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Comment Two wrongs don't make a right, but... (Score 1) 973

Over the years, I have bought many CDs (tho not in the past 10 years), DVDs (tho not in the past 3 years), and other entertainment media. At the moment I do not. Part of the reason is lack of income. The rest is this:

Entertainment IP owners have bought legislation through their lobbyists, campaign donations, and other means to extend copyright from it's originally-intended 14 years to ridiculous levels. Productions were originally meant to become part of the public domain after that time, and instead every time the first Mickey Mouse cartoons threaten to become public domain, Disney lobbies congress to extend all copyrights another 20 years. So while I agree that copyrights grant legal ownership of IP, I believe the companies do not deserve those extended protections, so MORLALLY I feel no guilt in "stealing" their work.

I also do not like how the media companies like to play both sides of the object/license debate, favoring whichever suits them at the time. Sometimes your music/movie is an object -- if you want it on a different medium, or damage your copy, or something else, you must pay to replace it. Other times, it's a license -- you may not "perform" (play) it in a public / commercial setting, you cannot sell your CD to a record store for resale because it's a "license" not an object, etc.

Further, there has been ample evidence of industry collusion, price fixing, price gouging and other unfair business practices among the record companies, which makes me even less inclined to want to support them. And again, rather than penalize them, when they are caught, our (paid off by campaign contributions and promises of future BoD positions) government representatives see fit to "settle" with a voucher program instead of demanding fines or payment checks.

These reasons, and the fact that I just don't listen to music like I used to when I was younger all contribute ot the fact that I do not buy any music anymore. And I don't feel any moral obligation to pay for it on the rare occasions I do download a song. I know technically I should pay for it, and recognize it's the right thing to do, but I feel that the owners of this media have done so much to screw me that I feel it's only proper I return the favor.


Geologists Might Be Charged For Not Predicting Quake 375

mmmscience writes "In 2009, a series of small earthquakes shook the region of L'Aquila, Italy. Seismologists investigated the tremors, but concluded that there was no direct indication of a big quake on the horizon. Less than a month later, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake killed more than 300 people. Now, the chief prosecutor of L'Aquila is looking to charge the scientists with gross negligent manslaughter for not predicting the quake."

Comment I can believe it (Score 1) 337

I once put my car in a ditch on the snowy access road of the industrial park I used to work. It hadn't been plowed yet, and had 6 inches or so worth of sloppy, driven-on snow. I'd been playing a lot of Gran Turismo lately (GT3?), especially Rally courses, so I was having fun sliding sideways down the road. It was great until the road bent downhill, and the driveway into the lot had an upward slope. I just slid into the ditch at the bottom of that "V" as I took the turn too fast. Had to climb out of the sun roof on my BMW since the car was on its side. Luckily the foot of snow in the ditch kept the passenger side from taking too much damage.

So yes, I am an idiot in that statistic.


Man Threatened Spam Attack In $200,000 Extortion Plot 77

52-year-old Anthony Digati was arrested for trying to extort $200,000 from an insurance firm by threatening to spam them with six million emails unless they paid up. Digati said he would use a spam service and his amazing talents as a "huge social networker" to drag the company "through the muddiest waters imaginable" and presumably unfriend everyone. He added that the price would increase to $3 million if they failed to pay up by Monday, according to federal authorities.

Steampunk Con Mixes In More Maker Fun 50

California has once again been blessed with another steampunk convention, this time to be held in Emeryville, CA on March 12-14 as the "Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition." This year's event promises to mix in much more of the DIY/maker flavor for a greater hands-on feel. Steampunk has been gaining much broader appeal in recent months with the continued growth of maker communities, and the many delightful varieties of music and literature. The con will feature, among other things, a 2 day track of 2-hour how-to, hands-on, and interactive workshops gear towards makers, DIY-ers, mad scientists, and evil geniuses. Of course, if you are an evil genius you probably don't need a workshop except as a gathering for potential test subjects.
PC Games (Games)

OnLive Gaming Service Gets Lukewarm Approval 198

Vigile writes "When the OnLive cloud-based gaming service was first announced back in March of 2009, it was met with equal parts excitement and controversy. While the idea of playing games on just about any kind of hardware thanks to remote rendering and streaming video was interesting, the larger issue remained of how OnLive planned to solve the latency problem. With the closed beta currently underway, PC Perspective put the OnLive gaming service to the test by comparing the user experiences of the OnLive-based games to the experiences with the same locally installed titles. The end result appears to be that while slower input-dependent games like Burnout: Paradise worked pretty well, games that require a fast twitch-based input scheme like UT3 did not."

ASCAP Seeks Licensing Fees For Guitar Hero Arcade 146

Self Bias Resistor writes "According to a post on the Arcade-Museum forums, ASCAP is demanding an annual $800 licensing fee from at least one operator of a Guitar Hero Arcade machine, citing ASCAP licensing regulations regarding jukeboxes. An ASCAP representative allegedly told the operator that she viewed the Guitar Hero machine as a jukebox of sorts. The operator told ASCAP to contact Raw Thrills, the company that sells the arcade units. The case is ongoing and GamePolitics is currently seeking clarification of the story from ASCAP."

Copyright and the Games Industry 94

A recent post at the Press Start To Drink blog examined the relationship the games industry has with copyright laws. More so than in some other creative industries, the reactions of game companies to derivative works are widely varied and often unpredictable, ranging anywhere from active support to situations like the Chrono Trigger: Crimson Echoes debacle. Quoting: "... even within the gaming industry, there is a tension between IP holders and fan producers/poachers. Some companies, such as Epic and Square Enix, remain incredibly protective of their Intellectual Property, threatening those that use their creations, even for non-profit, cultural reasons, with legal suits. Other companies, like Valve, seem to, if not embrace, at least tolerate, and perhaps even tacitly encourage this kind of fan engagement with their work. Lessig suggests, 'The opportunity to create and transform becomes weakened in a world in which creation requires permission and creativity must check with a lawyer.' Indeed, the more developers and publishers that take up Valve's position, the more creativity and innovation will emerge out of video game fan communities, already known for their intense fandom and desire to add to, alter, and re-imagine their favorite gaming universes."
PlayStation (Games)

US Air Force Buying Another 2,200 PS3s 144

bleedingpegasus sends word that the US Air Force will be grabbing up 2,200 new PlayStation 3 consoles for research into supercomputing. They already have a cluster made from 336 of the old-style (non-Slim) consoles, which they've used for a variety of purposes, including "processing multiple radar images into higher resolution composite images (known as synthetic aperture radar image formation), high-def video processing, and 'neuromorphic computing.'" According to the Justification Review Document (DOC), "Once the hardware configuration is implemented, software code will be developed in-house for cluster implementation utilizing a Linux-based operating software."

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