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  • Feb 19th, 2014 @ 4:17pm

    This is just the Big Lie.

    The whole thing is based on the false belief -- which Rapold seems to accept without question -- that without copyright, there is no incentive for anyone to "restore" or keep a pristine copy of a work.


    If you repeat a lie often enough, people will start to believe it.

    What they are doing in implying that "the public domain" is destroying works is that they are deflecting attention away from the fact that so many films ARE rotting away in their vaults, unavailable and unused, and that they have absolutely no intention of ever restoring them. "Don't look at that man behind the curtain!"

    Too bad that copyright doesn't have a clause like trademark, where the manufacturer is forced to offer the work for sale or lose the trademark. In the real world, this usually means that the manufacturer makes one production run of the product a year and sells the tiny amount in some third world country. But in the digital age, that could be modified to make it be offered to ALL who wish to buy it at a price in line with the prices of their other offerings.

  • Feb 18th, 2014 @ 12:34pm

    About that lawsuit against Utah...

    First off, Vigilant (along with Digital Recognition Network) is suing the state of Utah for, believe it or not, violating its First Amendment rights.


    Reading plates is more like listening, not like speech. Speech would be writing graffiti over the plates so they can't be read by red-light cameras.

    I guess when your mind is made up, facts and logic are optional.

  • Feb 18th, 2014 @ 8:58am

    the three of you

    Make that four.

    And proud of it.

    I don't do Facebook, either. If not having Facebook reportedly puts you on the FBI's dangerously antisocial list, I wonder if not knowing Flappy Bird does the same?

  • Feb 17th, 2014 @ 9:29am

    I support this

    As long as it's reciprocal.

    If the three strikes applies to the **AAs, too, then I'm all for it! Just think, if they make three mistakes in DMCA takedowns (which should take about 3.5 minutes), then they are kicked off the Internet forever!

    Then you might as well just break them up, release all their content to the public domain, sell the remainder and put all the execs in prison for life. I have skipped the extreme reactions to their third strike, because I don't want to descend to their level.

    Yah, I'm dreaming. Sue me.

  • Feb 13th, 2014 @ 2:13pm

    On access controls

    "The position would be different, however, in a situation where the hyperlink permits users of the site on which that link appears to circumvent restrictions put in place by the site on which the protected work appears in order to restrict public access to that work to the latter site's subscribers only, since in that situation, the users would not have been taken into account as potential public by the copyright holders when they authorised the initial communication."


    If a hyperlink contains something that lets the user bypass security - say a password - then there is no security on that site since they are passing access restrictions in cleartext. The judge did pretty good after all, but he doesn't understand Internet technology well enough - most people don't, even those who work in the field - to see this possibility.

    A cleartext access control traveling across the Internet is not an access control at all, as it is being broadcast. Therefore the URL is a public URL, and no action should be taken legally.

  • Feb 10th, 2014 @ 1:31pm

    Re: Reap what you sow

    Darn!

    I was hoping that Google would hold them to the court order and say that they could not remove the link without the court's permission.

    And yes, I am passive-aggressive. :-)

  • Feb 6th, 2014 @ 11:47am

    The fallout from DRM

    I've been thinking about this aspect for a while now. Nobody had provided me with the opportunity to comment on it yet.

    One of the rights given to me is the right to make a backup. With DRM, I no longer have that right. It forces me to buy another widget instead.

    It also keeps me from using the widget as I please. This came out recently as I was trying to move music and movies to a media device so I didn't have to risk scratching a disk. It avoids all the wait time while a DVD is loading. It lets me randomize the order that I play things in.

    But with DRM, I have to ask permission to do anything, and the answer is always "No!"

  • Jan 31st, 2014 @ 7:19pm

    Maybe not such a bad idea in this case

    IBM lawyers aren't called the Nazgul for nothing.

    OTOH, I am really disappointed in IBM for doing this, as well as for having a VP of "Intellectual Property", a term which tried to conglomerate three areas of law that are only remotely related and which are administered by two different agencies: copyright, patent and trademark. None of them are property. Copyright and patent are government granted temporary monopolies. Or they are SUPPOSED to be temporary.

    IBM is slipping back in to their shark mode - though they never got completely out of it. When they helped bring the PC revolution into the mainstream (they did NOT start it), they were very helpful to people's freedom. Now, they are back to the bottom line and steamrolling competitors. Not a pretty picture.

  • Jan 29th, 2014 @ 7:06pm

    Re:

    You have to understand how they think.

    Before this, they were doing it all by their lonesome, behind a curtain so we couldn't see them violating our constitutional rights.

    Well, now that they are getting called on this, they have to think of a way to keep doing what they are doing without looking like they are doing it. And they really, REALLY like that curtain, so they are going to drag it along with them, even though it doesn't make sense.

    So, the new idea is to get it away from the NSA. And they will contract it. Planning stopped about three milliseconds before the plan reached this stage, so now we have a worse situation than we did before. Now we are having our constitutional rights violated at the same time as we lose more of our privacy, and at roughly the same cost, but with far more data breaches.

    Who said you couldn't do more with less?

  • Jan 29th, 2014 @ 7:01pm

    Oh, great!

    This will be let to the lowest bidder you know. Kiss your [remaining] privacy goodbye...

  • Jan 29th, 2014 @ 12:18pm

    Disney specializes in fantasy

    So here's mine:

    Copyright is set back to 28 years.

    Federal marshals invade all the movie companies, confiscate all of the old films and scripts for the public good, and fund the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian to restore as many of those old films and scripts as are technically possible.

    There are too many public domain works rotting away in the movie companies' vaults that aren't even available if you wanted to buy them. Even recent ones from stars who made the mistake of taking the movie companies to court to demand an accounting of royalties. [any James Garner fans out there?]

  • Jan 29th, 2014 @ 8:03am

    In other news

    iWireless, the regional carrier in Iowa, switched last year to no contract. You can get a phone whenever you want, and pay for it outright or pay for it over two years. It can be paid off at any time. Insurance is still available. I get to decide which phone to get and when to get it. You can bring your own phone in, but then you have to make sure it works with their network, whatever that means.

    iWireless uses T-Mobile for roaming. The momentum is building, but very, very slowly.

    And iWireless is a GSM carrier. SIM cards are awesome. YMMV.

  • Jan 28th, 2014 @ 10:20am

    Looks like fraud to me, nothing else

    So where is the attorney general?

    And since when do you expect people committing fraud to start telling the truth about it?

  • Jan 25th, 2014 @ 3:24pm

    Microsoft Research's Open Access

    I predict that they will come out with a NEW Open Access license - that won't be Open Access. Sort of like Shared Source. Not pessimistic, I just cheated and looked at their history.

    I'm still not sure why one of the major sports in the US is hoping that Microsoft will start making nice with others. It always ends in disappointment.

  • Jan 24th, 2014 @ 9:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The net neutrality issue never mentioned is...

    What you said is more administratively accurate than technically accurate. Asymmetric allocation is not particularly hard software to write. It has been done in many fields before this. You could swap blocks of channels in order to reduce the overhead. 20 years ago CPU horsepower was a problem that made this difficult, but that doesn't prevent it being done now. In fact, dynamic asymmetric allocation could be the default so that you don't have to worry about what the balance is between upload and download. But that would work against the ISPs benefit.

    You say that asymmetric allocation hardware is special purpose. This means that ISPs go out of their way to make home Internet users second class citizens.

    Again, you are speaking from your particular experience, not from first principles. It doesn't have to be that way.

  • Jan 24th, 2014 @ 10:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The net neutrality issue never mentioned is...

    Remember Ungerman-Bass and their broadband network? Not broadband cable. Everything went up to the head-end and was retransmitted to the nodes. Have you ever had to track down a station with a loose cable on one of those, or on a coax network?

    Anyway, I am talking about transmission in the wire, you are talking about traffic in the router. That is a design decision, and it isn't the only design decision. It is not necessary to restrict upload and download traffic. Same thing applies to routers filtering out certain types of traffic. It's a decision that someone made, not a limitation of the physics. You could route Appletalk through a router, it would just be a very bad idea because it is so chatty.

    Also, their is no ISP router in my home. It is located a little over a quarter mile down the road in the box that retransmits the fibre signals. I have fiber to the home here. And the gateway for my static IP is in the CO about 7 miles away.

    In the end, you are talking about the network as you are used to seeing - as the ISPs see it. And that is my point - it doesn't have to be that way. Do you think that a corporate network (LAN or WAN) has any limitations on speed based on direction? I haven't seen one, and I have worked in a lot of companies, from small verging on medium to Fortune #27, as well as a few telecoms.

    Times are changing. Let's not let the ISPs continue to trap us in a restricted Internet when it isn't necessary.

  • Jan 24th, 2014 @ 10:19am

    Justin Bieber appeared in court?

    Can't he get a job singing anyplace else?

  • Jan 23rd, 2014 @ 10:56pm

    Re: Re: The net neutrality issue never mentioned is...

    So you believe what they are telling you. So tell me, how does the wire/cable/fibre tell which direction the packet is going, and whether the packet was pushed by one end or requested by the other? Broadcast means that the packet goes all directions until a router tells it what its next path is. Then it repeats. So which direction is the packet going? All of them. Capacity on a cable has no meaning except as an aggregate. You can shape it on a router, but that doesn't change the physics of the cable. It just lets marketing lie to you.

    No, this is just one more way that the ISPs have segregated us into second-class Internet citizens. Dynamic IPs, download caps, differentials between download and upload, limitations on running servers... I believe that the upload/download differential has more to do with discouraging servers than anything else. I have had helpdesk staff tell me as much.

    And anyway, the Internet is a network composed of peers, as originally designed, and there was no reason to change that from the end-user perspective. If I want to access my computer remotely, run my own email server, file server, social network server, Web page or mailing list manager, then I shouldn't have to say "Mother, may I?" before doing so.

  • Jan 23rd, 2014 @ 7:45pm

    The net neutrality issue never mentioned is...

    The net neutrality issue that has concerned me - since dynamic IP addresses came out - is that you have a larger speed downloading than you do uploading. Because the ISPs have determined that that is what we want.. without asking us. They have relegated us to being consumers, instead of being a peer node. Bits is bits, it doesn't matter which way they are going.

    Granted, much of the Internet wouldn't know what to do as a peer node, but just try to get access to the Internet as a peer node without paying business rates. And one household isn't going to skew the traffic patterns of the fibers, especially given that most of the household is gone during "normal" business hours. Averaging out traffic loads has been a network load balancing strategy since 9600 bit control networks - for that matter, the same strategy was used for incoming modem pools.

    If I'm going to buy access to the Internet, then I want to be PART of the Internet, not just a voyeur looking in at what the big kids can do.

  • Jan 21st, 2014 @ 6:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Garbage in, garbage out

    In relation to your position, I am being relatively blind to the degrees. And that is the moral question: which is more important - establishing the standard, or keeping the fringes open?

    I have heard enough rap lyrics to write off the entire genre. I have seen other lyrics quoted in newspapers. I see the kind of lyrics mentioned in the article that were used as evidence. That's enough points outside of hearsay for me to establish a starting point.

    By themselves, the lyrics should not establish guilt or innocence. But as context, I think they are very important.

    But perhaps instead of focusing on the parts of my comments that you don't like, we could establish what our common ground is, if any. I'm not trying to change your mind. But I do have personal experience from growing up in a violent area about just what makes the dogs smell blood. And that remains, fo me, much more important than whether some "artiste" can throw around some terms that he wants to redefine. "I don't think that word means what you think it does."

    When Mauricio Lasansky made his prints on Nazi atrocities (now on permanent exhibit at the University of Iowa), he didn't do it because he liked violence. He did it to expose the cruelty and inhumanity that arises from prejudice. It is quite easy to distinguish that from gangsta rap. The hard part is in those gray areas. But distinguishing the gray areas does not negate the responsibility to address the main principle.

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