Pirates at the MPAA?

Ampersand points to a Bitch Magazine interview with Kirby Dick, director of the This Film is Not Yet Rated, now playing at a theatre near you.

The film lambasts the MPAA for its well-known rating system, first implemented in 1968 by Jack Valenti. But, in the Bitch interview, Dick reveals evidence that the MPAA — anti-piracy champion it purports to be — can be pretty casual about distributing illegal copies in-house. Kirby Dick:

Before I submitted the film, I called up the administration of the ratings board, and I said, “Can you assure me that there will be no copies made of this?” And they assured me, in writing, in e-mail, and on the phone, that not only would no copies be made, but that only the raters would see it. Well, I subsequently learned that an MPAA attorney had seen it. I learned that [MPAA president] Dan Glickman had seen it…

I got a call from an MPAA attorney who said “Look, Kirby, I have to tell you, we have made a copy of your film. But you don’t have to worry, because it’s safe in my vault.” [Laughs.] I can tell you that wasn’t reassuring. In a way I wasn’t surprised, but on the other hand, there’s such hypocrisy there. The MPAA has launched this huge antipiracy campaign, and on their website they define even one act of unauthorized duplication of material as piracy. And that’s exactly what they did.

I’m looking forward to checking this one out.

Watch the trailer.

Liz Losh highly recommends it here.

Webzines: The Birth of e-Cit. Journalism

Thumbing through Chicago Magazine, of all things, I found an excellent article (written by David Bernstein) profiling Jamie Kalven, son of a prominent First Amendment scholar who found himself fighting his own press-rights battle this summer as the first Chicago-area journalist to be served a subpoena by the City of Chicago in recent history.

Since 2001, Kalven has published the Webzine “View From the Ground,” a fine collection of journalism that should have been — but never was — published in the mainstream media.

Kalven has been documenting his observations and those of the residents of Stateway Gardens, arguably the most decrepit of South Side projects and at this point almost completely torn down. He has not been shy about openly criticizing gang or police conduct, most notably the conduct of a group of plainclothes officers known as the Skullcaps.

Now that a case charging members of the Skullcaps has gone to court, city attorneys subpoenaed Kalven for his notes, which he is protesting on First Amendment grounds. In July, a judge denied the motion for Kalven to submit his papers.

Coincidentally (or, perhaps not) as many as 8 elite Special Operations officers stripped of their powers this week, reportedly for involvement in various thefts in and around Stateway Gardens.

An investigation into a corrupt police force in Chicago? Who woulda thunk?
This is a great story, the only must-read I’ve ever seen in Chicago Mag to be honest — also highly recommended is Kalven’s “Webzine,” View From the Ground.

Ev.Bet is now netZoo

This blog launched one year ago, soon after its primary scribe began grad school and soon after the most disastrous (I hope) government in this lifetime made its most fatal — and still unforgiveable — mistake, it’s non-response to the Katrina disaster. Revisit the early days of EverythingBetween, now known as netZoo in the Sept. 2005 archives.

Back then I had a good time railing on Christopher Hitchens — who has become an adverb consistent with curmudgeonly in recent years — and now is a perfect anniversary opportunity to reprise.

Hitch flicked off the Real Time crowd last weekend on Bill Maher’s HBO show. Wish I were there. Bear with me, as I continue re-tweaking the site to consistently point in the right direction — netzoo.net is a URL I’ve used for various purposes since 1999, and its back full-force as I am retiring the Everything Between experiment. Welcome.