Video on final edition of RMN

Scripps closed the Rocky Mountain News today– it was a great newspaper, a great website, a model of how a news operation can change. Unfortunately, the JOA in Denver didn’t give Scripps enough flexibility to stop the losses it had seen this past year ($16 million).

Here’s a long video on the end of the RMN (21 minutes, but it’s worth it.).  If you can watch it in full screen in HD.

Sites to follow the legislature

The Arkansas legislature convened yesterday and it’s apparent the digital revolution is chasing them down at full speed.  Last time around you could tune into the Arkansas Times Arkansas Blog for an overview or Steve Harrellson’s Under the Dome for the details, but you only got their distinct opinion on things.

This year we have my brother-in-law’s Tolbert Report with his ubiquitous flip camera and house speaker Robbie Will’s new blog also keeping us informed on what is going down at the Capitol. I can promise you the Tolbert Report will have a slightly different take on the legislature’s actions than the rest of the pack, but I am wondering if Robbie Will’s will have the stamina to keep up with all the duties of being Speaker and keeping the blog up to date and responding to comments and questions from the blog (it’s fun reading about his struggles with technology).

It’s also interesting to see how the Arkansas legislature agenda compares to other states. The National Conference of State Legislatures has released their  top nine issues of 2009.

Copyright like it should work

Today, January 1, 2009, Popeye the Sailor falls into public domain in Britian 70 years after it’s creators death because of an EU law that restricts the rights of authors to 70 years after their death. Falling into the public domain means anyone can print and sell posters, T-shirts and even create new comic strips, without the need for permission or to make royalty payments.

In the US Congress keeps extending copyright law primarily under the influence of Disney to keep Mickey Mouse out of the public domain by extending copyright protection eleven times in the last forty-five years.  Lawrence Lessig, Internet law guru argues that the expiration of copyright (and the start of public domain) creates a culture where people could take and build upon what went before, but our current copyright law prevents innovation throught the restriction of derivative works.