Here's the reply I got from my Senator, who at least seems to have a little bit better of an idea what the deal is:
Dear Mr. [NTC],
Thank you for sharing with me your opposition to S. 968, the Protect IP Act of 2011. I appreciate having the benefit of your views.
The widespread use of digital media is still a relatively new phenomenon, and the law has not caught up with all the capabilities available to anyone with a computer and Internet access. This has prompted a vigorous debate on how digital copyrights should be protected, particularly with respect to the ongoing conflict between the rights of artists and producers to protect their intellectual property versus the recognized right of consumers to make recordings for personal use.
While I believe that we must ensure the continuing integrity of our important copyright laws both domestically and abroad, I agree that enforcement must take place in a manner that protects the rights of all parties involved. I will closely follow consideration of S. 968 in the Senate Judiciary Committee with your concerns in mind.
Again, thank you for contacting me. Knowing your concerns is helpful to me.
Forever ago I went to see a Reel Big Fish concert with a few friends, and for one of their more popular songs (I suppose maybe their only popular song depending on your taste in music), they let people come up for each of the instruments (drums, guitar, etc.) and let them play as an impromptu band. I don't recall it going so well (as some of them may have exaggerated their ability to play their selected instruments), but it was still wildly amusing and a great example of how to get fans involved and make sure they know how much the band appreciates them.
The other interesting thing to note is that there appears to have been another fight at UFC 91 a few years ago that's still readily available on YouTube. It seems to not be quite as nasty as the one at 129, but you can see the ring for a couple of seconds. But still, these videos have obviously been on YouTube for years now, so why the sudden change of heart on the most recent?
Kind of reminds me of the Pelosi informing the nation that we really won't know what's in the health care bill until it's passed.
This isn't quite the same. Pelosi's full comment that so many people love to take out of context was "But we have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy."
That second half of the sentence is actually quite important. She wasn't saying (as the trade minister is stating) that you have to pass it so you can see what's in it because we're not going to tell you (the healthcare bill itself was available to read for several months, iirc) and no one really knows what's in it (the healthcare bill was picked apart by damn near everybody). In the case of that bill, the common person had been told it was full of language intended to fund abortions with tax money, kill your grandparents with "death panels" and make it legal for the FBI to strip search your pets. The implication with her statement was once it was passed, it would become apparent what was real and what was made up by scaremongers to keep you in line and feeding at the teat of shock media.
This, like ACTA, is another instance of "We're totally committed to making this transparent, but really, shut up, stop asking questions, and accept it because we say its good for you, and by good for you, we mean great for the people that bought us in the last election. HEY, LOOK OVER THERE!"
Order of operations seems to elude a lot of people. At one point in time my father had taught some statistics classes for engineers and had so many people get the order of operations stuff wrong he started including it as a refresher for the class.
I can't even being to guess what the issue behind this is (poor teaching methods, over reliance on parenthesis for denoting order, etc.). Really, I'm not sure which one is scarier: teachers in charge of teaching the concept to our kids, or engineers in charge of designing parts for things like cars and airplanes.
I'd seen a comment elsewhere on this and wondered also if, since the labels settled for $150 per infringement, this case could be used as precedent for future cases to set penalties for infringement at the $150 mark, as opposed to the outrageously high one noted in previous, still in process cases? Or would it not matter since this is a settlement (as opposed to a judgement) and it's really seen more as the artists' attorneys accepting the $150 and not the RIAA?
I think at this point the best way to be optimistic is look at it one of these ways:
1) Who you voted for won! Hooray!
2) Who you voted for didn't win, but the ones that did win make positive changes. Better than nothing.
3) Who you voted for didn't win, things get worse, and you get to say "I told you so!"
So see, everybody wins...or loses...I'm still not sure which...
I think a better poll question here would have been:
"Do you need a law to do your job as a parent because you're such a failure?"
BTW, am I the only one whose first thought regarding "ultraviolent" video games was one where the objective was to beat someone to death with a giant plaster art deco penis? Yeah, just me...sorry bout that...
I knew I'd seen something like this before, and it took a minute to find it: Mr. Payback, released in 1995.
Not a game, an actual theater-based movie where the audience was given an electronic pad and "voted" on the action the characters would take. According to the trivia blurb, the audience was even allowed to see the movie several times to pick different paths.
My question at this point is:
When you get to be a patent examiner, do they provide it for you or do those heartless government bastards make you buy your own?