On Sunday, Kanye West announced that he will bring his mysterious gospel-influenced Sunday Service series to Coachella. Kanye’s Coachella Sunday Service will take place on Easter Sunday, April 21st, and 9:00 a.m. on the festival’s Indio, CA grounds.Today, following the addition of Kanye’s special Easter Sunday Service, Drake has announced his own spiritual sojourn at Coachella 2019: Saturday Seder, a celebration of the Jewish holiday of Passover, which takes place during that same week. Drake’s Coachella Saturday Seder will take place at sunset on Saturday, April 20th, the evening before Kanye’s Sunday Service. Part-concert, part-Seder, Drake’s Saturday Service at Coachella will loosely follow the ancient Jewish Passover rituals laid out in the Haggadah.Kanye has been vocal about his Christian faith throughout his career, stretching back to the release of “Jesus Walks” in 2004. Drake, who was raised Jewish, has similarly used his music as an outlet to express his faith. For his 2011 “HYFR” music video, Drake got “re-Bar Mitzvah’d as a re-commitment to the Jewish religion.” You can watch the video of Drake’s Bar Mitzvah “remix” below:Drake ft. Lil Wayne – “HYFR” [Bar Mitzvah Music Video][Video: Drake]This new announcement could be seen simply as an attempt to ensure representation for Drake’s different religious upbringing and the customs of Coachella’s Jewish patrons. The fact that it falls just hours before Kanye’s Sunday Service can be chalked up to the Jewish faith’s lunar calendar, which dictates that Jews around the world will host their second of two annual Passover seders on April 20th this year. However, considering the highly publicized beef between Drake and Kanye in recent months, it’s not hard to speculate that Drake’s Saturday Seder is, at least in part, an attempt to one-up Yeezy’s surprise Coachella booking.A Tweet by Drake earlier today seems to add weight to that speculation:As Drake commented, seemingly addressing Kanye, “You been doing Sunday Service for a few months? My Hebrew brothers been throwing seders for millennia! Chag Sameach, homie! #SaturdaySeder”April Fools!
August 15, 2003 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular News Communications bill worries business lawyers Communications bill worries business lawyers Senior EditorCan your Internet service provider tell you what brand of modem to use to receive its signal? Can it mandate you pay a separate fee for each home or office computer that receives its service, instead of using a router to share one line between many computers?Can the state delegate to cable, Internet, and other telecommunications providers the power to decide what is an “illegal” device attached to a home computer or cable signal receiver?Those questions, among others, have been raised by members of the Bar’s Business Law Section in the wake of the passage and signing by the governor of HB 79, on communications services.Nominally a bill to prevent piracy of movies and electronic media, the business lawyers have been warning it might be vague and overbroad, leading to unintended consequences. A bill supporter, though, said only people who knowingly try to pirate electronic signals or copyrighted material have anything to worry about.“There is a great deal of confusion. The bill is quite broad in scope and broadly worded,” said section member Andy Greenberg. “The concern here is they are actually regulating the technology by which the content is distributed.”Charlie Dudley, general counsel for the Florida Cable Communications Association, doesn’t see the problem. “It [the law] says that devices that are illegal under the statute are devices that do not have other legitimate purposes; they are specifically designed for illegal uses,” he said.The bill started out as a measure to fight piracy of cable TV signals, but quickly expanded to cover the gamut of telecommunications, except telephone service.According to a House staff analysis of HB 79, the bill widened both the civil and criminal penalties in F.S. §812.15 and expanded coverage from cable services to “many new technologies that communication service providers, except telephone, are now offering to the public.” In one example, the penalty for illegally receiving or intercepting a signal or helping someone else to do so was increased from a first degree misdemeanor to a third degree felony.The bill also specifically allows providers to bring civil actions for damages, including the value of services that were intercepted or that were intercepted by others with devices provided by the defendant.The bill also makes it easier for companies to recover statutory or actual damages, and allows a court to impose statutory damages of up to $50,000 for each illegal device.Critics say the penalties give the companies a sledgehammer to attack a gnat, especially in the cases of individuals who have done nothing but acquire a cable descrambler or similar device.Tim Morell, a member of the section’s Computer Law Committee, noted that DirecTV recently shut down a Web site that sold descrambler boxes that allowed buyers to decode the DirecTV signal without paying the company. DirecTV got records of the buyers and sent them letters, threatening to sue in federal court where the penalty would be $10,000 per device plus attorneys’ fees unless the buyers paid the company $3,500 and turned over their devices.“You’re presumed guilty and you get none of the protections you would get in criminal court,” Morell said. “It’s huge overkill.”He said while some and perhaps most of the buyers knew the devices were illegal, the sellers do not usually disclose that or tell buyers what the penalties might be if they are caught. And “there are some groups of people out there who have legitimate defenses,” Morell said. “They [DirecTV] have to know there are some people who have legitimate defenses, but they can’t win. They can’t get a defense because they can’t afford to hire an attorney for this to go to federal court.”Ironically, the people most likely to have bought the devices, he said, are those who can’t afford monthly cable or satellite service, and hence face bankruptcy over a large fine. Perhaps even more paradoxical, Morell noted, is state legislatures and Congress have considered tort reform bills to limit damages that harmed individuals can win from companies but at the same time have passed laws increasing the damages that companies can win from individuals.“I understand the industry’s point and I think they have a good point, but I think this is huge overkill,” he said. “It’s unfair to be grinding people into the ground.”Other section members are concerned that HB 79 is not specific enough and consumers with perfectly legal devices could find themselves charged with having pirating or intercepting devices — especially since the bill may leave the definition of what is or isn’t legal up to the companies.The House staff analysis noted that the Florida Supreme Court has held that the state constitution’s separation of powers language prevents one branch of government for delegating its authority to another branch of government. That could arguably be extended that the legislature could not delegate its powers to another entity, such as a private business.The analysis said that one provision in the bill prohibits connecting devices “unless specifically authorized to do so by a cable provider or other communication service provider.” The analysis noted that this “appears to delegate to private parties the authority to determine what acts do or do not constitute a crime; especially combined with the criminal rule of lenity, this may be an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power.”It also said the bill may proactively attempt to incorporate any future federal legislature, which is also proscribed constitutionally.Greenberg said some vocal opponents of the bill have charged that the bill would allow an Internet provider to dictate what accessories and equipment a customer adds to a computer, such as a router or a CD rewrite drive. He’s not sure that harsh criticism is justified, but he’s also not sure that those critics might not be right, mostly because definitions in the bill are broad.“You can only connect to it a communications device that you’ve received consent to use,” Greenberg said. “It will be the subject of substantial litigation.”In a sense, the bill reflects an argument that goes back to player piano rolls, where intellectual property owners seek to protect their investment by controlling technology that might be used to pirate or duplicate it illegally, he said. A defining case involved the entertainment industry’s attempt to prevent Sony from selling its first video cassette records in this country, arguing that the machines would be used to duplicate copyrighted material.The U.S. Supreme Court rejected that claim, saying there were legal and legitimate uses for the technology.Dudley, of the cable association, disputed there are any serious problems with the law. The delegation issue came from the previous law and has caused no problems, he said.As for being too broad or vague, he said the law is clear that prohibited devices are only those designed for illegal use.Aside from his group, the law was supported by the Motion Picture Association of America, the recording industry, and an Internet service providers group. Dudley said a model law like Florida’s has been pushed by those groups in other states. Greenberg said some states have passed the law with few changes while others have delayed it when questions arose.Although some Business Law Section members worried about the criminal provisions of the law, Dudley said it was unlikely that state attorneys would devote significant — if any — resources to cable or cyber piracy, especially involving individual consumers where proving criminal intent could be difficult.He also questioned if the law could be read to give Internet service providers control over what equipment customers could attach to their computers. Even if it did, “We don’t have a design to take this statute and make this illegal,” Dudley said. “Customers would go to another provider.”“What you’re at right now is these [descramblers and similar equipment] are products that are being sold to people. If it’s against the law, it’s against the law,” Dudley said.The purpose of the bill was to set the groundwork for new technology, such as Web-based pay-per-view, while protecting intellectual property, he said.Dudley also questioned why none of the objections was raised in the six legislative committee hearings or when either the House or Senate took up the bills. The measure was passed unanimously in every committee as well as both chambers.Business Law Section member Joel Rothman, who raised the issue at the section’s recent executive council meeting, said no one realized what was in the bill until it was nearly through the legislative process and it was too late to mount any serious effort. “It became a topic of discussion on the computer law community listserv back in April and May,” he said.HB 79 becomes effective October 1.
Ilmarinen, Finland’s second-largest private sector earnings-related pension provider, is to merge with its smaller rival Etera in a move that could reshape competition in the country’s pensions market.Post-merger, Ilmarinen and Varma will be neck-and-neck in the national ranking.Varma is currently the largest private sector pension fund in the country, and the second-largest overall after public sector pension fund Keva, according to IPE’s Top 1000 pension funds ranking within Finland.The boards of Ilmarinen, which had €38.3bn at the end of the first quarter, and Etera, which had €6.2bn, have approved the merger agreement, which complete in January. Mikko Helander, chairman of Ilmarinen’s board of directors, said: “The synergies achieved through the merger will benefit the clients of both companies.”On top of this, he said the deal would improve the cost-effectiveness of the entire earnings-related pension insurance system significantly, and the sector’s solvency would strengthen overall.“The transaction will thus benefit both policyholders and the insured alike,” Helander said.Implementing the merger would require approval from both companies’ general meetings and that of the relevant authorities, Ilmarinen said.The company cited solvency, cost efficiency, and competitiveness as reasons for making the deal. Ilmarinen said the merger would help cut annual administration costs by at least €20m starting from 2020. Within investment operations, another €20m could be saved from direct and indirect annual costs.In terms of customer numbers and premiums written, the merged company would become Finland’s largest private sector earnings-related pension insurer, Ilmarinen said. The new firm would manage the pension cover of more than 1.1m Finns, with 675,000 insured and 460,000 pensioners.The merged company would have a 37% market share of premiums written, Ilmarinen said.However, in terms of assets under management, it appears that the merger will bring Ilmarinen just short of its rival Varma. Ilmarinen said the pension assets of the new company would be more than €44bn, but at the end of March, Varma’s investments totalled €44.4bn.Tero Kiviniemi, chairman of Etera’s board of directors, said services would be tailored to meet the needs of different client segments within the merged company.Ilmarinen said the new company would maintain “a strong and diverse role” in the investment markets in Finland and globally, and would also be a major real estate investor and financing partner for growth companies in Finland.The companies’ boards have agreed that Ilmarinen’s president and chief executive Timo Ritakallio will continue in his position after the merger, with Etera’s current managing director Stefan Björkman becoming Ritakallio’s deputy.Sini Kivihuhta will continue in her current role of deputy chief executive at Ilmarinen, the company said.
HIGH NUMBERS IMPORTANT Coaches obtain these badges through the University of Technology’s coaching courses, which starts at Level One and move up to the Jamaica Award, from which coaches can move on to the international level. But Campbell says there needs to be greater urgency in training top-class local coaches. “There is a UTech advanced course. But the Level One starts in a few weeks, and from there, you move through the different levels. The Jamaica Award takes you to the next level of going international and coaching at that level. It’s not an easy course, because it’s for top coaches, and the theoretical, scientific and psychological sides and the whole preparation of playing at that level is not as easy to grasp,” noted Campbell. “But Jamaica is doing what is best to get coaches up to that level, they just need to speed it up, although I think they are trying to do that. We need more coaches, as we are in a bad place now, because the ones that are qualified are just not interested [in coaching the national team] at this time,” Campbell said. International umpire Sylvester Campbell believes there is a need for more top-level local persons fit to coach the national team and is imploring Netball Jamaica to increase the pace at which they are turning out international-level tacticians. The senior Sunshine Girls have been without a coach for more than two months and most of the handful of local qualified coaches (those holding a Jamaica Award, which is the highest qualification locally) are either unavailable or have expressed no interest in the position. This has left the team in a coaching dilemma since late last year. But Campbell, who also sits on the international testing panel of the International Netball Federation, says the answer to problem is to improve the number of accomplished top-level local coaches. “In any system it is good to have a lot, more to choose from, so it’s good to have more. The cadre [of top level coaches] needs to be bigger, enough for you to pick, choose and refuse from. So it’s important to keep the numbers high so we don’t get in the position we are currently (with national team) in where there are only a handful, when we could have more,” Campbell commented. “A league like BEL (Berger Elite League) was played at a high standard, and you need coaches in it that can coach at a very high level. Coaches you can see and pick because they are performing at the highest level,” he added. Currently, only Oberon Pitteron-Nattie, Connie Francis, Minneth Reynolds, Annette Daley and Maureen Hall hold a Jamaica Award, while Tracey-Ann Griffiths, Conrad Parkes and Marvette Anderson are now completing theirs. GREATER URGENCY NEEDED