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Submission + - Justice Stevens Leaves Profound Legacy in IP Law

Hugh Pickens writes: "Corporate Counsel reports that departing Supreme Court Justice John Stevens has had a more profound impact on intellectual property law in the copyright sphere than any other current justice by authoring the majority opinion in the 1984 Betamax decision (Sony Corp. v. Universal City Studios) which some consider the most important copyright ruling of all time establishing that consumers have a personal "fair use" right to make copies of copyrighted material for non-commercial use. "Betamax has been the foundational decision of copyright law for the last 35 years," says IP litigator Andrew Bridges. "It was the first Supreme Court decision to apply the 1976 Copyright Act, and it was the decision that first construed fair use in the modern era." Justice Stevens's contribution to the ultimate decision in Betamax extended well beyond writing the opinion. The justices' initial debates in the case make it clear that Stevens was the only one of the nine who believed that the "fair use" doctrine gave consumers a right to make personal copies of copyrighted content for home use (PDF) and it was actually his negotiating skill that pulled together the five-vote majority that allowed home video recorders to be sold and used without interference from entertainment industry copyright holders. "The ruling that making a single copy for yourself of a broadcast movie was fair use... that was truly huge, and was a point on which the court was deeply divided," says Bridges. So, next time you're TiVo-ing an episode of "Lost" — or whatever it is the kids are watching these days — remember to give a quick thanks to Justice John Paul Stevens and hope that whoever President Obama appoints to replace Stevens has the same pro-consumer point of view."

Dying Man Shares Unseen Challenger Video 266

longacre writes "An amateur video of the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger explosion has been made public for the first time. The Florida man who filmed it from his front yard on his new Betamax camcorder turned the tape over to an educational organization a week before he died this past December. The Space Exploration Archive has since published the video into the public domain in time for the 24th anniversary of the catastrophe. Despite being shot from about 70 miles from Cape Canaveral, the shuttle and the explosion can be seen quite clearly. It is unclear why he never shared the footage with NASA or the media. NASA officials say they were not aware of the video, but are interested in examining it now that it has been made available."

Comment Re:VtM:B (Score 1) 397

Came here to post this very game.

Troika was always an overly ambitious company. Their writing and setting development was top notch, but all their releases demonstrated an apparent lack of management oversight and nitty-gritty game programming/scripting expertise. Bloodlines is a great example: the first two and a half areas are brilliant, with rich characters and excellent writing and comparatively few bugs. It was among the best FPSRPGs I'd ever played.

Then the rest of the game is increasingly a trainwreck, until the last level is just a silly run and gun through a repetitive skyscraper, which was so regressive in terms of design that it smacked of FPS games pre-Half-Life. Tons of stuff was obviously cut from the game, and it seems quite likely they had to rush it out the door to make deadline, with stuff unfinished.

Arcanum had many of the same flaws as Bloodlines - stronger early game than endgame, cut or abandoned gameplay elements, bugs and a lack of fine-tuning - but on nowhere near the same scale.

I always liked that game, Granted i can't ever remember playing the end of it.

Comment Re:More should follow their example. (Score 1) 172

Well yes, you ARE advocating protectionism. Only your own slightly different flavor. Protectionism cuts us out of the benefits of globalism, and we drop from first world status.

And environmental policies protect everyone, not just the workers. Everyone who lives near the factory, everyone who lives down river, everyone who breaths the air. In most cases the benefits of the EPA are only locally realized, but it does have interstate and global impact as well.

Comment Re:He is correct (Score 1) 364

You have justified your existence in your organization. If all of these perceived problems were solved, you wouldn't have a job because the users wouldn't need you any more. The CIO could sit at his desk on his mega-console and handle everything with the touch of a button.

All programmers are playwrights and all computers are lousy actors.