The Inside Job, The Last Newspaper, the authoritative account

Saturday night I went to see The Inside Job, upon the recommendation of my economics professor. "It makes us look pretty, pretty bad," she said. I didn't realize that depth of how bad it made "us" look, us meaning Columbia University, whose business school dean, Glenn Hubbard, gets so ruffled on being asked uncomfortable questions about the deep layers of conflicted interest that criss-cross the finance network (business and econ deans/consultants to finance companies/political advisees or appointess/finance board members) that he says, "You have three more minutes. Give it your best shot."

And believe me, the director Charles Ferguson does just that. It's a seering account of the incredible, glib way in which the nation's finance sector operates, and how the "too big to fail" institutions have both the country and the world by the balls. One thing particularly interesting (if not shocking) was the total lack of diversity on screen—at one point, and interviewee takes pains to say "and believe me, this is a man's game." I was happy to see that Ferguson treats the sex workers associated with the finance sector with respect, interviewing Kristin Davis, (dubbed 'the Manhattan madam'), about the ways in which finance men billed corporate accounting for services, careful to locate the unethical behavior in the billing and cases of infidelity, rather than the act itself. Related to this was Eliot Spitzer, of course, talking about how sex scandals could bring down the whole financial industry, but there's "gentlemen's agreement" not to use such information... to which he laughs and gives the thousand yard stare. It all mounts into a portrait of an industry run on lies, corruption, and illegality in all layers, from drug use to prostitution to bribery, to systematically falsifying credit ratings to betting against one's own clients - all of it existing on a plain of greed and ego.

The same day I went to the New Museum to check out The Last Newspaper, an exhibit on the historical and contemporary meaning of that beloved anacronism. Mostly because I heard from Jace Clayton that each week a different section of a traditional newspaper will be created in house—he's doing the music section. On the train home I finished re-reading Free Culture (anticipating the dip into diss writing pool) and just had a deeply cynical laugh about the idea of the RIAA sueing fans throughout the 2000s for trading music, taking the life savings of teenagers, while bankers stole hundreds of billions of dollars, and not one has been seriously punished. Mostly just thought about the scale of the finance industry against such terribly tangible industries as newsprint, about the death of making "things" and the era of making "ideas" or, in the case of the finance industry, "dreams" (as the film says) or "speculation" or "risk" or...lies. And how, as we move away from things to ideas/dreams/risk, fewer and fewer people participate in the work, and fewer profit.

One of the conceits of the Last Newspaper exhibit (which is, by no coincidence, above the exhibit called "Free," a hectic jumble of new media, sculpture, and painting on the subject of participatory digital media networks) was that readers are more critical and unconvinced by the authority of mainstream media. And today I just started rereading Convergence Culture, which has a rather fascinating chapter about Survivor "spoiler" fandom and how online communities designate authority. What I came away thinking about the last few days is the shifting credentials for authority, the end of the paper as the place of authority, and the shifting places audiences go to find authority. Charles Ferguson started his own production company because no one was making films about the subjects he cared about, but he's a multi-millionare. The Last Newspaper makes news about China's censorship practices and posts it up on walls in public around New York City, as is the practice in China itself. As an art project, a fleeting engagement. How do we, as citizens, synthesize all these disperate voices, evaluate the credentials, find points of dialog. How do learn how to ask questions that make our dean's squirm, and learn how to be impolite enough to expect them to answer, to really answer, for the mess they made? That was the job of the journalist. Maybe not anymore.

On this, the 21st birthday of Pretty Hate Machine

I am pleased to announce that my 33 1/3,

Nine Inch Nails Pretty Hate Machine,

will be released in March 2011.


The 33 1/3 Blog posted a book excerpt here.

For the time, basic book info is here.

Soon, a full website.


If you would like to be informed about launch events/readings/special editions of the book,

please sign up for the mailing list: iamaprettyhatemachine at


Thank you for your patience and understanding.  

Pretty Hate Machine book cover


(Pre-order from Powell's. There's no kickback,

but please support independent bookstores) 


Current Musicology's Author Agreement

  [Posted by Daphne : Yesterday there was some discussion on the IASPM-US board about a call for submissions I posted for my academic journal Current Musicology. Someone asked that all future calls include a statement about the publisher's copyright policy, which is an absolutely dead on request and something I am embarrassed I didn't think of myself. I am posting the Current Musicology author contract here, and will post it at the CM website as well when I get back properly to CM work in the fall. Any comments about the contract are welcome.]


             Agreement for Publication and Sharing of Rights

Introduction and Implementation


            The following “Agreement for Publication and Sharing of Rights” was prepared at Columbia University by the Center for Digital Research and Scholarship ( and the Copyright Advisory Office ( as a model for agreement between a scholarly journal and the Author of an article, essay, or other contribution to the Journal.  The Agreement is primarily for use by journals published at Columbia, but it may be used by others as appropriate.


            This Agreement reflects the position that the Author should retain the copyright in the Article and have explicit rights to use the Article in future research, teaching, and other projects.  The Journal, as publisher, should have rights to publish the article in various formats and to license the publication of the Article through third-party database providers.  This Agreement is based on the assumption that the Author is in fact the copyright owner (as the Author confirms in Paragraph 5).  The Author should inform the Journal if, for example, the Author created the Article “for hire” (e.g., as an employee) or as an officer or employee of the U.S. Government, or if the Author has previously transferred the copyright, perhaps to an employer or another publisher.


            The Agreement permits broad open access of the Article as the parties desire or as required by funding agencies, such as the NIH Public Access Policy.  The Agreement also permits the Journal to publish the Article online without restrictions on access, and the Author may post the Article for Internet access and contribute it to an institutional or discipline-based repository.


            The Agreement permits the Journal to publish the Article with a Creative Commons license.  The use of such a license indicates to readers that they may make appropriate uses of the Article in their own study, teaching, or other activities.  For example, the “Attribution, Non-Commercial, No Derivatives” license would permit an instructor at a nonprofit college to make copies of the Article and share them with students, in paper or electronically.  Uses that involve commercial purposes or that require any revision of the Article may require permission if not within fair use or other copyright exception.  The copyright owner (initially the Author), would be the appropriate party to contact for that permission.


            An Author or Journal may want to make some changes in this Agreement before using it.  For example, the Journal may not need to commit to a particular publication date or issue, and the end of the Agreement may be modified for electronic signature.  Other changes are possible, but the parties may need to secure independent advice.


Agreement for Publication and
Sharing of Rights

Current Musicology (the “Journal”), a publication of Columbia University, is pleased to accept for publication the article titled:

___ (hereinafter the “Article”), by    ____   (hereinafter the “Author”).

In order to better manage the rights associated with your Article, and to provide optimal access to it, we believe that the Author should hold the copyright to your Article, but that you should grant to the Journal appropriate rights to use your Article for the benefit of the scholarly community.  The parties believe that this arrangement will properly serve our shared interest in reaching the largest readership possible.  To that end, the parties agree as follows:

1.  Acceptance for Publication.  The Journal is pleased to accept the Article for publication, and it is currently scheduled for publication in the ____ issue of the Journal.


2.  Author Does not Assign the Copyright.  Nothing in this Agreement shall be construed as an assignment of the copyright in the Article to the Journal.


3.  License to the Journal.  The Author hereby licenses to the Journal the irrevocable, nonexclusive, and royalty-free rights as follows:

3.1  The Journal may publish the Article in any format, including electronic and print media.  Specifically, this license includes the right to reproduce, publicly distribute and display, and transmit the Article or portions thereof in any manner, through any medium now in existence or developed in the future, including but not limited to print, electronic, and digital media, computerized retrieval systems, and other formats.

3.2  The Journal may prepare translations and abstracts and other similar adaptations of the Article in furtherance of its publication of the Article.

3.3  The Journal may use the Author’s name, likeness, and institutional affiliation in connection with any use of the Article and in promoting the Article or the Journal.

3.4  The Journal may exercise these rights directly or by means of third parties.  The Journal may authorize third-party publishers, aggregators, and printers to publish the Article or to include the Article in databases or other services.  [Examples of such third parties include Westlaw, Lexis, and EBSCO.]

3.5  The Journal may without further permission from the Author transfer, assign, or sublicense the rights that the Journal has pursuant to this Agreement.

3.6  In order to foster wider access to the Article, especially for the benefit of the nonprofit community, the Author hereby grants to the Journal the authority to publish the Article with a Creative Commons “Attribution, Non-Commercial, No Derivatives” license.  [The Author should consult the Creative Commons website ( for further information.]


3.7  This license of rights to the Journal shall take effect immediately.  In the event that the Journal does not publish the Article, this license to the Journal shall terminate upon written notification by the Journal to the Author, or upon termination of all publication by the Journal.  To the extent that moral rights may apply to the Article, this agreement does not affect the moral rights of the Author in or to the Article.


4.  Rights of the Author.  Without suggesting any limit on other rights that the Author may have with respect to the Article, the Author retains the following rights.  To the extent that the Journal holds similar rights with respect to the Article consistent with this Agreement, the Author shall hold these rights on a nonexclusive basis.  To the extent that the Article includes edits and other contributions by the staff of the Journal, the rights of the Author in this Paragraph include the right to use such edits and contributions.


4.1  The Author may publish the Article in another scholarly journal, in a book, or by other means.  The Author may exercise this right of publication only after the date of first publication of the Article in the Journal in any format.


4.2  The Author shall, without limitation, have the right to use the Article in any form or format in connection with the Author’s teaching, conference presentations, lectures, other scholarly works, and for all of Author’s academic and professional activities.


4.3  The Author shall at any time have the right to make, or to authorize others to make, a preprint or a final published version of the Article available in digital form over the Internet, including, but not limited to, a website under the control of the Author or the Author’s employer or through digital repositories including, but not limited to, those maintained by scholarly societies, funding agencies, or the Author’s employer.  This right shall include, without limitation, the right of the Author to permit public access to the Article as part of a repository or through a service or domain maintained by the Author’s employing institution or a service as required by law or by agreement with a funding agency.  The Journal may in its discretion deposit the Article with any digital repository consistent with deposits permitted by the Author under this paragraph.  [Examples of such repositories include SSRN,, PubMed Central, and Academic Commons at Columbia University.]


4.4  Any of the foregoing permitted uses of the Article, or of a work based substantially on the Article, shall include an appropriate citation to the Article, stating that it has been or is to be published in the Journal, with name and date of the Journal publication and the Internet address for the website of the Journal.


5.  Author’s Representations.  The Author represents and warrants that the Author owns the copyright in the Article.  The Author represents and warrants that the Article has not been published before, constitutes the Author’s own original work, and does not violate, in whole or in part, any existing copyright.  The Author also represents and warrants that to the best of the Author’s knowledge and belief, the Article does not defame, invade the privacy of, violate the civil rights of, or otherwise infringe the rights of any person.  The Author represents and warrants that the Author has full power to enter into this Agreement and to convey the rights herein granted.  If the Article has more than one author, the Author by signing below represents that he or she has authority to act on behalf of all other authors.


6.  Editing of the Article.  This Agreement is subject to the understanding that the ordinary editing processes of the Journal will be diligently pursued and that the Article will not be published by the Journal unless, in its final form, it is acceptable both to the Author and to the Journal.


7.  Jurisdiction.  This Agreement shall be construed as a contract made under the laws of the State of New York, and copyright issues shall be governed by the federal law of the United States.


8.  Merger.  This Agreement constitutes the sole expression of all understandings between the Author and the Journal with respect to the Journal's agreement to publish the Article and with respect to copyright and republication rights.  This Agreement shall not be modified other than in writing.


Please sign where indicated below.  Return the signed original Agreement to the Journal as soon as possible.  The Journal urges that the Author permanently retain a copy of this Agreement for future reference.


The Author:



Signed: ________________________


Printed Name: ___________________


Date: _____________________


The Journal:



Signed: ______________________


Title: ________________________


Date: _____________________


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