This is my dumping ground for quotes and other stuff relating to the wonderful world of digital & communications.
(In the 1930’s) Long-playing record technology was still in its infancy, and didn’t sound very good for recorded music. But the LP was perfectly fine for the spoken word… given the strange intellectual property agreements hammered out at the time, it was essentially illegal for anyone but blind people to use an LP record player in the 1930s.
When it started publicly posting takedown notices in late May, around 250,000 requests a week went through the system… more than it got for the entirety of 2009…. Now, that number has jumped to over 2.5 million a week.
Because of the strange distortions of copyright protection, there are twice as many newly published books available on Amazon from 1850 as there are from 1950
A group of Austrians whose scenic mountain village has been copied down to the statues by a Chinese developer attended Saturday’s opening in China for the high-end residential project but were still miffed about how the company did it. Minmetals Land Inc.’s replica of Hallstatt, a quaint Austrian alpine hamlet, is located in subtropical southern China. The original is a centuries-old village of 900 and a UNESCO heritage site that survives on tourism. The copycat is a housing estate that thrives on China’s new rich. In a China famous for pirated products, the replica Hallstatt sets a new standard.
Google revealed that it takes down 250,000 search links each week over copyright concerns, a figure that exceeds the total number it removed in all of 2009
With the development of GPS controlled drones, far-reaching cheap radio equipment and tiny new computers like the Raspberry Pi, we’re going to experiment with sending out some small drones that will float some kilometers up in the air. This way our machines will have to be shut down with aeroplanes in order to shut down the system. A real act of war. We’re just starting so we haven’t figured everything out yet. But we can’t limit ourselves to hosting things just on land anymore. These Low Orbit Server Stations (LOSS) are just the first attempt. With modern radio transmitters we can get over 100Mbps per node up to 50km away. For the proxy system we’re building, that’s more than enough.
Under the current system, if you lived to 70 years old and your descendants all had children at the age of 30, the copyright in your book – and thus the proceeds – would provide for your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.
But what, I ask, about your great-great-great-grandchildren? What do they get? How can our laws be so heartless as to deny them the benefit of your hard work in the name of some do-gooding concept as the “public good”, simply because they were born a mere century and a half after the book was written?
There will be programs that run on general-purpose computers, and peripherals, that will freak even me out. So I can believe that people who advocate for limiting general-purpose computers will find a receptive audience. But just as we saw with the copyright wars, banning certain instructions, protocols or messages will be wholly ineffective as a means of prevention and remedy. As we saw in the copyright wars, all attempts at controlling PCs will converge on rootkits, and all attempts at controlling the Internet will converge on surveillance and censorship. This stuff matters because we’ve spent the last decade sending our best players out to fight what we thought was the final boss at the end of the game, but it turns out it’s just been an end-level guardian. The stakes are only going to get higher.
In 1988, Richard Stallman created his own copyright licences to try and get around what he saw as the problem of “software hoarding”, where companies would take public domain content, modify it, then refuse to release the ensuing work into the public domain. He created the Emacs General Public Licence, the first copyleft licence, which eventually evolved into the GNU General Public Licence, better known as the GPL.
The GPL, which has become one of the most popular free software licences, explicitly made clear that the maximum number of rights had to be transferred to the program’s users, despite subsequent revisions to the code. It also laid out the rights that the user had — the freedom to use a work, the freedom to study it, the freedom to copy it and share with others, and the freedom to modify it and distribute derivative works. These four tenets became common in copyleft licences.
the definitions are ridiculously broad. Under SOPA, you can be found “dedicated to the theft of US property” if the core functionality of your site “enables or facilitates” infringement. The core functionality of nearly every internet website that involves user generated content enables and facilitates infringement. The entire internet itself enables or facilitates infringement. Email enables or facilitates infringement. They have significant non-infringing uses as well, but the definition leaves that out entirely.