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Comment Re:U.S., cough, international pressure much? (Score 1) 166

What you and the broader industry keep assuming is that there is only one model, 'create stuff to get paid' which also frequently assumes some sort of royalty model for getting paid in perpetuity for some nice thing made a ludicrously long time ago. There is a good reason this sticks in the craw of so many people. The rest of the world that labors and toils for the infrastructure that allows society to live doesn't get to be paid in perpetuity for work they've done. They 'get paid to do work' and that pay (generally speaking) happens once per unit of work. There is nothing today that prevents artists from 'getting paid to create' instead of 'creating to get paid'. We live in a kickstarter era, if you have proof of talent you can take that to the market and simply ask them, 'will you pay me to make a thing?' And if so, they will get as much money as the market will support in advance. There is then NO REASON for them to be paid in perpetuity for that thing every time somebody copies/references/remixs it. They've gotten the money the market wanted to give them already. It should now be free to the rest of the world.

My fundamental problem with all IP law (copyrights and patents etc.) is that it presumes to dictate to people how they can and cannot use or configure their own property. If I have a storage medium, no government or corporation should be able to tell me that the way I order the bits on it magically makes it legal or illegal. Similarly for patents, if I want to use my tools and my raw materials to make something, the fact that somebody else thought of it first should be immaterial. And don't bring me any bullshit about innovation. More innovation is being stifled by patent law than buoyed by it, and indeed the winners are often not the small fry inventors but the conglomerates who get wind of their work and have both faster R&D and bigger legal departments. Patents go to people with the best patent lawyers, not necessarily actual inventors.

Comment Re:Crowdfunding?? (Score 1) 267

Eh? Investing makes sense when you want a return more than you care about the means by which it's derived. Crowdsourcing makes sense when you want a product to exist more than you care about a return -- it's useful for projects which simply won't generate a return, where the end result of the project (the product, media, &c being generated) is the goal in and of itself. They're different things, and one can reasonably choose either of them depending on their goals.

I don't know where you get the idea that anyone conflates the two.

Comment Alternatively just missing the eighties (Score 2) 587

The 16K cartridge was a standard extra piece on the ZX-81 system, along with your tape cassette recorder and your TV. People assumed if you didn't have the 16K cartridge, you must be a little kid or an initial customer still getting a good feedback from the keyboard. (Or a later customer, wanting to feel the keyboard feedback from his raw device again.) The cartridges were so standard that anyone with 1K or a third party 32K or 64K RAM pack was beset with incompatibility issues.

And Sinclair's 16K was a piece of garbage. The connection to the ZX-81 didn't have any gold plating and once the computer got blazingly hot, the contacts started developing oxide layers and getting fussy. The board was expanding, and the merest, briefest decoupling from the cartridge filled the screen with garbage. The ZX-81 did have a thin aluminum heat sink layer lining the outer black case, but its only connection to the board was a single thin aluminum prong sticking up to it.

Sinclair's reputation got cratered from its standard user experience. By the time you had typed in a thousand lines of strange BASIC out of a magazine, the RAM pack started wiggling around with every keypress. It always nailed you at your most vulnerable moment. It made everyone scream at least once.

Everyone was always swearing or lecturing: you should keep two casette tapes around, and every 100 lines, swap tapes, rewind fully, start recording, wait ten seconds, enter a SAVE command, wait a few minutes for the different-looking cassette-associated screen garbage to disappear, and then continue typing. If the permanent garbage appeared, you had to turn it off, let it cool for about fifteen minutes, rewind the correct tape, and then LOAD it once or twice or thrice until you could get the BASIC lines back off the tape.

Cheap no-name blank cartridges never worked for saving anything; you ended up starting over unless you bought (and kept buying) the sleekest, most expensive blanks. They had to take abuse well, which cassettes don't. I remember some insane procedures... always doing two or three SAVE sequences in a row, for later desperate moments when screen garbage come up the end, LOAD after LOAD after LOAD. I sometimes twirled tapes through with my fingers looking for any stretch that might have gotten crumpled or scratched, so I could dab krazy-glue on it, twirl the glue backwards into the cassette, make a new leader, and rewind to that from then on. Otherwise I quickly ran out of cassettes. My parents gave me a separate wastebasket just for them. When I did run out, I had to fish the garbage, and failing that, I would then pick out my crappiest albums and defeat their write-protects with a little scotch tape.

One trick that worked really well on the ZX-81 was the cooling system I developed. I was in seventh grade, so I fixed the problem recklessly. I filled a plastic bag with ice cubes, and left it on top of the case, at the spot where the aluminum prong "heat sink" came up to it inside. That greatly increased the temperature gradient up and down their cheap little 5 mm prong, and actually hardened the system a lot. You could type in much more code before the ice melted. (It yet crashed sometimes- this was still the eighties.) I still swapped cassettes in and out, but now I had two bags of water that I was also swapping in and out of the freezer, basically whenever that cartridge was plugged in. This system really upset my parents one day when they came into my bedroom and found a transparent plastic bag of hot melted water sitting on top of my Sinclair. I kept saying, "it keeps it from crashing!" but they never took me seriously. "Nothing keeps this thing from crashing."

Comment Re:Adblock + (Score 1) 156

ABP and their ilk might work effectively on sites where you do not have an "account". On sites that you do, they already have a mechanism to identify you and all ABP does would be to block the ad content from being displayed. The tracking and mining cannot be avoided.

Of course, if just not displaying the ads is your concern, all is well.

Even the paid Google Apps for Domain product has a check box to let Google display ads as it would for non-paid accounts. It probably implies Google is tracking and mining content from the paid accounts, even if the ads (which obviously utilize the output of the analytics) are not displayed.

In this context, it is laughable that anybody would pay FB to just not display ads, but have them tracked and their data mined anyway.

Comment Re:Gratuitous license are revocable (Score 1) 203

Which licenses, precisely, are you describing as "gratuitous"? Consideration is, after all, not a hard thing to find.

In the case of software using copylefted dependencies, the ability to use 3rd-party similarly licensed code is consideration for release the license. In the case of software under more permissive licenses, there's an argument to be made that public assistance in the development of same (bug reports, community support assistance, etc) acts as consideration for the license. If a single peppercorn is sufficient to establish compensation under common law, surely a well-researched bug report is worth more.

You ask for an example of a case when a "gratuitous" license (a term implying that absolutely no consideration is given, which I deny is the case in the situations given here) was not allowed to be withdrawn. Frankly, I'm not familiar with a single instance in which an OSI-approved license has been withdrawn in a US jurisdiction with respect to previously released codebases -- and were this a feasible thing, we'd have seen Oracle, SCO and others doing no end of it (particularly in the time period in which Microsoft was willing to spend money on convincing the world that using open source software in business was high-risk, and certainly had the funds to buy companies which owned copyright to the codebases of major OSS infrastructure, either directly or by proxy).

I'd be curious to hear about a case of revocation of an OSI-approved license being held valid in a US court, should such exist -- and suspect that, if one did make it to appeals, we'd be seeing the OSI and their friends weighing in as amici; it'd certainly be an interesting read.

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