Comedian Suggests Crowdfunding To Pay President To Resign

Is it crowdfunding or a federal crime or really just satire to offer a sitting President money to leave office?

That’s the question posited by Deadline when it reviewed Bill Maher’s commencement of his effort on his show last Friday on HBO to crowdfund from his rich Hollywood friends to raise money to offer the current sitting President to resign.

maher

While the comedian made his case, there was an unending list of movie and television stars that scrolled by his head who he believed would donate to his “prickstarter” campaign.

Apparently, the former hotelier was watching the show as he tweeted following the appearance of Susan Rice, President Obama’s  National Security Advisor.

However, he did not publicly comment on the non-listed crowdfunding campaign. A defamation lawsuit against Maher was withdrawn by Michael Cohen in 2013, likely because he knew that parody is protected by the First Amendment.

Anyone familiar with the satirist knows his modus operandi.

https://deadline.com/2019/10/trump-tweets-rebuke-of-bill-maher-guest-1202764249/

 

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Should Government Control Cryptocurrency?

Like rats fleeing a sinking ship, partners like VISA, Mastercard and PayPal have fled Facebook’s foray into cryptocurrency, called Libra.

With international governments giving the digital asset a raking over, including Congress and the Treasury Department, concerned that it will be used for terrorism financing and money laundering, its leader, David Marcus, has continued to try to appease them.

But could there be an underlying reason why Libra is getting a hard time?

Perhaps it’s because governments don’t want to give up control of their currency.

In a recent opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, two former CTFC officials have suggested that the United States create the Digital U.S. Dollar.

digitaldollar

It would be a blockchain based cryptocurrency “maintained by an independent nongovernmental group but administered by banks and other trusted payment organizations.”

The virtual money would be backed by greenbacks held in a special escrow account at the Federal Reserve.

And the U.S. government would control it all.

The best of all possible worlds.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/we-sent-a-man-to-the-moon-we-can-send-the-dollar-to-cyberspace-11571179923?mod=searchresults&page=1&pos=1

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Funny Student Debt?

Hey, what’s funnier than student debt?

debt

Sony’s streaming comedy channel Crackle TV has partnered with movie star-venture capitalist Ashton Kutcher for a new reality television show airing tonight called “Going For Broke.”

The program features underwater students and former students who are saddled with a ridiculous amount of education debt being given a Queer-Eye-like financial make-over by experts. According to the Wall Street Journal, these gurus “help participants cut credit cards, find new side hustles, restructure student-loan payments and otherwise try to figure out what roadblocks.”

Kutcher is an executive producer and an investor in one of the shows sponsors, the Acorns debit card, so the tie-in is pretty natural.

Could the real answer be that students shouldn’t be saddled with extreme education debt to begin with?

https://www.wsj.com/articles/reality-tv-show-tries-financial-makeovers-for-those-with-student-debt-11571223601

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Movies Give Way To Television

It’s finally happened this year at Cannes.

Le Marche du Film, also known as the Cannes Film Festival and Market, has been overtaken by MIPCOM.

mipcom

MIPCOM, the Marché International des Programmes de Communication, is where television producers and distributors come together in the (overpriced) French seaside resort to sell and buy content.

With the influx of new distributors, the so-called over-the-top streamers (Amazon Prime, Netflix) that engage in subscription video-on-demand, as well as AVOD (advertising supported VOD), the MIPCOM market is hopping with new narrative and reality products for the home viewing market.

And independent producers such as Sidney Kimmel have now awakened to the fact that the money is in television, not the theaters.

Feature motion pictures are prestige events, but they’re now a big gamble, and most end up on the home screen anyway.

So, Hollywood has decided that if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

https://variety.com/2019/tv/markets-festivals/s-k-global-makes-mipcom-debut-with-crazy-rich-asians-under-its-belt-1203366713/

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Kickstarter Not Afraid Of Apple Wrath

As the late great songster Jim Croce used to say “you don’t tug on Superman’s cape.”

But Kickstarter, the giant crowdfunding platform doesn’t seem to mind being in the middle of a potentially dangerous legal trade dress/mark battle.

Dune Cases is planning to crowdfund a virtual clone of Apple’s Mac Pro desktop computer (but you get to pick and choose your components) on Kickstarter.

When you look at the photo of the Dune product (below), you will notice that it appears strikingly similar to the Apple design.

dims

Steve Jobs philosophy was that design is one of the company’s strongest marketing tool. VentureBeat notes that Kickstarter appears unconcerned.

The crowdfunding platform says that Federal law governs trade mark disputes and that its site is protected.

The article notes that Kickstarter has recently been sued by an accessory company on a similar matter; that case is pending.

So far, Apple has been mute.

The crowdfunding campaign is set to begin October 21.

Let’s see if that occurs…

https://venturebeat.com/2019/10/14/kickstarter-shrugs-as-dune-case-seeks-to-crowdfund-2019-mac-pro-clone/

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Crowdfunding Site Fighting Union

Crowdfunding site Kickstarter was hosting the comic book “Always Punch Nazis” when its lawyers had the campaign pulled due to violations of terms of service on promoting violence.

punch

This pissed off certain employees who got together and began to discuss pay disparities and sexual harassment which led to an effort to start a union.

Then the proverbial poop hit the fan when management found out and fired two union organizers.

Other tech firms are starting to feel employee backlash, as, for example, Google experienced a massive walkout over its work for the Defense Department.

Kickstarter management began to respond to employee complaints but also brought in a “union-busting” lawyer and decided not to voluntarily recognize any union.

Other firings have occurred and now employees may have to attempt to organize under the rules of the National Labor Relations Act.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/10/10/how-debate-about-punching-nazis-sparked-fight-create-techs-first-name-brand-union/

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Game Crowdfunder Gets $30 Million Private Equity Injection

One of history’s largest and most successful crowdfunding companies has just received a private equity investment of $30 million.

The card game company Exploding Kittens, that raised $8,782,571 from 219,382 backers in 30 days, has found a new love in the form of ex-Twentieth Century Fox executive Peter Chernin’s investment firm, TCG Capital.

catz

With the investment, the card game company, that originated from inventors who wanted people to put down their cellphones, will offer a new cat game (again via Kickstarter), and host a Burning Cat convention for which there are already 14,000 on the waiting list.

With the addition of the Chernin group, one can expect other media spin-offs like movies, television shows and “other entertainment options.”

https://www.wsj.com/articles/exploding-kittens-draws-funding-to-create-more-games-explore-entertainment-11570699802

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