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  • May 10th, 2016 @ 9:09am

    (untitled comment)

    In the past it was universally understood that copyright harms the public by limited access and preventing derivative works. But it was considered to be beneficial to grant creators a LIMITED copyright monopoly in order to provide incentives to create. The limited term was balanced against the public harm and was kept short (14 years with an optional renewal of another 14)

    But now, under a relentless barrage of corporate propaganda and influence purchasing most people have been brainwashed into believing that endless copyright is some sort of absolute right. The norm used to be that culture was universally available. But now culture is locked down, privately owned, and doled out to the public for maximum corporate profit.

    At this point, I consider the battle to be lost, the authoritarians and the enforcers have won. Copyright is a lost issue. There's too much money involved and money buys laws.

  • Mar 25th, 2016 @ 10:15am

    (untitled comment)

    So what happens when a guy who lives in the EU and is named Pete Jones or Joe Smith invokes his right to be forgotten and it turns out that there are 10,000 guys with the same name?

  • Mar 19th, 2016 @ 10:49am

    (untitled comment)

    In a crony capitalist system like we have devolved into organizations will seize lucrative choke points in big systems. They will buy influence with politicians, get beneficial laws passed, place allies on various regulatory agencies, form alliances with other power groups and generally create a fortress where tolls must be paid.

    So far the promise that the digital age would lead to widespread easy access to culture and knowledge is not panning out at all.

  • Mar 14th, 2016 @ 11:56am

    (untitled comment)

    We no longer have any common shared culture. In it's place we have corporate owned entertainment vehicles for which we must forever pay for every viewing or interaction. We cannot modify, enrich, build upon nor share these faux cultural artifacts.

    The sad thing is that most people just accept this as the proper way of things. They expect to pay for every cultural interaction, they expect to have no control over their own devices or media and they expect to have no freedom to modify or build upon anything.

    Corporations are only getting more powerful. So things will continue to get more restrictive and less open. We the people are now just consumer drones instead of culturally active citizens.

  • Feb 29th, 2016 @ 5:37pm

    (untitled comment)

    Dim-witted legislators can pass misguided bills like this one all they want. But they fall in with the "we want the 10 Commandments in the courthouse" type of laws in that they won't withstand legal challenge.

    Public agencies cannot perform their official functions under a cloak of secrecy. The only exception is for issues of national security. This is one of the foundations of our entire constitutional system of government.

    Any cop that is so scared of being publicly identified should go find another job. Maybe as a taxi driver or a lumberjack or a roofer or a construction laborer or any other of the multitude of professions that have a higher on-job death rate than cops.

  • Dec 29th, 2015 @ 12:51pm

    (untitled comment)

    Lately our comcast cable goes out on a regular basis. Always the internet, sometimes the TV. Usually for half an hour or so but sometimes for an hour or two.

    Call them and you will spend an hour or more in phone hell. They will deny that anything is wrong on their network and will immediately force you through a massive checklist of diagnosing your home setup.

    Tell them that this happens on a regular basis and service always comes back which means the problem is at their end and they will ignore you and mindlessly continue to force you through a battery of annoying checks on your home system.

    I hate that rat-bastard company. They know they have me bent over with my pants around my knees because they have a local monopoly on high speed internet. All thanks to the graft-masters in congress.

  • Nov 2nd, 2015 @ 9:04am

    (untitled comment)

    This writer keeps repeating that the Snapchat ToS are "just standard, boilerplate language" and then tells us over and over that we are wrong to "freak out".

    I think the fact that this kind of abusive ToS is now standard means we need to freak out all the more. Right now, Snapchat may not be abusing our images. But in the future they can literally do anything at all they want to with them.

    We used to take rolls of film in to be developed. We didn't grant the developing company the right to use our pictures in any way they want for all of perpetuity. And there is no reason why Snapchat and other social media companies couldn't lay out precisely what limited rights they need to perform their service instead of just making a grab for the absolute freedom to do whatever they want.

    People should be VERY concerned. If you are a young person who has sent a ton of photos through Snapchat they may well come back to haunt you someday because, according to this ToS, Snapchat can save your images and sell them or make them available to any other business. Wait until you're applying for your dream job ten years down the line and suddenly all your teen snaps pop back up.

  • Oct 20th, 2015 @ 3:11pm

    (untitled comment)

    These senators are a bunch of corrupt powermongers who know nothing about the internet. They just push the interests of big money and big government.

    Shit like this will happen over and over and over again until the American public stops electing clueless and corrupt authoritarians.

  • Oct 14th, 2015 @ 11:45am

    (untitled comment)

    Copyright was a good idea when it lasted 14 years, had to be registered and could be renewed for one additional 14 year term. You could make the case that it actually encouraged creators to create rather than just milk one success forever. And it kept the common cultural pool rich and vibrant.

    But copyright stopped serving the public interest when it morphed into a tool for maximizing corporate control and profit. Sadly I can't see it ever getting rolled back. The power of corporate money over the political process is just too absolute.

  • Aug 13th, 2015 @ 2:09pm

    (untitled comment)

    The existence of police unions serve absolutely no public interest.

  • Aug 7th, 2015 @ 5:45pm

    (untitled comment)

    "Standard Procedure" does not over-ride constitutional protections. If we are learning one thing these days it's that a lot of cop standard procedure is illegal, thuggish and criminal in it's own right.

    Cops have zero right to handcuff anybody unless they are arresting them. They can't handcuff people for their convenience or for their sacred "officer safety" unless they have cause for an arrest.

    It doesn't matter what "standard procedure" they have made up. If they have a warrant to arrest a specific person they cannot simply cuff everybody in the vicinity no more than arresting somebody in the street gives them the right to cuff everybody else standing nearby.

    The number of police apologists still to be found on discussions like this is appalling.

  • Jun 17th, 2015 @ 1:32pm

    (untitled comment)

    The courts are an integral part of big government. People, including judges, who work within big government have a big government mentality and see solutions in terms of government control and conformity.

  • Jun 15th, 2015 @ 5:35pm

    (untitled comment)

    My guess is that the "news" was reported to the public in pretty much this same fashion in Italy and Germany in the 1930s.

  • May 13th, 2015 @ 12:21pm

    (untitled comment)

    The original concept behind copyright accepted the basic premise that once a work of art was released into the public arena it simply became a part of the common culture. There was plenty of creativity in Ancient Greece, Rome, Renaissance Italy and everywhere else without copyright. Common shared culture was the human norm.

    But because the technology for making copies, printed copies specifically with the printing press, became common, the idea arose to grant creators a very limited, otherwise illegal monopoly over their works in order to encourage further creation.

    We are a society. A shared common culture is the instinctive norm. Copyright was meant to be a very limited and short term break from the norm.

    But then, of course, corporations, which by nature strive to own and control and squeeze profit from literally everything, have worked relentlessly to flip the very concept of art and culture on it's head and make eternal copyright over everything the new normal.

    Ultimately it's very sad and depressing to see that most people have been brainwashed into believing that every last little thing in our common cultural space has to be owned, controlled, licensed and charged for.

  • Apr 16th, 2015 @ 11:22am

    (untitled comment)

    It's no surprise that authoritarians endlessly attempt to exert more dominance and control. It's been like that throughout human history.

    The real story is that the vast majority of the students and faculty are so cowed by the security state, so ignorant of their rights and so fearful in general that they are unwilling to push back.

    I went to UC Berkeley back in the '70s. Any attempt to do anything even remotely like this would have been met with a furious storm of protests and demonstrations.

  • Apr 7th, 2015 @ 2:08pm

    (untitled comment)

    Out of control cops will never be reined in as long as police unions exist.

    The day when each cop works for the city directly as a responsible individual will the the day when cops can be disciplined as they deserve.

  • Apr 1st, 2015 @ 4:40pm

    (untitled comment)

    Put body cameras on cops and the first thought by them, their union, and their toady legislators is "hey, how can we use these when it benefits us but avoid using them when it puts us in a bad light?"

    When citizens make baseless claims against cops the camera footage will be trotted out and put on display. But when the cops do something bad the video will be buried behind a new morass of legal privilege and protection.

  • Mar 25th, 2015 @ 12:01pm

    (untitled comment)

    Random author writes a book when he's 20 years old. Then he lives until he is 80. Copyright on the book lasts for a totally insane 130 years!

    It's all driven by corporate greed. Corporations by nature will always work relentlessly to extend their rights and privileges. And everybody at high level at the USTR and the Copyright Office are either heading to or from corporate jobs and are completely steeped in the culture of copyright maximalism.

  • Mar 11th, 2015 @ 2:22am

    (untitled comment)

    Cowardly juries who lack the backbone to stand up to authority or the critical thinking skills to accurately assess testimony or even a working knowledge of basic human rights are the real problem here.

    3/4 of all Americans are too ignorant to serve as functional jurors.

  • Mar 10th, 2015 @ 6:34pm

    (untitled comment)

    You really got to love it when a lawsuit like this is launched by something called "the Gaye Estate", basically a bunch of moocher descendents of the actual artist who never have and never will produce a creative work of their own.

    I'm pretty sure this isn't what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they wrote the copyright clause of the Constitution that states "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

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