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Comment Re:Two very different things (Score 1) 305

Plus, of course, the idea that you could "sue" if blocked depends on a legal consensus that common carriers have to, you know, carry you. If two-tiered internet is OK, then why shouldn't an ISP be allowed to block those who won't pay up?

We really need to get back, or get to, the idea of ISPs as common carriers, disallowed from discriminating among packets based on content or, worse, on payor.

Comment Re:"That's what she said..." (Score 1) 163

So the punishment was to do exactly what they were supposed to do. Exactly how is that justice? Or, for that matter, punishment? How does it discourage them from doing the exact same thing over and over again, knowing that sometimes, they'll get away with it and that when they don't, they lose nothing over what they would have paid anyway?

And that's not even counting that this was a settlement, most likely for far less than they actually owed.

Comment Re:MBA programs now teach this kind of approach. (Score 1) 163

Really? Do you ride in cars at all? Because then you're just as culpable. We could make cars much, much safer, but they would then be much, much more expensive... perhaps so expensive that no one could afford them, or at least a very few.

Everyone is making this trade-off all the time. It's harsh to see it laid out so explicitly, but it's actually there all the time.

Comment Re:Math is easy to mark (Score 1) 1153

Math is easy to grade when it's taught badly. Just like English or history or ... Well, like any subject.
I'll agree that, the way we teach math and the priorities we set, a lot of it is pointless. But that,s not a reason for teaching less; it's a reason for teaching better.

Comment Re:Precisely (Score 1) 1153

You're 100% correct. In my experience, every 12 year old has both the background and maturity to decide at what profession he/she will most happily pursue for the next 70 years of his/her life. No need to be exposed to anything that he/she hasn't already seen.

Comment Re:Ahhh... I Finally Get It! (Score 1) 973

if the market accepts that his show is worthwhile, he'll make his time and money back.

I cry foul. You can't extol the market in one breath then defend a market-distorting structure (i.e., state-sponsored monopoly, i.e., copyright) in the other. "The market" prices things on the margins -- what it makes to create the last good created, not all of them. For digital works, the marginal cost is functionally zero. Therefore zero is the "correct" (that is, market-driven) price. Charging more than zero requires state intervention into the market -- the creation of artificial scarcity. That is what copyright does; and it is a legitimate point of debate as to whether it achieves the social ends sought at the best allocation of resources.

Comment Subtle distinction (Score 5, Interesting) 161

ASCAP is (almost) correct. While copyleft doesn't undermine copyright, it does undermine the copyright cartel. If artists begin to license worthwhile, popular, and (monetarily) successful works under copyleft -- if artists succeed while granting people more rights than they, strictly, have to -- then consumers might begin to wonder why more artists -- and big companies -- don't do that. Using copyleft could become a competitive advantage. And then how will Big Music justify restricting users?

If the sheep wake up, the whole industry -- as currently organized -- falls apart. And that's what ASCAP is worried about.

Comment Gonna sound snarky.... (Score 3, Interesting) 327

... but I'm genuinely interested: What exactly does a publisher of e-books "publish"?

I'm serious. You've written the book, you've put it in whatever form you decided on. I understand that you need some vehicle to distribute it -- isn't that what Apple and Amazon are doing? So what is your publisher doing? What value does he/she/it add?

Unix is the worst operating system; except for all others. -- Berry Kercheval