The Kindle, bootleg movies, etc.

January 31, 2008
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A few technology and the arts stories for you forward-thinking readers:

According to yesterday’s Publishers Weekly, Amazon.com has experienced better-than-expected sales of the temporarily-out-of-stock Kindle, the $399 electronic book gizmo it launched last November.kindle

The Amazonians boast that, with Kindle, you can download a book in a minute—without having to use a PC. And you can sample the beginnings of books for free.

It sounds great. Like many book lovers, though, I’ve been resistant to the idea. But maybe I’m missing something.

If you’ve tried one out, let me know what you think.
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Meanwhile, the play “Alice (Experiments in Wonderland)"  is opening today at the University of Central Florida   … and in Waterloo, Ontario … and in Peoria, Ill.

With the same cast.

According to an article in Canada’s Globe and Mail, this Lewis Carroll adaptation makes use of “multiple high-speed broadband connections, six or seven computers, a dozen camera operators, two different fiber-optics protocols, two-dimensional and three-dimensional sets and ceiling high screens.” And a cast of 30, spread out over the three venues.

Is this the future of theater? Or just a left-field experiment? And would Indy audiences embrace or reject such productions?
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And finally, on Wednesday the Motion Picture Association of American apologized for a statement in which it noted that “44 percent of the motion picture industry’s domestic losses were attributable to piracy by college students.” The organization now says it was approximately 15 percent.

Putting aside the significant difference in those numbers, the numbers still mean that a quarter of a billion dollars worth of content is being stolen annually by U.S. students.

What does this say about a.) the perception of piracy as a crime, b.) the free time of college students, and c.) the ability of the MPAA to deal with the realities presented by technology?

OK, confess: Have bootleg DVDs gotten into your hot little hands? Do you see a problem with such sharing? And are we heading toward a new, very different age when it comes to ownership of movies and music?

Your thoughts?
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  • As a writer, I have an interest in suppressing bootleg anythings. I have nearly a thousand DVDs - if there are any bootleg ones in there, they were purchased from regular commercial outlets. I'll certainly look for the sales and buy from discounters, but presumably the copyright holders are getting their due shares.

    As for music, the kind I buy is not generally thought of as bootleg material. Again, it's all original as far as I know - and so should everyone else's be.

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