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Comment No Asylum? (Score 3, Insightful) 778

No free speech in the UK, I get that (though I strongly disagree with it!), but why not offer asylum? Don't we believe in the right to free speech ourselves? Isn't this a perfect example of a situation in which we should, when someone comes to us who is being prosecuted for a crime that we do not consider to be a crime?

Comment Re:Starting? (Score 1) 272

Me camping out on your front lawn will never detract from your funds..

I'd have to pay to recover my ammunition, of course..

But seriously, you're comparing not getting perpetual compensation for something you wrote to invading your personal space? You could conceivably have your written song copied and distributed worldwide without even knowing about it. It's not a personal matter at all - you can't own words or ideas. That's why we call it copyright. It's a legal construct we invented specifically because actual ownership was an impossibility.

That said, they could simply work out a deal with the band (or bands) they sell the music to. 10% sounds good. Sure, without copyright, other bands could play and the writer wouldn't be compensated, but the original band will always do the best. If you need examples of this, look at the copyright situation in china. copies and (illegal) derivative work exist; the original makes the most money, the others, less.

Comment Cost of ownership? (Score 4, Funny) 172

The total cost of a windows box, the entire cost of ownership, is the up front cost of the MS software? Really?

Jesus, I've been a fool for using Linux on my personal systems. Why, considering all the man hours I've put into it, I would have saved virtually hundreds of dollars by paying for a quality Microsoft product!

I'm going to run out right away and buy a new operating system! Looking forward to never having to configure anything, and having a bug free system that does everything I want!

(Mods - Joke. Really.)

Comment Re:Starting? (Score 1) 272

There is a difference between morality and law. It's an important distinction. I'm well aware that the copyright law can be used to prevent children from singing 'happy birthday' because that particular song is copyrighted; and yet you'd be miserable scum to try to enforce that.

Which is why I asked for a moral, rather than legal, explanation.

I do agree that some form of protection for an artist is desirable, but imagine this world if it did not exist. People would still want authentic music from the actual artists, but they'd have to be the best - if some band could come along and do the music better than the original, then they would hit the top. We would still have mass production of music CD's and such, but those CD prices would be slashed dramatically, with a lot of smaller businesses putting them out. Bands would still make the money that they do make off of live performances. Really, we'd only get rid of the scum of the earth that leech off the current system. The people we care about (The Bands, and The People) would be just fine.

Need proof that music without copyright can still pull in money? You can still buy compilations of classical music, and people still pay to see performances of it. I would assert that, in combination with advertising and popular culture fanaticism, copyright (for music) is completely unnecessary.

Comment Re:Paging Ray Beckerman (Score 1) 272

Of course not, and from the individual point of view a lot of things don't make sense. I feel for those people, and as I said I consider it to be a noble cause to get them released.

That doesn't change the fact that they were imprisoned by mistake, and every mistake that causes innocent people to be imprisoned that we fix prevents an infinite number of future citizens from being imprisoned (well, assuming this society lasts forever, which I doubt, but you understand my meaning).

Think of it like your system; sure, if there's a trojan there you want to remove it, but shouldn't you put more effort into patching the vulnerabilities?

Comment Re:Why Is the Music Industry So Messed Up? (Score 1) 272

There are several good reasons that the music industry is corrupt as it is.

1. Old school players. ASCAP and company got into the game early and have maintained control throughout the years by primarily assaulting people with little financial backing. (clubs, notably)

2. Cash cow. The cost of reproduction is virtually nothing for the imaginary property produced, but you -have- to maintain a grip or lose significant profit. There's no non corrupt way to maintain that grip over people, so it's a corrupt industry.

3. Leading us into the third point, that save for the musicians themselves, the entire industry structure is inherently corrupt It's been discussed here ad nauseum, of course. The distributors exist to leech off the artist's popularity, and provide nothing in return. ASCAP exists to intimidate people into payment, providing nothing of value. The whole thing is based around the idea that copyright exists because Music can be owned, rather than the constitutionally valid idea that it exists so that music will be free to the public.

Comment Re:Starting? (Score 5, Insightful) 272

[quote]When you play a songwriter's composition in a way that makes you money (such as attracting customers), you owe that songwriter a cut. [/quote]

Why? No, seriously, why? It doesn't take money from the people who made the music, it doesn't even deny them CD sales in the way that piracy could theoretically do (though there is no hard evidence that it does).

The reason the stupid copyright law exists in the first place is to benefit the people! It isn't so that you can claim profit from each and every rendition of a song throughout space and time. A cover band playing a professional song will never detract from the professional group's funds, and I defy you to find anything to the contrary.

Explain the moral obligation society has to pay an artist for every single performance of work that he originated, please.

Submission + - Redirecting Malware Infects Hundreds Of Websites (

talkinsecurity writes: "Have you clicked on a Google search result in the past week or so and found yourself at a site you hadn't intended? It might not be your typing. Dark Reading reports that there is a new malware attack on the Web known as "Gumblar" that effectively replaces your Google searches with links of its own. These false links might take you to another site to generate advertising revenue, or they might take you to a malicious site, where you could be further infected by data-stealing malware. And while the idea of redirecting Web traffic isn't new to hackers, this particular JavaScript attack is especially virulent — it steals FTP credentials and morphs from site to site, or even between pages within the same site. And researchers say it's spreading fast — incidents involving the attack have increased 188 percent over the last week alone.;?articleID=217500218"

Submission + - Obama's Stem Cell Guidelines Threaten Research (

Death Metal writes: "Under the Obama administration's proposed rules for funding embryonic stem cell research, hundreds of existing cell lines could be ineligible, even those that qualified under President Bush.

The guidelines were written by the National Institutes of Health and are currently in draft form and expected to be finalized in July. But in their current state, they restrict funding to stem cell lines produced according to new rules that are only now being established. Few existing cell lines will meet those requirements.

"The so-called Presidential lines aren't suitable for actual medical application," said Patrick Taylor, deputy counsel at Children's Hospital Boston, who criticized the NIH guidelines in a paper published Thursday in Cell Stem Cell. "But we're talking about many, many more lines. The new lines were created with extensive ethical oversight. They're at stake here.""

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