If customer satisfaction was a true company imperative, it would not make proprietary connectors. As a general observation many companies do NOT care about the individual consumer anymore. They tend to be somewhat responsive when consumers abandon them in mass.
My problem with the EFF proposal is that is acknowledges the existence of this type of patent. This starts the whole line of slippery slope arguments that the patents have to be "strengthened" to protect the patent holder. NO to software patents.
A second issue that requires further review is that there can only be "one" patent holder. We live in a world economy with a world population in excess of 6 Billion people. Given that, many people can "invent" the same thing. If that is the case there should be NO patent or at least a shared patent.
Finally, any patent that is issued must be supported by a real device with real blueprints. A third party should be able to take that blueprint and construct that device. If they can't then NO patent.
The Rule of Law and Due Process are Being Eliminated
Larry wrote: "Yet traditional forms of legal enforcement have become nearly impossible.". To get around the impediment of traditional methods of copyright enforcement, infringement for one has been criminalized instead of simply being a civil violation. So we now have the State involved in propping up the revenue stream of corporations.
Not only that but third parties, such as the ISP, are now being required to "filter" and or "read" internet content. Basically wiretapping.
Furthermore, we are seeing the emergence of "automated justice". Basically, if some entity "X" says that you have infringed without any valid proof, ISP "Y" is required to take-down the content and wait for the "offender" to respond and provide proof that the entity "X" actually made a false accusation. (How one can force a third party to act as private law enforcement is beyond me.)
This turns our judicial process upside down. It used to be that the complaining entity had to provide proof and take it to court and try the evidence before an adverse action could be taken. Now one can have an adverse action imposed without a trial and the "offender" then has to defend themselves to rescind that adverse action.
The Washington Times had an editorial condemning cameras that record people going through red lights because in many cases they did not work properly. The Washington Times cited one person defending the use of the cameras who basically said: "Our concern is not justice but maximizing revenue." Similarly, with copyright and patent law, the rule of law and due process are being sacrificed to maximize revenue.
One train of thought concerning property rights holds that they evolve out of scarcity. The ability for unlimited copying so-called "intellectual property" means that it is infinitely available (non-scarce). Therefore, the property right to so-called "intellectual property" should evaporate.
We bought a game, read the terms of service, and decided to return it. The store we bought it from said "NO return", and the company that manufactured the game responded that you had to return the game to the retail store, obviously a catch-22. So if they are unwilling to accept a return, why even attempt to honestly buy a game to begin with?
These companies are actually promoting piracy by refusing to deal with you in an honest manner.
Fundamentally, when there is a technological advance, why should the content create be able to claim a "new" (homestead) ownership right. The consumer bought (from the consumers point-of-view) the right to use that content. Therefore the consumer should have the right to use it as they see fit.
(Of course the content creator well claim that they are only leasing a limited privilege, but that is bunk.)
"the significance of "library as place,"". The internet and websites such as Wikipedia make information available independent of where you are located. Consequently, the libraries need to formulate "attractants" to make local patrons want to be physically present. (Author book signings or computer workshops as examples)
Libraries no longer serve the local community, the patron base now is the entire world and libraries are in "competition" with each other to attract (global) patrons.
One of my frustrations with libraries has been the lack of (paper) technical books related to the use of computers, operating systems, and programming. I even donated some of my books to the local library only to see them placed in the "Friends of the Library" bargain table instead of being placed on the shelves. Considering Microsoft's perpetual penchant to always say "Contact your System Administrator"; libraries could be an excellent resource for technical books.
What gives a company a right to define what a "nefarious purpose" is and to advocate that modifications are criminal activity. To go a step beyond: "technology should not be banned simply because some people might use that technology for nefarious purposes."
Re: Re: Re: Well, I guess I have a stupid question then
There are two aspects. One the book, which is something physical and the content, which is abstract. What is copyrighted is the abstract content. Subsequent selling/trading of the physical book does not affect the copyright privilege.
You are also, unfortunately, buying into the concept promoted by the content industry that the buyer never obtains an ownership privilege to the physical book. This is an absurdity. This land-grab by the content industry needs to be ended.
If one applies the expansive licensing concepts promoted by the content and tech industries to all retail products you wouldn't even be able to change the spark plugs in your car without going to an authorized vendor approved customer service satisfaction center.
The purpose of copyright has morphed from providing a content creator with a limited right to foster creativity to a "toll-booth" to extort revenue. Not only that, but it criminalization has also been added. Try to circumvent the "toll-both" - get penalized.
Unanswered is the meaning of Britannica's "looking forward". Will they continue investing resources in the encyclopedia to further it as a quality source of content that people seek to use - OR - will they quietly stop investing in it and milk it as a cash cow? Then - when the content becomes "obsolete" - just quietly shut down the whole operation and declare bankruptcy.
What About the Luggage with Wheels and Extendable Rods?
Another insane rule. Seems that a lot of luggage with the wheels and extendable metal rods could be designed to be easily broken down and re-configured into a weapon. So why are they allowed and scissors aren't?
It seems that the those in charge have to create some evil bogeyman to justify continued repression to fight this or that "war". Perhaps the biggest threat to our national security is continued unrestrained deficit spending. The Chinese can simply buy our debt and use it to legally buy US companies to acquire whatever technology that they seek. An easy end-run to by-pass any cybersecurity.
Unfortunately, the concept of operating this country with a balanced budget would mean that our esteemed politicians would have to make real decisions and do some real work. Easier to fan the flames of public outrage, declare a "war" and then pass more useless)repressive legislation.
Based on the stage that has been set so-far, it would seem in 2013 that either Obama and Romney, if elected President, would loudly beat the drums-of-war. The inauguration speech may well be serve as a prelude.
Seems that the US continues with the philosophy that the seller somehow defines the rule of a "sale" to the exclusion of any rights that the buyer may have.
If the seller insists that the buyer is entering into a contract, then they should have an authorized representative present at the point-of-sale so that the buyer can truly negotiate. Of course, they won't - too expensive - they would say. If that is the case, then all EULA/TOS should be voided.
After a while the endless mind numbing display of these messages becomes "invisible". Not only do they become another irritant to be avoided, but the message not to do something becomes lost.
Laws tend to be complied with to the extent that they reflect societal norms. Admonitions, such as compliance with industry defined copyright, will be increasingly ignored by the "customer crooks". In the extreme - respect for the law (as a concept) will be treated as a joke. If the content industry wishes to have real compliance with the law by the "customer crooks" they need to stop their massive land-grab and acknowledge the rights of the "customer crooks" to the use of their ("customer crooks") content.
Another example where technological advancement is being used to subvert the concept of contracts. One aspect of contract law is that the two parties enter into a mutual agreement defining each-others responsibilities and obligations. Now, one party (the seller) is able to issue a so-called "contract" that can be changed at any time without the consent of the other party and which reserve all rights to that one party (the seller). It is unfortunate that our judicial system has not adapted to preserve contractual relationships.