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Comment Re:Windows (Score 1) 104

Can't even remember the last time I used Windows.

I can - it was two weeks ago. I booted Windows for the first time in about 18 months to open a .doc a family member had been sent by a government department that would not format correctly in LibreOffice.

Turns out it would not format correctly in Word either! It needed Word95 or something!

Comment Re:TANSTAAFL (Score 1) 199

The same laws?

Yes, exactly the same laws. If you think the system is loaded in favour of content creators, you are as free as anyone else to create new content of your own and benefit from that system if you can. Millions of people make their living this way and billions benefit from the results, so it's not as if this is some crazy niche rule, nor one law for the rich and another for everyone else.

Show me one single group of people who can work once and milk it forever.

Well, pretty much any investment-based business works this way. Landlords who rent out their properties are probably the most obvious example. However, I don't see how any of this is relevant to the matter at hand.

In practice, significant income from works under copyright rarely lasts for more than a relatively short time after the work is released, and of course even that is not guaranteed. Creating the potential for that income, and thus an incentive to create and distribute new work in the first place, is the main effect of having copyright laws. I suspect we would agree that the duration of copyright protection has probably been extended far more than it should have been, but the benefit of that extended protection is mostly illusory anyway.

Comment Re:1984 is not a utopia (Score 1) 94

So just to be clear, you're not actually saying that Google are routinely listening in to everyone's surroundings, you're saying that an optional voice-activated feature on Android devices sometimes has false positives on the trigger word if it's enabled and in those cases it may record a short part of the audio around the phone and send it back to Google the same as it would if you were actually intending to use the voice-activated feature? I think it's fair to say that one of these is quite different to the other.

Comment Re:Simple answer. Dont use SAP. (Score 1) 115

SAP cant scale worth shit, we recently added 4000 people in the call center and it took SAP 8 months to "scale" the stupid garbage pile they call software to handle it.

Then when we wanted to put in a system in the RMA database to track repair RMA data, the SAP experts said it was impossible, so one of the IT guys wrote the system we needed in PHP with a Open source SQL backend. he has a MITM box that will grab info from SAP and then spit it to the RMA server. when you do a query on the RMA page you get the full history of the device from manufacture date, to ship date, to who, to all repairs and even Tech support calls on the device.

SAP was unable to deliver this. Because SAP is really shitty.

Comment Re:TANSTAAFL (Score 1) 199

So it's not a personal law protecting your property because some other people have property too, but millions of people who work in creative industries are all getting special treatment?

If it's all so unfair, and the efforts of content creators are of such little value, the same laws do apply to you, and you're welcome to take advantage of them just like anyone else.

Comment Re:TANSTAAFL (Score 1) 199

I was with you until you said copyright hasn't benefitted us. Given that most of the best quality and most widely distributed creative content we produce today is supported through copyright in one way or another, I don't think that argument stands up in the face of the evidence. Just compare a summer blockbuster with an amateur movie on YouTube, or fan fiction with a bestselling novel, or most community-developed FOSS with its commercial competition.

Art surely wouldn't go away completely without copyright, but unless some other model was developed for funding all the people whose effort goes into making creative works under copyright today, it seems reasonable to assume that both quantity and quality would drop sharply. There's very little stopping anyone from adopting a better model today if they wanted to, including old school approaches like the patronage model that paid for most demanding works before we had things like copyright. And yet almost no-one does, and those who've tried rarely reach even the same order of magnitude of funding, which I think is a pretty strong argument that we haven't actually found a better model yet.

Comment Re:TANSTAAFL (Score 1) 199

That doesn't make sense. You're perfectly entitled not to pay for a copyrighted work that you don't find to be worth the asking price. What you're not entitled to do is have it anyway, even if you don't want to pay for it. If it truly has no value to you, then obviously the latter won't be a problem for you. But if you still want it even though you aren't willing to pay anything for it, it takes some serious mental gymnastics to argue that the work has value in one context yet not in another.

Comment Re:TANSTAAFL (Score 1) 199

That's an argument that makes some sense in very limited circumstances, mainly those where works can be presented as live performances, which basically means music or live theatre.

Unfortunately, there is no equivalent for the work done by almost everyone who works in creative industries behind the scenes, or even as a direct creator of other types of work.

The problem we have is that, as you rightly say, the marginal cost for copying creative works is now close to zero, and people only look at that without considering the cost of creating the work in the first place. The copyright principle works pretty well as a way to amortize that initial cost over many people who will enjoy the finished product, but only if enough people play by the rules.

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