Showbiz Sandbox 187: Does The Justice System Finally Understand Copyright?

Last week the Supreme Court of the United States dealt another blow to copyright owners in a landmark ruling that confirmed what most consumer advocates had been saying for years; the first sale doctrine does not have geographic boundaries. The court smacked down publisher J. Wiley & Sons’ copyright infringement lawsuit against Supap Kirtsaeng for reselling textbooks he had purchased at a discount in his native Thailand.

While major entertainment companies and trade groups like the MPAA and RIAA may have been on the losing end with the Supreme Court, an appeals court handed them a major victory by ruling in favor of movie studios who claimed that the operator of isoHunt, a large BitTorrent site, was inducing copyright infringement. The court agreed isoHunt was not eligible for safe harbor.

Meanwhile the Library of Congress announced 25 new recordings that will be added to its official preservation registry. We’ll fill you in on the grab bag of popular music, radio shows, news reports, opera and other recordings that made the cut.

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment headlines including NBC’s silly decision to oust Jay Leno from The Tonight Show (again), the booming Chinese box office and “Downtown Abbey’s” record ratings.

Continue reading Showbiz Sandbox 187: Does The Justice System Finally Understand Copyright?

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Showbiz Sandbox 23: Letterman and Polanski Go To The Dogs

We had a bunch of dogs as our guests this week, also known as Famous Men Doing Bad Things.

First we take a look a the North American box office. “Zombieland” won the top spot this week, beating out “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” “Toy Story/Toy Story 2,” “The Invention of Lying” (which could perhaps be the title of this podcast) and “Surrogates” rounding out the top five.

Now, on to our dogs. David Letterman played the victim when revealing an extortion attempt against him. Allegedly a producer from the television news show “48 Hours” attempted to blackmail him with proof that Letterman had carried on several affairs with female staffers over the years. Karen Woodward and Michael Giltz debate whether Letterman is guilty of sexual harassment or was just being stupid.

Roman Polanski is our next dog. Should he serve more time in prison for committing statutory rape in 1977? For fleeing the country? Or does he get a free pass because he’s a talented filmmaker?  Continue reading Showbiz Sandbox 23: Letterman and Polanski Go To The Dogs

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