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Comment umm (Score 1) 87

French court wants to have jurisdiction over what resides on a server physically located in California? Cookie? What if China asked for the same prerogative? This is precisely why the controlling bodies of the Internet must continue to be under US jurisdiction. Imagine someone like North Korea having a say in what can be on the Internet.

Comment Re:Inherited Work (Score 1) 113

This does not make any sense at all. Why should the heirs of the artist be allowed to benefit from the artist's work? No other job provides benefits for heirs after the death of the worker unless that worker has saved some of their income and put it into a suitable savings vehicle.

This is much too narrow a view.

My father's farm has been in the family for two hundred years. No one has ever questioned a son's right to benefit from his inheritance --- that has always been the whole purpose of the thing. Why should the inheritance of intangible property be treated any differently?

Comment "Real diaries don't have multiple editions." (Score 1) 113

real diaries don't have multiple editions.

Not true.

Mary Chesnut used her diary and notes to work toward a final version in 1881 --- 1884. Based on her drafts, historians do not believe she was finished with her work. Because Chesnut had no children, before her death she gave her diary to her closest friend Isabella D. Martin and urged her to have it published. The diary was first published in 1905 as a heavily edited and abridged edition. Ben Ames Williams' 1949 version was described as more readable, but sacrificing historical reliability and many of Chesnut's literary references. The 1981 version by C. Vann Woodward retained more of her original work, provides an overview of her life and society in the introduction, and was annotated to identify fully the large cast of characters, places and events.

Mary Boykin Chesnut

Comment Forget Mickey Mouse. (Score 1) 113

Well speaking of Mickey Mouse...

Forget Mickey Mouse.

The expiration of the copyright on Steamboat Willie gives you the right to produce derivatives based on Steamboat Willie and only Steamboat Willie. Eight minutes of silent-era sight gags with a synchronized sound track and a thin narrative thread. Walt Disney Animation Studios' Steamboat Willie

The character designs --- which is what the geek really wants --- are trademarked, and without them you do not have the Mouse in any recognizable form.

Mickey Mouse appears as a character in over 200 films, videos, and video games --- and god alone knows how often in other media. Mickey Mouse (Character) You would have a hell of time coming up with an original --- non-infringing --- story for the Mouse.

or for any of the other franchised Disney characters.

Comment Calder v. Bull (1798) (Score 1) 113

But Anne Frank's Diary was published in 1947. Extending that copyright beyond the term in effect at the time it was published is a violation of the constitutional prohibition against ex post facto laws.

The geek remains ignorant of the most fundamental distinctions between civil and criminal law.

Over the years, when deciding ex post facto cases, the United States Supreme Court has referred repeatedly to its ruling in Calder v. Bull, in which Justice Samuel Chase held that the prohibition applied only to criminal matters, not civil matters...

Ex post facto law

Calder v. Bull, 3 U.S. 386 (1798) is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court decided four important points of constitutional law.

First that the ex post facto clause of the United States Constitution only applies to criminal acts, and then only if the law does one of four things: ''1st. Every law that makes an action done before the passing of the law, and which was innocent when done, criminal; and punishes such action. 2d. Every law that aggravates a crime, makes it greater than it was, when committed. 3d. Every law that changes the punishment, and inflicts a greater punishment, than the law annexed to the crime, when committed. 4th. Every law that alters the legal rules of evidence, and receives less, or different, testimony, than the law required at the time of the commission of the offence, in order to convict the offender.'' The decision restates this later as laws ''hat create, or aggregate, the crime; or encrease(sic) the punishment, or change the rules of evidence, for the purpose of conviction.''

Calfer v. Bull

Comment How private are your cash transactions? (Score 1) 179

The cash register was invented by a saloon keeper who grew tired of bartenders tapping the till and not the keg.

The downside to doing business in cash has always been the need the need to embed expensive physical defenses against fraud and theft. The merchant will need a safe or a vault. Alarm systems. Video. Perhaps an armored courier service.

Every transaction leaves a trail.

Given time and patience all but your most mundane purchases can be traced.

Comment Re:The deep insecurity of Islam (Score 1) 276

> What about the big bang???

What about it? "Something" just "magically" appeared from nothing without any cause ??? Can I have some of what you're smoking please?

> Where have you been these last 100 years, hiding in a church?

Considering a Catholic Priest Georges Lemaitre invented the Big Bang theory your lame attempts to be condescending are misguided at best. There are numerous problems with it but let's conveniently ignore those.

Comment Re:I for one welcome the return of the Star Chambe (Score 1) 61

How you can read "authorities historically abuse powers and we are observing it happen once again right now" and interpret it as "authorities are entirely untrustworthy and the people should just police themselves in anarchy" is absolutely beyond my comprehension. Your level of interpretation is legitimately baffling, so I will attempt to explain...

No implication was made that authority and law should be ignored. Law enforcement is essential for society to operate as it does. A better analogy, based on your metaphor, would be that in these circumstances the authorities judge every ticket / warrant ever issued to be valid simply because it has been issued in the first place. That is just wrong. If you can't see why then consider this: when the people are subject to one set of laws and the authorities are subject to a different, in this case far less strict set of laws, then you are living in a dictatorship. You are living in a system where the powers that be get to behave however they choose and they write laws to validate their actions. They then will not afford you the same liberties and write different laws that stop you behaving in ways that they behave themselves. It is basically the definition of tyranny.

The only authority that is worth respect is the authority that is granted power willingly by the people it represents and allows itself to be fully responsible to the people for its actions. Any other authority is little more than acquisition of power over people through the threat of menaces, violence, imprisonment or worse for the purpose of maintaining the ruling elite class at the expense of the freedom of those being ruled. Any system of governance that can be described in that fashion earns my immediate contempt. Unsurprisingly I'm not alone in that sentiment.

Thank you.

Yours is one of very few rational posts I see on /. or heck, just about anyplace anymore on the interwebs.

Governments share much in common with computer networks and their design.

Governments are networks of power to compel with a monopoly on the legitimate use of deadly force.

Like a computer network design composed of many stand-alone machines each with it's own attack-detection & mitigation mechanisms is harder to compromise than a single central server and 'dumb clients', it follows that government power must be mostly local in nature with as little dependence on a central authority as possible.

I heartily accept the motto - "That government is best which governs least;" and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which I also believe, - "That government is best which governs not at all;" and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient.
- Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience


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