We got a new part to the dramatic reading of Accessory by Gibbie:
It turns out the name of the Fluttershy character is being renamed to Faith in the official Equestria Girls movie. I think it just sounds like the right kind of name, frankly. As in, “I just have faith that when my pet bunny hits me, deep down it’s because he cares”. I wasn’t able to think of a way to work the weird relationship with the rabbit into my fic – I wonder if they’ll do anything with it in the movie.
Also, a gentleman by the name of Alex Knutson sent this to me:
It’s a story about a carrot. A brief story, but one of love. Alex made it for a school animation project and included some of our music in the background! After watching it, I put more time than I should have towards wondering what would make a carrot feel so insecure.
In other news!
So the new Xbox One has been revealed, and it’s turning out to be quite a let down to the gaming community at large. Essentially, it takes everything you loved about your old system, but then adds a lot of Draconian measures in place to make sure everything you do gives Microsoft a cut of your entertainment budget. It’s going to include online DRM, it’ll require the Kinect be operational at all times, it will monitor what you’re playing or watching, you’ll have to pay fees if you want to trade games with friends, and it won’t be backwards compatible. On the upside it’ll be voice activated.
As far as I can tell, the Xbox One is a machine built for investors, for the business, and not at all for the benefit of the people using it. It doesn’t look like the games are going to be better – we’re talking more Call of Duty titles lined up, so it’s disappointingly the same thing AAA games have been providing for a while now. Of course, this is what game publishers want as well – Activision, for example, has gone on record saying they’d destroy the used games industry if they could. It’s a bit frustrating to have to witness first hand why the US citizenry should have never lost their rights of first sale, the right to alter or resell software we purchase.
On top of that, the one that bothers me the most is that the Kinect is required and its ability to identify people has been finely tuned. It’s not for the consumer’s benefit. A while ago Microsoft filed a patent for software that would count how many people are in the room, and based on what it discovers it will stop movies, games, or whatever you’re doing so that it can charge you an additional fee for licensing. Like the rest of the Xbox One, it’s just another way to control how you consume entertainment.
In the other corner, I don’t know if the PS4 is going to turn out much better. In terms of your ability to resell games, Sony reps are saying it’s going to be up to the publisher. I haven’t been able to find out as much about the PS4, though, because there’s a lot less buzz about the thing right now. It sounds like its primary features may be all about controlling your consumption as well, but that’s just me speculating.
Meanwhile, Nintendo is doddering with a full two quarters of negative profits and their stocks are dropping. As I’ve mentioned in a couple videos, they’ve decided to help cushion the fall by illegally claiming ownership of Youtube commentary videos that focus on their games. Any Let’s Play, review video, or otherwise that features Nintendo music or cut-scenes will be claimed by the corporate giant and turned into revenue at Nintendo’s sole benefit. A lot of people are fairly sure that, if continued indefinitely, it will be the end of Nintendo Let’s Plays, Nintendo reviews, and all the free publicity that comes with them. Few people will drop days of work into a product that’s merely going to be unlawfully claimed by a company without any rational entitlement to that work.
In terms of IP law, it’s possible Nintendo could make a case that gamers can’t legally film Nintendo games. It’s an uphill battle because the arguments for fair use are pretty strong with Let’s Plays, and they’re downright well established for works of critical review. However, where Nintendo is really violating the law is the fact that they’re claiming profits when they steal these videos. They’re not just shutting people down, but actively taking money out of the Let’s Player’s pocket despite Nintendo having no ownership what-so-ever over the commentary. Either the Let’s Player or reviewer deserves the profits for a video or nobody does – otherwise Nintendo is merely being incentivized to commit flagrant copyright fraud.
If you’re thinking that someone should do something about this, you may be surprised to hear that many lawyers agree and they’ve tried. Hell, it seems like everyone wants to sue Youtube, from small artists to corporate juggernauts. Here’s the thing, though: only the corporations can press charges.
One man is too small. He lacks the funds to take on something as big as Google, but a thousand men is too many. Copyright law is complex, and no courtroom on earth has the resources to examine a thousand separate claims of copyright violation at once. The problem with copyright today is that each work is special and has particular rights associated to it. Those rights are very often violated by Youtube’s Content ID system, which takes none of those specifics into account and always sides in favor of the wealthiest party.
So long story short, Nintendo could potentially move to sue Youtube if they aren’t allowed to unlawfully control the work of independent artists and commentators, whereas the small artists have no means to take much of any action on their own behalf. Hence, as in so many situations before this, Youtube concedes to the big company – it’s not like it matters to Youtube’s profits in this case. I imagine they get the same cut from ad revenue either way.
Gaming used to be a means of escape. What ever happened to the industry?