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  • Dec 7th, 2009 @ 4:32pm

    Wikipedia needs one privileged author in articles about living persons.

    Dead people have no protection against slander. I think that should be posted on every article about a dead person.
    For live people, it seems fair to me that that person should have an ability to post a paragraph statement.
    Then, an actor being slandered could post to the world, "I'm being slandered in the open entry section of this article. If you want my lifestyle statement, beliefs statement, etc, see my website at xxx.sss.bbb."
    Or, a person being slandered could pay a service to re-post their version of a wiki-article every day on wikipedia. Any techie interested in creating such a service?

  • Dec 7th, 2009 @ 3:15pm

    Compilations and pending payments on Copyright

    Wow, I should be covered by the compilation loophole too. I can make my own compilations, state that the copyright is pending and then take my own sweet time paying for the music. That's wonderful!

  • Dec 7th, 2009 @ 3:07pm

    Copyright, work for hire, and SQL

    This guy is writing code for cash. It's a work for hire and he doesn't own it so he can't copyright it.

    Also, the programmer doesn't own or have claim to have use of the fieldnames, tablenames or any other part of the database. So, he can't copyright those parts of his code. ..Even if he weren't working as work for hire but had created a code package to sell to the company.

    Additionally, SQL code is limited by it's rules of syntax. Much as titles of books cannot be copyrighted, a code module is probably not copyrightable because there may be only one to a few ways to efficiently phrase a routine. One might be able to copyright a program, in total. But not be able to copyright a component piece.

  • Dec 7th, 2009 @ 3:00pm

    Kindle and Nazi-ism

    Paper lasts hundreds of years. A Kindle book is held at the pleasure of Amazon. Paper books can be given, lent or resold. Kindle books cannot.
    Kindle gets between the author and the reader in a very intrusive way. The author must pay a fee for selling a book through Kindle. The reader must submit to having their privacy invaded and having not absolute ownership of the book they bought.
    Yes, it's true the Nazi's thought they were improving a lot of things. And they only wanted to get rid of a few problems. Jews, disabled, aged, unemployed, gypsies, political opponents...
    Why buy a e-reader when you can buy a PC-Tablet and read your book in any format you want? Why let someone else control your memory circuits and storage? The e-readers now on sale are mostly small screened and black and white.
    They aren't good for children because small type makes children nearsighted. They aren't cheap, despite being cheap to manufacture.

  • Oct 4th, 2009 @ 4:43am

    Google and the book commons

    I like Google's book search. I love being able to read old books, from the best libraries in the U.S. It is a wonderful thing. I also use it once in a while to research things and sometimes find something useful in a modern, copyrighted book. The best thing about the modern books is being able to review them in a much better way than on Amazon. I can really see whether or not the book is worth buying. And since any book I'm interested in is technical and expensive, it's given me an incentive to buy some of them.
    What I worry about in the latest "agreement" between Google and the active publishing companies is that between them, they propose to take over our (the people of the United States) commons. The estate of orphan books belongs to all of us, it is our commonly held property. If a book no longer has a defender of it's copyrights, it becomes our book. It is not the property of Google or of any other publishing company (or all of the companies). Copyright is a matter of defence of rights. One can defend one's right to exclusively control publication of a work if one has the copyright. The agreement I see being proposed is basically a kind of gangsterism. In effect, what Google and the publishing consortiums are saying is, "We will take over all the orphan books and make them ours by copyright. And then we will use our might to attack anyone else who attempts to use or publish them."

  • Oct 25th, 2008 @ 11:42pm

    Bad MRIs and CATs are just fraud

    The machine is old, obsolete, or not calibrated. The radiologist is in on the scam. You don't know and if you don't ask for the images, you will never know. My last ear,nose,throat doctor demanded the images instead of simply relying on the report. If yours doesn't do the same, why?

  • Jul 20th, 2008 @ 12:32pm

    Purpose of the Library of Congress and Medical copyright

    The Library of Congress isn't a "public" library. It's a library maintained for government purposes. The purpose of having the Library of Congress maintain an archive is to collect the copyright materials so that they can be studied by agents of the government and also so that the materials will be available when the copyright runs out. Lots of material is lost nowadays.

    As to medical copyright. One reason there has been so much progress in medicine throughout the world is that Medline existed (the indexing and cataloging service of the National Health Service of the U.S. ). Fifteen years ago, I worked at Sandia National Labs in Livermore, as the technical librarian. Medline searches were cheap and you could see how the ability to access the database contributed to progress in medicine. At that time, engineering databases, even those run by professional organizations, were relatively expensive. I used to think how much more progress we'd be seeing if the engineering databases were as cheap as Medline was. Engineering indexes are much more accessible nowadays.

    As to monopolistic or expensive journal collections... There was a time for expensive collections. I remember a journal that cost $15K per year. Only a few academic libraries subscribed. Less than twenty. But an interested person could get a copy of one of it's articles. They could write (or call) the author. They could go to the library. Or they could pay someone to go into the library (through a service) and have the article copied for some small sum. The important thing was to have the ability to find the article and the second most important was to be able to determine whether or not the article would be useful. The inclusion of abstracts in the indexed databases helped. As abstracts in databases became common, the authors learned to ensure that the abstract contained their study conclusions. And they learned to include enough information for a reader to determine whether or not a copy of the article was actually needed.

    There isn't any conspiracy in medicine to monopolize the information which is published in journals. Medical progress moves slowly because the subject is incredibly complicated. And, somewhat, because there are governmental restrictions in research which discourage many people from experimenting or working in the field. However, the "public" does need protecting. Even well considered experiments can harm people. Consider the disasters in artificial blood, Vioxx, partially hydrogenated unsaturated fats, HeLa cell based cancer research.

  • Jul 19th, 2008 @ 3:58am

    The Library of Congress should be entirely exempt....

    The Library of Congress should be entirely exempt from copyright restrictions. Governments, since antiquity, have designated libraries to collect all available publications.
    One might argue that the Library of Congress should have a mandate to create and manage an archive of materials which should be proof against most forms of destruction.
    As for other collections...collections are made for use. Use requires payment of copyright fees. No excuses.

  • Jul 17th, 2008 @ 2:16am

    Run your page through a few times?

    I wonder if you could send your page through a couple of times while printing an empty page. There would probably be a slight misregistration? Otherwise, perhaps a silk screen, the finest spray painting/airbrushing or some light toothbrush splatter while viewing with blue light.

  • Apr 5th, 2008 @ 11:55pm

    Class Lectures are copyrighted and should be

    I was in class today, listening to the greatest lecture about biostatistics and data management in clinical trials. And I was thinking how much some people I work with would benefit from a copy of the lecture notes.
    But the lecture is copyright and the original creation of the lecturer. I am being given personal license to possess the notes but that is not a transmissable licence.
    Now I don't think a notes service, who sells exclusively to the students enrolled in a course, are infringing on the copyright. Because they are only providing a limited service of writing down the class notes, where the lecturer isn't providing them directly to the student. Better and more valuable is for the lecturer to produce and distribute the notes as part of the class. Which my profs do. Good schools give good services.