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Comment Re:Translations (Score 4, Insightful) 392

"There are no programs for text editing, Skype, Office etc. installed and that prevents normal use,"

Translation: We have no idea what we are talking about, can't be bothered to ask any questions and only want to use what we are already familiar with.

Wrong translation. This should be: "those that install the systems have no idea what they're doing", as such software should be pre-installed on any system and be ready for use. Of course I'm taking the complaint at face value here, and the complaint is that standard productivity software has not been pre-installed. To ease transition, they may even consider using the default Windows icon for Word on the OpenOffice/LibreOffice launcher and so. Skype has a Linux version so that's even more of a no-brainer, it should be pre-installed or made dead easy to install if licensing prevents pre-installing it.

Comment Re:As a wise man once said (Score 1) 319

You're mixing up data and information. It's common, you're not the first who adds this quote to a data breach, but it's not applied correctly.

Clue: data is a representation of information. It's the information that's in the data that "wants to be free". This is about data that's been leaked, not about information. Wikileaks are much closer to true information providers, rather than the raw data dump this is.

Comment Re:More social decay. (Score 1) 319

You don't have to have a problem with polyamory, and GP also doesn't seem to have any. It just doesn't happen much. People tend to life in couples. That may be a heterosexual or homosexual couple, but a couple it almost always is. It's extremely rare to see more than two people within a single relationship, even in homosexual relationships it's normally just two people. Sure, polygamy and polyandry happen but it's really rare, and then usually only in certain religious cults (no idea what they do with all those surplus men for whom there is no wife available) or when there's a shortage of men after some devastating war or so.

Comment Re: ... using the name and e-mail address of other (Score 1) 319

That for starters depends on the laws of your locality.

Secondly, person registering the account can very well argue they used a pseudonym. Many a pseudonym is a realistic name, and as such can very well happen to match the name of someone else. People that happen to have identical names are a similar case.

It would definitely be identity theft if the person not only uses another person's name, but tries to completely impersonate another individual. Just registering using a name that's not your own is not identity theft, imho.

Comment Re:Half the story (Score 2) 212

There is no such thing as "public domain" for trademarks, as trademarks and copyrights are very different things.

There can be multiple companies with the same trademark coexisting legally: they may exist in different geographic areas (even within the same country or city), they may operate in different areas of business. For example, if you were to open a fast food shop and call it Walt Disney's Fries Company, the Walt Disney cartoon and theme park company may try to fight this, but they wouldn't stand much of a chance. Placing lots of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck figures in your fries outlet or using a logo that looks like some fancy castle wouldn't be such a good move, though.

In contrast to copyrights, trademarks don't expire. The Ford car company exists for a very long time, but as long as they exist and the brand is used, no-one else can make Ford-branded cars. However if Ford were to go bankrupt, the company ceases to exist and the use of the trademark on cars ends long enough, other people may set up a new car company called Ford.

The same is going on in the computer world with the Commodore and Amiga brands. The brands exist, but are hardly if at all used. These trademarks do risk losing protection that way, even when registered (otherwise trademark trolls, like domain squatters, could just register any name they can think of and later sue for big bucks).

Comment Re:Half the story (Score 1) 212

Trademarks don't expire indeed but fade away when the owner stops using them, thus having characters end up in the public domain. So Disney would continue to have the right to make new Mickey Mouse cartoons, but the old cartoons would start fall in the public domain as the copyright expires.

Comment Re:WTF does that mean? (Score 1) 222

The duration of the so-called contract between CBC and CNN is entirely irrelevant to matter of damages for copyright infringement payable to the copyright holder by the CBC if CNN had no permission to authorize the CBC to use the video clip in the first place.

If so, it's becoming really dangerous to buy copyright licenses. After all, if I buy a license to use a material in good faith (I also presume CBC did take out the license in good faith from CNN - though whether that's true I don't know), I am not safe from later claims. If CBC really bought the license in good faith, they shouldn't be sued for using the material within the license terms as that part demonstrates good faith - yet CNN should be sued big time for this illegal sale. CBC should of course be sued if they're using it outside the license terms as well, as that's not good faith any more.

Now if CBC can be sued successfully for using the material after buying a license they had no reason to believe was invalid, this also means that if you buy a computer with Windows pre-installed, and this later turns out to be a pirated copy, MS may sue you for damages. Even though you bought it from your local retailer, paying a regular price for the thing, getting a printed license key with it - all in good faith. So you'd better not touch Windows or other proprietary software at all - it's not safe.

How about Linux, is that really safe? And all the other software that's packed with your distro, purportedly released as GPL or similar license and said to be free to use? Maybe someone took it, repacked it including a GPL license.txt file making it look like it's GPL software, and before you know it police comes to confiscate your stuff for copyright infringement. Recently there was some uproar about Github taking stuff and claiming it to be their own, or something like that.

Comment Re:WTF does that mean? (Score 1) 222

you can nearly always wait to register until right before you file your claim for infringement (assuming you discover the infringement before your copyright coverage and the associated statute of limitations expires).

Considering copyright owned by a natural person lasts for life + roughly another human lifetime, that part shouldn't be too hard. As long as you live, your copyright hasn't expired.

Comment Re:WTF does that mean? (Score 1) 222

So if it is a valid defense to say you bought a license in good faith but were lied to .. is it a valid defense for me to buy a pirated DVD and say I just thought it was a good price? I'm not convinced that would work for me.

It probably doesn't, and the only protection we have is to not try to buy anything that may have copyrights attached to it, as you can never check whether a license is valid or not. E.g. you buy a CD off e-bay, seller claiming it's a second hand one, thereby validating the low price. But in reality this seller has been making illegal copies of the CDs he sells, so what you get is an infringing copy.

Another situation. About 20 years ago I was browsing CDs at a second hand CD stand at some pop festival. Lots of great stuff there, but I ran into a few albums, collections of current hits (well, last year's hits by then), which I happened to know were illegal. Pretty much all the others I assume were fully legal. Most people out there probably didn't know these were illegal, they were mixed with lots of legal stuff, and sold at the same price. Hard to argue wilful infringement.

Closer to home: all those copy-handbags and copy-watches. I don't know many luxury brands, and those that I know I only know from the name on the shop front. I don't know their design, much less care for what they do. I don't care much for fashion, and their prices are way out of my budget anyway. However if I were to browse a market looking for a nice gift for a female friend, I may run into a handbag or purse that I like, and that I think she may like. Now the problem is that I can't tell whether the design of this bag is a copy of some luxury brand. Am I truly expected to first browse all the shops on Canton Road and make sure I know the current designs there, before heading off to the Ladies' Market or Fa Yuen Street Market?

A year or two ago there was also this discussion on Slashdot about someone's uncle subscribing to a web site offering recent movies (often still running in the cinemas) in streaming format, like Netflix This person's uncle paid for these movies to gain access - unaware that the seller didn't actually license them. The uncle was just happy to be able to watch these movies for a good price. It's hard to expect everyone to know how movie licensing works, or to know who the copyright owner is and to phone them to ask whether a certain service actually has the right to resell this movie to him.

It's easy to come up with many more similar situations - either from anecdotes, or my making up a realistic scenario where you think you legally buy something but in reality you don't. The only way to be safe is to not buy anything. No branded stuff, no unbranded stuff. No music, on physical media or otherwise. There's no way you can tell if it's real or not, there's no way to tell whether the shop owner is honest, and if the shop owner tells me it's legal and it's not, it's still me that's hit with fines or worse.

CBC should be let off for using the YouTube video for the 10 days they had a license for. They should be prosecuted for using the video after the license expired. CNN should be prosecuted for selling this license - which imho is even worse. CNN not only infringed on the copyright of the maker of the video, they directly made money off of it, and they sold something they did not own (which is a totally separate issue and has nothing to do with copyright as such).

Comment Re:So.... (Score 2) 222

It would also mean that companies would be able to take formerly-GPL-licensed software, and close the source. This alone could stop many people from contributing: copyright allows for control over your work, and the protection given by the GPL (that it remains open) is what many people like. I for one am one of those people that'd be much more reluctant to publish stuff, even if not for profit.

The things like disassembly that are forbidden in the US, that's one of the aspects of bad implementation.

Comment Re:So.... (Score 1) 222

Copyrights are fine, arguably good (the beloved GPL stands and falls with the existence copyright: no copyright, no GPL, and that accounts for pretty much all open source licenses and Creative Commons licenses).

The way copyrights are implemented nowadays however, is bad. In particular the protected period is way too long.

Comment Re:Simpler solution... (Score 1) 280

Crazy they even allow street parking, and at such low levels.

Besides, what is reasonable? Start with looking at what a shop or apartment in the area costs. With that calculate the real cost of a parking spot (plus the space of the access ways), and cost of maintenance of the place and so. Probably the prices currently charged are pretty reasonable (except for the street parking prices).

Computers are useless. They can only give you answers. -- Pablo Picasso