Statutory damages are not inherently bad, just mis applied. They do provide leverage in negotiations between parties and are a deterrent to commercial exploitation of a work but generally should not be applied to small entities and private citizens. The small entities and individuals are may not be acting maliciously and generally are not aware of the infringement. i.e. "I didn't know I couldn't do that."or" I thought it was fair use.
"Leverage" is hardly a good reason for statutory damages -- especially when no such thing exists in most other torts. The fact that statutory damages are so bad they've basically become a *business* model for some suggests that they should be dumped.
5) Orphaned works are a problem and using them should be easier. I am against having to jump through hoops and spend money to be afforded protections written in the Constitution
I believe you have misread the Constitution. The Constitution does not "afford protections" to you. It merely grants Congress the power to create monopolies for the purpose of "promoting the progress of science." Congress is free to determine how that should best work -- and for most of copyright's history that included a registration requirement. To pretend that going back to that would somehow take away a Constitutionally protected right is to be ignorant of both history and the law.
Something I learned from my post-graduation job (a company whose primary business was also based on milking the government) is that anyone with any sense of ethics will never succeed in the company (or in business in general). I can only wonder if Mike was smart enough to keep his mouth shut -- which I was definitely not in my early 20s.
I quit soon after. I lasted all of 8 months at that job and left with no new job in place -- in large part because of the ridiculousness of the gov't deal (which was never completed).
So -- on that point -- where is Techdirt's exportable archive? What has Techdirt done to ensure that its entire corpus of articles and comments and discussions is completely downloadable and completely copyable -- and thus has at least a fighting chance of surviving past the existence of Techdirt?
That's a good question... I'm going to ask the team if there's a way we can do something about that to make it available. That would be kind of cool.
I'd have to dig up the exact comment, but it was on some story about Germany and copyright law (perhaps GEMA) and someone had made a silly comment pointing out that you had to expect that kind of thing from Germany with a reference to WWII/Nazis. It was a pure Godwin's Law kind of thing, and while it was written in a childish manner, I have no idea how this person thought it was a war crime. But he was adamant that under German law *I* was responsible for it. It was a fairly uncomfortable moment.
Too bad the second amendment folks cannot see past their gun sights and have not started talking about this as part of their second amendment rights. If encryption is a weapon then the government should be limited in how it can regulate it.
Some people have suggested this, but I think it's a bad idea for a variety of reasons. It opens the door to classifying encryption as a kind of "munition" and regulating it through other ways. Encryption should not be treated as a weapon at all.
I think the fact that this kind of abusive ToS is now standard means we need to freak out all the more.
It's not abusive. It's boilerplate because it's the required language that every site needs to have to officially license your works *from you*. If there's a problem it's with copyright and other related laws that require them to put in this kind of language.
We used to take rolls of film in to be developed. We didn't grant the developing company the right to use our pictures in any way they want for all of perpetuity.
Because you weren't asking them to host the work for you.
And there is no reason why Snapchat and other social media companies couldn't lay out precisely what limited rights they need to perform their service instead of just making a grab for the absolute freedom to do whatever they want.
People should be VERY concerned. If you are a young person who has sent a ton of photos through Snapchat they may well come back to haunt you someday because, according to this ToS, Snapchat can save your images and sell them or make them available to any other business.
Oh? Then why do they need permission to use the photos for purposes of "promoting"? What prevents them from running a Super Bowl ad containing a photo of you that you thought you were just sending to a friend?
What if instead of making a deal with T-Mobile, Netflix et al told customers that they will reimburse them if they are charged for overages? It would be a program similar to how banks will refund ATM fees incurred when using a third party machine. Would that be a net neutrality problem?
I think this is a really interesting thought experiment that's at least worth exploring. But I think this misses the real crux of the concern, which is not the charges, per se, but the *caps* in the first place.
That is, under such a plan, when you have a service that is an effective monopoly, who can pretty much set the caps at will, then the incentive here is to put in place the caps to get the content/service companies to pay more (either to the access provider or directly to the consumer). Either way the cap itself is an artificial barrier that gives certain advantages to some players.
And I think that's what the real problem is.
It's easy to argue that this is about providing a benefit to the consumer -- but that's only if you ignore that the "benefit" is avoiding the *ANTI-CONSUMER* nature of the cap in the first place.
Thus, the argument that it's pro-consumer is a little weak given that it's only pro-consumer in helping them avoid the arbitrary anti-consumer policy that was put in place earlier.
In your ATM example, people were pissed when ATMs started charging fees. Yes, it's nice that some banks would repay those fees, but the fees were the problem in the first place. Having a bank repay them may help consumers avoid some of those fees, but doesn't deal with the real anti-consumer aspect of the fees in the first place.
This bill is about collecting the data directly from the service. Time to use foreign alternatives for all Internet services such as Google, Facebook, etc.
Um, actually that will (somewhat ridiculously) make you less safe. At least with this there are *some* limitations on what can be collected. Under EO 12333, the NSA has a free hand to collect data outside the US...
I anxiously await your proof of all the harm this will cause.
Considering the point of the bill is to authorize secret surveillance programs that even Congress is not allowed to investigate, it may be tough to prove much. Well, until the next Snowden comes along.
Added a note with Facebook's denial of this, saying it has taken no position at all on the bill. Whether that's true or not I've also heard from people in Congress saying that they've been told that Facebook is for it, so whether or not Facebook is actively lobbying on it, the impression on the Hill is that they are for it.
Every bit of data that Google has will be acquired.
There is little to no reason to believe this is true. I do believe that the government can get access to a lot of targeted info, but the idea that *all* of it is acquired is unlikely to ridiculous.
As for the claim that there's nothing that can be done, I don't buy it. Encryption, done right, can work. Google *should* do a much better job allowing users to do end to end encryption for email, but the idea that everything Google has the government has is not realistic.
"While Apple, Twitter, Yahoo, Google, LinkedIn and others have been quite vocal in fighting back against government surveillance"
No, Google absolutely has not been vocal in the fight against government surveillance.
In fact, Eric Schmidt said this: "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place."
Taking one stupid quote out of context from someone barely associated with the company any more doesn't erase what the company has been doing for quite some time on surveillance stuff. Google has been fighting. Not hard enough in my opinion (Apple, Twitter and Yahoo have done more), but Google has been deeply engaged in the push from what I've seen.
FWIW, I actually think Eli and Mercatus do some really good work on a variety of issues, especially around copyright and patent law. But on this I think he's wrong.
Amusingly, I'm working on another post about something Eli wrote that I think is really good, concerning software patents. But just because you're right in one area, doesn't make you right in all areas.