A Brief Review of Extremely Important Matters: Sports Leagues Banning Live-Streaming Apps, Getty Wanting Amateurs, Hollywood's Gender Bias, and Other Miscellany

A lot of people are unhappy about the Mayweather-Pacquaio fight, and not because Pacquiao lost. The fight of the century was rebroadcast on live-streaming apps Periscope and Meerkat, allowing people to watch the fight for free instead of ponying up the $100 pay-per-view fees. Now, the PGA and NHL are freaking out and banning the apps, threatening any live-streamers with infringement suits. Threats generally do not engender fan support, and that kind of control is more or less impossible. But it just goes to show how a little panic can have huge consequences. The war is just getting started, and it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

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You probably already heard the story the Darth Vader cutout selfie that's already ruined two lives. A man in Melbourne Australia saw a Darth Vader cutout and decided to take a selfie to send to his teenage daughter. A few nearby kids wanted in, but he told them to wait a few seconds. Unfortunately for him, those kids' mother thought he was up to something nefarious. So she took his picture, put it on Facebook, and accused him of being a pedophile. The story quickly made the rounds, garnering police attention. And while the mom has since apologized for it, both she and the man she accused have received death threats. Like most technology, social media has the profound ability to do good in the world. It can also, in the span of a single day, ruin several lives forever. I always tells my clients, "don't air your grievances on social media. At all. Ever. Talk to the right officials and let it get taken care of through the appropriate channels."

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In an unprecedented move, Getty Images is offering to pay Instagram users for their photos. Yes, the behemoth image and video licensing company will be offering grants to Instagrammers for their non-mainstream (ahem, amateur) photos in order to "document stories from under-represented communities around the world." I actually think this is a neat idea and it could prove to be a great stepping stone for some budding young photographers. But I also wonder exactly what the licensing arrangements will be. Getty is a beast and for young and hungry artists, it's easy to sign away the farm for a chance at some recognition.  I hope Getty elects not to exploit them.

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It's no secret that Hollywood has a gender bias. The vast majority of above and below the line talent are men. Believe me, I know from personal experience. Well the A.C.L.U. is not happy with the status quo (good) and is asking state and federal agencies to investigate hiring practices within the industry that may be gender discriminatory. The entertainment industry has long had a representation problem (not just women either) and in 2015 shows nowhere near enough progress. If you need any further proof of how tough women in Hollywood have it, read this blog. I'm glad to see the A.C.L.U. kicking up a fuss about this. In 87 years, only one woman has ever won an Oscar for directing. And while more women are getting a shot at directing, when it comes to big budget action films, women only get the job when there's a female protagonist. Enough is enough.

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Drone manufacturers don't seem all that concerned about the FAA's rules on drone usage for commercial or hobby usage. The Lily is a drone that has a built in hi-def camera and flies right out of your hand. You just toss it up and it takes care of the rest. It's incredibly cool, and also really fucking scary. How easy would it be to use this thing to spy on people? Wasn't I just saying how technology can be easily perverted for unsavory purposes? The sad part is that at some point, someone is going to do something really creepy with it, and instead of opening the rules up, the government will do what governments always do... crack down hard on everyone, including the vast majority of people who will be doing perfectly legal things with their drones.

 

Greg Kanaan

The [Legal] Artist, Boston, MA, USA