Monday, February 27, 2006

Don't panic say Euro leaders as bird flu hits

EU farm and health bosses have called on European consumers not to panic as avian flu hit an indoor turkey farm in France despite efforts to prevent its spread from wild birds. The H5 virus is certainly not tranmissable in poultry cooked at over 70 degrees C., but consumer panic is difficult to stop and poultry sales are already estimated to be 30% down in France. Large quantities of French meat have been diverted to the UK wholesale market. There has been a 20% fall in Germany, but there has been a worse hit in Italy where retailers have experienced a 70% drop in consumption. In the UK Tesco reported that there had been no decline in demand for eggs and poultry meat with the message getting through that this is not a food safety issue.

So far the only humans who have caught the virus have been in close contact with flocks not kept in modern conditions. However, the influenza virus is susceptible to mutation and it is at least possible that the avian flu could combine with human strains to create a new pandemic (an influenza pandemic is overdue in any case). Stocking vaccine might be of little help as it might not be able to counteract a new version.

Additional deaths in the UK in the event of a pandemic are estimated at least 50,000 and there would be considerable economic disruption from people failing to report for work. The food supply chain would certainly be affected. The fact of the matter is that just because we are in the 21st century there is no technological silver bullet that can stop a flu pandemic, any more than anyone could stop the pandemic that killed my grandmother at the end of the First World War.

As far as animal health is concerned, the EU has allowed France and Germany to vaccinate poultry. The decision marks the first significant application of the EU's new policy, adopted after the 2001 foot and mouth outbreak, of allowing selective vaccination of farm animals despite the possible impact on trade. The EU's view is that because bird flu is a global problem vaccination is unlikely to hit trade.

However, opinion on the vaccination issue is divided. Countries such as Germany believe that the advantages are outweighed by the costs (around €0.2 to €0.3 on a commercial farm) and the fear that the symptoms of the virus can simply be masked rather than eliminated.

In Britain Defra's view is that the vaccines currently available are slow to work and do not stop infected birds transmitting the disease to others. Fred Landeg, deputy chief veterinary officer at DEFRA said, 'Though these vaccines protect against the disease, they will not prevent birds from becoming infected and shedding virus. It can take up to three weeks to develop immunity, and some poultry require two doses.'Any source

Monday, February 20, 2006

District Court Does Not Allow Punitive Damages for Copyright Infringement

Courts have expressed different views on whether punitive damages are available in copyright infringement actions.

One case concerned the band DADA whch released a single, “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow,” in 1992. Some years later, Sofa Express used an advertising jingle called “Here Today, Home Tomorrow.” The band sued Sofa Express for copyright infringement and requested punitive damages.

Two recent cases in the Southern District of New York allowed punitive damages to be awarded in copyright infringement cases if willful and malicious infringement is proven and if the copyright owner is barred from receiving statutory damages. However, the DADA case is notable because the Federal District Court refused to let the band collect punitive damages.

The Court based its ruling on the language of the Copyright Act which does not expressly mention punitive damages. Although the case conflicts with other cases decided in the Southern District, this court sided with the prevailing case law nationwide in interpreting the statutory language to not allow punitive damages. The Court did indicate that the Copyright Act does allow for increased statutory damages in case of willful infringement.

Calio v. Sofa Express, Inc. 368 F.Supp.2d 1290 (M.D.Fla., 2005).

Congratulations to our clients:

Producer Hal Schwartz whose film Crazy Love received nationwide distribution on the Lifetime Network on Valentine's day.

Craig Brewer, writer-director of Hustle & Flow, on his picture earning 2 Acadamy award nominations: Best Actor for Terrence Howard and Best Original Song for "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp."

Filmmaker Sherman Lau whose feature Zooey will appear in Cinequest Film Festival on March 9 and 10. Zooey won a Viewer's Voice Award on the festival's Web site.

Filmmaker Jamin Winans whose feature motion picure "11:59" opens for a two week run in Denver at Starz FilmCenter at the Tivoli. The film is rated PG-13 and stars Raymond Andrew Bailey, Liz Cunningham, Laura Fuller and Chris Kelly. |

Mark to speak on the Use of Tax Incentives to Fund Movies on March 22, 2006

Mark will be speaking on a panel on the subjeect of "Funding Tinseltown, The Next Generation of Tax-Motivated Indie Financing" on March 22, 2006. The public forum is sponsored by the Entertainment, Media, Intellectual Property and Sports Law Section of New York County Lawyer's Association. It will be held at 14 Vesey Street in New York City.

For additional information: or call 212 267.6646.Any source

Saturday, February 11, 2006


THE POKER, issue 7. Poems by George Stanley, Stan Mir, Cameron K. Gearen, Scott Bentley, Tom Orange, Elena Rivera, Ben Lerner, Marcella Durand, Alice Notley, Elizabeth Marie Young, Ange Mlinko, Kit Robinson, Chris Pusateri and Mark Lamoureaux. Prose by Joseph Torra & an interview with Anselm Berrigan. If your not familiar with or not receiving the Poker, you ought to be. The mag is indeed one of the most exciting, most engaging zines available. Edited by Daniel Bouchard "Half with loathing, half with a strange love." $10.00 for each issue. P.O. Box 390408 Cambridge, MA 02139.

P-QUEUE. Edited by Sarah Campbell, the journal comes out of Buffalo annually. The inaugural 2004 issue contains work by Logan Esdale, Meredith Quartermain, W.B. Keckler, Eliza Newman-Saul, Pattie McCarthy, Sasha Steensen, James Tierney, Noah Eli Gordon, Jim Higdon, Tim Shaner, Jane Sprague, Andrew Joron, Barbara Cole, Kyle Schlesinger & Gordon Hadfield. Issue 2 (2005) contains work by Matthew Goulish, Rob McLennan, Eula Biss, Judith Goldman, Rosa Alcala, Michael Cross, Gregg Biglieri, Stephen Ratcliffe & Andrea Strudensky. In a brief editorial note in Issue 2 Campbell states, "P-Queue's editorial interest falls on the line and the line's divides. It has sought out prose that approaches poetry's line as its driving interest (as its subject, sound, rhythm, or reason) and poems that build themselves in prose." Each issue, with letterpress wraps on wonderfully textured stock, is gorgeous--& the writing contained within comparably innovative & compelling. $8.00 a pop. c/o Sarah Campbell, 306 Clemens Hall, English Department, SUNY Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260.

CHICAGO REVIEW, 51:3. Work by C.D. Wright, Devin Johnston, Alan Bernheimer, Joel Felix, Arkadii Dragomoshchenko (translated by Genya Turovskaya), Peter Larkin, Peter O'Leary, Geraldine Monk, Ray DiPalma, Merrill Gilfillan, Gavin Selerie, Medbh McGuckian. Particularly drawn to the work of Johnston & Gilfillan contained in the issue. CR, as always, a powerhouse.
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Monday, February 6, 2006

Danish dairy firm hit by cartoons row

Trade between Denmark and the Middle East may take years to recover from the row resulting from the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten publishing cartoons featuring the prophet Mohammed. This has sparked a boycott of Arla's products in Muslim countries.

The boycott is reported to have cost Arla Foods £1 million a day and by the end of last week it was reported to have lost between £40m and £50m. Some 170 employees across Denmark have been sent home due to the impact of reduced sales. Arla Foods is also a big player in the UK dairy market, but no effects have reported there.

The widespread boycott of Danish goods by Muslim consumers led to an almost complete halt in sales in the region leading Arla to suspend production at its Saudi Arabian plant. Arla products have been removed from shelves completely in Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. The company describes the situation as 'critical' in Yemen, Egypt and Lebanon and notes that there have been demonstrations in Algeria.

Arla's executive director Finn Hansen said it would take a long time for the Danish dairy giant to re-establish the business and good trading relations it had in the Middle East which was its main market outside Europe. Establishing a presence in such markets is an essential part of the EU dairy industry's strategy to survive the phasing out of export subsidies and likely tariff reductions as a result of eventual agreement in the Doha Round.Any source


The work Michael Koshkin and Jennifer Rogers have done with their imprint Hot Whiskey is nothing short of sensational. Both the single-author publications & the magazine are things of beauty, each carefully crafted, most of them hand-sewn.

The fall/winter 2005 issue of the zine has a hand-screened two-color cover, the texture of the ink thick, the feel perfectly homespun. Contributors to the issue include Jena Osman, Tim Armentrout, Elizabeth Robinson, Christopher Ryan, Linh Dinh, John Sakkis, Jessica Hullman, Farid Matuk, Robert Roley, Julia Hastain, Dale Smith, Leah Hansen, Anselm Parlatore, Tyler Doherty, Jared Hayes, Joseph S. Cooper, Hoa Nguyen, Lisa Jarnot, Andrew K. Peterson.

Single-author pubs include slim volumes by Anselm Parlatore, Joseph Massey & two collaborative efforts--Stinkbug Barbiturates by Koshkin & Rogers… & Structural Blue In Circuits the Blood Can Be Used: Insuring the Wicker Man Shadow Created Delusion by Cooper & Hayes.

The collaborative work between Cooper & Hayes is particularly interesting. A book which is all things body & surgery, all things anatomy & text, flesh & language. The work contains both visual images & text, found images & found text coiled round one another throughout, forming engaging & complex relationships. The book is all things somatic &, paradoxically, all things surgical & artificial. The book is all things hybrid &, in its hybridity, it confounds the logic of the binary which would pit body against mechanization, nature against technology.

According to the authors, "This text has been transplanted and cut up from the essays of Homi K. Bhabha, William S. Burroughs, Samuel R. Delany and Pierre Joris." Thus we have hybridity, contagion, peculiar juxtapositions & linguistic/conceptual vivisection. A welcome edition to any collection of medical texts.
Any source