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Comic Sales Soar After Artist Engages 4chan Pirates 305

An anonymous reader writes "Steve Lieber, the artist behind the graphic novel Underground, discovered that someone on 4chan had scanned and posted the entire comic. Rather than complaining, he joined the conversation, chatting with the 4channers about the comic... and the next day he saw his sales jump to unheard-of levels, much higher than he'd seen even when the comic book was reviewed on popular sites like Boing Boing."

Heroic Engineer Crashes Own Vehicle To Save a Life 486

scottbomb sends in this feel-good story of an engineer-hero, calling it "one of the coolest stories I've read in a long time." "A manager of Boeing's F22 fighter-jet program, Innes dodged the truck, then looked back to see that the driver was slumped over the wheel. He knew a busy intersection was just ahead, and he had to act fast. Without consulting the passengers in his minivan — 'there was no time to take a vote' — Innes kicked into engineer mode. 'Basic physics: If I could get in front of him and let him hit me, the delta difference in speed would just be a few miles an hour, and we could slow down together,' Innes explained."

Comment Re:Makes one wonder (Score 2, Informative) 58

The difference between Facebook's privacy problems and Google's is that you knew Facebook's problems when you made the account. Google Buzz pretty much disclosed your frequently emailed contacts without the user doing anything. If Facebook automatically friended you to certain people, it would get sued for the same reason.

Comment Re:Legal true, but what about moral? (Score 1) 973

Creative works used to be funded by either patronage or live performances

If you think about it, they still are. The recording industry are those patrons. However, the patrons these days are businesses. They fund a lot of people who end up failing, but they try to make up for their losses by making fortunes off of the few who succeed.

Comment Re:I just wrote this guy an email: (Score 1) 973

You just "composed" the above comment. FOR FREE. Why?

People volunteer all of the time. But they have a side job that they need to make money. Much less music would get composed if composers could not earn a living.

The music industry would be tiny. Etc.

Here's the part where you're supposed to explain why that's a bad thing.

Do you enjoy listening to music? Do you enjoy having a huge selection of songs to choose from?

Comment Re:Computer Generated Sheet Music (Score 1) 973

I wonder how hard it would be to computer generate every possible combination of music in music sheet form.

Let's assume that the smallest increment used was a 16th note and the range is that of a piano (88 notes). In one measure of only 16th notes, there are 88^16 possibilities (about 10^31). If each note took up 2 bytes (note and length taken into account), then that one simple measure would take up about 2*10^22 gigabytes. Where are you ever going to find that space? Now let's vary that measure with quarter notes, half notes, triplets, etc. And also add multiple notes at a time (harmonies). The possibilities are endless. Combine that with mixing/matching measures, having many measures in a song, and adding every possible combination of lyrics, and there is not enough space on the surface of the earth to store the harddrives required for this task.

Comment Re:I just wrote this guy an email: (Score 5, Interesting) 973

Copyright isn't an inalienable right.

There are very few inalienable rights. I do not see why this is relevant

Copyright is a recent concept. As recent as the Renaissance.

For someone trying to cite history in your argument, you sure know little about it. All of the inalienable rights as we know them today derived from the Enlightenment which was centuries after the Renaissance. The term "inalienable right" was coined in the 1600s.

Before that, you could own physical property, but Ideas were free. If you created a magnanimous work of art, that work of art belonged to the human kind. Then, you could earn a living by performing live, doing work for hire, etc.

Yes, and the playwrights were dirt-poor.

The motive: To ban unwanted books. In a word: Censorship. This concept of owning ideas and controlling what you did with them was nothing but lies, just like the rest of christianity.

Yes, the Catholic Church wanted censorship. But copyright has nothing to do with censorship. The Catholic Church was trying to stop the spread of new ideas, ideas that might threaten them. Copyright law allows the spread of new ideas, but does not allow the unauthorized replication of old ideas.

Nobody owns ideas. Nobody owns art. They belong to the human kind. Period. Any attempt to control ideas is nothing but another fascist atempt at control of this Orwellian society.

It is true that no one can own ideas like they can own a screwdriver. That is why copyright law was invented. The idea is to give incentive to create. If no one paid for ideas, then no one could make a living off coming up with those ideas. The only composers would be rich people who could live off of their savings. The music industry would be tiny. Etc.

Now, there is a hugI de difference between the NEED to make a living, and some stupid god-given right to be given money just because we create.

Wow. I don't even have a response to that. Just wow...

I do believe, like many other creators, that our creations are like our childs. You don't own your children. You have to feed them, care for them, and protect them until they are mature enough to have a life on their own. And then they are gone. They are as free as you are.

Yes, you are right. And that is why copyrights expire, just like children grow up.

A more valid analogy here would be if you made a house that was a replica of the house your friend was building. And it would be totally ok.

Your friend put so much work into making that design for the house. He spent hours and hours. Time that he could have spent building houses and making more money. Now you come along and take his design without compensation. You didn't have to spend all of those hours creating the design. It doesn't cost you a penny, but it cost him a lot (remember, time is money). Now is that fair?

Comment Re:simple math (Score 3, Informative) 973

But you can't substitute an mp3 for sheet music. You use an mp3 to listen to a song. But if you want to perform a song for a talent show, you need to know all of the notes and rhythms. Unless you have a very well trained ear, you will not be able to easily play all of the notes just from listening to the song (unless you listen to it quite a lot).

Comment Re:It's not "trade" (Score 5, Informative) 973

You are allowed to share, as long as it is the original copy. That's how libraries work. You are allowed to buy a piece of sheet music and give it to a friend. But you are not allowed to buy a piece of sheet music and give your friend a replica. Then there are 2 copies and you only paid for one. Without DRM, it is nearly impossible to share music or sheet music legally on the internet. To share it legally would mean deleting your copy when you send it to a friend.

A Composer's-Eye View of the Copyright Wars 973

bonch writes "As an experiment, composer Jason Robert Brown logged onto a site illegally offering his sheet music for download and contacted hundreds of users, politely asking them to stop listing the material. Most complied, some were confused, and a few fought back. Brown chronicles a lengthy exchange he had with a teenage girl named Brenna, which provides an interesting insight into the artists' perspective of the copyright debate. He also responds to several points raised in comments to the article and says, 'I don't wish to be the enemy; I'm just a guy trying to make a living.'"
Social Networks

"David After Dentist" Made $150k For Family 234

It turns out recording your drugged child pays pretty well. 7-year-old David DeVore became an overnight sensation when his father posted a video of his ramblings after dental surgery. To date that video has made the DeVore family around $150,000. Most of the money came from YouTube, but the family has made $50k from licensing and merchandise. From the article: "The one seemingly minor decision to make the video available all over the Internet set off a whirlwind of changes for the DeVore family. Within just four days, 'David After Dentist' received 3 million views on YouTube and the younger David quickly became an Internet celebrity. His father quit his job in residential real estate (did we mention they live in Florida?), and the family started selling T-shirts featuring cartoon drawings of their son post-dental surgery."
Input Devices

Software Describes Surveillance Footage In AI-Generated Text 132

holy_calamity writes "A computer vision research group at UCLA has put together a system that watches surveillance footage and generates a text description of the events in real time. It only works on traffic cameras for now but demonstrates how sophisticated computer vision is becoming. Interestingly, the system was built thanks to a database of millions of human-labeled images put together by Chinese workers."

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