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Last Updated: Monday, 14 November 2005, 08:34 GMT
Set the entertainment news agenda

Is there something you feel passionate, angry or excited about in the entertainment world, which has not been given the coverage it deserves?

The BBC News website's entertainment section wants to reflect the concerns and interests of the most important people in the entertainment industry - you.

We want to find out what you consider to be the biggest issues and hottest topics across the arts, music, film, TV and radio.

You may have a gripe about ticket prices, arts funding or downloading, or you may have discovered a fantastic new scene, initiative or innovation that you and your friends love - but nobody else knows about.

We will publish the best ideas and invite other readers to share their views and experiences. We want your messages to generate discussion and, with a bit of luck, issues and themes will emerge.

The BBC News website's entertainment reporter Ian Youngs will follow up the most interesting with full-blown stories and features on the site.

We are also looking for bona fide news stories that you think warrant investigation or exposure - so let us know what's on your mind.

Due to technical difficulties, messages sent before 1530 GMT on Sunday 6 November were not received.


I have two gripes, both about DVDs. Firstly I bought two new films on DVD recently - Kung Fu Hustle & Ong Bak. They are both good films, with great fighting scenes. As they are Chinese and Thai, they have dubbed English audio. Kung Fu Hustle's English audio is good, it sounds like Chinese people that can speak English, which gives a more authentic feel to the film but Ong Bak's English audio sounds like the cast of EastEnders or Emmerdale talking, it's quite off putting. For the amount of money films make, a little extra effort would not really make a dent in the profits.

My second moan is DVD prices - I was recently at Stansted Airport, where there is a sign outside the HMV store that says 'tax free prices for everyone'. I went in to see if I could pick up any bargains, I was shocked as the prices I was seeing were more expensive than prices I had seen in an HMV store in Peterborough two days earlier. How is this possible? Is there some kind of airport tax added before the tax free offer is applied? Surely they know people will notice.
Paul Stewart, Chaunay, France

Regional restrictions on DVDs make me very angry too! I live in the USA but I love cinema from all over the world. I find it very frustrating that I can't buy a DVD of, say, an Australian movie or a British movie online, and guarantee I can play it here. Why can't DVDs be like CDs? Not all of us are pirating these things - we just want to be able to see a wide range of world cinema at home, especially movies which may not even have been released in theatres here in the USA.
Isabelle, Brit in USA

Podcasts. More people should know and listen to these radio talks shows, they are awesome!
Matt, Spokane U.S.A.

I think the greatest problem with the entertainment industry as a whole is twofold. One is the rampant growth of copyright violation, both in terms of laws lengthening the years a work stays under copyright and astounding ways companies try to protect their "intellectual properties." This is an industry that believes its customers are pirates who engage in "copyright theft" first and honest users second. Fair use rights have been thrown to the roadside for the benefit of business to increase profit margins. It's a telling soundbite when the head of Sony says that "most people don't know what a rootkit is, so why are they worried about it?" As the moral goes, "The more you squeeze your fingers, the more will slip through your grasp."
Kevin Mason, Tucson, Arizona, USA

Having serious societal issues depicted in films (that might be released 2 or 3 time a year let's say) is one thing however when the same issues (sexual/physical abuse for example) are turned into TV programs that air nightly in family homes and are called 'entertainment' I am concerned about the long term effect on our communities subsequent perception of their own everyday world. I wonder how we can on one hand react so vehemently to such emotional issues on our doorstep and yet have it turned into profit making 'entertainment' without so much as a whimper?
Peter Mackay, Sydney Australia (born in Liverpool UK)

Booking fees on top of already expensive ticket prices - I booked four shows (two tickets for each show) and got charged a fee for each ticket on top of the ticket price. Also - why don't they make it illegal to sell any ticket for more than its face value? Surely that would stop touts and other crooks from thriving.
Mick H, Swindon Wilts

While I can see the many benefits of digital broadcasting, what does concern me is that not all viewers/listeners are equal. Where I live, I cannot use a digital top set box or use a DAB radio. I'm therefore forced to use Rupert Murdoch's Sky dish. Unfortunately many new channels that are available on Freeview I cannot receive unless I take out a full subscription with Sky. Unless there is a commitment to an equity in public broadcasting delivery the technology is going alienate many people.
Stuart Barker, Derbyshire, UK

I'm glad that Grokster has closed, mainly because it will be interesting to see who the music people blame for loss of earnings if all the p2p programs closed down. I'm also mad about ticket touts. It should be illegal to ticket tout, especially after the live 8 incident where callous people were selling Live 8 tickets on eBay for massive profits in order to line their own pockets.
Carl Robertson, Swindon, UK

I object to laws being written at the behest of the entertainment industry which prevent me from performing legal actions. I have the legal right to copy a DVD from the disk to another format yet the DMCA and similar laws prevent me from doing this as to do so I would have to break the encryption on the disk. This also prevents me from producing compilation clip disks to use in graduate film studies classes. Switching disks and finding points in films can cost up to 10 minutes per lecture, especially when disks prevent you from skipping the logos, trailers and copyright messages at the start.
Richard Feilden, Santa Barbara, USA

Copyright protection is becoming a joke with large companies having far too much influence on particularly American laws, which Europe often rolls over for at some later point. Since piracy became prevalent (which I do not approve of) we have reasonably priced DVD's and CD's, improved speed of release, and simultaneous availability to stop the consumer being fleeced every which way possible.

I do not approve of piracy, but I applaud the results that piracy has had in putting these companies in their place, and I utterly resent their increasingly illegal attempts to squash us back down.
Richard Munro, UK

You know what really grinds my gears BBC? DVD regions and the prospect of the new generation of Blu Ray having similar technology. What is the point of regional coding? We supposedly live in a global capitalist market and yet there is a restriction on the international flow of information. What I don't understand is why people thought that it would be a good idea. The most unpleasant thing it could is increase price competition for DVDs. This should be made illegal.
Ross Pearson, London, UK / Athens, USA

Region restrictions on DVD players. I legally purchase DVDs from US and UK. My computer DVD restricts the region (after 5 switches) What in reality are they trying to protect? I have bought a laptop to travel with. It's stupid that I am restricted on playing DVD from the countries I visit.
Roo, USA

The day dawneth when the TV and home computer become one. I find the reception in my area bad, and no matter what I do can't find a good signal - hence I don't watch much TV. I am looking forward to using the new broadband TV service from the BBC when they roll it out next year. For me this will enable me to watch my favourite programs, and like radio online I can watch it in my time.

We are living on the crest of the digital revolution, and our children will look back in school and wonder where it all happened. We are living history, and through our computers we are shaping our world.
Rachel Saunders, Preston, UK

Whatever happened to our national sense of pride in our theatres? In the first half of the 20th Century, we had such luminaries as George Bernard Shaw, Noel Coward and Laurence Olivier, quite rightly regarded as legends in their own time because of their sheer ability to hold their own slightly skewed mirrors up to life. In Shakespeare's time, people would cram into the stalls of the Globe and others like it, just to see what new spectacle of emotion and fantasy would be brought alive before their very eyes.

Today, we have, at the height of our cultural mountain... yet another half-hearted, mangled production of A.N.Other American Playwright's 'classic', naturally featuring a cast which consists primarily of Hollywood 'here today, gone tomorrow' tabloid darlings determined to 'tick off the stage' before their 15 minutes is up.

Meanwhile, that which is going on in the fringe venues of our capital city goes largely ignored by critics, in spite of the fact that it is often of far better all-round quality than the technical jiggery of the West End musicals.
Krystina Nellis, London, UK

Surely it is now time to move EastEnders from its current slot to one that is beyond the watershed. If this were a movie it would be deemed to be PG, particularly given the escalation in violence. It does not make pleasant family viewing and is certainly not providing suitable storylines for those without adult supervision. Constant fisticuffs, gun toting gangsters and scenes of threatening behaviour towards females is not something the BBC should expose children to.
Glenn, London, UK

Despite what the cinema adverts claim, copying a DVD is not stealing... It's copyright infringement. It is perfectly possible to download material you would not consider a high-enough priority to buy, even if downloading were not an option. Providing you leech and do not redistribute the material, doing so neither robs the author of the original content, nor of any revenue. The corporations can get away with such falsehoods as to speak out as a consumer is to admit liability of copyright infringement!
Anon, UK

I buy both CDs and Vinyl records; I buy a lot of vinyl records. In order to mix up my music from two different sources I use mini disc component players hooked up to my amplifier. I can't use I-pods or similar devices because I have no way of recording my music onto them using the amplifier / stereo. I need to record all of my music, one time, onto one large database of some sort. I love digital technology but have no intention to stop buying vinyl records so I really need a device which plugs into my amplifier so that I can record from both sources and store all my music in one place.
Mike Staley, Hong Kong

I was so delighted to find that the fabulous Eric Clapton is touring again next year and returning to the Royal Albert Hall in May. I was stunned when I found that an arena ticket was going to cost me 60 plus a booking fee!! I am a huge fan and as such I've paid the money as I want to see him play live, but, how can promoters and concert venues justify this kind of ticket price and what is the booking fee for? Administration of the booking? Isn't that what they're paid to do? Surely we spend enough as it is on albums and singles without having to stump up such high prices to see a live performance. What do the artists think about this situation?
Gary Bowyer, Sutton, Surrey

What really annoys me about the fall of P2P networks is the fact that you may wish for your music to be heard by a wide audience - if like me you are in an unsigned band. This medium can be ideal if you want to get your music out there. I really despise the companies and artists who are totally against P2P. In my opinion people should make music for the love of it and not expect automatically money in return, they should be honoured that people actually want to listen to their work.
Anthony Lloyd, Warrington, England

As a book publisher I'm certain that big changes are around the corner for readers. Those changes will be led by fashion and the younger generation: give them an iPod-style eBook reader that is cool to carry, and they will realise the advantage at school and college of carrying one 'book' around with them instead of dozens. That one gadget can contain thousands of books - imagine taking one 'book' on holiday containing everything you want to read instead of a heavy pile of novels. If it takes off like the iPod there will be a craze for downloading eBooks.

The only snag is that the majority of books currently in print are not yet converted to eBooks and it will take a few years for the industry to catch up. My company has converted to eBook formats 200 of its titles so far, but we have a long way to go.
Stewart Ferris, Chichester, UK

I am deaf and have been denied access to the professional theatre for 50-odd years apart from my learning lines and appearing in various amateur productions. Now we have Stagetext who caption what is being said or sung by the actors/performers and even effects are written in as well (eg crash, bang, wallop!) Stagetext was born in 2000 and now gives deaf people 100% access to the theatre where they are actively involved. But only a few productions are captioned and it is still an exercise in military planning to know which performance, where and at what time to go to in order to see/read these rare but treasured captioned shows.
Michael Theobald, London

My family rented out 'Valiant' last night on DVD, and I noticed that the trailers at the start could not be skipped! This also seems to be standard in Disney titles on DVD, and I find it very frustrating not being able to control what I am watching on this medium.
Steve, UK

How can the download industry justify charging the same price for albums as buying the CD? The quality and lack of artwork and box plus all the associated packaging costs should bring the price down for MP3 quite considerably. I do not buy any downloads because of this blatant rip-off.
David Harpin, St Albans, UK

Today I read about the Grokster P2P service being forced to declare itself illegal. What the entertainment industry fails to realise is that people use P2P to download copyrighted material because there is no "legal" way of doing so. The success of iTunes proves that once such a "legal" way is provided, take-up will be massive. The TV and movie industries need to bring out their own versions of such systems in order to cut piracy.
Jack, UK

A big bugbear of mine are the extra 'fees' for buying tickets for gigs or theatre. There is an extortionate 'booking fee' (especially when you buy online, and do all the work), postage fees etc. One time I bought a ticket of 8 face value, yet my credit card was charged approx 14.
Dave M, Bedington, Surrey, UK

Television advertising is not being viewed since the introduction of TiVo and Sky+, website advertising isn't being viewed, simply over-looked (we are more interested in the articles, not the flashy banners) and Radio advertising just don't exert themselves as much as they could!

The advertising and product placement industry is changing for the better, and with dynamic directions such as Product Placement in Songs or even advertising within computer-games markets, we are able to adapt and work on having subliminal advertising. This is something the world has always been appalled at, but I personally don't think that this is anything to worry about.
Mark Hendrikx, London & Berlin

Microsoft allow licence buyers to install there office software on both one Desktop PC and One Laptop, this is on the understanding that if the user is using the laptop they won't be using the Desktop and vice versa. Perhaps the music industry should be looking at this also.
Martin Sherrit, Aberdeen, Scotland

My main gripe is fair use of music that I have legally bought. I'm more than happy to pay out for new CDs, but begrudge being told how I can use those CDs for personal listening. I think a policy of 'fair use' needs to be adopted from the perspective of being able to rip CDs that one has bought in order to play the music on another medium - such as an iPod. I'm hardly going to listen to the latest Eric Clapton album on CD and iPod at the same time!

There also needs to be more pressure placed on the music companies for supplying and selling CDs that do not conform to the Red Book audio standard - ie they contain some form of copyright protection. Therefore, they should not carry the Compact Disc Digital Audio logo and also should not be marketed as audio CDs, instead as CD-ROMs that carry audio tracks.
Neil Sherin, Portsmouth, UK

I am an unpublished novelist looking to the future of the publishing industry and staking my career on what I think is coming our way.

With the music industry reeling from the continuous onslaught from technology stripping away their business models, not much is said about the coming storm in the publishing world.

The only reason that publishing appears to be immune from the phenomenon (mass-migration to downloadable books) is that most people hate reading for extended periods on screen. While many will be tired of the old mantra that we will all be reading electronic books in the near future; this time it really is imminent.

Sony, with its ill-conceived Librie, demonstrates that the technology is here now. If a far-sighted company followed Apple's example (iPod) to produce a device for readers using paper-like screens and (like Apple) focused on selling the device instead of shoring up old business models, the resulting change in the publishing landscape would make that in the music industry seem glacial. Right out of the gate, there are thousands of classics available free from the Gutenberg Project - a great temptation to migrate to a well executed, paper-like device for all but the most bookish Luddites on the planet.

In February I started the world's first podcast-only novel and the first written straight to podcast. My plan is to use this medium to grow an audience while keeping control of my work. Although produced directly to audiobook, Tom Corven is a traditional novel and its ultimate destination is in print.

I finished the tale last Sunday and cast it to a small but respectable listener-base of approximately 2,500 people.
Paul Story, Glasgow, Scotland

I don't think British actors are paid the same amount as American "celebrities" and find this unfair. British actors are far more talented and versatile than most of their American counterparts.
Lori Randolph, USA

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