Abusive user agreements, ToS, and other contractual monkey business are everywhere these days. The New York Times just ran a 3-part series on arbitration clauses, which they say are unfortunately and too-frequently being upheld in court.
Given the Times' focus on this short-circuiting of justice via contract, I'm now waiting with great anticipation for them to print their in-depth article (coming any day now) on how circumvention of U.S. law by ISDS arbitration in the TPP will be a good thing.
Recall notices, like with cars, to past students might be nice, too--
"Dear Graduate of MacArthur High School, Irving, Texas;
This is to inform you that your education has been found to be grossly substandard, due to instructors who have since proven themselves to be utterly incompetent morons. If you have noticed that people you elected governor were not as smart as you'd hoped, despite their Poindexter glasses, that more of your kids have contracted STDs, despite the shuttering of women's health centers, and that your neighborhoods are less safe, even though more Texans are armed, it may be due to the substandard education you received. We urge you to consider additional education at accredited, reputable institutions to help remedy this situation."
" . . .unusual to see a case being brought by a homeowner rather than a designer . . "
In broader terms of owners of IP seeing themselves as the creative geniuses, and thinking of the actual creators as merely hired help, (if they bother to think of them at all) then this is as common as dirt. Just another day at RIAA and MPAA.
Tool-making primates learn to make stone weapons, kill each other by the dozens. Damn those stone weapons.
Tool-making primates learn to make metal weapons, kill each other by the hundreds. Damn those metal weapons.
Tool-making primates learn to make weapons with chemical explosives, kill each other by the thousands. Damn those explosive weapons.
Tool-making primates learn to make mechanized delivery systems for those weapons, kill each other by the hundreds of thousands. Damn those mechanized weapons systems.
Tool-making primates learn to make fusion weapons. Almost, but not quite yet, kill each other by the millions. (Maybe soon.) Damn those fusion weapons.
Tool-making primates learn to make super-intelligent weapons. The weapons say to the primates, "You should have stopped at stone, but no matter, things eventually balance out. You'll be back to stone tools soon enough. Nice knowing you."
The surviving tool-making primates learn to make stone weapons, . . .
I have to add a note regarding my favorite bunch of morons: the Graphic Artists Guild, which has operated basically as a satellite of the Copyright Alliance. Again, it's one more group claiming to represent the interests of artists and authors, while in reality are active supporters of the MPAA and the other AA publishers. (This blog about them- www.iagnyc.org)
The good news is that it's probably the most incompetent and least effective of all the so-called "guilds" and my guess is that they could probably hold their annual convention in a restaurant booth these days. Of course, that raises a few questions about how they can continue filing with the Department of Labor as a viable labor union 501(c)5 and qualify for non-profit status with the IRS. But I suppose they have to keep up appearances, since the many hundreds of thousands of dollars in reprographic rights money they've received over the years from overseas collection societies is based on the assumption that they are a legitimate organization supporting artists and authors. I also should mention that they were a plaintiff in ASMP's suit against Google Books, that was settled last September. You need some minimum amount of cred to get free money via court settlements.
“This bill is a targeted response that will remove uncertainty and restore stability for the United States by bringing us back into compliance,” Chairman Conaway said. “We must do all we can to avoid retaliation by Canada and Mexico, and this bill accomplishes that through full repeal of labeling requirements for beef, pork, and chicken."
I agree with your sentiments, though I think it would be more accurate to reply to that bravely anonymous govt official that we're always in uncharted waters; so fucking what. We were in uncharted waters when the Soviets armed Cuba with nukes, when Saddam dropped Scud missiles on Tel Aviv, and when the U.S. had an Easter egg hunt in Iraq for no apparent reason. we're always in uncharted waters. Keep things in proportion, in perspective. Change into some clean undies and shut up with the fear.
Kudos for your enthusiastic attempt to sell us a clunker. By all means point out the shiny new coat of paint and the engine's horsepower rating. Unfortunately, there's an obvious puddle of fluid underneath the TPP, the tie rods are bent like pretzels, and I can see gears through the hole in the transmission.
If I were King, these guys at the USTR (and all lobbyists, for that matter) would be forced to wear plaid leisure suits to dispel any illusions about who they are and what they're all about. What's your color preference, BTW? Peach and lime, or avocado and gold?
This calls to mind one of the very basic principles on which our government was founded: MAKE BIG THINGS HARD TO DO. Go to war, amend the constitution, stuff like that. You want me to agree to "Fast Track" something that would likely span the terms of numerous presidents, encompass 40% of global trade, maybe impact a shitload of domestic law? Umm, no. Please, I invite you to kindly STFU. --
"The basic idea is that all technological civilizations require ever greater sources of energy."
How typical of humankind's lack of imagination. It assumes that intelligent life would remain in the same needy organic form it was in when it crawled out of some warm puddle. Resource dependence and the fear of scarcity are at the heart of all your potentially extinction-level conflicts and activities, so it should be obvious that any life worthy of the title "intelligent" re-engineers itself to be less dependent, and more robust and adaptable.
The Midichlorians are shaking their little heads about all you ponderous meatbags; trust me. --