15 February 2020

Cabmen's Shelter, Russell Square

There are two places to eat in Russell Square: Caffè Tropea inside the gardens, and the Cabmen's Shelter on the Northwest corner. Caffè Tropea is a lovely cafe, but the Cabmen's shelter is by far the most fun. If you're not a cab driver, you can't go in - so you wait for your food at the window, while the drivers chat and laugh with each other and whoever is doing the cooking. (So many cab drivers can fit in there at one time that I strongly suspect it's bigger on the inside.)

The food is best described as "hearty." "Mostly fried" also works. But the prices are reasonable, and it's a great way to get your daily grease allowance. The prices, at least in terms of finance, if not health, are more than reasonable. And, of course, it's as genuine London as you'll find.

I absolutely love the place.

03 February 2020

This blog is moving - but where?

If you read this, it will probably be because you followed a link in a Tweet that was originally sent from an account with about as elegant a presence as this blog currently has. I'll be putting a banner on that profile sometime later this week, so maybe next week, and getting a profile pic up and all that good stuff. But I'm not going to waste time doing much here, because I'm moving.

Question is: where? Wordpress or squarespace.

31 January 2020

A New Post. That's A Thing Blogs Have, Right?

This one hasn't had enough of them lately. I really haven't abandoned this. It's more of a slight downturn in posting frequency, due to other obligations.

I was going to get something out there today, but Brexit has literally interfered with that. There's a thing as work that shouldn't need to happen until next week, but out of an abundance of caution needs to happen today instead. Just goes to show that even though there's not a huge amount of practical change that will happen late tonight local time, it's still capable of being a pain in the ass.

19 August 2019

The (Editable) Thread of Threads

I'm going to be mocked for this, and I don't care.

I've been spending way too much time on Twitter, and - to be honest - Twitter's not the best place for someone as longwinded as I am. The maximum length of a Tweet is 280 characters, and that doesn't work well for me. I'm not Seth Abramson - I can usually get a simple concept across in less than 280 Tweets - but I'm usually closer to 280 words than 280 characters.

Twitter is also a little ephemeral and finding things again isn't simple. A "thread of threads" is one way to track that, but you can't edit posts and you can't organize things, so they turn into untrackable threads of their own really quickly.

So I'm going to try this - an editable index post.

The (Editable) Thread of Threads:

Links will usually be to the first post in a thread; if the thread is converted to a blog post, a separate link will be added.

PhD Life

Active Lawsuits

Mignogna v Funimation (The Threadnought Case)

Abdin v CBS (The Star Trek Discovery/Tardigrade Case)

Caselaw: 10-Tweet Briefs

Sullivan v NY Times

Caselaw: In-Depth Discussion

DeCosta v CBS (the Paladin Case)

Legal Concepts

Some of these are full explainers of concepts; others are in the context of ongoing cases.

Contract Law

02 January 2019

My PhD - What is it?

Good question, that.

Three months ago, when I started, I would have given you an answer. Right now...it's kind of in flux. This is something I've been assured is a natural part of the process. I write an outline, my supervisors read the outline, critique takes place, I repeat the process. 

I know the problem I want to address. Copyright law, especially when applied in the area of what's known as "secondary creativity" - new works built on the foundation of existing works - is a spectacular mess. It's such a mess that nobody really knows where the border is between an acceptable use of someone else's work as a source of inspiration and an impermissible unlicensed use of the work. And when I say nobody, I mean nobody. Not the people creating secondary works, not the owners of the originals, not lawyers, not judges, not policymakers. Nobody.

The problem with this problem is that it's too big. It's not something that can be addressed within the scope of a single PhD thesis. So the search for how, exactly, to narrow the scope continues. I've made good progress on that, and will have more on it later.

For now, I'll say this:
I'm going to be looking at fan creativity, and at the question of why we've been having such a hard time answering the questions that arise around it.

01 January 2019

This is officially not another reboot post.

Because every damn time I publish one of those, I turn around and immediately fail to blog for many months thereafter. So this isn't a reboot post.

It's a reset post. Because that's different, right?


I'm now one academic term into my PhD, or I would be if academic terms were an actual thing for PhD student. As it turns out, they really aren't. Doing a PhD means you just work, and work until you're done.

And it's definitely a lot of work. This somehow came as a surprise to me, despite everything everyone said about PhDs being a lot of work, which just goes to show that my ego and reality weren't - again - on speaking terms. My bad. Even reading things like Tiphaine Rivière's outstandingly good graphic novel "Notes on a Thesis" was only enough to make me think that the whole PhD thing might be a painful experience for some people - other people - but not for me.

Or at least that was my thinking in September, which was approximately 3850 years ago. Now, pages like this have taken on a new, painful resonance:

All of which is by way of saying that I'm taking the new year as a new opportunity to start blogging again. But if I stop and you want to find me to get me to start again, you might want to start your search in the library.

Happy New Year, y'all.

24 September 2018

To PhD

Today, I'm in limbo. And in London.

I'm sitting in a tiny room that's not particularly cheap, not particularly cheerful, but is precisely (according to the Google Maps tool) 4,977.87 miles from the front door of my home in Texas. I'm here right now because I've just enrolled for a PhD. I'm excited to start, but I'm also homesick for my wife, my children, at least 2/3 of my pets, and more than 95% of the square footage of my house.

This, of course, raises a question:
Why is my already-expensively-over-educated ass currently planted in a chair at a desk in front of a window that has a great view (with full sound effects) of three separate sets of very active railroad tracks?

Like many simple questions, there's no simple answer. But I'd be lying if I said the pajamas weren't a factor.

It's late here, and I'm tired, so answers will have to wait. I'll start with them tomorrow, and I'll begin by talking about what I'm going to try to study.