Rick Smith’s Techdirt Profile

ricksjr

About Rick Smith




Rick Smith’s Comments comment rss

  • Sep 16th, 2013 @ 12:39pm

    Maybe I understand less of the world than I though...

    Astoundingly, the filing suggests that the public domain clock only begins at the point where the "creation of the characters was complete."
    The Estate also rejects the (fairly compelling) argument that a character is created in the initial work, and future works fleshing out that character are simply derivative works off of the initial copyright.

    How can the characters be both incomplete and not a derivative from the first story.

    If they are incomplete then by all reasonable logic they have to be derived from the initial story.

    So if they are incomplete, then they are a derivative and there was existing case law pointed out to handle this.

    If they are not derivatives, then every story should be considered independent which means the older works are clearly no longer covered under copyright.

    I'm not a lawyer but seems to be if they want to use this argument they better pick which way they want to lose.

  • Jun 18th, 2013 @ 10:17am

    Someone needs to investigate...

    Given my suspicious nature (which is in overdrive at the moment) I would really make sure that there is not a prior relationship between Malibu Media and this "selected" defendant just to make sure that nothing hinky was going on. The outcome of this was just a little too good for the copyright troll, my experience is that luck like that just doesn't happen naturally, it usually has help.

  • Jun 13th, 2013 @ 1:38pm

    Missed opportunity

    Am I the only one that see this ruling negatively? I wish they would have been granted the patent.

    Then someone with breast cancer could have sued to have Myriad clean-up after its patented material. I mean their patented gene would be damaging that individual's personal property, namely the body. Since you can't remove the gene (at least to my knowledge) therefore any damage it caused should be cleaned up by the patent holder; again and again if it keeps coming back. Only seem fair to me.

    After that I bet that companies will think twice about trying to patent nature.

  • Jun 11th, 2013 @ 12:42pm

    Re: Mixed Messages

    Maybe the cyberwar stuff was really about trying to keep people from learning about the NSA's activity. A group like Anonymous would eventually find evidence of this (assuming that they hadn't already).

  • Jun 11th, 2013 @ 12:24pm

    Re:

    So you can guarantee that the data does not make its way to the cloud via any server located within the US? Because that is the only chance (and notice I said chance) that your data is not recorded. And even then, who can really say that the US Intelligence community hasn't been able to convince foreign companies to allow this, or used some of that 'cyber-warfare' that the US politicians keep harping on to infiltrate servers in other countries.

    I'm sorry to say, the only way to be sure not to have your data copied at this point is to abstain from Internet usage.

  • Jun 11th, 2013 @ 12:09pm

    Re:

    I think you have it wrong, it should read "it teaches its citizens that America cant be trusted with anything", I'm pretty sure the world has known this fact for a long time, its just that the media has done a good job of keeping us in the dark and distracting us. When the truth has slipped through they have then done a really good job of making it look like someone was out to get the United States by lying about us.

    In another few weeks, if the system works the way it was designed, the average person will have forgotten about this or will have concluded that it was the work of a disgruntled NSA employee. For the rest of us that remember and believe, we will become the next round of conspiracy kooks, to be shunned or locked away in padded rooms for everyone's safety.

  • Jun 10th, 2013 @ 7:53am

    Re: Re: Re: troubling

    The system isn't corrupt - the system works fine: I completely disagree with this statement I do think the system is corrupt and I don't think the system works any longer.

    When you give it up (by using third party services) there is no reason why the government can't collect the information but this I agree with, as long as it applies to everyone else as well.

    Laws should be applied to everyone and everything equally. So what is good for the government should be good for the citizen. Conversely, if its illegal for the private citizen then its supposed to be illegal for a corporation and government agency's, but often we find this not to be true.

    When laws are not applied evenly or consistently, and are changed in secret, there is a problem (a big problem) in the system that controls the laws. This is the situation we are faced with in the United States government. I don't know how long its been going on, but its clear that it has been for some time. I personally feel like the government is both traitor and terrorist rolled into one.

  • Jun 10th, 2013 @ 7:30am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Unfortunately they can, and probably will. They just classify him as a terrorist and enemy combatant; they then feel like they can do whatever the hell they want. He wouldn't be the first US citizen this has been done too and he won't be the last.

  • Jun 7th, 2013 @ 11:41am

    Re: Re: The reason for CISPA

    I completely agree. Which is why yesterday when the first article about this came out I suggested that I was nearly to the point in my thinking that we need to completely do away with privacy for everyone and everything, so that we at least have a level playing field.

    Given the additional information since that post, I am not longer on the fence about my feelings. It has solidified and I now believe that the only way going forward that we will be able to retain any form of freedom is for us to live in a secret (thus privacy) free state. This means no state secrets, no personal secrets, nothing is private (I'll give you the bathroom but nothing else). It should all out there legally for any one to see. The only time it becomes illegal is when someone, or something, tries to hide it.

    I do not stated this lightly. American principles have been ingrained in me since birth, some 41 years ago. But technology has rendered this concept unless and to go on living like it is an enshrined right of all Americans (I only say Americans because at some point it was decided that if you weren't born here that you don't get our rights), is not only stupid but dangerous. At this point it no longer protects the average citizen, it only protects those have the resources to hide stuff.

  • Jun 7th, 2013 @ 7:51am

    Re: Re: This just pisses me off

    I don't think the OP is claiming that it is Obama, only that the attention from his administration's scandals are keeping the public eyes focused on him and that someone else is taking advantage of it behind the scenes.

    I also agree with you that our current political process (all of it) is broken.

  • Jun 6th, 2013 @ 8:26am

    I fell like I'm on the train to crazy land...

    Its scary but every time I read a story like this, I get a little closer to the belief that all of our privacy rights need to be revoked. This includes ALL individuals and institutions. A part of me is coming to believe that the only way to go forward and not lose total freedom is to live in a world without secrets. This way everyone can become the watcher.

    Even the idea that some information needs to be kept secret to protect people and/or to catch criminals is quickly becoming secondary.

    I'm not there yet, but I am close.

    I've a feeling that we the citizens long ago lost a war we didn't even know we were fighting and only the invention of the Internet and the flow of information that it has allowed awoke us to this fact.

  • Jun 6th, 2013 @ 7:51am

    Re:

    Very true. I wonder if a study can be done that shows that violent video games actually lead to less actual violence, because the person is expending their frustrations on the game and not on the people they really want too.

  • Jun 6th, 2013 @ 7:47am

    Re: Re: Video Game Violence

    I agree and have thought along these lines for a while, but never with as clear of a vision as your examples gave.

    Excellent post.

  • May 29th, 2013 @ 10:20am

    Why?

    I've always wondered by the official side in these kind of things even have the right/ability to 'shop' around for a judge in the first place.

    Seems like a judge should not have any authority to sign an order (or whatever they do in these situations) unless they are officially assigned the duty. And then once ruled on that is the ruling, bar some designated appeal process. The 'officials' shouldn't just be able to go ask another judge, and another, and another, and so on until they get the answer they want.

    I mean the last time I checked I, as a citizen can not do that, so why can the government.

    I guess what I am saying is that judges should not have their judicial powers outside of specifically assigned cases and that all cases need to be assigned from a known, predefined process. Obviously most of the system already works this way. I just think that the entire system needs to work this way. Judges are people, with personal and political agendas. While as a group I think most do a good job of leaving these out of their work, why leave areas open for abuse.

  • May 29th, 2013 @ 7:59am

    Re: Yes, kids, $700 IS felony level of damages.

    Not specifically about the article but just had a thought.

    I know that states can set their own amount that constitutes felony damage so its different by your location. I don't typically go around damaging anything regardless of how much I would like to sometimes, so I don't really know the specifics of where I live, but from what little I do know, I can not ever remember the amounts being raised to keep pace with inflation.

    So does this mean that as a kid I could have effectively destroyed more property than kids today?

    Can't seem to shake the question, if the above is true, how long until someone who grabs a McDonald's hamburger from your tray can be arrested for a felony theft?

    Are we, by mere oversight, creating a population of convicted felons?

  • May 29th, 2013 @ 7:39am

    Re: Re: Maybe its time to give back...

    I think you all missed the point.

    I was not talking about a single person (say me) do this, but something on the magnitude of 10 or 20 thousand.

    As much as they would like to, it would be hard to convict and/or sue that many.

    Would they really have their site buried, I seriously doubt it, but it would do a couple of things:

    a) help to point out the flaws in the current system

    b) force Google to retract their policy (which was obviously just a poor attempt to shut the entertainment industry up). If Goggle decides not to retract this policy then they would seriously exposed as hypercritical, unless they apply it equally. Given that their strength lay with the masses and not the well funded (remember they make a lot of their money on advertising which means their products need to be used as much as possible). Since I don't think that Google would take the reputation hit for this and I don't think they want to up the fight with the industry, the only logical conclusion is to drop it.

  • May 28th, 2013 @ 3:04pm

    Maybe its time to give back...

    Since there seems to be no penalty for bogus DMCA filing's and Goggle will demote sites with lots of DMCA filled against it.

    I see a perfectly reasonable (and apparently legal) solution; all of those sick and tired of these type of IP bully tactics to should issue DMCA's again NBC Universal website. Each and every page. With enough people doing this to every page, assuming Google follows their own protocol, they should be buried so far down in the search that you could find the end of the internet before they ever appear on a person's screen again.

  • May 28th, 2013 @ 11:34am

    Am I becoming a conspiracy nut???

    I see stories like this and I am finding it increasing hard not to think that there is a group out there that is trying their damnedest to destroy the Internet.

    Enough said, this is giving me a headache, maybe I better go see if there is enough tin foil for a hat! j/k, maybe

  • May 24th, 2013 @ 3:14pm

    Just for thought...

    Rather than attempting to reply for the chain above, I thought that I would state my reason's on why this is a big deal in its own thread.

    Lets start with the obvious. This is a news agency. I would be surprised if their entire business model does not revolve around copyright. Even if the writer doesn't know the difference (which I would be skeptical of) their editor should definitely know. News organizations usually do a pretty good job of making sure at least someone covering a topic (the writer or editor) understands the subject. For who ever speculated that the editor was on vacation, I am sure that someone was still supposed to review the article.

    Next reason why its a big deal. The difference between patents and copyright (as I am sure most readers that frequent this site can tell you) is a minimum of 50 years. And that is assuming that the copyright holder dies the moment the copyright on the work comes into existence (also that you only look at the current written rules with no adjustments). Remember patents are 20 years, copyright creator life time plus 70 years. So next time you think there is no difference between the two, you should think what it would mean to you if a judge sentenced you to jail for life without prole instead of the 20 years you were supposed to get. I bet that would mean something different to you.

    Same here, there is a tremendous time difference between the two. If its too confusing for people to understand the basic differences then I think that is an indication that they obviously need work. Also given that fact that nearly everyone on this planet is impacted on a daily basis by both of these concepts we should all have some understanding of the differences.

    Think my statement above is laughable, you can't use the internet, watch tv, or listen to the radio without encountering copyright. And its getting hard to eat without swallowing someones patent. Use a cell phone, you are dealing with both.

    So yea, I will repeat it again. It is a big deal. Newspapers have been complaining for years about all of the business that the internet has cost them, well, if they can't even get the basics correct how can we trust that they are reporting on the complicated.

  • May 22nd, 2013 @ 1:05pm

    Until...

    we forcibly separate the telecom business from the content delivery business this will contain to happen.

    We should just designate a few companies as telecom providers and they can not do anything other than hook you up to the network. Their entire existence will be the building, expanding, and maintaining the various telecommunication networks (this includes but is not limited to voice, video, and data). Allow them to sell access using any plan they want as long as at least 2 of them servicing an area. If an area only has 1 provider then it run as a local utility and it must have all changes approved.

    Entertainment Studios, Cable/Satellite companies, music labels, etc, can have absolutely no relationships (other than buying access as everyone else will have to) with the telecom providers.

    No net neutrality issues. No bundling craziness. In most places where there exists a large number of people you should get genuine competition. For smaller/rural areas you should at least have the options that currently exist and the community will have some input into what is offered.

More comments from Rick Smith >>