Read an Anti-SOPA Letter from Aziz Ansari, Trent Reznor, and Other Artists

SOPA Blackout Day is in full swing, with Wikipedia, Reddit, BoingBoing, and other Internet giants blacking out entirely and thousands of other sites — including Flavorpill — creatively demonstrating their solidarity. (We hope you agree that censor bars aren’t a great look for us.) There’s also been something of a backlash against the online outpouring of opposition to SOPA and its Senate counterpart PIPA, from the usual suspects in Washington as well as groups like the MPAA, who sent this nasty note about the protests.

But not everyone in the entertainment industry supports SOPA. Stop the Wall, a site that you can also use to make a quick and easy phone call to your senator about the legislation, has posted an open letter to Washington from a group of artists that includes Aziz Ansari, Trent Reznor, The Lonely Island, MGMT, Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, Troma honcho Lloyd Kaufman, and many others. “As creative professionals, we experience copyright infringement on a very personal level,” they write, but they don’t support SOPA because they “have benefited immensely from a free and open Internet.” Read the full letter after the jump, and then, if you haven’t already, get on the phone with your representatives to add your voice to the anti-SOPA chorus. … Read More

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What Does Sherlock Entering the Public Domain Really Mean?

In late December, a federal judge ruled that the character of Sherlock Holmes was in the public domain. The determination came because the editors of an anthology of new Sherlock Holmes stories — ones written recently by fans, not Conan Doyle — refused to pay a license to the Arthur Conan Doyle estate.… Read More

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Lewis Carroll’s Letter to Alice Liddell and Other Artifacts From the NYPL’s Children’s Books Exhibition

Last Friday, an essential exhibit for book lovers and onetime children of all stripes opened at the New York Public Library: The ABC Of It: Why Children’s Books Matter. Within, you can find the copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland that belonged to Alice Liddell, a recording of E.B. White reading from Charlotte’s Web, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s family copy of Mother Goose, complete with annotations on which sections were too scary for the children, the original Winnie-the-Pooh stuffed animals, and more delights. Take a look at some of the treasures the exhibit has to offer after the jump, and head on up to the NYPL to see the show in person before it closes next March. … Read More

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The 10 Strangest Quotes From Will and Jaden Smith’s ‘New York’ Interview

Hollywood royals Will and Jaden Smith are in a whirlwind of promotion for their sci-fi film After Earth, written by the elder Smith and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The eccentric father-son duo graces the cover of this week’s New York magazine for a bizarre discussion about their relationship, their approach to fame, and scientific theories that revolve around a nondescript theme of “patterns.” Author Claire Hoffman steers the interview in a questionable direction from the start and is quick to ask the two about their religion, probably in hopes that they’ll talk about Scientology. … Read More

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New York’s 100 Most Important Living Writers

Philip Roth’s recently announced retirement got us thinking about the state of New York City’s literary landscape. As a result, we’ve compiled a list of the city’s 100 most important… Read More

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10 Documentaries That Will Make You a Better Person

From Food, Inc. to The Age of Stupid, we’ve rounded up 10 great documentaries that make powerful, life-changing statements about social, environmental, and economic… Read More

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President Obama Talks Internet Freedom, Beer, and Getting Home in Time for Dinner on Reddit

President Barack Obama took to Reddit for one of the website’s popular “Ask Me Anything” threads. After moderators and administrators confirmed it was indeed him — backed up by a post from his verified Twitter account and a photo (pictured) — the forum exploded with questions, asking about everything from felines to foreign… Read More

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10 Fascinating Interviews with Legendary Journalist Mike Wallace

Just five months ago, the journalistic community lost 60 Minutes media personality Andy Rooney, and sadly Mike Wallace now joins him. The esteemed CBC reporter had an impressive career that spanned over sixty years, comprised of fascinating interviews with notable headliners. He spent decades asking tough questions, brazenly steering his interviews directly to the heart of the matter and getting answers audiences were dying to know. To share screen time with the legendary journalist could either signify your career’s high points, or it’s absolute lows. We’ve taken a look back at some of Wallace’s most memorable chats with famous faces. Whether on 60 Minutes, or one of the media giant’s earlier programs like The Mike Wallace Interview, these intriguing one-on-ones recall another era of journalism — with figures many of us would grapple at the chance to talk to — and Wallace was one of the best. Hit the jump to find out what the intrepid reporter asked of Malcolm X, Salvador Dalí, Ayn Rand, and others. … Read More

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A Brief History of Outrageous Posthumous Musical Cash-Ins

Ah, the music industry. It’s its own worst enemy, really, isn’t it? Not a week after cuddlesome RIAA overlord Cary Sherman further endeared himself to the general public with a gloriously paranoid SOPA-related ejection of the toys from his corporate pram, Sony’s UK arm reminded everyone of just what loveable folk major labels are by responding to Whitney Houston’s death by jacking up the price of her albums. Nice one, Sony UK. It took two days for the company to bow to general public contempt and reverse the price increase, issuing a statement to Billboard that blamed the issue on “an internal mistake.” Whatever happened, the whole sorry affair is far from the music industry’s most shameless posthumous cash-in. Browse a brief hall of infamy after the jump. … Read More

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Awesome Infographic: Hollywood vs. Technology

In the wake of all the SOPA/PIPA fury in recent weeks, we were excited to see this infographic detailing Hollywood’s long, storied and totally inadvisable crusade against technology. We particularly like this statistic: that in 2010, 65% of industry revenue came from sources that the studios had, at one time or another, claimed… Read More

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