Well, given the proximity, I'm not that surprised after the whole iiNet circus. If the content providers followed suit with the ISPs in the general region, this is the logical end point where people start developing a sense of humor and a thicker skin. Now, if only courts/lawyers on this side of the planet gave out similar advice... bah, I'm sure the result of that would be a decade of fearful lawyers and a bunch of very angry and clueless lawsuit-happy people not being drained of money fast enough.
Even though there is a silly fee attached to it, at least the value of access to research has been recognized, even if just indirectly. Access like this would have likely prevented issues like the debacle over vaccination with Nature. With more people reading the articles and critically analyzing them, the peer review process will benefit from the implicit check by the public.
If I recall correctly, from what we've seen of copytroll lawsuits so far, even judges pissed off with those "claiming" infringement have refused to follow through and find the obvious bad faith of such take downs actionable. It's one of the major weaknesses of the DMCA.
As a member of the scientific and engineering communities, I have to disagree. While allowing such information to be public upon publication may not always aid the layman, it does aid in circulating the information around the scientific community (arXiv is a great example of this at work). We scientists do not get a free pass to such information with a smile or a professional promise; we pay for access (typical rates are ~$30 for 24hrs access or one-time access to a bulk number of articles at a similar cost) or are granted access via the questionable channel of sharing between colleagues at the crumbling largess of the publishers. The widespread circulation allowed by removing the monetary cost of access reinforces the peer-review process by opening the forum to a wider audience for analysis. While many scientists still publish their work on their private websites or share the PDF's at request, this practice is actively discouraged by many journals and limits the audience to those who know of the scientist making the article available.
Getting an article accepted and published often takes a year or longer. That is also the time it usually takes to at least design if not begin followup work, by which time critical feedback does not always have the opportunity to seriously affect the followup work's design without extra costs.
I'm sorry, but that is still too long. As far as I'm concerned, the time taken to produce and publish the research is time enough. Just look what windowing has done to the entertainment industry (HUGE STRAW MAN, but I think a valid consideration in contemporary context).
The rounded corners, oh GOD, THE ROUNDED CORNERS!!! Whole markets are rising and falling on unique combinations osculating radii!!! How DARE they use this CRITICAL feature without permission??? Do they know how many hours of sanding it took to shave each phone down to specs by hand???
Oh, they aren't unique? There's other stuff involved in making a phone? The curves aren't shaped into being by the mental prowess of the Geniuses? Well, that just ruins all the fun.
Donating to FSF is a bit of a gamble; the same way:
buying Windows 8 will be a gamble,
or driving to work in the morning,
or breathing air inside a bathroom,
or making a call on AT&T's network,
or sipping a coffee from McDonalds,
This sounds more like a software engineer who took the insults personally and decided to toy with the minds of those who'd dare to poke fun than the move of an executive.
"Oops, looks like I accidentally hit 'deactivate account', I'll just go get another mug of coffee before I fix that... There, all better; ah, darn, looks like I did it again. That undo button looks nigh impossible to click again with out a sandwich..."
Right, but I think the point everyone has been making is that the content that may or may not be decaying or maturing in quality is quickly shifting its upward trending production volume to more convenient platforms (for the consumers AND producers), and that the content that is left over on the aging infrastructure is simply not keeping pace in quality with the newer stuff due to the significantly lower quantity. That discrepancy alone should make one pine for "the good old days," until the realization of how suffocating they really were sets in.
Thirdly, that number would suggest that the videos were watch end to end, slowly and carefully.
... going for an absolute 100% level of accuracy ...
Two assumptions I thought I was pretty clear on when I wrote the derivation out.
... the number is bullshit ...
True of the specific number, but the magnitude is probably pretty close to reality. Bear in mind that I left out jurisdictions and the contents of the comments on the videos. You can tack on three more zeros for jurisdictions alone.
... seems like an attempt to ass cover for the impending storm ...
It was just a thought experiment. I have no more stake in this than any other ordinary netizen. I went through the motions since I had a spare five minutes and it turned out to be a humorously large number. The thing to take away from it is the issue of scalability. Regardless of the cost issue, there simply are not enough people deemed qualified by the current legal framework for a final say on the matter of whether or not a work infringes on a copyright to properly assess the general content of the internet, let alone just YouTube. It is simply not feasible to make that determination with legal certainty prior to making that content available.