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Comment Figure out how to break Berne (Score 1) 309

Figure out how to break Berne, and this might actually happen. Article 5(2): "The enjoyment and the exercise of these rights shall not be subject to any formality" Formalities include registration. (Tho' there is no requirement that it be a felony in Berne.) http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ip/berne/trtdocs_wo001.html

Comment Re:Berne convention is better than US copyright la (Score 1) 309

I agree with you about the registration requirements being a big problem.

The Berne convention states (Article 5 (2)): "The enjoyment and the exercise of these rights shall not be subject to any formality" However, the US requires registration in order to get statutory damages and attorney's fees. ( http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ01.pdf pg 7) I wonder if registration could be required for things like takedown notices.

I do wonder how far it would be possible to go without needing to modify the Berne convention. For example, it states (Article 9 (2)) that: "It shall be a matter for legislation in the countries of the Union to permit the reproduction of such works in certain special cases, provided that such reproduction does not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work and does not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the author." It might be possible to argue that orphan works are a special case in that they are not being normally exploited and the author has abandoned their legitimate interests.

Comment I think the next copyright extension will be hard (Score 4, Insightful) 309

I think the next copyright extension will be very hard to pass. Back in 1976 and 1998 when copyright extensions were passed, it was not very obvious that out of copyright materials were easier to obtain. Project Gutenberg existed in 1998, but it was not very well known. Now, most people know about Project Gutenberg or Google Books. It will be much harder for the copyright term extension lobby to argue for term extension when the downsides are so obvious. I guess we will what happens before 2018.

Comment The whole point of copyright is consumers (Score 1) 309

The whole point of US copyright is providing works to consumers. Think about it, would a book be of much use if the author was paid but no body ever read it? Paying for it creates dead-weight losses that are necessary under the current system, but ideally should be minimized.

http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2002/1/8/122920/9442

Comment Berne convention is better than US copyright law (Score 1) 309

The details are somewhat complicated, but in most cases the Berne convention is better than current US law. For example, under the Berne convention, copyrights for movies only last 50 years (Article 7 (2)), but under US law is 95 years. Copyrights for a new book last 70 years after the author's death under US law, but only 50 years after the author's death under the Berne convention (Article 7 (1)). For photographs, the term is 25 years under Berne (Article 7 (4)), and 70 years after the photographer's death in US law.

http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ip/berne/trtdocs_wo001.html

For some cases it the current term under US law is longer than the Berne convention, for example, a work written in 1923 will expire in 2018 (Publication + 95 years), but if the author died in 1975, it would still be under copyright until 2025 (author death + 50 years).

The Berne convention allows countries to keep shorter terms, but I don't think that it allows countries to go back to there shorter terms than the Berne convention allows after they extend them. See Article 7 (7).

I think it would be very useful to pass a law in the US that the copyright term should be the minimum of current law or the Berne convention.

Comment Intelligent computers is a religious concept (Score 1) 148

In the book Religion Explained by Pascal Boyer, Boyer states that humans have large ontological categories that we group stu into. These categories deal with the very nature of being. Ontological categories include Animal, Person, Tool (or artifact), Natural object, and Plant.[Religion Explained, pg 78] Humans have default attributes that we assume that an item in a given category has. So for example, if we are told that something is an animal, we know that it started out small, will grow bigger, and will eventually die. Religious beliefs tend to involve information that is counterintuitive to the category involved.[Religion Explained, pg 65] For example ghosts are in the category of people, but have the counterintuitive physical property of being able to pass through walls. Boyer lists the following possibilities for tools: “Tools and other artifacts can be represented as having biological properties (some statues bleed) or psychological ones (they hear what you say).”[Religion Explained, pg 78] wrote Boyer.

Artifacts don’t think, and artifacts do what they are made to do. A Carburetor is an artifact, and carburetors don’t think, and they will keep mixing gasoline with air unless they break. I believe that in the most likely course of events, there will soon be computers that are smarter than humans and they will not obey us. Thinking artifacts that don’t obey humans t Pascal Boyer’s denition of a religious-like concept. I believe that it is unusually hard to think critically about thinking artifacts because of how tied-in with religion the concepts are.

For the rest of the a sermon I gave: http://jjc.freeshell.org/sermons/there_is_no_map.html

Comment Turing test is biased against A.I. (Score 2) 148

My guess is that strong A.I. will be smarter than humans long before it passes a Turing test, since that requires the computer to accurately pretend to be a human. Humans get lots of practice interacting with other humans, and so we are fairly good at noticing when something is not quite right. Now, maybe if the person was told that there was a computer, a human, a space alien, or a dolphin on the other end (CHAD test), and as long as the computer convinced the person it wasn't a computer it wins, the Turing test would be more fair. By the time computers can reliably convince a human that they are a human in an extended dialog, they will be vastly more capable than humans.

Comment Almost zero-energy is when the robots take over (Score 1) 144

About the only advantage that neurons have over transisters is energy consumption. Compare the amount of energy that a computer takes that is computationally equivelent to a human (20 watts versus millions of watts): http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=computers-vs-brains

Comment Re:The FCC heavily regulates SDRs (Score 1) 153

Thank you for your posts, they have been useful. Changing the receiving laws has been discussed before such as at http://www.arrl.org/forum/topics/view/112 Physically, there have to be rules on transmitting, since bandwidth is limited. (For example, the entire available radio bandwidth between the maximum usable frequency and the lowest usable frequency between say, South America and Europe is less than a single gigabit Ethernet connection.) I am not sure how the rules should operate in with SDR's.

Comment test equipment exception (Score 1) 153

In order for the test equipment to apply they must be "marketed exclusively as test equipment" title 47 vol 1 15.121(c). However from the website http://pervices.com/about.html it states "Phi can capture over the air waves, so with the right app, you can watch cable for free." Therefore, Per Vices is marketing the Phi to areas besides test equipment users, so it is illegal.

Comment Recieving is restricted (Score 1) 153

Receiving is restricted as well. Ellis D. Tripp (755736) also posted on this:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2010-title47-vol1/xml/CFR-2010-title47-vol1-sec15-121.xml

"scanning receivers and frequency converters designed or marketed for use with scanning receivers, shall ... Be incapable of operating (tuning), or readily being altered by the user to operate, within the frequency bands allocated to the Cellular Radiotelephone Service "

See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Mobile_Phone_System#Frequency_bands

Comment Five possible futures (Score 1) 269

1. Indistinguishable from magic.
2. No humans any more.
3. The sky is the limit (because the robot won’t let humans leave earth).
4. Thou shalt not create transistors.
5. Philosophical materialism is false.

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