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Comment: Re:Picasso (Score 1) 360

by Phernost (#46159677) Attached to: Why Games Should Be In the Public Domain

Our government/society once placed constraints on people based on skin color, age, intelligence, faith, and sex. Past actions are not a validation of current or future actions.

The belief that IP rights were placed in the constitution as an incentive for further works is not tenuous. The main proponents at the time were businesses which were seeking to secure their profits, colorful language of the result not withstanding. Whether a large portion of the population agrees with such things, does not make it just.

I would assert that it is perfectly reasonable that one retain attribution to one's work, and allowing one to claim dominion over similar work is unreasonable. The first is an acknowledgement of a member's contribution to society, the second is detrimental to society, as this allows a single person who has benefited from society to hold the future of the rest of society hostage for their own purpose. Allowing one person to hold the future of others hostage is unreasonable and unfair. I have no problem with society continuing to reward contributing individuals, in any fashion, as long as it is not detrimental to others. Rich or poor, no one is more deserving than another, it is only the contribution that matters.

The idea that a company should be granted such rights, it is also unjust. Individuals are the source of creation, the company may be entitled to a majority of any reward/royalties but, attribution belongs to those who did the work. To pretend that an employer is the source of such effort is fraudulent. Drawing a line between a creator and a worker would still have to be drawn.

Whether such rewards for creation be lifetime or limited is debatable based on the value to society. Those who cure and those who entertain, fall on different ends of the scale.

If you create a cure for cancer, I would not deny you your reward, in fact such a thing may warrant some form of monetary reward for your whole life. I would deny you dominion to decide when/who makes it, and therefore who might receive it. If you create wonderful novel, you should be rewarded for contribution, and to a small part that of any derivative works. How such things could be setup and fairly measured and rewarded is a much harder question, than the fairness of what we have today, companies raping artists for all they're worth, with a few outliers.

The current system is an injustice but, so many things are. There is no perfect solution but, when problems in the current system are ignored so that a few may benefit, that is what causes people to seek redress. Perceived injustice will always drive people to right such things in a manner they feel acceptable. Dismissing those wishing for more a more just system as acting in their own self-interest ignores those who have benefited from acting in the own self interest in an unjust system. All are acting in self-interest but, the scales are not even.

Comment: Integration is hard... (Score 0) 269

by Phernost (#46158189) Attached to: How Voter Shortsightedness Skews Elections

"The same information in a plot of steadily increasing average personal income over 3 years—$32,400, $33,100, $33,800—can also be expressed as a steadily decreasing rate of growth—3%, 2.3%, 2.1%. That did the trick. Just changing the units of the data was enough to cure voter fickleness. When economic trends were expressed as yearly income rather than rates of change, the subjects made accurate judgments. But if the same information was expressed as a change over time—the bias reappeared."

So people aren't very good at taking the derivative values and integrating them to find the original values for mental comparision. I'm shocked... At least it wasn't wasted research, we've learned that even the researches are oblivious to already known truths.

Comment: Re:Picasso (Score 5, Interesting) 360

by Phernost (#46152865) Attached to: Why Games Should Be In the Public Domain

You cannot create anything in a vacuum. Your time and resources may be of your own but, your effort is build upon the effort of those who came before you. Asking for repayment of your time and resources is reasonable. Asking for indefinite repayment on all similar creations, while holding to the naive idea that all effort was yours alone, is disingenuous if not fraudulent. If you have enhanced society with your contributed effort then, society should reward you.

The only debate is the terms of that reward, nothing more, nothing less. The false notion that effort entitles one to complete dominion over similar effort is new, relatively speaking, and not universally agreed upon as being reasonable. I would argue that, monetary rewards be the only reward, and that false dominion is for those who are selfish and lack awareness.

An honest man borrows and stands on the shoulders of others. A dishonest man claims he alone is the progenitor. See original quote.

From your previous statements, it would seem you are dishonest, if not selfish ... or I'm reading into this too much.

Comment: Re:"a fraudulent religious organization" (Score 1) 498

by Phernost (#39079897) Attached to: James Randi's Latest Debunking Operation

Comparing faith to alcohol is completely fair. Some moderate use is tolerable. Excessive use results in fanatics and fundamentalists, two groups whose direct and indirect effects are obvious to all. A high functioning alcoholic is still an alcoholic. Someone who believes in immateriality can be anything from a minor annoyance to a sever danger to others. You are correct, lumping an entire spectrum of people into one out-lier is unfair. It is the shared features of the entire group that must be argued for or against. Belief in immateriality should never be given deference, no matter the belief, or size of the group. This is where religion differs from delusion. It's adherents demand respect in the least and subjugation in the worst, and this is mostly accepted in an attempt to validate ones own religion.

Your definition of religion seems to be entirely subjective. One such that only the traits that you find desirable are assigned. This is the same argument as above. You cannot take one out-lier and redefine the whole group by it. This seems the be an attempt to white wash.

You seem to have made the assumption that religious texts are not something that originated from the human mind. This is patently false. Even assuming that original texts are divinely inspired, all religious texts have apocrypha, things that have been removed or edited. The human mind has been the editor for God. One could say that such actions remove any such original authority, as the resulting texts are usually full of contradictions, rendering the original intent obscured and useless.

Claiming a belief of what is moral or immoral without backing evidence can be called the main crux of the previous argument. Remember, morality is weighing of actions in an attempt to produce the least harm. Something can only be considered more moral if it produces less harm than a competing action. Measuring harm has both objective and subjective components. The subjective components are so varied, from person to person and society to society, that they may be best left unresolved. In fact the current abortion debates almost completely focus on the subjective components, at least from the religious side. This is why the debate can never be resolved. Two sides mostly arguing different types of points, one subjective, and the other objective.

You may believe whatever you believe as all should, but you should not be afforded any deference for your belief. Your actions are what ultimately define you. People of faith deserve no special treatment, only what they do is of consequence. That they act in concerted groups just makes them easy targets. Yet, the abolishing of faith would not solve the problems of deferring view points, it would only solve the problem of intractable positions, at least partially.

Comment: Re:More War On Terror Horse Shit (Score 5, Insightful) 66

by Phernost (#39002453) Attached to: Researchers, Biosecurity Board Debate How Open Virus Research Should Be

It's the excuse that is inexcusable. Anyone who wishes to make use of this, or other research, has to have a lab and funding, whether nefarious or not. If you have that level of resources, you can bribe people, infiltrate, recreate the research from scratch, etc. Pretending that hiding the information from general scientific publication is a form of security is delusional at best and intellectually dishonest at worst.

Comment: Re:Hollywood won't change (Score 1) 516

by Phernost (#38929045) Attached to: You Will Never Kill Piracy

The amount of infringement is a direct result of market forces: copying technology becoming cheaper, prices growing beyond inflation, etc. You can create as many laws as you wish to rig the system in your favor and then cry foul when anyone suggests change otherwise, it isn't moral or immoral, it's just selfish. Not that people wanting things for free or cheaper aren't selfish, they are just incapable of rigging the game.

By your logic, borrowing is the same as infringement, which you equate to “taking money out of the hands of the crews that work on movies”. As borrowing DVDs prevents the people that work in the industry from receive payment for it's use. I would dare to say that infringement is the same as borrowing, but not that same as robbery. The only difference between borrowing and infringement is the time scale involved. Except for the times when use overlaps between both parties, it is identical to borrowing with a transfer time of zero. The potential chance of overlap could be small, in the case of a movie, or large, in that case of an OS. So outlawing infringement is an attempt to ensure that the potential of overlap is zero. It's usefulness is debatable depending upon the lifetime, duration, primary and secondary effects, etc. All of these things should be debated.

Piracy is the act of monetizing the creation of copies, unauthorized by the creator. It is a direct attempt to cannibalize an existing market through the use of infringement, typically. Please stop conflating infringement and piracy. No-one has argued for piracy, at least I don't think so...

Comment: Re:First Amendment isn't relevant here (Score 1) 584

by Phernost (#38921603) Attached to: Seattle Library Lets Man Watch Porn On Computers Despite Complaints

I can censor what I say, I choose not to, the library is in the same position. I see no problem with a library providing pornographic material, as what is considered pornographic is subjective. Whether it is written or visual should not be a deciding factor.

It is not the library's job to shelter children from reality, it is their parents responsibility, if they wish to raise such sheltered individuals. A library is a repository of human knowledge and experience, or at least it strives to be. Censoring any part of that experience for all, just for the twisted logic of those too irresponsible to raise their children, in the way they demand, is shameful.

You could make the argument that pornography is harmful to all, but the category itself and the amount of harm are both subjective. Should we censor any and all art featuring genitals, because some people believe that is the only requirement for pornography? Shall we censor works about communism, socialism, and other forms of discourse, because to could be argued to lead to such things?

I do have no problem if a library wishes to create family friendly areas, or reorganize their layouts to avoid such clashes. I only ask that all things legal be available and uncensored. I may question the illegality of certain information, but that is a different argument for a different time.

Comment: Re:What are the chances? (Score 2) 171

by Phernost (#38920453) Attached to: Chinese Boy Claims To Have Cat-Like Night Vision

Your statement is not completely correct. It is possible for a single mutation to effect multiple genes and sections of DNA. These mutations need only occurs in the dark DNA, or junk DNA whichever you prefer. Remember only about 1.5% of the human genome is protein coding exons. How many are silent genes? How many are broken? All questions needing answers.

A programming analogy might be to say a program is DNA. Running the binutils program “stings” over that program displays all it's possible proteins. These proteins can be easily identify yet they are not the main decider of the program's functioning. On second thought, this analogy might not be that good, but it should cover the general idea.

It is possible for a single mutation to switch on Vitamin C production, it is just highly unlikely. DNA is very good at copying, and breaking changes are "usually" filtered out. Considering current understanding any claims that such things are impossible is foolish. Claiming they are unlikely because we have not seen them before is a better way of covering your ass.

I do believe that this child most likely just has very good low light vision. I also have that misfortune, and blue eyes, somehow those two seem connected, at least from anecdotal evidence. I have been testing and apparently have somewhere between two to three times better than normal low light vision. Sun light, direct or overcast, is unbearable, even after prolonged exposure. This child's vision is probably similar and even better, if such a thing can be considered better.

Comment: Re:Gee, I wonder what Slashdot will think (Score 1) 307

by Phernost (#38907893) Attached to: Pirate Bay Founders Lose Final Appeal

I believe the chances of all paying customers becoming infringers an impossibility, as least within a couple of generations, past that, who knows. Revenues maybe decline they may not, things may become chaotic and then reach equilibrium similar to what we have now, it's impossible to say. Humble Bundle is a good example of money made without copyright, were the individual pays the subjective value she deems fit. To get back on track, this argument seems to have evolved into one of economic justification, which is hollow, because such justification can be provided for any activity, whether moral or not. I was attempting to frame the discussion as one of curtailment.

While both professions you describe require support structures and expertise. On provides entertainment the other provides a health service, except in that case of whitening and other cosmetic procedures. One could make an argument over which professions provide to the culture usefulness or have higher demand, but this is irrelevant. Each one provides a service, both of which are not required for life and society to continue, also irrelevant. People are willing to pay for these services, I would not make such a demand that either must work for free for my own befit, yet if they choose to I will not deny them that. I would demand that they not seek control over my actions as a way to increase their own profits.

Following the logic applied to creators of “intellectual property” to that of a dentist:
Local dentist board, or whatever you wish to call it, in you area has license to all dental care for said area. Anyone who receives care from someone out side this group is denying that local dentist their rightful pay. In fact brushing you own teeth could be seen as an attempt to deny them of their pay. They have been charged by the state to maintain the health of the populations' teeth. Their schooling was expensive, and they provide a useful service to the community, so it is only just that we pay them for their work, work which belongs to them by law.

My analog may be missing some finer points, but I hope the general tone could be elucidated. I disagree with the need to have controlling rights to my actions so that anyone may enrich themselves. Your other points I find sound and have no disagreement with. Lack of an artificial flow of excess money into the creative arts would cause some economic upheaval, large or small it is hard to judge. Quality of certain works would fall for a time until technology made such things reachable. The pace of such technology might not advance at the same pace as well. In the lifetime of those accustomed to such things it may be unbearable, I claim no right to demand such things of others. I claim only the right to be free in my actions when they cause no harm to others, actual harm, not perceived harm.

I do find your idea of a tax to continue to provide support for creative work quite agreeable, as a substitute for curtailment of rights. Many things society finds useful as a whole are provided for by all, and this would be a good case of such things. It may even be justified in the current mindset, since the public payed for it, the public owns the rights to it, paid works for hire and such. In fact if such things were in place, I think we might find more funds than were available before. Nothing would need to be spent on litigation, DRM schemes, and other such distractions. Much work would need to be done to prevent government censorship of certain works, but I think it could be done.

Comment: Re:Gee, I wonder what Slashdot will think (Score 1) 307

by Phernost (#38900555) Attached to: Pirate Bay Founders Lose Final Appeal

The use of the word “idea” was intentional to include things like inventions, business theories, and other such forms of intellectual pursuit. Forgive me for not being clearer, you may be right that “works” might have been a better choice, also pirating is the act of monetizing infringement. I tried hard not to conflate pirating and general infringing, I may have failed.

Need and desired are not the same. No one needs to make a living writing music, inventing, etc. It is only a desire to be self sustained by such activities, not a demand. I do in fact, create software and fiction write, solely for my enjoyment and that of others. I used to even be payed for such things, before my job moved to china, literally, I had to create training materials. Lovely kick in the balls that last part was.

Now I understand that if direct monetary reward was missing from such activities, there would be a decrease in the total number who pursue such things, but life went on before copyright existed. It most likely will continue on if it was abolished, how ever unlikely.

Comment: Re:I write software for a living. (Score 2) 307

by Phernost (#38900421) Attached to: Pirate Bay Founders Lose Final Appeal

Your analogy fails to account for the reality of copying. Had you looked at the pattern of the pants, and proceeded to make your own pair out of materials you rightfully own, then your analogy would be accurate.

You, like the original poster, assume that all infringers that are unwilling to pay, must be all converted to fully paying customers or you will be unable to stay in business.

Impossibly false assumptions:
  - all infringers are not unwilling to pay
  - all infringers could ever be converted to non-infringers
  - all infringers act for the same reason

Therefore, we should break down different sets of infringers:
+U – Those who do want to use the product
-U – Those who do not want the product and only wish to collect it, weird pack-rats
+P – Those will to pay at a lower than existing price point
-P – Those who would never pay, regardless of price point
+M – Those who will use the product repeatedly
-M – Those who will use the product only once
+C – Those who will use all features of the product
-C – Those who will use only some features of the product
+D – Those who will buy products with DRM
-D – Those who will not buy products with DRM, reasons withstanding
And on, and on...

There is much overlap between these sets, and it can be argued that under certain conditions members of +U, +P, +M, -M, +C, -C, or -D can be converted to paying customers, but the conditions for each is not the same. There is no silver bullet to the solution, any attempts at such will only create more divergent sets of infringers.

Now the original poster asked how infringers could ever be considered not harmful to his business. The answer to this is obvious, they are not harmful, in fact they are incapable of causing direct harm because they are secondary effects of law and the business decisions that have already been made. The only harm caused is by the decisions that lead to such effect: high prices increase group +P, DRM increases group -D, etc. The law may also cause direct harm, but this outside the direct control of business, or should be. Wither such actions are moral is irrelevant, they will occur in every system: create draconian laws, increases law breakers, and so on. Decisions must be made that maximize the chances that a particular individual will fall outside the reasons that may drive them to infringe, at least from a business perspective.

Attempts to change law or public perception, may also be a valid if not dubious way of creating a solution, but they require the spending of large sums. Bribery to alter laws to gain yourself monetary advantage over your current situation, is generally frowned upon, also known as lobbying.

So I think this explains the situation: bribe your way to greater entitlements, make better business decisions to maximize your paying user base, or cry about how in a perfect world designed for you, you could make so much more money.

Hope that helps.

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp

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