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Comment Re:Because everyone driving has a license. (Score 1) 73

Because no one has ever driven without a license. Especially those 'high risk drivers'.

Probably in the next few decades car manufacturers will have to implement a new standard, where to drive your car, there's a "slot" you have to insert your driver's license in, and a computer in your vehicle will verify the status of your license and your facial ID before allowing you to take the vehicle out of park.

Comment Re:how about looking at it from another angle (Score 1) 156

I, personally, found the web much more useful before it was polluted with the kind of stuff that most commercial sites, explicitly including "news organizations", include.

It's true, in those days I searched using boolean patterns, but without all the extraneous noise I got better answers than I do now with highly refined search engines.

Comment Re:I think Google would walk here (Score 1) 156

You're wrong, even though your conclusion is right.

Local news is important, but most "news sources" aren't sources, they repeat what the wire services send them. And Google can subscribe to the wire services for a lot less hassle than dealing with every local paper. And I rather expect that the wire services provide translated versions of the news into most European languages, so THAT's not a problem.

This might cause the wire services to devote more effort to local news, of course.

This is a structurally bad answer, but it's the answer that the economics of that law would encourage. It will lead to increased monopolization and homogenization of the news...but laws can do that kind of thing.

Comment Re:Google's reply? (Score 1) 156

It's not that they're a monopoly, although they are, it's that they are a natural monopoly, which doesn't require government interference to exist (as a monopoly). If it did, then Bing would be the dominant search engine.

Now there are generally many possible sources for any news story, and Google can choose whichever it wants to choose. If it has to pay it would probably pick AP, Reuters, maybe a couple of others and ignore the rest. Whoops! There go the local news sites. How many people will go to a site that promotes the local high school soccer team? A few. What will the advertisers pay? Not enough to run the site, so it will depend on someone doing it as a hobby. How many sites will be able to pay for an AP and Reuters connection if they aren't indexed by Google? Not many.

So you have a natural monopoly. And making them want to stop indexing you is a fast route to bankruptcy.

Please note that these same arguments apply if you substitute a different search engine for Google. ANY other search engine.

Comment Re:good luck with that one... (Score 1) 156

Sorry, but "fair use" within the US only works as a defense if the court agrees with you. Which means you've got to pay for a lawsuit, and you don't get the money back even if you win.

Also, "fair use" within the US is not well-defined, so trying that as your defense is always a crap-shoot (admittedly some cases are clearer than other, but even one measure of music has been found to not fall under fair use).

Comment Re:good luck with that one... (Score 1) 156

The real problem is that we can't "you don't represent me" them when they start acting objectionably. Once they get elected, the control is over until the next cycle.

One possible way to combat this would be to make the votes that a politician can wield proportional to the number of people currently signed on to him rather than to someone else...and to make it easy to switch your vote to someone else within, say, half an hour. This has a lot of problems with potential voter fraud, but it would let people dis-empower those who ignored their wishes...possibly before the damage was done.

Comment Re:IP law has nothing to do with logic. (Score 1) 353

It's not really that simple, and in a restricted market well designed patents can encourage trade secrets to be replaced by a limited monopoly combined with publication in sufficient detail to allow others to replicate the invention.

Unfortunately, that doesn't describe the current situation, where things would be improved if all patents were canceled and declared void and invalid from the beginning.

Also read Spider Robinson's "Melancholy Elephants" for an insightful take on copyright law by an author. (Short of it: Copyrights last much too long.)

Both patents and copyrights have a valid place in a good legal system. But the current laws for both are worse than not having any laws about them.

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