Stelter, Brian. "Serving Up Television Without the TV Set." The New York Times 10 Mar 2008: C1.
This New York Times article examines Internet television consumers’ viewing patterns. They note that many individuals are beginning to watch television via their laptops. The article has quotes from many industry insiders such NBC Universal President Jeff Zucker and Family Guy creator Seth Macfarlane. Both acknowledge the changing nature of the industry and promote change so that the television business financially stays afloat. The article also discusses how the shows individuals watch online correlates with the most popular shows in primetime. However, it is difficult to know the exact amount of times that each show has been streamed because there are no Nielsen ratings for the Internet as of now. The article discusses how this relates to advertising money for networks, and adds that viewers find advertisements while streaming to be more memorable. Most importantly, the article talks to real people about their online video consumption habits. One man, said he even gave up his cable service for online streaming, which he hooked up to his television. Many said that they liked to watch online because they could time shift without having to remember to program their DVR. This market is growing, and viewers are jumping on the online video bandwagon.
This article is important to my paper because it has accounts from real viewers about why they are starting to time and space shift by watching television on their computers. The article also provides the information that the most watched shows on television are the most streamed. This shows that people are going online for the same content on television, instead of liking to watch different or more mindless programming on the web. The article also has many good quotes from people who work in the industry, which adds even more proof that the television executives are cognizant that they need to shift their programming strategies and individuals shift their viewing tendencies.
This article highlights some of the ambiguities of VARA, such as leaving subjective and objective interpretations of harm open for debate. Because of the broad nature of the act, court cases such as Carter v. Helmsley-Spear, Inc, have expansive room for interpretation. The objective approach was taken in the case of Carter v. Helmsley-Spear, Inc. There have been subjective interpretations, like in Pavia v. 1120 Avenue of the Americas Associates. It is evident through legislation that Congress intended for VARA to have a narrow application, and to be used as a small step towards including moral rights in United States copyright law. Substantial modification of a visual work is compared to the concept of substantial similarity in traditional United States copyright law, which facilitates the objective approach to interpretation of VARA. The article also describes how if the modification to the work is considered insignificant (i.e. lighting a painting from below as opposed to above) then the artist cannot claim infringement of VARA. By comparing significant vs. insignificant modification juxtaposed against qualitative vs. quantitative modification, the scope of and debates regarding VARA are brought to the forefront. An interesting point is that when judging art, some argue that the judges do not have adequate training to deem modification as infringement.
This article is important to decipher the meaning of modification of a piece of artwork. The debate over how the act should be and is implemented highlights the ambiguities of VARA. Because VARA is the first time moral rights are worked into United States law, its scope is narrow so it can be a test to see how the expansion of protection beyond economic rights fairs. It is clear that debate exists, because of the possibility of subjective vs. objective interpretation; although Hawkins believes objective interpretation is much preferred. Once again, court cases are examined to show the way the act has been applied and interpreted; therefore, Congress can gauge whether federal copyright law in general should be expanded to include moral rights, as it does in other countries.
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