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  • Sep 16th, 2020 @ 6:19am

    Has anybody ever calculated the cost of copyright enforcement?

    It is easy for rightsholders to keep throwing ever-increasing demands for what others should do to secure the profits of the copyright industry.

    Has anybody ever calculated the cost society pays to secure the monopoly profits of Hollywood & Co? And has anybody ever considered to make rightsholders pay for what they demand? They do have the right to use DRM to stop piracy, and they do have the right to NOT put stuff on the internet that they don't want shares (yes, you, newspaper publishers - you did not invent the internet, you did not pay for it, yet now it is there, you demand a human right to force people to pay for whatever you choose to dump there. Print it on paper if you can't figure out digital business models!)

  • Aug 15th, 2020 @ 12:14pm

    On the other hand ...

    ... why would anybody elect someone into the White House who is incapable of even operating a postal service?

  • Jul 31st, 2020 @ 8:34am

    Government and Media have abused our Trust over and over, ...

    ... and they are paying the price. More precisely - we all are paying the price.

    There have always been people making things up. Generally, nobody cared. Because people would rather believe the government and the media, who had a reputation for being reliable.

    Until government and media figured out the people would trust them regardless of whether they were telling truth.

    After the government got away with the starting a war (Iraq) based on lies, all dams broke away. Constitutional boundaries that had worked well for centuries were removed by the magic words "national security". International contracts - written and unwritten ones - were broken to gain some short term benefits. And trade wars were - and are being - started to promote interests of American companies.

    George Floyd and Corona weren't the first sign that the foundations had eroded behind all the blustering. But they have opened the eyes of many that the government had stopped function. Stopped being meet even the most basic requirements of a government.

    Which means it does not take make much for people to look elsewhere for answers.

    That is the problem, and not some idiots blaming China or 5G-Technology for the outbreak of Corona in Ameriaca.

  • Jul 28th, 2020 @ 10:50am

    What kind of licences are available to libraries?

    In the old days, they would buy a book at retail price, wrap it in plastic, and lend it out forever.

    With digital books, there was an outcry by writers and publishers about real books wearing out really fast, so digital licenses should expire very quickly. And cost tons more than retail books, due to all the advantages they offer to libraries and readers, and the lost sales.

    Does anybody know what licensing models are available to libraries these days for digital books? And what conditions are attached (can someone lend a book in another city? country? continent?)

  • Jul 24th, 2020 @ 6:25am

    And why would CBP care about hit and runs?

    It is not the CBPs job to solve crimes or to sanction traffic transgressions. Their job is to protect borders. At the border, and not in the middle of the country. And yes, that should exclude airports. Even if CPB is in charge of checking incoming flight passengers, that does not involve cars - there is simply not enough space in the overhead locker to fit your Tesla.

  • Jul 23rd, 2020 @ 10:31am

    If the arrests are fake ...

    ... is there any evidence that all of the folks in silly uniforms and unmarked vehicles are, in fact, federal officers?

    In countries that not are not stellar democracies, it is quite common for, eh, concerned citizens to jump in and help the government "remove" the "troublemakers" off the streets. Permanently.

    One wonders if we can be sure that that is not happening in the US right now, too.

  • Jul 23rd, 2020 @ 1:18am

    Can't help to be reminded of one of Donald Trump's predessors ..

    ... who sent troups to Irak to Irak to "kick Sadam's ass".

    The ass-kicking was spectacularly successful and made great television. At first. After that, not much good came out of it. Not for Irak, and not for America.

    But that won't be Trump's problem, either way.

  • Jul 16th, 2020 @ 2:22am

    It kind of looks like ...

    ... the geeks came up with the better solution than the Ethics-committees ...
    Maybe there is something to learn here.

  • Jul 9th, 2020 @ 1:39am

    The devious side of me ...

    ... would kind of like to see this trend of copyright protecting ideas instead of sections of printed text go further.

    Maybe protect the idea of expressing emotion with words. Maybe specifically positive emotions, strong positive ones like love.

    And then have the copyright holder of "describing the concept of love with words" sue every rights holder on love stories, every publisher, every book store and every author for infringement. For the next 100 years.

    Definitely not a good idea. Also a likely scenario to happen if the current expansion of copyright continues.

    And very likely fun to watch the copyright industry eat itself ...

  • Jul 9th, 2020 @ 1:32am

    And the other question is ..

    ... why would anyone see a picture of a breastfeeding woman unless they were specifically looking for it?

    Could it be, by any chance, that the people who complain about pictures of breastfeeding women have been showing a strong interest in the topic, and - willingly or not - suggested to Facebook's algorithms they want to see more of them?

    Could it be, that instead of censoring Facebook, the people carrying a grievance would just need to, say, click on a few pictures of tropical beaches or cats playing guitar to prompt Facebook to drop the breastfeeding for some lighter content?

  • Jun 27th, 2020 @ 3:49am

    Not funny at all! You don't joke about the perks of the job!

    Sorry, no budget for better salaries, and you'll have to do night shifts. But hey, you get to beat up whoever you want, not questions asked. And you can buy a lot of "team building" with the guys with whatever money you confiscate from anybody you like under the pretext of "drug searches".

  • Jun 9th, 2020 @ 2:40am

    How did we get there in the first place?

    John Oliver showed a couple of speeches by President Clinton, promising "to make us safer" by employing 100.000 more police.

    The approach was copied to explode the budget of the NSA (to now $ 10 bn) - "to make us safer". To start a couple of wars - "to make us safer". To explode the Pentagon budget - now heading towards an unimaginable $1 Trillion! While we are actually reducing the number of wars we are fighting ... - "to make us safer".

    For each of these, there are two crucial assumptions: That first, we are not safe (enough) right now. And that second, spending money on police/surveillance/wars/the Pentagon will actually make use safer. Ever increasing - more money, more safety.

    Why are these assumptions never challenged? Someone put up a - rather sarcastic, nonetheless true - comment that 9/11 killed fewer people than the flu in just one year. Yet, if we compare the money spent to prevent another 9/11 with the money spent to fight diseases, one does wonder what we are trying to achieve with our war on crime, drugs and terror.

    And one wonders if and how we actually check that whatever we do to "make us safer" actually does make us safer ...

  • Jun 6th, 2020 @ 6:48am

    How does copyright protect arts and music, then?

    While, in many countries, copyright is intended to protect a written, kreative text in its orginal form, the US has chosen to broadly expand the definition of copyright. To APIs of computer code, for example (Oracle v. Google), where the courts decided that not only the original wording of the written code was protected, but the intention of how the APIs should work.

    The same goes for music, where not only the text is protected, but also the "recording". "Recording" in the sense that not only is it illegal to distribute .mp3-files, but also to re-enact the music on your own instrument.

    And since food packaging was mentioned: It is possible to protect shapes, colours and designs - by submitting pictures of what the protected packaging might look like, one can prevent anybody else from marketing similar designs.

    All of which means that, yes, courts and professors argue that copyright requires fixation. There are plenty of examples where copyright does not require fixation.

    And neither should it: One might argue that the creation of a chef is much closer to the "arts and sciences" mentioned in the constitution than, say, computer code, technical manuals or even government memos that have been copyrighted in the past.

    "[the United States Congress shall have power] To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

  • Jun 6th, 2020 @ 6:20am

    The tracing app ..

    ... will be as powerful for fighting Corona as the NSA-surveillance was against terrorism: Completely useless.

    The first challenge is that we do not even begin to understand how Corona transmits from one person to another. Studies show that people living in the same household as an infected person - sharing kitchen, bathroom and possibly couch and bed - have a 1 in 4 chance to get infected. The odds are 75 % to walk away uninfected when spending an entire week (the time someone can pass the infection) with an infected person.
    In the light of this finding - what constitutes a "contact" that requires quarantine? Waiting in line next to infected person for 5 minutes? Sitting next them on the bus for 15 min? Eating next to them in a restaurant for an hour? Walking past on the sidewalk?

    The next challenge is the infections are (mostly) spread through air. One needs to face the other person, or share a (closed) space for a while. How does an app know if the infected person is facing me? Or that the space we shared was badly ventilated?

    Finally, how does the app know there was a screen (or even a face mask) between people who shared a space? In reaction to stories of bar men or check out assistants infecting entire neighborhoods, screen have been installed to stop the virus. Would anybody still want to quarantine hundreds of customers of a supermarket on the basis of a bluetooth device suggesting a dangerous contact?

    Corona apps have been in use for while in some countries, with very disappointing results.

    It would appear that the only advocates left are "security agencies". Who seem to have completely different applications in mind than stopping Corona.

    Maybe it is not a bad idea if it wasn't the government who build the app, and mandated its use.

  • May 29th, 2020 @ 12:48am

    Moderation v. Discretion v. Censorship

    The lines begin to blur when governments issue "guidelines" as to how they'd like to see content "moderated".

    And the lines disappear entirely when governments put an exclamation mark behind their 'guidance' with 'encouragements' of fines to the tune 4 % of the global annual revenue should a platform choose to not adhere to the "guidelines".

  • May 20th, 2020 @ 8:36am

    Ms Haley McNamara and her merry band of warriors ...

    couldn't do a better job at promoting pedophilia than trivializing it by putting child abuse on the same level as perusing playboy pictures. Bad for newsagents, terrific for the real criminals.

  • May 19th, 2020 @ 9:42am

    how about they complain about their government instead?

    The government that has managed to destroy the last bit of trust of its agencies even trying to limit themselves to fair use. To actually use data they have access to protect the interests of citizens, instead of their own.

    The government and its agencies can use "national security" to bulldoze over every bit of protection the constitution has given us for more than 200 years. What "national security" will not do is restore trust

  • May 15th, 2020 @ 2:20am

    If he hasn't destroyed any compromising data 2 months ...

    ... after being found out, he deserves whatever the Feds throw at him. And yes, a new phone would have been a good investment, too.

  • Apr 9th, 2020 @ 12:38am

    On the topic of rules ...

    Is HCA Healthcare in compliance with all rules regarding workplace and patient safety? The "equipment shortage" mentioned in the article would not, by any chance, refer to lack of protective equipment that puts staff and patients at risk, against all rules?

    And expose HCA Healthcare to all sorts of lawsuits once the crisis is over? Perhaps Ms. Porter and her colleagues, and the patients, can find a court open to the idea that some of that 33 bn market cap should go to those who have to suffer because HCA Healthcare failed to protect them adequately.

  • Apr 8th, 2020 @ 11:51pm

    Abuse of trademark law, maybe

    But could it work?

    It looks like yet another approach to force operators of pirate sites to travel to the US and appear in a US court. Or give up on their rights and let the court decide based on the copyright lawyers arguments only.

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