Monday, November 03, 2014

Odd libel suit against "American Hustle" may teach a lesson; Taylor Swift criticizes free content


A couple of disparate issues came up early Monday morning.
  
Journalist Paul Broudeur has sued Columbia and Annapura Pictures over a scene in the comedy “American Hustle” (Movies blog, Dec. 22, 2013), by David O. Russell, in which the character Rosalymn played by Jennifer Lawrence falsely attributes the “New Yorker” science writer for a comment about microwaves.  This is a case where “attribution” got a content provider into trouble.  Hollywood Reporter has the details in a story by Austin Siegemund-Burke here.  The journalist claims that his reputation and credibility as a science reporter was compromised.  It’s hard to see why the writer (Russell) was so flippant in the use of the journalist’s name.  Some legal authorities this morning indicated that they thought the idea had some merit.  
  
  
Later today there was an interesting op-ed I the Wall Street Journal by singer Taylor Swift on the idea that artists should expect to make a living from their content, or at least charge from it, and not feel compelled to be lowballed into giving it away. 
   
The picture:  the Roger Smith Hotel in New York City, photo-ed because I believe my father said he lived there for a while as a young man, perhaps around 1930.  

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