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February 15, 2011

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Rob Kozlowski

The reason I was glad Sonny Bono hit that tree was because he was the author of the Copyright Extension Act, otherwise known as the "Historian's Enemy." Thanks, Disney.

isaac

Not to once again defend the Times (as I do think they do plenty wrong) but I think it's not unreasonable of them to expect that an op-ed co-authored by a professor of Shakespeare at Columbia wouldn't distort what we know about Shakespeare life and writing practice this much.

The real problem is that it's pretty much industry standard that op-ed columns are not fact checked. I understand this impulse-- they're less journalistic, more creative, making more arguments and may look at facts in a slanted way-- but then you end up with bullshit like this article or George Will's ongoing lies about climate science in the Washington Post.

99

That is definitely a very real problem that I don't know how to get newspapers to address. It would be nice if shame seemed to have any effect, but clearly, it doesn't.

Paul Mullin

Go get 'em, 'cuz you are completely, totally, whatever-the-opposite-of-blindingly-is, epically right.

cgeye

Um, does Mr. Turow know that playwrights don't make squat *now*?

That the entire theatre industry is built on volunteer labor for all but a small segment of workers?

Does he give a flying frak about any other industry except the rarefied arena he works in, mass-market best-selling thrillers?

It takes a lot of success to make a Chicagoan -- A CHICAGOAN, IN A THEATRE TOWN -- that bone stupid.

Ian Thal

But the point was that even without modern copyright laws there was some pay wall: the walls of the theatre for instance or the fact that a reliable quarto of a play could only be purchased from a publisher who had access to the playwright's manuscript and probably had paid said playwright for the privilege (at least one theory about the "bad" quartos is that they are, in part, bootleg audience transcriptions writing down the lines as they hear them.)

There's a point where the pay wall is too low, and a point where it is too high. The "good ol' days" of the Elizabethan pay wall isn't going to return unless we abandon almost all electronic technologies.

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