This should be a no-brainer--if it's your property, it's your property, period--but in a world in which DRM is legally protected, anything goes.
Again, the DMCA is the root from which all digital copyright abuse springs in modern times, and we need to recognize this.
When a weed grows in your garden, you can cut it off above ground, and then deal with it when it grows back again and again and again... or you can uproot it and then you're done with it. If we want to make any real progress pushing back against copyright abuse, we need to uproot it by repealing and reversing the abusive DMCA that allows for takedowns on accusation alone and DRM that tramples on fundamental property rights. Otherwise, people will just continue to build upon it further.
Wow, is Quake still a thing? I actually had no idea.
The one I generally hold up as an exemplar in this discussion is Neverwinter Nights. Published in 2002 (not quite as old as Quake, but 15 years is nothing to sneeze at) and still selling today, because they published a powerful set of mod tools along with the game and actively encouraged the creation of a mod community.
Do you know how big the tip of an iceberg is? About 10% of the whole.
Multiplying the reported stories by a factor of 10, or even by a factor of 1000, would make no real difference in the underlying point, which is that they get everything right the vast majority of times. The cases where things go wrong are such a minuscule fraction as to be negligible, (see "epsilon," above,) and it's highly irresponsible for journalists to paint them as a bunch of habitual screwups when nothing could be further from the truth.
Yeah, horror stories like this come up regularly: you tend to consistently hear about a half-dozen screwups out of PayPal every year.
To put this in perspective, PayPal moves billions of transactions and hundreds of billions of dollars in payments every year, through virtually every country in the world, and amid all that, serious mistakes tend to happen at an average rate of less than one per month!
TLDR: There are far too many sensationalistic journalists out there who do not understand the concept of "epsilon."
What I don't understand is why the tech companies are rolling over and letting this happen.
You know what would have stopped a massive amount of this nonsense in its tracks? If the first time some movie studio or record company had tried to sue Google for frivolous reasons, they'd responded with, "OK, let's settle this like businessmen. Initiating hostile takeover."
11 million victims, $2.7 million in penalties. That comes out to less than 25 cents per victim, after running a scam that made them "mountains of cash" according to the linked blog post. That's not even the proverbial "slap on the wrist!"
ISTM we need a law with real teeth to deal with stuff like this. It would be very simple: Any business that is found to have made money by breaking the law must be subject to a penalty no less than 100% of the gross revenue brought in by their illegal acts.
Since all the laws these days have to have some sort of snappy name, let's call it The Crime Does Not Pay Act.
"Wawa spokeswoman Lori Bruce told the newspaper that the lawsuit is about fulfilling an "obligation to protect consumers from any likelihood of confusion" and protecting "the brand name," symbolized by the Canada goose whose name is a direct translation from the Native American language used in the region."
Oh, is that what it is?
I always thought it was meant to represent the words of a thirsty two-year-old!
Electronically transferring data from a server in a foreign country to Google's data center in California does not amount to a "seizure" because there is no meaningful interference with the account holder's possessory interest in the user data. ... Such transfers do not interfere with the customer's access or possessory interest in the user data.
Wait a sec. Did a District Court judge in Eastern Pennsylvania (where I live) just come out and essentially say, as a key part of an official ruling, that copying is not theft because making a copy doesn't interfere with the owner's use of the original?
A single incident that happened 20 years ago? That's your "evidence" that racism remains a serious problem in our culture today?
(Please note that I'm not denying in any way that what happened to James Byrd was a serious tragedy. I do deny, though, that it has any relevance to this discussion. Please don't go derailing the conversation.)
1) The act of someone who leaps before he looks, going off the handle on an issue that he doesn't have all the facts on. (Like Donald Trump does all the time on all sorts of issues.) If those five had actually done what they were accused of, it would have been completely right to execute them.
2) The act of someone who will believe the worst about his political opponents. Remember that racism isn't treating people of other races badly, it's singling them out for bad treatment, treating them differently because you believe that they are inherently different. Remember this is the same guy who accused Ted Cruz's father of killing JFK, among (many!) other things. If Cruz had been black, and Obama white, people would call him racist for the JFK nonsense and just a weirdo for the birther conspiracism. But it appears he's simply an equal-opportunity offender.
3) The act of a businessman trying not to lose a massive amount of business, because when it happened (remember, this one is not recent) approximately 1/3 of his tenants would have moved out if a black family moved in nearby.
Of course, if we speak out too hysterically and are wrong, you argue we'll have wasted our voices. That is also wrong. We can protest the next Nazi just as well, even if we're wrong about this one.
No, you can't. That's the whole point of the fable of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. People don't tend to always respond the same way to the same stimuli; they learn and adapt.
In fact, I'd go so far as to claim that that's a big part of why Trump is President today. The hardest of the hard-line Democrats have been crying wolf over false racism for so long that everyone else is sick of it, and when Hillary made the ridiculously tone-deaf mistake of doubling down on it, essentially calling half the country racists and "a basket of deplorables" for disagreeing with her policies, it backfired tremendously.
People who knew they weren't racists bristled at being lumped together with the KKK and the Nazis, and they turned "we are The Deplorables" into a rallying cry, to symbolically reject this nonsense once and for all by rejecting the person at the forefront of it. If she hadn't said that, a lot of people who ended up voting for Trump would have probably stayed home.
It's kind of sad to see that Democrats still have not learned their lesson from that! They've wasted the last few months flailing uselessly, tilting at racist windmills instead of working to accomplish anything actually productive in this time when they need to be productive and effective more than ever!
I've heard it said that every organization works to perpetuate the problem to which it is the solution. Might I suggest two corollaries to this observation?
First, an organization that solves a real problem is (as a general rule of thumb at least) a good organization that is doing good in the world. So this observation applies to "the good ones" too.
Second, civil rights groups are good organizations.
Unfortunately, they're still run by people. People who have a great deal of their personal identity and social status bound up in being valiant crusaders who fight racism. They've become victims of their own success now, and the one thing they can't do, because it would make them redundant, is admit the simple truth that's obvious to almost everyone else: that they've won! They won decades ago!
Racism in the USA is as dead as disco. Now, lest you misunderstand, remember that disco is not 100% extinct. There are still a few people around with horrible taste who think it's cool, but that doesn't mean it's not something that everyone knows is a relic of the past. And so it is also with racism.
Keep in mind that the guy you're accusing is 70 years old! Even if it's true, biologically speaking, he's on his way out, and most likely sooner rather than later. (I wonder if anyone has actuarial data on former Presidents, BTW; it wouldn't surprise me to hear that the stress of the job takes several years off your lifespan.)
Please stop obsessing over something that hasn't been a real problem in a long, long time, so we can focus on the issues of today and actually accomplish something in spite of all the headwinds. If we're going to prevent the Trump administration from wrecking what little prosperity we have left after the last two Presidents, we need to stop wasting our energy and focus!
Read the article I linked to, where the author looks at actual hard data and facts (as opposed to emotionally-charged rhetoric) that shows over and over again that there is no evidence of racism going on here.
Based on the data available, he estimates that around 3% of voters have racist political leanings. After pointing out how suicidal it would be to throw away the support of voters that outnumber them by an order of magnitude, he follows up with this:
But doesn’t this still mean there are some white supremacists? Isn’t this still really important?
I mean, kind of. But remember that 4% of Americans believe that lizardmen control all major governments. And 5% of Obama voters believe that Obama is the Antichrist. The white supremacist vote is about the same as the lizardmen-control-everything vote, or the Obama-is-the-Antichrist-but-I-support-him-anyway vote.
(and most of these people are in Solid South red states and don’t matter in the electoral calculus anyway.)
Other interesting things that the data shows: compared to the voting demographics of the last two Republican candidates...
Trump made gains among blacks. He made gains among Latinos. He made gains among Asians. The only major racial group where he didn’t get a gain of greater than 5% was white people. I want to repeat that: the group where Trump’s message resonated least over what we would predict from a generic Republican was the white population.
So you kinda have to ask yourself, what do all those minorities know that you don't?