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Comment Lawrence Lessig (Score 1) 125 125

According to Lawrence Lessig (6 min 30 in), some 75% of all books are orphaned. It's legally impossible to do anything with those works, because the copyright holder can't be reached for permission.

I think you're suggesting that that should be no problem, because if the copyright owner can't be found, who's going to sue you for using their work? The problem is that you don't know they're not going to suddenly appear and sue you afterward, and for this reason no right-minded company will publish/broadcast/produce your work unless you have secured all related rights.

So, to answer your question, these works are an issue because otherwise some 75% of creative works are just lost: out of print and inaccessible.

Comment Re:We need a tag for this? (Score 2, Insightful) 615 615

How nice to be so binary, but for many of us the situation is not so clear-cut. I do not want to be shown animated ads at all: their usefulness to me is outweighed by their intrusiveness. But I'm perfectly happy for a site to include text links, because they may be relevant, and will help keep this website, which I have found useful enough to visit, operational.

Currently there is no way for me to express this preference. I have to block everything or nothing.

Comment Re:Economics, not discrimination (Score 1) 329 329

Except it's not. Posts from Last.fm staff in the comments make it clear that this is about revenue maximization, not licensing problems:

[The US, UK, and Germany] are the countries in which we have the most resources to support an ad sales organization, which is how we earn money to pay artists and labels for their music. We are focused on the US, UK, and Germany as key markets, with the help of the CBS Interactive salesforce and our own sales team here in London. ... And so we've made the decision to focus on these markets for free streaming radio.

Comment Re:2nd brightest? not quite. (Score 2, Informative) 243 243

No, either way, it's wrong. The heading says, "Second Brightest-Object In the Sky," which is incorrect, because the Sun is the brightest object in the sky and the second-brightest is the Moon.

The summary says, "the brightest object in the night sky," which is incorrect, because that would be the Moon.

I know you're joking, but this is Slashdot, and I expect the jokes to be funny AND measurably correct.

Comment Re:What DRM is that? (Score 1) 290 290

> Now you could disable it on the system, I suppose, but that'd gain you nothing. The software would just refuse to play.

I suppose the objection is that DRM such as HDCP only proliferates if players support it. The content manufacturers come up with a scheme, and all the little software & hardware players must come on board, because if they don't their products won't be able to play the content.

Microsoft, by virtue of its near-monopoly on the desktop, could kill a DRM scheme for the desktop simply by refusing to support it. But they choose not to. Which is a reasonable business decision, but still rankles.

That's my guess, anyway.

Cellphones

Submission + - Telco threatens customers over cheap VoIP calls

Herman Toothrot writes: APCmag is reporting that Optus, Australia's second largest telco, sent out a threatening SMS to thousands of its mobile customers on Christmas Day, warning that calls to local calling card services that divert calls overseas via VoIP will be charged at international rates. Despite the fact that the telco isn't responsible for transmitting the call internationally and the service provider pays for the diversion, it claims that these calls are classified as "international" and the customer should be billed as such.

This begs the question, if Optus claims this is acceptable behaviour, should customers be charged international rates when their support call is inevitably transferred to India?
Businesses

Issue Tracking Ticketing Systems? 129 129

An anonymous reader asks: "Our company has expanded to 5 employees, and we are looking at setting up and installing an Issue Tracking System for all employees to use throughout the company. It turns out there are many ticketing systems available in both commercial and open source solutions. We originally planned on using Request Tracker but we were unable to implement it due to the complexities of the system. For our company, we are looking for a simple to install Issue Ticketing system (preferably PHP and MySQL based to be hosted on our basic web hosting) to improve both the efficiency of our company, and improve our record keeping of all of our issues. How do you manage all of your tasks, and what software do you use, if any, to achieve this?"
Republicans

Submission + - 13% of Americans haven't heard of global warming

An anonymous reader writes: As amazing as it may sound, over 13% of Americans claim to have neither seen nor heard any information about global warming. As the US is the worlds largest emmitter of greenhouse gases is this result a success for the Bush Administration and their Big Oil cohorts?
Read about it here http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,21140785-401, 00.html
Announcements

Submission + - Get Linux Kernel Drivers For Free

Amit Shah writes: "Greg Kroah-Hartman has sent an email to the LKML mentioning the Linux kernel community's offering to write drivers for any devices manufacturers come up with. They just have to send out the specs. And, if possible, the device.

Were companies holding back releasing drivers for Linux because they didn't get anyone to write drivers for their hardware? Or were they afraid of releasing the specs, so that they would lose their edge over their competition?"

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