Quick Bytes: copyright complexity (again)

Two quick stories to keep the real world relevance of understanding copyright in mind:

1. Slashdot has an article that points to one on Billboard about a new round of copyright lawsuits filed against illegal downloading. Interestingly, they aren’t issuing any letters to Harvard, likely because professors there have said that they would mount legal challenges to any letters.

2. The New York Times has an article about sales of TV series on DVD. They talk about the complexity of bringing out older shows, which were licensed before the DVD format was available and so must often re-negotiate for the rights of any included music. Here’s a quote:

“But even strong demand will not bring some shows to DVD, because of the high cost of securing music rights. Many shows were made before the DVD format was developed, and transferring the content to the newer format can require making fresh deals with the actors or musicians. The music rights on the “Happy Days” DVD, for instance, were reported to cost as much as $1 million.

For this reason, fans of the series “The Wonder Years,” which ran from 1988 to 1993, will most likely never be able to see the shows on DVD, and why fans of “WKRP in Cincinnati” sometimes express disappointment with the DVD version, which by necessity swapped out many of the original songs (substitutions that sometimes make the dialogue seem illogical).”

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