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Comment Re:Good (Score 4, Insightful) 218

Orphaned works are most certainly not a fiction. As someone who regularly works with libraries, archives, & museums, I can say with some certainty that orphan works are huge problems for such entities, and copyright law as it's currently instantiated ensures that these works may disappear forever. Orphaned works are the majority of works in existence.

See the Copyright Office comments (and the US Copyright Office favors strong copyright laws)
http://www.copyright.gov/orphan/
See the Association of Research Libraries comments to the Copyright Office
http://www.arl.org/bm~doc/lcacomment0305.pdf
See the Society of American Archivists Best Practices
http://www.archivists.org/standards/OWBP-V4.pdf
See some of Peter Hirtle's comments.
http://blog.librarylaw.com/librarylaw/2009/09/orphan-works-and-the-google-book-settlement.html ...and so on.

Orphaned works is a huge issue, and will become more of an issue as we attempt to work with and preserve digital works.

Censorship

Italy Floats Official Permission Requirement for Web Video Uploads 131

An anonymous reader writes with some bad news from Italy, noting that new rules proposed there would "require people who upload videos onto the Internet to obtain authorization from the Communications Ministry similar to that required by television broadcasters, drastically reducing freedom to communicate over the Web." Understandably, some say such controls represent a conflict of interest for Silvio Berlusconi, "who exercises political control over the state broadcaster RAI in his role as prime minister and is also the owner of Italy's largest private broadcaster, Mediaset."
Image

Police Called Over 11-Year-Old's Science Project Screenshot-sm 687

garg0yle writes "Police in San Diego were called to investigate an 11-year-old's science project, consisting of 'a motion detector made out of an empty Gatorade bottle and some electronics,' after the vice-principal came to the conclusion that it was a bomb. Charges aren't being laid against the youth, but it's being recommended that he and his family 'get counseling.' Apparently, the student violated school policies — I'm assuming these are policies against having any kind of independent thought?"
Mars

Mars Images Reveal Evidence of Ancient Lakes 128

Matt_dk writes "Spectacular satellite images suggest that Mars was warm enough to sustain lakes three billion years ago, a period that was previously thought to be too cold and arid to sustain water on the surface, according to research published today in the journal Geology. Earlier research had suggested that Mars had a warm and wet early history but that between 4 billion and 3.8 billion years ago, before the Hesperian Epoch, the planet lost most of its atmosphere and became cold and dry. In the new study, the researchers analysed detailed images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is currently circling the red planet, and concluded that there were later episodes where Mars experienced warm and wet periods."
First Person Shooters (Games)

Infinity Ward Fights Against Modern Warfare 2 Cheaters 203

Faithbleed writes "IW's Robert Bowling reports on his twitter account that Infinity Ward is giving 2,500 Modern Warfare 2 cheaters the boot. The news comes as the war between IW and MW2's fans rages over the decision to go with IWnet hosting instead of dedicated servers. Unhappy players were quick to come up with hacks that would allow their own servers and various other changes." Despite the dedicated-server complaints, Modern Warfare 2 has sold ridiculously well.
Privacy

The "Hidden" Cost Of Privacy 217

Schneier points out an article from a while back in Forbes about the "hidden" cost of privacy and how expensive it can be to comply with all the various overlapping privacy laws that don't necessarily improve anyone's privacy. "What this all means is that protecting individual privacy remains an externality for many companies, and that basic market dynamics won't work to solve the problem. Because the efficient market solution won't work, we're left with inefficient regulatory solutions. So now the question becomes: how do we make regulation as efficient as possible?"
Education

California To Move To Online Textbooks 468

Hugh Pickens writes "Last year California spent $350m on textbooks so facing a state budget shortfall of $24.3 billion, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has unveiled a plan to save money by phasing out 'antiquated, heavy, expensive textbooks' in favor of internet aids. Schwarzenegger believes internet activities such as Facebook, Twitter and downloading to iPods show that young people are the first to adopt new online technologies and that the internet is the best way to learn in classrooms so from the beginning of the school year in August, math and science students in California's high schools will have access to online texts that have passed an academic standards review. 'It's nonsensical — and expensive — to look to traditional hard-bound books when information today is so readily available in electronic form,' writes Schwarzenegger. 'As the music and newspaper industries will attest, those who adapt quickly to changing consumer and business demands will thrive in our increasingly digital society and worldwide economy. Digital textbooks can help us achieve those goals and ensure that California's students continue to thrive in the global marketplace.'"
Sci-Fi

New EVE Expansion Nears, Possible Mobile Plans 74

As the EVE Online creators ramp things up for the free Apocrypha expansion due out next week, lead designer Noah Ward sat down with MTV's Multiplayer blog to discuss the future of the game and what characteristics continue to keep players interested. Ward says they've considered branching out to consoles, but ended up deciding that the game doesn't really lend itself to console play. He left the door open to using smartphones for "augmenting" gameplay. Ward also mentioned that upcoming space MMOs Jumpgate: Evolution and Star Trek Online are so different from EVE that they're not really worried about direct competition; EVE thrives in part because of the player-generated drama and scandals, which few games pull off as well. Massively has gathered a variety of details about the Apocrypha expansion, which includes the game's first epic mission arc, and they've also posted some screenshots. CCP Games launched a website for the expansion containing concept art and interviews with some of the developers.

Comment Re:Funny.... it's not about the vaccine (Score 1) 1056

This particular case actually didn't address the mercury issue. There are other ongoing cases which do.

However, the current scientific consensus is also that the mercury used as a preservative in some vaccines (thimerosal) is not linked to autism. Of course, thimerosal was also phased out of vaccines several years ago due to all the hoopla.

Comment Re:They might be right, actually. (Score 1) 683

Er... not quite.

The use of the phrase "derivative right" is a bit misleading. Under copyright, there's the right to create a derivative work. For a work to be derivative, there needs to be fixation of that work in some tangible format, including electronic. There's no fixation here.

Similarly, not all performances are infringement. Copyright law covers *public* performances. This is not a public performance. If there is a public performance, it is the user of the device that is making that performance public, not any aspect of the device itself.

Even if that performance was somehow contrary to the ordinary rights of the author, I can't really argue that a private performance would not be a fair use.

Role Playing (Games)

Vanguard Dev Talks About the Game's Future 86

Massively sat down with Thom Terrazas, producer for Vanguard: Saga of Heroes about what the future holds now that the game has had time to stabilize after a rocky start. Terrazas talks about some of the upcoming content, and explains why they chose to develop in the direction they did. "A lot of the requests are a mix of high-end content requests. You know, keep delivering higher end content so that progress doesn't stop for our players. In addition there are many requests to fix current content. Those are the two things that the players have requested the most." He also provides some general information on their ideas for alternate advancement. "... the idea is you can build your character out so it's a bit more specialized in things like damage, or mitigation, or spell damage. So you can specialize any way you want. We're working on that now, and it's something we're looking to launch in the raiding portion of Pantheon. So if you really love your character and want to specialize in something more, be a little different then the rest of your class, then AAs will be coming with the second part of Pantheon so you can customize your character further in the higher level."
Games

Video Game Conditioning Spills Over Into Real Life 232

doug141 writes "Lessons learned in video games may transcend computers, PlayStations and Wiis. New research suggests that virtual worlds sway real-life choices. Twenty-two volunteers who played a cycling game learned to associate one team's jersey with a good flavored drink and another team's jersey with a bad flavored drink. Days later, 3/4 of the subjects avoided the same jersey in a real-world test. Marketers and lawyers will take note."
Businesses

Ars Examines Outlandish "Lost To Piracy" Claims and Figures 380

Nom du Keyboard writes "For years the figures of $200 billion and 750,000 jobs lost to intellectual property piracy have been bandied about, usually as a cudgel to demand ever more overbearing copyright laws with the intent of diminishing of both Fair Use and the Public Domain. Now ARS Technica takes a look into origin and validity these figures and finds far less than the proponents of them might wish."
The Almighty Buck

Game Devs Using One-Time Bonuses to Fight Used Game Sales 229

ShackNews reports on an emerging trend which sees game publishers offer one-time bonus codes to unlock extra content for certain titles. Rock Band 2, for example, comes with a code which will allow free 20-song download, but is only usable once. NBA Live '09 has functionality to update team rosters on a daily basis, but will only do so for the original owner. "'This information and data is very valuable and it wasn't free for us,' an EA representative explained on Operation Sports. 'T-Mobile is paying for it this year for all users who buy the game new. This is a very expensive tool to use, and if you don't buy it new, then you'll have to pay for this. It isn't greed at all.'"
Music

Copyright Board Lawyer Responds On Pandora's End 174

mattnyc99 writes "A month ago we talked about the impending death of streaming music site Pandora thanks to a very backwards fight over royalties. PopMech follows up with an article that, besides noting how insane it is that Pandora has to pay record labels for the bad songs that users skip, also gets the (three-member) Copyright Royalty Board to try and defend itself about why the government is determining royalty rates for the music industry. Quoting: 'It was uninvited,' says Richard Strasser, senior attorney for the Copyright Royalty Board. 'I don't think anybody was jumping up and down with joy in the government that they have this responsibility, but the former systems just weren't working out.'" No one seems to be trying to defend or explain why Internet radio is being hit so much harder than satellite or broadcast.

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