Michael Ward’s Techdirt Profile


About Michael Ward

Michael Ward’s Comments comment rss

  • Apr 20th, 2016 @ 2:33pm


    In all seriousness (if that's possible in this comments section), isn't there a Due Process issue involved in the scooping up of arbitrary amounts of random people's money, with no procedural way of getting back if the scooping operation is found to have been in error?
  • Jun 4th, 2015 @ 9:29pm


    Beg pardon? Open source offers the source code. No one need go to huge efforts to get it, as it's freely available. The text of the agreement seems to me to block the "requiring" of access to the source code, which is pretty irrelevant when the code is already available.
  • Jun 3rd, 2015 @ 11:46am

    DOJ exceptions

    A statement that a document may not be used in court does not exempt it from being used in court. What utter nonsense. Do they pay the DOJ lawyers in actual money? If so, we should demand a refund of our tax dollars.
  • Oct 3rd, 2013 @ 2:40pm


    OK, so why aren't those 54 companies suing Lodsys for fraud? Presumably the contract they signed for patent rights (or to keep from being sued) includes a proviso that they give up their right to sue later on. But a clear case of fraud obviates the terms of the contract, if they can prove that Lodsys fraudulently obtained their signatures by their fraudulent patent claims. While they're at it, they should see if they can sue for punitive damages.
  • Aug 14th, 2012 @ 8:46pm

    Hard Rock

    Gee, $25,000 is mouse nuts to an advertising budget like they run. So is $100,000, which is same order as a color ad page in the San Jose Mercury-News.

    Furthermore, if you aren't extracting revenue from the contract, you don't have to spend much on accounting, program management, or insurance. It's all the Band's problem.

    And it bids fair to bring in street word-of-mouth that money simply can't buy. Who needs fake Twitter, if you have real Facebook?
  • Jan 5th, 2011 @ 10:18pm

    ISP's v. 3-strike

    Comcast will attempt to implement such a policy, claiming that their terms of service allow them to cut people off for three accusations of impropriety.

    The first lawsuits based on "internet as a common necessity in modern life" will be filed immediately, claiming that the so-called contractual agreement does not trump legal due process for a basic need.

    It will be fun to watch the fireworks -- and now's the time for a legal startup specializing in suing the RIAA for legal costs, as a business model.
  • Oct 11th, 2010 @ 10:17pm


    Publishing is in total confusion as to the best way to survive the upcoming changeover; that is, from shipping objects, to distributing data streams. The publishing industry is not as greedy and evil as the music industry, but they're just as confused.

    Lots of VP's will have to retire or be fired or go down with sinking companies before their replacements take over and craft a reasonable approach. Meanwhile, it's anybody's guess what the right price should be for an e-book -- the Publishers Don't Know, and argue among themselves. I'm not making this up.

    Anyone who is interested in what's actually going on should subscribe to two free daily newsletters: the one put out by PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, and Michael Cader's PUBLISHERS LUNCH.

    And... follow Teleread.org for a daily insight from the trenches.

    There are many more sources, but these three will cover the story pretty completely.
  • Sep 23rd, 2010 @ 2:25pm

    Re: bowerbird's comment

    bowerbird! hey, where you been, buddy? Great to see you're still raising a ruckus.

    OK, back to work: Are there specific examples of Kessinger, for example, causing a book to be removed from Full View because of a claimed copyright, or is it just folklore? So far we're long on fears and short on examples.

    I love what Google is doing in making rare volumes available for easy download, but am continually dismayed by the erratic way in which they do it: missing or distorted pages, broken sets, and volumes which are clearly in the PD in all countries but not available in Full View.

    It's that last consideration we're talking about here.
  • Sep 23rd, 2010 @ 12:11pm

    Kessinger / Google / Full View

    Kessinger's been doing PD reprints for years. In the early days they photocopied the pages and provided hard copy reprints of books that were difficult to find.

    With Google and others providing usable electronic texts, it's gotten easier for Kessinger to find source material. In a lot of cases, I suspect, the physical books don't even exist until someone buys a copy -- and at that point the copy is printed off and sent to the buyers.

    The two key issues are:
    (1) Is Kessinger claiming a bogus copyright? -- and if so, what are the penalties?
    (2) Is Google actually keeping a PD book out of Full View because someone like Kessinger claims a copyright, or is it just poor management at the Google project?

    Regarding (2), Google has a history of screwing up the titles and descriptions (aka metadata) so that it can be impossible to find, e.g. all the volumes in a series. Some volumes may have variant titles; some may be in Full View while others are just not available, though already scanned; and some may simply be missing.

    The Goog needs to hire a few hundred librarians just to figure out what they already do have.

    On their behalf I will now add that trying to figure out which books can be read in Full View, in which countries, has to be a nightmare of awesome proportions.
  • Aug 18th, 2010 @ 8:53pm

    Blodget Again

    Why is anyone paying attention to Blodget? We already know why anything he says is questionable.
  • Aug 17th, 2010 @ 10:07pm

    More of Robida on the Future of Publishing

    Robida illustrated, and Octave Uzanne wrote, a piece in 1895 predicting that printed books would soon be replaced ... by audio streams and recordings....

    Here's one version:

    The illos are hilarious!
  • Feb 19th, 2010 @ 9:43am

    e-book prices

    There are plenty of other publishers who will provide books to the customers when the Big Six go out of business. That's the way our market works.

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