Amsterdamse Bos with a new old lens

I unscrewed the lens from my Praktika L, screwed it on top of my EOS 1000D’s body, and took the contraption to the Amsterdamse Bos to practice. First thing I noticed that in full sunlight and with a wide open aperture, I had to set the exposure time to the fastest setting, 1/4000th second, to avoid large areas of pure white in the photo. Another thing, which I had noticed in tests before, is that everything that is out of focus gets a very dirty sheen about it, as if I had smeared grease on the lens. Great kit for wedding photos I guess, :-) but does anybody know if this is normal for fast lenses?

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A wide-angle shot of the water under the bridge effect can be seen here, taken two years ago during the Summer.

Exploitation obligation for authors

Just me brainstorming.

Authors should be obliged to exploit their works. When they don’t do that for a set period of time—ten years tops sounds reasonable—their copyrights should be transferred to an entity that will exploit it for them. Authors of works that are only fixed in rapidly decaying media, such as anything digital (where not only the physical medium but also and especially the software environment deteriorate) should be obliged to keep their works ‘executable,’ as IT types call it. It should be possible in ten years time to still disseminate the digital works. Publishers will have the obligation to keep digital works accessible for at least the duration of copyright. Failure to do so should result in huge fines that reflect not only the damage to buyers, but also to society as a whole.

Here’s the problem set. Many works linger unexploited. Copyright law says nobody can touch these works, even though they have been injected into the public consciousness at some point in time, and have shaped public discourse. It should be possible to disseminate these works more easily than is currently possible. It is estimated that so-called orphan works form between 75 and 90 % of all works in most jurisdictions.

Current economic theory, especially a very little (and badly) understood theory called The Long Tail, holds that if all works are made readily accessible, all works will be consumed. Popular works, which typically have a monopoly on shelf space, will each still be consumed much, much more often than individual unpopular works made accessible, but since unpopular works outnumber popular works by quite a large degree, the consumption of all works should about double. This is good for everyone.

This should be written into law and the law should be applied retroactively.

What do you think? What would the objections against such a law be? Are there advantages I missed? Am I overestimating the size of the problem space? Perhaps publishers will wise up, and will have made their entire back catalog accessible in ten years, and we’ll all be laughing at my worries.

London eye

I came across this picture of a robotic camera eye on Google Maps. Hah, fooled you! It’s a picture of Wembley Stadium in a state of repair.

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Copyright notes

I have no del.icio.us account, so I am dumping this stuff here. Nothing to see, move along.

NVJ trying to stretch the contours of traditional copyright in the consumer sphere: here and here. The only earlier case I know of where consumers got prosecuted or sued over copyright infringement was in the case of a couple of search engines (either mp3s or torrents) where Dutch brownshirts BREIN managed to get a subsidiary of customs involved. I’ll update when I remember.

Some extra-gratis context for this discussion here.

BBC talks about a study that shows how only popular acts get pirated. Even though I like the conclusion, the study seems to have a number of methodological shortcomings. Unfortunately the BBC doesn’t link to the study, so I have no idea what the actual conclusions of the study were. Perhaps BBC just misquoted.

Immortality

Just because we have to die one day, doesn’t mean online personas cannot live on forever.

You must check out Flight of the Conchords

The Grammy and Emmy they won failed to put them on my radar, so I may be late to the game. I just discovered this New Zealand duo that writes and sings funny songs. If you don’t know them yet, I urge you to check them out. I have spent hours on Youtube Wednesday night just playing all their clips.

Think Asylum Street Spankers, but leaning more heavily on the comedy aspect and with a far greater eye for a finished product. With the ASP it appears to be more about the performers having fun. I’d be curious to know how they’d mix, though.

My favourites so far:

The Americans liked these guys so much, they gave them their own show (only HBO, though). I’ve set my internet video recorder for it. The first clip is of one such episode. It would appear that they are repurposing their songs for these shows, but so far I feel it only worked for the LotR song.