Monthly archive: January 2019
We have long opposed the Massachusetts Film Tax Credit. Two years ago we noted that in 2014, Hollywood took us for $64.5 million. In 2015, the cost in revenue was $72.5 million. The numbers are out for 2016 and we lost $88.8 million in revenue that year. Giving money to Hollywood is bad enough. Due to the industry’s creative accounting, most films never make a profit on paper. As a result, the film tax credits are never used to pay taxes accrued on the films. Instead, many of them are sold off at a discount to non-film Massachusetts businesses, causing a loss in tax revenue. The legislature’s excuse is that films create jobs. In 2017, the average salary in Massachusetts was $62,110. It cost $102,888 in tax credits for each job created. Additionally, a film won’t get a tax credit unless it spends more than $50,000 in Massachusetts. Your small up and coming local film maker doesn’t benefit from the tax credits. We are losing on the deal and Hollywood is profiting. The legislature is good at giving our money away to Hollywood, General Electric, Amazon and many other companies. It is past time we ended these corporate subsidies. We need your help getting Pirates into the legislature who will roll back these expensive and useless tax breaks. Please support us with your time and money.published under Copyright, Corporate Welfare, Main Topic, Organizing | Leave a comment
January 7, 2019
The first Mass. Mesh Net weekly tech meetup of 2019 is this Tuesday, 7-9pm. It will be at Industry Lab, 288 Norfolk St, Cambridge. You can find them at https://massmesh.org/ including instructions for how to setup a mesh router.published under Innovation, Main Topic, Net Neutrality, Privacy | Leave a comment
January 6, 2019
HR.6729, which passed in the US House of Representatives, would have allowed warrantless searches of our bank accounts. Thankfully, it never got a hearing in the US Senate and now that the 115th Congress is over, it is dead. Thanks to everyone who signed our petition to urge Senators Warren and Markey to put a hold on HR.6729. We expect Representative Wagner will bring it back in this Congress. Last time around, only Representatives Clark, Kennedy, McGovern and Neal voted against it. Representatives Lynch, Keating and Moulton voted for it. We don’t yet know how Representatives Pressley and Trahan will vote. Now would be a good time to contact your representative and either thank them for voting against the Empowering Financial Institutions to Fight Human Trafficking Act of 2018 or to tell them to protect your privacy and to oppose a future bill like it. Find who your representative is at http://www.sec.state.ma.us/wheredoivotema/. We have posted the contact information for all Massachusetts Representatives and Senators at our wiki. It took only a week from introduction for the House to vote on HR.6729, so starting now with calls and emails is vital. Thanks!published under Main Topic, Privacy | 1 Comment
January 1, 2019
For the first time in 20 years, new works will enter the public domain in the United States. Copyrighted works entering the public domain were put on hold by the Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998, aka the the Mickey Mouse Protection Act, which extended the term of copyright from the life of the author + 50 years to life of the author + 70 years. When the term of copyright was 28 years with a 28 year renewal, 85% of copyrighted works were not renewed since the profit from the work wasn’t higher than the cost of renewal. One aspect of the copyright term extension is that we have lost 20 years worth of films, news reels and documentaries because many of them have simply rotted away as the copyright holders didn’t have a financial incentive to digitize them and archivists couldn’t do so while the works were under copyright. Here are three useful articles: For the First Time in More Than 20 Years, Copyrighted Works Will Enter the Public Domain On Jan. 1, Books, Movies And Music From 1923 Enter Public Domain (download the audio on the left sidebar) The Books, Songs, Films and Other Works Becoming Public Domain on Jan. 1, 2019 While Mickey Mouse is still in Disney lockdown until 2024, here is a selection of what is entering the public domain. You can find a full list at Duke Law School’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain. Kahil Gibran’s The Prophet Virginia Woolf’s Jacob’s Room Agatha Christie’s The Murder on the Links Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments Charlie Chaplin’s The Pilgrim Rin Tin Tin’s third film, Where the North Begins The Charleston Noël Coward’s London Calling! George Gershwin’s Stop Flirting Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”, indeed any poem in Robert Frost’s Pulitzer … Read morepublished under Copyright, Main Topic | Comments Off on Happy Public Domain Day!