Wait, "the Information Technology (Procedures and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by the Public) Rules"?
That's about as clear and unambiguous a match for the definition of censorship ("an attempt to prevent some particular audience from being exposed to some particular information") as I could ask for - and they put it right in the title of a formal government document.
At least they're being honest and straightforward about it...
And the only way to address that is to point it out, every time, and point out the distinctions between the question they answered and the question which was actually asked - thus, at least in some sense, putting the ball back in their court.
this may just be an instance where the inability of Congress to actually accomplish anything of worth may wind up helping consumers.
In other words, checks and balances working as designed.
Legislative gridlock is a design feature of the system, not a bug. It has unfortunate consequences in some cases, but it is meant to block anything from being done where agreement (and preferably consensus) cannot be reached.
There's room for discussion of nuance there, but my point was that if we want to refute them on this counterargument, we need to either come up with evidence that there is abuse of this narrow type which they're actually denying, or start pointing out explicitly that they're denying something other than what they're being accused of (and thereby not addressing the accusations).
At this point, I rather suspect that what they mean by "no (evidence of) abuse" is that there's no evidence that the NSA itself has been abusing its authority under these programs, rather than that individual analysts have been (ab)using their access in ways which fall outside of their duties.
I.e., if an NSA agent were ordered to do something which was an abuse of one of these programs, that would qualify as the NSA abusing its authority - but if an NSA agent with access under these programs just does something inappropriate with that access, on his or her own, that's not the NSA committing the abuse. It's an "institutional" vs. "individual" thing.
That's twisting definitions of words a bit, but much less than what the NSA has already done in other areas to justify these programs in the first place, and it would not in the least surprise me if they were intentionally using that narrower definition to be able to claim no abuse and have it be technically accurate.
"Drug lords" are few, dangerous, well-connected and wealthy. More likely than not, they are already donating to the police retirement funds as well as giving generously directly to several officers and police departments.
On that premise, might it not be reasonable to treat donations to police departments, officers, benevolent organizations, and the like as cause for suspicion of concealed criminal activity? Not warrant-level probable cause, but at least "be wary of these people, go out of your way to avoid giving them the benefit of the doubt if they ever run afoul of the law".
There would be problems with that, of course, but it seems like a reasonable variant of the basic counterbalancing policy for a conflict-of-interest scenario...
My only suggestion is '/poe' or '', similarly to the '/sarcasm' pseudo-tag that sometimes gets used. I'd certainly interpret that as having the meaning you describe, but I don't know whether other people would interpret it the same way.
True, but that could be spun in either direction on this, so it doesn't really help figure out (or decide) which interpretation is more likely to be correct - or more likely to hold up in court, for that matter.
I was hoping that there would be a definition of "use" in one of the CC licenses, which is why I went to look at the actual license texts in the first place, but I didn't find any. If there's a definition of that term (in or for anything like this context) elsewhere in the law, or even a standard definition that's used in legal discussions but isn't formally codified by statute or the like, I'd be interested to know about it.
I'd agree that taking that position would be incredibly hypocritical. I can understand the perspective which might lead one to do it a bit, I think - but only in the most subjective of terms, and not as something I could actually support or (in the near-obsolete sense) apologize for.
Then I suspect we're using fundamentally different concepts of the definition of "use". I've looked at a dictionary definition (in pursuit of a candidate "reasonable definition" for further discussion), and I see it as fitting the interpretation I've used, but I'm pretty sure you'd look at the same definition and see it as ruling that interpretation out. (For reference, it was the one from gcide.)
From my perspective, having once acquired something, you can use it and keep it, or use it and sell it, or sell it without using it, or return it unused (which is actually required - albeit obliquely, by requiring "unopened packaging" - by many stores' return policies for at least some types of product), or any similar combination - but selling it, per se, does not and cannot constitute using it.
I could point to the distinction between a "bookstore" and a "used-book store", which would make no sense if selling a book constituted using that book - but I suspect that that would be legitimately dismissed as semantic twaddle. I don't have a better way of trying to convey why I draw that distinction offhand, though.
Depending on the framing, that might be enough to qualify. If you're selling the framed print specifically, and possibly also if the framing (and/or the printing medium, et cetera) isn't just an unremarkable off-the-shelf thing (however subjective that might be) but is something that you're actually doing yourself - creative work, in whatever sense - then that might be a leg to stand on in this regard; what you're selling in that case isn't the picture, it's the frame and the work of framing the picture, and the picture is relevant only as the backdrop and reason-to-care-about-this for the frame.
If Flickr had presented this as "We're selling beautiful, museum-quality frames for pictures we host, and we'll even do museum-quality prints to match the frames!", with the focus on the frames rather than on the pictures, then this might be a reasonable angle to take - although it would probably also have attracted a lot less potential purchaser interest. As far as I can see, however, that's not what they did; their original article on this (or at least its current version, I don't know if they've edited it) presents the pictures front-and-center, refers to the frames only briefly near the bottom in the section which mentions prices, and does not seem to show any of the frames at all.
Now, I'll acknowledge that this is starting to seem a bit arbitrary and hairsplitting; that's almost inevitable when dealing with the edge cases, which is where controversy is going to arise anyway. I do, however, think that the underlying concept is both valuable (or at least worthwhile) and sound.
Yes, it would allow selling all of those things; those things were made using the picture, they are not the picture itself.
If indeed there are few if any people who would be OK with those uses but not with selling prints, then that's fine; it just means that I was on the wrong track with my original suggestion.
But my original suggestion was made as a way to resolve the apparent contradiction between people having chosen a CC license which allows commercial use and still being upset over this. I interpret that as indicating that those people do, in fact, fall into that category which you described as "mostly-theoretical" - and thus, I infer that such a license would be a solution to the problem at hand, and would be what those people thought they were choosing in the first place.
It's possible that the people who are upset about this either chose the wrong license (i.e., would indeed have preferred to prohibit all commercial use of their images) or are, in fact, just being hypocritical. I simply prefer to give them the benefit of the doubt.
It doesn't seem reasonable to me. "Commercial use" is an obviously broad term, and clearly means "use in furtherance of commercial activity". What seems obvious to me is that the term would include simple resale of the work.
Resale is certainly commercial, yes; that's not in dispute.
What I disagree with is the idea that resale qualifies as use. Someone who simply sells something is not thereby using that thing.
Incorporating it into something, or modifying it in some way, would be forms of use; there might be others I'm not thinking of off the top of my head.
But simply selling it on, untouched, is not a form of use.
And if it's not a form of use, then it cannot be "use in furtherance of commercial activity".
I've glanced at a couple of the CC licences now (CC-BY-SA and CC-BY-NC-SA), and at that glance, it doesn't look like "use" is defined anywhere in the license text - although, in the Non-Commercial license, "Non-Commercial" is. Actually, the word "commercial" does not appear at all in CC-BY-SA as far as I can see...
Perhaps the real issue is that people either don't read these licenses before selecting one, or that they don't understand that contracts (licenses are a kind of contract) mean what the words in them say, not what the people using them would prefer that they say.
I think this is mostly correct, yes. While I disagree about the meaning of the term "use" as relates to sales, it doesn't look like that term is actually used in any relevant sense in the CC-BY-SA license text, and the up-front definition of what that license grants permission to do does seem to clearly allow what Flickr is doing - clearly enough that anyone who actually read the license could have understood that it would mean that.
Of course, many people probably did read only the "license deed" overview-and-summary page when selecting a license, rather than read the "legal code" legalese itself. (Isn't that the entire purpose of that overview-and-summary form - to let people understand the license without having to read the full legalese license text?) So they may well not have been exposed to that clear statement in the first place.
No - he explicitly told Flickr (and everyone else) that it's okay to make commercial use of his photos.
Selling something is not the same as using it.
This whole flap is, fundamentally, a disagreement about what "commercial" vs. "non-commercial" in the CC licenses means. I haven't read any of them recently enough to see if those terms are explicitly defined anywhere, and if so on which side of the disagreement those definitions would fall; however, the interpretation which says that "commercial use" does not cover simple sale-without-modification does seem like a reasonable one, and one which many people might have intended in choosing a license without the NC element.
I ordinarily agree strongly with your posts and arguments, and you're mostly right in this one as well, but you've got one thing wrong:
The Wanderer has it nailed down. MOST people view the license as "You can use my work, but you can't sell my work" because there is no CC license to cover this limitation.
Yes, of course there is. In fact, there are many.
All you have to do is release your works under one of the Non-Commercial licenses (CC-BY-NC, CC-BY-NC-ND, CC BY-NC-SA).
That does not cover the limitation which was being referred to.
The CC Non-Commercial licenses allow using the work in a non-commercial context, but disallow selling the work.
They do not allow using the work in both commercial and non-commercial contexts, but disallow selling the work.
E.g., someone might reasonably say "I don't mind if you use this picture to illustrate a magazine article, or even as the cover of the magazine - but you can't just take the picture and sell it as a picture.". I.e., requiring some transformative use in order for commercial use to be preemptively authorized - which seems very much in line with the idea of encouraging further creativity, which is (as far as I understand) what the Creative Commons are supposed to be about.
As far as I'm aware, there is no CC license which permits making that distinction between commercial use and simple sale - but it seems to me that that distinction is one worth making, or at the very least, one which many artists and other creators might want to make.
If I'm wrong, and there is such a license, I'd be glad to be corrected on that point.
I can see reason for people to object despite this.
I can easily envision a photographer being willing to let other people freely use their work in something which is for commercial purposes, but not to let other people sell their work directly. What (CC) license is such a person supposed to have chosen?
"Censorship", in its basic sense, is simply the attempt to prevent some (particular) audience from being exposed to some (particular) information.
If government or other authoritarian involvement were essential to the concept of censorship, "self-censorship" would not be a stock phrase, because the concept would be a contradiction in terms when done by anything but a government entity.
The distinction between censorship and "just being selective" is that someone being selective just chooses what information they themselves will present, whereas someone engaging in censorship attempts to restrict what other people can present.
Sometimes these can overlap; for example, the editors of a newspaper who choose which Letters to the Editor to publish are certainly being selective, but may also be engaging in censorship if they make that choice based on wanting to keep their readers from being exposed to the information in some of the letters. But the distinction is still important.
(None of what happens in Techdirt comments seems to be censorship to my eye, for the record. Unless there are posts actually being deleted, which I'm fairly sure is not the case.)
Unfortunately, there are incentives against that, if the bill to which the provisions are attached contains important/critical/time-sensitive things which are hard - or even impossible - to justify rejecting.
Which is why I would support various measures (too many and too long to list off here) aimed at restricting the breadth of a given bill and at making sure that the legislators have no excuse for not knowing exactly what they're voting on. But getting that implemented would be more of an up-cliff than even an uphill battle.
(The other "solution" to such unrelated-provisions legislation would be the line-item veto, in some form - whether by the executive in signing, or by members of the legislative voting in for or against. But that A: just moves the problem and B: in the executive case is plausibly argued to be unconstitutional.)
Anyone else find it amusing that 0.5 Mbps (512 Kbps, or 64 KB/s) is considered the minimum speed necessary for Web browsing and E-mail, when for so many years the top speed available (without paying ridiculous premiums) was ~53KB/s?
Not that it isn't necessarily a reasonable minimum nowadays - but if it is, that says something unfortunate about the footprint of modern Websites... to say nothing of what people think of as reasonable in E-mail nowadays.