (mis)information. To help you better understand this issue, here are three entertaining videos that discuss Copyright and Fair Use.
Copyright, What’s Copyright?
Copyright User Rights
A Fair(y) Use Tale
This clever example uses Disney cartoons to illustrate Fair Use.