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Comment This is no way surprising, period (Score 1) 294

This decision is in no way surprising to anyone who knows copyright law. US Copyright law *explicitly* states that you do not have a right to resell digital copies, and if those guys had a lawyer advising them on their business when they set it up, they should be suing him for malpractice now. Look up "First Sale Doctrine" if you're having trouble sleeping.

If you're a cynic (as I am) this is evidence of the ridiculous influence of copyright owners on Washington.

However, there is *some* rational for this - if you buy a CD and then sell it to someone else, no new copies have been made. But, if you buy an MP3, and then sell it to someone else, to do so, you must make a copy. Which means you're now in copyright territory, since you're selling a copy of the work without the author's permission.

Now, personally speaking, I think if you're going to certify your copy has been destroyed, this shouldn't be a problem - but that's the law, now, and has been for more than a decade (maybe longer, I started paying attention when I was at EMusic ca. 1998).


Former Astronauts Call Obama NASA Plans "Catastrophic" 555

krou writes "Talking to the BBC at a private function held at the Royal Society in London, former astronauts Jim Lovell and Eugene Cernan both spoke out about Obama's decision to postpone further moon missions. Lovell claimed that 'it will have catastrophic consequences in our ability to explore space and the spin-offs we get from space technology,' while Cernan noted he was 'disappointed' to have been the last person to land on the moon. Said Cernan: 'I think America has a responsibility to maintain its leadership in technology and its moral leadership ... to seek knowledge. Curiosity's the essence of human existence.' Neil Armstrong, who was also at the event, avoided commenting on the subject."

Automatic Image Tagging 123

bignickel writes "Researchers at Penn State have applied for a patent on software that automatically recognizes objects in photos and tags them accordingly. The 'Automatic Linguistic Indexing of Pictures Real-Time' software (catchy name) trained a database using tens of thousands of images, and new images have 15 tags suggested based on comparisons with objects or concepts in the database. Not sure how you identify a 'concept,' and they're only talking about having one correct tag in the top 15, but still cool."

Comment Re:Penny-arcade critique (Score 1) 88

It was user created content that caused all the controversy over GTA and Oblivion.
No. The "hot coffee" content was always in GTA, just not accessible. Can a Gameshark code be called "user-created content"?

Well, regardless, the point is that a proposal is on the table to make the ESRB play through "all" of the video games it rates. They could've played San Andreas for years, and they never would've found the "hot coffee" content, since it was not directly reachable from in the game. Or are you saying ESRB should be required to try every possible Gameshark code before it rates games?

For the purposes of this discussion, there's no difference between truly "user created content" and "enabling unreachable content by minor modification of the running executable." Neither of them is something the ESRB is going to be able to pass an opinion on until the modification happens. Since this legislation in supposedly in response to the recent "scandals" of GTA and Oblivion, it's worth noting that it would've prevented neither.

Backed up the system lately?