rwahrens 's Techdirt Comments

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  • State Department Telling Students Who Apply For Jobs That If They Mention Wikileaks On Twitter, They Won't Be Hired

    rwahrens ( profile ), 06 Dec, 2010 @ 04:32am

    Re: Re:

    Hey, dumbass,

    Whether it is public does NOT affect its official classification. Which is the point of this story.

    The cables may have been leaked, but the information BEHIND the cables has most likely not, and there may be a lot more there than the cables reveal. THAT is why the information is still considered confidential or top secret.

    Which also explains why the government wont discuss the info. They don't want to confirm or deny anything, so further info that may still be secret won't get released.

    People that talk about secret info often inadvertently reveal part of those secrets without even knowing they'e done so, which is why, if you don't talk about it, you can't reveal anything.

    Damage control is the point here.

  • Why Murdoch's iPad-Only Newspaper Misses The Point

    rwahrens ( profile ), 23 Nov, 2010 @ 04:31am

    less the platform specific part

    I think the problem is less the platform specific part than the idea that he's going to ask people to pay for content that can, for the most part, be obtained elsewhere for free.

    IF he's got some unique content, such as political pundits' columns, editorials, investigative feature pieces, then fine, people will probably be willing to pay.

    But not for news, which will always gravitate towards the free outlets.

  • Why It's Important Not To Call Copyright Infringement Theft

    rwahrens ( profile ), 12 Nov, 2010 @ 08:16pm

    Re: Re:

    "Infringements deprive copyright holders of their temporary, government-granted monopoly. Deprivation is -- in the public mind and in colloquial use -- a form of taking. Taking without permission is -- in the public mind and in colloquial use -- theft. "

    But the flaw in your argument is that a District Attorney won't go into Diatrict Court and charge a defendant with theft. He will charge that defendant with "copyright infringement", because that is the violation of law that has taken place.

    Our argument here isn't with the law, but with proponents of the idea that copyright infringement is equal to theft in an attempt to persuade the public that ALL copying of copyrighted materials, including that now allowed under the fair use doctrine, is equal to theft, which is generally considered by the public to be a reprehensible act of violence.

    At least, that is my complaint with those that use the term theft synonymously with copyright infringement.

    What is argued here by many is that the two are NOT synonymous, and are not the same, neither ethically nor legally.

    As a lawyer, you should know that, instead of trying to confuse the issue two months after the thread has effectively died.

  • Verizon Wanted To Charge $3.50 To Pay Your Bill… Just Kidding

    rwahrens ( profile ), 20 Oct, 2010 @ 05:20am

    not a surprise

    Sears does this too, if you want to pay by phone. Online is Ok, but to pay by phone is an additional $14.

    FOURTEEN frickin' dollars!

    That's outrageous in anybody's book.

  • Why It's Important Not To Call Copyright Infringement Theft

    rwahrens ( profile ), 20 Sep, 2010 @ 07:00pm

    Re: Its also about taking away the right of the copyright holder not to copy.

    "Not only do you take their right to make copies if they wish, and SELL those copies. "

    No, again, the rights owner CAN still make and sell copies. Fewer, perhaps, but they still have the RIGHT, and the ability. Nothing has been stolen.

    Note that a counterfeit item CAN affect the numbers of legal copies, and you ARE right in that counterfeit stuff does make copies available where the rights holder may not wish to distribute.

    But none of that equals theft, because nothing has been stolen - i.e., removed from the rights holder's possession, thus depriving him/her of possession. Which is the definition of theft.

    Don't conflate the counterfeiting of money with copyright violation. It is a separate crime altogether, for the reasons you mention, which are nothing like either theft or copyright violations. It is a crime against the State which can affect the state of the economy as you mention.

    The State makes counterfeiting money a crime not because it is a copyright violation - money isn't copyrighted - but because of the economic affects, and the negative affects of it on the honest citizens that get stuck holding useless money. There are good solid reasons why only the Federal government is allowed to print money, and copyright is NOT one of them!

  • Why It's Important Not To Call Copyright Infringement Theft

    rwahrens ( profile ), 15 Sep, 2010 @ 06:00am

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

    Bravo! Nice take.

  • Why It's Important Not To Call Copyright Infringement Theft

    rwahrens ( profile ), 15 Sep, 2010 @ 05:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, counterfeiting does NOT take away the owner's ability to sell copies. It can reduce the number of copies they can sell, by satisfying some potential customers' desire for the product, but the owner can still sell copies of his/her work.

    Depending on the counterfeiters' market penetration and price, that reduction can be minimal or severe.

    But it will rarely completely stop the owner's ability to sell.

  • VA Continues Its Annual Tradition Of Losing Laptop With Unencrypted Sensitive Data

    rwahrens ( profile ), 14 May, 2010 @ 05:06am

    not hard

    I work for the FDA.

    EVERY laptop we buy goes through a central receiving facility, where it has a standard image put on it - that includes whole disk encryption.

    If one of these laptops gets lost, its a boat anchor without that password.

    Also, we use, extensively, a secure remote access system through which all employes can access data - securely and without storing anything on the local hard drive.

    It really isn't hard. Expensive? Yes, but no more expensive than responding to a lawsuit, and the money is spent in a more productive manner!

  • Apple To Face Antitrust Investigation Over Its iPhone Development Policies?

    rwahrens ( profile ), 06 May, 2010 @ 07:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Total Bunk....

    But anti-competitive practices are not illegal in and of themselves. They only become illegal if a company has the market influence to stifle competition in the market they sell in.

    Apple does not have such influence in the smart phone market with only a 16% or less share.

    And since Apple's rules only affect developers that develop Apple apps and does not affect their ability to develop for other platforms, there is no harm and thus no foul.

  • Apple To Face Antitrust Investigation Over Its iPhone Development Policies?

    rwahrens ( profile ), 06 May, 2010 @ 07:19am

    Re: Re: but overall

    But why should Apple take the chance? There WILL be apps that DO take on those new features, as some new features Apple has added have been long sought after and desired by the market.

    Just because SOME software MAY not use them is no argument for Apple continuing to allow the future development of their own ecosystem to be hobbled by a third party that has no reason to care about Apple's profits or shareholders.

    And that is Steve's whole point.

  • Apple To Face Antitrust Investigation Over Its iPhone Development Policies?

    rwahrens ( profile ), 06 May, 2010 @ 07:14am

    Re: Re: apple fanboys... strange breed

    Not a bit different than Microsoft trying to make their Office formats "Open Standards".

    One will still need Adobe products to design, write and release Flash content on the web. A blatant attempt to force their software on an entire industry.

    If and when Adobe releases flash development software into open development like Apple did with Webkit, I'll buy that their attempt may be sincere. but not until.

  • Apple To Face Antitrust Investigation Over Its iPhone Development Policies?

    rwahrens ( profile ), 06 May, 2010 @ 06:53am


    Of course they do. If Adobe doesn't support a new feature - like touch control - Apple doesn't control the flash player code to do anything on their own. That is all proprietary and owned by Adobe.

    They have to wait. Like EVERY mobile phone OS maker has had to wait, because Adobe has NOT released a Flash player for any mobile platform as of this date - it is still vaporware.

  • Apple To Face Antitrust Investigation Over Its iPhone Development Policies?

    rwahrens ( profile ), 04 May, 2010 @ 12:10pm

    Re: apple fanboys... strange breed

    ...and yet, Apple STILL has to wait for Adobe to support new Apple features when Apple releases a new product. Adobe is ALWAYS a year or more late to do this IF they ever do at all.

    Flash IS proprietary, it is owned, lock, stock and barrel by Adobe who controls it's release and development completely.

    Flash defenders - an equally strange breed!

  • Apple To Face Antitrust Investigation Over Its iPhone Development Policies?

    rwahrens ( profile ), 04 May, 2010 @ 10:29am


    1. No, Apple doesn't have that. The Apple app store applies ONLY to Apple products, and not to any other company's products. Anything they do here is perfectly legitimate, as it controls ONLY Apple products. It is not in any way a marketplace for ALL mobile platforms. Just because they only want native code used in iPhone/iPod touch/iPad OS apps in no way affects how developers develop for other platforms. They are free to use cross compilers for the other platforms.

    2. Not all developers use these cross compilers. This rule does not stop you from developing for Apple products, or any other product.

    3. The government looks at all kinds of things on a regular basis, and few of these inquiries result in active investigations. Seeing as how there has been no official announcement of even the inquiry, it is premature to speculate on whether Apple has a potential problem.

    4. People are pointing at Adobe because of Flash, which has yet to release a mobile version of that app. As usual, it's late to the table.

    5. ...and a lot of developers won't need to at all, because they were smart enough to use Apple's APIs in the first place to take advantage of the iPhone OS's full feature set.

    Developer's choice.

  • Apple To Face Antitrust Investigation Over Its iPhone Development Policies?

    rwahrens ( profile ), 04 May, 2010 @ 06:21am

    but overall

    Gene Steinberg has a very good take on this:

    "When it comes to developers, who gets cheated if an app doesn’t support new iPhone features because the third-party tool that built that app only provides the bare minimum of compatibility? What’s the point of Apple developing 100 new features for the iPhone, if loads of apps don’t use them? Developers may have to spend extra money developing an exclusive iPhone version, but they will also gain access to the largest and most successful online app store for smartphones in the world. That is not something from which they would easily walk away. It also means they will have more satisfied customers, since their new apps will support some or all of the iPhone’s latest and greatest features."

  • Apple To Face Antitrust Investigation Over Its iPhone Development Policies?

    rwahrens ( profile ), 04 May, 2010 @ 06:15am

    Re: btw

    "...and its monopoly control of the iPhone device..."



  • Apple To Face Antitrust Investigation Over Its iPhone Development Policies?

    rwahrens ( profile ), 04 May, 2010 @ 06:10am

    "...but "must be written in our tools only" begins to look like it's preventing an app from being ported to other systems."

    Why? How is it that an app CAN be ported TO the iPhone OS if written specifically for Flash (which is what everybody seems to want to do), yet cannot be ported the other way if written in Objective C? I thought these porting tools allowed code to be cross compiled in either direction?

    It MIGHT matter IF Adobe had a mobile version of Flash to begin with - but that worthy application is just vaporware. Flash doesn't run on ANY mobile platform currently, because Adobe hasn't released an app that works on mobile systems yet.

    Which is EXACTLY what Steve was talking about - even if he WANTED to allow Flash, the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad OS is 'crippled' by the lack of that version of Flash, because, as usual, Adobe is late in releasing such a version!

    Vaporware, again.

  • Apple To Face Antitrust Investigation Over Its iPhone Development Policies?

    rwahrens ( profile ), 04 May, 2010 @ 05:58am

    Re: Re: Total Bunk....

    How many times do people have to be reminded that a monopoly is NOT described as one company restricting development for their own products?

    Apple may have a hot products in the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad universe, but those products are NOT even close to being monopolies in the wider markets in which they are sold. Every company has a "monopoly" on their own products, but that is not what a monopoly is.

    The only time the government may restrict Apple's actions is if they become so large a seller that their actions automatically affect the market - that's when they become an actual monopoly.

    This move is not anti-competitive, it only affects the ability of developers to make apps for Apple products, they are free to port those apps to other platforms or write new code for those platforms.

    It also fails to have any affect on developers that do not develop for Apple's platforms.

    There is no negative affect on the market at this time.

    Of course, it is common for these government entities to hold inquiries - those are preliminary hearings to determine if there is probable cause to escalate the matter to a true investigation. Many such inquiries fail to be so escalated due to a lack of evidence.

    I am sure that such will be the case here.

  • Apple To Face Antitrust Investigation Over Its iPhone Development Policies?

    rwahrens ( profile ), 04 May, 2010 @ 05:45am

    Re: Re: nothing to see here...

    "Conversely, an iPhone application cannot be ported to other platforms."

    Why not? Apple only restricts the use of that translation layer on their own platform, but cannot logically restrict you from porting a game from the iPhone to, say, Android.

    Their purpose is controlling the quality of apps developed for their own platform, not to try to control the entire market - which is not only illegal, but impossible in the manner you describe.

  • Apple: Closed, Proprietary Systems Are Bad (Unless They're Our Own)

    rwahrens ( profile ), 03 May, 2010 @ 09:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No different than other "platforms"

    "China is restricting Internet access to protect its Citizens from "harmful" content. In both cases, maybe an interesting place to visit, but not a place where I'd want to "live"."

    Apple doesn't have the power to oppress or imprison you, and isn't restricting your ability to see content based upon political party.

    China can, and does. BIG difference, stupid analogy.

    "I've yet to see ONE valid technical argument for these new limitations."

    Then reread Steve's statement, it is obvious you didn't.

    "And now a lot of people in "the world" are telling Apple/SJ they don't want to be held hostage to Apple.

    In addition, Apple continues to burn bridges with these other major players in the IT industry. He may think he is Dr. Evil and his hairless cat that can control the world, but everyone else realizes that to be successful in the long term you need positive partnerships."

    Uh, yeah, with millions of units being sold, and thousands of developers till developing apps, Apple has burned its bridges. Sure, and I've got a bridge for sale. Most consumers couldn't care less for this brouhaha, don't understand the reason you are upset, and still are giving Apple their money for a product that does exactly what they want it to do.

    Go ahead and buy your Android, I doubt that Steve will mind a bit.

    "Now that we have a viable alternative in the market (i.e. Android and hopefully WM7 soon enough), we'll see. "

    Yeah, we will. the iPad sold its first million in 28 days, less than half the time it took the first version iPhone.

    We will see, yes.

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