The ongoing destruction of the current television delivery model just accelerated: The Showtime cable channel will soon become the Showtime cable and internet channel. CBS boss Les Moonves announced yesterday. The web product, similar to HBO’s HBO Now, will begin “in the not-too-distant future,” Moonves told investors at a telecom conference.
A court has ordered musicians Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams to pay the estate of the late singer-songwriter Marvin Gaye $7.3 million for copyright infringement, ruling that the duo’s hit song “Blurred Lines” bears excessive similarities to the 1977 Gaye song “Got to Give It Up.” Thicke and Williams had repeatedly denied any intent to duplicate Gaye’s song.
I believe it was John Stuart Mill who once observed that the number of possible musical melodies would eventually be exhausted, and given the amount of music our prosperous culture produces, such cases are inevitable. One worries that these cases will be decided in a rather arbitrary fashion, given the lack of real scientific standards for what constitutes a new musical composition, and that these court decisions could have a chilling effect on the songwriting process.
Given the current woes of the music industry, this seems an unnecessary additional burden. Gaye’s estate, after all, is not producing any new music, whereas Thicke and Williams are, regardless of what one may judge the overall value of their compositions and their level of creativity.
The Ellery Queen Jr. series of young adult mysteries is back in circulation in paperback and as etexts, after decades out of print. The books are by one of the greatest figures in all of mystery fiction, Ellery Queen, and they feature, as detective, Djuna, the house-servant of genius detective Ellery Queen.
Accompanied by his Scottish terrier and his group of friends, the equivalent of Sherlock Holmes’s Baker Street Irregulars, Djuna gets involved in mystery and adventure in the fashion of the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries but with the surrealistic flair of the Ellery Queen mysteries. They’re great for children of all ages, as the saying goes.
A fascinating introduction to the American journalist and philosopher Orestes Brownson is available at The Daily Signal. Brownson’s defense of the fundamental cultural principles behind the American way of life is more important than ever today.
Modern progressive rock star Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree has released a new album, Hand. Cannot. Erase. Current fan consensus: it’s a classic. You can read eighty-plus customer reviews here.