While I'm sure it's not intended as such, this seems like pretty much the ideal test case for corporations who want to use "parodies" of popular music in their ads without paying royalties or getting permission. You've got the unsympathetic source material, the plucky upstart who's "fixed" that material to make it more palatable in the process of selling their product, and a product that looks like it really could make society better or at least educate a few kids.
I love what they did, but I agree that it would be pretty bad in the long run if they got their declaratory judgment. Given that Tom Waits once got a multi-million dollar judgment against Frito-Lay for a similar work of "parody" (the outcome of which, I suspect, people here would cheer for, not because of the merits of the case but because Frito-Lay is a less sympathetic company than Goldieblox), I would think that won't happen, but you never know.
That said, I would think the Beastie Boys wouldn't have as much of a complaint as whoever it was who wrote "Shout", upon which "Girls" has always transparently been a riff of the sort that would make Led Zeppelin blush.
And they didn't just throw it up there after getting the nastygram. It's been there since January. If you're going to make a tribute game, this is how to do it -- put the source out there so that if you do infringe, people can take your code and use it to make something non-infringing.
As for why they didn't contribute code to SMC or Supertux, I'm guessing the reason is that they wanted to make a HTML5 game. Those other two are both C/C++-based and can't be played on the web (unless someone got them running under NaCl and I just haven't found it yet).
I'm still able to play the game without a problem at fullscreenmario.com . For that matter, every mention I've found of the supposed shutdown eventually links back to that Washington Post article. I question whether this is even news.
When I was a kid, I didn't even like guns. Never played cowboys and indians, war games, any of that stuff that my brothers and their friends did. All I cared about was books and the arcade. But what I absolutely hated was going to school.
If this had happened in my town at the time, I would have been right there on my front lawn with a BB gun every morning in hopes that some creepy neighbor was calling the cops. It probably would have been a Spartacus moment. The next day the only kids in school would have been the girls.
Hey, RIAA, Google's already provided a mechanism for fixing their search results when you don't like what shows up at the top.
It's called AdWords. You want your stuff to show up above the results people are actually searching for? You can damn well pay, like everyone else does. You guys have enough money to bribe legislators, so you clearly have enough to pay Google to show your choice of ad whenever someone searches for the names of your imaginary properties, or even The Pirate Bay since legal precedent is piling up in favor of buying your competitors' trademarks as ad keywords.
That said, the second part of that statement is actually a tiny step forward, in that it's President Obama actually signalling -- for the first time -- that the program has been abused and that highly-publicized announcements of new rules that are completely toothless due to a lack of accountability or oversight are possible.
Billy Ray Cyrus is a board member of the PTC, because a guy married multiple times with children outside of wedlock is super in line with conservative family values.
Since "conservative family values" are essentially a charming blend of hypocrisy and 'unique' definitions of morality based on highly selective reading of an inconsistent, politically edited and often mistranslated book, Billy Ray Cyrus is indeed in line with "conservative family values".
Of course pretending to kill someone isn't actually the same as killing. Even fundamentalist Christian actors make violent action movies, even though acting requires you to actually feel that murderous rage well enough for viewers to believe it from your involuntary responses. Robertson knows this, too. He's gotten way more than his 15 minutes of fame, and is just trying to keep it going until he drops dead.
But a realistically violent game isn't exactly Pong or Space Invaders, either. I always ask my friends who enjoy the bloodier games -- you know, the kind where you see blood splattered on the wall when you make a head shot, and the corpses just lie there on the ground staring at you -- would you play a realistic, graphic rape game too? If not, why is pretending to kill someone more fun than pretending to rape him or her? It's just a game... isn't it?
The first time I was confronted with a situation in a real-looking first-person shooter where I had to take out an American soldier, I realized I don't have it in me to play those anymore, any more than I'd play a game where one of my objectives is to rape someone. And that was a very, very well-reviewed, big-selling game, not some indie morality play that does the festivals and then disappears.
Sure, there are always justifications in the story. Maybe the soldier is part of a vast alien conspiracy trying to blow up the planet. Maybe the target of the rape is possessed by Cthulhu or whatever and it needs to be literally screwed out of him or her (let's be realistic... mainstream game designers being who they are, it would be a her) or else the world is going to end. Either way, I don't have the stomach for it. If you do, good for you... I guess.
All the convenience of having to know in advance what you'll want to watch and download a big file at home, plus all the flexibility of needing to be connected to a network to watch it! Why on earth would someone ever download a torrent now?
Oh yeah, when they're planning to be up in the woods, or in an airplane, or want to watch something Netflix (or whatever) doesn't have, or when they don't feel like filling half of their phone's storage with useless-by-design data, or....
OK to lie on their own police reports too, then, and not get so much as a day of suspension when video evidence to the contrary shows up? Having to "put up" with "sh!t" is justification for making shit up?
If Texas should be executing anyone, it's cops who give false testimony. That's the very definition of "bad cop".
Two members of LE in my immediate family too, btw, one of them a state trooper.
As a gay man who got bashed pretty regularly at the 80% male engineering school I went to...
as a former activist and current contributor to equality and anti-bullying campaigns...
and as a guy who used to vote Democrat but switched to Green for the last election because I find Obama too conservative in too many ways...
This is reprehensible.
The only comfort I can take from it is that it's so prima facie unconstitutional that all the administration will end up with is a bunch of case law against them. But in the meantime, for the kids who'll inevitably lose their tuitions and a shot at a degree because they use the wrong colloquialism in the wrong time and place, this is a life-altering tragedy.
In the mid '90s, I remember being in a Target or something and running across a line of Ren and Stimpy collectible dolls from Nickelodeon. One of them... was a yak. No, let me correct that.... a Yak(R). They trademarked the word Yak. Not a character named Yak, just a non-descript longhaired goat-like thing. There was no Yak character in the show; Kricfalusi just thought it was a funny name for an animal, so worked them in periodically (e.g. Yaksmas, Royal Canadian Mounted Yaksmen, etc). I don't know if their legal department was overreaching or just had never heard of the animal called a yak. I imagine Jeff Minter must have been pretty pissed off if he ever found out they trademarked his other name.
This story about Dia de los Muertos made me look up the word Yak on TESS, and it seems Nickelodeon was neither the first nor last to do this. Some of them are still live, covering everything from shoes to children's software to dating sites. (Nickelodeon's appears to be dead, with only the much later "Yakkity Yak" trademark from an unrelated cartoon still alive.)
What does a yak have in common with the day of the dead? Well, neither one of them is common to America. Does that give companies a free pass to trademark them?
FTP actually appeared about two decades before Tim Berners-Lee wrote the first HTML page. I was using it myself about 6 years before the Web was invented. I even downloaded music with it, in huge but tinny-sounding .au files (a Sun workstation format) starting around 1990. Believe it or not, people were leaking advance copies of albums that way; one concrete example I remember was "Roll the Bones" by Rush. Took all night to download from some Italian server at 9600 baud. Hey, it sold a record for them when it finally came out.
FTP was also not patented, of course. I think it influenced the design of HTTP by providing TBL with an example of what not to do.
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