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Comment This is exactly what musicians want. (Score 1) 197

I understand that Google-bashing is pretty popular in these comments, but speaking as someone connected to the music industry, this is exactly what musicians have been trying to achieve, though they may not know it. Musicians have (foolishly) been trying to deregulate music licensing to allow for fair market rates, negotiable, as opposed to statutory licensing models currently used. Never mind that the publisher takes a greater share off the top, this is what a fair market rate looks like. Publicity isn't a right; it will either be worth it to musicians or not to accept new licensing terms. If enough say no, then Google's services will be devalued in turn. This is exactly what musicians and songwriters wished for, and now they're getting it.

Comment Re:NSA is a Federal Agency (Score 2) 96

It will slow the Feds down about as much as a mild speed bump would slow down an Abrams tank. State agencies cannot preempt a federal administration's scheme. The DOJ would only need to take California to court for enacting a law that obstructs the general scheme and scope of authority of the National Surveillance Agency, and the law will be struck down as unconstitutional. States cannot issue laws that bind or obstruct federal activities, well-intentioned as those laws may be. This is the same reason Arizona's bill to enforce immigration standards, even though under the same general framework as the national immigration laws, were nevertheless held unconstitutional. You might get it tied up for a few months, but the same could be accomplished by simply having state employees voluntarily refuse to cooperate. It's a feel-good PR law, and perhaps a needed one, but it's clearly unconstitutional under the modern regulatory agency / separation of powers framework.

Comment Repeating something does not make it true (Score 1) 297

Pretty much every third comment in this thread has someone claiming that all U.S. airspace falls under the control of the FAA, but that is patently untrue. The FAA, as a regulatory agency, only has the authority that Congress has granted it in the CFR under the FAAA. That authority extends to overseeing the safe operation of interstate aircraft travel. That concept extends the FAA regulation to in-state travel as it reasonable affects interstate travel through U.S. airspace. However, this is not without limitations. The FAA does not control buildings under a certain height, ground operations, municipal airport operations until planes enter federal airspace, and more. Additionally, the FAA does not control non-aircraft. The FAA cannot regulate your vehicle, or a flying bullet, or even an rc flyer. The only regulatory statement ever published about RC (drone) operations is an advisory opinion published in a circular. The industry has self-policed under a different, unofficial ruleset published by the Academy of Model Aeronautics. The FAA, other than through an advisory opinion - which is not authoritative as a rule of law - has never attempted to regulate R.C. operation below 250 feet. Nor did it ever insist that it had the authority to do so. As such, until the FAA issues administrative laws regulating the operation of drones and Congress authorizes those rules, assuming those rules are even constitutional (which they won't be if they promote the same blanket prohibition standards the FAA is applying now), the FAA has absolutely zero authority over recreational drone use and arguably no authority over commercial drone use. Please learn administrative law before posting blanket false statements about what federal agencies can and can't do.

Comment Re:The Safe Bet Here (Score 1) 173

It's not about having "a phone" killed. It's about the ability to have phoneS killed. Plural.

No. I intentionally decided against the paranoid option.

What purpose would it serve for the NSA to brick a bunch of phoneS at one time?

Other than making a very big, very public story? Which would get a LOT of airplay in the media.

If the NSA needs service cut in a specific area they can already do that.

You mean like how the installation of clothes-penetrating image scanners wouldn't need to be implemented when dangerous objects can already be better detected by more conventional screens and selected pat-downs? It's for the same reason the U.S. has toyed with the idea of an Internet kill switch and a way to disable cars remotely: when one becomes addicted to power, the ends of power obtained justify the means of obtaining it.

The federal government does not particularly care what temporary effect such measures will have on media and the general public; the ability to do it at all justifies (to them) its implementation.

Comment Re:FCC Shouldn't Ban It, But Airlines Should (Score 1) 340

Time, place, and manner restrictions. If there is something about the location, time, or manner in which the speech is made that is compelling enough to warrant a restriction, the government has the right to restrict such speech. Critics consider this to be a carte blanche to government regulation of content and speech, but it is also what prevents you from violating city noise ordinances and from screaming incessantly in a court room. It also is what creates so-called "speech-free zones." I personally would like to see the issue left in the hands of airline policy, but because airlines are common carriers and there is something compelling about being trapped in an aluminum tube with hundreds of potential chatterboxes, I can definitely see the government believing it has the right to regulate speech to prevent common-law based nuisances.

Case in point, a bill has been proposed to prevent phone use on airplanes despite the FCC's proposed lift on restrictions. The bill is co-sponsored by Lamar Alexander and Dianne Feinstein. Any topic that can get those two muppets to agree and side with one another must be a topic of nuclear concern.

Comment Re:Why in God's name... (Score 1) 69

That may have been true several versions ago, but it isn't true now. Just tried a forensic analysis on my rooted device and it did not recover any .nomedia files (other than ones I had placed in there for other programs). Yes, the data still remains on the drive, but it functions the exact same way as deleting a file using a file manager. The reason forensic analysis is able to recover the data is not because it is readily accessible on the drive but because the actual file information persists on the disk. From the third-to-last paragraph of the article:

The reality is that it is notoriously difficult to remove data from mobile devices simply because of the way data is stored using the 'wear levelling' technique. Since mobile devices are so regularly recycled for newer versions, this means that Snapchat photos that users believe no longer exist may be passed on to unknown third parties, and could be retrieved with forensic software.

Comment Re:Why in God's name... (Score 1) 69

They are deleted the same way that any normal OS deletes a photo -- removing the reference information from the drive header, thus marking the bits the data occupies as safe for rewriting. Until the bits are written over, the file remains intact. There's nothing at all disingenuous about stating the photos are deleted. Perhaps they aren't subject to a null-0 or random data string erasure, but the file is still, by all general computing definitions, deleted. Or do you think that pressing the delete key makes the file on your computer also disappear forever?

Comment Re:So what? (Score 1) 944

No it isn't. A daylight color LED has an average spectrum output that approximates the bell curve of natural daylight, but use a spectrometer and you'll see that an LED has jagged peaks and dead spots in certain frequencies. You're using multiple colors to approximate a full BBR entity rather than a single filament that can produce across a full spectrum of visible light. An incandescent burns at nearly a perfect bell curve.

I'm not enough of an engineer to know why my friend who works for a power company gets so incensed by the incandescent ban, but he positively goes berserk every time someone brings it up with him. Something about how incandescents soften out the power grid? All I know is that he's said LEDs and CFLs wreak havoc on our local power grid. Not to mention the power efficiency / pollution issues are moot here, since we're all hydroelectric. All this has done for my area is increase groundwater contamination from the CFL in mercury bulbs. Furthermore, this is not the realm of government to force development of new technologies by arbitrarily outlawing old ones. The parable of the broken window is perfectly applicable here.

Slashdot... where we run multiple 600+-watt servers in our homes and then congratulate ourselves for changing our lightbulbs.

Comment Re:Gums up the narrative that IP is for everyone (Score 1) 185

No, you're missing the whole point of trademark law. Trademark law is supposed to protect against consumer confusion. Let's say the owner of Quickie decides to dump tens of thousands (businesses are expensive) into revamping machines, improving QoS, adding WiFi and a cable subscription, etc. I think this is a dumb assumption because you're assuming Quickie can even afford to invest in better business practices both in terms of start-up costs and in terms of margins based on revenue generated, but let's even put that aside. We'll pretend Quickie can out-compete Quicky through better business practices.

Quicky, on the other hand, runs a dump. One of the machines electrocuted a guy and their dryers burn clothes. The place is a dump. People get robbed in the parking lot.Cynthia's friend Karl is new to the neighborhood and asks her, "Hey Cynthia, I need a good local laundromat. Know any good ones in the area?" She responds, "For the love of God, don't go to Quicky. Those guys are awful." Karl responds, "Quickie is that bad, huh? Okay, I'll avoid them." He then goes to Bumble and Tumble Laundromat a few blocks over.

No matter how much Quickie improves its business, Quicky will always hurt their business by confusing customers into thinking that they are actually Quickie or into thinking that they are the same business. That is why trademark law exists, and protection is surprisingly affordable to most businesses. Registration is only $275 for federal protection. Quickie's battle is not the same as EA, and they don't have to spend the same gobs of money on lawyers and court fees. 1) It's not going to be litigated beyond the trial court, most likely; 2) there aren't gobs of corporate e-mails to pore through in discovery; and 3) the neighborhood IP attorney isn't going to be as expensive because he or she won't have to specialize in that form of law.

Comment Point Missed (Score 1) 199

The issue isn't whether the employee (or computer) is an agent and therefore authorized to file any DMCA claim. The issue is whether the authorized agent sent the notice "in good faith." The conundrum is that fair use does not have a bright line test. WB will claim it has no means of knowing whether a use is fair, so all DMCA claims are in good faith. The problem with this argument is that it doesn't work in pre-internet copyright terms. Early dismissal and summary judgment and counter-damages were common where the plaintiff should have known the use was fair. Basically, the problem is that no one can categorize, legally, whether a use is fair except for a judge, and by then you're eyeballs deep in legal fees.

Comment Legal Analysis (Score 2) 281

IANAL, but I am familiar with the business. For those of you claiming this is self-destructive, the NMPA as well as individual publishers actually license the lyrics right to certain lyrics websites. The publishers own a valid copyright in the lyrics alone, so legally speaking, republication of the lyrics without copyright license is infringement. Several lyrics websites are officially licensed and sanctioned. I won't name names, but you can usually tell which are licensed and which aren't by the quality and accuracy of the lyrics on the site.

Usually the publishers steer clear of these sites due to lack of personal jurisdiction, or at best make half-hearted efforts by throwing around a take-down notice here or there. Publishers want to collect money, and they're well aware that going after Lars Lokke Ummerstal in Latvia isn't going to be profitable. However, take-down notices are relatively cheap and easy, and I believe the idea is to stick by principle and crack down on infringing websites in order to have a chilling effect on copyright infringement generally. This is not new, or particularly newsworthy.

It's also not really all that infuriating, from a copyleft perspective. Because publishers are licensing their copyrights to lyrics and tablature, they aren't strangling the marketplace of ideas. The only real question is whether or not the sites are unfairly targeting websites legitimately engaging in fair use (as opposed to those actually making money off of advertising revenue and merely claiming their use is fair), but, as fair use is an affirmative defense and not a bright line rule, there's no way for a site to prove as a threshold matter that their use is fair.

Comment Re:The aithor is confused. (Score 2) 259

This isn't as straightforward now as it used to be. Google has now introduced full-sized image search which allows people to pull images directly from their Google search page rather than linking to the source page. Once upon a time, Google was able to get away with this because it only linked small-sized thumbnails that weren't suitable replacements to the original. The searcher actually had to link to the page to get the content, as you point out.

Now, however, the searcher can get the content, full-sized, directly from the search link without ever hitting the original site. The bandwidth still comes from the original site, but the image can be seen entirely within the Google context. Fascinatingly, this full-sized (as opposed to thumbnail) image linking is exactly the example that the judge in Perfect 10 v. Google, Inc. , which legitimized fair use of image searches, declared would not be an example of fair use.

Google has seemed to have entirely forgotten about that. Curiously, no lawsuits have popped up since. Granted, this is now in the days of robots.txt, but the law hasn't exactly caught up to discern the difference. Surely somebody with an interest in Google's deep pockets would sue for copyright infringement.

That said, the problem is clearly not that "technology" gets preferential treatment but that what one defines as "fair use" is tremendously murky and cannot be statutorily determined. It has to be decided on a case-by-case basis, and the pattern of ruling on what constitutes fair use has absolutely no correlation to itself. For example, is it a fair use to watch a movie in a park (semi-public place that might warrant a public performance) to a group of 6 close friends and family? 12? On a big-screen? Who knows.

Until fair use gets locked down as to something other than "whatever the judge feels like is fair," everyone on both sides of the equation will scream about perceived injustice.

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