Well, except they aren't. That's kinda the whole point.
According to nearly every review I've seen, they're basically single-level maps that would shame even a beginning Half-Life modder, using stock (some claim stolen) assets developed by others, with counter-intuitive and unexplained game mechanics.
You certainly have a point if we're talking about AAA games (or even good indie games), but this ain't them.
Have you checked out Lowery's Trichordist site lately?
Unfortunately, yes. I need something to get me angry sometimes.
You're right, they're basically an anti-Google conspiracy site nowadays. But that's actually not so much that they're in "crazyland." Some people who write for that site (but not Lowery, AFAIK) are involved with pro-copyright astroturf groups, and they're deliberately pushing propaganda.
On example: Chris Castle used to head up Arts+Labs, an astroturf group originally started by telecom lobbyists that also supported SOPA and PIPA (and disbanded immediately after they failed). Another frequent contributor, Ellen Seidler (also of popuppirates.com and Vox Indie), is on the advisory board of Digital Citizen's Alliance, the main mover behind the Project Goliath debacle.
Still, they're good to read just to see what they're angry about, so that you can know what to actually support.
There has been an interesting development in the "100% licensing" debate.
After the DOJ ruled that the consent decrees required full-work licensing (called "100% licensing" by publishers and PRO's), BMI asked the rate court for a declaratory judgement that the DOJ was wrong.
And, now, Judge Stanton has sided with BMI, and ruled that the consent decrees do not require full-work licensing.
His reasoning is really convoluted. He takes a passage in the consent decree that is essentially a savings clause, and interprets it to mean that copyright infringement itself is not any part of the consent decree:
If a fractionally-licensed composition is disqualified from inclusion in BMI's repertory, it is not for violation of any provision of the Consent Decree. [...] It does not address the possibilities that BMI might license performances of a composition without sufficient legal right to do so, or under a worthless or invalid copyright, or users might perform a music composition licensed by fewer than all of its creators.
It should be noted that one of the reasons songwriters freaked out about 100% licensing, is that it was reported inaccurately in a wide variety of places.
Here is just a sampling:
The DOJ decided PROs and Publishers must adopt "100% Licensing." This means the person or group that controls even just 1% of a song has the authority to license the full 100% of the song, without permission from the other songwriters/owners.
The DOJ made another decision that will displease publishers: It is moving ahead with its interpretation that the two PROs must use 100-percent licensing and can no longer engage in fractionalized licensing -- meaning that any rightsholder in songs with multiple songwriters, who may be represented by different PROs, has the right to license the entire song to a user, as long as he accounts to and pays the other songwriters. [...]
Also, some wonder if this ruling will hurt or help the PROs not covered by the consent decree, like SESAC and Global Music Rights.
On one hand, it could hurt those PROs because licensees of songs with multiple songwriters would likely rather cut deals with ASCAP and BMI -- whose rates are hampered by the consent decree and rate court -- than with the two PROs that have the ability to seek market rates. In the future, digital services would only have to agree to market rates for songs 100 percent controlled by SESAC and GMR, some sources suggest.
We regard the announced intentions of the DOJ [...] to impose mandatory "full work licensing" on a copyright co-owner or co-administrator if is so requested by a copyright user, as serious injustices that will further damage the ability of songwriters and composers to earn a living through our chosen profession.
Next, what about SESAC? They are not parties to the consent decrees. But to read the "new rule that is not really a new rule" correctly, would be that if a SESAC writer composed a song with an ASCAP writer, that ASCAP would not only have the right, but the obligation to license the SESAC share, making SESAC a party to a consent decree that they never were a part of in the first place.
This is a complete violation of due process.
And finally, what about my contracts? They say that no one writer can license the work without the consent of the other writer. The DOJ’s "new rule which is not really a new rule" completely abrogates my client’s contract rights, another violation of due process.
And what’s the point of all this? It’s to lower the fees that independent PRO’s like SESAC and Irving Azoff’s fledging GMR might demand, since 100% of the licensing might be obtained from ASCAP and BMI instead. This benefits, guess who? Pandora, Siruis XM, and of course, YouTube.
Well, apparently, they were making that stuff up. The "100% Licensing" provision does not require the PRO's to license works to which they have only been granted partial rights.
Instead, it requires the PRO's to have been granted the ability to issue licenses for 100% of the song by the copyright holders themselves.
If copyright holders can't or don't want to do this, then the PRO's cannot claim that they can do so, and can't offer licenses for those songs at all. That is completely different than what was claimed.
Of course, fueling this fire was the fact that the DOJ didn't actually release its ruling until the 4th, so speculation (and the biased claims of the PRO's) was all that anyone had to go on.
This is a completely overblown accusation, mainly used as a smear tactic by anti-Google compsiracy theory loons like the Trichordist.
In 2006, Hesse was hired by Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati to be part of their anti-trust team. In 2008, Google hired WSGR to advise them in the 2008 Google/Yahoo! antitrust case (which ultimately went against them). Hesse was the WSGR employee who advised them.
What about the Darwinist mass murderers such as Stalin, Hitler and several others?
There is a huge difference between Darwinism (which is a scientific theory) and social Darwinism (which is not). Furthermore, none of the people you mentioned committed atrocities because they believed in Darwinism.
Also, perhaps ironically, Charles Richet (who anti-vaxxers like to misquote) presided over the French Eugenics Society from 1920 to 1926.
And putting it into perspective, the diseases that vaccinations have wiped out used to kill more people than all those mass murderers combined.
You haven't shown that he backed away when presented with an incontrovertible mistake.
What does his lack of "backing away" have to do with him comparing two unrelated statistics in order to drum up FUD?
In fact, he wouldn't "back away" even if he were presented with an incontrovertable mistake. I know this from experience. I wrote a critical comment on the Trichordist site once, and in a personal email exchange, he made some vague threats about contacting my college (I was writing from my school email account) and warnings about how Chris Castle could sue me. Then he deleted my comment and forwarded my email to Castle, presumably so Castle could so the same. I wrote a little about it here.
Regardless, do you think the CA is a "front group" for the RIAA, despite the publicized fact that the RIAA is a member of CA (and not just a funder)?
What the article actually said is that it is a "front group" for "the entertainment industry." That seems entirely accurate to me.
The Copyright Alliance is a 501(c)(4) front group created and operated by associates of former Sen. Don Nickles (R-Oklahoma) and his lobbying firm, The Nickles Group, LLC. Formed in 2007, the Copyright Alliance claims to represent a broad cross-section of copyright stakeholders, with an emphasis on the interests of creative individuals such as photographers, visual artists, songwriters and performers; however, the makeup of its board, the corporate backgrounds and political connections of its founders and staff members, and its advocacy track record reveal that its true purpose is to promote the interests of prominent telecom and entertainment corporations.
While the backgrounds of the people at the Alliance strongly imply that the organization is a front group, it is of course their words and actions that most directly demonstrate the Alliance's true mission and reason for existence. A prime example showing what the Alliance is all about is the testimony of Executive Director Sandra Aistars to a hearing of the House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competitiveness and the Internet, on June 01, 2011. Three panelists testified before the committee: Sandra, from the Copyright Alliance; Maria Pallante, the Register of the U.S. Copyright Office; and Michael O'Leary, Vice President of Congressional Affairs at the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).
In her written testimony, Sandra describes the Alliance in much the same way as she does at many of her other public appearances, and in keeping with the Alliance's branding:
The Copyright Alliance is a public interest and educational organization supported by more than 40 entities comprised of individual artists and creators, as well as the associations, guilds, and corporations that support and invest in them. Besides these institutional members, we have more than 7,000 individual, one-voice artist advocates who give their personal time and creativity to support our work.
Note her emphasis on individuals, and the very obvious minimization of the Alliance’s corporate membership. Later in her testimony, she adds:
The Copyright Alliance represents the copyright holder next door. Our members are living and working in all 50 States and include, among others, the independent filmmakers who self-finance films that tell as-yet-untold stories, the talented crafts people who are behind every television show and motion picture you enjoy, the tens of thousands of professional photographers and videographers across the country who run their own studios, employ a handful of workers, and contract with a dozen more, and there are people working in unexpected places on extraordinary projects, like a music producer living in Wrightsville, North Carolina, who is working from his home studio with musicians as far away as Glasgow and as recognized as Neil Young.
To anyone unfamiliar with the details of the Alliance, Sandra and the other witnesses appear to represent a broad spectrum of interests before the committee. Maria, a government official; Sandra, allegedly speaking for the plucky "individual creators" of the general public; and Michael O'Leary, representing an association of prominent corporations. However, since the MPAA is a Copyright Alliance board member, and even better, the MPAA officer who's named as a director of the Alliance is in fact none other than Michael O'Leary himself, the appearance of a broad spectrum of interests being represented is an illusion. One more item pointing to the MPAA’s heavy presence can be seen in the video of the hearing, where the spectator sitting immediately behind Sandra appears to be Cindi Tripodi: Copyright Alliance staffer, Nickles lobbyist representing the MPAA, and former vice president of congressional affairs for the MPAA, which to remind you is the job O’Leary currently holds.
I think Stravinsky has been attributed with the quote "Lesser artists borrow, great artists steal."
This (modern) version of the quote is actually from T.S. Elliot: "Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal[.]"
Interestingly enough, this evolved from a quote by W. H. Davenport Adams: "great poets imitate and improve, whereas small ones steal and spoil." (He was favorably referring to Tennyson's use of other poets' material.)
Recall that one of the reasons that Jim Hood issued an "administrative subpoena" to Google is that they refused to block the TLD's of "pirate sites."
Never mind that thousands of musicians have use TPB to promote their own music. (You may think it's stupid, but it's their right to do it.) Blocking TBP altogether would infringe on the rights of these artists to distribute their works to the public, which is a fundamental human right.
But never mind that. According to this Anonymous Coward, the internet isn't bowing down enough to the wills of the monopsony labels, so fuck it. Let it die.
He calls everyone on the government side criminals, and then says that criminals should get a bullet to their apparently empty skulls.
When you put the two together, there is a clear threat, and one that suggests action against government agents.
This is simply not true. The first quote said that people on the government side "should have grand theft and / or larceny charges filed against them," which is not a threat of violence.
The second quote said that "a bullet to their apparently empty skulls" could be the consequence of their actions - by someone who is not the poster.
This is clearly hyperbole (and pretty ridiculous IMHO), and is clearly not a direct threat to the agents involved by the commenter.
No reasonable person would conclude that this poster was about to go out and shoot any of the agents involved.
Even if it could be interpreted as such, it does not rise to the level of a "true threat." For example, here's a quote that is much more of a "clear threat," this one against the President:
They always holler at us to get an education. And now I have already received my draft classification as 1-A and I have got to report for my physical this Monday morning. I am not going. If they ever make me carry a rifle the first man I want to get in my sights is L.B.J.
Yet this statement is not a "true threat," it is protected speech. The Supreme Court reached that decision in Watts v. United States.
Here's another example:
If we catch any of you going in any of them racist stores, we’re gonna break your damn neck.
This, again, is protected speech. See NAACP. v. Claiborne Hardware.
Do you know for a fact (absolute) that this guys comments are NOT the first step in doing something really bad?
Luckily for every single human in the U.S., this is not even close to the standard for investigating anyone. There is no way for anyone to know if any speech is "NOT the first step in doing something really bad."
The record labels not only generally pay (based on their contracts) but also provide huge sums of money UP FRONT, pre-paying artists to record for them.
This bullshit has been debunked so many times, it's a bad joke.
The "huges sums of money UP FRONT" (the advances) are not used for "pre-paying artists to record for them." They are used to pay for the costs of recording the album.
Equipment, recording studio payments, payments to record producers, studio musicians' wages, and so on, all come out of that advance. And often it is the labels, not the artists, who determine these things (they bring producers on board, choose the recording studio, etc). Whatever is left over goes to the artists - and their representatives (managers, publicists, assistants, whatever).
And the "pay" (royalties) doesn't accrue until after that advance is paid back out of the artist's royalty share. This varies by contract, but a good round number is 15% of the profits.
So, if you have a $200K advance - nearly all of which goes into recording the album - then artist's royalties won't accrue until the album has made about $1.3 million dollars. At that point, the label has earned over a million dollars, and the artist has earned nothing in royalties. And this doesn't count other "recoupables," such as the album artwork, music video costs, tour support, and so forth, that also must be paid back in full before the artists earn royalties.
Incorrect. Natural right says that if I create something, it's mine. Copyright only helps to more clearly define that in legal terms.
This is completely false. U.S. copyright law is not, and was never, based on the natural rights of authors:
The enactment of copyright legislation by Congress under the terms of the Constitution is not based on any natural right that the author has in his writings, for the Supreme Court has held that such rights as he has are purely statutory rights, but upon the ground that the welfare of the public will be served and progress of science and useful arts will be promoted by securing to authors for limited periods the exclusive right to their writings. The Constitution does not establish copyrights, but provides that Congress shall have the power to grant such rights if it thinks best. Not primarily for the benefit of the author, but primarily for the benefit of the public such rights are given. Not that any particular class of citizens, however worthy, may benefit, but because the policty is believed to be for the benefit of the great body of people, in that it will stimulate writing and invention, to give some bonus to authors and inventors.
In enacting a copyright law, Congress must consider two questions: First, how much will the legislation stimulate the producer and so benefit the public; and second, how much will the monopoly granted be detrimental to the public? The granting of such exclusive rights under the proper terms and conditions, cofers a benefit upon the public that outweighs the evils of the temporary monopoly.
- H.R. Rep. No. 60-2222
It may seem unfair that much of the fruit of the compiler's labor may be used by others without compensation. As Justice Brennan has correctly observed, however, this is not "some unforeseen byproduct of a statutory scheme."... It is, rather, "the essence of copyright," ... and a constitutional requirement. The primary objective of copyright is not to reward the labor of authors, but "to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts."