The phrasing on this quote "the CERN team that first said they saw some FTL neutrinos, now admit they made a couple mistakes. " does the CERN team a disservice.
They arranged an incredibly complex experiment and got anomolous results. When they could not find a reason, they presented to the broader community for analysis. They always contemplated that it could be an error or systematic flaw. This phrasing, while technically accurate, seems to imply that they tried to hide or were at least surprised by the fact there were mistakes.
A better phrasing would be "the CERN team, after displaying unusual data, determined definitively that it was caused by a mistake and what that mistake was with input from the broader scientific community."
The CERN team worked hard, honestly presented their results with full contemplation it might include errors, and publicized all details when they were known. The Scientific Community, including the CERN team, worked exactly the way it should in this case.
I am not a lawyer, but I do not think you can "pretty much prepare any legal filing ". There is certain boiler plate that is used repeatedly of course, but much of that is provided by the Courts themselves in their published forms and in places like appendixes to the FRCP. There are certain other paragraphs that will need only minimal customization to the particular case, but they still need customization and that requires a full understanding of them.
Also, with a few exceptions that are sealed for various reasons, most court filings are part of the public record. That means that anyone can go down to the court house (or sometimes even the Court's website) and get a copy for a relatively small fee, with none of that money being paid to the lawyers that created the document.
I agree with some of your underlying points, but I have to disagree that music is not a product. It certainly no longer needs to be a product, but it still can be.
When I buy a track off of Amazon from say Nightwish, my goal is to buy the ability to listen to that music as often as I wish. It certainly feels and seems like I am buying if not the music then a copy of the music which is really no different from buying the music. It is not an MP3 file I am buying, but the music that happens to use MP3 as its packaging.
In certain areas, yes. I am an enormous fan of wikipedia.
But I am not so certain that process works well for fiction or visual art. Even if I were proven wrong, it wouldn't really change the fact that there will be a ton of stuff that is just bad or good but outside the genres I like.
I personally am quite willing to pay for someone to collect the best of the "Professional Amateur" work in genres I like, do the tedious but important work of fixing minor typos and grammar errors, and then see to it that I can easily provide some support/compensation to those creators. This seems to be close to the definition of an editor-reviewer.
I love the variety that can spring up due to lower barriers to entry in many of these fields.
Yet, after sifting through a substantial amount of low quality material it seems that as gatekeepers become less necessary, editors and reviewers to help identify, refine, and highlight the work that is of genuinely high quality will become far more significant.
While I may not like the fact that Google feels the need to do this, I think their reasoning is logical and this is probably the best way to approach the situation.
Google, for all that it does a great deal of good for the world, remains a corporation, and a for-profit one at that. Google must obey the laws, at least so far is it operates locally, of every jurisdiction in which it does business. This includes censoring content when there is a valid law or court order requiring it to do so.
Google already removes content in the US when ordered by a court for reasons such as Copyright Infringement, slander, etc. Many other countries apply censorship much more broadly. Google must comply with the laws of these other countries at least so long as it wishes to operate within them.
By applying the censorship only to the version of the site seen by that country, they are taking the absolute lightest touch to censorship that they can while still complying with their legal obligations.
While we may not like the fact that some of these requirements exist at all, they do and Google must comply. I am glad they are doing it with the lightest touch that they are permitted to use.
Clearly, this is anecdotal, but I go to libraries all the time and have found many of my favorite authors that way. I have almost never purchased a book after checking it out (the exceptions all involve either classics or reference books), but I have frequently discovered I liked an author and proceeded to buy many of their other books after checking one out.
It was because of libaries that I discovered Piers Anthony, Isaac Asimov, and others. I then went on to buy many books by each of them. If you only write one book in your life, then having it available in my local libary will probably stop me from ever buying it. But if you are going to be prolific, then libraries are the best way to get someone like me to become a fan.
" Apparently, in the mind of PayPal, no one but a non-profit ever asked for donations for anything."
Perhaps its just me, but I would prefer to see donate used in a narrower sense. I have always thought of a donation as something given for charity. That certainly doesn't restrict it to non-profits, but it is clearly associated with them.
When giving a voluntary payment for a service already rendered, it is more of a tip or bonus or even an actual payment where the asking price was "pay what you want". When contributing to something from which several people including me will benefit, it is a contribution or informally "chipping in." I know it is just a pet peeve, but it annoys me when donate is used for things other than charity.
With that rant out of the way, PayPal handled this badly. If it wanted to enforce its rules on the use of "Donate" (which is probably reasonable in my opinion), then it should have done its checks before taking the first payment to be processed. It is completely unreasonable to try to enforce that rule after payments have been made by people who were not decieved.
"First off, anything taken for free is not "trade" in any real sense."
That is not quite right. Piracy is probably not trade, but counterfits are (albiet perhaps illegitimate trade.) More broadly though, there are plenty of things taken for free which are trade. Sometimes the other party is looking precisely to have the item hauled away as its part of what it receives (see Pennsy Supply, Inc. v. American Ash Recycling Corp. for a discussion of this in case law). Sometimes it is being given away as a form of promotion (Venom energy drinks were given away on my campus as a way to promote them. It worked at least in getting me to buy them occassionally after the promotion was over). Sometimes it is taken for free because the other party is hoping to sell services or accessories (Red Hat Linux).
Free can be a real part of trade. Piracy probably isn't technically trade, but it is probably effectively dealt with as such, and counterfitting definitely is trade even if illigetimate.
Re: Re: Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"
I must say I am impressed to see an actual intelligent defense of this practice, so I have to commend you.
With that said, I think the studios could easily work around all of those. I am no expert, but I cannot imagine how mastering a blu-ray in theater aspect ratios can be horribly hard when the movie is ready for theaters. The extras you mention could be dealt with by simply cutting them out for the initial "Theaterical Blu-Ray release".
And even if mastering does take longer than I think it does, I strongly suspect that time frame could be rapidly shrunk if there was a real profit-motive to find ways to shrink it, which there would be the moment studios started trying to make Blu-Rays for sale at the theater.
Re: Re: Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"
The purpose of copyright is in the first part, "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts" everything else is describing a possible means to an end and giving Congress access to that means as an enumerated power.
"Other than copyright, the only way to have the exclusive use of an idea is to come up with an idea nobody else can ever think of, then not share the idea with anyone."
Why should anyone have exclusive use of an idea?
Remember that copyright was never about protecting an idea at all, but the expression. Patents come closer, but even they don't really cover an entire idea, but the implementations of it (and things that are pure ideas like a mathematical formula cannot be patented.)
It is also worth remembering that even the rights which are secured by patents and copyrights are Constitutionally limited in time (even though that time has now become absurdly long).
Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"
As others point out, people go for the experience, not to see the movie. When I go see a Cirque Du Soleil show, I generally can buy the DVD ont he way out the door, I still go when my budget permits.
But to make the argument worse, those friends already "won't have to pay to see it". If they want to play by the rules they just wait a few months (assuming they remember by then they wanted to see it) and borrow it from their friends then. If they are willing to break the law, they probably could have seen it illegally before it was in theaters.
I personally would buy DVDs of some movies on the way out the door, especially kids movies since my kids would be right there then with it fresh on their minds trying to convince me to buy it.
Great Article, but P2P can also be fully legitimate
It is a great article, but sometimes it is worth stating the obvious to go with it:
There arenumerous legitimate uses for P2P software. Many large software packets (OpenOffice and many Linux ISOs) are most effeciently distributed by P2P software, especially if the distributor is a small operation for whom bandwidth is a major line item.
I am not a lawyer, and it depends on the jurisdiction and the details, but this is not always true.
Depending on jurisdiction, there are ways to make sure certain types of assets (and debts) are tied solely to one person or the other. But by default assets and debts after marriage are marital, and can apply equally to both parties. A creditor of a debt acquired after marriage is normally free to go after marital assets to satisfy the debt.
In Nevada as an example, assume one spouse has no income, but the other spouse has an income above the poverty level. If the spouse without income defaults, a creditor may first secure a judgment against the debt and then request a writ of execution to garnish the other spouses income, but at a reduced monthly rate of what they could garnish the debtor's income.
My wife, for instance, now has a job. But for a long time she didn't, and she still got credit cards in her name without my involvement without any problem because the creditors knew she was backed by my income.
I am not a lawyer, but to be clear the "joint and several" normally comes up in torts in determining who is (or can be) liable, not in regards to who holds positive assets.
Family law is governed on a state by state basis, so there is some variation, but generaly assets that are held by both parties may be described as "marital" or "communal" or in some cases (mostly regarding land) as "joint tenancy with right of survivorship."
Most jurisdictions do allow certain types of properties which are acquired in certain ways to be held separately and to never become marital assets. Nevada for instance will allow inherited assets which are carefully kept separate from the marital assets to be treated as the sole property of one party or the other.
As to whether a facebook account could be viewed as a marital asset, I suspect (again I am not a lawyer, and I think this would not be an area of settled law anyway) that the answer would NORMALLY be no. The first thing is that many courts are likely to not view a normal facebook account as property at all. It is rather access to a service granted entirely at the suffrance of company. It would be more akin to a PO Box rented month to month.
Even were it to be viewed as property, depending on the jurisdiction there is a reasonable chance it would be viewed as solely belonging to the account holder. Facebooks TOS implies that a personal account is to be held by a person, and it is integrally linked with an individual.
There may be exceptions for product pages or corporate pages which may truly have economic value and might very well be marital property if say one spouse was the sole proprietor of a company started after the marriage. But an average individual account would probably not be viewed as an asset at all and probably wouldn't be viewed as a marital asset if determined to be an asset.
Re: Oh, you routinely say legislators don't know what they're signing.
""They [videos] are platform agnostic." -- Nope. Require specific software in the browser."
I think that "they" refers to the people uploading the videos, not YouTube itself, though the sentence is somewhat ambiguous.
Even YouTube itself is platform agnostic in the sense that it checks for certain features, not specific platforms. I will never be able to view YouTube on my programmable TI-83 calculator since it doesn't support the needed features. But I can view YouTube regardless of using Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, Android, IOS, etc regardless of whether I am using FireFox, IE, Chrome, or Opera.
If someone comes out with a whole new OS and a whole new Browser tomorrow, Youtube would work as long as that combination implemented all required features. That fits "platform agnostic" as it is generally used when talking about computer technologies.
That is reasonable, but I do not think the facts support it.
Looking at copyright, while some creative works like paintings retain their value a hundred years later, the vast majority don't. The vast majority will see all of their commercial value depleted in the first few years, and part of that value is generally freshness, which fades fast.
As for patents, many (especially those that are extremely broad) would still remain valuable today. While new bells and whistles kept being added, the core workings of the land-line telephone remained the same since the first commercial telephone to now. We finally have things like cellphones which are truly supplanting them, but even then a lot of traditional telephones still use those basic principles.
For that matter, John Barber received a patent on turbinesin 1791. While they have certainly evolved since then, they still use many of the same principles even now, and much of their evolution really was evolution based on older designs. If that patent was still in force (and in force in American since that was granted in Britain), it would be likely that the Hoover Dam would be infringing.
I have only read the portions quoted here, but I think this essay may go too far. I see a value in copyrights and patents where this essay seems to see none and gives no consideration to the possibility they have any.
Now of course, my comment should not be taken too far. I think copyrights and patents in their current incarnation largely cause more problems for society than they solve. Copyright terms are far too long, fair use ought to be much stronger, and it is far too easy to get patents which are ridiculously broad and do not actually disclose the innovation (which was the main point of the original British Statute of Monopolies). I think our copyright and patent systems both need to be dramatically reformed in favor of more openness.
Yet, this article seems to say that because their current incarnation is burdensome and unworkable that it should be abolished entirely. I think that may be going a bit too far personally, even if I am sympathetic to the specific claims of the harm done by our current system.