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Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 302

Why, then, couldn't the combined work be copyrighted?

Because merely attaching one work to another is probably not a "work of authorship" under the copyright statutes. Originality is only one part of that. If there were something unique or artistic about the combination, then perhaps...

Comment: Re:Good (Score 2) 302

"Perhaps the Harold Lloyd films I saw had some new music added precisely to extend the copyright as derived works"

Adding something to an existing work doesn't extend a copyright: whatever copyrights already existed continue unchanged. Rather, new copyrights are created when the new work is, provided that the new work is a "work of authorship". All works are derived, because all of us rely upon historical material of the past. Conceptually just saying "ABC" is deriving content from the alphabet, but in such a case there is a work but no substantial authoritative content to hang copyrights on. Incorporating letters, words, colors, sounds, and anything else that existed before is a derivation of that content; the author must add something additional in the class of authorship to develop his claim to copyright protection.

I think Miamicanes got it mostly right, except that I would emphasize that transforming or changing a work in an automated, random, unintelligent or specification-conforming way is not "authorship", and would not render the product copyrightable. If you passed one of Shakespeare's works through Google translate to produce something in French or modern English, that effort would arguably not create a copyright because there would be no authorship. (The software running the translation is copyrighted, but not the product of the execution of that copyrighted software.) We can argue about whether or not such works are valuable, but that value must be created by something other than through copyrights.

Comment: Nothing surprising here... (Score 1) 173

Experts inherently favor the interests of those who pay them. The FBI doesn't get paid to find people innocent. In a world where the FBI can choose to hire this expert or that expert, it will rehire the ones most likely to make a finding helpful to a finding of guilty.

Courts are masters of deciding truth between opposing parties. Where one side possesses more resources than the other (the U.S. Attorney General's Office vs. the local public defender) the criminal court is crippled to find the truth of guilt or innocence.

The same holds true for the experts reporting to the IPCC...

Comment: Like telling smugglers the can't use $100 bills (Score 1) 229

They'll use $20 bills instead. Multicore processors with networking interfaces are in your phone, manufactured in South Korea and .... (wait for it) China! Okay, so it might take a bit more of them to get the same processing power, or it might take the Chinese longer to run their simulation, but they ain't stoppin' nobody.

Comment: Re:They learned Legal Wiggling 101 from Microsoft (Score 1) 292

by American Patent Guy (#49402595) Attached to: EFF Fighting Automakers Over Whether You Own Your Car

Well, yes, but it's an implied license. The purchaser of a car doesn't sign a separate piece of paper permitting him to do stuff with the auto's code. It's like that video you bought over the weekend. Copyright law prohibits performances of protected works. Can you invite the neighbors to watch that video for free? Yes, because with your purchase you got the implied license to do so. Can you open your own movie theater and charge admission? No, because your implied license doesn't cover that.

Now, if you want to look at the code, copyright law won't stop you from doing that. (But the manufacturer might by not giving you a port of access.) If you possess the copy of the work, you get to look at it. You just don't get to reproduce it or perform it (say, in another model of a car, modified or not).

The manufacturer might claim the code to be a trade secret too, but that won't work very well because they will have published it by putting it in the cars they sell to the public.

So unless the car manufacturer is going to make the purchaser sign a contract not to fiddle with the code, and to make any subsequent purchaser bound to the same terms, I think they just have to put up with the modders and the rodders...

Comment: Re:Another puff of hot air from our Obama-in-chief (Score 1) 144

by American Patent Guy (#49389449) Attached to: Obama Authorizes Penalties For Foreign Cyber Attackers
Impeachment? Why would the Republicans do that? Obama is embarrassing the hell of of the Democrats on a daily basis with his pompous press releases. Oh, I assure you that the Republican members of Congress absolutely love Obama and want this to continue as long as possible. It assures their future re-elections...

Comment: Re:How can foreigners be charged under US law? (Score 2, Funny) 144

by American Patent Guy (#49389425) Attached to: Obama Authorizes Penalties For Foreign Cyber Attackers

Wow. I'm glad that you educated me. I had always thought that the Constitution granted the power to declare war to Congress alone.

I always thought, too, that there were civilian administrative procedures. I'm sure glad you let me know that that lady working in the drivers license division was drawing military hazard pay. And judges and courts ... all part of the military machine, eh?

... and that mystical power of the President to command the executives of banks in foreign countries ... I had no idea about that either. If you tell me Bigfoot is real, I'll believe that too.

Comment: Re:Another puff of hot air from our Obama-in-chief (Score 2) 144

by American Patent Guy (#49389303) Attached to: Obama Authorizes Penalties For Foreign Cyber Attackers

So he's got the power to unilaterally rule a US Citizen in Yemen is an enemy of the US, and blow up said citizen with a drone (incidentally killing several others), but he can't freeze the US bank account of a Chinese military officer whose busily hacking Americans?

Until Congress changes it, yep. That's how it is, no matter how illogical it might seem.

When normal lawyers deal with the Commander-in-Chief clause, which has very few limits (the biggest is that it doesn't apply that often), they really get into trouble fast.

Nope. Look it up for yourself:

Comment: Re:How can foreigners be charged under US law? (Score 2) 144

by American Patent Guy (#49389281) Attached to: Obama Authorizes Penalties For Foreign Cyber Attackers
You seem to be confused there. If he's issuing "sanctions" (as per the announcement), then there is some kind of judicial or administrative procedure. If he's waging war, then he can use the War Powers Act. (BTW: Obama declaring this to be a "national emergency" doesn't make it one sufficient to engage that Act.) That Act doesn't authorize a president to do whatever-the-hell-he-wants.

Comment: Another puff of hot air from our Obama-in-chief (Score 5, Interesting) 144

by American Patent Guy (#49389129) Attached to: Obama Authorizes Penalties For Foreign Cyber Attackers

Obama has no authority to impose sanctions on anybody for these acts, unless (1) Congress passes a law that says he does or (2) a foreign country says he does, creating jurisdiction. Neither has happened.

Obama said "From now on, we have the power to freeze their assets, make it harder for them to do business with U.S. companies, and limit their ability to profit from their misdeeds" in the making (apparently) of an executive order. If the power existed, it existed prior to Mr. Obama's order because it was authorized by 1 or 2 above. Mr. Obama's declarations of power are worthy of the bottom of my birdcage.

This idiot of a reporter at The Stack dot com thinks that an executive order is "legislation". Someone should inform her that legislation almost always appears in the U.S. Code, not in some press release on the White House Blog. I can't wait for this administration to try to enforce these sanctions: they're going to get tossed out of court on their rear ends if they try.

Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition. - Isaac Asimov