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Comment: Re:Key Point Missing (Score 2) 34

by NewYorkCountryLawyer (#47234405) Attached to: Appeals Court Finds Scanning To Be Fair Use

The summary misses a key point. Yes they scan and store the entire book, but they are _NOT_ making the entire book available to everyone. For the most part they are just making it searchable.

Agreed that it's not in the summary, but as you correctly note, it's just a "summary". Anyone who reads the underlying blog post will read this among the facts on which the court based its opinion: "The public was allowed to search by keyword. The search results showed only the page numbers for the search term and the number of times it appeared; none of the text was visible."

So those readers who RTFA will be in the know.

+ - Appeals Court finds scanning to be fair use in Authors Guild v Hathitrust

Submitted by NewYorkCountryLawyer
NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) writes "In Authors Guild v Hathitrust, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has found that scanning whole books and making them searchable for research use is a fair use. In reaching its conclusion, the 3-judge panel reasoned, in its 34-page opinion (PDF), that the creation of a searchable, full text database is a "quintessentially transformative use", that it was "reasonably necessary" to make use of the entire works, that maintaining maintain 4 copies of the database was reasonably necessary as well, and that the research library did not impair the market for the originals. Needless to say, this ruling augurs well for Google in Authors Guild v. Google, which likewise involves full text scanning of whole books for research."

Comment: Re:Wind chill on a solar collector (Score 1) 110

by DigitalReverend (#47211771) Attached to: There's No Wind Chill On Mars

Wind chill does not affect inanimate objects. Yes they might cool down to the ambient temperature faster but they will never go lower than the ambient temperature regardless of the wind speed. Wind chill is what it "feels" like and last I check solar collectors don't feel.

Comment: We Need a *Maximum* Wage (Score 4, Insightful) 1040

by Digital Vomit (#47153553) Attached to: Seattle Approves $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage

What we really need is a maximum wage; a maximum amount of annual income -- from any source -- that a person can make. This maximum amount should be tied to the median income or some such so that if the rich and powerful want to increase their earning limit, they have to do things that will benefit all of society instead of hurting all of society.

Too much of the economy's lifeblood (i.e. money) is sequestered in the bank accounts of the ultra-wealthy, which a) stalls the economy, and b) gives a disproportionate amount of socio-political power to those individuals. The current vast difference in wealth is as damaging to the human race as things like racism, homophobia, nationalism, etc. (if not more so), and people really need to realize this.

There is an entire class of people that most of society never sees, but which has a profound impact on their lives...and our current economic setup promotes sociopaths and psychopaths into this class. These people have the economic power and the self-centered focus to literally destroy the planet. This situation has to be rectified.

+ - Councilman/Open Source Developer submits Open Source bill->

Submitted by NewYorkCountryLawyer
NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) writes "New York City Council Member Ben Kallos (KallosEsq), who also happens to be a Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) developer, just introduced legislation to mandate a government preference for FOSS and creating a Civic Commons website to facilitate collaborative purchasing of software. He argues that NYC could save millions of dollars with the Free and Open Source Software Preferences Act 2014, pointing out that the city currently has a $67 million Microsoft ELA. Kallos said: "It is time for government to modernize and start appreciating the same cost savings as everyone else.""
Link to Original Source

Comment: A little late, but welcome (Score 1) 136

by NewYorkCountryLawyer (#47119749) Attached to: Federal Court Pulls Plug On Porn Copyright Shakedown
A cynic might argue that the key difference in this case was that, for a change, the ISP's, and not merely defendants, were challenging the subpoenas; but of course we all know that justice is 'blind'.

An ingrate might bemoan the Court's failure to address the key underlying fallacy in the "John Doe" cases, that because someone pays the bill for an internet account that automatically makes them a copyright infringer; but who's complaining over that slight omission?

A malcontent like myself might be a little unhappy that it took the courts ten (10) years to finally come to grips with the personal jurisdiction issue, which would have been obvious to 9 out of 10 second year law students from the get go, and I personally have been pointing it out and writing about it since 2005; but at least they finally did get there.

And a philosopher might wonder how much suffering might have been spared had the courts followed the law back in 2004 when the John Doe madness started; but of course I'm a lawyer, not a philosopher. :)

Bottom line, though: this is a good thing, a very good thing. Ten (10) years late in coming, but good nonetheless. - R.B. )

Comment: Re:Vive le Galt! (Score 1) 695

by Digital Vomit (#46338093) Attached to: Mt. Gox Gone? Apparent Theft Shakes Bitcoin World

...the current system...[does not guarantee] distribution to the places best or helpful for society.

And it shouldn't, as people disagree on what that means and where those are.

They do? Don't most people want a place to live, food to eat, some entertainment, and some support, at the very least?

In situations where manipulative marketing and divisive politicking hasn't rotted people's brains, people overwhelming agree on at least the basics of where at least some resources should be distributed for the benefit of society.

Comment: Re:Vive le Galt! (Score 1) 695

by Digital Vomit (#46337963) Attached to: Mt. Gox Gone? Apparent Theft Shakes Bitcoin World

This guy had a lot of great ideas, including:

  • Guaranteed basic income linked to national average
  • A cap on annual income
  • A cap on personal wealth
  • A cap on inheritance

Of course, he ended up getting assassinated and his program was purposefully run into the ground after his death.

And that's the real trick. The trouble is not coming up with great ideas that we know will work; the trouble is trying to implement them without getting murdered by the already-rich-and-powerful.

+ - Alternatives to Slashdot post beta? 8

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Like many Slashdotters, I intend to stop visiting Slashdot after the beta changeover. After years of steady decline in the quality of discussions here, the beta will be the last straw. What sites alternative to Slashdot have others found? The best I have found has been, but it has been a while since I've looked for tech discussion sites."

Federal grants are offered for... research into the recreation potential of interplanetary space travel for the culturally disadvantaged.