Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Hear something similar from Verizon? Riiight. (Score 4, Informative) 60

by jthill (#48394275) Attached to: AT&T Stops Using 'Super Cookies' To Track Cellphone Data

They believe being "compelled" to carry traffic with the content of which theydecide to disagree is a violation of their first amendment rights.

If you're like me, you flat-out rejected that statement, on sight. Right? There is simply no way that statement isn't some overhyped overheated drama? Clickbait or karma whoring or somebody nursing a grudge?

Comment: Re:The right to offend ... (Score 1) 834

by jthill (#48361293) Attached to: How To End Online Harassment

Talking about raping or killing someone isn't offensive speech, it's threatening to do bodily harm, which is illegal

I think part of the point -- well, no, it simply is part of the point, no "I think" about it here no matter what my .sig says -- that pretending anything not actually illegal must be allowed, is a position advanced only by exactly the sorts of people for whom open, unilateral, ostracism -- to the point of simply silencing them, deleting their posts and banning them by whatever identification can be mustered, without warning and without appeal -- is exactly the right thing to do.

To anyone feeling some outraged right to some civil response, to demand some accounting for ~oh, but what about those nasty nasty People Not Like Me, they're just as bad, what are you going to do about _them_~ ... fuck you. I don't care how you do it, kill yourself. There is no rationalization for what you do. Kill yourself. It's the only way to save your fucking soul. Suck a tailpipe, fucking hang yourself, borrow a gun from a yank friend, I don't care how you do it, it's the only way to rid the world of your evil fucking machinations.

But until you man up, finding some alternate way to silence you, to rid at least the public world of any trace of your utterly worthless self, is a perfectly workable, desirable and effective option. _That's_ the point here.

Comment: Re:like my mom calling me a SOB (Score 1) 260

by jthill (#48354627) Attached to: Computer Scientists Ask Supreme Court To Rule APIs Can't Be Copyrighted

You're equivocating again. Still.. Stop. "API" is also idiom for headers nobody human ever looks at except to check their memory of facts, i.e. headers that let compilers and linkers connect code to an external (and valuable) implementation of the API itself. Nobody who habitually discusses these things ever gets confused, because the distinction, in context, is always clear to adequately rested and caffeinated professionals.

Oracle's copyrights on Java material subsist in its implementations of the Java API, and its descriptions of it, its expressions of it, each "fixed in a tangible medium" which can, hence, be, you know, copied.

There are many expository, meaningful descriptions of that API, from at least dozens of authors, "fixed" in a medium. They can be copied.

There are Implementations of that API, from maybe as many as a dozen implementors, "fixed" in a medium. They can be copied.

The API itself is an abstraction. Only descriptions or implementations of it can even so much as constitute a particular offering and arrangement of (purported) "facts" about it. You go find anybody a true "copy of the Java API" fixed in a tangible medium of expression, and then go find any scrap of a copy of it in Google's offering. Oracle already tried, with a hundred million dollars on the line. It, umm, it didn't go very well for them.

Copyright interest in any particular implementation or description does not grant Oracle a monopoly. Yes, the Java API itself is extremely valuable. It's good work. It can't. itself be copied. Expressions of it, descriptions or implementations of it, can be copied. Many, many different attempts to express that API can be and have been "fixed in a tangible medium of expression". The relevant ones are, demonstrably and generally obviously not copies of each other, utterly different attempts trying to express the same thing. Once you've fixed your attempt, your work, you've got your own implementation or description. Someone else comes up another, that's their version.

You might argue anything and everything that attempts to express that API is a "derivative work", and hence Oracle have copyright interest in every attempt at expression, every book, every implementation, every website, that takes a crack at it, that Oracle can demand whatever license fees they think they think they can cart off from every one of them. The only problem is,

The copyright in a compilation or derivative work extends only to the material contributed by the author of such work, as distinguished from the preexisting material employed in the work, and does not imply any exclusive right in the preexisting material. The copyright in such work is independent of, and does not affect or enlarge the scope, duration, ownership, or subsistence of, any copyright protection in the preexisting material.

"Does not affect or enlarge the scope etc. of any copyright protection in the preexisting material." Oracle tried to find some, any, of their own preexisting material in Google's expression of the Java API. They tried. Hard. That, umm, that didn't go very well for them.

Go ahead and snipe all you like, I'm done. Oracle doesn't have a copyright on the API, they don't have a patent on it, nobody could confuse Google's offering for Oracle's (nobody who might conceivably be confused even knows about it, everybody else knows the difference) so whatever trademark interest they may have isn't being infringed.

Comment: Re:correct, sort of. Claim that it's nothing (Score 1) 260

by jthill (#48348293) Attached to: Computer Scientists Ask Supreme Court To Rule APIs Can't Be Copyrighted

Except nobody with a brain is making that claim. Stop equivocating. The headers aren't the API you;re talking about. They don't even amount to a functional description of it. Nobody could produce a functional description of Java, of the real API, from the headers. Google didn't copy the API you're talking about. Google _implemented_ it.

A textual explanation of what you're talking about, a human-language text that explains the effects of using the parts, separately and in endless combinations, of a functioning Java implementation -- that's a genuinely valuable and creative piece of work. It's copyrightable. Google didn't copy it.

An implementation of what you're talking about, the code that implements something that fits that human-language description, that actually produces the described effects when you use those parts in those endless combinations -- that's a genuinely valuable and creative piece of work. It's copyrightable. Google didn't copy that, either. They wrote a new one, themselves.

You can't point to _anything_ remotely valuable that Google is distributing that they copied from Oracle. The one relevant thing they did actually copy is completely worthless by itself. It has no value. No one can use it, no one can start with just that and learn or build anything valuable, It isn't even an actual description of anything valuable. It's "this knob here", endlessly repeated. Whatever structure it has is absolutely mandated by the actually valuable parts they didn't copy, by a Java API description, which Google didn't copy, and Google's implementation of it, which they didn't copy.

The ISO has a copyright on its language standards. Language implementations have to use the standards' headers, the same names, the same class layouts, everything. By Oracle's logic, every language implementation on Earth (and no doubt Mars, by now) is violating the ISO's copyright. If it wasn't so utterly beneath contempt, it would be a farce.

Comment: Re:As any developer worth their salt knows (Score 1) 260

by jthill (#48344743) Attached to: Computer Scientists Ask Supreme Court To Rule APIs Can't Be Copyrighted

You're equivocating. The headers aren't the API you're talking about.

You go ahead and try to learn or implement X or Open GL or Win32 given only bare, comment-stripped headers.

If Oracle has any copyright interest here, it's in those headers, and absolutely none of the value you're describing can be found there.

Comment: Re:API was worth taking, risking (Score 1) 260

by jthill (#48343419) Attached to: Computer Scientists Ask Supreme Court To Rule APIs Can't Be Copyrighted

Yes, and when I stop by and eat at the Pantry downtown, it's usually very late or very early (the lines are far too long other times), there are often beggars outside who ask for money. It's easier and kinder to give them some. I set myself a limit of $5 a day for that kind of charity. If some self-entitled prick of a beggar demanded more than I'm glad to charitably give, I'd tell him to fuck off and walk on by. Oracle's demanding control as if there were a full implementation on offer, not something they couldn't get anyone to pay for if offered alone. Google certainly wasn't stupid enough to pay that kind of money, and now Oracle's whiiiiiiiiining about it.

Comment: Re:A Google Engineer about APIs' importance (Score 1) 260

by jthill (#48343387) Attached to: Computer Scientists Ask Supreme Court To Rule APIs Can't Be Copyrighted

I propose other solutions, like a basic income and rolling back copyright.

Because nobody can get anyone to pay anything for what want to get paid for, right? Because it couldn't matter less how much precious and endearingly precocious effort you put into an API, it's worth exactly nothing without an implementation.to back it up. In combination with a good implementation, it's very valuable. In combination with a pile-of-crap implementation, it's a pile of crap. Alone, it's worthless. It's the 99%-perspiration part that has always constituted the valuable things in this world. Here. Have a Lollipop.

Comment: Re:APIs can be creative works; we need another pla (Score 1) 260

by jthill (#48342553) Attached to: Computer Scientists Ask Supreme Court To Rule APIs Can't Be Copyrighted

The value in those APIs is not in the names and parameter types of the prototypes, it is in the semantics, in how they actually work. You'll notice that he did provide proof-of-concept implementations. Why would he do that, if the function-call prototypes had any considerable value on their own?

Comment: Re:As any developer worth their salt knows (Score 3, Interesting) 260

by jthill (#48342253) Attached to: Computer Scientists Ask Supreme Court To Rule APIs Can't Be Copyrighted

Because once you've got that, all the valuable work's done, right? Because what's left is just a SMOP?

Horse shit. As a copyrightable work, a bare API is grossly incomplete. With just the API, you've got _nothing_. It doesn't work. You can't make it work. You have to actually create or acquire the thing it describes to make it work. All of it. The converse is true, too. You have to have both parts to actually use the work. When judging whether copyright has been infringed, two of the major considerations are what fraction of the work has been copied, and what effect the allegedly infringing work has on the market for the original. It's simple: if I distribute _just_ the headers, nobody's going to want to come to me to get what I've copied, because it's a useless pile of shit without that implementation backing it. It's nothing. They get that part right along with the actual copyrightable work, for free. The part I copied resembles the whole about as much as a book's table of contents and index resemble the book -- Google even stripped the blurbs.

Personally, I think the EFF's concern (and the appeals court's distinction) are in error, that they lend credence to a distinction that has no right to so much as exist. The law says that fair use does not infringe. It doesn't say it's infringement but it's permissible. It says that fair use is not an infringement at all. It says that copyright does not, by statute law, extend to cover fair use. Alsup said you can't copyright APIs because they're simply functional descriptions, which aren't copyrightable. Whether or not the Supreme Court accepts his opinion on the legal basis, he's right: distributing just the API is also intrinsically fair use because it is intrinsically, by nature, wholly incomplete, to the extent that it's utterly unusable, completely unmarketable, of no value whatsoever without an actual work that usefully matches its description. Copyright simply doesn't have the reach to cover it.

Comment: Re: Snowden (Score 1) 221

by jthill (#48235891) Attached to: When Snowden Speaks, Future Lawyers (and Judges) Listen

\All I said was that China and Russia call him a patriot and asked if you could be a patriot for more than one country.

"Patriot" is a characterization. That makes it a matter of perception, rarely if ever debatable among people who disagree. If I call the last Bush patriot or coward, venal shill or statesman, does that make any of them true? Skeins of the Russian and Chinese elite are known for self-serving characterization far more preposterous to American sensibilities than the most blatant jingoist blather dribbled out over the media here. Does any so much as remotely considerable number of U.S. citizens rely on foreign judgement of an American citizen's acts? Frankly, I think everyone here knows the answer to that.

So, if you believe what he did was defend the Constitution in the service of humanity as a whole, what word would you apply?

Comment: Re:Time for a revolution (Score 1) 424

by jthill (#48235673) Attached to: Law Lets IRS Seize Accounts On Suspicion, No Crime Required
I think if you look through my posting history you might start to suspect I was trying to make a different point. I do see how what I said could be taken that way, though. Sorry about that, my bad, but _really_ not where I was going with that. Think about what's going on with the widely-perceived corporate takeover of government, I think that should be enough context.

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: A guinea pig is not from Guinea but a rodent from South America.

Working...