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Comment Re:Goodbye, World Wide Web. (Score 1) 282

Of course it wouldn't.

Why not?

And it certainly shouldn't.

Agreed.

you can not copyright a reference

Under current law. That's my point. This whole discussion is about changing the laws. Just because you can't today doesn't mean you won't be able to next year. And similarly, just because you make a house (or car or spaceship) analogy doesn't mean that lawmakers will follow your analogy -- different things get different laws all the time no matter how similar they are from any single specific viewpoint.

Comment Re:Goodbye, World Wide Web. (Score 1) 282

Well I imagine that's the point: If its for-profit, knowledge is presumed, even if the poster in fact did not have knowledge. They _should_ have done their due diligence and therefore known that what they were linking to was infringing.

Its the not-for-profit case that's in question: If I link to those infringing images from my FB page, its obviously not for profit (at least not my profit..) so that presumption of knowledge doesn't apply and that's where the question comes up: How would they prove I knew my link was pointing to infringing material?

That's what I mean by a semi-intentional loophole. There's no discussion regarding how to do that. Its just assumed that "if its not for profit then its not important enough for anyone to bother so its OK." Which is probably true 99.9% of the time. But then that 1000th case will come along a decade later and suddenly everything hits the fan because somebody was lazy back when they wrote the loophole into the law (and/or lacked the foresight to see even such a glaring loophole.)

Comment Re:Goodbye, World Wide Web. (Score 1) 282

ensure that the work concerned is not illegally published."

Very similar in practice, but not quite the same thing. In particular, it means the infringing status of the link depends not on the link itself, but on whatever's on the other side of the link.

In some ways that's actually scarier. It means that something that isn't infringing today might be infringing tomorrow so sites would have to be constantly re-scanning every link they've ever posted to ensure that whatever's on the other side of the link hasn't changed to something that's now infringing.

I mean that's already the case if you host copies of the content you've licensed. When the license expires you need to remove that content. But that's a lot simpler because you're hosting it so you (should) know what's there and can just delete the file when the license expires. You have full control over the process. Sure your old articles will have some 404'd links but whatever they're old.

Under the new regime you'd have to actually go through every single article and replace, remove or otherwise invalidate any external links you've used that may no longer be licensed. Never mind the potential for abuse if someone intentionally replaces a licensed imaged with an infringing one at the same link.

Comment Re:Goodbye, World Wide Web. (Score 1) 282

And if your car had an address (itself, not the location where you parked it -- that bit of ground isn't moving no matter what you do with your car) then maybe that address would be copyrightable. Who knows.

But since cars don't have addresses that can be linked to in any meaningful way, that's not really an issue we need to be concerned with in the foreseeable future.

Also, things like OnStar's tracking identifiers (or whatever they use) don't count as the cars "address" in terms of this argument either, since those aren't publicly available or accessible (and OnStar probably would sue you for something -- maybe not copyright, but something -- if you figured that stuff out and decided to publish it.)

Comment Re:Well, I thought we had settled this (Score 1) 282

They do. Frequently. And the hosting site just says its unmonitored user content and claim service provider protections. So they're stuck with an IP address at best, if they were even lucky enough to get that from the hosting company. So they attempt to prosecute "John Does" and that typically doesn't lead very far either.

Its not unreasonable that they want to protect their interests, but the anonymity of the internet makes it damned near impossible to find the true culprit so they're grasping at straws all the way up and down the chain wherever they can think to find one.

The offended parties aren't to blame here. They're doing what they can in a shitty (for them) situation. The people to blame are the governments that put business interests ahead of the people they're supposed to be serving.

If copyright holders can't figure out how to make a profit in the internet age then they should be allowed to go the hell out of business and get replaced by more savvy companies rather than mangling our legal system to turn the entire population into full-on criminals for (individually) minor offenses.

Comment Re:Well, I thought we had settled this (Score 1) 282

I think Google could have nipped this in the bud a couple years ago: "Ok you don't want us to link to you? Done. Enjoy having all your competitors at the top of the search rankings." I don't imagine it would have gone much past the first one or two whiners.

Of course its too late for that now that its exploded from "we want some of Google's money" to "lets break the internet some more!"

Comment Re:Goodbye, World Wide Web. (Score 1) 282

Calling that a crime is unworkable in both the physical and internet world.

I believe you're very wrong there. Digital data can be moved (and removed) in a way that a physical address simply cannot. Sure you can destroy the building at that address and put up a new one or pave it over or do whatever else you want, but that land is still there.

Web addresses are far more malleable. That court website could be taken offline tomorrow and its just gone. Its not like destroying a building where the land still remains -- the website is completely non-existent at that point. And that's an enormous difference that the law SHOULD be taking into account.

And if you'd rather try to compare a website to the building rather than the land it stands upon, then you're not really helping your cause since buildings have been copyrighted in the EU already.

Comment Re:Goodbye, World Wide Web. (Score 1) 282

How is the bits representing that link any more of a "fact" than the bits representing the image that link points to?

But never minding that, I don't think anyone says links should be copyrightable -- A link that points to copyrighted information infringes on that information's copyrignt, not on the link's copyright (if there is such a thing.)

For example, if that image link you mentioned above gets changed by Playboy on their end, then the copyright infringement is cleared up without your own involvement at all, because the raw text of the link isn't the infringement and since it no longer points to a copyrighted image, its obviously no longer infringing on said image.

Not that I'm agreeing with this kind of ancillary copyright crap. I think its a horrific abuse of the legal system. But fighting legal battles with linguistic pedantry has never gotten anyone very far even when they're right because fundamentally the law is about actions, not terminology (and even more so in a multilingual entity like the EU. I doubt they use "link" or "fact" or any other English term in France but EU law still applies to them nonetheless.)

Comment Re:Goodbye, World Wide Web. (Score 3, Interesting) 282

The way I'm reading it is that guilt is based on knowledge that what you're doing is infringement, and that knowledge is presumed if you're doing it for profit.

However, you could still be guilty if you post a link with knowledge that its infringing even if you don't post it for profit.

I'm not sure how they're planning on determining knowledge of infringement. My guess is that its one of those semi-intentional loopholes where they just assume people won't take advantage of the situation because nobody who's big enough to matter would fail to have knowledge of their actions.

Of course TFS isn't as in-depth as the article (never mind the actual ruling) so maybe that's covered but just from what I see there's a huge potential for sites like /. and Reddit to get sued for something vague like "well you know your site could potentially host infringing links and that constitutes knowledge of infringement so you're liable."

Comment Re:Does Zoning Abrogate First Amendment? (Score 1) 305

I'm not sure the 5th works either since they're not "taking" the property they're just restricting what you can do with it. Which might seem like the same thing when you don't have any other use for the property but from a legal perspective, its still yours.

As for the first, I'm pretty sure freedom of speech doesn't cover zoning regulations to start with since that's not "speech" by any definition I've ever heard. Privacy protection might help you hide your activities if you're planning to go against the new zoning but that only holds up until you do something that makes your business public knowledge in which case you'd likely get fined for breaking the regulations.

That said, there may well be some applicable law somewhere. It just might not be a constitutional amendment. There's thousands of laws that aren't in the constitution (every single municipal and state law to start with! And hundreds if not thousands of federal laws as well, never mind when they start digging into case law which isn't actually laws in the technical sense of the government creating and enforcing them but are still given significant consideration in court.)

Comment Re:Stop with the hysteria (Score 1) 197

Of course, that kind of tinkering with human DNA is unethical.

I think the bigger problem is that its unpredictable since genetics has continually proven itself to be more complex than we currently understand. At some point we might get ahead of it but we're not anywhere close to it yet. The biggest and best arguments against GMO crops and other genetic engineering is that we just don't know what the long-term results will be.

And testing on humans in order to learn more is considered unethical. If you could somehow prove that your genetic manipulation prevented heart disease without any other serious effects then you'd probably be able to get past the whole ethics issue without much trouble. But being able to prove that without testing on several hundred (or thousand) embryos is nearly impossible.

Which gives us a bit of a catch-22. We could potentially significantly improve the lives of future generations, but at the cost of treating some number of our current generations' babies essentially the same way we treat lab mice. And that's just not a trade-off we're willing to make in our current society.

Comment Re:Mod Parent Up!!! (Score 1) 197

I don't know why they're the target but France has been hit by numerous attacks that ISIS have laid claim to. Its not that big of a stretch to think that they could hit the US if they wanted to. Not all attacks have to be the twin towers to get noticed.

That said, there's a reason we call them "terrorists" and not "murderers" (though sometimes both of course.) Their goal isn't to make us dead. Their goal is to make us fear. And on that tack, they've had enormous success in the US and elsewhere.

It only takes one or two coffee shop bombings to terrify us even if the numbers show that we're far more likely to die by drowning in our bathtubs. People are very very bad at statistics and knowing there's a malevolent actor makes us far more afraid than any number of accidents or acts of nature.

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