Friday, April 01, 2005

TV deal partners Orioles, Nationals

The 90%/10% split might just be an april fools day prank, but I don't think so.

The upshot of the O's having all the risk on this is that TV networks like this have failed in the past. And if this deal, as it plays out, truly looks like a stinker, then DC's fans, as the larger market, can sink the network in an instant by refusing to watch. A boycott of the network called by any of the DC sportswriters could sink the zeppelin pretty quickly, and although Angelos might try to sue every resident of the city of DC individually, I doubt that he'd get too far with that. (I'm reminded of an old Mr. Show bit about Coupon: The Movie, where a movie studio successfully sued all of America for not watching their crappy movie.)

Notes on grokster oral arguments

One of the first bits of fallout from Grokster, says Timothy Armstrong, is that you will always be able to rip your CDs legally for use on other devices:

How, some of the Justices asked MGM, could the inventors of the iPod (or the VCR, or the photocopier, or even the printing press) know whether they could go ahead with developing their invention? It surely would not be difficult for them to imagine that somebody might hit upon the idea of marketing their device as a tool for infringement.

MGM’s answer to this was pretty unsatisfying. They said that at the time the iPod was invented, it was clear that there were many perfectly lawful uses for it, such as ripping one’s own CD and storing it in the iPod. This was a very interesting point for them to make, not least because I would wager that there are a substantial number of people on MGM’s side of the case who don’t think that example is one bit legal. But they’ve now conceded the contrary in open court, so if they actually win this case they’ll be barred from challenging “ripping” in the future under the doctrine of judicial estoppel.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

SCOTUSblog: MGM v. Grokster: Background and Analysis

Happy Grokster day.

Click the link above to get some background while watching an old episode of ALF on your Betamax VCR.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Who likes maths?

Go see my friend Ed give a math lecture:

In the unlikely event that you find yourself in western Massachusetts this Wednesday, come check out my talk about the concept of duality in projective geometry.

WHERE?: Lederle Graduate Research Tower, Room 1521D, UMass Amherst

WHEN?: Wednesday, March 30, 2005, 7:00 p.m.

WHAT?: Projective geometry is a non-Euclidean geometry where there is no such thing as parallel lines, and no concept of distance or angle measure. Duality is a valid concept of projective geometry where points and lines are mathematically indistinguishable from each other. This is cool because if you prove a theorem, it can be dualized to give you a new theorem that will be true (unless the theorem is self-dual to begin with)! It's like a 2-for-1 sale on mathematical concepts.

Sunday, March 27, 2005