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  • Sep 17th, 2019 @ 10:47am

    (untitled comment)

    Maybe we should also look into the "selective enforcement" that "intellectual property" suffers from.

    • If you "steal" this property in a way that doesn't actually "remove" anything from the "owner", you get sued with the full force of the law, sometimes to absurd extremes. (e.g. "piracy" in general, background music faintly playing in a video of a dancing baby.)
    • If you "steal" in a way that actually deprives someone else of something, you get ignored by law enforcement, like you never did anything wrong. (e.g. undue claims of copyright, taking down someone else's content.) All the more so if the "thief" is a large copyright corporation. It's even more jarring when the "victim" is the public at large in the case of claims of copyright on public domain content: the law doesn't provide anyone with standing to sue the "thief", so he gets away with it.

    This whole thing is upside-down. Those who actually cause harm get sued way less, if at all, than those who didn't.

  • Sep 13th, 2019 @ 8:40am

    (untitled comment)

    Given the derision and blowback, one would hope the Ohio State University would now just go away and stop all of this.

    Some people know no shame. I don't know about OSU (or should that be TOSU? :D) but we've had examples of people doubling or tripling down at times.
    We had to hold our breath on the USPTO's decision, and we still have to hold our breath on OSU's next move.

  • Aug 26th, 2019 @ 7:50am

    (untitled comment)

    Current day shareholders would fare poorly on the Stanford marshmallow experiment.
    There is definitely a need to change the rules, although I suspect 1. the lobbying will be intense against this and 2. after some time, people will find a way to abuse the new rules anyway.
    Shouldn't keep us from trying though.

  • Aug 20th, 2019 @ 11:20am


    For the past few years, it seems like people decided to take the most absurd jokes of all kinds and turn them real.

    • Trump as POTUS. (ask the Simpsons.)
    • Nazis coming back in the open. (ask many movie villains.)
    • Trademarking the word "the". (ask any commenter here under a trademark article.)

    Fortunately, this last one is not approved... yet.

  • Aug 9th, 2019 @ 1:46pm


    Funny how they pretend they want to both "eliminate anti-conservative bias" and "prevent dangerous radicalisation".

    • If they strengthen the conservative position online (which was they truly mean by "preventing anti-conservative bias"), they will reinforce white supremacy, neo-nazi and other extremist movements (religious zealots, racists, anti-lgbt, etc). This will definitely lead to more mass shootings and other lethal actions as those behaviors are tolerated and sometimes encouraged by the executive branch.
    • If they want to "prevent mass-shooting from extremists", the first to be censored will be the president, closely followed by a lot of extreme conservative voices on the net. They are continuously pushing for division, violence and hate. They are not the only violent ones out there, but they are definitely the most vocal about it.

    I don't know for sure what is their priority, but I kind of have a feeling that the second one is just empty words coming from the current administration. They never intended to take action against the current most dangerous form of extremism in the US, which they prove repeatedly by their actions.

  • Aug 2nd, 2019 @ 3:55pm

    Re: Re: WIPO's reply

    You forgot to mention that, since nobody can actually review the list and submissions, a censored website might not know which country and/or which authority flagged them as "pirate".

  • Jul 31st, 2019 @ 10:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just because it involves laughter, doesn't m

    Don't believe me? Try selling a digital game today. Go on. I'll wait.
    If you don't get arrested, let us know how it works out for you.

    Actually, Europe had a judgement passed stating that reselling digital goods is legal.


    This even included service attached to the software, but excluded "fragmenting" multi-user licenses.

    That was quite a while ago, and I don't know about any follow-up, but at least it's not quite as clear-cut as you said depending on where you live.

  • Jul 24th, 2019 @ 8:20pm

    Re: 'Honestly, it was his own fault for lying in front of a gun.

    The "don't let us catch you again" part is totally optional. If he ever gets caught again, he still has tons of options: erasing his record, have the prosecutor pretend that past records are irrelevant, move to a different place where he had no past record...

    Justice in the US is nearly never served properly when the criminal has a badge.

    I can hope that these cases are statistically a minority, but when they are so obviously mishandled, there is no incentive for avoiding bad and dangerous behavior. They end up being large in numbers even if overall much lower than properly handled cases.

    The problem is not that mistakes are made. It's that there is no incentive to at least try and avoid making them.

  • Jul 18th, 2019 @ 2:54pm

    (untitled comment)

    But these voices have pretty routinely been drowned out by those driven more by patriotism or profits than any genuine, measured interest in a consistently fact-based approach to better security.

    Worse yet, the so-called "patriots" don't care about security at all. They only care about taking down an "enemy", be it real, imagined or self-crafted.
    They use the word "security", interchangeably with others such as "piracy", "terrorism", "communism"... without any regard to their definition, only interested in the impact the word has on the public at large.
    Some of these words now have completely twisted meanings, if any at all, left in their radical supporters' minds.

    The example in this case, "security".
    For us, it's about you protecting your devices and data from being accessed by someone you didn't allow. (Short version, obviously)
    For them, it's a lot more about then accessing any system or data they want, whatever the cost... particularly if it's at our expenses... but - funny enough - not at their individual expenses. They have this concept of "sacrifice" that I hate the most as being the peak of hypocrisy: no price is too high to pay, unless they have to pay it themselves.
    And in the Huawei case, it's not even that much. It's just an empty word used to justify taking down competition.

  • Jun 5th, 2019 @ 10:22am

    Global censorship

    This is not a first, though.
    As an example, I remember a court in Canada declared a content was to be removed globally in pretty much the same way.

    As for content recognition (being "content similar to something previously judged illegal" or "obviously illegal content"), as long as things seem easy to the eyes of people ignorant of technology, they will make such poor decisions. They ignore the amount of resources, time and effort required to build a recognition engine, as well as the amount of both false positive and false negative percentages. Worse yet, something flawed will be hand-waved as "good enough" despite the impact on freedom of expression (false positives) and legal responsibility (false negatives), with requests - or more like demands - to "nerd harder" in the face of critics.

    And that's not going to improve as long as the ruling class is in majority composed of the "rich old white men" (or more generally people who know nothing about the life of people whose yearly income isn't at least a 7-digit figure) who will willfully ignore any attempt to educate them. And only vote along partisan lines.

  • May 28th, 2019 @ 9:23am

    (untitled comment)

    Funny how, when talking about "copyright infringement", all you hear from publishers, media and politicians is about those bad, very bad "pirates who just want everything for free and steal from creators".
    Never a word about copyright infringement actually done to make profit and do divert money away from creators.
    It's almost like there are several standards used to define infringement, and actually stealing or extorting money is the lesser evil.

  • May 16th, 2019 @ 9:45am

    (untitled comment)

    My question there is...
    What did the governor get in exchange for his silence?
    You just don't "sign an NDA". You sign it as a contact where you shut up about something in exchange for something else (typically money or job).
    So why did he sign it?

  • May 14th, 2019 @ 6:37pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    As far as I remember that's not quite right.
    You have to register to file for statutory damages.
    You can still request damages without a registration, but you then have to prove the actual harm that you want compensated.
    However, this second option is much more difficult than just claiming "$125,000 per infringement" without proof of harm when you have registered your work.

  • May 7th, 2019 @ 2:23pm

    (untitled comment)

    This is not victim-blaming.
    This is pointing out that victims can and do file frivolous lawsuits too.

    Their lawyers should tell them how much of a waste of time and resource this is for both the client and the system in general. They might feel like they have the right to sue "someone" for what happened to them, but they completely misunderstand who they should sue or whether suing was a good idea at all. The lawyer's role should be help them get past the emotional viewpoint and understand that you can't just blame anyone.

    Or that would be the case if there was no incentive for the lawyer to let the lawsuit get filed. They get paid whatever the outcome after all.

  • May 3rd, 2019 @ 2:43pm

    Re: Wow

    And that's exactly what's wrong with so many judgments in US.

    Not willingly bowing to any demand from law enforcement is a crime in many ways. "Resisting arrest", even if the police didn't have an actual cause to arrest you in the first place. "Contempt of court", with unlimited detention, for refusing to provide a password. And more examples can be found.
    It seems like not being subservient to the police is a crime in itself.

    See also, how the police regularly gets excuses for any abuse of power. "Good faith exceptions", "Forfeiture", "Fear for their life" and more allow them to both avoid consequence from stealing from, raping or killing innocents and even helps them salvage evidence that were illegally collected. (Yes, even when a judge admits the evidence is illegal, it sometimes still gets salvaged because the cop didn't know better... or pretended not to.) The ones who are there to enforce the law are, curiously, the only one who are actually allowed to ignore it.

    This all seems like the signs of a police state, not a democracy governed by the rule of law.

  • Apr 26th, 2019 @ 11:33am

    (untitled comment)

    This looks like it could all lead to an accidental robot-apocalypse. ("Oops, I killed my owner because I mistook it for the chicken I was supposed to cook.")

    Guys, if we are to be killed by robots, please at least make it intentional. Please don't have historians (aliens or robots) make fun of us for wiping ourselves from the face of Earth with shoddy programming.

  • Apr 26th, 2019 @ 11:26am

    Re: Video Games are a great example of this phenomina

    Definitely my first thought.
    This is particularly obvious when core features break down (e.g. main quest in an RPG, collision detection in... just about any game). These should be evident in a simple play-through. Run through your game once, that's the bare minimum of testing.
    It's a little more acceptable when it's about edge cases (e.g. optional side quest with complicated requirements, jumping into a wall while strafing and using a consumable in an action game). It's less obvious, so I can forgive them overlooking this at launch.

    Now, the article talks about software with real-world life-and-death consequences, but it is indeed a similar symptom of bug-tolerance in software development that should not have been left to grow.

  • Apr 18th, 2019 @ 8:54am


    I love how that quote can be used to justify anything.

    This nation was founded on one principle above all else: The requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences.

    I see what the walking US metaphor means it, that you shouldn't care about people getting violent to shut you up and all, but you see...

    • Copyright holders believe they should own works of art forever, with unlimited control over what can be done with them.
    • Extreme conservative politicians believe they should be allowed to regulate anything they want, down to your sexuality and reproduction.
    • Second amendment fanatics believe anyone can own and carry a gun, any gun, anywhere.
    • Often overlapping with the ones above, advocates of "stand your ground" or similar policies believe they're allowed to shoot anyone when they are afraid or uneasy in their presence.

    And the list goes on.
    My conclusion is: beware of anyone telling you not to care about consequences.

  • Apr 15th, 2019 @ 2:00pm

    Re: How are foreigners supposed to know that the sting was a sti

    A sting is to let people commit a crime they were going to commit anyway, while setting the conditions to catch them red-handed easily. (eg setting a bait or infiltrating the group.)

    Entrapment is to make people commit a crime when they had no intention to. (eg harassing or threatening them or, as in this case, luring them to commit a legal action while placing them in an illegal context that they didn't know about.)

    There are various ways to trick people into committing a crime unknowingly, and it's supposed to be illegal for law enforcement to do so. If you let that through, you basically let LEO jail anyone they want.

    This was 100% entrapment as everything was setup to look legitimate. A sting would have had something like a recruiter for the university tell the students that they have ways to provide fake immigration papers or something similar. You must confirm that the would-be student wanted to enroll with the purpose of breaking the law.

    So, to answer your question, they weren't supposed to know because it was a trap.

  • Apr 8th, 2019 @ 10:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The constitution either applies everywhere or no

    Nb: also, I missed the exceptions apply footnote in this founding document.

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