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  • Jan 6th, 2010 @ 10:42pm

    (untitled comment)

    it seems there's gotta be something i'm missing. there has to be some remotely sane reason that these companies snuff out possible "infringement" wherever it appears. is it to avoid setting some sort of precedent? are they worried there will be a swarm of infringers if they appear to have turned a blind eye? maybe they do it because it sets music rights at ridiculous values in the eyes of the court (see any decision on "public performance" infringement, alternately, music piracy lawsuits).
    it's getting harder and harder to believe that some of these ludicrous cases are merely money-grabs. in a lot of them, the money is barely worth the effort. i understand that lyrics sites use derivative works by commercials means, but how is that damaging to anyone?

  • Jan 2nd, 2010 @ 1:56am

    (untitled comment)

    Oh yeah, I don't "spam" techdirt. No links off, nothing.

    you know, i really wish you would. we all embed links to relevant sources and opinions to give credence to our posts.

    it's really easy to knock out a few sentences conveying some halfway thought-through analogy and another to really explain your case. maybe linking off would prove that you're not just talking out of your ass.

    but enough of Anti-Mike. i'm sure it's been brought up here before, but could someone explain why "life of the author" is even involved in the equation? plenty of creators sign rights to their works away (especially early works) to distribution and publishing houses. do they still retain some sort of de facto rights that tie them to the work, or is it just a way to make the law resemble something that is "protecting the artist?"


    joe made a good point about the CC-like period. I know it's an unpopular position on techdirt, but "public domain," as vital as it is, is a big pill for creators and distributors to swallow. works can easily survive in a cc capacity- the works can be digitized, shared, sampled, and reshaped, and artists wouldn't have to see professional marketeers banking off of their work. (cue "but they don't have that right" fanfare.)

    Remember, "anti-Thought" (oops, I mean "anti-Mike), that the original *excuse* for copy"right" was as an INCENTIVE to further creativity...
    -Henry Emlich

    anger aside, copyright DOES further creativity. the musicians i know would gladly turn their work over to djs and other artists to be remixed and reworked, hell many would give it to their fans for free, but they are hesitant to see their future Great American Album be handed over to a big-money distribution house to rework the format, album art, track listing, etc and be cut off from all ties.

    (cue "a shorter copyright limit encourages innovation and creation" yodeling.)
    that doesn't preclude an artist from wanting some protection from the corporate copyright houses you all loathe.

  • Nov 12th, 2009 @ 9:30am

    they trademarked the name of an animal? (as billiards)

    presumably both, but at the very least the crocs, are named after the animal cayman. does porsche really think i could trademark the term "zebra" and start suing everyone else who uses it?

  • Aug 31st, 2009 @ 9:07am

    i hate when i can't find sources...

    there have been two studies that came out recently that have shown that the nature of wikipedia has changed drastically since its inception. (there's also a long, labored discussion on...slashdot, i think?) long story short, these "trusted editors" just sit on the recent changes page and revert entries by "non-trusted editors" to get their edit count higher (and thus move up the ranks.)

    wikipedia doesn't need color-coded pages, it needs to do away with the rank system entirely. it was useful in getting people interested and contributing when wikipedia needed contributors. but reverting honest changes doesn't add any value to the project and their voices shouldn't take priority over the democratic whole.

    [as long as i'm on the subject, and you can ignore this off-topic rant, i don't see why any entries should be rejected for being too obscure. honestly, how much server space is needed for short entries on, for instance, phds working on important research projects or minor charaters from the star wars universe.]

    long story short, wikipedia is mounted on a high horse, and that is exactly how dysfunctional oligarchies get started.

  • Aug 28th, 2009 @ 12:09pm

    Limited Rights-ish

    the push to search laptop contents at the border gained a lot of ground as soon as child pornography started turning up. the searches have nothing to do with national security (there's no "digital terrorism" you can commit inside the physical borders that you can't outside of them) and all about using anything related to underage porn as a whipping boy for political gain.

    that's what makes United States v. Boucher so ironic. while the general public has to have their files haphazardly poked at by a customs official, just a little bit of pgp can make it all fruitless.

  • May 12th, 2009 @ 11:11am

    (untitled comment) (as billiards)

    @14, to contact other individuals by impersonating agrella with the intent to slander his character would break much older and more serious laws than cyber bullying. jurors and nancy grace would care about it way less, but it would be more serious.

  • Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 9:11am

    software patent?

    is this a software or a business method patent? i'm not super-knowledgeable, but it kinda walks the line b/w the two.

    the code to offer sales is a little obvious, but the idea of doing it is kinda sorta not so much so.