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Comment: Re:He definitely did know and understand the risk. (Score 1) 140

by Obfuscant (#48469299) Attached to: Kim Dotcom Regrets Not Taking Copyright Law and MPAA "More Seriously"

Of course they would. They'd make a profit, too.

Who is being disingenuous here? Why would they make a profit when anyone who does a quick google for what they're selling would find it for half price or even less from someone else? Other people can sell for those prices because they didn't have the production costs -- it costs almost nothing to dupe a DVD, but it costs a lot of money to produce a good quality movie. Nobody who is smart enough to have a couple of million dollars to spend on producing a movie would be dumb enough to accept the nonsense that he'll make anything back on it if anyone who wants to can copy and distribute it for him for free. That's why it isn't a standard model for movie production, not any "copyright cartel" stopping him.

It's not about prevention. It's about not being able to compete with someone who is successfully gaming the system.

What competition? If you can make a quality movie under CC licensing, then what competition is there? Oh, yes, the competition from people who will copy your movie and sell it for you, keeping the profit instead of giving it back to you. But there's no competition from the "copyright cartel". They can't stop you from making your movie or distributing it. So what if they make other movies that compete for eyeballs with yours? You've made the movie, you're distributing it. It doesn't matter if they are CC or analy-restrictive licensed -- under either licensing scheme their movies will compete for sales with yours, so how it is licensed doesn't matter.

It's odd that you think that you as a producer of a CC movie would have competition enough to stop you from other movie producers, but that you wouldn't have significant direct and immediate competition from other people selling your movie for you. That's just, well, weird. We live in a world of Chinese knock-offs causing significant damage to US technology firms and yet you think allowing everyone to knock-off a major motion picture would not harm the original investors at all.

Comment: Re:He definitely did know and understand the risk. (Score 1) 140

by Obfuscant (#48469171) Attached to: Kim Dotcom Regrets Not Taking Copyright Law and MPAA "More Seriously"

We are trying to honor copyright as conceived and written. Old and abandoned works are "free".

I have no argument with you when it comes to truly "old and abandoned" works where there is no possible way the original copyright holder could benefit from copyright protections. But I don't believe that the latest episode of Dr. Who, or the finale to Breaking Bad, or most of what is pirated today, are "old and abandoned" in any sense of the word. I've yet to hear the excuse "the copyright holder isn't selling that movie made 40 years ago anymore, so I feel it's ok to pirate it". What I do hear is "the copyright holder doesn't want to sell that current content in my region, or in the format I want it in, so I feel it's ok to pirate it. I'd happily pay for it, but the seller doesn't want my money!"

I think it's a bit disingenuous to imply that the piracy issue is all about "old and abandoned works", and I don't think any of the case against KDC has anything to do with content that has been abandoned or is older than 20 years, much less old enough to be public domain under previous versions of the copyright law. I don't think the **AA has gone after anyone for pirating "It's A Wonderful Life" or "Zero Hour", but they seem to find a lot of targets for violations of modern, currently published work's copyright.

Comment: No. Go away, babblemouth (Score 2) 112

by Obfuscant (#48469003) Attached to: Clarificiation on the IP Address Security in Dropbox Case

Judge Egan correctly wrote that all the IP addresses did was "identify specific computers used to access Dropbox" (actually, of course, computer IP addresses can change, and if the computer is behind a proxy server then it will be the proxy server's IP address that shows up in the log; but that's close enough, let's give it to him).

No, moron, let's not "give it to him", unless "it" refers to "a firm tongue lashing for getting it wrong wrong wrong." He's just created exactly the precedent that you don't want created: "the IP address identifies specific computers". It's not "close enough" when **AA claims it in court, it's not "close enough" when a judge says it regarding a FOIA case.

Comment: Re:He definitely did know and understand the risk. (Score 1) 140

by Obfuscant (#48463451) Attached to: Kim Dotcom Regrets Not Taking Copyright Law and MPAA "More Seriously"

Freedom of speech is the freedom to communicate without being harassed by government thugs.

Just because you cannot distribute other people works without their permission doesn't mean you are not free to "communicate", you just have to communicate your own speech.

Whether they're your own words or data is irrelevant.

If is isn't your speech, then why do you think you should have a right to repeat it when the person who did say it says you can't? It is quite relevant if the words are your own or not.

I think it's rather absurd to say that your freedom of speech should be restricted merely because other people don't want you to quote them or transfer data they assembled.

What you think is absurd isn't relevant. The concept of "freedom of speech" is what we're talking about here. If the words belong to someone else, they aren't yours to exercise "freedom of speech" over, they're someone else's. If it isn't your "person, papers, or property", then you can't claim your fourth amendment rights are being violated when the cops confiscate your neighbor's car. You can jump up and down and yell about hey they violated HIS fourth amendment rights, but they didn't violate yours.

Humans make copies of things all the time; it's in their nature.

What a remarkable red herring. Making copies of things has nothing to do with "freedom of speech", especially when it isn't your own speech you are copying, and when the issue isn't copying but distributing.

Comment: Re:He definitely did know and understand the risk. (Score 1) 140

by Obfuscant (#48463163) Attached to: Kim Dotcom Regrets Not Taking Copyright Law and MPAA "More Seriously"

Then go for it and show that it's a viable model.

I don't know if it is, yet, because of the successes of the copyright cartel.

Cop out. Nothing in the "copyright cartel" (whatever that is supposed to be) stops you from producing a big-budget motion picture under CC licensing, nor does it stop anyone else. You'll claim that it is a viable model, but when challenged to use it you'll admit that you don't know that it is because nobody else has done it yet. The fact nobody else has done it yet is your excuse it cannot be done.

What does stop people from doing this is the knowledge the people who actually have the money to do such a thing have: that they'd be spending a lot of money and never get it back. They couldn't charge for a DVD of the movie because lots of someone's who didn't have a huge up-front cost of producing the movie could undercut their pricing. Any "merchandising" opportunities would be filled by a similar large number of companies where the costs of developing the characters and advertising the initial concepts didn't need to be recouped from the chachkis. Some people would go to see the movie in theaters, but many more would simply wait for it to appear for free on TV, just like what happens today.

No, it isn't a viable model. THAT'S why nobody has done it yet. Not because of some mythical "copyright cartel" that prevents someone from doing it.

Comment: Re:He definitely did know and understand the risk. (Score 1) 140

by Obfuscant (#48463097) Attached to: Kim Dotcom Regrets Not Taking Copyright Law and MPAA "More Seriously"

Then what is it when websites are taken down for copyright infringement, or when people are punished for using their own equipment to send data around?

Freedom of speech does not mean the freedom to reproduce the speech of others when those others do not wish you to do so. It means the freedom for YOU to speak YOUR WORDS, not using a copy of a movie produced through a great deal of hard work and much money by someone else.

Comment: Re:He definitely did know and understand the risk. (Score 1) 140

by Obfuscant (#48462359) Attached to: Kim Dotcom Regrets Not Taking Copyright Law and MPAA "More Seriously"

Well, the short answer is that in the long run I would prefer a society not based on artificial scarcity,

of something that has artificial value. None of the pirated video or audio has any real intrinsic value, it is only valued for its transient entertainment value. It's the "new hobbit movie" or "hot band's latest track". It's the final episode of a series that didn't enrich society in the long run anyway. It's the latest Henry Potter or vampire/zombie/apocalypse book. People who think they are owed a copy of such works and will take them for free if the copyright owner doesn't see fit to sell it to them, well. The work cost money to produce, it costs the user nothing if they never get to view or hear it.

Do all of those deserve copyright protection? Of course, simply because you don't want government determining what is "valuable" enough to merit protection and what isn't.

so that people aren't so worried about getting a piece of what I've got.

If you don't want people to worry about getting "a piece of what you've got", you are free to give it all away for free. (Use of the word "free" in both major senses, intentional.) Of course you aren't free to demand that others give away what they've got for free. If you've accepted a license that says you won't give away what they've given you from their stash of "got", then you aren't free to give that away for free, either.

Comment: Re:I bet Infosys and Tata are dancing in the stree (Score 1) 186

Eventually Obama is going to be a civilian again. If he pleases the right people, he (or his immediate family) can make tremendous amounts of money as a lobbyist, consultant, guest speaker, etc...

Without lifting a finger, after he leaves office, his family will make $221,700 a year for life: his presidential pension ($201,700) plus another $20,000 for Michelle. His family will receive free lifetime secret service protection. He will have a fund of $150,000 a year to pay for staff ("Here Malia, file these papers for Daddy, ok?") for the first 30 months, and $96,000 per year after that. ("Sharpen these pencils for Daddy, sweetheart...").

Just his pension alone will put him well into the top 5% of wage earners in this country according to 2009 data. Adding the staff money, where he can hire who he wants and pay them what he wants up to the limit, including children, would put his family in the top 1%.

I don't think he has to worry about pleasing anyone. And I don't think that those who helped fund his political career from the beginning will hesitate to hire him at those "tremendous amounts of money" rates for speeches, etc, no matter what he does now.

Comment: Re:I bet Infosys and Tata are dancing in the stree (Score 1) 186

As of two weeks ago, he's been freed of all political consequences to any of his actions. He can finally do what he thinks is right.

That statement actually is insightful, but not because it supports Obama. What it points out is that he's free to do what he wants because he doesn't need to worry about re-election. Any worry about being re-elected would be because what HE wants to do is NOT what the people who voted for him want him to do.

In other words, he can do anything he wants because the people who elected him no longer matter at all. They no longer have a say in the matter. That's not a good way to run a democracy, I think.

Comment: Re:We've been doing it for a long time (Score 1) 363

"why would some intentional geoengineering be so bad?" If it fails, not much.

There are two ways it could fail. Only one would result in "not much bad". The other would be catastrophic.

Given the history of man's failures in managing large scale environment and ecological issues, don't rule out the catastrophic failure modes (not all of which we even know or can readily predict) of geoengineering. Geoengineering that results in the equivalent of The Australian Rabbit Infestation but on a global scale would be, well, pretty not good for everyone.

Comment: Re: wont last (Score 1) 284

yes it's okay to take advantage of people. that's how capitalism works.

What I wrote was in the context of "if they decide that all it takes is showing a checkout clerk a printed page that says someone else sells the same thing for less". You have to believe that SOMEONE in the Walmart organization in the chain of command that made that decision would think "wait a minute, we SELL computers and printers that can be used to print out anything the customer wants" and put some better limits on the process. They chose not to. That there are valid reasons to make that choice doesn't remove the fact they did choose.

I'll also say that I see a difference between "deserves to be" and "is legal and appropriate for someone to do to them". Does Walmart deserve to have it happen to them based on their decision? Does that make it right for people to do it to them? No.

What's interesting about your comment is that you refer to the Walmart corporation as "people". In the comment just above yours on my page I see:

People and their companies are evil, not companies.

Which is an interesting contradiction. "People and their companies" includes "companies", so how can it be wrong to refer to companies as evil? And how can anyone believe that a reference to "companies" doesn't include the people who are necessary to create and run them? Until Bender or Colossus start filing incorporation papers, people are an inherent part of any company and in any reference to the ethical nature thereof.

Comment: Re:Piracy fines? (Score 1) 98

by Obfuscant (#48430855) Attached to: UNSW Has Collected an Estimated $100,000 In Piracy Fines Since 2008

I meant the case of using University bandwidth to download content for personal use,

I doubt that any university has a prohibition against students downloading things for "personal use". I know mine doesn't. There are policies against personal use of departmental systems for employees, but not students. We have a policy against commercial use, and a student running his online business out of his dorm room was cut off, but that's well beyond "for personal use".

If they are fining people for piracy, then the policy will be against piracy, not simply "anything for personal use."

Comment: Re:wont last (Score 2, Informative) 284

by Obfuscant (#48430821) Attached to: Customers Creating Fake Amazon Pages To Get Cheap Electronics At Walmart
This. It doesn't take an Amazon account of any kind to create a dummy web page saying whatever you want, including "sold and fulfilled by Amazon.com" or any other magic. Simply "save as" the HTML and then modify to your heart's desire. If all it takes is a printout of the web page, then Walmart are fools and deserve to be taken to the cleaners.

Comment: Re:Piracy fines? (Score 1) 98

by Obfuscant (#48430779) Attached to: UNSW Has Collected an Estimated $100,000 In Piracy Fines Since 2008

If the latter, then students downloading free content (eg material covered by a Creative Commons licence) for personal use should also be liable.

Liable for what? Downloading copyright content without authorization? Does the Creative Commons license not allow downloading the material covered by it? How quaint.

Mis-use of University resources is defined by the University, and it can quite easily include clauses regarding unauthorized downloading of copyrighted material, etc.

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