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Comment Re:Useless academic is useless. (Score 1) 462

It's worthwhile in the long run just to move heavy industry and mining off world. They're just not good things to do in our environment. It would take a long while and a lot of work to make it cost effective, but it's probably better that we do it instead of giving up right off the bat.

(Plus the more that we can make useful things in space, for use in space, without having to launch them from the Earth's surface, the lower the costs will be)

Comment Re:Is 'Fair Use' Unfair To Humans? (Score 1) 259

you know the reason it is only sometimes enforced or even pursued Justice is not Free in the USA. Some justice costs more then others depending on the lawyer or depending on how much money can be taken by said lawyer.

I take that to mean that you are upset that in the US, civil legal services are not provided free of cost to all parties that request them. And that instead, we have a system whereby if a party wants legal representation in a civil matter (which would generally be wise to have), they must find a way to pay for it, which or may not be difficult depending on the specific matter at hand, and the costs may vary considerably from one attorney to another.

I sympathize, but it's difficult to see a good solution to this.

Should we prohibit anyone from hiring legal counsel? Should the government subsidize lawyers in civil practice? Should lawyers be obligated to take any client that requests their services? (Currently, in the US, we don't have to as a general rule) Should we return to trial by combat, and build a series of municipal thunderdomes across the land?

The current system is far from ideal, but I don't know of any solutions that seem to be practical and which don't simply introduce new problems. If you've got an idea, please tell us.

Thomas Jefferson was a salve owner, hardly worthy of being quoted in this century as far as anything related to ownership.

Yes, I'm sure he owned many salves. Balms and ointments too. But the fact that he did some bad things does not invalidate his argument as made in the earlier post. You're actually making an ad hominem argument.

Your land argument is again Rubbish.

You've yet to say why.

The only people who can afford Copyright protection in the whole world is people with enough money to protect it.

This seems to be a tautology, but it doesn't seem out of place with the "rubbish" argument I was making earlier. I said that people have copyrights only to the extent that they can either personally defend them (which doesn't apply to published works, unless you start killing people) or can convince others to respect them and help in their defense. That some people might want to be paid before helping to defend them fits right in.

Comment Re:Is 'Fair Use' Unfair To Humans? (Score 1) 259

First learn what Copyright is because what you have said is...Pure rubbish

Property law....Rubbish

Well, I'm a lawyer, I've taken a number of courses concerning copyright law (as well as the usual 1L property class), I've got an LL.M (a law master's degree) in IP, and I specialize in copyright and trademark law.

I think I have some idea of what I'm talking about.

As you seem to think otherwise, perhaps you'll enlighten me as to these things in at least as much detail as I have given in my earlier post.

You are free to do as you want but remember dont cry when the cops lock your ass up and take your freedom away because you feel you got some god give right to take things that dont belong to you without permission or pay.

Yes; that's exactly the sort of thing I was talking about. There are arbitrary rules which are enforced. Sometimes you can do what you want by working within the rules (eg buying and selling used copies without permission from or payment to copyright holders -- all legal as per 17 USC 109), sometimes you can change the rules (eg unlawfully making copies of certain sound recordings, whilst following the odd but usable rules in 17 USC 1008 and getting away with it, even in cases where you wouldn't've gotten away with it prior), and sometimes you just have enough force at your disposal that you can ignore the old rules and impose your own (eg the US having an official policy of piracy of foreign works for about a century).

Meanwhile, I'll leave you with this quote from former President Thomas Jefferson:

It is agreed by those who have seriously considered the subject, that no individual has, of natural right, a separate property in an acre of land, for instance. By an universal law, indeed, whatever, whether fixed or movable, belongs to all men equally and in common, is the property for the moment of him who occupies it, but when he relinquishes the occupation, the property goes with it. Stable ownership is the gift of social law, and is given late in the progress of society.

Comment Re:#1 tool a robot probe could carry to Europa: (Score 4, Interesting) 83

Humans would quickly die of radiation poisoning on the surface of Europa if they didn't have lots of shielding. Jupiter has massive radiation belts that basically make everything inside of the orbit of Callisto off limits to us.

Lets stick with unmanned probes for now.

Comment Re:Is 'Fair Use' Unfair To Humans? (Score 1) 259

That's right, the sole reason copyright exists is so the author/owners of creative works get paid handsomely.

If that were true, why aren't I getting paid handsomely for writing posts on Slashdot?

No. Copyright doesn't guarantee payment for authors and frankly isn't intended to primarily benefit authors (if at all).

Copyright is intended to benefit the public by encouraging authors to create and publish works which they otherwise would not have created and published, and also by placing as few restrictions as possible on the public, and even then for as short of a time as possible.

why is copyright limited to only a few decades?

It probably should be less. It certainly shouldn't be a very long time, or forever, as this would harm the public interest in having the work be in the public domain, which is the state in which the work is most useful for the public.

Frankly, we don't have to have copyright at all. We did fine without it for all of human history up until a very short while ago, comparatively. It's outlandish arguments like yours that strengthen the abolitionist movement. You should be grateful for whatever everyone else deigns to give you, as it's better than nothing.

Comment Re:Is 'Fair Use' Unfair To Humans? (Score 1) 259

Why do you beleave you have a right to anything others make using their own resources.

Why wouldn't you?

Let's look at real property law: if you claim to own a parcel of land, and no one disputes your claim, then while you certainly have possession of it, we don't really know that you own it because we aren't putting your claim to the test. It's like if I claimed to own the M78 nebula; I can say what I want, but no one would care. When there is a dispute, it boils down to force. If you can defend your parcel from a trespasser, you do own it. If not, then the trespasser owns it (and is now in a superior position to make such claims, being able to repel you). And since in practice there's always someone out there who is stronger than you, everyone who is on their own is in a precarious situation. Eventually the idea of an alliance comes about: you and your neighbor will ally to repel trespassers against your parcel. But why would your neighbor do this? Could be altruism, but probably in exchange for your assistance defending his parcel. The trespassers form alliances and the owners form alliances, and they all create various rules under which the alliance will operate.

For example, in the US, we have all agreed that the state has the right to tax property. (Not all places may do this, but this is a valid state power) If you're unable to pay, the state may seize your property to cover the payment. If you resist with force, you're considered the trespasser, few if any members of the alliance help you, and are subdued or maybe even killed. OTOH if you can raise enough of an alliance to help you, you could perhaps win, and change the rules to better suit yourself.

It's all artificial and grounded in consensus. Copyright is no different, except that it was created recently enough that there is no argument about its artificiality.

So no one seems to be arguing that you can be forced to create works if you don't want to, and no one seems to be arguing that if you have created a work, that you must share it with others. But if you have created and shared a work, you no longer have any ability to personally defend it from others. How could you? People have the inherent ability to reproduce the work and publish it themselves, once they have become aware of it. The only way to get them not to is to convince them to respect your wishes. And no one is likely to do that except out of altruism, or more likely, because there's something in it for them; something in it for them that is better than ignoring you and doing what they want right away.

Copyright attempts to be a system where the public will enjoy a greater benefit if they respect it than if they don't. If this stops holding true, why would it be respected? And even if it is true, why shouldn't it be reformed somewhat to make the benefit for the public the greatest possible benefit overall? Why should they settle for less? And these benefits for the public are not only in incentivizing the creation and publication of works which otherwise would not be created and published, but also in having as few (or no) restrictions on what the public can do, as rapidly as possible, if not immediately.

I hope you can put the rest together from there.

Comment Re:Copyright itself is problematic for technology (Score 1) 259

The way this system works is changing and Ansel Adams today could still charge money for prints of his photographs. Most likely he couldn't make the enormous amount of money he made in the past because once a picture had reached a wide enough level of distribution someone would scan it and let fly a free copy of it. Right, wrong, I'm the one with the wide-format scanner. What could Adams do to offset this? That's what we're figuring out in the present.

No, this is pretty well figured out.

In the fine arts, what matters most is the provenance of copies, not copyrights. An Adams print that Adams actually made is worth more than an identical print made by some guy. The work is the same and the quality of the image is the same; the difference comes from Adams having interacted with one copy and not the other.

Likewise, this is why an original Van Gogh can go for many millions of dollars at auction, but a poster, or even a perfectly accurate copy painted on canvas is worth but a tiny fraction of that.

This doesn't work for everyone; a DVD of a big summer action movie is not really worth more to me if it comes from a numbered, limited edition signed by the director. But it does work for some.

Even under copyright there was never a one-size-fits-all solution to incentivizing authors to create and publish works. I suggest using anything that has some overall positive effect, and having lots of alternatives so that odds are good that something will stick.

Comment Re:Copyright itself is problematic for technology (Score 1) 259

The Chicago Sun Times recently fired their photography staff. Is there some wellspring of photographers rushing to take pictures of all of the news events? Oh sure, a few people will upload pictures to Flickr of some big events, but I don't see anyone getting out of bed at night to cover the fires or disasters.

That's unrelated to copyright; it's simply a matter of paid labor.

If the Sun Times wants someone to mop the floor, they need to either find a volunteer, or pay someone to do it. Likewise, if they want photos of a particular thing, they need to find a volunteer or pay someone to do it. In that case the author (the photographer) isn't being motivated by a copyright and the potential to sell many copies of the photo for a length of time after; it's just paid labor, like the janitor with the mop.

Copyright might matter for the viability of the newspaper as a whole (or it might not) but paying for news photographers would work just the same even if copyright did not exist.

Comment Re:Why Should EA Profit from His Likeness? (Score 1) 207

It is akin to creating a CGI representation of an athlete or celebrity and using it in a TV commercial.

Even then, I think that the courts can take it too far sometimes. About twenty years ago, Samsung ran a series of ads for their line of VCRs, playing up how reliable they were, and how we would all still be using them in the future. (As I'm sure we all do)

One of the ads can be seen here:

Vanna White sued Samsung, claiming that the use of a prop robot wearing a wig and dress, and turning letters infringed on her publicity right. And she won. But I find the dissent in the case to be more compelling:

The majority contends that "the individual aspects of the advertisement ... [v]iewed together leave little doubt about the celebrity the ad is meant to depict." Majority Opinion at p. 1399. It derives this conclusion from the fact that Vanna White is "the only one" who "dresses like this, turns letters, and does this on the Wheel of Fortune game show." Id. In reaching this conclusion, the majority confuses Vanna White, the person, with the role she has assumed as the current hostess on the "Wheel of Fortune" television game show. A recognition of the distinction between a performer and the part he or she plays is essential for a proper analysis of the facts of this case. As is discussed below, those things which Vanna White claims identify her are not unique to her. They are, instead, attributes of the role she plays. The representation of those attributes, therefore, does not constitute a representation of Vanna White. See Nurmi v. Peterson, 10 U.S.P.Q.2d 1775 (C.D.Cal.1989) (distinguishing between performer and role).

Vanna White is a one-role celebrity. She is famous solely for appearing as the hostess on the "Wheel of Fortune" television show. There is nothing unique about Vanna White or the attributes which she claims identify her. Although she appears to be an attractive woman, her face and figure are no more distinctive than that of other equally comely women. She performs her *1405 role as hostess on "Wheel of Fortune" in a simple and straight-forward manner. Her work does not require her to display whatever artistic talent she may possess.

The majority appears to argue that because Samsung created a robot with the physical proportions of an attractive woman, posed it gracefully, dressed it in a blond wig, an evening gown, and jewelry, and placed it on a set that resembles the Wheel of Fortune layout, it thereby appropriated Vanna White's identity. But an attractive appearance, a graceful pose, blond hair, an evening gown, and jewelry are attributes shared by many women, especially in Southern California. These common attributes are particularly evident among game-show hostesses, models, actresses, singers, and other women in the entertainment field. They are not unique attributes of Vanna White's identity. Accordingly, I cannot join in the majority's conclusion that, even if viewed together, these attributes identify Vanna White and, therefore, raise a triable issue as to the appropriation of her identity.

The only characteristic in the commercial advertisement that is not common to many female performers or celebrities is the imitation of the "Wheel of Fortune" set. This set is the only thing which might possibly lead a viewer to think of Vanna White. The Wheel of Fortune set, however, is not an attribute of Vanna White's identity. It is an identifying characteristic of a television game show, a prop with which Vanna White interacts in her role as the current hostess. To say that Vanna White may bring an action when another blond female performer or robot appears on such a set as a hostess will, I am sure, be a surprise to the owners of the show. Cf. Baltimore Orioles, Inc. v. Major League Baseball Players Ass'n, 805 F.2d 663 (7th Cir.1986) (right to publicity in videotaped performances preempted by copyright of owner of telecast).

The record shows that Samsung recognized the market value of Vanna White's identity. No doubt the advertisement would have been more effective if Vanna White had appeared in it. But the fact that Samsung recognized Vanna White's value as a celebrity does not necessarily mean that it appropriated her identity. The record shows that Samsung dressed a robot in a costume usually worn by television game-show hostesses, including Vanna White. A blond wig, and glamorous clothing are not characteristics unique to the current hostess of Wheel of Fortune. This evidence does not support the majority's determination that the advertisement was meant to depict Vanna White. The advertisement was intended to depict a robot, playing the role Vanna White currently plays on the Wheel of Fortune. I quite agree that anyone seeing the commercial advertisement would be reminded of Vanna White. Any performance by another female celebrity as a game-show hostess, however, will also remind the viewer of Vanna White because Vanna White's celebrity is so closely associated with the role. But the fact that an actor or actress became famous for playing a particular role has, until now, never been sufficient to give the performer a proprietary interest in it. I cannot agree with the majority that the California courts, which have consistently taken a narrow view of the right to publicity, would extend law to these unique facts.

While I'm sympathetic to the plight of college athletes, I think that this case with EA makes for a bad precedent.

Comment Re:Intentions (Score 1) 229

Or, more likely, the next logical step we're likely to see within a decade... big-budget Hollywood movies that film the same movie with two different sets of actors... one English-speaking, one Chinese. Same plot, same (translated) dialogue, same sets, same director, same film crews, same CGI... just different slabs of talking meat, filmed scene by scene, one after the other. Maybe even add an ethnically-Indian third cast if it's likely to make the difference between a big movie and an insane blockbuster mega-hit in India. 20-50% higher production cost, double the profits or more. Right now, I can *guarantee* that there's a bilingual Chinese & English-speaking film major who's going to school somewhere in America or China & already has the business plan mapped out.

Well, it wouldn't be a new thing. This is how Hollywood used to film movies way way back in the day. It had been easy, of course, in the silent era; just have different title cards. In the early talkie era, some movies would be filmed with the same actors reading a transliteration off of cue cards -- Laurel and Hardy are well known for this -- while some other movies would be filmed with foreign language casts on the same sets -- the Spanish language version of Dracula is probably the most famous example.

I guess it was deemed to be impractical by the mid to late 30s to work this way; cheaper to just redub the movie and not worry much about the lip sync.

Comment Re:Intentions (Score 1) 229

And copying in the 18th century was an involved process. It wasn't something easily done.

Pirates have never enjoyed a technological advantage over legitimate publishers. There is no technology that pirates can use which publishers can't (though some may be stubborn or stupid enough that they won't), and publishers also have the advantage of generally being able to work openly, while pirates often (though not always) have to be more surreptitious or at the very least lack some of the advantages of legitimate publishers like early access to the MS and the imprimatur of the author for marketing.

And in fact 18th century printing was much easier than pre 15th century hand-copying, if you wanted more than one new copy.

Before then making a copy probably took longer than actually writing the book in the first place.

That literally makes no sense.

Not to mention that the literacy rate was ridiculous low

Yes; better literacy rates, improved artificial lighting, improved paper and ink making, better printing processes, greater leisure time, etc. are all factors other than copyright that have aided authors.

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