Showbiz Sandbox 115: Record Industry Wages A Quiet War Over Song Rights

August 15, 2011

When the United States copyright law was revised in the mid-1970’s a little-known provision was included that lets musicians and songwriters reclaim ownership of their recordings after 35 years. Artists such as Bryan Adams, Bob Dylan, Loretta Lynn, Tom Petty and Tom Waits are set to regain control of their recordings starting in 2013 thanks to these “termination rights”. Rather than lose control of works worth millions of dollars, New York Times culture reporter Larry Rohter discusses how record labels plan to fight the provision in court.

Also picking a fight is Disney, which halted production of “The Lone Ranger” which was to star Johnny Depp and be directed by Gore Verbinski. Does pulling the plug on Jerry Bruckheimer’s latest blockbuster mean that Depp will refuse participate in another “Pirates of the Caribbean” sequel?

AMC has had its fair share of scuffles lately. After numerous disputes with the creators of their hit shows, AMC has become not only one of the most acclaimed cable networks in recent memory, but also one of the most troubled.

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Showbiz Sandbox 97: What The Failure Of “Mars Needs Moms” Means For Hollywood

March 22, 2011

When Disney’s animated film “Mars Needs Moms” flopped at the box office, film industry insiders struggled to pinpoint a possible cause.  Was it the motion-capture animation style?  The lackluster storyline?  Are multiplexes saturated with too animated family films?  Have higher 3D ticket prices caused moviegoers to become more picky?  We are joined by New York Times media reporter Brooks Barnes who faults a long list of culprits for the movies failure.

Meanwhile, music industry big shots trekked to Austin, Texas last week hoping to find undiscovered artists at the South by Southwest music conference.  However, 13-year-old Rebbecca Black didn’t have to attend SxSW to attract attention.  She became the world’s latest pop-star in under a week when her much maligned song and music video turned into a viral Internet sensation.

Streaming video continues to change the television landscape.  Video streaming service Netflix made the jump into original programming by picking up a television series.  Such a move was aimed at keeping Netflix ahead of an endless assortment of competitors entering the market.

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Showbiz Sandbox 58: Celebrities Take Over Broadway

June 14, 2010

The Tony Awards were held on Sunday evening honoring the year’s best Broadway productions and performances. Brian Scott Lipton the editor-in-chief of was there and he stops by to fill us in on all the big winners, memorable moments and why so many movie stars are currently working in theater.

The 11th Annual Golden Trailer Awards also took place this past week and Stephen Garrett of Kinetic Trailers won two big prizes. He joins us to discuss the current state of movie promos and what its like to win the award for Trashiest Trailer.

At the box office “The Karate Kid” knocked “Shrek Forever After” out of first place after three weeks and provided a little hope for this summer’s poor ticket sales. “The A Team” on the other hand opened to poor reviews and even worse box office receipts.

In television news, the final ratings for this past season’s television shows have been released. We’ll fill you in on which shows finished on top as well as the ones nobody cared to watch. You’ll never guess where “The Jay Leno Show” came in (hint: it’s not in the top 100).

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