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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."

+ - 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:Easy stats to pull (Score 2) 367

by portnoy (#46602003) Attached to: More Than 1 In 4 Car Crashes Involve Cellphone Use

Here's a question: Would the black box tell you how many of these accidents would have happened even if there was no cell phone involved? If so, let's see it. (I honestly don't know.)

Given that driving using a mobile phone seriously inhibits your ability to concentrate on driving and that the main cause of accidents is driver error, its a very good assumption.

Far better than the assumption that they would have had the accident anyway.

Not necessarily. The report in question is an estimate based on previous studies, including one from 2005 which originally suggested the 1 in 4 number. That 2005 paper decided that cell phone usage was "associated" with the accident if the phone was being used up to 10 minutes before the crash. So in other words, an accident was counted if a driver had a brief conversation, hung up the phone, put it away, drove five miles, and then was hit by someone running a red light. It's pretty easy to see that this accident would likely still have happened without the phone usage. What's not clear is what percentage of the accidents are like this.

Comment: Re:Evidence? (Score 1) 102

by portnoy (#46510979) Attached to: Dorian Nakamoto Officially Denies That He Created Bitcoin

Isn't this based on a rather simple assumption that his desire to be the anonymous inventor started before he published the paper on it. What if, he or she had written the paper and begun work under their own name, and later regretted it and decided it would be best to not actually be in the spot light?

A fair point, but the name he goes by isn't Satoshi; it's Dorian. So, if he were starting work and not thinking about anonymity, presumably the work would have been published under Dorian Nakamoto. Instead, then, we have to postulate this weird set of events where he began work, but decided to use a name other than the one he uses everyday (presumably to hide himself a little bit), but which still can be traced back to him laughably easily.

Comment: Re:wikipedia (Score 1) 252

Let me ask you a question: if we'd spent a bit more time polishing the site and then just set it live for 100% of users, do you think that would have gone better?

You do know that that wasn't the only other alternative, right? Looking back, might it not have been better to post a message *before* you started redirecting a sizable section of the traffic that said, "we appreciate the feedback we've been getting on the beta site, and we're working on implementing many of the changes that have been requested. We know that that there are still issues with several components of the site, but in order to get feedback from a larger sample size, we're going to redirect 20% of the users to the beta site as a trial for the next N weeks. After that trial is over, we'll go back to classic Slashdot while we continue improving our new design." It's called managing expectations, and would have had the added benefit of giving people a place to put the Beta protests.

Also, you keep saying that the comment system is being worked on, but your "Beta News" section doesn't list it under "what is not in Beta yet" as one of the "key areas being worked on." So, it's perhaps natural for people to assume that you're not currently as concerned about its problems.

Comment: yes & glad i resisted temptation (Score 1) 692

by NewYorkCountryLawyer (#46010041) Attached to: Blowing Up a Pointless Job Interview
I once got asked a question which I found hurtful and offensive, and felt tempted to 'blow up' the interview at that point. Fortunately, I resisted the temptation. As it turns out, the question was his way of introducing the next thing, which was telling me that he was offering me the job.

Comment: Preliminary injunction (Score 1) 211

by NewYorkCountryLawyer (#45924005) Attached to: Supreme Court To Hear Aereo Case
I guess it would take a litigator to notice this, but it's quite unusual that a preliminary injunction denial would be getting this kind of appellate attention.

In the first place, it was unusual for an interlocutory appeal to be granted from the denial of the preliminary injunction motion. In federal court usually you can only appeal from a final judgment.

Similarly, apart from the fact that it's always rare for a certiorari petition to be granted, it's especially tough where the appeal is not from a final judgment, but just from a preliminary injunction denial which does not dispose of the whole case.

Comment: Re:Why can't I? (Score 1) 124

by NewYorkCountryLawyer (#45427770) Attached to: Google Books Case Dismissed On Fair Use Grounds

I would like to retain your services in this matter. Please list your bank account information so that I may transfer a retainer payment to you. Thank you. Sincerely, Prince Bernard Koffi Austine Nigeria

Dear Prince Bernard, If you're talking about my bank account, you're barking up the wrong tree :)

God is real, unless declared integer.