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  • Jan 24th, 2015 @ 1:38am

    Re: DOJ never condoned hacking

    "After evaluating different potential scenarios, he merely pointed out that even if they really had hacked, the Fourth Amendment would not apply in this case."

    That's not how constitutional law works. The president cannot legally simply start a war with, say, Iran, using troops stationed outside US territory arguing that since they are outside US territory, the constitutional provisions that make it the prerogative of Congress to declare war do not apply.

    A Constitution binds ALL government action.

  • Oct 10th, 2014 @ 2:21am

    Re: Rights end at the border?

    It is correct that your rights end at the border in principle, because the constitution which guarantees it fails to apply outside that border. There's an exception to this, though - namely your government. As your government gets its power through the constitution, it is always bound by the limitations put on it by the constitution.

    So you have no rights under the US Constitution when in Germany vis-a-vis, for example, German authorities. But you still have your rights vis-a-vis the US government.

    Citizenship has nothing to do with it. Citizenship is only relevant for those rights being explicitly limited to citizens (voting, being elected etc.)

  • Oct 7th, 2014 @ 2:18am

    Re: Teller wins

    No, Teller wins because once more US courts believe themselves to have global jurisdiction and authority over anyone on the planet. The concept of national sovereignty is evidently unknown to them. And that's, after all, not the first decision in that vein. Others have been discussed on these pages.

    It would be one thing had Teller sued YouTube to remove the video the defendant had posted there. But suggesting a citizen of another country IN another country should comply with US Copyright law OR ELSE is ridiculous.

  • Sep 25th, 2014 @ 3:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "And that is why I consider your view elitist. You have a preconception of the so-called "vast majority"."

    You can just as well call all of academia "elitist".
    I have no preconception whatsoever, the necessity of effort reduces those accessing the information to those who can be bothered to invest the effort, which will necessarily be a significantly smaller part than the grand total.

    "Of course it is easier. The original work still exists in it's original form, unaltered. The dilution on the other hand needs to be altered."

    You can simply pour the solution out on a plate and put it in the sun - voila, the original substance. Much less effort required than finding the original among all the chaff.

    "And maybe I'm right and there is no original fiction. Maybe it's time to rethink the application of a term like "original". Language evolves and terms get new meanings: 30 years ago the term "pirate" had a different meaning than today. "

    And maybe you are simply full of yourself to believe YOU are the one who decides such things. And no, the term "pirate" still has very much the same meaning as 30 years ago, except for a tiny counter-culture, with which plenty of sea captains would like to have a word or two about their trivializing of some really horrifying experiences they went through.

    "House MD. But by using the phrase "more original" you are suggesting that there must be a clear threshold between "acceptable and unacceptable" originality. And I say that this is up to the audience to decide."

    No, I'm saying there is a more and a less. And sorry to say, your presumption that it is up to the audience to decide what legal standards are fulfilled is cute. There's courts for such things.

    "Star Trek 2009 uses the same characters and the same environment as the original show. Original enough? "

    It illustrates the point quite well: Just because you have characters with the same name running around something resembling the same world doesn't mean you have actually captured the essence of the original work.

    "That doesn't address the point: It's still piggybacking on the fame of someone else."

    Yes, it does address the point. Kindly read the article we're talking about. Making money off something IS the whole point of this discussion.

  • Sep 25th, 2014 @ 12:59am

    Re: Re:

    "Yes - so? The interested person will do the fact-checking, the other won't."

    Meaning the vast majority will have a skewed view of the author of the original work - NOT the author of the derivative work

    "Thus it's original form and properties become unrecognizable. Not so for original work and fanfic - they can still be discerned."

    Not any easier than with a dilution. You can still get the original out of there, you just need effort.

    "It still remains a fanfic, even if the base broadens. "

    Nope. By that notion, there is no original fiction, thus rendering the term absurd. Even if you would consider that justified, your personal assessment is not relevant and it flies in the face of the very purpose of language.

    "Would you say the BBC-series "Sherlock" is neither particularly creative nor truly original? It uses sir Arthur Conan Doyles work as trojan horse."

    House MD is also an adaption of Doyle's work. Which would you say is more original? One that simply lifts the characters into the modern world or one that lets itself be inspired by the original but comes up with an entirely new environment.

    "I don't - I say it's not that easy to draw a line between the former and the latter."

    It is quite easy when you use the same characters and the same environment.

    "Thus every Shakespeare-Play is piggybacking on the fame of someone else and not really fair, any way we spin it, right? It's freeloading..."

    No, it isn't. Because no one demands money for the play, for the text, but rather for the staging of it.

  • Sep 24th, 2014 @ 2:23pm

    (untitled comment)

    "They can still be corrected, because the original is still there to counter-check. "

    "Can" and "are" are two very different things.

    "Your chemical dilution analogy fails because in it many properties of the original have changed. The original and the derivate do not exist at the same time. Original artwork and fanfic do. You can do a live-comparison. "

    The original element is also still there. It's just among tons of other stuff.

    "The only thing copyright-holders can do, is delay the inevitable by not allowing fanfic. I mean, what else are the Percy Jackson books other than a good fanfic of Homers work? And maybe Tolkien's work is an EXCELLENT fanfic dedicated to ancient northern mythology. And this Label doesn't diminish LOTRs value in the slightest - au contraire."

    Except that there's plenty of Finnish and Greek stuff in there, too.

    "You build upon what you come to know - and most of the time it comes from work and knowledge others before you have made."

    Yes, but that doesn't mean you're not doing something original. Simply using someone else's creation as a Trojan horse, on the other hand is neither particularly creative nor truly original.

    You are confusing achieving a synthesis of your own with simply taking something someone else invented 1:1 and adding some stuff of your own.

    I'm not saying fan fiction should not be done. But wanting money for it despite the fact that you are basically piggybacking on the fame of someone else is not really fair any way you want to spin it. It's freeloading on someone else's marketing success.

  • Sep 24th, 2014 @ 11:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: You might have had a point if....

    "Oh, but by diluting something you definetely alter it, don't you? So, yes, the original is gone, when you dilute it."

    No, it isn't, and no, you don't. Dilution alters nothing about anything.

    Seriously, did you sleep through chemistry in school?

    "And PJs interpretation of JRRs LOTR is declared as such, whenever you watch the movies and read the title screen, it says: Peter Jackson's The Lord of the rings. "

    When you watch the movies. Not when people post quotes on sundry websites or on Facebook, attributing PJ quotes to JRRT.

    "Any interpretation - even your own - is derivative per se. Because it's your interpretation and you can't be sure that you interpreted it the way the author intended anyway. Interpretation is also depending on cultural Background - would you then demand that only People with a certain background are allowed to Interpret an author's work?"

    You completely miss the point. An example: When the Washington sniper murdered several people, after the first incident, people reported seeing a white van. On subsequent incidents, people continued to report a white van. In the end, it was found out that the father and son team had operated out of a dark blue limousine. But because people were primed to see a white van wherever they struck, they "saw" a white van. Instead of reporting their actual observation, they reported a contruct they had built out of expectations.
    At that point, the "interpretation" ceases to be an interpretation, because it is not, actually, an interpretation of the material in itself, but it is the deliberate search for things you "know" are there and the inattentional blindness to everything else.

  • Sep 24th, 2014 @ 10:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, it also means that there has to be a level of originality to what you do. Minor adjustments don't cut it. Much like in patent law, there needs to be some manifest contribution of your own.

  • Sep 24th, 2014 @ 9:55am

    Re: Re: Re: JRR Tolkien - A Fan Fiction writer

    "If you are not indeed Christopher Tolkien himself, then you are a fan who is not doing his reputation any good. Just as Chris's litigiousness has harmed his father's reputation more than any derivative works might."

    I would suggest you read up "litigiousness" in the dictionary. And while you're at it, do a little bit of homework on the reputation of his father. If anything, it has increased, not decreased.

    You evidently do not have remotely any idea who Christopher Tolkien is or what he does, you simply have a heap of prejudice. I don't like everything the man has done, but what you are doing is nothing but pompous delusions of grandeur. Your belief to be better able to understand JRR than he, never mind that he had direct exchange with him whereas you had not, and he has read a hundred times more material than you could possibly have read if you have read everything that's been published, would be cute if it would not be utterly nauseating in its presumpteousness.

    I could equally well state that your mother would be utterly ashamed of your statements without ever having spoken to her.

  • Sep 24th, 2014 @ 8:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Please educate yourself on the concept of threshold of originality.

    Oh, and tell us where Tolkien stole "orcs" from. Even the word is from one of his invented languages. Without Tolkien, you would also never have written "dwarves" - it was Tolkien who popularized that plural form. The regular plural is "dwarfs". His concept of Elves is likely not directly lifted from any tradition.

    And seriously, paying for the use of English? Who are you paying to be allowed to write such nonsense?

  • Sep 24th, 2014 @ 4:08am

    Re: Re: You might have had a point if....

    Adding - I was not even talking about "quality of message" but purely about existence of message, so your accusation of an elitist point of view is missing the point just as your other point.

  • Sep 24th, 2014 @ 4:07am

    Re: Re: You might have had a point if....

    "To me this seems to be a very elitist point of view. The quality of "the message" is highly subjective."

    So would say that the opinion that Walt Whitman or Charles Dickens are among literature's greatest is purely subjective?

    "AND there is no such thing as a dilution or a drowning out of "the message". The original message is still there, unaltered, ready to be received by anyone who wants it. The original work has not been replaced by the derivative work - it has been complemented."

    You should read up on the meaning of dilution. It doesn't mean that the original is gone either. No replacement is implied whatsoever. Your argument thus simply fails to address the issue.

    The original message is still there. FINDING it is another issue altogether. Plenty of people confuse quotes and concepts from the LotR movies without any basis in the books as actual Tolkien quotes and concepts.

    And even if the original message is still there, people will be inundated so much by the derivatory messages that there is the risk of interpreting the original in light of its derivatives instead of on its own.

  • Sep 24th, 2014 @ 2:17am

    Re: JRR Tolkien - A Fan Fiction writer

    "Regardless of what Chris Tolkien thinks of his father's works and any special category in which he adoringly places his father's writings, JRR, himself, has written about the background of his own stories. In modern parlance, he was a fan-fiction writer, end of story."

    You clearly have no idea about Chris Tolkien. And no, writing on the background of one's own world creation is NOT being a fan-fiction writer in whatever parlance, modern or other. I suggest you read up on the meaning of "fan".

    "He developed all his stories based on the histories and mythic stories from a variety of cultures, including discussions he had with various close colleagues at the time. The originality was in retelling - there are many who find much of JRR Tolkien's stories long-winded, convoluted and quite boring. They actually prefer the non-Tolkien derivatives."

    Yes, especially people devoid of any understanding of literature or culture in general.

    "I don't know what Chris Tolkien's hangup is, but you get the impression that he is actually a no-talent person riding on the shirt-tails of his talented father and is afraid to be found out as such (irrespective of whether he has talent or not). It appears that to protect his own reputation, he has had to raise his father's to almost demi-god status. From what I have read of JRR Tolkien, this would have been anathema to him personally."

    Chris Tolkien happens to be a retired professor, just like his father, in the same disciplines as his father. The talentless hack here is evidently you, who is bitching and moaning about others having the audacity to invest some time into their education and consequently, lacking any intellectual heft whatsoever, has to resort to mudslinging.

    That you suggest you are able to judge JRR better than the son he was written some of his work for, and he showed most material before publication and he himself appointed his literary executor is highly ridiculous and merely underscores your utter megalomania.

    If anyone here is raising anyone to demi-god status, it is your rather pitiful attempt to do that with yourself.

  • Sep 24th, 2014 @ 2:08am

    Re: Re: The Tolkien estate's position on fan fiction

    Born of Hope is available for free, so there's no commercial exploitation.

  • Sep 24th, 2014 @ 2:07am

    You might have had a point if....

    ...all there was to books was mindless entertainment and money-making. But the thing is that plenty of authors have something they want to tell their readers. And the dilution, if not drowning out of that message by fan fiction is very much a valid concern for them.

    It is ironic that you cite Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey as an example given, regardless of its popularity, the literary quality of Twilight could be argued to be hardly above that of average fan fiction.

  • Sep 14th, 2014 @ 5:25am

    Re: Re:

    "and I think this is a good reason why the free market capitalistic solution isn't necessarily a bad thing to allow to happen without necessarily involving the courts. If your products and services suck you will get that sort of reputation and you will lose customers"

    Except, of course, that the courts are there to get you back the money you paid for products not up to the advertised task. It's just that the judge here doesn't grasp what the task of a lock is.

    "I think this really depends on how the product was advertised. Hard locks aren't perfectly secure and, for a cheap price, they can reasonably easily be circumvented. They can be picked and doors can be broken into."

    Both of which requires a certain degree of effort and know-how.

    By that notion, hotels would all have primitive old keys which a standard piece of wire could defeat. After all, the judge clearly believes that the locks in a hotel are only there to thwart people too drunk to remember their room number, not actual thieves.

  • Aug 30th, 2014 @ 3:21pm

    (untitled comment)

    If any more evidence was needed that the only thing the USPTO excels in is incompetence...
    But then, it's likely only the consequence of big companies demonstrating you should patent every ridiculous idea out there just so you can sue anyone else into oblivion...

  • Aug 1st, 2014 @ 9:32am


    If they have direct access, then European authorities will simply demand that such direct access be stopped. And that will be the end of it.

  • Aug 1st, 2014 @ 9:02am


    Go to jail in the US for contempt of court and obstruction of justice most likely....

    Not likely to happen. They gave the order, that's about all they can do.

  • Aug 1st, 2014 @ 9:01am


    Most likely they are just too afraid to be told "No" by local authorities and want to circumvent any opposition.

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