Who's being naive now? Surrepticious activities anywhere not on one's own property deserves punishment by any means necessary to deter that kind of behavior. Intent only goes so far as a defense for any crime, be it crimes against persons or against property. Certainly not far enough to deflect guilt. Most of these crimes can be considered against both persons AND property. Every action does cause a reaction, just maybe not what the perpetrator thought the reaction should be. Intent should be only an issue pertaining to the severity of the punishment, not whether a crime has been perpetrated. The action had already been committed, and the damage resulting from the action already wreaked against the victims.
The agencies behind this type of response are not without culpability either. These knee-jerk responses by bomb squads are politically motivated. They report ONLY to political figures, so their actions must, in order to protect their jobs, be aimed toward protecting those Politicians. If our public service agencies were really geared toward protecting the public, they would use investigation as a prerequisite to other actions, not as an afterthought. An example: a suitcase was recently detonated by the bomb squad in a Texas store's parking lot. The suitcase was fired upon after it had been x-rayed and could not be identified as a bomb. Instead of opening the case to find that perhaps someone had lost their suitcase, they destroyed it. This action was NOT in the interest of the public safety. It was, in fact, a crime against the property of the person who did lose the suitcase. It was perpetrated by those responsible for making the Politicians look like they were protecting someone besides themselves. I'll bet that if the person who lost their suitcase turned up to claim it, they would be arrested for a "crime" by the very agency that destroyed their property instead of being apologized to and compensated for their loss. This shows the real disparity between what should be done and what actually occurs.
That said, the perpetrators of the acts cited in the article should be prepared to pay a real price for any actions they commit that is against the interest of public safety. ANY person that sneaks onto MY property or any public property that I use on a regular basis and plants ANY DEVICE risks being shot as a Burglar, Sniper, or Terrorist, and deservedly so. The mere fact that they have to "sneak" around should be a wake up call to them that their actions are not in any way serving the public. I'm certainly not going to wait around for someone trespassing on my property to prove that they were "only playing a joke." The joke's on them. Play on your own property. It is that type of behavior that encourages Terrorists, and gives them not only an incentive to continue, but a "defense" as well.
There are places designated for advertising and as such are safe places to advertise. Just because the ad agencies are running out of interesting ideas does not mean they have the "right" to commit acts against the public safety. They are victims of their own success in that they have saturated our lives to such an extent that their messages are being ignored as noise. That's why there are buttons on some DVRs that allow commercials to be skipped over during playback, and MUTE buttons on our entertainment devices. They were requested by CONSUMERS, the same people the advertisers want to reach. If the ad agencies can come up with a new idea, then get permission from the owners of property to display this "data", then I applaud them. If not, they have become criminals against persons and property, and should be stopped by any means necessary to provide for public safety.
"Don't do the crime if you can't do the time. Don't do it! Don't do it!"
Does anyone know if the D/A broadcast converters will work with my rabbit ears? Or will they incorporate their own antenna? Since the digital broadcasts are already out there, does anyone make a D/A broadcast converter now that I can use with my analog TV(s) to receive the local digital broadcasts?
It's absurd to think that switching to digital only broadcasts will affect only a few people. I'm quite sure millions of folks in this country have only analog TVs. If the government shuts down the broadcasts that feed these TVs, then they definitely should subsidize D/A converters. The average TV lifespan is somewhere between 10-20 years, so just forcing out analog TVs in the marketplace is a very slow way to make the transition. If the government comes up with a TV set swap program that lets me trade my analog equipment for digital (not unlike heroin addicts going to a methodone clinic) then maybe I would consider the switch acceptable. Of course they won't do that.
There are a few other issues involved here as well. a digital only TV set can guarantee someone else control over my programming in my own home, at least with new programming and without me doing or commissioning some hardware hacking. And not insignificant is the ergonomic factor. I would love nothing more than to use my PC on a screen as large as my TV set. I can watch my TV from my easy chair, but my PC must be accessed from an uncomfortable little chair, mainly because the PC's monitor has to be small due to cost. My disability makes the access issue a little worse, but I am sure most people's PC desk chairs can't compare to their living room chairs and couches. A digital set that size would be great. But it certainly doesn't fit into my budget. I've invested $$ over the years for analog video equipment, including Beta Hi Fi, 8mm, and yes, even a composite video monitor still in use. For those subsisting on Social Security, the financial burden of equipment replacement is too great. If you think those numbers are small you are incorrect. That's why the Medicare legislation keeps getting changed; it affects too many to be ignored.
I am disabled and the only recreation I can muster is to jam out with some friends. We keep getting pressure from friends to post video of our cover band online. Of course we can't afford to be sued by any of the music rights companies, so we refuse to post any videos to give them ammunition for their misguided lawsuits. When I read about YouTube (I now call them UseLose) making a deal with Warner Brothers some months ago, I was elated, only to find out later the deal was only for the company not to be sued, and not for the users. What a sham. A deal that protects the web site (which is ALREADY protected by the law), and in no way protects the user posting the video, definitely does NOT promote users to post their creations that contain any form of copyrighted music. In fact, it in essence does not exist for the user. Sad, because the User is the only asset these sites really have. And for the music companies it really is money for nothing (and free advertising as well). The TV equivalent would be to sue an ad agency for trademark violation after they used your company's trademark in a commercial for your product.
Meanwhile, we continue to jam out, to complaints from our friends that can't enjoy our efforts just because they can't travel to my living room to enjoy the show. Live shows there are problematic for a few reasons. For one, most of our friends work normal business hours, and we have to jam in the late afternoon. And only so many people can fit in my living room. Plus, my disability makes me have to stop and rest every other song, so it can be annoying for spectators to have to wait around for the next song. Posting videos of our jams would eliminate all these problems. That is what these sites were created for, and why people use them: to access entertainment they couldn't access any other way.
It's a shame the users can't post videos without risking losing everything they own to do so. It is just another fantastic service that will ultimately be killed off by Big Business' stupidity.
Why else would there be so many failed ones across the country? That's why only large companies can operate them. The 'New Media' ways to watch movies have made the business even tougher. In my town there is an old 'Art' theatre that was finally going to be destroyed. If a billionaire (Mark Cuban) hadn't bought into the company it would have closed for sure. As an experiment, it was renovated with very posh leatherette lounge type chairs and has nice built in tables. The 3 screens are small like those in the cineplexes, but still bigger than your average home theater setup. It is the best theatre experience I've ever had. Sadly, the company's newest theatre is modeled after the standard 'stadium" (meaning small, slim, and uncomfortable) seating arrangement of the big cineplexes. If more venues would operate like that experimental one, they wouldn't lose so many customers. Unfortunately for consumers the cineplex companies crowd small, uncomfortable seats together trying to maximize per viewing capacity. Instead, people stay home where they can sit in comfort and watch their films. So more and more cineplex seats remain empty. Kudos to Mark Cuban for the experiment, but too bad he didn't continue expanding it. The question is...can anyone but a billionaire afford to make theatres this way?
By the way, I still use BETA for recording, just like TV stations (Betacam). Except I have Beta Hi-Fi. It's GREAT!!! And Reel-to-Reel is still the easiest and cheapest way to record quality audio at home (it doesn't require a mega-dollar computer PLUS expensive software to get decent sound). Sony represented serious high quality when machines using these formats were produced.
The SONY name hasn't been associated with really high quality products since about a year after the Walkman was introduced. Their products have been going downhill ever since. Though they may need all the help they can get, claims like actually driving the DVD format don't make them look particularly honest. It's like they switched from the traditional Japanese approach of using honour in business to the American tradition of using deception in business.
Since the fairness Doctrine seems to be about fairness in elections, the price of political ads comes into question. Even though the air time has a value in terms of dollars to the broadcaster, political ads should be free of charge. The donation of airtime should be part of the price of doing business on PUBLIC airwaves. In fairness to the broadcasters, all political ads should be limited to the same number of seconds per candidate, and in fairness to the candidates, all candidates on the ballot should be rotated each time they are shown, so no candidate always has first or last place. In these times when election funds and the methods and circumstances in which they are collected and scrutinized, even vilified, this financial burden to the candidates flies in the face of fairness and reason.
That said, fairness is always in the eye of the beholder. The only true fair and just world consists of (any one and) only one person.
The difference is simple: being found out. "a) Getting away with it" means not being found out, as well as including "b) not getting punished." "A" necessarily includes "B", but"B" does not necessarily mean he wasn't found out. It just means he wasn't (or wouldn't be) punished.
Almost all cultures of the world have similar issues with their governments. The "common man", or"normal person" many times feels his government does not represent his own views. On the whole this idea is usually only true in appearance. A closer look almost always reveals that in the making of any policy decision, the view held by any of the citizens has been brought to light during the process, and just never made it to the implementation stage. That is what governments do for a living.
This situation is not unlike the "classic" teenager vs parent idealogical struggle. The teenager usually thinks the parent is diametrically opposed to whatever their wishes are. In fact many times the teenager will hold a particular view on a subject merely because they know the parent holds a different view. In many ways this parallels the government/citizen relationship. The government is the political version of the parent. And the parent is the social version of the government. And as in the family unit, the government and citizen often hold the same underlying goals for the society in their own country as the parent and teenager hold for their family. So your own government may in reality hold the same overall view as yourself in matters of policy. It's usually only the end result the citizen sees. Even in the U.S. congressional committee meetings are usually not held in public. Only the voting on the floor or hearings held by Congress are public. Most people (including Congressmen) don't feel they can speak freely when they are being watched. The cliche is government as Big Brother, but the citizen becomes Big Brother when meetings become public. How many people act exactly the same when their parent sitting right next to them and when their parent is absent? Or spouse for that matter?
That social aspect of behavior not withstanding, The French as a society have proudly considered themselves civilized among other other cultures for many years due to being pioneers in many social and technical arenas. They are perhaps the oldest of the modern societies in the area. Being first does not necessarily make you better, but it just might make you proud. They have notably excelled in gourmet cooking and in making films. Most world class chefs use French techniques in their cooking, and most world class film makers use techniques pioneered by the French. You would be hard pressed to find a Hollywood or even Independent movie that didn't have a French ancestor. Even comic book hero movies were pioneered by them (followed closely by the Italians). So the French trying to preserve their language and culture in a world with ever increasing outside influences should not be a surprise.
That said, the American culture thrives on making up their own terms for things. Even for things that don't really exist, i.e. "Bennifer" and "Brangelina."
Mike, you did an excellent job of sparking discourse on the subject. Your job, of course.
That said, I dabbled with fountain pens about 25 years ago, and they were terrible. Maybe the technology of fountain pens has increased greatly in those years. I used the cartridge type pens available in the supermarket, plus I even had a calligraphy set of the same pen. The ink was unsightly and didn't match with modern paper. It soaked into the paper, making a real mess (likely due to being watered down by the mass market, get rich quick nature of our society). I did try a few brands of paper, also widely available at the local stores. The pens also had a habit of sprouting leaks in the nibs, causing puddles right in the middle of your writing. Unless the pens, inks, and paper have improved, neatness will certainly not be a result of using fountain pens.
Maybe they have better pens in France and Scotland.
Thanks for the link. However, my band is not a business. It is a hobby. Instead of a legal payola, which is what Google's deal amounts to, what is needed is a venue paid license fee, such as hotels and private clubs pay (through MPAA). These venues (the legal ones) pay the license fees so bands can play there, and attract customers for their cash cow, beverages. Functionally and as businesses, Google Video and YouTube are basically the same type of venue, albeit in a different media. The attraction is entertainment, and the products are whatever the context sensitive ads would be hocking. Likely audio CDs, blank media, musical instruments, and the like for viewers of a cover band's content. Maybe even black lights and posters. Google is already money ahead in that they don't have to pay the bands (except the ad revenue sharing deals YouTube made early on).
Still waiting for YouTube to be useful for cover b
I have a cover band and registered on YouTube with a musicians account. After the deal between Time Warner and "GooTube" was announced, I contacted YouTube to see if we would now be able to share audio and video clips of us performing copyrighted songs using their service. I included a list of possible songs and also requested information on which songs might be available for us to post as a result of this "licensing agreement". The response was the same old diatribe about me accepting the risk of being sued for copyright infringement. Blah, blah, blah! In other words, the "deal" is useless to the users of the service.
Just because others choose to ignore copyright laws and post copyrighted material without compensating the rights holder, that does not mean I will do that, especially since a licensing deal is in place that should allow that very thing to occur legally. The existence of a licensing deal implies the right to post the content. A deal for the site to not be sued is in no way a deal for me not to be sued. Until the "licensing" deal applies to the users who will actually post the content, it in effect does not exist.
If Google hopes to sustain the site long term it will have to make the service legal for legitimate users. I guarantee that my little cover band will do nothing to dent retail CD sales. It's more likely we could increase sales of CDs of the original artists when poeple get reminded of their favorite songs and want to hear them in their cars and at work. Google's use of context sensitive ads such as what is in place in Gmail and on Google Search could make this site a viable business model.
In reading these posts, I see a fair amount of lucid reasoning in most of them. The failure of any one argument in a series to fully realize itself in no way negates any of the other arguments in the series. As long as the idealogical sparring continues to be fairly mild, the conversation as a whole will eventually allow the ideas behind it to emerge.
Metaphorically, I envision the IDEA to be in the center, like a globe. The participants are viewing this idea with goggles that focus on a tiny part of the globe. As they continue to circle the globe in ever changing speeds and directions, they are each absorbing the data available through the goggles and forming a recreation of the idea in their minds. Eventually the idea will be replicated, if not in its entirety, then at least mostly so.
They did raise the price for copyright protection this year, as well as tightened the controls on how to submit a work for copyright protection, citing Homeland Security issues for the latter. It is still relatively cheap, though.
It is absurd that a copyright should extend beyond the life of the creator of the work. Constitutional or not, the so-called "opt-out" system of copyright law is a good thing, especially for starving artists like the songwriter in your local band. However, the scope of what may be copyrighted definitely does need addressing.
While the source article referenced above states that silicon valley is the "hotbed" of this activity, it clearly states that these companies are found throughout the U.S. From the article:
"Silicon Valley is a hotbed" of economic espionage, said Don Przybyla, who heads a FBI counterintelligence unit in San Jose. The valley is home to many of the estimated 3,000 Chinese front companies nationwide set up to steal secrets and acquire technology, according to the FBI."
So the headline and the concluding statement are a little misleading.