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2011 Talk to LSUC Symposium on Convergence 3.0

In April 2011, was very honoured to give the keynote at The Law Society of Upper Canada’s Entertainment & Media Law Symposium – “Convergence 3.0: It’s Here and It’s Happening”. The talk on “The Three Faces of Convergence” was an attempt to reconcile digital media legal issues with observations from my broadcast and sports and operational experiences. Thanks to the Law Society of Upper Canada for generously giving permission for video to become public in this way.

Download the PowerPoint Slides

Download the Paper


Torment game sets crowd-funding record: $4.2 million

Torment: Tides of Numenera, the sequel to popular Planetscape: Torment, set a record for video games earlier this week, raising nearly $4.2 million on Kickstarter.

The sum was more than quadruple the funding goal by developer inXile Entertainment. Of course, this pales in comparison to the more than $8.5 million raised for new “console” system OUYA, another a Kickstarter success story.

Still, the Torment crowd-funding record is sure to be short lived, especially if the game is a commercial success. In that case, both developers and crowd-funders are likely to jump in with even deeper commitments to other large-scale games in development.

Recent Digital Media Cases of Note

A couple of cases I thought you mind fight interesting:

1) First, a case dealing with copyright exhaustion in the digital media context, distinguishing a recent USSC case that dealt with copyright exhaustion as it applies to conventional media:

2) Second, a 2nd Circuit case allowing users to make private retransmissions of TV content:


UPDATE: April 1, 2013 @ 1:41pm: Also, NFL and ex-NFL players seek approval of $42 million settlement re: use of players’ personality rights:

Guest @ April 3 Class

Steve Rechtschaffner who has a long and storied video game career will be our guest for the final class. He is going to take on the subject of the future of games and the future of the industry.

Here is Steve’s bio:

“Steve has 25+ years of pioneering in the worlds of branded entertainment, product marketing and digital entertainment.  He has changed how we think about wrist watches, live events, home fitness, video games, snowboarding and how we experience entertainment in the living room. He’s recently reconnected with some former EA friends, and together they have launched a disruptive mobile games & advertising platform called Play4Perks.

His life-long focus has been on “combining innovation and entertainment to create exciting and sustainable growth for brands and businesses.  Over the years, Steve has done this for Swatch, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Reebok, Converse, the U.F.C., ESPN, FOX TV and the U.S. Ski Team, amongst others.

Non-professional time for Steve is spent practicing yoga, riding his bike, trying to become a kite surfer, while also being a husband and father of 3 offspring.”


Re-Mission: violent video game with a positive outcome?

HopeLabs developed a video game designed for teenagers and young adults with cancer. In the game, players navigate within the human body — using violent video game tactics — to target cancer cells, infections, and side-effects of treatment.

The game is touted as one of a number of uses of video game violence with positive outcomes, contrasted sharply to other concerns often heard in the media. Discussed in one article that was part of a 2010 American Psychological Association journal special edition on the effects of video game violence, Re-Mission was reported to have increased self-efficacy, treatment adherence, and knowledge of cancer by those who played the game. (see p 77)

The APA special edition was overall quite critical of research that suggests an otherwise direct link between video game violence and real-world violence. A discussion of the special edition’s findings, and public links to all the articles in it, can be found here: