I think what we need to focus on is not whether particular books are in the public domain, but rather the concept itself of a British PI names Sherlock Holmes being in the public domain. A particular book may or may not be in the public domain depending on publication date, but that should have absolutely no relation to someone else making a different story involving the character.
If we can establish that the general idea/concept of a character can't be copyrighted (or if it is, when it expires), we should then apply that to every single other icon we can find.
It was the particular case that I based my rant on, in fact. I don't have a recent iPhone (my current is a hand-me-down and was free, the only reason I use it), so it hasn't affected me personally. But the massive number of cables I keep near my bed in case I need to charge a device.
Standardization is one of the greatest things that can possibly happen to nearly every industry. Imagine if we standardized power charging cables; no longer would you need to have your ipad charging cable, your new iphone charging cable, your kindle fire charging cable, your 3DS charging cable, and more. As long as the equipment is designed to charge off of the same power levels, there is no reaosn to have a separate brick for charging one device and another.
Instead, we get companies sitting on their own tiny islands, with hardware specifically made for their devices. They claim otherwise, but it's USUALLY so they can charge high prices for equipment that cost them pennies to make since they have a monopoly on their parts. Heck, apple CHECKS to make sure you aren't using an unauthorized CHARGING cable, and refuses to charge if it's not licensed (as in, they pay a fee to apple for each sold).
Well, rant over. I highly approve of Musk's plan here to open up their tech. It will destroy one big barrier to a nation-wide adoption of electric car infrastructure. Now, all we need is a cheap, powerful alternative/upgrade to batteries, and we are set.
I say, if they cannot show official ACCURATE representation of what happened in there (either by a stenographer or a recording) then it didn't happen. Nothing found or used in it (and I feel ALL FBI interrogations too) can be used for anything.
Their own analogy actually disproves their argument they are trying to make.
In their analogy, Comcast isn't the Postmaster. They are more like a owner/organizer of a mailsystem for an apartment complex. Mail comes in and goes out through their office, but they are not at all responsible for making sure the mail from another apartment complex down the street is delivered to the other side of the country.
Ah, but think of the alternative! If the FBI is forced to adopt a sense of humor, then that means they won't investigate obvious jokes! Then the Terr'ists only have to "joke" about their plans in specific painstakingly accurate details and it will fly under our radar!
The FBI: because having a sense of humor will cause another 9/11.
Just implement a data decryption protocol that allows you to enter a "fake" passsword that trashes the data and/or shows irrelevant info such as public domain content. If you do the latter, they may be tricked into thinking that it was the only thing being protected.
Then, invoke the 5th when it comes to whether that is the legit content, no matter if it is or isn't.
GOG, who provides DRM-free downloads of video games, manages to provide a coded link so only those that are authorized can click it and download it. Sure, the copy could then be distributed to friends or file-sharing sites (and they have) yet the games still manage to pull sales on DRM-locked services like steam just fine. Oh, and GOG is still doing well, despite selling products that - once sold - are not "locked down" by the content provider.
Kind of ruins the argument that DRM is a necessity nowadays to protect the creators. Now, if only the MPAA and it's members would understand this logic.
About 10 years back, some private group tried starting up a fiber-to-the-home project, called Utopia. In it, they went to every city that wanted it and asked them to put up a bond in case the project failed to turn profitable. In exchange, they would be able to install and sell fiber lines in the city.
Sale Lake City refused, but Provo (down south) and Brigham City (up north) got it, but not the main most-populated city.
It didn't do too well, being sold off a few times, until most recently it is still around, but tiny regional internet providers I've never heard of are the ones providing the internet. The big names such as Comcast and Century Link all refuse to use this "open" network, probably because anyone can use whatever provider they want to, and they don't want to provide internet for the cost the others do.
I checked just last week, and they charge (unless you buy the install out-right for almost $3000) 30/month for the equipment, and the ISPs charge about 35/month for the internet of synchronous 50 mbps. So, 65/month total.
And Salt Lake City still has no fiber-to-the-home network, because.... it would be too good? I can't understand how Century Link can justify it. At all. Without lies.
"Another concern bubbling up in Chicago is that the programs are effectively using racial profiling to target already-troubled areas where crime naturally would be greater due to poverty, without anybody bothering to perform a deeper analysis of why those areas might be having problems (aka targeting symptoms, not disease)"
Well, it's not the police's job to prevent poverty (or the disease as we use in the analogy), their job is supposed to be treatment of the symptoms. Their local legislature is supposed to "regulate" away the disease through social programs.
What irks me the most about current Xbone defenders, is that they are angry that people got the always-online retail-discs-are-coasters part of the Xbox. That it had to phone home every 24 hours in order to "allow" us to play the games we bought and (had to) put on our hard drive.
Once Microsoft rolled that back, they all complained that it set back digital distribution another decade. As if Microsoft now can't implement Xbox-Live-connected-only single player digital downloads to your hard drive on its own. As if the ability to play a game with no internet enabled by simply putting in a disk would prevent download games from being possible.
It is still possible to allow the 1984-ish big brother distopia that they want if they only buy games digitally. And those that don't want online play can still use their disks bought in a real store if they want to as well.
Hah, I came in to these comments specifically to point out both Google's attempt to install fiber into provo (the next city south), and also the Utopia project: (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utah_Telecommunication_Open_Infrastructure_Agency).
Unfortunately, the actual city that could make use of fiber connection - Salt Lake - has adamantly refused to opt into either Utopia, nor did it lobby for Google's fiber. And now, with this law, legislators are acting as if fiber optic infrastructure is a disease, trying to quarantine its spread.
I'd say this is a clever ploy by the REAL Starbucks to weaken fair use laws. By taking "parody" use of something to it's very extreme, they will certainly get a court and jury to admit that making fun of a company while using their resources isn't fair use.
And... we will forever be unable to post a picture of a company logo - even under clear fair use - again.