by Mike Masnick
Fri, Jan 27th 2012 4:07pm
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Sep 15th 2011 12:49pm
from the new-funding-strategy? dept
No individual with the Vandalia Heritage Foundation has authorized the creation, publication or copyrights of these photos. If you believe this is in error, please forward the contractual agreement stating permission to create, publish and copyright photos of the Waldo Hotel interior and roof to the following mailing address:Later in the letter, they try to make things more "informal," but still remain pretty threatening:
ATTENTION LEGAL DEPARTMENT
In addition, you can forward the contractual agreement stating permission to create, publish and copyright photos of the Waldo Hotel interior and roof to the following email address:
We formally request that all unauthorized Waldo Hotel interior and roof photos be removed from the following websites unless evidence of previous permission to do such can be provided
Although still official, we would like to also address you in an informal tone. We understand that the articles associated with the Waldo Hotel on abandonedonline.net is in favor of preservation and revitalization of the property. And preservation and revitalization is what we do. However, there are multiple problems with the approach you decided to take. One, breaking and entering and/or trespassing was the only method by which these photos could have been taken. This costs us time, money, liability and security issues. Two, these photos are unauthorized and may contain content that damages efforts to save the hotel. Three, these photos are wrongly copyrighted by Sherman Cahal and it deprives us of our rights to profits or benefits. And similarly, four, these photos are being sold for personal gain on shermancahal.com which, again, deprives us of our rights to profits or benefits.The problem with all of this is that the claims on copyright are almost certainly complete bunk. The group seems to assume that because they own the building, they automatically hold the copyright on any photographs of the building. This is a common misconception. While you can copyright architecture, that copyright does not prevent photographs. Basically, the copyright claim is ridiculous.
Now obviously this is not a cease and desist letter from an attorney. And that’s not the route we want to take. Paying an attorney to handle this would cost us time and money that would be better focused on restoring the Waldo Hotel. But consider this a warning shot and we will pursue further action if these requests are ignored.
If you are willing to donate photos - that we officially sign off on - to the Waldo Hotel Preservation Society for fundraising and informational purposes, we support that.
Cahal seems to understand this, and gave the Vandalia Heritage Foundation a quick lesson in copyright law. He also notes that even the trespassing claim they have is pretty weak. Either way, after educating the Foundation on copyright law, the Foundation realized that perhaps it was making a mistake. What's amazing is that they thought this was an appropriate tactic in the first place. Threatening Cahal for publicizing the building they've been trying for years to raise money to renovate seems counterproductive. These kinds of photos provide more publicity and perhaps more interest in the possibility of restoring the building.
It's pretty frustrating when you hear these kinds of stories. Even though it turned out okay in the end, this is yet another symptom of "ownership society," where people misunderstand and abuse copyright law to threaten people who are expressing themselves.
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Sep 8th 2011 1:36pm
Imagine If Everyone Had To Start From Scratch And Reinvent The Wheel Every Time They Wanted To Build A New Car?
from the not-a-recipe-for-innovation dept
The entire crux of the argument is in this sentence, which says that we should celebrate the complete dismissal of any product that has any element of an idea from someone else:
Because they are a cheap bag of lazy, unimaginative bastards, that's why.Yeah, according to Diaz and Gizmodo, the point of the patent system is that everyone should reinvent the wheel every time they want to build a new car:
Those rivals, like Google, Samsung, or HTC, just said "oh fuck this, let's all do the same" and came up with devices that are mostly copies of what Apple put out in their first iPhone. Sure, they added some stuff of their own and sure, Apple's user interface has some aspects that are not original. But mostly the iPhone's competitors are clones that show no imagination, no better ways to do things.Of course, seeing as some of Apple's recent "innovations" actually copy directly back from Google, Samsung or HTC, should we say the same thing about Apple?
Sometimes we've seen similar arguments in our comments, and it's ignorant of history, of economics and of innovation. Innovation is all about building on the backs of others, taking what works, but improving and changing in other areas. Apple's second big hit, the Macintosh, borrowed liberally from the graphical user interface designed at Xerox PARC (which itself borrowed liberally from the work at SRI). But it added key innovations on top of it and around it. And that's how real innovation works. It's not in starting from scratch and reinventing. It's from building on what else is there, and making it better and more compelling, or tweaking it for a different market. None of that precludes doing something entirely new, but making everyone start from scratch to do something entirely new is ridiculous and anti-innovation.
Hell, let's take Diaz's argument to it's insane logical conclusion. Motorola invented the first handheld mobile phone. Thus, really, shouldn't Apple be working on something different than a mobile phone? After all, by making a mobile phone, all it's really doing is being "a cheap bag of lazy, unimaginative bastards." Instead, Apple should have come up with a totally new way of communicating.
And, really, the specifics of Diaz's post are even more ridiculous. In it he praises the fact that Samsung's devices may get blocked out of the EU entirely because they have a "swipe to unlock" feature -- a tiny feature among thousands of features on a mobile device today. And, if we really broke down all of the possible features on a standard iPhone or iPad today, how many do you really think were first invented by Apple? According to Diaz, Apple should have come up with brand new ways of doing all of that. They shouldn't have email (done by someone else). No web browser (someone else did that too). Apps? I mean, come on, how derivative can they be?
Innovation is the process of improving on what came before, and part of that is taking what came before and building on it. Sometimes it will involve something entirely new, but that's exceptionally rare. In most cases, it's a minor tweak. Hell, one of the most famous "inventors" in the world is Thomas Edison, and really, when you look, almost all of his "inventions" were really minor tweaks on work others had done. But if the Diaz/Gizmodo view of the world held true, Edisons "minor tweak" to make a lightbulb actually work, would have been a waste because, you know, someone else already had created the lightbulb.
Innovation involves copying. Out of that copying come improvement and new ideas. Complaining about something just because it involves some element of copying is not complaining about a lack of innovation. It's complaining about some artificial useless standard.
by Mike Masnick
Tue, Nov 10th 2009 11:40pm
from the royalties-gone-mad dept
by Mike Masnick
Tue, Aug 18th 2009 6:55pm