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Comment Go for CC music (Score 1) 224

> piracy the only sound and reasonable choice.

There are quite a few sources of legally free music, like Jamendo and ccMixter. And it's also easy to find non-free music which is not funding whoever it is exactly you don't want to fund. Often direct from the artist!

Even though I've only done it once or twice, my personal favorite way is to buy from good local acts at a live venue.

You lack imagination (even though I sympathize with your feelings).

Comment Re:Criminals are dumb (Score 1) 105

> make life of the next Scott Peterson too easy

Had never heard of him, and after searching I discovered that he is on death row, even though there was no "hard" evidence that he murdered his wife. Could you explain, then, how he is a good example to use to justify weakening encryption for all of society? His case would seem to be exactly the opposite --- a good example how, even if encryption of all our devices were impregnable, most criminals are stupid and it wouldn't help them anyway (hey, that's even the subject of your post!)

Comment Re:The author forgot one other option. (Score 2) 105

> and existence of encrypted data

I don't think it's possible to reliably show that encrypted data certainly exists. I also do not think it is always possible to prove that someone has the capability of decrypting data --- Bruce Schneier has proposed a scenario for people crossing borders where a long random key is used which is sent to the destination ahead of time so that any request for a decryption key could be truthfully answered with "I don't have the key". Assuming the trusted third party has been instructed to destroy the key in the case that the traveler is delayed, that scenario is indistinguishable from the scenario where the person is lying.

Comment Re:Not an American, not doing business in America. (Score 1) 102

but to doubt the foundation of society because you're unhappy with the way the government finally nailed a scumbag, that's a dangerous road.

I have no doubt about the value of "the rule of law", but I have plenty of doubts about its implementation. I can be very unhappy with the way the government decided to run the Megaupload case without necessarily disagreeing that quite possibly Megaupload deserved to be shut down or be forced to change how it did business (and ditto for Dotcom).

The adversial court system pretty much demands that both sides use any trick available.

If I were to accept this, as you seem to blithely do, then I guess that yes, I would have to doubt the value of "the rule of law". I not only reject this, I find that the court system is designed to actively discourage many such tricks. I rather doubt that this "testimony" (the economic damage part) will be actually used if Dotcom comes to trial. It would be ripped apart by any reasonable defense attorney (or more likely, preemptive action would be taken to prevent it from being presented to the jury). It seems to me that the DOJ is just covering its public relations ass, here (or even more likely, its corporate relations ass).

Comment Re:Not an American, not doing business in America. (Score 1) 102

> "the rule of law" is basically a precondition for civilization

And you are very satisfied with "the rule of law" in the US currently, and do not sense any problem with its functioning?

To me, it seems to be functioning worse and worse as time progresses, and I even feel that this trend is, unfortunately, accelerating. The debacle which is the Megaupload case is just the tip of the iceberg.

To get back to the case in question, don't you find it peculiar that the DOJ would make a condition of this plea bargain to be that the programmer in question "testifies" to the dollar amount of the economic damage to the rightsholders? Even if he had knowledge of exactly how many files were infringing and their download counts, he couldn't possibly be qualified to make such an estimate. Or is he an expert in economics and the movie industry, also?

Comment Re:Tip of a wave of prosecutions against devs? (Score 1) 102

> Merely knowing that infringing files are stored

I find it amusing that even someone defending Megaupload thinks that it would have been possible to know, a priori, that files uploaded by its clients were infringing. Viacom v. YouTube, anyone?

Now if it refused to take down files after being notified by the rightsholder, that's something else. In the case in question, the DOJ claims that Megaupload had the responsibility to take down all files similar or identical to those which it was notified were infringing, but it's not clear to me that that is a valid argument (I suppose it depends on how the takedown requests were formulated).

Comment Re:Not an American, not doing business in America. (Score 1) 102

> So legally speaking, everything is exactly as it should be.

You really haven't been following the details of this case, I suppose (just joking, yes, I actually know that you slobber over every detail, because you really, really dislike Kim Dotcom). "Legally speaking", you're not supposed to make up weird new interpretations of laws, like what the DOJ has been doing, even if what you want to accomplish might be good for society (not that I'm convinced about that, but anyway). "Legally speaking", you're not supposed to deny the accused access to evidence which might help his defense. Etc., etc., ...

Most importantly, personally I'd say that "legally speaking" isn't that important here. What is important is that governments shouldn't be doing things which ethically speaking are questionable.

Comment Re:It's called "evergreening" (Score 1) 266

The new formula is introduced before the expiration of the first patent. Patients who have been "weened" over to the new formula (via, for example, artificially limiting the supply of the old formula) will be less likely to go back to the old formula when it becomes generic.

So yes, the generic manufacturers will be able to use the old formula; they just end up with a smaller market of customers for it, at least initially.

Comment Re:Can you say... (Score 1) 266

> I'm sorry, that's just an insane ruling. REQUIRING a company to manufacture a specific product???

As opposed to granting them a limited monopoly? I haven't read the ruling, but I rather think that the company would have the choice to not manufacture the old version but instead have the patent revoked so competitors could manufacture it.

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