February 8, 2010

New Copyright Office Rules Regarding Online Content

Filed under: Copyright — Brian Triber @ 11:43 am

According to an article in the Library of Congress Weekly Digest Bulletin, Issue 384, the Copyright Office has new interim rules regarding copyright of online content.

The most important information to be gleaned from the new rules is that: a new category has been created for online serial content: a formal description of that content will be forthcoming (although it is intended to include online magazines, newspapers, and other content analogous to physical serial print media); requirements for submission to the Copyright Office will be forthcoming, ostensibly because electronic copies are identical and the wording of the old law’s description of a Best Edition doesn’t apply in the same manner; and because electronic files are easily duplicated, there is a question of process regarding submission of two copies of the electronic work, as currently required by the print portion of the law.

Having said this, it appears that the most important unknown in this regulation is the question of the categories of media, and what constitutes each category. While this is a no-brainer for organizations like the New York Times, or Boston Globe, it raises all sorts of questions for blogs, information-sharing web sites, teaching sites, and marketing sites. What makes this unusual to me is the timing. It has literally taken decades to start developing these rules. Bulletin board sites have existed since the 1970s with unique content that has been de facto protected by existing copyright laws, and the law of the land up until this new rule has been that anything published by a content provider on a web site is copyrighted as of the time it was posted online.

The complete text of the proposal can be found here: Copyright Office Adopts Interim Regulation on Mandatory Deposit Governing Certain Works Published Only Online

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February 7, 2010

The Jubjub Birds

Filed under: Writing Sample — Brian Triber @ 9:59 am

My one-act play The Jubjub Birds has been added to my Writing Samples page.

This was written in 1998 and received its first production by Ubiquity Stage in 1999. For more information about the original production of the show, click here.

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Review of The Who’s “Tommy”

Filed under: Writing Sample — Brian Triber @ 9:46 am

Back in 1993, I wrote a review of the original touring company production of The Who’s “Tommy”, titled Tommy Rolls into Boston with Raves.

The review, posted on my Writing Samples page, was originally published in the December 17, 1993 issue of the Everett Advocate.

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February 1, 2010

Review of The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore

Filed under: Book Discussion — Brian Triber @ 9:54 am

First, let me make it clear that I’m a Christopher Moore fan. He won me over with Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal. So, when I discovered The Stupidest Angel on the table at the front of the bookstore, I was compelled to pick it up. As most folks with favorite authors, I hoped and prayed for lightning to strike twice. With that in mind, I can see that I was at the least not disappointed, and in fact was quite entertained.

The Stupidest Angel is a quick read, solidly constructed, with fun characters. Moore has crafted a love letter to the Hollywood zombie film, that pokes fun at itself. The book is a character reunion story for Moore — reminiscent to books like Heinlein’s The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, the story features characters from Moore’s past novels coming together for a revisit.

• • • • • SPOILER ALERT • • • • •

Preparations for Christmas are underway In the tiny fictional town of Pine Cove, California. The town, as described in several passages, is as impermanent as Hollywood set dressing. (This is emphasized as the town is ravaged by storms on Christmas Eve.) Theophilus Crowe, the town constable, has sold the last of his marijuana paraphernalia to purchase a Japanese sword for his wife Molly Michon’s meditative practice. Molly, who fancies herself a mutant-slaying warrior woman (a character she had played in a series of B-movies), has given up her psych meds so that she can afford a new bhang for him, in true Gift of the Magi fashion.

Meanwhile, Dale Pearson, the stingiest man in town, is accidental murdered in Santa-garb by his ex-wife Lena with a shovel when he catches her harvesting a Christmas tree on his property. Tucker Case — a pilot with a giant talking fruit bat named Roberto and an overdeveloped sense of heroism — happens along to help Lena hide the dead Santa, and promptly falls for her.

But supernatural events are placed in motion when the Archangel Raziel grants the Christmas wish of Josh Barker, the boy who witnessed Santa’s murder, to bring Santa back to life. The result is an entire graveyard of Zombies wreaking mayhem on a church Christmas dinner.

The Stupidest Angel is a fun read. The character driven plot has a deus ex machina ending, which, because the hand of deus sets the plot in motion, works well in the context of the story. Even the zombies are atypical, although their love of brains remains the same.

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