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Comment Re:Tax dollars at work. (Score 1, Informative) 674 674

You do realize this is the UK? We don't use dollars here.

Yup, I realize, but typed what I was thinking without slowing down to convert units. Regardless, this is the internet and I'm pretty sure everyone knows what is meant. If someone from Europe commenting on a US issue talks about the waste of pounds or euros most people here understand that, too.

Comment Re:From the TFA (Score 3, Interesting) 389 389

You need to meet the terms that BMI puts forth if you play their material. Their website deals with this issue and they CLEARLY tell you that it is the owner of the venue, not the DJ who is liable.

Yeah, and those boxes that pop up on computers CLEARLY tell you that the IRS is going arrest you if you don't call this number and give them your credit card. That doesn't make it true.

Or, for an example a little more on point with how BMI operates, police will often say something like "I'm going to need to come inside and look around". The implication is that they are legally allowed to enter simply by saying so, when this is completely untrue - they actually cannot come in at that point unless you signal your acceptance for them to enter. What happens is that 99% of people will step back and hold their door open for the officer after he says that, thus legally extending the officer an invitation to enter (even if the invitation was caused by an implied lie).

Sure the DJ may have claimed to have the licenses required, but the business owner is the one who is required to obtain the licenses.

BMI can state that the venue is responsible all they want, but if you read between the lines on what they actually say on their website, you can have DJs (or whoever) be responsible for the licensing, it's just that you may be liable if the DJ isn't properly licensed. If the terms of a contract with a DJ requires the DJ to be responsible for the music, then there's a good chance that's exactly how it will work - either by direct assignment of responsibility, or by being responsible for any damages the business incurs due to their negligence.

Simply put, BMI words their statement like this because they want to double-dip into the licensing revenue stream. Even if the DJ already has all the proper licenses to play it in whatever venue they want, BMI will use vague language about who needs the license and use scare tactics to try make venue owners pay again for licenses that have already been paid.

Comment Re:From the TFA (Score 5, Insightful) 389 389

It's not like the license is all that expensive or hard to obtain or that services to pipe in music don't exist. I don't feel bad for this guy, likely all he needed to do is stop playing copyrighted stuff when he was made aware of the violation and then obtain a license as required if he needed to continue.... Or, BUY a music service for his business from somebody and let them keep up with the licenses.

If you would RTFA, or even the summary, you'd notice that he already did that. He hired a DJ, who had already paid licensing fees to play the music.

At issue here is that the licenses were already paid through the DJ, and BMI was demanding that they get paid again because ... well, that's the question, really ... why should he pay the licensing fees again when the music is already licensed?

Comment Re:Sure we can (Score 1) 692 692

That's my point - that trying to force those who become immortal to never have kids will never work unless a vicious totalitarian government enforces it. There's too many potential problems with any implementation to have it work otherwise. A soft limit on number of kids could work, as most people in first-world countries stop after one or two anyway.

Comment Re: Won't be any need (Score 1) 692 692

And as it has been said before: "The world has enough food only for 3 000 000 000 people."

Only with current practices/technology/sources. There are many, many things that can be done to increase that amount even with current technologies. For example, insects can give much higher food rates than mammals and poultry - we just don't typically knowingly eat bugs. Hydroponics, urban gardening (rooftops, etc.), are extant now but underutilized. Advancing technology will provide even better options in the coming century as well, via both improvements in underlying technologies to make gardening/farming more efficient, and biologically engineered foods. There's also the vast untapped possibilities of the oceans.

Comment Re:Sure we can (Score 4, Interesting) 692 692

Also, how about this: the drug/whatever that cures you of aging also makes you sterile. Or it could be a legal requirement - want to not die of old age? The price is X dollars and your ability to reproduce

That's fine. I've already had children, so I'll sign up for that immortality, now. Or am I unable to get the immortality serum if I've already had children? What if I lie about it and get the serum - do you make an anti-anti-aging serum for the circumstance? Or do you kill me because I acted for self-preservation? What if all my children die, then am I eligible again? What if I have no children, get the anti-aging serum, but am not affected by the sterility? What if I have no children I know about, but it's later discovered that I had a child from a one-night-stand? Does it matter if I didn't know when I get the serum, and how do you prove if I knew or not? Women can't claim they didn't know about pregnancy from a one-night-stand, so do we punish them for it with the no-serum-for-you death sentence, or do they get a pass? Or do we force them to get abortions to maintain immortal status? How does adoption fit in - if I adopt do I lose immortality? If I give my only child up for adoption do I regain immortality status? How do surrogate mothers count - is it the woman who gives birth, or the couple who contracted the birth who lose immortality status? Or both?

Now let's look at this again - are those laws going to be consistent across every single country? If not, you run into the situations where people move from place to place in order to match the laws to their immortality requirements ... and then what happens when someone later moves?

Simply put, anything like this is an absolute minefield of horrible choices, horrible consequences, and a horrible government forcing it upon the people.

Comment Re:Clean room implementation? (Score 1) 223 223

Eldred v. Ashcroft ruled that you couldn't declare a particular term extension unconstitutional.

No. It just established that the arguments put forth in that case weren't enough to overturn the 1998 extension. It also sets a precedent that will weaken any similar challenges. It does not mean that another case against term extensions couldn't succeed in the future.

Comment Re:Clean room implementation? (Score 5, Insightful) 223 223

If copyright governs interfaces, that part of the law will keep the government from stealing IP away from its rightful owners after twenty years.

You mean stop government from returning it to the rightful owners. The public (and public domain) are the rightful owners of all information and works - copyright/patents just give exclusive use for a time.

Comment Re:call me skeptical (Score 2) 190 190

Think what you will, but wasn't there physical evidence that the boxes in question had been tampered with?

Yeah, because something stuck under the tiny no-legroom airline seats can realistically be "tampered with" during a flight without anyone noticing. That's much more likely than several years' of feet and bags bumping into and damaging it. I'm also sure they gave comparison photos of the "tampering damage" with other jacks on the same airplane, and didn't compare them to photos of a brand new jack.

Comment Re:What does it say about you? (Score 1) 461 461

I've got an AOL address, so I can answer your questions:

The major concerns would be.... (1) They are free, but ad-supported, so will you get spammed?

I get less spam on my AOL account than my gmail account, my Yahoo account, or my personal domains. Of course, I only use the AOL account for the occasional sign-up, and a few legacy mailing lists I'm on.

(2) Will the service still be available and free under substantially similar terms using the same internet domain, a few years from now?

My AOL address has been active since 1993, and haven't paid for it since I got real internet in '96 or so. So, it probably will ... as long as Verizon doesn't fuck that up.

Oh, shit. Verizon. Nevermind, it's screwed.

Comment Re:Irrelevant... she signed the contact... end (Score 5, Insightful) 776 776

This is all irrelevant. She consented to have the app running as a condition of her employment, and she removed it, and got fired. This is a simple cut and dried case.

There is an area of law that states that contracts are only enforceable if they are legal and at least somewhat fair - there are things that simply cannot be signed away, as well as those that are considered unconscionable additions that have higher scrutiny by the law in order for you to do so. For example, while it is totally legal to give up your children to another (adoption, etc.), it would never be considered legally binding if a work contract had a clause in it requiring you to. Likewise a clause requiring you to perform fellatio might be upheld in a contract for a porn star - it's part of the main focus of the job - but would never be considered a valid clause for pretty much any other job out there.

A programming language is low level when its programs require attention to the irrelevant.