David L’s Techdirt Profile

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  • Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 7:55am

    Constitutionality? (as Davi dL)

    I think that university policies still have make common sense, not to mention be constitutional.

    Banning using social media during a game? OK, but why do your players have cells phones with them during the game? I can see just not allowing players to have cell phones during games. (Why the hell do they need them?) I don't think that is unreasonable.

    Banning player use social media for the entire season / requireing that they cancel accounts? BZZT! How can universities (or anyone else) justify this? Seems a pretty cut and dry issue. You don't get to restrict the legal free speech of a player, or anyone else. I don't see how tweeting critical/unfavorable speech about coaches or staff is any different than political dissent speech. Just cuz you don't like doesn't mean you get to control it. Is there a fuzzy line about appropriate behavior of players and school rules...possibly. Does a coach/university have discretion to decide who plays and who doesn't? Of course. But that is a case by case situation...not an en masse / cart blanche license for the university to ban an outlet of otherwise legal free speech outright.

  • Oct 7th, 2010 @ 12:10pm

    Ah..I didn't know this

    State entities can enforce copyright (not that it has much bearing on trademark issues,) Ididn't know that.

    http://stason.org/TULARC/business/copyright/3-6-Can-the-government-copyright-its-works.html

  • Oct 7th, 2010 @ 12:05pm

    Public Universities and Trademarks

    Maybe it's the difference between copyright law and trademark law, but I guess I don't get it. How can state or federally funded institutions register and license trademarks for profit, when documents and other information (with exceptions of course,) are automatically in the public domain.

    My confusion comes from the "public domain" aspect of government documents like NASA images. Granted, there are limits even there:

    http://www.nasa.gov/audience/formedia/features/MP_Photo_Guidelines.html

    ...as noted by the earlier story today about the astronaut suing Dido over the album cover using a NASA image he was in. (I think his argument the he is recognizable and his likeness is therefore protected and he should be paid, is a big stretch, btw.)

    How does trademark law allow publicly funded institutions to create, register and license for profit, trademarks that were created using state/federal monies?

    I get the need to be able to prevent fraud and such, but wouldn't fraud laws cover that? How are trademarks registered by state and federal funded entities nto a special case?

  • Sep 17th, 2010 @ 6:23am

    App usage

    For me, it's much like buying that high end Swiss Army knife with all the crazy blades. I buy it knowing that I will rarely if ever use most of them, but its reassuring knowing that I have a leather awl and shackle opener with marlin spike just in case I ever need it.

    I download many apps that meet a *potential* need, even if it is unlikely that I ever really need/use the app. For example, I don't travel much at all, but I have a translator app, an app that performs currency exchange calculations, an app that allows me to book airline, hotel and rental car reservations, etc. I don't go out to the movies much, but I have an app that can tell me what's currently playing in every theater for miles around, along with show times and the ability to buy tickets instantly online. I am not a scientist or organic chemist, but I have a periodic table app, just in case I should ever need to quickly know the melting point of Francium (27 degrees Celsius.) You get the idea.

  • Sep 13th, 2010 @ 9:41am

    Re: Re: Ripple Effects

    Bingo. I didn't even think about cars, but that is another perfect example. Everything has embedded software these days, and if this ridiculous ruling gets upheld, the implications will be astronomical.

  • Sep 13th, 2010 @ 9:19am

    So what about electronic hardware with embedded software?

    I can't help but wonder: Should this ruling hold up at the SCOTUS level, what are the implications for hardware with embedded software (e.g. cell phones.)

    If the purchase of any electronic device containing embedded software entitles only the first purchaser to the license of the software contained therein, then it will automatically be illegal to resell any electronic hardware with software embedded in it. Forget re-selling old microwave ovens, televisions, and cameras, let alone cell phones! Talk about planned obsolescence!

    This is a perfect example of why the Ninth Circuit's decision is stupid, short-sighted and ultimately dead wrong. Hopefully, however argues this in front of SCOTUS will use this example to demonstrate the inanity of overturning the first sale doctrine.

  • Jun 9th, 2010 @ 2:26pm

    RE: More Studies Show That Violent Video Games Aren't A Problem For Kids

    I am going to go with: Duh.

    I don't think this is any different than the totally bogus effects theory baloney that claimed that violent cartoons (i.e. "Tom and Jerry", as well as the Warner Brother cartoons starring Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, Daffy Duck, Wyle E. Coyote and the Roadrunner,) desensitized children to violence and made them prone to be violent.

    We humans are predictably dumb animals, but we aren't that dumb.

    It comes down to responsible parenting and appropriate socialization, folks. Always has, always will.

  • Mar 2nd, 2010 @ 9:53am

    Burden of Proof

    My main problem with YouTube's particular policy is that it puts the burden of proof on the defendant, not the plaintiff.

    If a supposed copyright holder issues a DMCA takedown notice, YouTube pulls the video first, and then asks the accused to prove that their video is NOT a violation of DMCA. This flips the entire burden of proof standard that every criminal defendant currently enjoys in any court of law: innocent until proven guilty.

    As far as I am concerned, if any copyright holder wants to enforce their copyright, they should have to first prove (or at the very least seek a preliminary injunction in court) that the copyright was violated in the first place.

    Does that put a burden on the copyright holder? Maybe, but RIAA, et al have the legal resources to do so. (Piss on 'em , I say.) If you claim someone broke the law, you have to prove it, dammit!

    YouTube is playing "CYA" by pulling videos immediately. Google should grow a pair and force these rediculous copyright claims to be legitimated before they yank down content.