While I think it's unfortunate that Larrikin Music chose to sue over this, I can see why the court ruled as they did. Kookaburra is such a short song. I count 37 notes. It's so short that identifying the song by name is probably infringement. (Note to LM: That was sarcasm; please don't sue me.) The part that Men At Work used is actually two pieces, each 11 notes long. So that's 59% of the tune quoted, multiple times, in Land Down Under.
While it's true the notes aren't part of the versus or chorus, they are the melody line for an instrumental interlude between verses and therefore feature prominently in the song. While not solely responsible for the success of Land Down Under, they do help to give it that Australian flavor.
I agree that the current copyright laws are overboard, but for now they are the law.
I think that the subject article makes some good points (although it maybe overstates its case a little). The point they are trying to make is that adapting was harder for buggy whip makers because the skill set they possessed ("braiding fiber around a hard core") didn't have an application in the automobile business. The carriage makers were closer, with mostly woodworking skills, while the carriage part makers were the closest, since many of them already had metalworking skills.
This isn't to say that a particular industry can't adapt. I take issue with the article's final statement: "But the buggy whip makers never had a fighting chance." In fact the article contradicts itself, as it mentions that a few whip makers survived by focusing on the equestrian market (polo, horse racing, etc.)
There's a saying "to a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail." Humans have a tendency to try to solve problems with the skills and tools they already have rather than learning new ones. It takes an exceptional person to 1) recognize that their skills and tools are losing relevance, and 2) acquire new skills and tools to make a successful transition.
This is just my interpretation, but I think the point of the article is not that buggy whip makers aren't a good example of businesses disrupted by innovation. The point is rather that for most businesses, the carriage makers and carriage part makers are more apt analogies. Most modern businesses facing disruption have some (but not all) of the skills they will need for the future.
I think Mike was just too full of rage when he read the article. ;-)
The term robot is so broad, that it encompasses a multitude of devices, from the "simple" robotic arms that do factory work, to the self-aware android of science fiction.
senshikaze suggests that the Asmovian laws are all that are needed, but when my robotic lawn mower loses its bearings and mows down his prize-winning bonsai garden (without ever violating an Asmovian law), he might reconsider.
I can guarantee there will be moral panics where people will demand laws against "robostalking", "robobullying", etc., when in fact these are just stalking and bullying with the robot as a tool. And people will undoubtedly sue robot manufacturers when robots do what their owners told them to do. So I'm sure that some sort of safe harbor will be needed to protect manufacturers from the actions of users.
Mike and David came to an agreement that a "tiers" model would work for online media, but I was disappointed that no one gave any concrete examples of the scarcities that might be sold in such a tiered offering. I'm sure a company would have to try myriad offerings to find the ones that work, but can someone offer up some examples?
I certainly hope that my comment on the original post was one of the ones that Bev Stayart's lawyer (who also does not want Beverly Stayart's name associated with porn) wanted removed. I would consider it a badge of honor.
Set up tables for all the teachers in the gym (or whatever large room is handy). Each teacher has a sheet of paper for each class period they teach. Send in the seniors! Well, a portion of the senior class. They go to the teachers for each of the classes they need and sign up. Then the juniors and so on. At the end of the day, the freshmen get terrible schedules, but that's what happens inside the computer anyway. Then each of the teachers makes two copies of their class rosters: one for the administration, and one to send to SchoolMax to be entered into the database AT THEIR EXPENSE.
Years ago I read an article which described an experiment in computer modeling of evolutionary systems. In the experiment, a simulated organism with a very small genetic advantage was found to inexorably outcompete other organisms. It didn't matter that the advantage was tiny. The net effect over numerous competitions was to favor the fitter organism.
Of course, real world companies are much more complex than such a computer simulation, but I suspect the same principles apply. The WSJ may find a niche market of folks who will glady micropay for "high quality" news, but in the broader mass market, I suspect they will get creamed.
She's a legal assistant and CFO of a law firm. My guess is that she's been in the legal environment long enough that the thought of suing when someone displeases you just comes naturally. Yet another example of the Streisand Effect.
Important announcement for all people (and search engines) out there: Beverly Stayart does not want her name associated with Porn. Bev Stayart != Porn. When you think of Beverly Stayart, do not think of porn. Glad I could be of service.
I think the commenter in #13 is stretching credulity by suggesting that he might get a sudden urge to visit www.al-hacklelobah.com, but here's a little more believable scenario (tongue in cheek, of course):
Then I am merrily flying along when I get the sudden urge to visit techdirt.com, where I am exposed to all manner of radical ideas. I get so worked up I decide to take down the plane. I learn on the *same website* that I can make weapons out of a CD and a Coke can. Suddenly, I'm in command of the plane, flying into a building.
Note that courts have ruled in the past that for a student newspaper, the school is the "owner" of the paper and its administration has editorial control. So the superintendent has every right to demand to see the contents of any article before it is published.
So it sounds like everyone acted within their rights here. I too am impressed by the superintendent's appropriate response, as so many others would be demanding that the website be taken offline.
Re: Should people show old patent numbers on items?
Bragging rights are fine, but if you're showing an expired patent number, it should be clearly marked as expired. Sure it's easy to look up a patent number and see that its expired, but most people won't. I could argue that it's okay to show patents that aren't yours or don't apply to the product because it's easy to look them up and figure out that they're bogus, but nearly everyone agrees that this is an unacceptable practice. Listing expired patents as if they were still active is only slightly less shady.
If a copyrighted recipe whose "substantial literary expression" is put onto a website (such as someone copying a recipe from a book and posting it), isn't the remedy already pretty clear? The copyright holder sends a DMCA takedown notice and then, if necessary, lawyers sort things out.
While I agree that there are plenty of people out there in business who lack the skillz to put together an application, there are plenty of smart, adaptable businesspeople out there who could. The point of situated software is to make it easy enough for them to do so. Not full-featured scalable applications, but utilities to do specific jobs, at least.
Mike suggests the problem is the lack of a market. I would argue that it is just as likely that the problem is lack of exposure. How many businesspeople out there have never heard of these tools, as opposed to trying them and rejecting them? Or heard about them but not at a time when they had a need for them and promptly forgot about them?
The thing about this is that since the patent system has devolved to the point where filers are rewarding for writing patents that are overly broad, as TechDirt has pointed out many times. If some lawyer can figure out how to make money off of this type of class action suit, there is a gold mine's worth of patents to pursue.