Paramount Planning Cloverfield Sequel

Paramount Planning Cloverfield Sequel
Source: Variety
January 31, 2008

Matt Reeves is in early talks with Paramount to direct a Cloverfield sequel, and, as was previously announced, he has also made a deal with GreeneStreet Films to direct The Invisible Woman.

Variety says the timing of the projects will depend on how quickly Paramount can complete discussions with Reeves, producer J.J. Abrams and writer Drew Goddard to come up with another monster story for the Cloverfield sequel. There's a good chance the sequel will be Reeves' next film, in which case he will direct The Invisible Woman afterward.

"Woman" is a Hitchcock-style thriller that probes the mind of a former beauty queen who turns to a life of crime to protect her family.

Reeves wrote the script and will produce with Abrams and GreeneStreet's John Penotti, Fisher Stevens and Tim Williams.


Reeves Runs Merrily Through Cloverfield 2?

Reeves Runs Merrily Through Cloverfield 2
Source: Max Evry
January 21, 2008

Now that the long weekend is almost over, it's pretty safe to say that most of you reading this have probably already seen the hotly anticipated Cloverfield. Yes, the J.J. Abrams-produced "Godzilla"/"Blair Witch" mash-up has made some serious bank this weekend from all those curious folks who wanted to discover what all the hype was about since the cryptic teaser trailer debuted last July 4th. We've all seen the monster (anyone else think it looked like the Cave Troll from "Lord of the Rings"?), we've all seen Hud continue to bravely film even while chased by the out-of-work bugs from Starship Troopers, and we've all seen Beth looking into the camera crying "I'm so scared" and thought to ourselves "I've never seen that before."

Not to editorialize or anything.

What we do have in store for you is a nifty interview with the director of Cloverfield, Matt Reeves (The Pallbearer). In this interview, you'll find Reeves' thoughts on the internet rumors, the evolution of the monster, his next project The Invisible Woman, and some interesting sequel possibilities. You'll also read about the clue to the monster's origins hidden in the final shot of the movie, which this author spotted with his eagle eyes. Read on…

ComingSoon.net: Were you amazed at the life the movie took on after the trailer came out and the wave of internet speculation happened?

Matt Reeves: Thing about it is, when we were kids, when Bryan Burke and J.J. Abrams and I were kids, I've literally known them since childhood, we made 8mm films together and so it's kind of an amazing thing to make a movie with your best friends. When we were kids we'd go to movies, and there was one particular teaser trailer we all remembered for "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." It was all this weird documentary footage and this eerie narrator who sounds like the scary guy from "Frontline". He said "Close Encounters of the First Kind" and you're seeing these weird images of something in the sky, and he said "Sightings". Then "Close Encounters of the Second Kind" and then you saw this weird footage of a footprint and they said "Evidence". Then "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and then you wouldn't see anything and the music was just building and it said "Contact" and it cut to black. We were like, " what was that! I gotta see that, what the hell was that?" You didn't know who was in it, and before that trailer you didn't even know what "Close Encounters" meant. That was an exciting thing, you had a sense of discovery.

So when we were making this movie we knew what our release date was and if we finished our trailer by a certain point we could get it on "Transformers." We had a unique opportunity to make a trailer in that spirit. We thought this could be a throwback and allow people to discover what the movie is for the first time. We thought we'd have the short little teaser and have people say, "oh, what was that?" What we didn't expect was that by doing what we did people would go CRAZY and that there'd be all this internet speculation. That was a total surprise, and in fact we turned to each other and said, "oh my God, this is too much too soon… this is only July and the movie comes out in January! We better shut up or people are going to be deadly sick of us by the time it comes out." It was very exciting, we were only a week-and-a-half into shooting and already people were coming up with theories. I would come home from shooting and read these theories and that was actually a great way to unwind after shooting at night every day.

When we were mixing the teaser trailer we wanted to indicate that it was a creature. We put in animal sounds and decided it still wasn't enough. So at the end of the mix, the last 10-minutes, I jumped up in front of the mic and yelled "I saw it, it's alive, it's huge!" I came home one day and there was this whole thing with audio spectral analysis, playing back my voice and everybody was convinced that I said "It's a lion!" instead of "It's alive!". I thought, "How can anyone think it's a lion?" That kind of stuff was going on every day, and it was exhilarating and terrifying, 'cause we hadn't even finished making the movie yet, and we were excited about the movie, but we didn't know if our movie could compete with all these crazy movies that people were coming up with that were so fun!

CS: There were definitely a lot of weird things being put forward as "fact". One widely circulated drawing depicted the monster as a giant mutated whale.

Reeves: I know! That is fantastic, and I wonder if people see that and think "my God that's gonna be the lamest movie of all time" or do they think "that's cool"? I have no idea. The other thing I loved is I would go online and see FULL REVIEWS of the movie, in detail, all of it completely fabricated, and I think "what do people get out of this? They make up a whole story…" That's the thing with the internet, you can print something and nobody can tell you if it's true or not. There was crazy stuff that went up… the whales, there was Stay-Puft Marshmallow stuff, some rumor about it being a bunny. It was fantastic to read.

CS: What were the specific visual inspirations for YOUR monster?

Reeves: We hired this guy Neville Page to design the monster, and he is a genius. We would go into his office and he would have what I affectionately referred to as his "Wall of Terror". On the wall were all sorts of bits of color, and as you got closer suddenly your interest turned to revulsion because those pictures were like pictures of intestines and eyeballs and pieces of animals. What he was doing was having a biological, evolutionary basis for every aspect of the creature. That was really cool because there are parts of the monster that can do things that we actually didn't have a place for in the movie, that's how thoroughly designed he was.

The key to it is that the monster was a baby. The monster was suffering from separation anxiety and was absolutely disoriented and pissed, "where's mommy?", and terrified. That was the most important aspect of the creature. Not only was he furious and in a rage but he was scared, because to me there's nothing scarier than something huge that's spooked. If you're at the circus and the elephants are going nuts you don't want to be near them. We talked with Neville about the idea of how when a horse gets spooked you see the whites under the bottom of its eye. He fleshed out those sort of details. We talked about wanting the monster to be different in that it was white. All these different aspects which were important to us. It developed in many different ways and it came down to what Neville was doing which was amazing.

CS: Can you tell us a little bit about your next project, "The Invisible Woman", and what audiences can expect from it?

Reeves: Sure! She's not invisible, it's not a genre film in that sense. It is a kind of Hitchcockian thriller of sorts. It's basically about a woman who's incredibly desperate and she feels like she is invisible. It takes place on Long Island in New York. She's a housewife and a mother and she's got herself in a terribly desperate situation. I've read a lot of cases like this that are real, it's a strange phenomenon of people getting so desperate that they turn to robbing banks. This woman watches the neighborhood kids and goes out and nobody knows that she's robbing banks. I read about one family that robbed banks together, like the two daughters went in and the mother was driving the getaway car. They're people just like you and me, they've just mismanaged their personal situation so badly that they get terribly desperate. So this woman feels very alone and if she tells her husband the situation she's gotten them into financially she's going to lose her family, so it turns into this Hitchcockian thing where someone finds out what they're doing.

CS: Any possibilities for a "Cloverfield" sequel?

Reeves: This was so fun 'cause we'd never done anything like it, and I think we'd want to find a similar challenge, to find a way to have its roots in this but be fresh and new, otherwise you're just repeating yourself. There's a moment on the Brooklyn Bridge, and there was a guy filming something on the side of the bridge, and Hud sees him filming and he turns over and he sees the ship that's been capsized and sees the headless Statue of Liberty, and then he turns back and this guy's briefly filming him. In my mind that was two movies intersecting for a brief moment, and I thought there was something interesting in the idea that this incident happened and there are so many different points of view, and there are several different movies at least happening that evening and we just saw one piece of another. That idea sort of tickled me. We'll have to see if anyone would want a sequel. If the movie does well and we find a compelling reason to do so then it would be fun to do a sequel.

Did you see the thing in the last shot? In the final shot there's a little something, and I don't wanna say what it is. The final shot before the titles. The stuff at Coney Island, there's a little something there and I don't want to give it away 'cause the fun is sort of to find it, but I will say this: there's a funny thing, you look at the shot and until you see it you don't see it and you really don't see it and obviously you don't 'cause none of you have seen it, but once you see it you'll never stop seeing it.

CS: It's the thing dropping in the water, right?

Reeves: Ahh, you saw it.


Do Cell Phone Companies Keep Your Text Messages?


Most text messages are saved only briefly
By JEFF KAROUB, AP Business Writer
Sat Jan 26, 8:32 AM ET

Millions of fingers scurrying over mobile electronic devices probably paused this week as news emerged of a trove of text messages containing flirty and sexually explicit chat between Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and a top aide. Even those engaging in more wholesome dialogue would be wise to wonder: Do text messages disappear — like oral conversations — or are they permanently logged somewhere for potential retrieval — like e-mail usually is?

For standard consumer text-messaging technology, the answer is largely that they disappear. But Kilpatrick's and Chief of Staff Christine Beatty's devices employ less-fleeting technology.

"I think people can feel comfortable we're not storing information that can later be used against them," Verizon Wireless spokeswoman Erica Sevilla said. "Unless you have something stored on your phone or on a recipients' phone, it does not stay on our network for a long period."

AT&T Inc. keeps text messages for up to 72 hours until delivery is successful, spokesman Howard Riefs said. If a message can't be delivered, it is removed from the system and can't be retrieved.

Kilpatrick and Beatty testified last summer in a whistleblower trial that arose from a lawsuit filed by two police officers alleging they were fired for investigating claims Kilpatrick used his security unit to cover his extramarital affairs.

Kilpatrick and Beatty denied any sexual or romantic ties in 2002 and 2003. But the Detroit Free Press said in a story published Thursday that it examined 14,000 text messages on Beatty's city-issued pager from those years and found many examples.

The city's text messaging service is provided by Mississippi-based wireless company SkyTel.

Roger Pondel, a spokesman for SkyTel's parent company Bell Industries Inc., declined comment Friday.

SkyTel's devices employ a technology called Narrowband PCS, including two-way paging, that "rose and fell" in the mid-1990s, according to David Chamberlain, a wireless analyst with Scottsdale, Ariz.-based In-Stat.

Chamberlain said SkyTel's device is more akin to e-mail than to text-messaging, and messages are stored. While mainstream technology has since moved to SMS or Short Message Service technology, some corporations and governments have stayed with wireless services like SkyTel.

"It was going to put mobile messaging in the hands of lots of people," Chamberlain said. "(But) it was so poorly differentiated from text messaging. It required people essentially to have a second, very expensive message-only account."

SkyTel's contracts with corporations and governments say communications will be stored for legal reasons. And Chamberlain said users of any technology should know that when using any device issued by an employer.

"There's absolutely no expectation of privacy with phones, e-mails, text messages or computers," he said.

While people may feel comfort knowing their text messages aren't permanently stored, that doesn't mean they should let their guards down when it comes to electronic communications, said a spokeswoman for an online privacy advocacy organization.

"The whole concept of data retention by third parties ... is going to be the big privacy question over the next couple of decades," Rebecca Jeschke of the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation.

"We trust so much of our communications and thoughts, even, to these third parties who are capturing this information and storing it in various ways. It's time for us to think about it."


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MovieMiguel's Old Video Projects


This Is My Life

This is My Life music is from the Fight Club Sound Track
This was a piece I did back in High School, and shot in various locations in and around my school, including WestGate Mall, and Bay Lanes.
starring; Dino Kontos, Dheeraj Kumar, Kate Herman, Mike B.

This was My Life....

Tech Prep ShowCase Alias



Opie & Anthony In Trouble Again

Owners of surviving horses in Portage County try to nurture animals back to health.
Created: 1/11/2008 6:25:43 PM
Updated:1/12/2008 9:00:38 AM

BRIMFIELD -- Many viewers were shocked and outraged last night by our report, about horses starved to death in Portage County.
An 8-year-old mare named Bonnie-Jo should be in her prime now. Instead her thick winter coat can't cover up the protruding bones under her skin.

As she munches on hay in a warm barn, a girl, 13-year-old Lindsey Call, kisses her and says, "I love you Bonnie-Jo."

After last year's county fairs and riding season, Lindsey's family decided to board Bonnie-Jo and other horses strong enough to win prizes. They chose Never Rest Ranch in Brimfield Township.

The family says regular phone calls were made to the ranch, and they were told all the horses were fine, but three of their horses starved to death.

Brimfield police and the Portage County Animal Protective League say they found a total of five dead horses on the farm. They are considering cruelty charges against the owner.

Of the 20 horses found alive, four have been taken to foster homes.

Two, named Opie and Anthony are at the Geauga County Humane shelter.

The Portage County Animal Protective League is asking for donations of quality hay or money to pay veterinarians for the 4 horses that are in foster homes.

Donations can be sent to the APL at P.O. box 927, Ravenna, OH 44266, or call 330-296-4022.

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Remembering Heath Ledger


Remembering Heath Ledger

Jan 22, 2008, 07:15 PM | by Gary Susman

Categories: Film

Like you, the folks here at EW HQ thought it was a cruel hoax when reports started surfacing this afternoon that Heath Ledger was dead at 28, the second promising young star in less than a week to die. The exact cause and circumstances surrounding his death are still unknown, but we can only hope that the performer will be remembered mainly for his all-too-brief but triumphant acting career.

Most fans will remember Ledger for his Oscar-nominated turn in Brokeback Mountain (pictured), as well they should. His role marks one of the great, astonishing acting transformations of our time. I loved Ledger's early, lighter work — his goofy romantic lead in the teen-Shakespeare farce 10 Things I Hate About You, his sly, tongue-in-cheek turn as a medieval sports hero in A Knight's Tale — and I even enjoyed his dramatic posturing as the callow rebel of The Patriot and the resentful son of Monster's Ball. But I'd never have guessed that he had that Brokeback performance in him. From his slow gait to his swallowed baritone speech, his lonesome cowpoke Ennis seemed like a brand new person, yet one the actor fully inhabited. Indeed, it's now impossible to imagine that any of his contemporaries could have done a better job, so indelible is Ledger's performance. And who didn't cry at the end when he said, "Jack, I swear..."?

After Brokeback, Ledger's characters began to take a darker turn. There was the drug-addiction drama Candy, which I fear I'll never be able to watch again without cringing, and his forthcoming turn as a bedraggled, scary-looking Joker in this summer's Batman Begins sequel The Dark Knight. I'm sure no one will be able to watch that one either without seeing unintended ironies and eerie portents of doom. It's always facile to read an actor's off-screen life into his choice of roles (if you saw Ledger's depiction of Bob Dylan's crumbling marriage in the recent I'm Not There, you could be forgiven for being reminded of the recent dissolution of Ledger's off-screen union with Michelle Williams), but still, for now, I prefer to remember the jokey, cheerful, cheeseball Ledger of Knight's Tale and 10 Things, movies enhanced by the sense they conveyed that Ledger was thoroughly enjoying himself. It'll be a while before I can watch Brokeback again without getting misty-eyed for the wrong reason.


Actor Heath Ledger dies at 28

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Ledger's family calls his death "very tragic, untimely and accidental"
  • An autopsy will be conducted Wednesday
  • No note was found and there was no indication of foul play, police say
  • The Academy Award-nominated actor was the father of a young daughter

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Actor Heath Ledger was found dead Tuesday of a possible drug overdose in a Lower Manhattan apartment, the New York Police Department said.

The Academy Award-nominated actor was 28.

Ledger was found naked and unresponsive, facedown on the floor at the foot of his bed by a housekeeper trying to wake him for an appointment with a masseuse, said police spokesman Paul Browne.

"Pills were found in the vicinity of the bed," he told CNN.

"This is being looked at as a possible overdose, but that is not confirmed yet."

Browne later told reporters some prescription medications were found in the room, including sleeping pills.

But he stressed police have made no determination of the cause of Ledger's death -- that would be done by the medical examiner.

He said the pills were not "scattered about."

No note was found and there was no indication of foul play, Browne said. Ledger was found at about 3 p.m., and was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency personnel about 3:30 p.m. VideoWatch a report about Ledger's death »

A crowd of onlookers, photographers and reporters gathered outside the apartment building after news of Ledger's death was reported. Police officers were guarding the doors.

Browne said he did not know how long Ledger had been renting the apartment, which he said took up the entire fourth floor.

An autopsy would be conducted on Wednesday, said Ellen Borakove, spokeswoman for the New York City medical examiner's office. VideoWatch Ledger's body being removed »

Ledger's family called his death "very tragic, untimely and accidental."

"Heath has touched so many people on so many different levels during his short life, but few had the pleasure of truly knowing him," his father said.

"He was a down-to-earth, generous, kindhearted, life-loving, unselfish individual extremely inspirational to many."

Hollywood reacts

Condolences began pouring in from Ledger's friends and co-stars.

"I had such great hope for him," said Mel Gibson, who played Ledger's father in "The Patriot," in a statement.

"He was just taking off and to lose his life at such a young age is a tragic loss. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family."

Actress Nicole Kidman, a fellow Australian and close friend of Ledger's, said in a statement, "What a tragedy. My heart goes out to his family." VideoWatch the reaction at the Sundance Film Festival »

At the time of his death, Ledger had just finished playing the villain The Joker in "The Dark Knight," the latest installment in the Batman series. The film is to open in July.

Ledger was born in Perth, Australia, and named Heathcliff Andrew after the main characters of Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights." He began acting at a local theater as a child. Find out more about the actor »

Ledger's first American film was the teen comedy "10 Things I Hate About You" in 1999, and he immediately attracted attention from Hollywood. He passed up several scripts before taking a role in the Revolutionary War drama "The Patriot" in 2000 and "A Knight's Tale" in 2001. He also played a supporting role in "Monster's Ball," among other films. PhotoSee a photo gallery of Ledger's life and career »

"In a way I was spoon-fed a career," he told the Glasgow Herald in 2005. "It was fully manufactured by a studio that believed it could put me on their posters and turn me into a product. ... I hadn't figured out properly how to act, and all of a sudden I was being thrown into these lead roles."

Controversial role

But Ledger was perhaps best known for his 2005 portrayal of Ennis Del Mar in "Brokeback Mountain," about two cowboys who had a secret romantic relationship. The role earned him an Oscar nomination.

"I felt that choices were being made for me, so I feel this has been my time now to find the good stories and test myself," Ledger told the Glasgow Herald in the 2005 interview. "It has been an interesting year, where I finally have a sense of accomplishment."

Asked how he felt about filming love scenes with another man, Ledger said he and his co-star Jake Gyllenhaal simply focused on their roles.

"We can't say that we weren't nervous about it," Ledger told Oprah Winfrey in 2006. "But once the first take was over, it's like, 'OK. So what? It's kissing another human being. How are we going to finish this scene? Let's get on with it and let's get out of here.' "

In a written statement, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation said it mourns Ledger's death, adding that his portrayal of Del Mar "changed hearts and minds in immeasurable ways."

Ledger has a daughter, Matilda Rose, born in 2005 to his then-girlfriend, Michelle Williams, who played his on-screen wife, Alma, in "Brokeback Mountain." The couple have since separated.

"He was just so respected in the industry," said Kim Serafin, senior editor of In Touch Weekly.

"It's just horribly tragic. He was just a fine actor and a good person, so this is horribly sad and very unexpected."


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Community College is a love story between four dudes and their ability to get free drinks. That privilege however, is threatened when their favorite bar is on the verge of closing for good! After striking a deal with the owner the guys decide they must finish college and collect enough graduation money in order to pay off the owner’s debt. Chino, Rod, Herby, and Jonny300 embark on the educational journey of a lifetime and it's going to take more than a better than average bowling score to get them out of this jam.

With special guest cameos from Scotty Schwartz (A Christmas Story), Rich Cronin (LFO, VH1’s Mission: Man Band), Blue Meanie (Former ECW and WWE Professional Wrestler), MC Lars (Post Punk Laptop Rapper), The Reverend Bob Levy (The Howard Stern Show), and Michael Ray Bower (Salute Your Shorts, Evolution). It's sure to the best movie of the year… the decade… the millennium… the EVER!

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Uwe Boll Loses German Tax Shelter Funds

Uwe Boll Loses German Tax Shelter Funds
January 15, 2008

German director Uwe Boll will return to low-budget filmmaking now that his latest and biggest production, the $70 million fantasy epic In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, bombed at the box office.

The $3 million opening marked the third flop in a row for Boll, whose BloodRayne and Alone in the Dark also failed to deliver theatrically.

Reached at his home in Mainz, Boll said the results from "King" mean he will be unable to continue with big-budget productions.

"In the future, I will focus on small films such as (the video game adaptation) 'Postal' or (the Vietnam war drama) 'Tunnel Rats,' " he said. "These are films that represent my true passion, and they can be done with small budgets."

Despite a number of critical and commercial drubbings, Boll has been able to finance bigger budget films through German tax shelter funds. But "King" marked the last film to be bankrolled by his fund, which, like all similar tax shelters, has been banned in Germany.

Boll will now have to finance films the old-fashioned way -- with presales. Given the director's record, that could prove difficult.

The German director has also lined up a decidedly pulpy title for his next adaptation -- the video game shoot 'em up Zombie Massacre.

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Eye-Fi: First Wireless Memory Card for Digital Cameras


Eye-Fi: First Wireless Memory Card for Digital Cameras

Fri Nov 2, 2007 12:47PM EDT


Now here's a great idea. Take a normal-looking 2GB SD card. Add a wireless chip to it. Stick the whole thing into your camera, and before you know it you've got a wireless camera. Now add a dose of software smarts onto the SD card to manage the whole thing and what do you get? You get a quick wireless ticket straight from your camera to any one of 17 different social networks or photo-sharing sites including Facebook, blogging sites like TypePad, photo-sharing sites like Flickr and Snapfish, or your PC or Mac. If you've been lamenting how your photos never seem to make it out of the camera, lament no more. The price? $99.99 with 2GB of storage (about 1,000 photos).

I caught up with Jef Holove, CEO of Eye-Fi, shortly after this product was announced. He shed some additional light on how stuff works behind the scenes. The card has everything, including the software necessary to get you up and running. All you need to do is tell the card which service you want your photos sent to. It also archives the photos on your PC or Mac. And while you can belong to multiple services, you can't send your photos to more than one at a time. Currently the card supports JPEG files only, but transmits photos without any degradation in resolution. It will resize the photos if the online destination requires it.

Holove says, "Digital cameras made it extremely easy to take pictures, but the rest of the process is a hassle." Wireless, he says, will make things much easier. We'll have a review unit momentarily and report back, but this sounds like a winner.



The Mole to Return to ABC in 2008!

The Mole to Return to ABC!
Source: ABC
January 8, 2008

Dubbed television's smartest reality show, ABC is bringing back "The Mole," featuring new "whodunit" game elements, interactivity and a new host.

"The Mole," based on the hit Belgian format, will be produced by Stone & Company Entertainment and follows a group of players as they try to figure out who among them is The Mole, a saboteur trying to keep them from winning money. Players must decide who they think The Mole is and then learn as much about him or her as they can, because, at the end of each one-hour episode, the player who knows the least about The Mole is immediately eliminated from the game. In the final dramatic episode, The Mole is revealed and one of two final players wins a substantial cash prize.

The highly-rated ABC unscripted series aired in various time periods during its four-season run, and was a consistent draw with key young adult viewers opposite established network competition, including NBC's "Law & Order" and the inaugural season of Fox's "American Idol." "The Mole" ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 in its respective slots each season with Adults 18-34 and took second place in each of its time periods among Adults 18-49. Despite facing stiff demographic competition, "The Mole" improved each of its time periods among Adults 18-34.

The original series, produced by Stone Stanley Entertainment, was hosted by Anderson Cooper. Producers are launching a nationwide search to replace Cooper. In addition to a new host, new features, new games, new locations and online and mobile interactivity are planned for the series. Casting for players begins immediately. Casting information can be found at MoleCasting.com.

Scott A. Stone is executive producer.


RIAA: CD Ripping Not Illegal

RIAA: CD Ripping Not Illegal
January 3, 2008
Thomas Mennecke

There was a bit of shock and awe which reverberated among everyone that has ever ripped a CD. According to a flurry of news reports from blogs such as "Recording Industry vs. The People" and "The Washington Post", an Arizona man who was sued by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) was targeted for ripping tracks from his CD collection.

The mere suggestion by the RIAA that ripping CDs is illegal was enough to ignite tensions throughout the online community. Surely, something as common as ripping a few tracks from an honestly bought CD was covered under fair use? By the looks of things, suddenly it appeared not to be true.

However, if such a fact was true, it would be the first time in the history of the RIAA's efforts to stem P2P usage that the organization sued someone for simply ripping CDs. No one to this date - except as testified by the Washington Post and RIVTP - has yet to be held liable for copyright infringement for material being stored on an MP3 player/hard drive/etc for personal use.

Yet with an untold number of writers, blogs and news sources all trying to sum up the complexities of the file-sharing landscape, it’s very easy to make a simple mistake. It's not a stretch to see how the Washington Post or RIVTP may have misconstrued the truth. The confusion stems from a quote by the RIAA's legal counsel Ira Swartz in a legal brief:

"Once Defendant converted Plaintiffs' recording into the compressed .MP3 format and they are in his shared folder, they are no longer the authorized copies distributed by Plaintiffs."

Ok, so our defendant did rip his CD collection and store it on his hard drive. So far, our defendant still hasn't broken any laws. However there's a key point here that was looked over - his shared folder. Once the defendant committed this act and participated on a P2P network, he was now potentially liable for copyright infringement.

The RIAA's Jonathan Lamy vigorously defended his organization's position to News.com and reconfirmed to all those concerned that indeed fair use ripping is still legal, “The Washington Post story is wrong. As numerous commentators have since discovered after taking the time to read our brief, the record companies did not allege that ripping a lawfully acquired CD to a computer or transferring a copy to an MP3 player is infringement."

In any case, the Washington Post article is rather confusing to those who've consistently followed P2P dramatics. If he indeed was caught for ripping tracks, how was he caught? The Post was partially right for stating that he was caught for ripping tracks, but of course that alone was not illegal. What's illegal is where he decided to place those ripped songs - on P2P networks.

There's been a harsh reaction to the Washington Post and RIVTP's articles. However the mistake has been corrected in the virtual world (the actual article hasn't been edited) as the correct information is now more prominent than the error. We all make mistakes, and with a complex topic such as copyright infringement and the nuances between civil/criminal law, fair use/copyright infringement, it's a forgivable one.