Not only is this post well-written, but I love the format. I'm so glad I've been using Cyanogenmod and now Koush's ICS Alpha almost since I've used Android. Before that, I jailbroke my iPhone as soon as I knew how. I really like having the ability to research and control what goes into my smartphones and my Nook Color.
What I meant was that I think using generic words, especially common words that have multiple definitions (I can roll paper up and call it a scroll or I can run my finger over a wheel/button on my mouse and scroll) should not be fodder for IP lawsuits, but since they are, it is better to avoid them.
That being said, if notch's game has nothing to do with rolled-up paper and more to do with scroll wheels, bars, and trackballs, then Bethesda should have some apologizing to do.
For the first time ever, I sort of agree with Bethesda on this. The power word in, "The Elder Scrolls" is certainly "Scrolls" and another game that uses that name, whether intentionally or not, can have the very effect that trademark law was enacted to prevent. However, I don't understand the Swedish thing. Is Bethesda a Swedish company? I don't have time to research it now but I will later.
I do think that, "Scrolls" is already too generic, therefore a bad choice in and of itself. If "Scrolls" were first and "The Elder Scrolls" second, there would be a case for infringement for sure. I think its best, in this case, to change the name and avoid any confusion.
That amount probably doesn't include ONLY salaries. They probably included fees for each filing, rent or lease on facilities so the lawyers had offices to work from, signing bonuses to get more lawyers, new computers, monitors, fax machines, etc., and IT staff to maintain that equipment, office staff to bring in coffee and food while the lawyers 'slaved' over every bit of legal jargon, applicable or not, and perhaps THAT could add up to the $400M.
Its still too much money to be thrown away. I wonder how much of the court fees and penalties are counted as actual revenue for our government.
I wish I had time to read all the comments and the full story, but I don't want to be late for work.
The Department of Defense has a Fraud, Waste, and Abuse hotline. Mr. Drake's office is sure to have a safe. Mr. Drake SHOULD HAVE kept copies in a safe at work. He should have kept copies in his email, scanned-in if necessary. He should have reported it without the documents but referred to the documents that were classified. I think there is also an email address at all classification levels, for Fraud, Waste, and Abuse and I hope that we all receive training on this in the near future, all across the government and into the contracting world.
He will likely not be able to obtain a clearance again, even if the courts clear him of any wrong doing. In the world of government contracting, this doesn't surprise me. Fortunately, NOT ALL companies are like this. Some even take the fall for government mismanagement. All are required to have their internal fraud, waste, and abuse reporting policies too.
Mr. Drake isn't the same as Bradley Manning, though both are accused of roughly the same thing. At best, Mr. Drake exercised poor judgement, but we don't know, and probably never will know because the matter has been deemed classified, whether or not that is true. He may not have had any other venue with which to make his report.
Sadly, though, this sort of thing happens far more than most people know. The way we do contracting isn't perfect, but normally the moneys lost aren't as much an issue like they are now with our budget concerns and repeated threats of government shut downs.
Wow. As much as I hate copyright law, more specifically the misuse of it, I cannot pass up the opportunity to chime in.
1) Why would she have waited so long to make claims to multiple songs. If I was an uncredited co-author, I certainly would have spoken up as soon as I heard the first 'stolen' lyrics.
2) Wouldn't it be more appropriate to simply sue the credited lyricists?
3) What do her lineage and relationships have to with the case? What does her resume have to do with the case, except perhaps, if she has been called out for lying on her resume and now wants to sue so she can prove that she told the truth?
4) Are we sure that this isn't some sort of publicity stunt?
5) Is she doing this to discredit the RIAA, perhaps? If so, this is certainly not the best way to do that. They really do a bang up job themselves, don't they?
I'm still waiting for God to sue me for making that mud pie as a kid, because as we all know, mud pie is a derivative work from dirt and water.
And then, of course, whoever invented pie can sue me too.
But then, it won't be either of them, it will be something like the Village Inn, because the first pie I ever ate was from there, and I used their pie tin to hold the mud.
An who is going to sue paper manufacturers for deriving their product from wood? The dryads?
Or, what about the fact that I get paid to write reports, using words of all things? Shouldn't someone sue me for deriving my so-called creative works from the English Language?
Oh, but the English language is a derivative work with sources from all over, most notably the Angles and the Saxes, so should their estate managers be able to sue me?
Sue, sue, sue. That's all anyone does to make, or preserve, wealth these days? Creation isn't about creation anymore, its about being the first to register this 'new' idea so that if anyone else uses it without permission, the original registrant can make potentially a LOT more in legal awards then they'd ever have been able to generate if they'd actually done the work.
This reminds me of when I was a young soldier, refusing to put any effort into get promoted in the Army. I ended up working for morons like these people and said, "Damn. If I can do better than these guys without even trying, imagine what I can do if I invest some effort into it. Fine, First Sergeant, you win. I'll go to your promotion board."
I didn't get promoted until I went to the board again, years later, but I certainly stepped up and helped inspire a new generation of junior leaders.
Mike, I'm serious. When I eventually start campaigning, I want to speak with you. Any tech-savvy politician who doesn't value this blog is missing a HUGE opportunity.
As noted in the responses to the many Techdirt articles/blogs regarding the TSA, operating a motor vehicle on public roads is a privilege and not a right. Like it or not, when we drive on a city, county, state, federal, or international road, the police at the appropriate echelon have the authority to observe us, enforce traffic laws, enforce proper permit and licensing to ensure public safety, among other things.
I agree that this is a violation of the 4th Amendment, at least in spirit, but do the risks outweigh the benefits?
Perhaps what would make this more appropriate, is for said GPS to be required to be disabled upon entering private property, regardless of who owns or leases it the property or the vehicle being tracked. If this passes and private citizens place, on their properties and in a way so as to only disable GPS within the limits of their own property lines, devices to disable, jam, and/or scatter, then perhaps they also could not be prosecuted for obstructing justice.
Although, Police, Fire, and Rescue agencies may decline to provide service, citing that they too would be cut off from their organizations while on those properties...
Oddly, I'm okay with all vehicles having a tracking system. Here's why:
1) It will be easier to track stolen vehicles
2) It will be easier to locate vehicles with missing people AND potentially occupants under duress.
3) It CAN be used to help determine fault in a vehicular accident.
But it also can be used to track moving violations and issue more tickets, or to track private citizens who aren't doing anything illegal and we shouldn't be wasting our tax dollars on that.
My biggest concerns are the increase in spending AND the fact that if you find one such tracking device on your vehicle and you tamper with it or even remove it, you can be conceivably be charged with and found guilty of obstruction.
Should you find a tracking device, or any other device on your vehicle, what would be the proper course of action? Call the police and report an unknown device on your vehicle and demand that they have technicians remove it so that you can safely operate it?
I'm all for preserving our fundamental freedoms but I fail to see where this can lead to any real invasion of privacy, unless the movement data was leaked to other private citizens, or worse, to advertising and marketing firms.
Me too. It doesn't make sense to be a martyr here, as much as I was all for Sony losing.
That being said, I'm also a happy player of DCUO. Sony's not all bad, but I'm upset enough about PS3 not supporting the Other OS that I won't own one. I also won't own another VAIO but that's because I wasn't happy with the one I owned and all its hardware issues. That being said, my uncle purchased the same model and my little brother used it until it was about 9 years old and that isn't all that bad for an early P4 Desktop. (Totally useless, I know. Sorry.)
You know what bugs me most about this so-called-commercial-art, is that some critics value unintentional aspects of design as art, or they value the 'art' created by animals.
Art, itself, isn't just the product or end result. Its the process by which the product was developed. Painstaking detail isn't enough, either. You must tak into consideration the inspirations as well.
Art is MORE about the artists' understanding of a situation and the presentation of that understanding in a form that can be appreciated by the target audience, than the actual, tangible product of the presentation.
What I find artistic about 'commercial art' is that when a design is inspiring but fits within the insanely strict guidelines set forth by the limitations of technology and the whims of every stakeholder on a project, THEN you have a work of art. But that WORK is usually limited to the creativity that the 'artist' was able to generate within those confines.
I haven't seen the video, but I've read enough of the comments here to say that the procedure used was consistent with how the soldiers in the US Army were taught to conduct pat-downs when I was active duty. This is how we were taught to conduct these searches on DETAINEES/SUSPECTED INSURGENTS, not on obvious private citizens.
Those of us who cite facts here are missing, or omitting, something very important with regard to this issue. While these procedures are invasive and time-consuming, as well as taxpayer-dollar-consuming, they do impose the same inconveniences upon would-be smugglers of weapons and paraphernalia.
That being said, as time passes and new technologies and techniques are being produced, the methods by which we can detect them are going to have to also be advanced in order to remain comparable to the threats, or preferably a few steps ahead.
Pat-downs are so low-tech but fiscally inexpensive that they are accepted by the administration as a 'good' tool. Some would prefer that a checkup be conducted by a licensed medical professional, but how many cases have we seen in recent history in which doctors and dentists have molested their patients? Is it because they stand to lose more, by losing their licenses in addition to serving prison sentences that they choose not to do it? I say, "No."
In the Hollywood presentation that really is an increasingly valid look into our dark future that is known as "Idiocracy", the patients at the hospital were required to insert three probes to receive a proper diagnosis. In "Star Trek" they used a wonderfully non-invasive (at least not physically invasive) tool called a Tri-Corder. Every time people needed to be screened for ANYTHING, it isn't a far stretch to say that they also received a much more complete medical checkup, to include DNA screenings and brain-pattern matchings, at nearly every turn.
Personally, if I'm getting patted down by an attractive member of the opposite sex, a patting down might be fun, but I think I'd like something more like a Tri-Corder in the future. And as long as there are physical probes involved, I think I'd prefer the pat-down.
But that's my personal opinion. My wife doesn't want to be patted down. My 11 year old daughter doesn't want to be patted down, nor do I want her to be. My 4 year old and 4 month old sons don't need to be patted down, and I don't want them to be either.
So should I have to drive or take a train from Arizona to Georgia so my two older children can see their mother, but not be exposed to pat-downs or 3D nude imaging? That's hardly fair. I would burn up a week's worth of time off just to travel there and back, not to mention the gas money, wear and tear on my car, hotel stays, and fast food costs all of which are increased because it takes several days to make the trip, and we'd all drive each other nuts in the process. So no, I'll opt for the pat-down because I'm legally bound to let my cheating ex-wife spend time with the kids, and not because I think they are necessary for our safety, even if properly conducted.
We ARE slowly but with a rapidly increasing intensity, moving toward a police-state and as we do so, certain freedoms are being truncated in order to preserve others. Its sad. I think THAT was the motivation behind many terrorist attacks in the first place, because we Americans gloat about our many freedoms so profusely that others in this world become sick of us and decide to ram some humility down our throats, or up our rears, and our reaction to their misplaced hostility is to tighten our sphincters.
Remember my name, Mike, and you Techdirt fans should too. I am planning a move into politics, not because I like them, but because I'm not afraid to fight our government, from within, to preserve as many freedoms as we can.
I'm a conservative Independent with a STRONG idea of separation of church and state, freedom of information, and most importantly, I support government OF the People and FOR the People, and I will campaign against laws that make it illegal to observe and record government officials while they are acting within the confines of their duties. I will campaign against copyright and patent enforcement and I aim to help devise a new plan to inspire and protect innovation, that isn't self-defeating.
I hope this doesn't prompt any of you to label me a troll in the future. I do value this blog and many of the opinions stated here, even if I disagree with some. Mike, you can tend to be a bit one-sided and somewhat scathing in your titling, but hey, it gets readers, right?
AC#4 Hit this right on the nose. The individuals enforcing these policies don't care. They're not paid to care. They're not even authorized to care. Its the politicians WE put in power who do this and as Americans (those of us that are) WE HAVE THE RIGHT and WE HAVE THE DUTY to challenge them.
What we need is a good old impeachment, to show the public that they are not powerless to challenge this.
I am ALL FOR catching criminal masterminds, terrorists, and the like. I was an Intelligence Analyst in the US Army and I know that we DON'T need to violate the privacy of private citizens in order to pursue the real criminals at borders.
If you look at this as an auction, and if Groupon is simply bidding for keywords in order to raise the bid amount for the San Franciso Tour Company, then it is kinda messed up. One might think that any and all ties between Groupon and anyone who stands to gain from Google gaining revenue should be investigated.
I think Craypion is a much more interesting topic though, in that they apparently don't develop any Android Apps, but they do come up in a search, say, for Second Life, in the Market and when you install their app, you get nothing. The general comments under their 'apps' seem to explain that they are counting the numbers of downloads/installs for certain key words and don't actually provide any real content. That is far more annoying to me than Groupon paying for seemingly irrelevant keywords that make other companies competing for ad space (See? They ARE competitors!) have to shell out a little more cash.
But think about what he'd have to give up to get on the inside. He's too essential to the Android Community. If he were on the inside, he'd most likely have to give up ClockworkMod Recovery and Rom Manager, because all Sony would have to do to shut him up is to begin development of an Anroid powered PSP-Phone. Oh... Wait.