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Comment Re:Really?!? (Score 1) 1448

I agree with your argument that a civil union that is equal under law to marriage is equal in it's application. However, the name does carry weight, and calling something that is equal in every respect by a different name marginalizes it.

For example, suppose we called immigrants who have gained citizenship "Legal Immigrants," while calling people born in the country "citizens." Under law, we say that a "Legal Immigrant" is exactly the same as a "Citizen," but we just call them something else. This has the effect of stigmatizing the Legal Immigrant, and even if by law they are the same, many people will view them as different, which is a problem.

Also, the clerical and legal challenges involved in updating the entirety of the legal code at Federal, State and Local levels would not be insignificant.

Comment Re:Derivative work (Score 1) 344

The FCC release new regulations regarding Closed Captioning last year. The rollout schedule is a bit confusing, but the basic gist is that any content that was broadcast over the air or cable/satellite with CCs must also have CCs when it is distributed over IP (e.g. Netflix, Amazon Instant, iTunes). I *think* that after 2015 or 2016, all content distributed over IP must have CCs.

Comment Re:Fuck 'em (Score 1) 344

Yes, but in many cases it is cheaper to buy an english only version of a movie than one with local subtitles. The MPAA want to preserve this charging of countries other than the US more money for the same crap.

Are you saying that content owners are charging more per unit in the non-English territories? I'm not aware of that being the case (though I'm on the B2B end of the business, so I'm not intimately familiar with consumer prices), other than cases where there is a supply and demand difference.

From the cost side, it does cost extra money to prepare content of international release (e.g. standards conversion, censorship editing, subtitling), but in the grand scheme of things, these costs are probably not material (i.e. less than $50k per title). When you start talking about dubbing, things get a lot more expensive.

The costs can be prohibitive for smaller markets. If you have a language with only a few million speakers, your content has to have a much wider appeal before it makes sense to distribute to that territory. You'll see Avengers translated to Swedish, but you're not likely to see a small budget film like Fun Size, especially if it failed at the US box office.

Comment Re:Fuck 'em (Score 1) 344

everything they write is purely commentary on the movie, which just happens to be able to sync up with the actual video/audio. The fact that the studios eventually offer a similar product for sale is neither here nor there -- they have no copyright claim over the subtitles.

How does transcribing dialogue from a movie, translating it, and publishing the result differ from translating a book and publishing the result?

Comment Re:Fuck 'em (Score 2) 344

contract with the fansubbers, and pay them for their work.

The post production company I work for contracts with a vendor whose business model is to originate closed captions by crowd sourcing. Basically you get paid per minute of video you transcribe via their web portal.

In fact, all of our subtitle translation work is done via contracting, so there is opportunity for fansubbers to get paid for their work.

Comment Re:And this is why I'll never live in a walled gar (Score 1) 409

If I win I resubmit my app? Is that a serious response. What do I do in the mean time while i'm losing profit.

This is partially a problem of Trademark law. Any affected developer should be able to get an temporary injunction from a judge saying Apple doesn't have enforce the claim until the suit is settled in court. However, Apple still has the right to enforce it if they want, just like they can remove apps that use the work "Green" in the title if they really wanted to.

Comment Re:20 years later ... (Score 1) 303

In year 2012 as I type this message, whenever people talk about joblessness, they blame China for stealing their jobs.

I foresee this scenario to be changed somewhat in the year 2032 ...

This is very worrying. Just as we've seen 1st World manufacturers replace their labor with automation and cheaper offshore labor, now we see that cheaper, off shore labor being replaced by automation. What does a world with an Chinese structural unemployment rate of 10% look like? It's hard to suss out, but it's possible that we will see an even larger income inequality, with a permanent underclass.

Comment Re:Utility (Score 1) 419

The subtle point of my response was that you can't price internet connectivity the same way you price a physical commodity. There is a real cost associated with purifying water or generating electricity that is easy to measure. The cost structure associated with connectivity is very different. For the physical utilities, you have a significant fixed cost and a relatively large marginal cost. For something like connectivity, you have an significant fixed cost and a relatively small variable cost.

If I leave my tap dripping all month and use 100 gallons of water, the cost to the utility is the same as if I used that 100 gallons all day. The same is true of internet connectivity, except that bursts of usage can have a much more dramatic impact on the end user experience (both for me and for other customers). That doesn't appear to be the case for water/sewer utilities, and only seems to affect the electricity market during periods of extreme weather or extreme manipulation (e.g. Enron).

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Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.