"Actually, we are born agnostic. An agnostic is someone who neither believes or disbelieves in the existence of a deity or deities"
Actually, we are born Atheist in that we have "no belief in God(s)" until we're taught to do so. Agnosticism, like gnosticism, is about knowledge... not about belief. Your confidence in your ability to know something and your belief one way or the other regarding God are two very different things and are not mutually exclusive. The term "Agnostic" defined as someone who isn't sure if they believe in God is a wretched and deliberately disingenuous label created by Theists as a kinder softer more redeemable middle ground, allowing them to further isolate and demonize Atheists as "people who choose not to believe in God".
The same arrogant and ignorant campaign to redefine concepts like Agnosticism, or "Scientific Theory", is what makes these people so despicable, and it shouldn't be surprising when someone jumps to the conclusion that the latest southern parent to reject a book with hardly any sex as "pornographic" is a fundamentalist Christian. It's a fairly well founded assumption.
"When you buy into a kickstarter project, you take a risk that it will be what you expect."
The word "Kickstarter" is extraneous to the truth of that statement.
"Mark my words: there will big complaints about fraud and misrepresentation with Kickstarter."
There will be complaints about misrepresentation against creators who are hosted by kickstarter. Just as there are against freelance coders on contract sites. Just as there are against anyone with whom you form a contract when the result is not to your satisfaction. It states quite clearly on the site that you are not making an investment with a specific and guaranteed return... it's more like very specifically-directed charity.
I don't actively use Kickstarter, but honestly... do you have a single legitimate complaint against their model that doesn't also apply to the universe at large?
There were some who pegged Techdirt as a converted copyright activism website over the past few years, but we all know it was a conversation well worth having and now we're seeing the fruits of the labor. The ongoing assault on personal freedoms (and the Bill of Rights in general) is by no means limited to the internet, but if we can preserve this bulwark as best as we're able there's at least some hope of a digital world worth participating in a few more years down the road.
Next stop... Lamar Smith's involuntary retirement.
Game companies have been slowly but steadily breaking us in to DRM and unreasonable requirements for several years now, to the point where consumers are now more accepting of something that would have been labeled absolutely outrageous a few years ago. A very vulgar analogy comes to mind, which I'll refrain from sharing. We're at the point now where you need a stable high speed connection, forced registration and membership to sites or services you don't want, and one or several background processes competing for CPU (and often popping up ads).. all to play an offline SINGLE-PLAYER game.
There are only two ways to express displeasure with companies like EA... find a way to pirate their games or rent them from Gamefly. In either case, when profits start slipping these large publishing companies, having completed the acquisition of smaller more innovative and actually useful development shops, will turtle up and start producing fewer games, spend less effort trying to progress the industry, and fall back to making this year's iteration of their list of tried and true franchises. And you get another couple of sports games and shooters that don't evolve beyond throwing more pixels and better hardware at the problem.
Sorry, but that was a ridiculous post made for no other reason than to continue to contradict Masnick regardless of the topic at hand. There's a point where the humor wears off.
The legislature made a specific clarification to protect the people from an overall outrageous misinterpretation of police rights. Removing this clarification muddies the water. Police will continue to abuse this overreaching interpretation to violate individual privacy rights when there is no physical threat, and citizens will have to pursue legal means after their rights have been violated, at their own expense and time, when legislation was already in place to prevent the process to begin with.
Jerry Brown has been doing a bang-up job lately of making people miss Arnold Schwarzenegger.
I was shocked and appalled to hear some of Energy Armor's business practices. First, they bought up a bunch of other companies who created and manufactured sports bracelets, thereby diminishing competition and diversity. They placed biometric chips in the bracelets to prevent the items from being resold, traded, given or shared with other people... mentioned in passing in overly complex EULA. The chips of course were unnecessarily prominent and caused abrasion, rashes and occasional jolts of electricity or burn marks on the wrists of legitimate, lawful, paying consumers. What's worse, they arrogantly dismissed requests and recommendations from their sporting customers and insisted they knew for a fact that everyone wanted their bracelets either pink or fecal brown, with clunky bulky attachments that occasionally restricted hand movement.
What's that? Energy Armor didn't do any of those things?
Then how the hell are they being confused with EA?
In defense of the carriers, they were not told why the request was being made to shut down the DAS. It could have been technical in nature. In my mind, all responsibility and culpability goes back to BART. If they were appropriately punished for this abuse of power, providers would not need to shoulder the burden of determining what is or is not an appropriate request. Saying that providers should be less responsible for requests for contracted service changes is much different than providers being asked to furnish personal details without legal authority and due process.. which they should be burdened with refusing. A better comparison would be a power utility being asked by the FBI to shut down power to a city block.... if it turns out it wasn't terrorists or a hostage situation but rather an anti-FBI conspiracy theorist convention, the FBI director and associated agents should be in jail, not the power company CEO and technicians.
Some of you may not be aware, but "art" is at most a few hundred years old. Writers and authors have only been around since the Statute of Anne. Musicians appeared out of thin air with the invention of the phonograph cylinder. Actors, long though to have existed since ancient times, were simply expressive citizens until they were put to moving picture in the time of Lumiere. These things were impossible before copyright and distribution media. Live performances were simply people milling about noisily, and the paintings that adorned the houses of the wealthy were nothing more than "hobbies". Because, you see, without copyright to restrict the spread of art, there is no art. Without a means to force constant, ongoing and prohibitive charging of money for the viewing, listening or enjoyment of art an artist cannot.... and never has... made a single dollar, franc, or shilling.
The so-called entertainment industry has by its own efforts CREATED the culture of the first world. It has helped to save this country from the path of productivity, inventiveness and progress.... and beneficently steered us towards a state of lazy and greedy entitlement; strong in the belief that a day of work should naturally equal a year's worth of payment, strong in the belief that we can continue renting our so-called "intellectual property" to our own citizens and the rest of the world and they will graciously comply.
And they will fill imaginary museums with all the accomplishments and ideas and artistic expressions Anonymous Cowards DIDN'T create... because they spent their time posting satirical bile on someone else's forum, without even a name.
Re: It's in human nature to share when doesn't COST one.
You don't control ideas... nor do the people who have them. No one owns information except that which enters their head... similar to sound or sight or the way something feels. The very thought of owning these things is ludicrous.... you may be able to control or contain them as one does a dog with a fence, but control is merely a form limitation and manipulation. Ownership is like money, it is a meaningless concept unless someone else thinks the same way you do. Society almost universally agrees with ownership of objects, and somewhat generally agrees with ownership of space... but each day more and more begin to question ownership of information and question the status quo reality they've been taught by the capitalist world in which they live.
Taking, stealing... these are concepts that by nature require someone to have lost what was gained. You're using the term "give away" in the same way... except what's being given was never stolen, because what was gained did not cause a direct loss. "Potential sale"? That's a bullshit term, overused and overblown by a ridiculous factor. Potential sales are ruined every day by the millions due to everyday conversations, newspapers, comments on a webpage.... if what you're selling is nothing more than a physical copy of information, you're selling the copy... NOT the information.
Should artists be paid for their work? Absogoddamnlutely.
Movies will always make money because people want to see them on large screens with fantastic sound. As long as theaters improve their technology they'll be attractive to most of the population... they may lose the technophiles with the $4500 home theater setup. They may need to spend more money to provide a cleaner more comfortable atmosphere and more service (like director's hall, only actually USEFUL and not an extra $3). If there's a downturn in profits, movie economics will adjust themselves... people who make tens of millions of dollars to do something others would love to do for thousands will adjust to lower contract demands, because that's the way economics works.
Music... that's easy. Artists can and will continue to make large amounts of money by live performance. In fact, the people who hurt the most as a result of file-sharing are the blood-sucking middlemen of the entertainment industry who contribute NOTHING to the arts but advertising hype and finding new ways to persecute and gouge their customers.
Art: ask yourself this, how many people with an interest in art choose not to go to museums because the paintings they want to see are available on a website? Perhaps museums will need to offer more value to attract more people, more details, history, interaction with the artist.
Books: that's a tough one. I want writers to be paid, because I want them to to be able to devote time to researching and writing. With the advent of e-readers it's hard to point to any real natural form of control or added value an author can provide that might result in profit, but I'm sure others can if they give it serious thought. I can only repeat the fact that people respond to well-made goods and services. If they like a band or author or artists they will try to get to know more about them and their work, and will go out of their way to support them if you correctly channel that positivity.
Masnick, kindly post an article discussing how the world is irrefutably "round". If the phrasing is suitably antagonistic and contains some legalese, I believe AC will rebut before recognizing the honeypot.
There's two ways of looking at this. On the surface this is an example of an unrestricted and unmanageable global network settling on its own morals. The article is somewhat vague on details but it does mention the payment processing providers will interact with the sites in question and request some information or justification for their situation. Since this isn't really a legal judgment there's no expectation of legal due process... the company has the right to choose with whom they do business and they can exercise their own process based on whatever motivates them most: fairness, public image, corporate image, profit etc... I'd rather live in a world where big content continues to try to bribe, blackmail and subvert companies under the table as they have done for years than this brave new world where their brazen Goon Squad with government badges publicly urinates on centuries-old constitutional freedoms to the theme song of Team America World Police.
On the flip side, moving from theory to reality, the 100% stat should tell you how often we can expect these companies to challenge their content overlords when it comes to a site that may try to put up a challenge. Paypal obviously sees it can make significantly more money being on the good side of the marketplace providers than trying to appease a demographic it thinks doesn't pay for things very often anyway. Other payment processing alternatives will fill in the gaps, because that's what smaller versions of an established business model do... they start by servicing the areas the big fish chooses to ignore.
Greatly looking forward to DOJ getting publicly violated over this case, resulting in a stream of similar suits and the eventual disgrace of Operation In Our Dreams. I say that because I cannot imagine the government being victorious, either morally or legally, but in my mind I know it's possible.
I hate rooting against my government, and in favor of potentially willful infringers or those who facilitate that behavior. But this is one of the crowning achievements of shame the federal government has provided us. And you thought only the Bush administration was cable of embarrassing Americans on the international stage.
The average person isn't protesting being searched before boarding a plane as much as the incompetent manner, questionable methods and pervasive swagger with which the TSA approaches what is quite clearly a diminishing of the 4th amendment. This publicity stunt brings attention to that, and the dissatisfaction many people bear it. Sometimes you have to take something to an absurd degree or abstract in order to prove that a perversion, even if it's so minor you think it's "not a big deal", is still a perversion. Thank goodness there are activist fruitloops like this lady, because as much as TSA bothers me I won't be grabbing an agent's junk.
AC, it's funny you question techdirt's reporting motives as sensational... because your strawman presence here and all its anti-Masnick devil's advocate vitriol drives more comments and bandwidth than probably any other poster. For a while I was convinced you were on the payroll.
Of all the sneaky underhanded ways that city governments rob their citizens, this is one of the most obvious and direct... and I am continuous amazed at the general apathy of the population in letting these things get approved by politicians that allegedly answer to voters.
If I'm amazed people let them get away with these Yellow Light Cameras... I am downright ASTOUNDED the media does not persecute them for the nature of the contract.... giving a company a commission for fines, and then expecting them to operate in the best interest of the city/state? Why is it necessary for them to receive a cut of the profits, as opposed to a flat fee for equipment and a recurring fee for operation and servicing?
Investments in "high quality content"... those being what? What exactly does the music industry, as an entity, provide to enhance or advance the creativity or quality of an artist, besides spiffy new studios capable of digitally glossing over mediocrity and a massive hype machine with decades of experience in how to tell consumers what to think and like and buy while simultaneously punching them in the balls and taking their wallet? There were crap composers writing crap music in seedy theaters during the time of Mozart, in bars and clubs and street corners in the time of Coltrane and the Stones. These artists didn't become creative geniuses because of financial investment, it's quite appropriately the opposite. If anything the industry whose death we freetards vehemently desire has a long and glorious history of taking creative geniuses and twisting and cowing and whittling them down into a sickly-sweet contrived mockeries known as "main stream" and "radio-friendly". And it's not just music... "investment" is the primary reason for pharmaceutical prices on this year's newest drug (aka last year's drug + a little acetaminophen), and we all know what a spectacular multi-billion-dollar sham that is.
Creativity and creators aren't dying out. What needs to die is the daydream of the rock star, the rap star, the mythological character who sang to us as kids about how they were using the money we scraped together and spent on their album to buy useless toys, cars they won't drive and overpriced liquor they're simply pouring out on the half-naked bodies of women we'll never meet. What needs to die is the belief of so many young musicians that they just needed to be noticed, get that one album to take off ... then the record label would take care of them, parties and publicity shoots, and whatever else they do with the rest of their lives they would always live comfortably on royalties.
We work for a living, day after day... we the consumers, the fans, the pirates (well most of them), and in this new digital age entertainers will too. A more direct link between creator and consumer, with middle men and their bloated sense of entitlement left bleeding in a ditch. It will mean more effort spent engaging fans instead of taking them for granted, more bundled content and personalized additions, more live performances. Those musicians who have successfully profited from NEW business models have demonstrated this perfectly... hard work, building a rabid fanbase, acting like a professional musician instead of a "celebrity", and you will always have people willing to buy your wares.
If Youtube and the like produce a mountain of worthless web noise, it's because every time someone attempts to create a functional system to introduce potential consumers to music they might like and might buy the record industry attempts to *destroy* them. No amount of noise will keep the truly great creators from rising to the top... they may not make as much as they would have under the isolate-and-hype business model of the last 50 years, but they will be successful, wealthy and respected. And I'd rather have to sift through a little mud than have some pompous ass tell me what album I'm supposed to buy this week.
How does one prove public figure status? I imagine if the judge has to decide, and lacking the ability to poll the courtroom audience, the fact that Biro appeared prominently in a documentary might demonstrate an intent or willingness to be a public figure, even if they haven't yet achieved it.
I'm rather shocked that the on-site technicians at this data-center allowed the FBI to take a dozen boxes when the warrant clearly stated (presumably) one or two. I don't mean attempting to physically prevent them or civil disobedience... it's unthinkable that the FBI would send a team of officers to seize servers and not include at least one technician with the ability to determine which ones were which, so when a company very strongly protests you touching things not mentioned in your warrant and offers every means of assistance in locating and extracting the correct items and you ignore it and take the rack anyway... you create wiggle room for a lawsuit where otherwise no judge in today's Patriot Opera world would bother to squeeze. The companies involved in hosting and storing these servers were put in a tough situation and I sympathize, but it smells like somebody rolled way too easily and these companies deserve an exodus of subscribers. If enough of a stink is made now, the next time you can be sure someone along the chain of command will say "be precise, don't make me deal with another two weeks of internet and press frenzy".
If the United States government wants to collect evidence and bring a case against the people who run a website for infringement there would be no backlash. That would involve reasonable protection of individual rights and freedoms, due process, and several other kind of sort of important concepts ICE thinks are worth trampling to get at copyright violators. Note... these are not websites providing maps and access codes to government installations encouraging domestic terrorism... this is not that (somewhat absurd) movie with a streaming video website of live executions where site hits equal death. These websites are not a clear and present danger to this country and don't warrant a constitution-bending black-op campaign of unlawful seizures and stonewalling those who protest. Even if this was child porn, which you guys love bringing up, the pictures are already taken. Which would you rather accomplish, catching the people who traffic them or driving them to safer havens and more secure methods of encryption and subterfuge?
I'm not a Masnick apologist, I love it when people argue both sides of the story. I just find it hilariously ironic they always seem to do so as Anonymous Cowards. If the FQDN Brute Squad isn't stopped, if the federal agencies that continue to reduce the list of things they can't do without proper legal authority, you'll be left with an American internet with no anonymity. Hope everything you wanted to do online meets with the approval of the corporate-sponsored moral majority.
"Saying that the article is used to spur commentary is probably true, but I don't think it's used to spur commentary *on the article itself* ......"
That's a legitimate distinction, but I don't think the end result is all that different. If we have to, if we're forced to address the motive due to the rampant d-baggery of copyright sue-hounds, captioning a picture and crediting or referring to a cited work should be enough to extend fair use as you're drawing it in to the discussion as opposed to using it as page filler or window dressing to improve your article's appearance. From everything I've seen, the use of the article in this case, even if it wasn't made the center point of the discussion, meets several of the first factor's criteria specifically and the rest more generally.
"Similarly, the requirement that the plaintiff show evidence of actual harm to have the fourth factor weigh in its favor isn't really in keeping with most opinions that say that an act is not likely to be considered fair use if it would harm the market (or potential market) if done in the aggregate....."
And while that's a correct and logical sentiment in theory, in practice the concept has been abused by certain entities to heinous extents in terms of overblown impact and overstated damage. Citing an article in ways that appease the fair use criteria makes the article available to the reader and possible distribution. If you consider the value of your work based on scarcity and anything else contributing to impossibly-calculated damages, you're either arguing against the continued existence of fair use, or you're not-so-subtly trying to chip away until it becomes "fair useless", and goes the way of the dodo bird or the public domain.
All in all, petty semantics aside, this was a rare occasion when the written law and the moral and Common Sense interpretation of the law were walking hand in hand. And it was an epic failure on the part of an indefensible (even by Anonymous Cowards) copyright troll of the absolute worst kind. After all the horrendous interpretations of copyright law resulting from ignorance and fear-mongering, as Mike said it's nice to see some positive case law planted in the ground. To imply this is colored by the fact that Righthaven pissed off the judges and elicited an emotional response is hypocritical... creatures like this and their many corporate apologists and legal remoras/hyenas have been insulting the intelligence of judges for a while now, and it's refreshing to know some of them take offense.