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Week of September 23-29, 2002

1. Special Interest
2. Dance
3. Media
4. Music
5. People
6. Publishing
7. Theatre
8. Visual Arts
9. Arts Issues
10. For Fun


COPYRIGHT CHALLENGE: The US Supreme Court is about to hear arguments challenging the constitutionality of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, which was enacted in 1998 with strong support from Hollywood's politically powerful studios. The law extended the length of copyrights for an additional 20 years (or more in certain cases) and gave new protections to corporations that own copyrights. Opponents - which include dozens of the nation's leading law professors, several library groups, 17 prominent economists, and a coalition of both liberal and conservative political action groups - say it serves no legitimate public purpose, violates the clear intentions of our nation's founders regarding copyrights and is unconstitutional." San Francisco Chronicle 09/26/02


SOUND MOVEMENT: "No one goes to the ballet for the conductor. But conductors matter." Music matters too - and there can be a tension between what serves the music and what serves the movement. Which should take the lead? The New York Times 09/29/02

DANCE DIALOGUE: Boston has traditionally been a tough sell for modern dance. So presenters have started a program to not only bring significant dance companies to the city, but also create a dialogue for them with the city. ''We're hoping to create an across-the-board ferment of interest in dance, to raise the level of awareness.'' Boston Globe 09/29/02

ROUSTING ROSS: Ross Stretton's ouster as director of London's Royal Ballet was the result of many factors. "They certainly made the right decision, artistically. Stretton's first two seasons showed that he had little instinct for either the scope of the job or the character of the company. If he had carried on, it was reasonable to fear for the loss of the Royal Ballet's unique character, as programming became blandly internationalised." The Telegraph (UK) 09/27/02

  • WONDERING WHY STRETTON RESIGNED: More speculation about why Ross Stretton quit as director of London's Royal Ballet, including "accusations of sexual liaisons with ballerinas and a series of behind-the-scenes-rows". But "ballet unions and management yesterday denied the alleged affairs had played a part in the departure of Stretton, 50, as artistic director." The Age (Melbourne) 09/27/02


MAJOR MOVIE COMPANIES SUED: A movies-on-demand company is suing major media companies, charging they have set up a cartel to shut out independents. "In a lawsuit announced Tuesday, Intertainer leveled 14 counts of antitrust violations at AOL Time Warner, Vivendi Universal and Sony, claiming they have withheld movies from being licensed by unaffiliated companies while they developed their own on-demand streaming service called Movielink." Wired 09/24/02

SPACE INVADERS: The US Congressman who is proposing legislation that would allow copyright holders to invade and disable the computers of those they suspect of copying copyrighted works, defends his proposal: "While these P2P networks have some usefulness, there really can’t be any doubt that their primary use is sharing millions, perhaps billions, of copyrighted works. This bill fundamentally affects their whole business method." Wired 09/25/02

CHURCH CONDEMNS FILM - IT JUMPS TO NO. 1: Not long after condemning the movie that won this year's Venice Film Festival top prize, the Catholic Church is attacking another movie - the surprise Mexican blockbuster, The Sin of Father Amaro, "a tale of a young, idealistic and heterosexual priest who lets himself sink into the institutional corruption of the church after getting his young lover pregnant. If the condemnation was meant to keep the faithful away, it backfired spectacularly. In the last week, driven on by lurid rumours of the film's contents - particularly a scene in which an alley cat eats a host wafer spat out by a communicant - The Sin of Father Amaro has become the most successful Mexican film ever." The Guardian (UK) 09/28/02

RUNNING COMMENTARY: "The concept is relatively simple, though somewhat clunky in execution: Hook up a microphone to your computer, fire up a DVD, record your insights as you watch, convert your words to either one long, low-bit-rate MP3 or several smaller ones (perhaps divided by chapter), and, finally, post them on the Web. Interested parties can download your file, then play it through their computer speakers in sync with the corresponding disc." But is anyone interested in what you might have to say? Salon 09/24/02

SO MUCH FOR THE OBSESSION WITH YOUTH: Movie audiences are getting older. "According to a survey by the Motion Picture Assn. of America, between 1990 and 2000, moviegoers in the obsessively sought-after 16-20 age group had dropped from 20% to 17% of total viewers. Moviegoers in the 25-29 category dropped from 14% to 12%. Even 12- to 15-year-olds, who are supposed to be part of the biggest demographic bulge since baby boomers, dipped from 11% to 10%. Meanwhile, moviegoers ages 50-59 didn't just stay steady, they shot up from 5% to 10% of total audience." Los Angeles Times 09/24/02


FREEDOM REIGNS: Boston Lyric Opera holds two free performances of Carmen over the weekend and attracts 140,000 fans, more than the company draws in the rest of its season. Time to rethink how the company does business. ''We do believe there are people who will never be able to buy a ticket to go to opera. And therefore we must always find a way to provide free opera to the community.'' Boston Globe 09/24/02

LEARNING TO PAY FOR PLAY: Pay sites where customers can download music for a fee are starting to attract users. "The shift away from peer-to-peer services and toward pay subscription sites like EMusic and Rhapsody is a result of two coinciding developments in the online music world. First, the music industry's crusade to disable illegitimate file-sharing services has won significant victories. At the same time, Internet radio stations have fast been disappearing because of new copyright laws, lobbied for by the record industry, requiring that broadcasters pay royalties on the music they play." The New York Times 09/25/02

GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS IN PHILLY: The Philadelphia Orchestra sold 99% of its available seats last season after opening up a beautiful new concert hall in the heart of a thriving entertainment district. The orchestra is ending a successful run with music director Wolfgang Sawallisch, and eagerly anticipating the arrival of new baton-twirler Christoph Eschenbach. But even in Philadelphia, the economy is taking it's toll on the bottom line - the organization ran a $3.5 million deficit last season, and it's endowment has dropped to $68.5 million, one of the smallest among major U.S. orchestras. Management envisions boosting the endowment to $150 million in the next 5 years, but those numbers are awfully optimistic... Philadelphia Inquirer 09/26/02

MUSICIANS WANT PROTECTION FROM RECORDING CONTRACTS: A group of high-profile musicians has asked California lawmakers to "intervene and protect them from what they say are unfair contracts that give recording companies the opportunity to withhold royalties with impunity." The musicians called standard recording company contracts "dishonest," "indecipherable" and "laughably one-sided" because they favor the companies at the expense of musicians. Nando Times (AP) 09/25/02

SAN JOSE MIGHT LOSE MUSIC SCORES: Bankruptcy is not going well for the San Jose Symphony. It looks like the orchestra might lose its music library, accumulated over 100 years of performances - "more than 1,000 scores, some irreplaceable, all with conductors' and players' markings" to satisfy creditors since the orchestra has failed to raise enough money. San Jose Mercury News 09/25/02

ON THEIR OWN: With recording companies all but giving up on classical music, musicians are producing their own discs. "Self-published CDs may never make a massive impact on the classical-record industry, especially in terms of sales, but some observers believe their artistic impact may be lasting." Christian Science Monitor 09/27/02

A ROAD NOT TRAVELED: Pianist Glenn Gould - who would have been 70 this week - is "a figure of legend, even among people who may have heard nothing more than his first, career-making recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations. His life and ideas have provided fodder not just for scholars and biographers, but for playwrights, novelists and filmmakers. But while Gould's influence is feted in the broad culture, it has almost evaporated among musicians. No major pianist follows his lead, either in performance style or in his cavalier attitude toward musical scores." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 09/24/02

THE COST OF SILENCE: Mike Batt included one minute of silence on his latest album, and called it One Minute of Silence, listing himself and John Cage as the authors. Cage's estate sued the rock musician, claiming Batt had violated the copyright to Cage's 4' 33", a silent piece. Now Batt has paid the John Cage Trust a "six-figure" fee to settle the case. A spokesperson for the Trust said "the publishers were prepared to defend the concept of a silent piece because it was a valuable artistic concept with a copyright." Nando Times (AP) 09/24/02

  • HOMAGE OF RIGHTS: "I can see Mike's side, but I think he should see our side more clearly. He is a creative artist—he has a vested interest in a system that protects creative work—so in some ways he's sawing at the legs of the very stool he's sitting on." The New Yorker 09/23/02

THE NEW ROY THOMPSON: So how about that acoustic renovation up in Toronto? Is the rejiggered Roy Thompson Hall the new Carnegie? Well, no. But it's a lot better. "There's a deeper pool of resonance in the bass, and a more vibrant tone up top. The sound hangs in the air a bit longer, instead of fleeing before it can be properly savoured... What the room still lacks, and may never achieve, is that immersive, "wow" quality you get in a truly first-class hall." But that would have been too much to expect, even from superstar acoustician Russell Johnson. The Globe & Mail (Toronto) 09/23/02

I (DON'T) WRITE THE SONGS: Is pop music less inspired today because the stars don't write their own music? Not really - pop has always been controlled as a business. "The relationship between pop idols and the people who supply their songs is at best an uneasy alliance. As with any industry, the key to profitability boils down to control of the assets - in this case, the songs. When it's the singer, this autonomy brings with it a certain degree of volatility. Or, if you like, the artistic clout to make terrible business decisions." In business terms, it's better for the execs to decide the business. The Guardian (UK) 09/22/02


WE COULDN'T BE PROUDER: ArtsJournal senior editor and literary scholar Jack Miles is among 24 winners of this year's MacArthur Fellowships, the so-called "genius awards." Miles is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning God: A Biography and Christ, which is due out soon in paperback. He is also senior advisor to the president of the Getty. The New York Times 09/25/02

  • SECRET SELECTION: Winners never know they're being considered. "Since everything about the MacArthurs is cloaked in secrecy, only the anecdotal testimony of winners confirms that. The names of those involved in the selection process are closely guarded, too. Several hundred nominators submit names for consideration during rotating two-month windows." San Francisco Chronicle 09/25/02

A NEW ENEMIES LIST: Harper's editor Lewis Lapham is one of dozens of Americans - Jimmy Carter, Rep. Maxine Waters, novelist John Edgar Wideman are others - who have been named as "internal threats" to the well-being of the United States by a group headed by former Secretary of Education William Bennett called Americans for Victory Over Terrorism. The group says Lapham and the others have a "blame America first" agenda. San Francisco Chronicle 09/24/02

RELEARNING HOW TO BE A MASTER: When Oscar Peterson suffered a stroke in 1993, he lost some of the lightning-fast reflexes that had allowed him to play with such velocity and facility. But , "as often happens, adversity had a silver lining: Peterson, whose playing was dismissed by some elites as overly glib, was forced to change. He says he stopped chasing so many notes and began thinking more about melody. He started to pay attention to less obvious elements of the music, altering harmonies ever so slightly, peering deep into the structures of a tune for inspiration. He gradually developed what he considers a whole new approach." Philadelphia Inquirer 09/29/02

POET STANDOFF: Amiri Baraka became the Poet Laureate of New Jersey last month. This month, the governor of New Jersey asked him to resign the job because "a poem he read at a recent poetry festival implies that Israel knew about the Sept. 11 attack in advance. But Mr. Baraka said he would not resign, creating an unusual political quandary. Aides to the governor said he did not have the power to remove Mr. Baraka because Mr. McGreevey had not directly selected him. And a member of the committee of poets and cultural officials who chose Mr. Baraka said that group had no power to remove him either." The New York Times 09/28/02

NO LONGER A PRESIDENT, ALWAYS A POET: Vaclav Havel, the Czech Republic president who began his public life as a celebrated poet and playwright, shared a New York stage this week with fellow ex-president Bill Clinton and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, and offered up "a 1,600-word meditation of self-deprecation and self-doubt read in a sandpapery voice." Havel will step down from his post in February, but his place in history has long been assured. The New York Times 09/23/02


SLIPPERY SLOPE OF CENSORSHIP: Should America's small presses be prohibited from publishing sensitive political material? The New York Times' Nicholas Kristof suggested as much earlier this week. "Our small presses could end up helping terrorists much more than Saddam ever has" Kristof wrote. In addition to war, he said, we should "consider other distasteful steps that could also make us safer." The idea drew an angry response from the presses. "If we agreed to suspend the First Amendment and broadly criminalize the dissemination of 'dangerous information' in books, where would we begin? With information about chemical and biological agents? Where would we end? With schedules of commercial airline flights?" Publishers Weekly 09/24/02

WHY SHOULD THE BRITS HAVE ALL THE FUN? "In England, literary criticism is a blood sport. Critics choose authors' ex-lovers, political opponents or former friends who are owed money to make snide remarks about their victim's personal habits, morals, current lovers and latest embarrassments while occasionally mentioning the book. In one instance, Martin Amis was denounced for his dental work. It's great entertainment and, in the end, probably not taken very seriously." But in America, it's big news when one writer trashes another in print. Isn't there maybe a happy medium somewhere in between full contact and hands-off reviewing? Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 09/22/02

DO TITLES MATTER? "Before a book comes out, everyone (author, agent, publisher) fusses inordinately over what to call it. Once the deed is done and the book is published, the title, for better or worse, becomes part of the proposition offered to the prospective reader and is taken for granted. If people want to read something badly enough, the packaging is neither here nor there. But is the book's title just part of the packaging? Many writers would vehemently disagree." The Observer (UK) 09/22/02

CENSORING A BOOK ABOUT CENSORSHIP? Richard Meyer's book Outlaw Representation: Censorship and Homosexuality in Twentieth-Century American Art has been getting good reviews in the US press. But evidently Oxford University Press, the book's publisher, is squeamish about some of the photographs in the book, asking Meyer to remove some of them. When he refused, Oxford decided not to publish in the UK (or Canada). Says Meyer: "I mean, the whole book is about censorship, about images that are troublesome, about intellectual and artistic freedom. I just didn't think the book should end up colluding in the very thing it was exploring." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 09/28/02

THE CANADIAN BOOKER: "Canadians make up half the list for this year's Booker Prize. Books by Yann Martel, Carol Shields and Rohinton Mistry were among six on the short list announced today in London for the literary award worth 50,000 pounds (almost $120,000 Cdn). The three Canadians are joined by William Trevor, Sarah Waters and Tim Winton." Toronto Star 09/24/02

  • CANADA'S GOLDEN AGE: "Perhaps typically, Canadians have taken the honours heaped on their writers with a mix of pride and unease. 'Damn, Canadian authors can hold their own and more with the best of the rest of the world" is often followed by, 'Gee, are we really that good'?" The Globe & Mail (Canada) 09/25/02
  • THE STORY'S THE THING: This year's Booker short list is controversial not for the books that made it, but for the comments of the jury who chose them. "Not since Andrew Marr, chairman of the Samuel Johnson Prize, decided non-fiction was the new rock'n'roll has a literary prize judge provoked so much commentary. If this year's crop defines 'a new era,' as claimed by jury chairwoman Lisa Jardine, that new era is old values. 'Narrative is back in fashion. The favourite, William Trevor, actually proclaims it in his title (The Story of Lucy Gault) and at least three of the other five titles (Life of Pi, Family Matters and Fingersmith) wholeheartedly embrace strong plotting and believable, sympathetic characterisation." The Observer (UK) 09/29/02
  • THE BOOKER OF CLASSIC LITERATURE: The BBC plays a game of what-if, holding pretend competitions for the Booker Prize in classic years of great literature. "The programme has chosen four vintage years for consideration: 1847, 1928, 1934 and 1961. The judging is harsh — and quite unlike, in my experience, the judging of the Man Booker Prize, or any other prize, in that books are booted out one by one. 'Who hates this book, then?' was not a question I’ve ever heard in the course of judging." The Times (UK) 09/27/02

BANNED BOOKS WEEK: The American Library Association is holding its annual banned books week to draw attention to threats to free speech. But there are fewer "banned" books to report this year. "The number of times a book was removed from school reading lists or libraries dropped to an estimated 20-25 last year, far below the estimated 200 or higher of the early 1980s, when the ALA started its program. The ALA reported 448 challenges in 2001, compared to more than 900 in 1981." Nando Times (AP) 09/24/02

IN PRAISE OF TRANSLATORS: A good translator can illuminate a writer's work in an entirely new way, writes Wendy Lesser. "No translator wants his achievement stolen or denied; yet just as certainly, no translator wants her voice to overpower that of her source author. It's a very careful balance: However well the disappearing act is done, something of the translator's own sensibility invariably enters into the work we're given in English." Chronicle of Higher Education 09/22/02


WEST END FIRE: A big fire in London's West End threatened to spread to the 200-year-old Theatre Royal, where actresses Maggie Smith and Judi Dench were rehearsing for a new show on Thursday. BBC 09/26/02

CLEAR CHANNEL'S NEW CLOUT IN BOSTON: Mega-entertainment company Clear Channel is planning to do a $30 million renovation of the 2,500-seat Opera House in Boston, and use it for big touring Broadway shows. "But the increased muscle of the for-profit Clear Channel - the largest producer, presenter, and promoter of live entertainment on the planet - leaves some Boston producers and promoters wary." Boston Globe 09/27/02

THE AL HISCHFELD THEATRE: Artist Al Hischfeld, 99, is having a theatre renamed after him on Broadway. In a career spanning 76 years (so far) Hischfeld has drawn caricatures of Broadway figures. "Mr. Hirschfeld will become the first artist to have a theater named after him and one of the few people not directly involved in acting or producing ever so honored." The New York Times 09/26/02

NY/LONDON - A MATTER OF RISK: The biggest difference between New York and Lon's theatre scenes is the way non-profit theatre behaves, writes Clive Barnes. "Here, the subsidized state theaters play it safe. Since they heavily depend on subscription audiences, they proceed with great caution in whatever they do. In contrast, the London non-profit arena, free from the need to accommodate (some might say pander) to well-heeled and conservative audiences, provides a more edgy, risk-taking menu." New York Post 09/29/02

THEATRE RETREAT: The leaders of Atlanta theatre companies rarely see one another as they go about their jobs. So a forward-thinking foundation decided to get directors of five of the city's theatres out of town to spend some time with one another. Over a few days in New York, they talked about their common challenges and about how they might work together... Atlanta Journal-Constitution 09/22/02

WHERE'S LA'S LATINO THEATRE? Los Angeles' huge theatre community produces more than 1000 productions a year. But despite the region's large Latino population, there is relatively little Latino theatre being produced. There's a shortage of Latino theatres and the area's mainstage theatres have a sporadic record of producing Latino-oriented productions. Los Angeles Times 09/29/02

GARBO MUSICAL BOMBS: A new musical based on the life of Greta Garbo opened this week in Sweden, and its creators hope to later take it to London and New York. But not with the kind of reviews the show was greeted with. Calling it sterile and predictable, no one's predicting a long life: "I would be surprised if it goes on for a long time even here. But that might happen if the interest in Garbo is bigger than the demand for good musicals." BBC 09/22/02

LAST MINUTE SUBSTITUTION: It's a director's worst nightmare - just days before the show is to go on, your star has a heart attack. It happened earlier this month at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre. And such a catastrophe triggers a whole series of decisions that have to be made - none of them pleasant. How to find someone to step in at the last minute? "It's hard to explain the chemistry of what's appropriate for a particular role in a particular production. It's like having a musical score and choosing a flute, sax or clarinet for a solo." Chicago Tribune 09/29/02


HOME OF THE BRAVE: The art police are at it again. Last week a bronze statue of a falling woman was placed at Rockefeller Center. "Eric Fischl’s Tumbling Woman, which he sculpted during the weeks when he kept thinking of the image of bodies falling from the World Trade Center, was removed after a reactionary tabloid columnist for the New York Post attacked it in her column. Within hours of the column hitting the streets, "Rockefeller Center folded and announced that it would remove the work, which otherwise would have been on display through September 23." New York Sun 09/19/02

BARNES WANTS TO MOVE: The Barnes Collection says it wants to leave its home in the suburbs and move to downtown Philadelphia. "At a news conference, the foundation's officers said the sudden but long-awaited move was necessary to save one of the world's greatest art collections, but any move faces considerable legal hurdles. A relocation and other proposed changes would contravene the will of Dr. Albert C. Barnes, the eccentric millionaire who established the trove, with an estimated worth of $25 billion, as a quirky, anti-elitist academy that because of local restrictions only 1,200 visitors a month can see. The foundation is projected to run an $800,000 deficit this year and has less than $1 million in cash reserves. The New York Times 09/25/02

  • FIRST AID: The Pew Charitable Trusts, and the Lenfest and Annenberg Foundationshave have "agreed to provide $3.1 million in operating funds to the Barnes for at least the next two years. More important, they have promised to help the Barnes Foundation raise $100 million to build a museum on or near the Parkway, and to raise $50 million for an endowment." Philadelphia Inquirer 09/25/02
  • BARNES - A SINGULAR COLLECTION: News that the quirky Barnes Collection might move to Philadelphia from the nearby suburbs has in-town folks excited. The Barnes Collection is a collection like no other. "Barnes didn't collect systematically, as if he were filling in a stamp album. He seemed to be attracted to artists whose work he believed best illustrated his theories about the interaction of line, shape and color. The Barnes is quirky and unpredictable, something like a treasure hunt with a higher purpose. Pleasant surprises lurk beyond every doorway. You will find masterpieces throughout, because even though Barnes was unorthodox in his collecting, he acquired a bushel of them." Philadelphia Inquirer 09/29/02

SPACE AGE RESTORATION: A Monet painting damaged by a fire in the 1950s might be restored by a beam of oxygen. "Conservators are talking to space chemists at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, after hearing of their success in removing an overzealous art lover's lipstick from an Andy Warhol painting. Their trick? They vapourise contaminants by blasting them with oxygen. Right now, the painting is almost entirely blackened, but the team managed to transform the blackened paint chips to Monet's dreamy blues and greens." New Scientist 09/25/02

INGROWN INTEREST: Why do artists think art about making art is so interesting? It's not, writes Russell Smith: "The desire to question the gallery experience, to take art outside 'the white box,' has been prominent since at least the late 1960s (it was largely behind both performance art and conceptual art). It is still going strong, and I still don't understand what's important about it. I don't understand the hostility toward gallery spaces and gallery viewing." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 09/28/02

KRUGER WINS COPYRIGHT CASE: Can artists legally appropriate other artists' images into their work as part of something bigger? The US Appeals Court says they may, ruling in favor of artist Barbara Kruger. "Photographer Thomas Hoepker and his friend Charlotte Dabney, had sought damages stemming from the use and exhibition of an image of Dabney within a work created by Barbara Kruger." The pair had also sued the Whitney Museum and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art for selling copies of Kruger's work in their giftshop. The Art Newspaper 09/20/02

RESTORATION MAY HAVE DAMAGED SHROUD: A new "restoration" of the Shroud of Turin may have irreparably damaged it. "Scientists performed a secret restoration of the shroud - which supposedly wrapped the body of Jesus after his crucifixion - during which they cleaned and restored the burial cloth. This may have caused potentially important dust and pollen molecules to be lost forever. It is feared the process could compromise the possibility of ever conclusively carbon-dating the shroud, which believers claim bears the image of Christ after his body was cut down from the cross." The Herald (Glasgow) 09/22/02

TATE ATTENDANCE DOWN: "Attendance figures for the Tate's four galleries - including the Tate Modern and Tate Britain in London - fell by more than 1.2 million in the 12 months to the end of March 2002. Some 5.25 million visitors went to the gallery in its first year, but that figure fell to 3.6 million in the following 12 months." Tate director Nicholas Serota says the Tate may face a £1.5 million budget shortfall. BBC 09/25/02

LOOKING FOR THE NEXT BIG THING: Jay Jopling is the man who sold contemporary Britart to the public, introducing Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin and others. Now, after ten years he's closing his original gallery and consolidating his four locations into one. Some critics have been saying he's lost his way in recent years, and the 39-year-old Jopling hopes consolidation of his spaces will help his focus. The Observer (UK) 09/22/02

PROTESTING NEW AUSSIE TAX LAW: Prominent Australian artists are withholding promised donations of their artwork to museums because of onerous new tax laws. "Tthe artists are disputing a requirement they believe casts doubt on tax-deduction entitlements when gifting works." Sydney Morning Herald 09/25/02

PROMOTION THROUGH CRITICISM: Skidmore Owings & Merrill is one of the world's great architecture firms. But in recent years the company has been overshadowed by other star architects who have offered more imagination. To help turn its reputation around, the firm has produced a series of books about its recent buildings. But this is no ordinary puffery and hype - projects in these books are chosen and critiqued by outside critics - and the criticism can be blunt... The New York Times 09/29/02


AMERICA'S VISA MESS: The American government's visa policies are so bogged down and eratic, performing arts organizations are having to cancel planned performances with foreign artists. "It's not as if you can hand people a handbook. These security procedures change from day to day. It's a huge issue for people in our field. There is an international meeting of world-music people in Germany next month and this will be the number-one topic of discussion." Philadelphia Inquirer 09/26/02

THE BUSINESS CASE FOR PIRACY: Does fighting piracy of intellectual property make good business sense? Maybe not. "The argument for allowing piracy boils down to two words: network effects. Without a critical mass of users, most software products tend to wither and die. Conversely, the more users a software product acquires, particularly a consumer-oriented software product, the more valuable it becomes." Salon 09/26/02

THE TICKETMASTER TWO-STEP: Anyone who has ever purchased concert or sports passes from juggernaut ticket-broker Ticketmaster is familiar with the company's policy of charging exorbitant fees for 'handling' and 'processing.' But what happens when a concert is cancelled and Ticketmaster has to issue refunds? It turns out that all those extra fees are non-refundable, assuring that the broker turns a sizable profit even as promoters eat their costs and customers take it in the shorts. Denver Post 09/26/02

BANKERS ON BOARD: As times get tougher for arts organizations, boards of directors are taking a more interventionalist attitude. In Sydney, Zurich and London recently, the artistic sides have been sacked by the boardroom overseers. "What boards around the world seem to want now is more predictable balance-sheets. Even if it sometimes means compromising that less definable commodity: artistic enterprise." Financial Times 09/23/02

10. FOR FUN 

CLEANING UP DODGE: A Republican party "Leadership Council" in Texas is on a cultural crusade. So far it has succeeded in getting a plaster fig leaf added to a replica of a statue of David, remove some art from an Italian restaurant, "persuaded commissioners to use an Internet filter to screen computers at the library for pornography and to put plaques reading 'In God We Trust' in county libraries." Houston Chronicle 09/24/02