« NYS Court Rejects NYC Mayor's Claim of Exemption Regarding Freedom of Information Law | Main | Rally at City Hall in NYC to Save the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities »

Week in Review

By Anna Stowe DeNicola

Below, for your browsing convenience, the categories are divided into Entertainment, Arts, Sports, and Media:

ENTERTAINMENT

Travel Ban Puts Lincoln Center Play in Jeopardy

The Lincoln Center Festival is scheduled to mount the American premiere of a play by Syrian playwright Mohammad Attar. Visas for several of the Syrian artists involved in the production are pending. President Trump's second travel ban, though currently blocked by a federal district court order, has administration at the Festival concerned about obtaining the artists' visas. Thought the play was programmed to be part of the Festival prior to the travel ban, Festival Director Nigel Redden stated that even the idea of the travel ban highlights "how important it is for us to have greater understanding of the world beyond our own boarders."

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/22/theater/travel-ban-threatens-a-lincoln-center-festival-play.html

Disney Fined for Minimum Wage Violations

The Disney Company was fined $3.8 million dollars for violating minimum wage laws. Practices such as deducting uniform or costume expenses from wages, or failing to count any pre-shift hours employees worked, caused many people to fall below federal minimum wage. The $3.8 million will be paid out as back wages to thousands of employees working at the Florida arm of the company.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/disney-pays-38m-violating-minimum-wage-rules-987174

Another Venue for the Stairway to Heaven Battle

The heir of songwriter Randy Wolf appealed the district court verdict that found that Jimmy Page did not copy the introduction to "Stairway to Heaven." The jury found that Jimmy page had heard Wolf's song, but that the two were not substantially similar. In the brief filed last week in the Ninth Circuit, the heir's attorney argues that evidentiary errors and erroneous instructions were the reason for the verdict. Another issue on appeal is the issue of using sound recordings versus recreations of sheet music filed with the Copyright Office as evidence at trial. Both issues are also central to the appeal of the "Blurred Lines" decision, in which a jury found that Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams infringed Marvin Gaye's work.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/stairway-heaven-fight-heads-9th-circuit-987061

Russian Eurovision Entrant Barred by Ukraine from Competition

The Ukrainian government barred Russia's Eurovision entrant from entering the country, claiming that she had illegally entered Crimea without going through Ukrainian boarder controls. Fans were wondering if Russia would participate at all this year, given the delicate and sometimes contentious relationships between the two countries. Every year, contestants from around the world participate in the contest. The home country of the prior year's winner hosts the competition. This year's production already had a rocky start, when the show's producers suddenly resigned in February amidst rumors of corruption.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/22/arts/music/ukraine-bars-russias-eurovision-entrant.html

Cosby's Legal Team Requests that Jurors Be Screened for Bias

Attorneys for actor Bill Cosby asked that potential jurors be pre-screened for bias. Cosby is facing civil sexual-assault accusations in a Pennsylvania state court in June. The increased media scrutiny of the case has caused his lawyers to fear that it will be impossible to find jurors who have not already made a decision regarding the accusations against him. The court has already issued an order ruling that the jury pool be selected from a county 300 miles away from the location of the trial.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/20/arts/cosby-lawyers-ask-that-jurors-be-screened-for-bias.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Farts&action=click&contentCollection=arts®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=sectionfront

In Remembrance of Trisha Brown

Trisha Brown, the celebrated postmodernist dance choreographer, passed away last week. Born in the Pacific Northwest in 1936, she earned her degree in modern dance fro Mills College in Oakland, California. Her early influencers were Louis Horst, Robert Ellis Dunn, and composer John Cage. She began her career in New York in the 1960s, founding an avant-garde dance theater group when she first arrived. She then founded an experimental dance collective, Grand Union, an finally her own ensemble, the Tricia Brown Dance Company.

The early years in her career were marked by choreography performed in unconventional spaces and without music. The concept was called "democratic dance," many of the movements in her pieces were those that an untrained dancer could perform. She "pared dance down to its basics" and then reconstructed it by combining physical acts together in innovative ways. Her self-proclaimed approach was "the line of least resistance." In the late 1970s she began adding music and theatrical elements into her works. Her works gained notoriety in London and France. She entered a phase where she choreographed dances set to classical music, including works by Monteverdi, Bach, Rameau, Schubert, and Bizet. Her canon included several solos created for herself, including one that she later adapted to a duet for herself and Mikhail Baryshnikov. She stopped creating new works in 2011, although her company continued performing her repertoire. In 2016 BAM mounted the final presentation of her "Proscenium" theater pieces.

Brown was recognized by the French government with the honor of Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres, and was promoted to Officer and later Commandeur in 2004. She was the first female choreographer to be named a MacArthur fellow.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/20/arts/dance/trisha-brown-dead-modern-dance-choreographer.html

ARTS

Supreme Court Holds Separable Designs on Utilitarian Objects are Eligible for Copyright Protection

The Supreme Court held 6-2 in Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc., No. 15-866 (Sup. Ct. March 22, 2017), that the design features of a cheerleader's uniform, namely the stripes, chevrons, angles, curves, colors, and diagonals, are copyrightable. The Court articulated a two-pronged test for copyright eligibility for the "artistic feature[s] of a design of a useful article." The design element is eligible for copyright protection if "the feature (1) can be perceived as a two- or three-dimensional work of art separate from the useful article, and (2) would qualify as a protectable pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work either on its own or in some other medium if imagined separately from the useful article."

The Copyright Act excludes useful articles from copyright protection. Although this standard is facially clear, judicial interpretation of this statutory limitation has been inconsistent. The Supreme Court in Star Athletica rejected the approach of many courts, which have distinguished between the "physical" and "conceptual" separability of a design. Justice Thomas, writing for the majority, instead wrote that the test should focus on the "extracted" features of the design, not "any aspects of the useful article that remain after the imaginary extraction." The Court easily applied this new test to the designs on cheerleader uniforms, finding that they were "readily identifiable" as independent pictorial, graphic, or sculptural qualities, and would constitute two-dimensional works of art if separated from the uniform itself.

Justice Breyer dissented, arguing that the designs could not be perceived as two- or three-dimensional works of art independently from the uniforms, and therefore were not eligible for copyright protection. His view was that the designs "could not be conceived of separately from the useful article without conjuring up the article itself."

Justice Ginsburg filed a concurring opinion, and Justice Breyer wrote a dissenting opinion, in which Justice Kennedy joined.

http://nysbar.com/blogs/EASL/2017/03/2-4-6-8_lets_give_a_cheer_for_.html

The Republican Lineup in the Fight for the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities

With Republicans controlling Congress and the White House, elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in theory should be a slam-dunk. However, the fight to eliminate these line items from the budget is far from over. A faction of Republicans are backing away from the traditional Republican stance on funding for the arts and humanities and are publicly advocating against their elimination. The argument about funding for the arts and humanities as shifted over the past decades. Arguments over content, ideology and free speech no longer frame the dialogue. The conversation now tends to center on economic allocation and the President's vision for the country. Congressional representatives are not losing sight of the fact that grants from the NEA and NEH infuse millions of dollars into their districts. Last year, 2,400 grants were recommended in 16,000 communities. Strong advocates of the programs are framing the case for arts and humanities funding around its economic impact and the potential for grant money to have a multiplying effect on economic investment.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/17/arts/nea-neh-trump-congress.html

New York Appeals Court is the First to Test the HEAR Act: Whether Statute of Limitations Should Apply To Possibly Looted Art

The Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery ("HEAR") Act, passed by Congress in 2016, requires "good faith efforts to facilitate the return of ... works of art to the rightful owners in cases where assets were confiscated from the claimant during the period of Nazi rule...." The Act The NY Court of Appeals is set to hear a case under the HEAR Act. Heirs of Fritz Grunbaum claim his art collection was looted by the Nazis, but a 2010 court ruling found no evidence that the works in question were stolen, but rather had been part of a lot of 53 works sold by Grunbaum's sister-in-law to a Swiss art dealer. Further, the court held that the heirs should have been aware of their rights to the art, and that they failed to make a timely claim. The Court of Appeals now has to decide if that prior decision applies to all of the 53 works or whether to adjudicate the current case on the merits alone. Many people believe that the 2010 ruling "imposed an onerous burden" on the Grunbaum heirs to search for their property following the Holocaust. The heirs argue that it is unreasonable to allege that they could have previously asserted a claim for the paintings at issue, and that the prior holding should not affect their ability to assert a claim.

http://jewishweek.timesofisrael.com/new-shoah-art-law-gets-first-court-test/

Gaping Gender Gap in Leadership Roles at Top Museums

The Association of Art Museum Directors released a study of gender in leadership at museums, which shows that only three out of 20 of the largest museums in the U.S. are led by women. While that percentage is alarming, the great news is that out of all the art museums in the country, 48% of them are led by women. At the smallest museums, the number of women leaders increases to 54%. Smaller museums lead in offering comparable salaries between genders. However, as the budget size of the museum increases, the study revealed that the gender salary gap widened. Notable among female leaders at top-tier museums is Anne Pasternak, Director of the Brooklyn Museum. She was a unique and unconventional choice to lead a large museum, not having risen through the traditional ranks. The Board and Search Committee of the Brooklyn Museum was comprised of a large percentage of women, which may explain the Board's willingness to think outside the box and hire an unconventional candidate. Generally, women who aspire to a museum directorship often enroll in curatorial leadership programs. Alumnae of these programs have been successfully in securing top posts at museums across the country. The hope is that these graduates, and now museum leaders, continue to feed in to the pool of attractive executives for some of the larger posts. Of course, the most attractive opening of all is currently vacant with many watching to see who will fill the role at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/22/arts/design/gender-gap-persists-at-largest-museums.html

Painting From the National Gallery in London Is the Victim of an Attack with a Sharp Object

A Thomas Gainsborough painting was "attacked" by a man with a sharp object at the National Gallery in London last weekend. The canvas was not damaged in the attack, but the attacker cut through several layers of paint. The wing of the National Gallery that was home to the painting was evacuated, and the alleged attacker was apprehended and subsequently charged with "causing criminal damage."

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/20/arts/national-gallery-gainsborough-attack.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Farts&action=click&contentCollection=arts®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=7&pgtype=sectionfront

Art Thief Octave Durham Subject of Dutch Documentary - Discloses Details Regarding His Heist of Three Works By Van Gogh

In a new documentary, Octave Durham tells the tale about how he lifted two priceless Van Gogh paintings from the walls of the Van Gogh Museum in 2002. He faces no legal consequences by making a confession, as he already served his 25-month prison sentence. Burglary was a way of life for him, and he does not shy away from boasting about his various heists. He claims the theft of the paintings took just over 3 ½ minutes: he targeted the smallest paintings in the gallery, stuffed them in his bag, and later discarded the frames by throwing them in a canal. Durham was ultimately caught when he attempted to sell the paintings to an Italian mobster. Authorities tracked down Durham by following the trail of expenditures as he blew through the proceeds from the sale. Italian police located the stolen paintings after they received a tip regarding their location, and ultimately turned them over to Dutch authorities. The mobster who purchased the painting from Durham ultimately fled from Italy to Dubai, and faces a 20-year prison sentence upon his return. Italian authorities are seeking extradition.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/19/arts/design/van-gogh-museum-theft-octave-dunham.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Farts&action=click&contentCollection=arts®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=16&pgtype=sectionfront

Remembering David Rockefeller's Arts Philanthropy

Besides being the head of Chase Manhattan Bank, an internationally revered businessman, a stalwart in New York black tie gala social circle, and the last surviving grandson of John D. Rockefeller, David Rockefeller was a prominent arts philanthropist with a legendary art collection of about 15,000 works. He served as Chair of the Museum of Modern Art and used his influential role in the business community to encourage corporations to purchase and display art in their buildings and offices, and to subsidize local museums. Rockefeller joined the Board of the Museum of Modern Art in 1940, replacing his mother, who had helped found the museum in the 1920s. He spent time wooing art dealers, and coordinated a syndicate to buy Gertrude Stein's modern art collection. Works from his own collection remain on permanent loan to the Museum.

In addition to his arts philanthropy, Rockefeller was a strong voice in the development of lower Manhattan. He founded and served as Chair of the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association. He recommended the construction of the World Trade Center and established Chase's headquarters in the Wall Street area, providing financial stability and leverage to complete the World Trade Center project. When the city began defaulting on loans and bonds in the mid-1970s, he was instrumental in pulling city leaders together with federal and state officials to compose an economic plan for the city. Two U.S. Presidents offered him the position of Treasury Secretary, but he turned the job down both times.

Later in his life, Rockefeller pledged a $100 million bequest to the Museum of Modern Art. Energetic until his last days, his 90th birthday celebrations included a celebrity-filled gala with a price tag of up to $90,000 for a table. More than 850 people clamored to celebrate his life and impact on New York City. His lasting philanthropic endeavors and contributions will be felt for generations to come.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/20/business/david-rockefeller-dead-chase-manhattan-banker.html

SPORTS

NCAA President Remains Steadfast Over Discrimination Policy

The NCAA believes strongly in its anti-discrimination policy and will continue to stand up against state laws that curb anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ individuals. This year, the NCAA pulled its first- and second-round tournament games from North Carolina in response to the state's "bathroom bill" that pulled back anti-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ population. Texas and Arkansas have similar bills pending. Approval of the Texas Senate could cause the NCAA to relocate the 2018 Final Four series of games, currently set for San Antonio. North Carolina faces a potential void of NCAA games for six years if it does not repeal the controversial bill.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/17/sports/ncaabasketball/ncaa-discrimination-north-carolina-mark-emmert.html

President of USA Gymnastics Resigns Amidst Scandal

Last week, the president of USA Gymnastics, Steve Penny, resigned amidst a sexual abuse scandal. Penny's background is in media and public relations. He worked in this area for many years before joining USA Gymnastics. One of his functions with the organization was to evaluate sexual abuse claims. His lack of experience conducting this type of investigation did not raise any red flags for the organization. However, as allegations of rampant sexual abuse is hitting many Olympic sports franchises, the U.S. Olympic Committee is establishing new programs and guidelines for Olympic sports organizations in order to protect athletes from sexual abuse. At USA Gymnastics, internal investigations into 54 coaches were opened, some with multiple complaints filed against them. It was the policy of USA Gymnastics to conduct an internal investigation first, to determine whether the complaint should be referred to the police. The investigation into former team doctor Larry Nassar lasted five weeks, leaving gymnasts exposed to his abuse. Former Coach Martin Sharp went unreported for four years. He was arrested and charged with counts of child pornography, child molestation, and sexual abuse with a minor. Another coach, Steve Infante, was accused of having sex with gymnasts, but went unreported. He later was charged with raping one of his athletes. Both Penny and USA Gymnastics have been accused with negligence in several civil lawsuits against them.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/17/sports/olympics/macur-steve-penny-usa-gymnastics-scandal.html

Sexual Abuse Accusations at Michigan

Michigan State finds itself further embroiled in sexual abuse allegations, as a gymnast accused sports doctor Larry Nasser of sexually assaulting her in 2000. The current investigation is independent from the formal criminal inquiry and host of accusations against the doctor. The University is currently defending itself against other accusations made against Dr. Nasser.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/23/sports/usa-hockey-postpones-womens-teams-training-camp.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fsports&action=click&contentCollection=sports®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=7&pgtype=sectionfront

The Face of Sports Marketing Without the Players - NCAA as a Case Study

Strict prohibitions by the NCAA from using the names or likenesses of college athletes in advertising forces advertisers to be creative in their approach to sports marketing. Over $1 billion is spent in TV ads during the tournament, and millions of dollars more in online and venue advertisements. Some companies are using team mascots rather than players, and one chose to use an actor portrayed in a team uniform. The use of former players or coaches is another approach. Despite the creative marketing approaches, advertisers at times still find it difficult to connect their brands to their audiences without the star power of the players themselves. Of course, the increased commercialization of college athletics, especially football and basketball, continues to open the door to questions regarding whether collegiate players should receive a piece of the pie.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/19/business/media/ncaa-tournament-ads-player-images.html

An Unlikely New President for the UEFA - A Young "Outsider" From Slovenia

UEFA's new president, Aleksander Ceferin, is poised to make "sweeping changes" to the landscape of European soccer. Considered an outsider, Ceferin was elected in a landslide. He aims to institute changes, such as term limits, and increase transparency in the organization. His first order of business, and perhaps a sign of things to come, is a small measure that perhaps only a few will notice: at the upcoming annual UEFA Congress, he placed all Federation presidents and Executive Committee members at a single hotel, rather than giving Executive Committee members more luxurious lodging, and creating an open seating plan for the dinner. Ceferin feels compelled to change the traditional approach to the sport, encouraging cross-border leagues and eliminating clandestine deals and "murky patronage."

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/20/sports/soccer/uefa-aleksander-ceferin.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fsports&action=click&contentCollection=sports®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=4&pgtype=sectionfront

Former Football Player Gale Sayers Diagnosed with Dementia

The family of Gale Sayers, a member of the Professional Football Hall of Fame, blames his football career on his diagnosis of dementia. He received the diagnosis several years ago. Doctors suggested that the head impacts common in football and more broadly the shaking of the brain that occurs during a tackle contributed to his dementia. The family did not hide his diagnosis, but weren't publicly vocal about his condition. He filed a lawsuit against the National Football League (NFL) and a helmet manufacturer, claiming that they failed to prevent repeated head injuries. The lawsuit pointed to headaches, short-term memory loss, and cognitive deficits due to chronic traumatic brain injuries. He withdrew the lawsuit in 2013.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/21/sports/gale-sayers-has-dementia-his-family-says.html

Ex-Baylor Player's Conviction Overturned

A Texas appellate court overturned the assault conviction of a former Baylor football player. The court held that text messages exchanged between the victim and assailant prior to the assault should have been admitted into evidence. The trial court ruled that these texts had no bearing on the issue of consent. Two former Baylor football players were convicted of assault, and the University hired counsel to investigate the University's response to sexual assault allegations. Several women filed lawsuits against the University, claiming that the school mishandled, suppressed, or ignored their allegations of sexual assault for years.

https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2017/03/23/us/ap-us-baylor-sexual-assault-investigation.html

Tom Brady's Missing Jerseys Recovered by the FBI

The FBI, in collaboration with Houston police tracked star quarterback Tom Brady's missing Super Bowl jersey to Mexico, where it was found in the possession of a Mexican newspaper editor. Mauricio Ortega, editor of La Prensa, also had in his possession another one of Brady's Super Bowl jerseys, and a helmet belonging to Bronco's linebacker Von Miller. Ortega was seen on surveillance footage leaving the Patriot's locker room with something under his shirt. Other Mexican journalists who were in Houston for the game stated that he was acting like a fan, not a reporter. He collected autographs and selfies, and purchased memorabilia. This case has raised questions about the security vetting for the thousands of journalists who cover the Super Bowl each year. Many credentialed journalists attend the Super Bowl simply for the fanfare, and have access to the playing field and locker rooms. Although the locker rooms are staffed with security, game day chaos makes it difficult to ensure nothing is stolen. Whether the NFL will change its policy allowing reporters to have access to team locker rooms remains up in the air.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/20/sports/football/tom-brady-super-bowl-jersey-stolen.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/21/sports/man-in-brady-case-acted-like-fan-journalists-say.html

Women's Hockey Labor Dispute

This week there were a series of articles covering the labor dispute between Women's Hockey and USA Hockey. Below is a brief summary of each.

Light Shed on USA Hockey Leadership

Last Monday's 10-hour negotiation session between players of U.S. women's hockey team and USA Hockey left the players feeling hopeful that an agreement was in sight. However, USA Hockey came back on Thursday with a counter proposal, and communication that replacements would be sought if the parties did not reach a deal. The ongoing labor dispute has highlighted the lack of women in leadership roles at USA Hockey. Three out of 14 Executive Committee members are women, and throughout the organization leadership positions are held by men. This puts the labor issues in perspective, and not surprising in an organization dominated by men. The International Olympic Committee set a goal for all partner organizations to include 20% women by 2005. Several American governing bodies lack diversity: only six out of 47 national governing bodies have women in top leadership roles. 157 of a total of 569 members are women, and only eight boards have 40% or higher female representation.

The women's U.S. hockey team is one of the most successful American teams in Winter Olympic sports. Many young players are supporting the team members by refusing to act as replacements if the boycott moves forward. Among the demands made, the players are requesting a wage increase to $70,000 annually, a sharp increase from the $1,000/month salary currently paid to players during the Olympic period (six months every four years). They have also demanded equitable accommodations, insurance, and more opportunities for girls.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/24/sports/hockey/usa-hockey-male-leadership.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fsports&action=click&contentCollection=sports®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=4&pgtype=sectionfront

Women and USA Hockey Exchange Barbs in Contract Talks

Contract talks between the U.S. Women's Hockey Team and USA Hockey continue as the sides disagree regarding the cost of the demands made by the players. USA Hockey contends that the demands would cost between $5.7 million and $8 million per year, and the players state those figures are "patently false."

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/18/sports/hockey/female-players-and-usa-hockey-spar-over-contract-talks.html

National Women's Hockey Team Threatens to Boycott World Championships

USA Hockey and representatives from the women's national team are set to meet early this week. An ongoing wage dispute is looming over the upcoming world championship tournament, with the players threatening to boycott if their demands are not met. The U.S. Women's team is the defending world champion.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/20/sports/womens-national-team-usa-hockey-boycott.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fsports&action=click&contentCollection=sports®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=3&pgtype=sectionfront

Women Gave a Two Week Deadline Before Boycott

The women's national hockey team has issued an ultimatum - either resolve our differences within the next two weeks, or we will boycott the World Championships. The players contend that they are not receiving a living wage, especially compared to their male counterparts. Their plea argues that of the women's soccer team - that they want equitable compensation. While a boycott would bring visibility to the dispute, the Federation would likely seek replacements and the show would go on.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/15/sports/hockey/us-women-world-championship-boycott-contract.html

Women's U.S. Hockey Spring Training Postponed Due to Labor Dispute

Spring training for the women's World Hockey Championships was scheduled to begin on March 28th, but has been delayed due to the ongoing labor dispute between the players and USA Hockey. An exhibition game was also cancelled against Finland, which was scheduled for March 30th. The World Championships are set to begin on March 31st in Plymouth, MI. The U.S. team is the reigning title holder.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/23/sports/usa-hockey-postpones-womens-teams-training-camp.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fsports&action=click&contentCollection=sports®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=7&pgtype=sectionfront

Replacements Being Contacted to Step In At Women's Hockey World Championships

Despite a statement indicating it is working towards having the original U.S. Women's Hockey team play at the upcoming World Championships, the players' threat to boycott the Championship over a labor dispute has caused USA Hockey to start contacting potential replacements.

https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2017/03/23/sports/ap-hkw-us-wage-boycott.html

MEDIA

Ninth Circuit Holds That Streaming Companies Are Not Eligible for Compulsory Licenses Under the Copyright Act

The Ninth Circuit reversed a district court ruling that streaming companies could be categorized as "broadcasters" and qualify for compulsory broadcast licenses under §111 of the Copyright Act. Section 111 was enacted to relieve the burden on cable systems from individually negotiating with copyright owners for retransmission of channels on public airwaves. The Court distinguished broadcast cable systems from secondary transmission systems, the latter of which capture copyrighted programs broadcast over the air, and then retransmit them over the Internet to paying subscribers. The panel also noted that this case was different than last year's Supreme Court ruling in the Aero case, because it dealt with a different section of the Copyright Act.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/appeals-court-rules-tv-streamers-dont-get-compulsory-license-broadcast-networks-987614

Hacked Yahoo Accounts Remain For Sale Despite Indictment

Even in the midst of an indictment, data stolen during the hacks into Yahoo's system remains for sale on underground hacker forums. The price tag for 1 billion accounts is $200,000 or best offer. Yahoo was subject to two cyber attacks in recent years, one in 2013 and another in 2014. The FBI is not disclosing information relating to the intrusions and has declined to comment on whether they are connected. The Russian hacker Alexsey Belan, along with two Russian intelligence agents, was indicted for the 2014 attack. Belan has a long history of cyber crimes. Although some experts who have studied the attacks believe they were carried out by different people, they agree that it is possible that Belan capitalized from the first attack by using information sold to Russian intelligence agents to breach Yahoo's system in 2014. Russia denies responsibility for the attacks, which threatened a $4.8 billion deal for the sale of Yahoo to Verizon.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/17/technology/yahoo-hack-data-indictments.html

Criminal Cyberstalking Charges Pending After Cyber Attack on Journalist Kurt Eichenwald

The FBI arrested John Rayne Rivello, who was charged with criminal cyberstalking with the intent to kill or cause bodily harm. Mr. Rivello sent a .gif to Kurt Eichenwald on Twitter. When opened by Mr. Eichenwald, the .gif emitted a strobe light that triggered Mr. Eichenwald's epilepsy and caused Mr. Eichenwald to go into seizure, leaving him incapacitated for several days. Experts have likened this attack to a targeted physical attack, similar to sending poison through the mail. Mr. Eichenwald is a prolific author, and a critic of President Trump. After obtaining a search warrant, investigators found evidence of the attack in Mr. Rivello's Twitter account, including Tweets showing Mr. Rivello's knowledge that Mr. Eichenwald was epileptic.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/17/technology/social-media-attack-that-set-off-a-seizure-leads-to-an-arrest.html

YouTube Apologizes After Filtering LGBTQ Videos

A faulty filter setting on YouTube's website is to blame for the wrongful filtering of some videos about LGBTQ issues, claims YouTube. The company apologized and vowed to fix the settings, which are part of the website's parental control features. Several YouTube stars applied pressure on the company to quickly address and correct the issue. According to the company, the parental filters aim to target videos that discuss topics such as politics, health, and sexuality, but not LGBTQ topics. Advocates argue that LGBTQ issues should not be subject to the filters, as the filters would prevent "lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender children from accessing the resources and support the videos can provide."

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/20/technology/youtube-lgbt-videos.html?ref=business

Advertisers Jumping Ship at YouTube

YouTube quickly became a "pillar" of Google's advertising business, as advertisers flocked to the site because of the ability to reach a diverse and younger audience. However, this week, several large companies pulled their ads from YouTube, stating that the automated system that places the ads on the site has often resulted in their brands showing up next to offensive material. Companies who have pulled their ads include Lyft, AT&T, and Johnson & Johnson. YouTube's audience watches an astounding 1 billion hours of videos per day on the site. The programmatic advertising technology used to place ads on the site allows advertisers to select general parameters about the audience they want to reach. However, due to the large amount of new content loaded on to the site (400 hours of content every minute), it has been impossible for the automated system to prevent ads from appearing next to inappropriate material. Google's advertising network includes over 2 million websites. The sheer scale and the use of automated technology rather than a human filter has caused inappropriate placement of some brands. The unique structure of the YouTube advertising model is particularly troubling for some companies, as YouTube splits its advertising revenue with its users. This puts companies at risk of directly funding the creators of hateful or offensive content. While Google acknowledges that it needs to increase the human review of ad placements, it also recognizes that it also needs to review its guidelines for the types of content that is allowed on the site.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/23/business/media/youtube-advertisers-offensive-content.html?ref=business

Google Responds to Fleeing Advertisers

In response to several large advertisers pulling their brands from YouTube, Google pledged to give companies greater control over where their ads appear on the site. This includes giving brands more say over where their ads would appear, and power to remove the ads if companies remain unsatisfied with their placement. Google stated that it will hire more staff to monitor advertising placement, and continue to use technological advances to remove inappropriate content. The company did stop short, however, from claiming that it will remove content before it had been flagged as inappropriate.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/21/technology/google-advertising-apologizes-ad.html

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

About

This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 25, 2017 6:32 PM.

The previous post in this blog was NYS Court Rejects NYC Mayor's Claim of Exemption Regarding Freedom of Information Law.

The next post in this blog is Rally at City Hall in NYC to Save the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.