Fair Use on the offense

In Law.com, the EFF’s Fred Von Lohmann discusses fair use and copyright misuse: Fair Use Goes on the Offensive

Thanks to the recent federal district court ruling in Online Policy Group v. Diebold, 2004 WL 2203382, 72 U.S.P.Q.2d 1200 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 30, 2004), however, the times they may be a-changin’. Fair users on the Internet can now go on the offensive to vindicate their free speech interests against overzealous copyright owners.

Previously: A Look at OPG v. Diebold

Footie photo lockout

The BBC reports that UK newspapers may be locked out of Premier League football matches if the league and publishers can not reach a deal on when the newspapers will post photos on the web. Lockout fear over football rights

The newspapers have been renegotiating a deal with the FA Premier League and Football League over access to matches.
The Newspaper Publishers’ Association claims DataCo, for the leagues, wants a delay before photos go out on digital outlets, like newspaper websites.
Without a deal, papers fear they may be barred from all 92 grounds by Monday.

Subway Centennial

One hundred years ago, New Yorkers started riding in a hole in the ground. Today, we still are.
Newsweek: Take the A Train (or the F, the Q, the 1, the 7 … ): “If anything truly revolutionized the way New Yorkers live, work and play, it’s the subway. On any given weekday, 4.5 million people travel on the 6,400 cars that run along 722 miles of track beneath the city’s five teeming boroughs. For all their complaints about it—the dirt! the crowding! the noise!—the subway remains nothing short of the miracle it was when the subway opened in 1904.”
PA270014.jpg Development of the subway essentially halted while Robert Moses diverted transportation funding away from the subway to indulge his automobile fetish. Instead of building the long-planned Second Avenue subway and expanding the system in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, a funding shortfall forced the transit authority to defer maintenance. As a result, became decrepit and dangerous.
New cars and station upgrades are bringing the New York subway into the modern era, slowly. While the subway is the best rapid transit system in the US, it still lacks features common to other leading subway systems, such as a modern signal system which lets commuters know when trains are expected to arrive (as in London or DC). Slowly, the MTA is rehabilitating the system, while trains continue to run 24/7 (more or less.)
Now, the MTA is contemplating another fare hike. As debt service payments from the MTA’s last capital program are now becoming due, while the state and city governments have cut their funding of the subway to unprecedented minimum levels.
The NY Times reports that the MTA is in trouble In Transit Crisis, a Cash Bind Many Foresaw.
The Straphangers Campaign finds that the MTA has real financial problems:

Why all the borrowing? Because the State under Governor Pataki’s leadership has forced the MTA to rely more and more heavily on operating budget-backed bonding to meet its essential rebuilding needs. At the same time, Mayor Bloomberg has cut $90 million in city aid to the current MTA five-year rebuilding plan. The city is now making the smallest contribution to fixing the subways in at least 25 years. The Mayor also wants the MTA to hand over the valuable land the MTA owns on Manhattan’s West Side at a bargain basement price, money that could fund capital repairs.

While it may be in trouble, the subway took some time out today to celebrate. Old subway cars will be running and Moving Pretty Well for an 87-Year-Old. City Hall station was briefly open to the public today. The Transit Museum offered free entrance today. I walked over between classes and took these photos.
NYCSubway.org is probably the web’s best site about the subway and looks back at the development of the IRT. The MTA details its Centennial Celebration. The NY Times looks at A Day in the Subway, as It Rolls Up a Century and offers up Interactive Features.

Are you ready for some jazz?

Last night, I caught Chris Potter playing at 55 Bar, with Craig Taborn, Craig Taborn, Wayne Krantz and Nate Smith. Except for getting home after 2 AM on a Monday night, it was excellent.
Potter is one of the leading sax players on the NY scene and perhaps my favorite to listen to. He plays with a distinctive tone– warm and rich with a bit of edge. What sets Chris apart is not his technical playing (which is excellent), but how artfully he shapes his solos to build gradually in intensity and avoids unnecessary repetition.
Lift: Live at the Village Vanguard is Potter’s latest album (with a different band) and excellent.
Randomly, I ran into a high school classmate at the show, after I walked in and we ended up sitting across the table from each other.
Previously, I caught Chris lead a different band at 55 Bar last year and play as a sideman with David Binney last month.

Spitzer takes on the record industry

NY Times: Record Labels Said to Be Next on Spitzer List for Scrutiny

According to several people involved, investigators in Mr. Spitzer’s office have served subpoenas on the four major record corporations – the Universal Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, the EMI Group and the Warner Music Group – seeking copies of contracts, billing records and other information detailing their ties to independent middlemen who pitch new songs to radio programmers in New York State.