Archive for March 2, 2008

Some 1960s TV Themes, Baby!

March 2, 2008

Department S

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

I, Spy

It Takes A Thief

Honey West

Ah, that was real TV!

God Bless The S.A.S.!

March 2, 2008

What inspired that is this:

Chavez Orders Embassy Closed in Colombia

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) – President Hugo Chavez ordered Venezuela’s embassy in Colombia closed and told the military to send 10 battalions to the border after Colombian troops killed a top rebel leader.

Chavez told his defense minister: “move 10 battalions for me to the border with Colombia, immediately.” He ordered the Venezuelan Embassy in Bogota closed and said all embassy personnel would be withdrawn.

The announcements by Venezuela’s leftist leader pushed relations to their tensest point of his nine-year presidency, and Chavez warned that Colombia could spark a war in South America.

He called the U.S.-allied government in Bogota “a terrorist state” and labeled President Alvaro Uribe “a criminal.”

Chavez condemned the slaying of senior rebel commander Raul Reyes and 16 other members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, saying they were killed while they slept in a camp across the border in Ecuadorean territory.

I admit I know nothing of the politics here. It’s just that this action reminded me of the classic scene in the movie Patriot Games. I cited that on my old blog and pointed to a YouTube clip. The clip is apparently a victim of the DMCA.

Instead, here’s a brilliant clip from Who Dares Wins (aka The Final Option in the U.S.):

I then went looking for that Patriot Games clip by searching for SAS and came across a documentary of that S.A.S. raid on the terrorist-held Iranian Embassy in London from 1980! Here’s part one of seventeen!

Click on the Menu button, copy the URL, and go to YouTube itself to see the rest. Or click here for the entire video collection which includes a documentary about the formation of the S.A.S.. And remember, Firefox users: DownloadHelper is your friend.

Pizza: Economic Indicator

March 2, 2008

Ailing Ecomony Hits Pizza
March 02, 2008, 7:13 a.m. PT
CBS 5’s Don Knapp boils down the declining economy and how it impacts even the price of a piece of pizza.

That’s an interesting video report with some hair-raising price increase information I didn’t know.

A few months ago, I lost one of the places I sometimes eat. A pizza place on Seventh Avenue in Manhattan that specialized in one dollar slices. They jumped to $1.50!

My local place, their price went from $1.50 to $1.75.

I’ve heard people in Manhattan complaining about two dollar slices!

What does pizza cost where you live?

Leave a Comment.

More About That J.K. Rowling Lawsuit

March 2, 2008


At Slate, Tim Wu offers J.K. Rowling’s Dark Mark: Why She Should Lose Her Copyright Lawsuit Against the Harry Potter Lexicon.

Meanwhile, RDR books, the defendant, is quoted at RDR Books Files Response to JKR/WB in Lexicon Suit as stating in its defense these interesting facts:

4. The brief says it is “far too late” for JKR to be the “first to publish” a Potter companion books, citing “nearly 200 Harry Potter companion guides,” “many of which incorporate A to Z listings.” RDR provides six of these books as evidence:

a. The Unofficial Harry Potter Encyclopedia: Harry Potter A-Z, by Kristina Benson

b. Field Guide to Harry Potter, by Colin Duriez

c. The J.K. Rowling Encyclopedia, by Connie Ann Kirk

d. A Muggle’s Guide to Exploring the Wizarding World by Fiona Boyle

e. Fact, Fiction and Folklore in Harry Potter’s World, by George Beahm

f. The End of Harry Potter? by David Langford

Plaintiff’s legal brief here. Entire collection of legal briefs here.

Similar legal actions:

This Means Warcraft!, recounts that the publisher of a guide to the World of Warcraft game was sued for copyright and trademark infringement. The case was handled by Public Citizen, for a win in the publisher-author’s favor: In Settlement Victory, Software Company Allows eBay Sale of Guide to Popular Video Game.

“Beanie Babies” Collector’s Guide: Another Study in Fair Use brings up some interesting issues, especially since the Guide had to use photos of the dolls, which presented another dimension for an allegation of infringement.

Someone in the Comments for the original post pointed out:

I think J.K. Rowling is right. Creating a web site is one thing, but putting a book together to profit from her work is wrong.

No. A for-profit venture is beside the point in Copyright cases. See The Seinfeld and The Wind Done Gone Cases: Studies in Fair Use:

Nature and Purpose of the Work: TWDG was clearly a commercial venture but commercialism, in and of itself, does not rule out the defense of fair use if other elements are present.

Emphasis added by me.

Someone else in the Comments stated:

I wonder if you need to put the word “Unauthorized” in the title to be allowed to do it.

And he might be closer to the truth:

A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant

Early in the production of the musical, the president of the Church of Scientology in New York sent a letter to the producer pointing out the Church’s history of litigation. This led Timbers and Jarrow to insert the word “Unauthorized” into the title, upon the advice of legal counsel.

I’m not certain about the legal issues involved with Japan’s Favorite Mon-Star: An Unauthorised Biography of the Big G

Japan’s Favorite Mon-Star is the first complete guide to the Godzilla legend published in North America. It is also the first totally unauthorized Godzilla book to be successfully published (legal challenges from Toho Co. Ltd.have previously snuffed out two others by Fantasma Books in 1996 and Quill Publishing in 1998).

Perhaps the other two publishers simply withdrew the books from publication. Book publishers are sometimes weasels like that.

There have also been a number of books riding on the popularity of Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code. One of them is Secrets of the Code: The Unauthorized Guide to the Mysteries Behind The Da Vinci Code.

I still believe Rowling is wrong. Even if she wins this case, she’s bound to lose on appeal.

Previously here:

J.K. Rowling Is Wrong
J.K. Rowling: A Year In The Life
Quote: J.K. Rowling