Sometimes I believe that the Europeans are about 50 years ahead of the United States with regard to setting cultural policy (not so for political and economic policymaking, however). In this NYT article, European Copyrights Expiring on Recordings From 1950’s by Anthony Tommasini, while the United States gives the long-dead Mr. Disney and other megacorps(es) 95 years of copyright insurance, recordings from as recently as the 50s will soon be publicly, freely available. Amazing. It’s no wonder that American record companies are free-falling with poor revenue models, no Internet music sharing strategy, and silly pop artists; they’re trying to hold on to whatever small scraps of business they’ve been cultivating for 70 years. Perhaps they should hire a few Europeans to run their businesses, like car companies and magazines have in the past 5 years.
I can’t help but notice that, although there are amazingly unusual movies out right now, such as 8 Mile, Adaptation, Frida, Far From Heaven, Ararat, and Max, the top ten movies today are terrible. Come on, people, what’s going on? Maid in Manhattan, a rip-off of Pretty Woman featuring J. Lo? Gangs of New York, a scenery piece that is historically inaccurate and too long? The Lord of the Rings???? The Hot Chick!!! People, people, ever heard of video? These truly are Yahoo Movies.