October 30th, 2007

happytoast power lines

on the right to make something from nothing

But in May, both a California and New York court ruled against her, claiming that the concept of a post-mortem right of publicity did not exist until legislation to that effect passed in 1984, so Monroe could not have bequeathed them at the time of her death. (That law, dubbed The Dead Celebrities Act, grants posthumous rights for 70 years.) Those decisions pave the way for other firms to license Monroe images without cooperation from her estate.

That has made celebrities who died before 1984 fair game for licensing deals without the permission of their heirs. In early October, California passed a bill that effectively overrides the recent court decisions and grants posthumous publicity rights to celebrities who died before 1984 to their heirs. It's still unclear what the net effect of the legislation will be on the disputed Monroe images.

from http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/Forbes/TopEarningDeadCelebrities.aspx?page=2
happytoast power lines

(no subject)

The shooting-room paradox was introduced by John Leslie (e.g. [1996], pp. 251ff), who says he developed the idea with help from David Lewis, who considers it "a good, hard paradox".

In the shooting room experiment we are to imagine a room of infinite capacity. First a batch of ten people are led into this room. A pair of dice is thrown in front of their eyes. If a double six comes up they are all shot. Otherwise they leave the room safely and a new batch, this one containing a hundred people, is thrust in. The process continues, with each consecutive batch ten times larger than the previous one, until there is a double six; whereupon the people in the room at that time are shot and the experiment ends.

Suppose you have been thrust into the room. You are asked to estimate the odds of leaving safely. One the one hand, since whether you will leave or not will be determined by the throw of a fair pair of dice, it seems that you have a 35/36 chance of exiting alive. On the other hand, 90% of all people who are in your situation will be shot, so it seems you have only a 10% chance of exiting alive. That is the paradox.

-- from http://anthropic-principle.com/preprints/lit/index.html
via http://sciencesecurity.livejournal.com/61385.html