In this case, Judge Alsop is using the legal phrase to indicate any information that has been exposed to a wide, arbitrary or uninvolved set of parties. This phrase, along with "open source" had definitions long before their use in software. It's not about ownership, it's about whether a secret has been breached.
Trade secret law would be more similar than copyright.
In terms of copyright, the phrase is about ownership, not about secrecy or breach. All of society "owns" things in the public domain (viz CC-0 where there is no legal concept of public domain ownership). (Even if you don't agree that information can be owned, the law has not caught up with this practical truth.) The legal concerns are pretty different, or should be. It should be a civil matter.
Sure, some people will sign anything, even without understanding it. Let's look farther.
A lot of people will sign petitions to allow a vote on any important issue, even those they disagree with. Until a ballot actually writes out something, it's all just a thought experiment. Their premise is that debate about actual concrete proposals beats out debate about hypotheticals.
Some of these people have learned their lesson, when the issue they wanted to debate hotly against actually got onto the ballot and passed because the rest of the populace didn't understand the hot debate.
But this "well, let's vote on it" mentality is not entirely a bad thing.
Now that a few dozen smaller bombshell releases have been made in the press, it's time to start collecting them in an easy-to-digest format. People are going to get bombshell-fatigued; I'm sure I'm forgetting some of the revelations already. Infographics, bullet lists, executive summaries. Group related findings together; explain the implications of each. Make up a checklist of all the forms of communication, or a matrix if you want to break out everyone, residents, citizens, and other populations under surveillance.
"The larger sense I get from the criticism directed at Mr. Assange and Mr. Greenwald is one of distaste — that they aren’t what we think of as real journalists. Instead, they represent an emerging Fifth Estate composed of leakers, activists and bloggers who threaten those of us in traditional media. They are, as one says, not like us."
My reply to this:
If every individual is a member of the militia, for Second Amendment purposes, then also recognize that every individual is a member of the free press, for First Amendment purposes.
Oh come on. Talk about making a controversy over nothing.
> it could just be that the "trademark" refers to things like the specific logo used (though, then they shouldn't have needed to put that ™ after the word), and the copyright could refer to the specific content
That's all it is. The boilerplate phrasing doesn't say "The content of the comic called HACKTIVIST has copyright protections for its creator, and the creator will be using the term HACTIVIST for all the marketing related to this particular comic." So what?
It also doesn't say "The entire concept implied by the coined portmanteau 'hacktivist', a combination of 'hacker' and 'activist', has been subjugated by a single individual who will deny any and all use of the term in every context in perpetuity."
Just throwing this out there, but some people will say "but, but, SSL/HTTPS!"
Google the phrase "compelled certificate creation attack". If the root CAs have been compelled to allow a proxy box to be in the middle of the certs process, then they hold the real cert while the two parties have the "legally" forged/compelled certs. When crypto keys get exchanged, they see all the traffic, so the rest is open-book.
This is only true while those states perceive themselves as a "foregone conclusion." As demographics or opinions shift, the red states may swing more blue and become swing states, and the blue states may swing more red (or even green/independent/martian). Until then, marketing is less effective if it's preaching to the choir, or pissing into the wind.
Another angle is for governments to start evoking eminent domain or imposing public domain on intangible property. I'm specifically referring to life-changing or life-saving drugs and devices. Generic AIDS drugs in Africa. Generic poke-a-word communication tablet interfaces.
First, the US Constitution says "to promote the progress of the useful arts and sciences," not "to guarantee profits to creators." Second, the tools of copyright, patent, trademark and trade secret law are not the only tools that can apply to this sort of situation.
"The beginning of copyright law" is long before 1970 or the Copyright Act or the First Amendment.
Ben Franklin was a bookseller and author, and yet also opened the nation's first subscription library, hired the first librarian, and talked at length about how these things had to be balanced.
Balance is the whole point of the Constitution's phraseology.
I just finished reading Don Quixote, published in two parts in 1605 and 1615. The fictional characters start volume two by becoming aware that someone wrote of their exploits in a fictional volume one (ostensibly the same as the real volume one). And part of the plot of the second volume is that the characters have to contend with a rogue who rushed to market with a volume two. Don Quixote visits the bookmaker, notes the production of the "apocryphal" volume two, and has a peaceful inner dialogue on the topic of the copyrights and the balance between the bookmaker's livelihood and the facts. (This from a character who will work himself to a froth if you suggest the merest hint of un-chivalrous notion.) In the year 1615!
Older discussions of how copyright conflicts with expression surely exist, but law around copyright started to form more rigorously a hundred years later, so I didn't want to dig too hard.
The points made in the infographic may be powerful, but the presentation completely ruins the impact.
I've seen many of these so-called "info-graphics" that are nothing more than unattractive typestyle masturbation exercises. "Ooh, a grungy filter, that'll make it look great!" It's pixel barf, sliding down a long wall.
If the data is more clearly demonstrated visually, use a graphic, and make it clear. If the data is just a series of bullet points or better expressed in prose, don't feel compelled to make a two-meter-tall PowerPoint slide out of it.
I generally agree with the sentiment, but I want to clarify something.
"The only constitutional issue is that Congress has the right -- but not the requirement, to create copyright and patent law if (and only if) it promotes the progress (of science and the useful arts)."
No. Congress has no rights. Congress has powers. The Constitution itself does not spell out the rights of people, it spells out the limited powers and responsibilities of the government.
No, pure grants for profit-making projects are still just fine with me, as long as the project says that this is the goal.
I've granted money to small artists who needed the cash to press their first CD run. I didn't invest in that artist, I just supported their dream to make and sell a CD. They did the music, they get the money from the CD sales, I got a named credit in their CD liner notes in tiny 6 point text.
Of course, if you're of the opinion that people only give money to get money or goods of equal value, then Kickstarter's really not for you.
The Cloisters Museum in NYC bans flashes at all times (UV is killer), and bans tripods on weekends due to crowds and extra hazards. You can go to the desk and get a tripod pass most of the other times. I've done some pro-level panoramic photography in there without a peep from the guards. A housewife with a point 'n shoot would get reprimanded if a flash goes off, though.
I tend to agree with the premises of the infographic, but I hate to say I was not impressed with the image at the bottom of #3. If you don't have concrete patent numbers to make the point, don't show patent numbers. It was like watching a really interesting drama on TV, but spotting a boom microphone hovering over the actors' heads: hard to maintain the assumption of accuracy in all the other numbers from that point on.