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Comment Re:Mickey Mouse copyirght extenstions... (Score 1) 153 153

If the copyright on "Steamboat Willie" expired, anyone could copy the work or create derivative works from it featuring a similar character, but they could not call the character in derivative works Mickey Mouse, nor use Mickey Mouse's image in such works.

No, when the Steamboat Willy copyright expires, there is no longer a copyright which prohibits people from making or distributing additional copies of the work, from publicly performing or displaying the work, or from preparing new derivative works based on it (such as a new Mickey Mouse short in which he commands a homemade submarine powered by barnyard animals or something). Of course, attributes of the Mickey Mouse character which originated in later, still copyrighted material would not be available; thus you're using the original 1928 black and white Mickey, or forking a new version of the character off from there. Can't give him a dog named Pluto, nor even the distinctive Mickey Mouse voice, as those both appeared in later films.

They would, however, be able to still freely copy the original work even though it featured said character that is still under trademark because the copy of the work is not considered a new work, it is considered a *COPY*

I don't know why that would matter from a trademark perspective. Trademark is concerned with goods bearing a mark all originating from the same source, so as to protect consumer expectations regarding consistent levels of quality. Even the goods of two different sellers are indistinguishable, that alone doesn't mean that one is free to use the trademark of the other.

The trademark issue here is whether the MICKEY MOUSE trademark even survives, at least with regard to goods such as motion pictures. This is because the MICKEY MOUSE trademark is inescapably connected to the Mickey Mouse character, and now the character is free for all to use, meaning that his presence in a work no longer indicates that it comes from a single source. That -- the freedom to use the character, and the loss of the single source expectation of consumers -- is what kills the trademark. And we know that the copyright lapsing will control what happens to the trademark based on precedents like Dastar (where the Supreme Court said that trademark is not allowed to operate like a perpetual form of copyright), and SHREDDED WHEAT (where the Supreme Court said that where a patent expires, anyone is free to use the invention and to use the previously trademarked, descriptive name of the invention).

the work uses the trademark with permission

First, there would largely no longer be a trademark. Second, that would be clear naked licensing, which would likely invalidate the mark anyway.

Comment Re:wft ever dude! (Score 1) 191 191

So "as long as you do nothing wrong you have nothing to worry about"...is that REALLY your position? You DO know you are a felon, right? You are, I am, pretty much everybody is as You commit three felonies a day and the ONLY reason they do not go after you is how much work it would take. Now you have all these SJWs pushing for pretty much anything they find personally offensive (oh I forgot "trigger warning") to be labeled as "hate speech", you have people being investigated by Homeland for making a bad joke or daring to be seen with a sign at a protest, you have CEOs of media cartels saying every song you listen to without giving them money is theft...you really think we should make things EASIER for the state and the cartels?

If you are gonna keep that position I hope you are VERY careful with what you say, what you write, and watch, because all it will take is someone with a tiny bit of power deciding they do not like you. I personally don't have nearly as much faith in the government and cartels as you do, so I'll pass for as long as I can and buy a VPN to idoncareistan when I no longer can, thanks anyway.

Comment Re:They're going to be charging money for the OS s (Score 1) 281 281

That is because being "Windows ME Ready" meant that you had all WDM drivers. You see what I found the fatal flaw with WinME was some numbnuts at MSFT decided that BOTH WDM and VXD drivers should be supported...what a fuck up! If you mixed WDM and VXD drivers? It was pretty much guaranteed to shit itself and BSOD then only question was WHEN it would happen. I saw PCs at the shop (those Mini HPs with the CD holder on the top, can't recall the model ATM) that you could literally set your watch by, it would crash ME in less than 20 minutes from first boot every time. Replace the VXD only built in sound with a WDM card? Magically ran just fine.

So count yourself lucky, all WDM was a rarity when it came to ME thanks to all the Win98 parts the OEMs had, most were a mix of the two which is why IMHO Windows ME became so hated.

Comment Re:Mickey Mouse copyirght extenstions... (Score 1) 153 153

Sorry, but no. If anyone can make a copy of a work featuring a trademarked character, then the trademark on that character, with regard to goods that are copies of creative works, has to lapse, as the mark has become generic in that context. Once the door is opened for multiple sources of identically marked goods, it kills the trademark. This is just the copyright version of the SHREDDED WHEAT case from the 1930s, plus a bit of the more recent Dastar case.

And the trademark can't prevent people from copying works or creating new derivative works that feature the same trademarked characters.

You're thinking of something more like nominative use, in which a third party can use a mark without permission under certain circumstances. I'm saying that there would no longer be an applicable mark at all.

Comment Re: Mickey Mouse copyirght extenstions... (Score 1) 153 153

There is no stripping of assets.

The natural state of a creative work is to be in the public domain. Authors do not create copyrights; the public creates them (through our servant, the government), with the public benefit in mind. Some works aren't even eligible for copyright at all, because it wouldn't be for the public benefit. When a copyright is granted, it is for a limited period of time, because a perpetual copyright can never be for the public benefit.

Thus, a better way to imagine the situation is this: if the government owns a parcel of public land, such as a small building suitable for a restaurant at a visitor's center in a national park, it can rent the restaurant space to a private business for a period of time. So long as the restaurateur makes his rent and follows other previously agreed upon terms (e.g. compliance with applicable law, signage that complies with the standards set by the park administrators, etc) he is free to profit as much as he can.

But when the lease expires, the restaurateur cannot argue that his business venue has been taken from him, even though it might be a profitable location forever. It was never his to begin with; he just got to use it for a while.

Regarding Mickey Mouse, copyright policy has to ignore subjective assessments of artistic value. What's important is getting as many works as possible created, published, and into the public domain (and as close to the public domain as possible until fully in the public domain). That's how you best serve the public interest.

And if an author argues that his private interest is more important than the public interest, that's all well and good, and I don't have a problem with his self interest (indeed, we're relying on it to motivate him), but why should the public ignore its own collective self interest? As there's no possibility of a copyright without it being granted by the public, authors are not in a strong bargaining position.

Comment Re:Slashdot crying wolf again... (Score 1) 191 191

And you don't see a PROBLEM with this? You DO know you are advocating giving every single device a "digital fingerprint" which will be trivial for the governments and media cartels to use against you, yes?

You say something that offends a special snowflake of a protected class (thereby committing thoughtcrime...err "hate speech") online, watch a video some cartel thinks you should have paid them $$$ to watch (which is very likely they shared for that very reason) and no problem, simply look at the IP V6 and you'll know exactly who that evildoer was and what device they used at the time!

I'm sorry but with all the truly evil fascist shit we've seen from our corporate overlords and their government puppets I really do NOT trust them with that kind of power. Remember citizen you have committed three felonies today and the only thing stopping them from busting you for it and ruining your life? Is how much resources it would take to prove it. Lets not make it any easier for them,mmkay?

Comment Re:wft ever dude! (Score 2) 191 191

Am I the only one that sees IP V6 as a "cure" worse than the disease? From everything I've seen it looks like a police state and media cartels wet dream, the ability to assign a unique address to every.single.device like a digital fingerprint so they can trivially trace back every statement, every video watched, every move, for later prosecution? Am I the only one having a problem with this idea, or is the idea of always being under the all seeing electric eye something the young folks simply accept and don't care about?

Comment Re:Companies Selling Actually Free Software? (Score 1) 350 350

Anybody who actually watches the man speak can see he is a classic "stuck in a time" kind of guy, which doesn't really work in a field that changes as insanely fast as computing does.

Ever know a guy whose music tastes is stuck in their teens/early 20s so they listen to ONLY music from that period? Yeah well seeing RMS address a room of 20 somethings as "hackers" (which is his standard greeting BTW) like it was 1974 and he was in a computer club meeting? yeah it felt exactly like that, watching Disco Dan talking about going to a BOC concert or seeing Foghat on some oldies tour, a guy stuck in time that refuses to accept that it isn't 1975 and computing is actually for the masses instead of a handful willing to write their own compilers and copying code from the back of Byte magazine.

Comment Re:They're going to be charging money for the OS s (Score 2) 281 281

I love how they use your bandwidth to send Windows Updates to others unless you know where to opt out, I'm sure there are gonna be a LOT of users on metered connections gonna be having a heart attack next month when they get their bill!

I'm advising my customers to avoid Win 10 for now, look I REALLY wanted to like Win 10, I really did, but it seems to be more of the ham fisted stupid shit we've been getting since Win 8 instead of a return to Win 7 greatness. the settings/control panel frankenstein clusterfuck, the datamining that makes Google look like they are privacy focused, I just haven't seen a thing that can't be had better by simply slapping Win 7 on an SSD. Even their "whiz bang" features like Cortana are slow, have a bad learning curve, and demand you give away pretty much any privacy to use the thing.

Sorry MSFT but at this point I'm even advising my Windows 8 customers to stay away, in fact Windows 8 plus Classic Shell is frankly better, with all the speed ups without the datamining and nickel and diming and you can grab Win 8 for $65 on Amazon, if you need a Windows OS and don't have the excellent Win 7 that is what I'd point customers to, Win 10 is just not worth what you give up.

BTW anybody else notice the insane astroturfing going on by MSFT trying to keep 10 from becoming another 8? Even sites like El Reg is seeing accounts that were dormant since the Win 8 release suddenly shooting down any complaints and singing the praises of Win 10 in market speak. Normally I condemn any talk of shills and astroturfing because...well I had customers that liked Windows ME, and there is everything from AMC Matador to Zune fanclubs because there will always be somebody who likes it no matter what it is, but just like previous ads by MSFT its just so.....well hamfisted and obvious, you can almost see the PHB standing behind the typist telling them to stay "on message" while going down a print out of a PPT with buzz words like "social integration" and "unified user experience". C'mon MSFT, if you are gonna turf at least do it well, half assed turfing is just lame.

Comment Re:I think they might'a meant to say something els (Score 1) 153 153

Actually, the Copyright Act was replaced entirely in 1976 (becoming effective in 1978), and has been amended some, yet in substantial ways, since then. Noises are being made about a new Copyright Act coming along in the near future.

The person who wrote the summary is a bit confused. What happened is that the Warner claim was based on a copy published in 1935. Evidence was discovered of a copy that was published in 1927. That's not terribly interesting, but a copy published in 1922 has also come to light. That is interesting, because the cutoff for copyright on published works is 1923. (Due to the duration of copyright prior to the effective date of the 1976 Act, which retroactively lengthened the term of copyrights that were still in force)

Comment Re:Mickey Mouse copyirght extenstions... (Score 1) 153 153

Disney holds a trademark on Mickey Mouse, and can retain said ownership into perpetuity. That aspect alone can rightfully keep anyone else from utilizing the character in their own works, forever,

No, that part of the trademark will lapse when the copyright terminates. A trademark can't function as a substitute for a copyright. The remainder of the trademark might prevent people from selling MICKEY MOUSE brand breakfast cereal, but it would not stop them from using the character in their own works.

This is really the main reason that Disney is concerned about copyright terms; they know what would happen to the trademark.

Comment Re:Invasion of the DMCA trolls? (Score 1) 153 153

Piffle.

Copyright is utilitarian from top to bottom.

Copyright is only tolerable if it is better for society than not having it. One specific implementation of copyright is better than another if it provides a greater benefit for the public than the alternative.

It's no more based on fairness than a zoning regulation requiring a certain setback from the street.

Comment Re: Mickey Mouse copyirght extenstions... (Score 1) 153 153

A small nit here:

An exclusive right isn't a right that is held only by one party (and in fact, copyrights can be held by many parties), but is literally a right to exclude others.

So copyright isn't a right to make copies (that's free speech, and it applies even to works that aren't eligible for copyright). It is instead a right to exclude other people from making copies, and from doing certain other things with regard to the protected work.

Comment Re: Mickey Mouse copyirght extenstions... (Score 1) 153 153

As far as copyright on the glyphs for the letter font goes, the consumer or manufacturer who uses them, pays or has to pay for their use. I'm sure Microsoft and Apple license the various fonts included in their respective OSes.

Letter shapes are not copyrightable in the US. They may be eligible for a design patent, but that's relatively short-lived. Usually the only protectable thing, especially over a decent timeframe, is the name, as a trademark. That's why Apple's version of Helvetica from way back was called Geneva, and Microsoft's was called Arial.

How about forcing these descendents to donate their parents' assets to the public domain, just like copyrighted works?

We do.

We impose taxes on inheritances, because inheritance of substantial wealth is harmful to society. We impose taxes on property, because ownership of large, unproductive estates is harmful to society. We abolish property rights like the fee tail because inalienable property rights are harmful to society.

All property rights, beyond what an individual person can defend from others by force, relies entirely on the willing cooperation of others. The only reason I don't own the Brooklyn Bridge is because I can't convince enough people that I do. But if I were more convincing (or could overcome the force that would be mustered against me if I just tried to block others' access to it), my right of ownership would be perfectly legitimate.

Copyright operates similarly; no author has a right to tell others that they can't make copies, etc. of a work, merely because the author created it. All the author can do is keep the work a secret, if he's worried about that. Or he can convince others to respect his wishes. Just as you might not like to recognize my right of ownership of the Brooklyn Bridge merely because I really, really want you to, so too are third parties unlikely to honor a claim of copyright unless it provides some benefit to them that would not be enjoyed otherwise.

And so the deal with copyright is that we're willing to recognize an author's claim of copyright for a little while, because it seems to be useful to society, but eventually we're going to stop, and instead treat the work as being in the public domain, for the same reason. Authors can't stop that from happening, and there's too little benefit for the public in a perpetual copyright to bother recognizing them. It's a one-sided deal in favor of the public, but thems the breaks.

Comment Re:Mickey Mouse copyirght extenstions... (Score 1) 153 153

The whole point of copyright was to encourage writers and publishers and artists to invest time in making a good product.

No, the whole point of copyright was to promote the progress of science (which is an archaic term for knowledge) and to thus serve the public interest.

Half of that involves encouraging authors to create and publish works which they would not have created and published but for copyright. But the other half is to grant the least amount of protection, for the least amount of time, that is necessary to accomplish that.

And the success of any copyright law is measured in how much of a benefit it provides for the public (in terms of the number of works created and published), less how much harm it causes the public (by restricting the free use of the works).

The idea of copyright ... was to provide payment for services rendered, which would encourage creators to make more quality products in the future.

No. First, copyright doesn't guarantee any reward for the author or publisher; that's left to the market. All copyright does is funnel some of the profits available for the work toward the copyright holder. If a work is a flop, the copyright holder doesn't make any money.

Second, copyright doesn't care about quality. A brilliant work gets as much protection as a crappy one, (and again, the market may reward crappy works over 'quality works). This is necessary because artistic value is a matter of subjective judgment that the government should not be involved in. Quantity is the only permissible metric, and since a larger number of works will tend to result in a larger number of 'quality' works (see Sturgeon's Law) it's all okay in the end.

All syllogisms have three parts, therefore this is not a syllogism.

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