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Comment: another workaround: faraday cage (Score 2) 117

by davidwr (#49540371) Attached to: iOS WiFi Bug Allows Remote Reboot of All Devices In Area

Carry a Faraday cage with you, put your phone in it, reboot, and once it's rebooted, unlock the phone and turn off the WiFi.

You'll need to make it big enough to cover your hand and phone and transparent enough to see what you are doing.

It won't be complete because unless the Faraday cage covers your entire body (including your feet), the malicious WiFi signal could theoretically come through where your arm is. But unless the signal is really strong or bouncing off the wall behind you, you should be able to orient yourself so that the signal is too weak to be picked up by your phone.

Comment: In the USA, probably not (Score 1) 298

In 1998 the Copyright Law was changed so just about everything that was under "normal" "75 years" or "life + 50 years" got extended by 20 years.

The only things that might have come into the public domain since then were those things covered by less-commonly-used provisions. For example, one of the new provisions was that corporate words expire after 120 years even if they were published less than 95 years ago (i.e. even if their copyright was less than 95 years old). It's possible that at least one such work entered the public domain in the last few years in the USA.

There are some other "oddball" copyright provisions that weren't extended by 20 years or which would allow something to fall into the public domain that was previously under copyright.

Also, there was at least one court case where a work believed to be under copyright was found to have fallen into the public domain long ago due to someone forgetting to renew the copyright.

Comment: More important suppression (Score 2) 298

In fact, there is strong evidence that works still under long copyright are supressed until they become public domain.

More importantly, it suppresses derivative works until the underlying original falls into the public domain.

If I were to create a fictional story, it's very likely that the things I have read in my life will subconsciously influence what I write.

To protect myself legally, I have two things that can protect me:
1) Don't publish my work until after all works that exist today are out of copyright, or
2) Base my work on something that is in the public domain (Shakespeare and ancient myths are common sources for writers, but anything published in the US prior to 1923 should be fine). If someone claims I stole from them, I can say "no, I stole from another source, and you probably did as well."

#2 won't protect me if I unintentionally/sub-consciously steal details like the names of characters or specific modern settings. In other words, if I redo Romeo and Juliet, it should not involve two street gangs or be set in a late-20th-century major Western City or the copyright-owners of West Side Story might come after me. But if West Side Story had been a nearly-completely-original work (i.e. neither Romeo and Juliet nor any other opposite-culture-therefore-forbidden teen romance had ever been written) if I would risk being sued if I wrote about two star-crossed lovers who lived 500 years ago.

Comment: Not true for music (Score 2) 298

It's that the owners retain the exclusive right to distribution - and if they decide to stop making the material available it's lost.

Spot on in general, but not for music. Thanks to "mandatory licensing" systems in the United States and possibly other countries, anyone willing to pay the statutory fee can reproduce it under limited circumstances. I don't think mandatory licensing covers wholesale physical reproductions or digital downloads, but it does cover sampling and it does cover playing the complete work over the airwaves (you (the radio station operator) do have to have a copy to play of course).

Comment: Moral rights (Score 1) 298

This is Canada. Canada has "moral rights" which allow creators to block the use of their creations in ways that disparage the creator (and possibly "disparage the work itself" - I'm not fully fluent in Canadian law). These rights are not transferable.

An example would be if a person spewing hate later repudiated his previous writings. He could use the "moral rights" clause to enjoin any publication of his works if they had the effect of implying that he, the author, still held those views, even if someone else held the copyright.

I see no problem in vesting "moral rights" to the author for the life or the author, provided that it is only used to 1) get an injunction, 2) sue to recover actual harm done to the author by the disparaging use (this would be separate from any copyright-related damages if the copyright were still in effect).

Personally, I wish the United States had a reasonable, limited "moral rights" rule.

Comment: OT: I'm waiting for a US challenge to Life+ terms (Score 2) 298

If I'm young and I write something today and I die 80 years later, the copyright term will outlast everyone alive today and is therefore longer than any reasonable definition of "for a limited period of time."

When the time comes I hope someone sues to declare all works in the public domain as soon as there is nobody left alive who was around when that work fell under copyright.

Unfortunately nobody can make this challenge until the 2030s at the earliest, since everything put under copyright before 1923 is already in the public domain and there are hundreds if not thousands of Americans over 110 years old.

Personally, I wish the courts would define "a limited period of time" as something like "the expected lifespan of a newborn child in the United States if the child survives to age 5" (e.g. excluding infant/early-childhood mortality) - somewhere in the 75-80 year range. But I very much doubt the Supreme Court would accept this, given that they already allow "95 years" for corporate copyrights.

Comment: Good idea but not bulletproof (Score 1) 189

by davidwr (#49527299) Attached to: Microsoft Announces Device Guard For Windows 10

This is a good idea but it will be broken (and fixed), repeatedly.

However, it will make malware writers work harder/spend more money and reduce their reach, which should knock many bad actors out of the game.

Unlike Apple, this will be something most users will have to turn on manually or at least be something they can turn off if the manufacturer has it turned on "out of the box".

I'm more worried about Windows 10+1 - by that time people may be so used to the "safety" of walled-garden "app stores" that a computer you actually own (that is, control) will be a niche market.

Comment: Re: Benjamin Franklin got it right (Score 1) 228

by davidwr (#49527181) Attached to: UK Police Chief: Some Tech Companies Are 'Friendly To Terrorists'

Prior to the US Constitution there was no actual Federal government, there was a late-18th-century version

I guess that depend on what the definition of "actual ... government" is. On the flip side, some people consider the U. N. an "actual government." In both cases, it depends on how the person making the aguement that the Confederation Congress or the U. N. is or is not an actual government defines the tem "actual government." Both are "edge cases" and there is wiggle room on how to define the term.

Comment: I sell pens and paper (Score 2) 228

by davidwr (#49527089) Attached to: UK Police Chief: Some Tech Companies Are 'Friendly To Terrorists'

I don't screen my customers againt watch-lists and I don't refuse to sell to customers who wear t-shirts spoiting hate or anti-patriotic messages.

I guess this makes me a technology vendor who is friendly to people who might be terrorists.

The above is hypothetical - or is it? I'm not and office-supply vendor but most office-suppu vendors could've written what is avove and be telling the truth.

Comment: Re:How long... (Score 1) 332

by davidwr (#49520165) Attached to: Update: No Personhood for Chimps Yet

Or a child!

Too late. Throughout much of history including in parts of the United States up through the 20th century, it was legal for young teens or even pre-teens to marry. Of course, back then if you went to school beyond 8th grade you were considered fortunate, especially if you were a girl.

In some historical cultures it was legal to marry kids to each other or even to adults, with the understanding that the things that sex would wait until pregnancy was possible.

I for one am glad that the days where daughters (and to a lesser extent, sons) were treated as pawns by parents for political/economic purposes when it comes to marriage are for the most part over with, at least in the United States.

Comment: Re:An alternative to the death penalty (Score 1) 590

Of course there may be innocent people on death row from time to time. If we could magically know for certain that everyone on death row was guilty of a capital offense and that there were no mitigating circumstances that would make the death penalty unjust, we could clear out death row in a matter of weeks (assuming the drugs/bullets/nitrogen gas/whatever was available).

The key to getting the death penalty "right" (setting aside arguments that it is inherently unjust) is to make sure that only people who deserve to die are actually executed and to make the execution process itself as quick, painless, and clean as possible.

By the way, there are people in prison for non-death-penalty crimes who are innocent, and there are people who have been released or who never went to jail who have criminal records they didn't earn. Our justice system is far from perfect and I doubt it will ever be perfect. I'm willing to live with the small chance that I will be falsely arrested and locked up for life in exchange for having a functioning justice system, but I'm not willing to be arrested, tried, condemned, and executed for a crime I never committed. If this means throwing out the death penalty for even the most heinous of criminals in favor of life-without-parole, I can live with that.

Comment: I think you totally misunderstand me (Score 1) 590

This may be true under the legal codes of some countries

Sorry, but after that statement I really cannot see you as anything but a monster.

When I said "[Your previous comment "that some people have truly lost the right to be considered human any more"] may be true under the legal codes of some countries" I was conceding to you that I do not know the laws of every country and it is conceivable that at least one country's laws may say that people are no longer people in the eyes of the law if they commit certain criminal acts. Or maybe no country does. I simply do not know.

I don't see how admitting my ignorance of foreign law makes me a monster.

I also don't see how the fact that, for now at least (until/unless the Supreme Court says otherwise), Treason is a death-penalty offense in America is related to any of the comments I made in this post.

The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up.