Monday, 18 April 2011

The Business April 20th 2011, "Two Year Anniversary" Edition

Ignore that other, number-based occasion going on this Wednesday and roll to The Dark Room to help us celebrate our huge deuce! The Business turns two this week and we couldn't be prouder of our little trainwreck. In honor of this new leaf, we've got a roster that’s packed hella fat. We’ve imported three strains of kind buds from LA to perform for you, as well as the dank home-grown shit you know and love.

From the finest clubs ...in Los Angeles:


Jake Weisman is a comedian and storyteller. He loves cats and podcasts, and he has two of each. One of his podcasts, The Morning After…Podcast, is about pornography, and it recently won Punchline Magazine’s 2010 Best New Comedy Podcast of the Year award. Just to remind you, he loves cats.






Dave Ross is a stand-up comedian and the creator of the wildly successful Holy F*ck comedy show. He performs regularly at renowned shows and clubs across California, including What's Up Tiger Lily? and the Hollywood Improv. His comedy career began as a radio DJ at KRZR in Fresno, but he quickly decided to leave and make less money standing on stages. He's smiley as hell and probably likes you.

Shawn Pearlman is from Los Angeles, CA (where nobody is from). In his hometown, he has performed at Comedy Death Ray at UCB, Largo at the Coronet, the Hollywood Improv, and that’s all. Just kidding, other places too! He is never homesick.








And keeping it local we have the Businessmen selection: Alex, Sean, Chris and Bucky. Plus a special video premiere from Chris!

While other shows going on this Wednesday may offer you a free "medical" gift, we still believe laughter is the best medicine you can get without having to pay a fake doctor to give you a state-recognized identification card. All you need to get our goods is five on it. And if you get the munchies, we are surrounded by burritos.

Friday, 15 April 2011

International Protection for Broadcasts Gaining New Momentum

The proposed international treaty on the protection of broadcasters is inching forward after nearly 10 years of consideration and member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization and other stakeholders are moving toward consensus on the central elements of what it is to do and what is the object of the protection.

Much of the rhetoric of stakeholders—particularly pay TV channels and sports rights organisations—has led many to believe it is about protecting their business models and revenue. They have done the proposed treaty a disservice.

It is about protecting the value creating activities of broadcasters in content selection, packaging and distribution—something that is not protected by copyrights, but can be protected with a neighboring right. What the treaty is intent on doing is protecting the broadcast—in a signal and derivative of the signal—which embodies the broadcasters value creation activities and is the object of the proposed protection.

The result may assist revenue generation and strengthen the business model of rights holders, licensers, and broadcasters, but it does not directly protect those.

What it will do is provide a streamlined mechanism for broadcasters to enforce their rights internationally when unauthorised reception, decryption, and retransmission and rebroadcast of their signals are done by other broadcasters and cablecasters. Such practices regularly occur in some countries and sometimes involve the second broadcaster substituting their own advertising and charging fees to obtain the broadcast.

The treaty essentially gives broadcasters the right to license other uses of their broadcasts and halt uses they have not licensed, but does not give them rights to the content in the broadcasts that they do not own.

The proposed treaty includes some protection of public interests, by permitting national limitations and exceptions for clearly public purposes such as education, service to visually or hearing impaired persons, etc.

Some scepticism about the proposals exists in developing nations, because most of the benefits will occur to broadcasters in high income and upper middle income nations and only limited benefits will occur in other states.

The thorns on the rose bush, however, involve the fact that many of the nations where egregious reuses of broadcasts have occurred have never well enforced copyright, so one must be highly optimistic to believe that passage of the treaty will solve the problem.

Monday, 11 April 2011

The Business April 13th 2011, "Beard or Glasses or Both" Edition

This week the Business welcomes SF's own Kevin O'Shea, LA's own Stefan Stignei and welcomes back founding Businessman Alex Koll!


Alex has been touring this great country of ours, performing his magical stand-up and exploring every diner, drive-in, and Zagat-rated rest stop along the way. He's back this Wednesday, with laser-like focus, a chip on his shoulder, and a dynamite recipe for chili con carne that will knock your socks off.



Kevin O'Shea is a friend to the Business and a force in the San Francisco comedy scene. He's performed at Sketchfest and produced such shows as Funny Jerks, Blah! Blah! Blah!, and the short-lived cult sketch favorite, Frown Land. Please enjoy his dark, rough-and-tumble, absurdist comedy - but keep your hands where Kevin can see them, pilgrim.







Stefan Stignei is a comedian from Los Angeles who performs at the Comedy Store, the Hollywood Improv, and many other spots. He's an expert on video games and a savant at one-liners. And if you have anything disparaging to say about Oregon State University, he will leg wrestle you on the spot.





We've also got Bucky, Chris, and Sean on hand to help out. As always, the Dark Room is BYO-Burrito, and Cancun Taqueria remains across the street. Five bucks, 8 PM.

Friday, 8 April 2011

The Business takes LA on April 29th, 2011!

In conjunction with our upcoming two year anniversary, the Business is proud to announce we are invading our neighbor to the south: Los Angeles. That's right, we've taken it upon ourselves to initiate the bloody civil war we all want between the North and the South of California.

The Business, San Francisco’s long running weekly alt-comedy showcase, heads south to Hollywood for a night. Four comedians (Sean Keane, Chris Garcia, Bucky Sinister, Alex Koll) each curate a portion of your evening, bringing you a variety of comedy for only five bucks. That mixture regularly includes special guests ranging from standup comics to authors to sketch performers to musicians and dancers. All forms and styles are exploited. It is the comedy equivalent to an "everything bagel." An exploited "everything bagel"...that explodes.

Special guests and surprises to be announced as the date gets closer, so keep an ear on the internet tracks.

The Business
Friday, April 29th 2011
10:30pm
$5
The Improv Lab
8162 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046

SPACE IS LIMITED, so get your tickets ahead of time here:
https://www.laughstub.com/buyTicket.cfm?showTimingID=79408


Wednesday, 6 April 2011

The Business April 6th 2011, "Haynes Now, You're an All-Star!" Edition


















Andy Haynes returns to The Business once again to get his game on and go play. We love us some Haynes here at The Biz. In fact at this rate of return, Andy may knock Hari Kondabolu out of his long held title as "Fifth Businessman" if he keeps it up. (Don't get upset Thayer, technically you are the Fourth Businessman right now. We'll re-do all the calculations when Alex gets back). But this is definitely not a bad thing; it just highlights the fact that we love his style and jokes so much, we gotta keep him coming back. All that glitters is goooooold!

And as is true every week, we have the regular Business men: Bucky, Sean and continuing to fill in for Alex, irregular Businessman Chris Thayer. It is also still true the show is only five dollars, starts at 8pm, and is burrito friendly.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Editing, the Richness of Content, and the Current Limits of Web and Social Media

Editors matter.

The March 28-April 4, 2011, edition of the struggling news magazine Newsweek—which I admittedly have not read in years— provides some of the finest articles I have read in many months, illustrates the limits of online and social media, and shows why editors matter.

There is great benefit from both edited and unedited media and I don’t believe they have to be seen in dichotomous choices for the future of media. But I believe those who argue they don’t need to edited media doom themselves to narrowness and ignorance.

If I relied only on the links I receive daily from colleagues on Facebook, my news alerts for topics of interest, or digital listings of stories, I would miss the most important contribution of edited media—the service editors provide by reviewing and thinking about the world and putting journalists to work to provide a coordinated understanding of the available information. This week’s Newsweek epitomises that reality.

Although I often have my attention drawn to information and stories of interest from my social media, the pattern of stories and information sent to me would not have led me to Bill Emmott’s Newsweek story on the impact of disasters on politics, economics, and national psychology or Paul Theroux’s explanation of how Japan’s history has shaped its culture and how the generous global response to the earthquake and tsunami is forcing it to confront the fact that it is not alone and isolated in the face of geographical and physical constraints.

Had I relied on to the multiple news websites I peruse weekly, the ways they are presented and the ways that I search for news on them would not have led me to Newsweek’s fascinating story of the nuclear disaster at an Idaho test station in 1961 that may have been the result of a murder-suicide, its account of why a London murder has led to a boycott of Coca-Cola, or its account of why political ignorance in America is higher than that in European countries.

My point here is not that we should all be rushing out to subscribe to Newsweek (My apologies to Sydney Harmon, Barry Diller and Tina Brown), but that the functions of editors matter. Having someone look at the world and see ways that it fits together, have editors coordinate and incentive talented writers, and having editors create a collection of stories and information continues to produce value.

Those who believe that news, information, and understanding of the world can come through a disaggregated and uncoordinated flow of information and stories, much of which is not prepared by professional writers on a regular basis, miss the entire reason for the success of edited media over the past 300 years.

I do not wish to be construed as saying that online and social media do not make enormous contributions to our communications ability, but until they mature to the point they can support regular oversight and thought about the world and compensate professionals for whom investigating and reporting developments is their primary employment, digital media will not be able to replace the contributions of well edited print media.

After a decade and a half of digital media it is clear that we are able to move news and information to those platforms, but we are nowhere near the point we can shut off the presses without a great deal of loss of oversight and understanding about the world around our lives.