Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:What's unclear? (Score 1) 94

by mbone (#48899257) Attached to: Why We Still Can't Really Put Anything In the Public Domain

IANAL, but I believe that the actual rights-holders would need to go to court to establish their rights, and, yes, if they won a judge could invalidate promises made by the other parties. Likewise, I believe a judge could declare an actual rights-holder incompetent, and invalidate their grant of rights. A last-minute deathbed grant of rights into the PD might be subject to that kind of attack, if the heirs thought it wasn't proper, or the dying author / composer was no longer competent.

Comment: Re:What's unclear? (Score 1) 94

by mbone (#48899209) Attached to: Why We Still Can't Really Put Anything In the Public Domain

It's clearly illegal to do that with the intent of changing your mind later.

Did you RTFA? The whole point is that it IS legal to change your mind later, and no amount of promises, or guarantees, or written contracts can change that. You cannot give up, sell, or renounce, your right to change your mind, no matter what you do.

Just because some article says something doesn't make it so. If you want to play this game, I would strongly recommend you get competent legal advice.

(As it happens, I have received legal advice in this area, and it sure didn't agree with what you said.)

Comment: Re:What's unclear? (Score 1) 94

by mbone (#48899123) Attached to: Why We Still Can't Really Put Anything In the Public Domain

IANAL, this is not legal advice, but I agree with your argument.

The only ways out I see would be if your heirs tried to convince a judge you were not legally competent to make the PD assignment at the time you made it (or, of course, if someone came along and said they also had some rights in the work in question, say by being co-creators). So, there would always in practice be a little risk, but after 35 years? That seems like a stretch.

Comment: Really? (Score 1) 94

by mbone (#48899039) Attached to: Why We Still Can't Really Put Anything In the Public Domain

Specifically, the PK post highlights that thanks to the way copyright termination works, even someone who puts their works into the public domain could pull them back out of the public domain after 35 years.

Really?

So, I should infer that all of those "irrevocable" open source licenses are meaningless, because the grantor of the rights could just change their minds? Somebody sure should let RMS know.

IANAL and all that, and this is for sure not legal advice, but when I have gotten such advice, it was always along the lines of, be careful what you place in the public domain, because you won't be able to change your mind. I am sure I would not want to go in front of a judge and say something along the lines of, "yes, I told people this was public domain, but they were silly to think I actually meant it."

Comment: Jury of your peers (Score 3, Insightful) 303

by mbone (#48819589) Attached to: There's a Problem In the Silk Road Trial: the Jury Doesn't Get the Internet

Maybe, in cases like this, the notion of a "jury of your peers" should be extended to include technical competence. In other words, instead of asking the prospective jurors about their views on the death penalty, they could ask about their knowledge of DNS or BGP.

Comment: Value Subtracting (Score 1) 122

by mbone (#48815111) Attached to: Google Aims To Be Your Universal Translator

Unless and until Google starts to hire actual translators and pay them actual money, this is value subtracting and will suck income out of the very translators it depends on. If we are really unlucky, it will be an unsustainable parasitism, driving translators out of work and actually reducing the ability of the world to deal with multiple languages.

Optimism is the content of small men in high places. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Crack Up"

Working...