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Comment Steam IS a form of DRM, innit? (Score 1) 795

You can't say you're not using DRM if you sell over Steam.

That said, I wish everyone would just get on Steam. I don't know how good it is at preventing piracy, but the convenience can't be matched.

Not paying for cheap games like World of Goo is disgusting, by the way. I picked that up on Steam for next to nothing. These people are blurring the line between 'pirate' and 'complete jerk'.

Comment Re:No companies listed... (Score 1) 387

I'm in China right now, and I assure you the very thought is ridiculous.

Not only does China not block movie downloads, China has so many highly-effective, free and high-quality download sites for everything, that even these "for profit" operations couldn't compete.

The average Chinese person, it seems, would balk at the idea of actually paying for anything that can be downloaded over the internet... and amusingly, since the Great Firewall often blocks the sites-of-origin, when searching for movies and the like in China it is not uncommon to ONLY get links for illegal download sites.

Comment Re:Short summary of the treaty (Score 1) 201

Who really even looks at what their government is spending money on, any more? Unless it's on the cover of TIME, just about no-one will notice.

Parents will cotton on when this does affect their child - junior gets fined $75,000 for downloading a CD, and suddenly Dad is real interested in ACTA... for what it's worth.

Comment Re:well no (Score 1) 541

Actually, there might be other reasons.

Personally, I've got my hard drive partitioned with a non-GUID partition scheme, meaning if I want to install Snow Leopard, I have to reformat my drive.

It's a big drive, so this is a major pain to get around to, and accounts for my not having upgraded yet.

There could be plenty of other little reasons like that. Frankly, I hope I can still run Steam without having to reformat my whole machine.

Mind you, I've already got it installed on my Windows partition and it runs just fine. Really, all this mac-specific business only saves me a reboot.

Comment Re:It could be related to ACTA, or. . . (Score 1) 190

As other posters have noted, maybe it's in the iTunes terms of service you clicked through a couple of days ago so you could sync your iPhone.

Somewhere at the bottom, it says that Steve Jobs can shoot your dog if he wants.

What, you never read that part?

Due diligence, buddy - you SHOULD have.

For the time being, though, Steve gets off scot-free for putting a bullet in your doberman. Tough cookies.

Comment Re:It could be related to ACTA, or. . . (Score 1) 190

So, by that reasoning, if a girl lets you see her breasts, she's free to later sue you for looking at them?

It's hard to see how privacy could be an inalienable right, since it only becomes an issue when there's something you don't want somebody else looking at. If you explicitly take someone into your confidence and agree to share certain information with them, you are by definition specifying that this item is no longer 'private' for that person.

Comment Re:isn't the memorial already in the public domain (Score 2, Interesting) 426

I think it's more about whether you're making profit from the picture, and what about the image - precisely - you are monetizing.

If you sold your photo to a magazine for an iPhone-related article, you're in the clear because you are illustrating an existing product, and the value of the image lies in the skilful portrayal of the object in question.

If you sold the photo to Chinese bootleg manufacturers so they can replicate the UI, or started making money off your revolutionary new idea, which you call the "CoolPhone", and sending that photo to people as the appearance of an "early prototype CoolPhone", then you are likely infringing because you bring nothing to the table yourself, but rather are making money off of Apple's copyrighted product design.

Comment Re:A partial solution: (Score 3, Insightful) 629

Well, yeah, when you systematically slaughter millions of priests, nuns and clergy and burn down all the churches, you tend to "solve" the problem of religion to some degree...

You'd think an all-powerful God might have something to say about all that priest-killing...

What's the church's stance on God's inaction there, anyway? They had it coming?

Comment Re:Does it really matter? (Score 3, Insightful) 502

Indeed. Just about all the music we hear today is run through something called "Auto-Tune", a piece of software which corrects any wrong notes sung by the performer, matching them automatically to the song's score.

There's a number of videos on YouTube showing before & after takes of incredibly bad singing turned into mainstream pop music (with perfect pitch).

It can be obvious, like Cher, or it can be nigh-undetectable, but either way it means the human 'soul' has left music long ago. If you can work the software, you can sound every bit as good as the best musicians of the past without a day of musical training.

Apparently, the computer can even compose your score, now, too.

Is that really such a huge loss, though? Take Auto-Tune for instance: the good performers will still put in the effort, so that they do not become reliant upon cheap software tricks - and, conversely, those people who might otherwise never have been able to perform music (because they were born partially deaf, for instance) now have the same opportunities as the rest of us. The field moves beyond mastering pitch and explores the deeper mysteries of music. Progress happens.

Same, too, with the composition of music. Software like this will help us to understand what it is that makes music 'tick', and lead to better music in the future. Maybe some asshole with a 'music interpretation' degree will lose his job because, as it turns out, his core thesis of "Mozart was magic" turns out to be false, and it turns out anyone can be Mozart if they, too, understand what he learned through long experience. So what, though? That guy should be happy that, if he puts in the effort, science has given him the opportunity to finally contribute to the field he's been leeching off for so long. Composing becomes easier to learn and teach. The field moves on. Progress happens.

Simple as that.

Comment Re:destroyed by piracy? How? (Score 1) 69

True. The increased quality of fansubs is, in some ways, baffling. It's like Wikipedia versus a "normal" encyclopaedia - sure, there's some QA gaffes, but overall it's just better and more convenient.

There's also the censorship angle.

A lot of the US releases are ruined with censorship, to the extent that in some cases the story ceases to even make sense, because some vital component was cut or sloppily drawn over by some American hack.

At any rate, wouldn't it be merchandise that'd "save" anime? I mean, have you seen the price on a decent-quality PVC figurine?

You can't pirate that.

Comment Aren't we just leasing the software anyway? (Score 1) 461

I don't know if that's how it is for games yet, but doesn't the agreement you have to click through to use just about any software nowadays basically say that you don't own the software, you are merely leasing the right to use (play) it?

If that's how the licenses on these games read, all this talk of first-sale rights and such becomes irrelevant.

Comment Re:Someone doesn't like second hand market? (Score 1) 461

A flip side to this is it benefits someone who doesn't play online - used game prices will drop to accommodate the subscription fee; and if you don't plan to play online you now have a code that you can sell to someone who bought a used game. Either way your price for the game would drop if you don't play online.

That's only a flipside for right now.

As reported elsewhere on Slashdot, they are rapidly moving toward the online-only-play model, in a misguided effort to thwart piracy.

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 1) 941

I would like to think that the system is not yet insane enough such that "changing clothes" qualifies as "pornography".

And you would be wrong.

Teens have been prosecuted for 'sexting' images of their girlfriends, etc., in their underwear (ie. not naked, but changing clothes or about to take a shower), not under the charge of invasion of privacy, but possession and distribution of child pornography.

Can't find the story right now, but Wired's got it online somewhere.

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