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Comment Re:Your capitulation is insufficient (Score 1) 209

I think the misunderstanding might be yours.

I doubt it, since your very next statement completely glosses over the issue.

My very next statement was actually part of the background for the point I was actually making, which was at the end of my post (did you actually read that far?).

why people get quite so angry when the record companies insult our intelligence with this sort of BS.

If it makes them no money (or more precisely, gives them no benefits), then they will not sign. Period.

This statement seems to be as naive as a lot of the artists are that sign these contracts.

You appear to come from a world where, before joining a band, artists will have already obtained years of experience in contract law, or have amassed the funds to pay for a lawyer with such experience.

In the world I live in, on one side there are artists who are often quite young but have a talent for creating music and on the other side, are experienced professionals who are very talented at dealing with such artists and getting the best deal possible. In my world, the professionals are paid by record companies and so, irrespective of what they may tell the artists, that is where their loyalties lie.

Of course they tell the artists that the contract will bring money and other benefits, as otherwise, as you point out, the artist is less likely to sign. What they keep hidden, is that the money and benefits will be mainly going to the record company.

Now if the record companies were completely honest about this and explained to everyone, including the media and politicians that they lobby for ever more lucrative laws to be passed, then I for one would have far less of a problem. But while they continue to churn out the same old BS year in and year out and expect that I am stupid enough to fall for it, then I will continue to be pissed off by them and those that seem to fall for their spin.

Comment Re:Your capitulation is insufficient (Score 1) 209

Yes, I have been a freeloader and a parasite for years, long before the Internet turned up in fact. Many a time I would sit listening to the radio and not pay a penny for the privilege. Since a lot of my listening was on the BBC, I wouldn't even have to listen to some boring adverts to somehow atone for my sins.

Of course I would occasionally hear something I liked enough to go out and buy a CD.

I was aware that in doing so I was most likely supporting the operations of a record company that, due to some one-sided contract they had convinced them to sign, was in the process of extorting work from the artist involved, but it was the only way I could get access to the music, to play where and when I wanted to listen to it.

Sometimes I would find that I had effectively paid well over the odds for a single, as the rest of the stuff on the CD was just filler. Occasionally however, I would find that I actually liked everything on the CD and would look out for other stuff by the same artist. I might then check if they were playing live somewhere nearby and get tickets to their concerts.

Now I can no longer listen to the radio at work without paying the PRS a licence fee to do so http://www.prsformusic.com/users/businessesandliveevents/musicforbusinesses/officesandfactories/Pages/officesfactories.aspx. I can listen to my MP3 player though, but the question is where to get the content?

I could go on iTunes and randomly buy loads of tracks in the hope that some of them might be something I actually like and that the DRM will allow me to play it where and when I choose, or I could go over to the dark side and download stuff for free.

Of course the end result would be the same as 20 years or so ago; I would be sitting, listening to free music and occasionally finding something that makes me want to go and see the artist live, but somehow with all the advances we have made in the meantime, what I am doing no longer supports the record companies and may well be illegal.

Comment Re:Your capitulation is insufficient (Score 2, Informative) 209

I think you misunderstand. A copyright belongs to the artist, to be used however they wish. If artists are having trouble with their labels, it is between them and the label, no-one else. They don't need pirates telling them what is best for them, or stripping of their copyrights over some nanny-state paternalistic bullcrap. If they don't want to be signed, they won't sign. Conversely, if they are signed, it means they wanted to be signed (or perhaps are indifferent either way). Maybe the figures floating around the internet don't tell us the whole story? A lot of people want the labels to fail, so a misinformation campaign wouldn't surprise me in the slightest.

I think the misunderstanding might be yours.

Often once the artist (who is neither an experienced contract lawyer nor someone who has access to, or the money to pay for such expertise), has signed an extremely one-sided contract with the record company (that has both the access and the money) a copyright no longer belongs to the artist. In a lot of cases, neither does control over their artistic careers.

The record company's spin when it comes to online "piracy" is that it is threatening the livelihoods of the artists, whereas it is in fact far more likely that the artists themselves could survive perfectly well in the Internet age, but that the future for the companies is far less certain.

Couple this spin with the fact that the artists' livelihoods are far more under threat from the record companies themselves http://www.gerryhemingway.com/piracy.html, and you will begin to see why people get quite so angry when the record companies insult our intelligence with this sort of BS.

Comment Re:Happened to me in MO (Score 1) 636

I understand why people speed on highways, but on some residential roads in built up areas the speed limit is essential to keep people safe

A major part of the problem with speed limits is that they are set at one speed to cover all conditions and times of day and then they are enforced irrespective of the context. This in turn engenders a contempt for speed limits in general, which leads to people ignoring the speed limit where they really shouldn't.

This is a real world aspect that is never considered by those setting the rules

Comment Re:Social networks (Score 1) 295

Oh please. The whole thing is encrypted with GPG. It doesn't matter who has the data, as long as they can't read it.

That's fine, as long as no one can read your profile data, they can't misuse it.

Having said that though, if no one can read it, its not going to be very useful in a social network site where people being able to read it is pretty much the point.

Comment Re:Social networks (Score 1) 295

You assume that the project doesn't keep each person's profile on their own machine, with only name + main photo on machines of friends.

If the project does work in the way you suggest, this would mean that the millions of people who currently use Facebook would have to be capable of setting up their own, always on servers and maintaining their own copy of the project.

That might be fine for you and me, but the most likely scenario is that some more technically able people will set up severs and offer to host other (less able?) peoples' profiles. If this is the case, who are these people and can they be trusted with the data any more than Facebook?

Comment Re:Social networks (Score 1) 295

Um... public key encryption might mitigate your worries. Not sure how to revoke privileges, and key exchanges would have to be done privately, but from then on you don't need to worry so much about who has your data in transmission. Then YOU decide who gets to read your data.

I'm less worried about who might see the data in transmission than I am about who gets access to it and the various copies shared with my friends. Unless I host my own profile and that of everyone I allow access to my profile, there will be people with copies of my profile data on their servers.

How do I know who those people are and how do I control what they do with the copies of my data they now have?

Comment Re:Social networks (Score 1) 295

P2P, decentralized, or managed by FaceBook, as soon as anyone, including your "friends" has a copy of your data, you've lost control of it, and there is really no way to regain it.

I agree, but the message that the article seems to suggest is that it is only Facebook that we need to worry about and if only your data was being looked after by someone else, using free, open source software, that the problems with regards to data security go away.

Not only does this seem to miss the point, but ignores the fact that, should you wish to delete your profile using the new improved system, rather than go to one centralised point, it is likely that you would have to track down all the copies shared with all the servers that host your friends' accounts.

Comment Re:Social networks (Score 2, Insightful) 295

You really need to read the article.

I did

You'll host your data on your server, so there'll be no p2p stuff going on on dynamic IPs. It's p2p between servers, not in the same way bittorrent works.

Ah, so the millions of people who currently use facebook will get themselves a server with a static ip address and set up and maintain their own copy of the new system? ...nope, can't see any major problems there.

This is the real problem they need to solve - how non-techies can get set up. But presumably you'll be able to have 3rd parties providing hosting like with wordpress.

Oh right, so lots of third parties will host the user's data? Doesn't this bring us back to the point I made regarding who knows who those third parties are and who has access to the user data they now control instead of facebook?

Comment Re:Social networks (Score 5, Insightful) 295

They're trying to build a decentralized, p2p-style facebook application.

The problem with facebook is not the centralised nature of the application, but the lack of control a user has over their data and what facebook intend to do with it

In the case of a p2p, decentralised system it is surely even less clear as to where your profile data (embarrasing photos, etc) will actually be stored, who will have access to that data and how can you ensure you can delete it when you want to.

Comment Re:Horribly misleading (Score 1) 351

While the law is in place, it is, and you're obliged to follow it or suffer the consequences.

And from your reaction to my posts, you also imply that "you are obliged not to question the correctness of that law".

Either I am missing something or you are, but I have never suggested that the law should be broken.

One other thing that you are missing, is that law in society is always a balance between the word of law and the application of that law. Hence someone involved in a crime may or may not be convicted of it, not on the facts of the case, but on whether the prosecutor decides to take the case forward. In making that decision they might weigh up the benefit to society vs. the cost and chances of bringing a conviction.

Prior to modern technology being involved, being convicted of speeding was reliant on have an officer of the law accurately register your speed and then go to a (not insignificant), amount of effort to take it further. In this way the balance was maintained as it would typically only be where the excessive speed was deemed to be dangerous within the context in which it occurred, that a prosecution would occur.

Since the introduction of technology, in the vast majority of cases, a human being is rarely involved and certainly no consideration is taken of the circumstances of the offence. A computer decides your guilt and you get a letter in the post informing you of the fact and how much to pay and how many points (you can appeal, but without a good solicitor, it is unlikely that the computer will lose). In this way the original balance has been disrupted.

Now there is a proposal that things should be made even easier for the computer to go after even more people and you think there should be no discussion.

Well, once again, I disagree.

Comment Re:Horribly misleading (Score 1, Insightful) 351

Whether you agree with a law (and a speedlimit is just that) or not is irrelevant

Well let's bring back slavery then, that was legal once.

The idea that you cannot question the validity of a law and the way that law is applied is not a position I am prepared to accept.

By simply discussing the way a law enforced without discussing whether there is anything wrong with that law in the first place is, in my view, a very blinkered way of going through life and encourages bad laws to be passed as no one is going to question the law makers.

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