BAlbrecht's Techdirt Profile


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  • Mar 22, 2018 @ 05:13pm


    What we have here is an indisputable system error and a lot of data that should indicate what went wrong. Despite the tragedy, we have an opportunity to improve the system.

  • Aug 02, 2010 @ 01:23pm

    Nice analogy

    Actually, the bull analogy kind of works:

    Bull's frame of mind: "I am spreading the seed of prosperity for all"

    Everyone else's frame of mind: "Here comes that damn bull to f*%* us in the a%$ again..."

  • Jul 28, 2010 @ 05:06pm


    No, sculptural works in a public setting are definitely not not something protected from filming by copyright. See this document (warning: pdf) for more guidance.
    Now, the area around the performance is certainly more grey. My guess-and, yes, it is an opinion-would be that an infringement claim would hinge around your usage of such a recording. Posting a limited amount of the footage on YouTube or used with journalistic intent should be exempt. But if you were selling that footage for direct profit you might find a jury to be sympathetic with the plaintiff.

  • Jul 08, 2010 @ 03:29pm

    Re: Re: Waste of time

    My thoughts exactly. This is a political campaign, and the more she reveals her ignorance of the law, the less likely it becomes that she'll win the seat. If she chooses to Palinize herself, more power to her. Maybe she's really vying for a job on Fox News...

  • May 21, 2010 @ 02:35pm

    Re: Looks like...

    Except a determination of unsafe driving requires a contextual judgment. There are arguments that can be made the other way--that under certain specific circumstances, it may be safer to be within an intersection while the light turns red. The problem with automated devices such as cameras is that they ignore the context of the situation. As such, I personally think it's impossible to say with any certainty that Mr. Ginsburg's driving was unsafe.

  • Mar 12, 2010 @ 10:28pm

    Re: re trademarks

    ...which is why we need legislation that allows for the punitive punishment for those filing frivolous lawsuits. Any lawyer who files a suit such as this without a clear understanding of IP laws would be potentially exposed to large penalties for their actions, thus deterring the suit to begin with. In addition, it would also create a market for legal defenses paid on contingency.

  • Jan 18, 2010 @ 05:26pm

    Elevator Operator

    NPR radio just did an interesting story ( on the elevator system in the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. One of the items in the story was about the Last Elevator Operator in D.C.--something we should all truly lament.

    History is full of stories of how technology has made certain professions obsolete. Shall we pass legislation outlawing automatic elevators? Shall we subsidize elevator rides with admission fees--or even better, tax dollars?

    Sadly the world of professional news journalism is undergoing major upheaval. Does this mean the end of news-gathering or quality reporting? To listen to some, you would think so. But take a broad look at history and you will likely realize that what is taking its place is far more useful and valuable to our culture than newspapers ever were. That is, unless you are one of those who hate to push the button to reach your floor, longing for the day when you had to pay someone else to operate the lift for you....

  • Dec 14, 2009 @ 04:08pm


    The real travesty here is the fact that this is a criminal matter? I mean, really, WTF?
    OK, if the theater wants to ban cameras from its property, fine--let it kick out its customers. I don't really care.
    And if the copyright holder wants to bring civil action against someone for infringement,fine. Let them bring their case in front of a judge and jury to assess the situation and render an appropriate judgement.
    But to make the act *criminal*? That's just insane, folks. On what grounds are you contending that possessing a recording device on private property is causing enough individual or societal harm that it warrants criminal punishment--even jail time? Even if this woman intended upon using her recording for commercial gain--which it certainly seems like she was not--how can you justify elevating this to the level of criminal behavior?
    I'm sorry, I'm just not buying this snake oil. And my legislators know it. How the hell have we managed to let an industry subvert our justice system for their own economic benefit just boggles the mind.

  • Oct 29, 2009 @ 03:16pm

    Both have great value.

    Breaking News is of very high value, and in many cases an exclusive perspective should not be discounted simply for a lack of corroboration. However, 2 elements must be taken into consideration, IMO:
    --You must be willing to publicly and prominently amend the record (e.g., strikethroughs with corrections immediately following).
    --You still must consider the implications of "getting it wrong." For example, if your original story is likely to cause irreparable damage to someone's reputation or livelihood, you have an ethical obligation to obtain further corroboration.

    If you fail to do either, your own reputation will rightly be tarnished. I can think of several MSM sources I no longer follow due to their violation of one or both of these basic tenets.

  • Sep 02, 2009 @ 10:47am

    The problem with the NFL is that the game has taken a back seat to the celebrity. The front office has become obsessed with controlling the image of its membership and forgotten the real reason fans like to watch. The league has taken on the model of the Vince McMahon's WWF. How do they expect anyone to take it seriously anymore?

  • Sep 01, 2009 @ 01:34pm


    I wholeheartedly agree. I make creative works *now*, and I want to clearly specify to my clients what they can and cannot do with my work.What are the alternatives?
    --Copyright my work and ignore the fact my customers will violate the terms,
    --Public Domain it and have no say over its use, or
    --Copyright it and then threaten to sue the pants off of my customers when they violate it.

    Sorry, but if I can add a clear and concise statement of how I'd like them to treat my work *most* clients will understand and happily respect my wishes. For those that don't I have written proof that I specified terms of use to prod them with. And in most cases, I find that by using an "alternative" licensing scheme I introduce them to the concept that there are alternative ways to handle the distribution of IP, thereby beginning their education on this critical issue.

    Now, remind me why I should wait for the vitriolic debate in the US congress over this? Especially when it is going to be controlled by the Special Interest lobby?

  • Aug 28, 2009 @ 01:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Four. A search without enough probable cause to justify a warrant is a clear violation of privacy rights, especially if you are USA citizen. If DHS feels time is of an essence, they can seize the laptop and wait for a warrant to be issued before violating you.This needs to change.

  • Jul 29, 2009 @ 03:21am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Actually, I do not think either of those organizations use AP. And this post is specifically about the ineptitude of the Associated Press, not wire services in general.
    And I disagree that either of these organizations have to "massively increase" anything. That's kinda the point the newsfuturist was making in the first place.

  • Jul 28, 2009 @ 09:37am

    Not there yet.

    Sometimes we tend to forget that the average reader of this blog is an individual who likely uses the internet for a great deal of their news and information gathering. I would contend however that at least in the US, we have yet to become the majority (though this will likely change in the next decade or so).

    I live in a fairly rural and isolated area where there are still quite a substantial portion of the populace without a broadband connection. For those individuals, the national and international coverage that AP provides for the local paper is hardly irrelevant.

    Having said that, I think our local daily (which I personally find to be a piece of garbage) would be better served by hiring a staff member or two to research the internet (and other sources) and find stories relevant to our community. A local reporter could then provide some contextualization to the big stories, while the 5 sentence digest stories could be be gleaned from just about anywhere. The AP in its current role is indeed unnecessary in such a model. See ya!

  • Jul 28, 2009 @ 09:18am


    "News by press release"?

    The article implies that readers will utilize other sources for news beyond the coverage sphere of the local paper, such as BBC, CNN, etc.

  • Jul 15, 2009 @ 02:27pm

    Re: Re: Maybe singer/songwriters, but

    ...which is precisely the point made in the OP. It's up to the songwriters to come up with a viable method of charging for their services, just like in virtually every other industry. Personally, I don't see any good coming out of the subsidization of their current business model. The current arguments for industry protectionism fall grossly short in this case, considering the harm done to innovation and how simple it is to change the earning model.

  • Jul 13, 2009 @ 10:34am

    One Big Difference

    Despite Google's recent missteps in the IP realm, there is still one area that distinguishes Google from Microsoft: Open Source development. As long as Google stays committed to developing products in the GPL/public realm and offering those products to customers for free they can still be considered a company standing up for consumers.

  • Jun 10, 2009 @ 10:48am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Republicans are responsible for over regulation. Democrats are responsible for over regulation. Lining their pockets is a bipartisan effort.
    Both parties act in the best interest of large corporations as it is they who help finance the massive campaigns now required to hold office.

  • Jun 09, 2009 @ 03:12pm

    Re: $10 software

    Your logic is incorrect not only because you assume that you are going to be able to attract 100 customers, but because your venture relies on a failed business model.
    The *reality* of the market is that there is NO WAY you are going to prevent at least one of your thousand customers from sharing a copy of your work. Relying on your government to somehow make up for your inability to adapt to this new paradigm only serves to erode personal freedoms and stifle innovation.
    It is up to you to come up with alternative methods to recoup your investment and profit from your innovative ideas. Many others have by recognizing that greater exposure leads to further opportunities, providing service and support for your ideas, providing supportive scarce goods, etc.
    Personally, I am going to fight for my rights to privacy and ownership. The sooner you realize that the long term suppression of ideas is a *bad* thing for society, the better.

  • May 20, 2009 @ 03:05pm

    The Better Deal:
    Artist records/produces own music, distributes it via a multitude of possible channels, promotes and markets through live performance, social networking, etc. and tells the labels to go f%# themselves.

    As for the solo artist: How about you record your music, and if it is good then people will pay to have it performed live, or to use it in a commercial veture (movie, television, etc.,),. or pay you to compose something original? Your talent is the scarce good in that model.

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