There could be several uses for drones that are peaceful and useful. It's already been suggested that high-altitude drones could be used as a cheap alternative to satellites for weather forecasting, telecommunications, etc. The added mobility could lead to interesting applications, such as airborne mobile cell-towers for large public events.
Imagine a hurricane hitting the coast (not too hard to imagine right now, right?) Imagine drones flying into the disaster area immediately after to quickly replace destroyed cell-towers and get communications back up, to estimate damages, to find clear routes that can be used by emergency services, etcetera.
Of course, it does say something about our society that we primarily built the drones as a military application. It would be nice to see some good come out of it.
It's funny to see governments and pro-IP groups get caught in the copyright swamp. It's sad though, that no matter how many times they get caught in the copyright bog for doing things in "good faith" or "for the best intentions" they still refuse to admit that maybe, just maybe, copyright isn't actually the perfect solution to everything, including baldness for men.
As a Swedish citizen, I also can't help but wonder just how much money now has to be spent on overpriced licenses and redesigning already expensive bills.
You see, if the content is free, then they're drooling idiots who love clicking through photo galleries. But if they pay, then suddenly they're only interested in the latest socially relevant investigative reporting.
Well, shit, Mike! This solves the US' problems!
All you have to do is throw up a paywall around Techdirt, and the entire site will suddenly become legitimised in the eyes of the public and the government, and recognised as a serious news service - attracting only the best and brightest in the country!
Companies and politicians alike will see the flaws of patent law and copyright law, and the freedom issues that plague the US will be out in the open.
It's an international trade agreement, on paper at least. The thing was partly negotiated in Japan or something... Lots of countries "signed" by forcing their ambassadors to Japan to sign something they couldn't comprehend. Sweden, my country, was among them as well - but our ambassador and government still haven't got the decency to apologise.
Re: Underground clubs-- isn't that just another way to say "tax cheat"?
I think you are confusing "underground" with "illegal". If they weren't paying for fire department, rent and taxes they probably wouldn't give a fuck about GEMA either. Underground in this case simply means alternative, non-mainstream clubs. It doesn't mean illegal. Durh.
Of course you know by now that for example the olympics don't actually allow you to bring any use of any privately recorded pictures or video, and that people are being sued by public figures because the pictures they take aren't flattering enough. Right? Taking the pictures yourself is a) legally fucking dangerous and b) only really possible if you can afford to fly out to actually see the event, which may be hard if you live ... oh, just about anywhere in the world. God forbid we let anyone have an interest that reaches outside their own city.
Asking people for publicity photos is a daft and dangerous solution. It gives the copyright holders the option to add demands for the use of the photos (don't mention the steroids or else) or to charge for the use of the photos, or worse, decide to refuse publication of the photos altogether because they don't like the site, the author or the subject matter.
Anyway... photos of public figures doing things in public should be fair use anyway, so all this jumping through copyright hoops shouldn't be necessary in the first place. But this of course is the way some people want things: illegal to take photos, illegal to use other people's photos, and if you ask to use someone's PR photos - you must pay licensing fees, and obey their demands to censor your own work according to their wishes. It's fucking beautiful, isn't it? Also, let's not forget that we are now trying to grant famous people additional copyrights to protect them even more.
But sure, let's take the easy way out and decide the system is good, and people are lazy. That explains everything.
And if we are looking for dramatic effect, I'd probably get more media attention if we burn someone else in front of the store, or better yet, burn the store itself - with a senator still inside, shopping for meatballs and a coffee table.
But sure. Let's all just stop protesting, since no one is going to listen anyway. I'll let the guys at Avaaz know it's time to close up shop and go home - or to IKEA.
Another good cause, but as usual sadly restricted to US residents only.
The US represents 4% of the planet's population, but it's reach doesn't stop at it's borders. It's not just a passive influence anymore either, but the US is actively pushing their own agenda through "trade agreements" like ACTA, even creating diplomatic IP attaches to spread the Hollywood gospel, and trying to have NZ and UK (so far, more countries will follow) citizens extradited to stand trial in the US.
Every time that I, as a Swedish citizen, can't even sign a protest because I'm not a US citizen, it pisses me off. Yes, I get it, the congress and the senate can ignore voices of malcontent from abroad, but that doesn't necessarily mean they will ignore us completely.
If US citizens can protest what's happening in China, Russia or Syria (and they DO) - why does every US civil rights organisation assume that no one outside the US borders should have a voice? EFF, Demand Progress... they ignore us.
Ever received one of those legal bullshit e-mails from a law firm like Johnson, Pecker and Dickins? They all state at the bottom that "by receiving this e-mail you are legally bound to keep it confidential and bla bla..." It's bullshit in an e-mail, and it's bullshit on a website. You don't get to form a contract just because someone reads a sentence. The law doesn't doesn't work that way in any country I know of (well, maybe the US, but the US is weird.)
Even if reading a sentence would magically form a legally binding agreement, I'm not so sure it's actually legal to form a contract that takes away people's rights to free speech in most countries. I know that in Sweden, it's actually impossible to sign away your rights, so in my country all of the legal bullshit on the olympic website is worth precisely dick.
...because if the few major players got together and played nice and only used patents to assassinate all small startups, then we'd have a patent cartel that would be very hard to break. And he'll, it can't be a bad thing if the UN is in charge of it, right?
The man's been dead 40 years, and you are not allowed to make a historical film, documentary, series, or anything without permission and paying royalties. This is just one of the problems with copyright; it's not just our culture that's being held hostage for 70 years, but in fact our very history is being held hostage.
You can't make a Vietnam-war documentary without paying royalties to the estates of the long dead musicians who wrote their music as a protest against the establishment in the first place! Funny how that turned out, isn't it?
The thing about "documentaries" produced under the watchful eyes of the copyright holders, is that they inevitably turn out whitewashed, scrubbed clean of actual history. Elvis turns out slim and clean. Malcolm X ends up liking white people. When the time comes, Schwarzenegger's bio will contain no steroids, nor any embarrassing bits from "Pumping Iron".
You are right though: with support of the law, they basically own the music, the history, and dead-man-Hendrix himself. Legal though, doesn't make it right. Everyone should have the right to record and interpret history, not just the people who think they own it. Let's hope things change. Things have to change; the current state of it all is perverted.
Or well, when I write "my order didn't arrive, you sent the wrong CD" I'm just having a brain freeze, it'll sound more like:
"I didn't get the email with the download link..."
"The download link is linking to the wrong product..."
"I ordered the wrong season of Star Trek by accident..."
"Internet Explorer says your site is dangerous!"
...and so on and so forth. Physical or digital - shit happens, and at the end of the day, customers want a human being to sort it out for them.
If someone knows for sure, please, offer some typical numbers to clarify the situation.
Anyway, "warehousing and delivery" feels like a bullshit argument from someone who wants to disguise his profit margin. I mean... look at Spotify: they use more storage and bandwidth than anyone and their service is still ridiculously cheap. That said, I'm guessing there's other costs for a STORE, that wouldn't affect a streaming service nearly as much.
I'm thinking the costs of a typical online store for purely digital goods pretty much break down like this:
I could be wrong of course, but bandwidth is cheap, and so is hardware. If the system is cleverly built, you don't need a huge number of techies to maintain and develop it. The one big expense I can think of is the same as always, customer support: my order didn't arrive, you sent the wrong CD, your site is rejecting my VISA card... That has to be the real cost, right? That's where you need a warehouse (full of support staff, not hard drives) costing you a pile of money every month.
If someone argued that the staff is a big expense in online distribution of digital content, then I'm thinking they may be right. If someone talks about expensive bandwidth and storage, I just feel like jumping up on a table, waving my arms and screaming like a monkey.
Anyway, that's just what I'm thinking. If anyone has any actual experience with it, by all means chip in.
You are all missing the point. The label may be (at least) mostly staying within the bounds of the contract, but duh, so are Def Leppard! DF is NOT violating the contract. They are releasing new covers, legally, while using their contractual rights to block their label at every turn.
I'm sure DF didn't enter into the contract, realising that as sales became electronic their royalties would fade and place them in permanent debt. I'm equally sure that the label didn't expect the band to forbid them from doing anything when they signed the contract. BUT, there you go; shit happens. While neither party is in breach of contract, at least DF has one good argument on their side: the Internet is not "new media" and hasn't been for a frickin long time, and as such it should pay the same royalties as CDs. The problem is that the label would rather screw the artist, than get with the times.
This time the artist has found a way to fight the contract without breaking the contract. The artist has found a way to do something that usually only the labels get to do: screw the other party over without actually violating the letter of the contract.
I find it hard to sympathise with the label and say that Def should follow the intention of the contract, when the label has been ignoring the intention of the contract for years. Poor label. Boo-frickin-hoo.
Try Sweden. The current conservative government still cream in their pants every time someone mentions ACTA. They have been spoon feeding the population half-truths and fabrications for a long time, and I'm honestly not sure if this massive rejection in the EU will make them see the light.
Hope it doesn't and they get nuked out of the next election as the voters defect to the greens and the pirate party.
Aaanyway..! Happy day! July 4th is actually feeling a little bit like independence day here in the old world.
Mmmm. Popcorn. We really should turn this into a proper tv show! We could call it "Carry on, Mr Carrion!", nailing half a dozen puns, jokes and references in the title alone. Only... Where will we ever find a talking buzzard? What's you feeling on sock puppets?
As a resident of Sweden, I've watched over the years with increasing horror how more and more software, movies and music arrives with it's own EULA, or restrictions stating that it's "illegal to sell, show or copy - even for your own use" which by the way violates Swedish consumer law at every turn (not that US companies usually give a crap about details like legality). DRM is also a way to remove our ability to make the legal copies the law allows us, but it's important to understand that breaking the DRM and making copies isn't actually illegal here, but we have certainly been moving in that direction...
This ruling is a step back, reinforcing the laws that have been slowly eroding - eroding to the point where even films produced in Sweden for Swedish audiences start with a copyright screen that fraudulently claims that making copies for personal use is illegal, which of course is a load of dingo's kidneys, and should in all honesty land a few rich execs in prison until they learn not to lie to the people about their consumer rights.
From my Swedish standpoint, no, I don't see any huge impacts on how things are done, but this may just keep the industry in check, reminding them that legally they are treading on thin ice, and that continually violating consumer rights may just turn out to land them in a shit-storm that simply wasn't on their forecast.
While first sale rights may be going out the window in the US due to outsourced production and license agreements, this hasn't really happened in Europe yet. Hopefully, this means that it never will. I think in this case, no big impact is a good thing, as it means we are hitting the breaks on the Americanization of Europe.