MEDIA - Film/Radio/TV/Web - October 2002

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Thursday October 31

FRIDA - WHERE'S THE ART? There's plenty to like about the new Frida Kahlo biopic. But also some serious wrongs. First, where's her art? Then, "the film unintentionally demeans Kahlo by depicting her as a charming naif, rather than a savvy professional. OK, so she often wore folkloric Tehuana clothes and mimicked folk-art techniques, the better to express her solidarity with working-class Mexicans. But she herself was born bourgeois and was a creature of the international art world besides. Her paintings are far more sophisticated than they initially seem and, even though she downplayed her ambition, she obviously took her work extremely seriously." Slate 10/30/02

NEWSFLASH - SEX STILL SELLS: The National Organization for Women has released its annual critique of American television, and the landscape has rarely looked bleaker for women who are unfortunate enough not to look like Jennifer Aniston. "The standard for beauty is 'young, thin and white.' Only four Asian-American actresses had substantial roles in regularly scheduled series, NOW notes. The networks employed 134 more men than women in recurring prime-time roles." And the top TV role model for young women isn't even a human being: she's crusading cartoon character Lisa Simpson. Denver Post 10/31/02

Wednesday October 30

WHAT'S WRONG WITH ARTS COVERAGE ON THE RADIO: Why is radio afraid to discuss ideas on air? Instead we get artist interviews, process stories and fluff... everything except the ideas. "Free public education is not an elitist concept. And the CBC could be the best public educator in the world, by using experts to explain difficult concepts in everyday language. Most experts on art or ideas are already trained to do this, since they have had to spend some time teaching to make their living. Learning and teaching are inseparable to most thinkers and writers." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 10/30/02

JESSE HELMS TO THE RESCUE: The North Carolina senator (who's just about to retire after a 30-years in the Senate) is blocking royalty legislation for webcasters. He says "he believes the discounted record label fees would still be too high for small companies." Charlotte Observer 10/29/02

REALLY BIG SHOW: Imax theatres are beginning to show digitally remastered prints on their giant screens. The showings are popular, but some critics worry that "if an Imax film, especially the latest Hollywood releases, can be seen at your nearest commercial multiplex, what's the point in making the trek to the science centre or museum?" Toronto Star 10/30/02

Tuesday October 29

IT'S ABOUT WHO GETS TO CENSOR: Hollywood directors are suing companies who sell software that edits out what they consider offensive scenes. "It's hard to sympathize with the Directors Guild of America's efforts to prevent parents from cleaning up movies when it allows studios to do it every day. As long as there's a buck in it down the line, filmmakers allow studios to reedit their films for TV and airplane broadcast. If studio research numbers come in low, filmmakers willingly change endings, reshoot scenes, tone down sex and violence, cut out entire characters and subplots, and even change the whole tone of a film to make it more commercially salable." Los Angeles Times 10/29/02

Monday October 28

THE MAN WHO MADE THE MODERN BBC: John Birt is an egoist of the first order. "By the time he retired, he left an organisation that was, if anything, too dominant. Birt had negotiated an above-inflation licence fee settlement for digital channels even before it was clear what they were to be. Extraordinarily, half the money spent on programmes for British television now comes from the BBC. Around two-fifths of all original programming is commissioned and paid for by the licence fee. BBC Worldwide is the country's largest distributor and exploiter of media intellectual property." In a new book, Birt tells his story... The Observer (UK) 10/27/02

HOLLYWOOD'S NEW LATIN BEAT: Hispanics are now the largest minority in the United States. "In Los Angeles alone, 47 per cent of the population is Hispanic; that includes five million Mexicans." And Hollywood is paying attention. The movie industry is increasingly thinking about ways to appeal to Hispanics. "In the last few years, the main thing I've observed is a change in attitudes. The business community has realised how important the Latino population is, and movies and TV have started to as well." The Observer (UK) 10/27/02

FINDING THE REAL FRIDA: How to bring artist Frida Kahlo's art to the screen? Director Julie Taymor "wanted some way to convey the motivations behind Kahlo's art, and the device she came up with is what she calls 'live-action, three-dimensional paintings' - sequences in which Kahlo's famous paintings meld with the actors on screen. 'That makes it a little different than a biopic, because you go in and out of linear storytelling,' she says." Washington Post 10/27/02

Sunday October 27

BAD NEWS FOR BRIT FILM: The British film industry is officially in a slump. In the last year, the UK's Channel Four closed its film production business, and less US investment in British film has resulted in fewer movies being made overall - 40% less than last year, in fact. But the British Film Council is not ready to throw in the towel, and insists that the industry will rebound. BBC 10/25/02

Friday October 25

WHERE'D THE ART GO? Movies have always been entertainment. But also art. "Lately, though, the word 'art' is scarcely mentioned in discussions about films in this country, even where you might most expect it, namely independent cinema. The reasons are complex but include the decline of fine art in middle-class life and our love affair with the most trivial aspects of entertainment culture." San Francisco Chronicle (LAT) 10/25/02

NEW RESPECT FOR BOLLYWOOD? "Although India has a film industry that goes back a century and produces more than 800 films a year, Bollywood filmmakers often complain their work is not taken seriously by either critics or the larger global audience. With their heavy reliance on musical numbers and formulaic plots about star-crossed lovers, popular Indian movies have rarely won critical applause." But recently Bollywood seems to be winning more respect away from home. What people have become aware of recently is that the way Bollywood deals with similar plot lines is interesting. It has become far more acceptable to think that melodrama is a viable form of art, and not just a failure of art." National Post 10/25/02

Wednesday October 23

LISTENING TO THE WEB: Most popular TV series are tracked by scores of websites - an official one run by the network; the others run by fans - that dissect the content of every episode. It would be simple to underestimate the intensity with which Web sites fetishize TV programs - and the impact they have on the show's creators. It is now standard Hollywood practice for executive producers (known in trade argot as 'show runners') to scurry into Web groups moments after an episode is shown on the East Coast." New York Times Magazine 10/20/02

Tuesday October 22

BOLLYWOOD DOWN: India's Bollywood, home to the largest film industry in the world, has lost $30 million since the beginning of the year. "Both producers and distributors have been hit by the ongoing economic downturn, and that producers have faced falling profits from the sale of music, satellite and overseas rights." BBC 10/22/02

Monday October 21

ROYALTY PAYMENT DELAY: Small webcasters got an extension on Sunday's deadline for paying royalty fees for music they stream. "The extension, granted by the recording industry and performance artists Friday, came a day after the Senate recessed for the elections without approving copyright rate revisions negotiated between webcasters and the copyright holders." The fees will put hundreds of webcasters out of business, the webcasters caim. Nando Times (AP) 10/20/02

INTERACTIVE TV ON YOUR PHONE: "Text messaging has recently overtaken Internet use in Europe. One of the fastest-growing uses of text messaging, moreover, is interacting with television. Figures show that 20% of teenagers in France, 11% in Britain and 9% in Germany have sent messages in response to TV shows." The Economist 10/18/02

Sunday October 20

WHAT LISTENERS WANT? These days radio is programmed by focus groups and consultants. Radio execs say that what we hear is more in tune with what listeners want than ever before. On the other hand... "radio was once regional, as different as every town. More and more, the whole country is listening to one station ... music is something that is magical, ultra-magical, and radio was an art form. Now it's something cold and different." Los Angeles Times 10/19/02

WHY TV DRAMAS DON'T AGE WELL: Why is it that "quality" TV dramas that look so real and up-to-date when they first run, look so dated and contrived just a few years later? Part of the answer is technical. ''When drama like this was new, it relied almost totally on words. With the limberness of camerawork and editing today, we rely on a lot of things, not the least of which are elaborate location, costumes, music, and sound effects, things you're not even aware of and which allows for much more nuanced and subtle acting.'' Boston Globe 10/20/02

FITS OF ANALYSIS: What is it about The Sopranos that critics can't resist? "Never before has a programme been subject to such extensive interpretation. "North American academics have recently published no fewer than five books about The Sopranos. The authors include psychiatrists, sociologists, literary theorists, postmodernists, post-structuralists and the other usual suspects. It's only fair to warn you that these are determined individuals who will not waste two words when a chapter will do." The Observer (UK) 10/20/02

Friday October 18

IRANIAN DIRECTOR TURNS BACK AWARD: Iranian film director Bahman Qobadi has rejected an award he was to receive at the Chicago Film Festival after US immigration officials refused to grant him a visa to collect it. "In a letter to the festival organisers, Mr Qobadi said 'a country which rejects the visa application of an artist, better keep the prize of its festival for its own authorities'." BBC 10/18/02

VIDEO-ON-DEMAND GOES OFFLINE: Intertainer, the video-on-demand provider, is shutting down while it sues big entertainment companies. "The company said it cannot continue to provide movies and other programming online and on cable systems while entertainment companies raise prices and withhold programs." Nando Times (AP) 10/17/02

DIGITAL RADIO BLOCKS OUT LITTLE GUYS? Last week the American FCC approved digital radio for US stations. But the way it's set up is likely to squeeze out small low-wattage community radio stations. Wired 10/18/02

HOW ABOUT SOME UGLY PEOPLE? A researcher in Norway accuses journalists, photographers and TV producers there of "concentrating on beautiful faces and bodies and accuses the press of choosing attractive interviewees from schools or the workplace, and avoiding others. "Ugly people should be spotlighted in the media in the same way that the media wishes to emphasize persons from ethnic minorities." Aftenposten (Norway) 10/18/02

Thursday October 17

A NOT-FOR-TV EVENT: As far as American TV news is concerned, upcoming elections might as well not be taking place. "Of 2,454 local news programs in the country's 50 largest media markets, 1,311 contained nothing at all on campaigns between Sept. 18 and Oct. 4, according to the Lear Center Local News Archive." Nando Times (AP) 10/16/02

WEBCASTER DEAL FALLS APART: Small webcasters thought they had made a deal that would have exempted them from royalty requirements that they say would have forced many of them out of business. But with an October 20th deadline fast coming up, the agreement has fallen apart, and many of the webcasting operations will go silent. "With a new field like Webcasting, it's hard to tell where the serious concerns end and the panicked hyperbole starts. However, there is evidence that the fear of the July agreement has already dampened what had been a blossoming field." Boston Globe 10/17/02

AUSSIE FILM EXPERIMENT: Eight films are being shot - all with the same script. "Despite different directors, casts and crews, they are all using the same 10-minute script about two former lovers meeting. One version features deaf actors, another is "a David Lynch nightmare-scape" set in the 1940s, a third was shot in Japanese using train carriages and a fourth has become a tale about schizophrenia. Another, being shot in Bourke next week, has two Aboriginal leads." Sydney Morning Herald 10/17/02

Wednesday October 16

ON THE FRONT LINES OF PROPAGANDA: These days, Americans tend to view the U.S. propaganda films which aired in movie theatres during World War II as quaint relics of the past. But as the Bush administration cranks up the PR campaign for war against Iraq, the military is once again producing propaganda shorts to air along with previews and pre-screening ads in theatres around the country. The first such film short began airing in select cities this month, with the largest U.S. theatre chain insisting that it is only trying to"'inform and educate the public." Los Angeles Times 10/16/02

THE MOVIES YOU'LL NEVER SEE: "Every year, Hollywood studios quietly dump movies -- even ones with top stars -- that aren't worth the money to distribute in theaters. Call it Hollywood's dirty little secret. With marketing costs spiraling higher every year, studios increasingly have both economic and psychological incentives to cut their losses by keeping their stinkers in the closet." Los Angeles Times 10/16/02

Tuesday October 15

END OF THE VCR: DVD players are the quickest growing consumer device in Australian history. "VCR sales dropped 14 per cent last year but 850,000 units are still expected to sell this year. About 800,000 DVD players are expected to be sold this year. Within four years, VCR sales are expected to dry up." The Age (Melbourne) 10/15/02

Monday October 14

SANCTIMONY VS. SACRILEGE: The debate between Hollywood directors and the Utah company that is releasing 'edited' versions of their films with all the sex, violence, and foul language removed is fast becoming one of those hot-button issues where both sides become so absorbed in their own righteous point of view as to make compromise impossible. To the directors, the old-fashioned folks who just want to enjoy a good flick with their children are 'fascists'; and to the old-fashioned folks, those Hollywood people are one good full frontal scene from being hard-core pornographers. So where is all this headed? Federal court, of course. Los Angeles Times 10/14/02

PLAYING ALONG: When talking movies first hit theatre screens, 55,000 musicians in the US who had accompanied the silents were thrown out of work within six months. "But some musicians still make a healthy living playing along to old movies at festivals around the world." BBC 10/14/02

SAG TRIES AGAIN: "The newly elected board of the Screen Actors Guild, seeking to open lines of communication after a three-year battle that ended in defeat for the nation's talent agencies, on Sunday said it would try to reopen its dialogue with agents over whether to ease restrictions governing their business practices. But there's a catch. SAG, which represents 98,000 actors, will try to jump-start the talks even though its membership already has said no to the agent's make-or-break issue: giving agents more leeway to receive investments from and invest in companies that also produce." Los Angeles Times 10/14/02

Sunday October 13

WHAT WILL DIGITAL SOUND LIKE? This month, the FCC approved the introduction of digital radio signals into the American broadcast landscape, setting off a flurry of predictions, speculations, and warnings over what form the new technology might take. The truth is that digital radio will likely be many things to many people, but anyone looking for it to provide an end to the corporate domination of the airwaves will likely be disappointed. Chicago Tribune 10/13/02

Friday October 11

THE FCC DID WHAT? The two satellite radio companies which have been inundating us with advertising for the last year or two haven't turned a profit yet, but execs at both Sirius and XM have repeatedly expressed confidence that mass popularity for the medium is only a matter of time. But this week, the FCC has approved plans for existing radio stations to broadcast digital signals (much as TV stations will soon be required to) and the fallout may include the death of satellite radio. Wired 10/11/02

HOLLYWOOD'S OWN MELTING POT: "Many of the great movies that seem to define 'American' values have been directed by foreigners, from Yankee Doodle Dandy to Jim Thorpe: All-American. And that isn't even counting the master himself, Alfred Hitchcock... The flood of talent to Hollywood today hasn't stopped, it's just flowing from new directions. In Hollywood's early years, the directors were Europeans, some of whom were fleeing the Nazis. Today, filmmakers come from Asia and Latin America, too, not to mention English-speaking countries like Australia." The Christian Science Monitor 10/11/02

Thursday October 10

FILM INSTITUTE MAY CLOSE: The Australian Film Institute is close to closing, after failing to raise enough money to support its operations. "In its 25 years of existence, the Australian Film Institute's library has played a key role in countless local and international screen projects." The Age (Melbourne) 10/10/02

SCOTTISH STUDIO IN DOUBT: A study commissioned by the Scottish government concludes there isn't enough fim work in Scotland to justify building a big new film studio. "Hopes had been raised for a studio after one of the busiest years in the industry - with about 14 productions currently shooting in Scotland." BBC 10/09/02

Wednesday October 9

GOING DIGITAL? Digital radio could be the biggest update to the medium since the debut of FM in the 1940s. The Federal Communications Commission is to decide Thursday whether to allow radio stations to broadcast digital signals and how they should do it. Digital radio's rollout could begin in a few months in some major cities, and consumers would start seeing digital receivers in car stereos and high-end audio systems next year." Wired (AP) 10/08/02

FINAL CUT: Video editing software is sophisticated enough that anyone can now edit TV shows or movies. Legal challenges confront Cleanflicks, a company that edits out scenes it feels are objectionable. But "legal or not, this kind of manipulation is here to stay. It's not just conservatives in Utah who are taking the knife to films: Enterprising fans are using their computers to alter films, too." Village Voice 10/08/02

Tuesday October 8

WEBCASTERS MAKE ROYALTY DEAL: Small webcasters may have a deal to lower proposed royalties for songs they stream on the net. Many webcasters had gone silent, complaining that onerous royalty fees would put them out of business. "Sources on both sides of Sunday's deal, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said it was a two-year agreement that calls for Webcasters to pay back and future royalties equal to 8% to 12% of their revenue or 5% to 7% of their expenses, whichever was higher." Los Angeles Times 10/07/02

OFFSHORE TRADING: The KaZaA file trading network has something going for it that Napster didn't - its operator is located outside the United States. "What KaZaA has in the United States are users — millions of them — downloading copyrighted music, television shows and movies 24 hours a day. How effective are United States laws against a company that enters the country only virtually? The answer is about to unfold in a Los Angeles courtroom." The New York Times 10/07/02

MY BIG FAT RECORD: My Big Fat Greek Wedding has sold $148 million worth of tickets, making it the top-grossing independent film of all time, ahead of The Blair Witch Project. "The film has already outgrossed such mega-budget films as Tom Cruise's Minority Report, Vin Diesel's XXX and Hank's Road to Perdition. Some box-office pundits bet that it will surpass the $200-million mark. And that's not counting video/DVD sales or the international box-office take." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 10/08/02

Monday October 7

A HOLLYWOOD DIVIDED: "There's hardly a cause in the world that isn't attempting to harness Hollywood's star power to raise awareness and cash. Yet the question of Israel and whether to wholeheartedly embrace its cause is posing a surprisingly provocative and uncomfortable dilemma for many in the industry, all the more notable because the movie business was founded by and is still well-populated by Jews." Chicago Tribune (LAT) 10/07/02

HAVE IT YOUR WAY: We're maybe three years away from having video-on-demand - any movie, anytime, anywhere. "The implications of such a trend: declining influence of the movie-distribution chains that hold sway over when and where new films are released; few video stores outside large urban areas; and dwindling attendances at cinemas everywhere. Cable providers will get their cut in the form of payment for opening their networks to third-party content. Meanwhile, the set-top box will replace the VCR—the greatest single product the consumer-electronics industry ever produced, and one which, at its peak, generated half the industry's sales and three-quarters of its profits." Think the cable/movie/TV business is worried? The Economist 10/04/02

FILM'S DEBT TO POLLOCK: The best, most counter-cultural strain of American film-making owes a great deal, perhaps everything, to Jackson Pollock. It is impossible to overstate his importance in American culture. He was the first purely American artist. It took the strange, inarticulate Pollock to break through to something unprecedented. The way he painted - dancing, letting paint fall - was not European. It asserted a freedom, a daring that marks a break in the cultural history of the US." The Age (Melbourne) 10/07/02

ANTE-DILUVIAN: American syndicated radio host Don Imus daily spews his "anti–gay, anti–black, anti–Asian, anti–Semitic, and sometimes anti–handicapped ridicule" over the airwaves, writes Philip Nobile. So why do prominent members of the American intelligentsia - like New Yorker editor David Remnick - regularly appear as guests on his show? MobyLives 10/07/02

Sunday October 6

FILM MUSEUM WON'T REOPEN: When it opened in 1988, London's Museum of the Moving Image was "one of the most popular tourist attractions in London, particularly with young visitors." But it closed down in 1999 for "redevelopment" and now the British Film Institute says it won't reopen at all. "The future of the museum became bogged down in the redevelopment of the South Bank arts complex, where yet another masterplan has bitten the dust." The Guardian (UK) 10/05/02

MUSICAL MAKEOVER: There was a time that movie musicals were very popular. Those days are long gone now. So some reinvention is in order. "In the last three years, the salvage operation has become an international project, with directors as dissimilar as Lars von Trier (Danish), Baz Luhrmann (Australian) and most recently François Ozon (French) trotting out ambitious idiosyncratic test models of a new and improved 21st-century movie musical." The New York Times 10/06/02

Friday October 4

PROTECTING COPYING: Two US Congressmen introduced legislation Thursday that "would legalize the manufacture and use of technology for copying of copy-protected CDs and DVDs for personal use. 'The anti-circumvention provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act unfairly tilts the balance in favor of content owners and away from the consumer, slowly but surely siphoning away the availability of information to which we all have a right'." Nando Times (Scripps) 10/03/02

EXTRA CREDIT: "The Writers Guild of America has released a set of proposed changes for determining television and screenwriter credits, some of which have already raised the ire of rank and file union members. The four proposed changes, which must be voted on by the Writers Guild's 12,000 members, were sent out Thursday. Critics say the two most controversial proposals would erode the importance traditionally placed on the first writer of a script." Los Angeles Times 10/04/02

SCREENWRITER EXTRAORDINAIRE: Harold Pinter is so famous as a playwright that his work for the movies is often overlooked. But Michael Billington is a big fan: "The fact is that he has written 24 screenplays of which, unusually, 17 have been filmed as written. And I would argue that the screenplays not only constitute a significant second canon to the plays, but reveal an even more consistent preoccupation with politics." The Guardian (UK) 10/04/02

CAN WE KILL OFF PEOPLE'S CHOICE NEXT? The eternal Hollywood question: How many awards shows will the world accept before someone takes Joan Rivers hostage and sets fire to the red carpet? The apparent answer: One fewer than there are now. CBS has announced that the low-rated American Film Institute Awards will not return for a second year. "If there is a lesson from AFI's experience, it is that... if you plan to broadcast an awards show, you better hope the winners show up." Los Angeles Times 10/04/02

WATCHING YOU: TV ratings methods are notoriously unreliable. Viewers forget to fill in diaries, and box meters don't measure who's there watching. So now there's the Portable People Meter (PPM), a device about the size of a pager that clips on a belt or can be worn around a person's neck. Because it is portable, the PPM will capture viewing data that set-top boxes don't, such as when the person watches the Super Bowl at a sports bar or gets together with friends for a Survivor party." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 10/03/02

Thursday October 3

TAKING THE CONSUMER'S SIDE: While Microsoft and big chip-makers Intel and AMD are embedding copy protection measures in new products meant to thwart consumer copying, Apple is taking a pro-consumer stand. "The Mac is becoming the hub of a digital lifestyle, in which you move data between a Mac and various devices around the home, such as digital cameras, MP3 players and the like." San Jose Mercury News 10/02/02

TRYING NOT TO FORGET: Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet presided over one of the most horrific police states of the 20th century, and these days, many Chileans would prefer to forget about those days. But for filmmaker Patricio Guzman, the Pinochet era has become a personal crusade which began when he fled the country following the dictator's ascension to power. "What shocks me is the lack of space for memory in Latin America. There is no great literature on repression. In Chile great writers have not spoken out... Movie directors turn away from the topic. Most artists feel it is a tired theme. They want to move on, to write about or cover other things. I think we'll have to wait for those who are 15 now to address this past." The New York Times 10/03/02

Wednesday October 2

FUN AND GAMES: One of the big promises of digital television was that it would make TV interactive; viewers would be able to tailor their viewing experiences in the ways they wanted. But it hasn't turned out that way. No surprise - TV is a passive experience, and people seem to like it that way. Instead, the new digital medium is being used for gaming. "Gaming channels have grown wildly popular in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia; South Korea has three, and in the United States, the 24-hour G4 channel was launched in April. What is striking about G4's offerings is that, belying the cutting-edge nature of the technology it presents, many of its programming formats are utterly traditional." International Herald Tribune 10/01/02

Tuesday October 1

THE DECLINE OF RADIO? "The consolidation of the radio business in the hands of a very few, powerful corporate owners has devastated the quality of commercial radio. Every year, radio programming is produced with smaller and smaller budgets by fewer and fewer people with more and more smoke and mirrors: cookie-cutter music formats, overuse of syndication, tighter, more repetitive playlists filled with inferior songs, one programming staff operating a cluster of stations and commercial breaks that never seem to end." Salon 10/01/02

MORE FAKE MOVIE FANS? Are Hollywood movie studios planting e-mail postings to various moviewebsites touting movies they want to promote? The e-mails purport to be from movie fans and talk up upcoming movies in web postings - but in fact they might be planted by the studios. "This is dirty tricks, not legitimate marketing. It's also a slap in the face because the studios are using our site to hype movies without paying for advertising. After all, what's the difference between paying people to pretend to be film fans Web sites across the country and paying them to pretend to be happy customers in a testimonial TV commercial?" Los Angeles Times 10/01/02

TV'S NEW AGE OF THE ARTS? "For critics who love the arts, something has gone terribly wrong with arts on television. But in the past year, two remarkable things have happened to shake up this purported decline. The first was the establishment of BBC4, billed as 'a place to think' and expressly designed as a haven for intellectual, cultured programming. The second thing was even more radical. In the past year, Channel 5 has unexpectedly moved upmarket, making arts programmes designed to draw in a more upmarket audience." And audiences are watching. The Guardian (UK) 09/30/02

UNDUE INFLUENCE: Hollywood seems to have an almost supernatural influence over lawmakers in Washington, who have been obediently drafting all manner of legislation that is clearly not in the best interests of consumers. From proposals to allow companies to invade home PCs in search of copyrighted music and movies, to a plan to outlaw analog video equipment (thereby rendering today's generation of VCR's unusable), big business is winning. Wired 09/30/02