Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Comment Generic modularity is a good approach. (Score 2) 200

I suspect that with the mindset of a government contractor they told a bunch of different places sort of what they wanted, but not where it had to be or what it was going to plug into. Measurements, plugs, protocol standards, bolt holes, shape - they all matter - and "on a plane" doesn't answer most of the questions.

Comment I would have done the opposite in Google's place. (Score 1) 207

It's the users who are generating the traffic, not Google. Instead of offering to let them double-dip I would have blocked all of their users with a static page that explained why they were being blocked and a suggesting to try another ISP. It's not like Google needs to kiss this ISPs ass to stay in business.

Second option I would make use of Google Wallet to make the users pay for Google use with an explanation yes, only the users on that ISP have to pay for what's free to everyone else, if they don't like it talk to the ISP but we're passing the costs back to you.

Comment I had someone defending the prosecution (Score 2) 430

on my own Google Plus Page.

My reply was (substituted wording before quotes).

Okay assuming he's guilty on all counts in reality. "Is a $4,000,000 fine and 50 years in prison reasonable for this crime? For padding on your part let's pretend he stripped naked directly after successfully downloading everything and instantly uploading it to a remote Bit Torrent server, ran up to the librarians desk and took a diaretic shit right in the middle of it does that justify 4 million dollars and 50 years? "

Comment Re:Why a physical building for digital books? (Score 1) 90 is a great place. Lots of freebies, and their freebies tend to be formatted better than the same public domain books on Amazon and Project Gutenberg. Project Gutenberg is great - but they do skimp on some formatting and features. Also the Google Play Store has lots of freebies also - usually, but not always with the best formatting around. I have a Kindle, and unlike many of the public domain books from Amazon the Google Play Books are usually DRM free so I have no problem converting them to a Kindle compatible format using Calibre.

I've even taken to fixing some ebooks with crappy formatting on my own and converting online reference material to useful formats using Sigil.

I started out adding to you comment, I probably should have top leveled.

Comment Re:Use It Or Lose It???? (Score 1) 147

Absolutely not.

This is the libertarian in me speaking. I see no reason to compulsorily hand any government/governing body money for any reason that does not directly concern them as an author. If I am suing someone I will pay the court fees to do so. No compulsory money should ever be collected for the purpose of supporting the arts, with the notable exception of art being commissioned for public buildings or property otherwise. I should not have to pay protection money to protect my work, it's bound to violate RICO laws to do so under our current system.

No, if the book is available for print on demand or digital distribution it settles what I'm after (substitute applicable formats for non-book media). The 5,000 copies was an arbitrary number and "available" is what I was really after. If I ever post this again I think I will make "available" the wording I'll use.

I found another loophole in my original. "Original costs" - they'll just start selling the books for $100,000 each the first week and lower it to the going rate during week two to get around the outrageous pricing proposal I originally came up with. I'll address it in my fantasy book of law eventually.

Comment Re:Big copyright idea from me. Shred up folks. (Score 1) 147

You've actually outlined a lot of my reasoning.

"He deserves it"

Pick that apart for a moment. Does he deserve it for writing good books? Debatable, I like his work, literary snobs hate him so deserves needs to have a different meaning. He deserves it because he's still selling books and people are paying for them, that's why he deserves it. It's perfectly reasonable to make money off of your work as long as you are selling it and people are buying it.

If he is getting paid for his work it absolutely is my "he deserves it" argument, he deserves to get paid for his work to encourage him to write more. Well gosh, I'm still making money on my old book, but the income is tapering off a little each year, why not write a new one! I don't care if the new work is another Castle Rock series book or an almanac, deserves and motivation go hand in hand.

Comment Re:Big copyright idea from me. Shred up folks. (Score 1) 147

Interesting question.

How about we count the album as a whole and count exerts as selling the album? After all a song is just an exert when you count it as a whole.

I would be willing to say selling license to play could count as selling digital copies, that doesn't work well under our current radio licensing setup but it wouldn't be much of a stretch. If there's going to be a "best of" it's bound to get radio play, and the compilation itself could count as a published exert. I'm on the side of the copyright holder here, as long as the holder is still alive.

Comment Re:Big copyright idea from me. Shred up folks. (Score 1) 147

A single painting is not published so there is no original publishing date to consider. Legal matters having to do with an unpublished painting go back to other laws. A painting that has sold prints on the other hand would fall into the published category.

My main reason for the "use it or lose it" approach is "abondonware", I don't think The Adventures of Bayou Billy for the NES really deserves much copyright protection right now. Nothing to do with it has been published since 91, I don't care if every author to contribute to the game is still alive Konami hasn't "used it" so I see no reason why it shouldn't freely available on emulators. As for the Millennium trilogy - I know nothing of its back story - who submitted it to be published? See, one of the things that happens in our current system is derivative works get new protection. If it was one of the authors kids they wrote a forward saying "my dad died, here's what he wrote before then" Bam! Additional data, new copyright. Sam Clemens actually had the idea of doing George Lucas style revisits and expansions to old stories to keep the copyright alive, since in his time the copyright expired using it or not, my version allows the same basic idea without actually having to create new work.

Comment Re:Big copyright idea from me. Shred up folks. (Score 1) 147

Sounds like an argument from a mumbling clown to me. Use your brain and apply context. Yes, I did arbitrarily chose shorter, which is still longer than the original terms of original US copyright. Of course original US copyright tapped out at 14 years, this one goes for as long as the author is still alive if they want it to. It's a middle ground alright, one that is significantly long for a flop, or even a newspaper. Should it bother anyone if I scan a newspaper article about me from December 2002 and put it in the back pages of a book I publish about my life? It was over 10 years ago, the newspaper isn't selling that article anymore, and a newspaper article about me from 2002 has no significance to anyone besides me or anyone involved with the events being described. It won't impact that newspaper in the least if I do it, it may even count as advertising for them - if that dinosaur still operates that is.

My post was not written in legalese. Had it been I would have accounted for the clown segment of the population and come up with something along the lines of "published in a format compatible with common commercially available rendering devices manufactured and sold during the year of question or in such a way that no additional rendering device is needed". Of course somewhere else in the document I would define common.

There is NOTHING preventing an individual from selling his rights exclusive rights to publish, rights to characters, or right to make new stories based on the authors old ones ANYWHERE in my proposal which was written to be thought provoking, not an actual draft for a new law. The copyright still dies with the author even if he does effectively sell his works to someone else. I however seen no problem transfer the rights to a corporation, in which case the copyright will expire on date of original publication +50. The author might still be alive when that date passes, the author may be dead for 49 years when that date passes. Instead of screaming BULLSHIT BULLSHIT BOLLOCKS! Why don't you make a helpful suggestion like I did to my own thought provoking draft?

You are very obviously a nitpicking asshole. Do you yell and scream at your own mother when she puts the wrong number of sugar cubes in your tea?

Comment Big copyright idea from me. Shred up folks. (Score 5, Insightful) 147

I've thought long and hard about copyright law, what the problems are, and I've come up with some solutions.

The problems with copyright are obvious. We now have a system where copyrights almost never expire anymore. There are two extremes, the protect copyright until the end of time crowd and the lose it right after you publish crowd. I think there's a reasonable medium.

First of all lets deal with copyright terms.

I think ten years of protection after the initial publishing is a great start. Many people think this is good enough, however I don't begrudge an author profit because something was written too long ago. Stephen King is making all kinds of money off of 30 year old books and I think he deserves it. There's a difference between his 30 year old books and say the 30 year old books by many other authors. He's actually still selling his.

Use it or lose it.

To protect people who actually still are selling their works I propose production based protection. For physical media at least 5,000 copies must be produced during the two years preceding the expiration of the 10 year term. This prevents the company from making five copies in a "production run" and giving them away to contest winners or putting them on eBay. It makes them actually produce a volume they will want to sell. If they don't then it's public domain. I really hate "hard" numbers like 5,000. That's nothing to a big guy but huge to a small publisher, I just can't think of a reasonable alternative. Every time a production run of at least 5,000 units is made the copyright is automatically extended for five years, assuming of course that run was made before the copyright expired.

Upon the death of the author the estate has 1 year from the time of the authors death to make a last production run to secure five more years of copyright protection. This allows widows and children to receive some going away royalties. If the author dies 10 years to the day after the only production run of his work this give the family a free 11th year to do something about it. Barring a new production run the copyrights expire naturally or 1 year to the day after the authors death should they expire within that year.

As for electronic distribution not only must it remain for sale it must remain for sale in formats supported by technology that can still be purchase. It had better work a Kindle, PC, Nook, iProduct or something being produced. Selling a game on Nintendo's virtual console can protect the original. This may even motivate Nintendo to make or officially license other companies to make classic hardware like Sega and Atari do just to cover all the bases as selling cartridges for an Atari 7800 today benefits next to no one. Selling a "digital copy" of Pong for $25,000 is out of the question as well. Digital copies cannot exceed the original MSRP adjusted for inflation by more than 10%.

This would do away with lost works, like Marble Madness 2 where only two copies were ever actually known to exist. Under my rules the game would be public domain now (it would just be up to the rest of us to persuade one of the two people who own copies to upload them). It would also allow fans to scan in copies of Omni Magazine and the like to be shared with the rest of the world. Heck, you could look forward to a monthly release cycle of expired magazines.

Corporations have a maximum of 50 years copyright on any production since they are theoretically immortal entities. If a corporation chooses they may designate a director, actor, writer or someone as the possessor of the copyright and they can maintain exclusive publishing rights from the individual. This may pay off in the case of a child actor, but it's a gamble for the company itself and it leaves room for a disgruntled copyright holder to take his movie elsewhere. Copyrights transferred from a corporation to an individual (except by lawsuit which involves infringement) shall still be subject to the 50 year limitation to prevent a company from transferring a 49 year old movie to an executives infant son or some shenanigan.

I think it's perfectly reasonable. Some may argue that lots of old stuff is being revived after the expiration date. On that note make trademarks lifetime and transferable. Micky can handle it the same way Bugs did. You can download public domain Bugs Bunny cartoons and do whatever you want with them, but you still can't take control of the character which is the property of Warner Brothers. Trademarks are valid as long as they're used plus twenty years even if media that uses them is public domain.

Reasonable is my goal, and content creators should profit, but not 100 years after they die.

Slashdot Top Deals

Life would be so much easier if we could just look at the source code. -- Dave Olson