Ben’s Techdirt Profile

bcon

About Ben

www.benconrad.net



Ben’s Comments comment rss

  • Feb 14th, 2014 @ 8:26am

    (untitled comment)

    This problem ends if Apple says screw it and buys a major broadcaster, just sayin'.

  • Apr 8th, 2013 @ 7:44pm

    Re:

    I agree; context:

    "Because of the way the patents are written, MPHJ actually can’t go after scanner manufacturers. Only the whole “system”—putting the scanner together with a network—infringes."

    I'm pretty sure this is wrong; you cannot violate a patent if you (or a company for its internal use) assemble the invention. Patents are a market restriction; Apple sought to ban Samsung phones from sale - Samsung could make as many 'copies' as it likes provided it does not offer them on the market. Given this read, a copy shop which copied the 'invention' of "scanner"+"internet" would be liable when offering their scan&email product to the public, but the common, internal use of multifunction printers does not infringe.

  • Feb 21st, 2013 @ 1:34pm

    Wrong emphasis

    Rather than petitioning the WH to 'allow' us to unlock phones, I'd much rather petition for competency in the Librarian of Congress. As it is, this exemptions process is founded on a woefully poor understanding of technology (development and use) so I'd much rather challenge the LoC/WH to explain why this process is legitimate.

  • Jan 23rd, 2013 @ 1:15pm

    Prior knowledge?

    " If the technology allows it, why not probe the system and see what comes out? It's the natural curiosity of a young and insightful mind, looking to see what information is there. When it's made available, how do you not then seek to access it?"
    Moreover, these prosecutors often act as if there are clear lines for what is appropriate behavior, when in reality the only boundaries are those made in trial. Especially given the opacity of most ToS, it should not surprise anyone that it is actually easier to just try something than to understand the ToS. If these prosecutions are good for anything, it is to highlight the stark differences between a world with natural, (generally) inviolable rules -- technology founded on standards and science -- and law, a manmade system interprable by and benefiting (substantially) only those with a career in it. Laws are certainly necessary but they must not artificially or, usually, unintentionally restrict possible uses of technology. Hello CFAA reform.

  • Mar 29th, 2012 @ 8:04pm

    Pinocchio?

    Just me or does that 'portrait' look like his nose has been cut off? It should be a bit longer...

  • Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 1:58pm

    Pre-Crime

    I'm pretty sure the Super Bowl hasn't happened yet, so unless the seizures are in response to the sites' streaming of last year's, then they haven't (and could not have) streamed the Super Bowl. Time-space continuum issues aside, what proof of imminent crime is needed to seize a business? I doubt that these sites advertised their impending streaming, but rather that a user can reasonably assume it will be streamed.

    Also, since this is obviously motivated by the content industry, will the seizure page link to the official free-stream? Yeah, probably not.

  • Dec 21st, 2011 @ 11:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Ninja Uploaders

    For any random piece of content, the viewer does not absolutely know whether its existence online is authorized by the rightsholder or not. I agree that the status of most free online streams/tv/movies/music as not authorized is apparent to the majority of viewers, but the viewer does not have actual knowledge, only the suspicion. The difference is that someone who buys a cd/dvd agrees, by that action, to not upload it. Such an agreement does not transfer online.

    Let me reduce the distinction: if some site says, "Let's collect and host every .mp3 file we can find, and freely offer these to any visitor." If the site responds to DMCA notices, this site should be perfectly legal, regardless of the site's reasonable suspicion that some of the mp3 files contain copyrighted music. Ninja certainly chose a more editorial role than this, but I think their case reduces to my example.

  • Dec 21st, 2011 @ 10:55am

    Re: Re: Ninja Uploaders

    I don't think the uploaders' association to Ninja is meaningful; does the DMCA prohibit employees from uploading to their company's site?

    As long as the links/content are not the subject of previous takedown notices (ie that Ninja has no knowledge that that particular content is infringing), the uploaders should not be constrained. It is not the duty of Ninja uploaders (or employees of YouTube) to determine what is infringing or not; as techdirt has covered repeatedly and which was recently recognized by the court in Veoh v. UMG, only the rightsholder has the specific information required to determine if any particular content is infringing.

    In sum, I think only the first uploader - the person responsible for converting from physical media/tv to internet - can be (should be) held responsible for copyright infringement.
    There is a meaningful distinction if the uploaders recorded tv episodes and uploaded them, but not if they merely repost. In this respect, the uploaders are more similar to a search engine - finding content and making it accessible to the interested user - than first uploaders.

  • Dec 21st, 2011 @ 10:53am

    Re: Ninja Uploaders

    I don't think the uploaders' association to Ninja is meaningful; does the DMCA prohibit employees from uploading to their company's site?

    As long as the links/content are not the subject of previous takedown notices (ie that Ninja has no knowledge that that particular content is infringing), the uploaders should not be constrained. It is not the duty of Ninja uploaders (or employees of YouTube) to determine what is infringing or not; as techdirt has covered repeatedly and which was recently recognized by the court in Veoh v. UMG, only the rightsholder has the specific information required to determine if any particular content is infringing.

    In sum, I think only the first uploader - the person responsible for converting from physical media/tv to internet - can be (should be) held responsible for copyright infringement.
    There is a meaningful distinction if the uploaders recorded tv episodes and uploaded them, but not if they merely repost. In this respect, the uploaders are more similar to a search engine - finding content and making it accessible to the interested user - than first uploaders.

  • Dec 7th, 2011 @ 12:06pm

    Thorny

    Does it belong to the entity that created it, as in copyrights on artistic expression, or the owner of the device that captured it, as in the case of cameras and photography?

    Two good perspectives for some court to decide in 10 years.

  • Apr 29th, 2011 @ 11:48am

    (untitled comment)

    I must've forgotten to purchase my music enjoyment license; maybe I can swap it for my rational thinking license.

  • Mar 10th, 2011 @ 6:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just trying to help.

    For want of a horizontal scrollbar in threaded view...

  • Feb 12th, 2011 @ 6:56pm

    Re: Life is difficult

    In other news, "MPEG LA starts the search for VP8 patents"...

    'cause On2 obviously had to use some patent while making the codec. Seriously, if your patent(s) was actually fundamental this would have come out during Google's acquisition.

  • Nov 4th, 2010 @ 9:37pm

    So how much do you charge for an infinite good?

    Wherever did our higher learning go?

  • Nov 1st, 2010 @ 6:05pm

    Re:

    Agreed, the patents are valued at ~250,000 = 5 cube sat missions into LEO...

  • Nov 1st, 2010 @ 6:00pm

    Re: Points of view

    I understand the view that patenting will get innovations out of the lab the fastest, but I question why they are being offered only under exclusive licenses at an appreciable cost. I'm sure that the Goddard tech transfer office has reasons to choose this scheme, but I think those justifications should be made public-both to ensure the best licensing strategy is pursued and to allow evaluation of that decision 5 years down the road...

  • Oct 14th, 2010 @ 12:45am

    Re: Re: �Cannot Replace Human Interaction�

    Yep.

    If I guess at your intent, you're fearful that the church is a brainwashing agent, filling people's heads with false or limiting views on the world that prevent them from being rational, responsible citizens. We can certainly cherry-pick examples of this from the histories of most major religions, especially when viewed in a contemporary lens. But why jump all over examples to the contrary, the pope's address being the most recent? You and he are saying the exact same thing: people should take care to not get caught up in the constructs of man to the point that the occupation prevents them from engaging in society.

  • Oct 13th, 2010 @ 8:52pm

    Insight Community

    Seems like Pope + _____ is the formula to devolve our otherwise insightful community.

    Yes, we all love technology, but we must remember how it benefits our lives; technology is a means to an end, not an end in and of itself. It cannot replace human interaction, regardless if its conducted over Second Life or coffee at Strabucks. Our current level of technology makes it difficult for tech-mediated communication to equal the real-world experience, but Skype is better than a phone call and cheaper than driving to visit.

    As I understand the church's position, it is not against technologies like the iPad & facetime, but it is against Apple calling them 'Magical,' because this implies we can't and shouldn't understand how they work.

  • Oct 6th, 2010 @ 9:05am

    (untitled comment)

    McCandless is identifiable in the photo in that he is the only astronaut to have free floated, untethered to any spacecraft, but it's a stretch to assume this is common knowledge...

  • Sep 30th, 2010 @ 7:51am

    Re: Who cares?

    The largest benefit of this research is in refining our understanding of how solar systems form. This has very real applications in helping us to understand our solar system and extends to topics like the distribution of resources throughout the inner planets and asteroids. You're right that earth has problems, but if any of us want to continue to enjoy our standard of living (or anything enjoyed after ~1900s), we cannot restrict ourselves to the earthen resources.
    No one (of repute) is talking about traveling to 581g to meet our fellow life forms. Space travel beyond our solar system is infeasible according to current physics, it's out of the question. Looking at other planets may allow us to answer some of the most fundamental questions on our existence; in this case how did life arise and how common is it.

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