A Loss For Copyright Challenge Internet archivists have lost a case in American courts challenging recent copyright laws. ""The plaintiffs claim that removing registration and renewal requirements and expanding the term of copyright have made it virtually impossible for works to enter the public domain. Now, out-of-print albums and books -- many of which are not commercially viable -- are simply rotting away unused, but are still protected by copyright." The activists promise to appeal. Wired 12/02/04
Posted: 12/02/2004 11:00 pm
In Search Of Dystopia "Literary dystopias have this in common: They are imagined societies in which the deepest demands of human nature are either subverted, perverted, or simply made unattainable. Not that it is necessarily bad to say "no!" to human nature. When it comes to certain inclinations, such as violence or extreme selfishness, there is much to be said for defying the promptings of biology. But when society presses too hard in ways that go counter to natural needs, the result can be painfully unnatural, which is to say, dystopian." Chronicle of Higher Education 12/03/04
Posted: 12/02/2004 10:21 pm
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Basel Miami Fair Opens Big This year's Art Basel Miami Beach opens, bigger than ever. More galleries, more artists, more media, more collectors and even more celebrities are participating in the fair than ever before -- creating an energy unlike any other art fair in America." Miami Herald 12/03/04
Posted: 12/03/2004 8:09 am
Field Scores $17 Million At Auction Chicago's Field Museum nets $17 million auctioning some of its art. "Included in the sale were 31 paintings of American Indians and bison by artist and adventurer George Catlin, representing the bulk of the Field's Catlin collection, which the museum has owned since shortly after it was founded in 1893. The decision this fall to auction the Catlins, which the artist is thought to have painted during his travels in the American frontier in the 1830s, generated controversy within the museum and on the Field's board of trustees, but museum officials said the sale was part of a strategy to focus its holdings on scientific materials and to expand its collections." Chicago Tribune 12/03/04
Posted: 12/03/2004 7:30 am
Record Sales For Russian Art New records for the sale of Russian art have been set in London this week at auctions, underscoring the rebound in Russia's economic fortunes and its boost to the British capital's position as destination of choice for affluent consumers from the east. Financial Times 12/04/04
Posted: 12/03/2004 6:45 am
- New Russians And The Russians This week in London, the largest sales of Russian paintings were up for bid. And who's buying? Russians. "So-called 'New Russians' have accumulated vast fortunes, helped by rising prices for oil and other raw materials, and have spent some of that wealth on buying works by artists they were taught in school to revere." The Scotsman 12/01/04
Posted: 12/02/2004 9:40 pm
Drawn To The Representation Side There was a time when if you were an absractionist, that's what you stayed. Maybe no longer. "In today’s anything-goes atmosphere, switching camps—from abstraction to representation or vice versa—is not considered exceptionally radical, or even brave, but it still gives us pause." ARTnews 12/04
Posted: 12/02/2004 9:31 pm
Those Ancient Romans Traveled In Style "Underneath a German bus terminal, archaeologists have found the remains of a 2,000-year-old Roman roadside rest stop that included a chariot service station, gourmet restaurant and hotel with central heating. The building complex indicates that citizens of the Roman Empire traveled in relative comfort." Discovery 12/02/04
Posted: 12/02/2004 9:22 pm
Registering Stolen Art The Art Loss Register is a small operation. But since its founding, the company has compiled a huge database of stolen art and assisted in the recovery of millions of dollars worth of objects. Morning Edition (NPR) (Audio link) 12/02/04
Posted: 12/02/2004 8:49 pm
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Milwaukee Symphony Posts Another Deficit The Milwaukee Symphony had another bad financial year. The orchestra reports an "operating deficit of $2.9 million and a $169,000 decline in ticket revenue for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31. The accumulated debt now stands at $9.8 million. It could have been worse. The orchestra was projecting a $3.5 million operating deficit last January," but office staff was reduced by 17 positions, about 30%, to save the bulk of the $600,000 difference. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel 12/02/04
Posted: 12/03/2004 8:50 am
Internet2 - Long Distance Music The New World Symphony experiments with Internet2, uniting musicians thousands of miles apart. "On Wednesday night, the New World Symphony had experimented with a violin class by a New World fellow via Internet2 with a student in Beijing 8,075 miles away. Then Thursday morning, New World upped the ante with the rehearsal of Turnage's piece, conducted by Stefan Asbury in Miami Beach. Internet2, which allows high-definition images and CD-quality sound, put composer and musicians in the same virtual space. With satellite technology, the delay is between 30 seconds and a minute. With Internet2, the delay is 100 milliseconds." Miami Herald 12/03/04
Posted: 12/03/2004 8:12 am
Rehearsal Manners - Boston Audience Needs Practice James Levine has been using Boston Symphony dress rehearsals to actually rehearse. It will take some re-education though, for the auidences that ettend the rehearsals. "After the grand climax at the very end of the work, the audience burst into applause, which Levine acknowledged, asking the orchestra to rise. But then most in the audience began to leave, quite noisily and rudely, although the music director and orchestra were still onstage with work to do. Ultimately Levine had to whistle for silence, and cried out in mock-agony the dying words of the villainous police chief Scarpia in Puccini's "Tosca" after he has been stabbed. "Aiuto, soccorso!" ("Help me! Come to my aid.") More freely translated: "Give me a break." Boston Globe 12/03/04
Posted: 12/03/2004 7:49 am
- Previously: How Dare They Rehearse At A Rehearsal? The Boston Symphony has a long tradition of offering the public access to occasional "open rehearsals," and the events have historically borne less resemblance to an actual rehearsal than to a casual performance. In fact, on the occasion that a conductor or soloist has actually attempted to use these scheduled services to work on a piece of music at some level of detail, the BSO has been guaranteed to receive multiple letters of complaint from those patrons in attendance. Still, new music director James Levine is making it clear that a rehearsal is a rehearsal, and he has no interest in plowing through repertoire for its own sake. Boston Globe 11/19/04
Next Week Is La Scala's Grand Reopening Next week La Scala reopens in its refurbished home. "At first glance, little has changed in 226 years -- not the terraced neoclassical facade designed by architect Giuseppe Piermarini, nor the intimate, semicircular theater. Yet hovering discreetly behind the 18th-century exterior today are a tubular structure and a multistoried fly tower, both very 21st century. They were designed by Mario Botta, architect of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, to update and expand the opera's backstage area in a 60.5 million euro ($80.6 million) revamp that opera professionals say was long overdue." Bloomberg 12/03/04
Posted: 12/03/2004 7:19 am
Apple Charged With Overcharging iTunes In UK A British consumer watchdog group has taken Apple before the European Union, complaining that Brits are being charged more for iTunes than elsewhere in Europe. "Whereas iTunes customers in the UK have to pay 79p to download a song, those in Germany and France are only charged 99 cents or 68p. Back in September Apple defended the price differential, saying that the underlying economic model in each country has an impact on how we price our track downloads."
Posted: 12/03/2004 7:09 am
State Of The Art: Music Criticism A hundred classical music critics gathered in October to talk about their chosen profession. "Conductor James Conlon sounded a recurring theme when he said U.S. classical music institutions were in crisis and needed the help of critics "not just to admonish and correct our bad tempi or poor choice of repertoire . . . but to raise the consciousness of the entire nation" about the value of the arts." St. Petersburg Times 11/17/04
Posted: 12/02/2004 10:12 pm
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Arts Funding Cuts For Northern Ireland Artists are protesting the Northern Ireland government's plan to slash arts spending next year. "The government has proposed funding will be cut by more than 10% over the next three years. That would mean spending being slashed from £14.5m per year to £13m per year by 2007. The Arts Council believes if the cuts go ahead many artists and organisations will not survive." BBC 12/03/04
Posted: 12/03/2004 7:14 am
What Audiences Saw What In Australia Last Year "A report released by the Australia Council shows the Melbourne Theatre Company topping the list of the 10 biggest ticket-sellers in 2003, with 322,000 tickets sold. Opera Australia came second, with 284,000 tickets, and the Sydney Theatre Company third, with 274,000. Last year's report on 2002 ticket sales had Opera Australia at the top of the list, with 263,000, and the MTC second with 251,000." The Age (Melbourne) 12/02/04
Posted: 12/02/2004 10:37 pm
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Chicago Mourns Art Star In Chicago, they're wondering who might fill the shoes of Ed Paschke - for decades the Chicago art scene's most visible and charismatic icon - who recently died. "In their view, Paschke's unique track record of international stature, tireless civic involvement, generous mentorship of the young and commitment to Chicago is unlikely to be approached, much less duplicated, by anyone now on the scene." Chicago Sun-Times 12/03/04
Posted: 12/03/2004 7:55 am
Ballerina Alicia Markova, 94 Dame Alicia Markova, one of the UK's most influential prima ballerinas, has died aged 94. She died in a nursing home in Bath on Thursday morning, the day after her birthday.
Posted: 12/02/2004 9:12 pm
Film Critic Quits For Nothing After 17 years, Sacramento Bee film critic Joe Baltake is quitting. For what? To do nothing. “That’s what’s so strange,” Baltake told Bites, fresh from reviewing Christmas with the Kranks, a film he suggested makes retiring from film criticism that much easier. “Whenever I tell somebody what my plans are--and I’ve been talking about this for a year now--the inevitable question is, ‘Well, what are you going to do?’ And I say, ‘Nothing.’ I guess the work ethic is so pronounced in this country that the idea of doing nothing seems almost a crime, or a sin or some kind of blasphemy.” Sacramento News & Review 12/02/04
Posted: 12/02/2004 8:55 pm
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Denver Center Theatre Chooses New Leaders The Denver Center Theatre for the Performing Arts has tapped Kent Thompson as its new artistic director and Bruce K. Sevy as associate artistic director. Thompson and Sevy currently hold the same positions at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery. Denver Post 12/03/04
Posted: 12/03/2004 8:02 am
Off-Broadway - Let Us Pray Off-Broadway has found religion, where several plays have taken up the topic. "Current events inform some of the productions, two of which deal with the abuse of children by clergy. But the plays range from a 15th-century piece featuring a grieving widower's debate with Death to a modern comedy about tapping more deeply into the faith of one's fathers. There's also a musical version of the book "Children's Letters to God," and even comedian Dame Edna invokes Jesus in her new Broadway show. While the timing of these shows appears coincidental, they each touch on issues in public thought." Christian Science Monitor 12/03/04
Posted: 12/03/2004 6:59 am
Broadway's Ho-Hums So far Broadway's had a ho-hum season, with no break-out hits. No big musicals have hit big, and only one play has attracted raves. Perhaps the spring... Dallas Morning News 12/02/04
Posted: 12/02/2004 8:53 pm
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In Europe: Broadband Up, TV Down Europe is adopting broadband internet at a faster rate, and a quarter of broadband users say they are watching less TV. Just over 54 million people are hooked up to the net via broadband, up from 34 million a year ago, according to market analysts Nielsen/NetRatings. BBC 12/03/04
Posted: 12/03/2004 7:33 am
White Christmas? What A Cliche Why is Hollywood so stuck on the idea of a white Christmas? What a cliche! Especially when a great many of us will never see snow for the season. "When was the last time you saw a holiday film set in the sunshine states for any reason other than a good laugh? How many times do we need to chuckle at those hopeless wannabes in Beverly Hills who spray fake snow on their Christmas trees?" Christian Science Monitor 12/03/04
Posted: 12/03/2004 7:03 am
Public Radio's Record Year Public radio in America had a record year last year, with more listeners and more money raised than ever before. "The cumulative audience, those that tune it at least once per week, grew by 1.4 million listeners, to a national total of 27.2 million." This follows two years of growth. Station Resource Group 12/04
Posted: 12/02/2004 9:19 pm
Endangered Species: VCR's "Video cassette recorders, the most successful consumer electronic devices ever besides TVs, are now an endangered species, selling for as little as $20 at some retailers - the same price as some low-end DVD players that have far, far better picture quality." New York Post 12/02/04
Posted: 12/02/2004 8:51 pm
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