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Comment Been there done that. . . (Score 1) 247

There have already been plenty of cases that addressed this very issue, with a lot of them coming out on the side of the search engine that's providing the ads.

I'm not entirely sure how you're going to prove trademark infringement. Courts have argued whether Google's use is even commercial, much less if the use has a significant likelihood of confusion (mainly because Google's act of only putting these ads in a sponsored link is usually sufficient for the ordinary user to know that the trademark owner isn't sponsoring these advertisements of competitors.

What about dilution? I see a hard time because the majority of the trademark use is behind the scenes unknown to the user. Unless by typing in one trademark and getting another via sponsored links that's considered dilution by blurring, which I suppose is a possibility.

Just some random thoughts aloud, but I don't think this suit is going pass through. If it does, we might get some interesting new direct case law on the subject though.

Comment Ridiculous, but somewhat scary. . . (Score 5, Informative) 286

I was one of the few people that had the pleasure (or the displeasure) of being at the Library of Congress DMCA hearing room when the MPAA made this ridiculous argument. Suffice to say, I was completely shocked, flabbergasted, and just plain insulted that educators would truly be expected to do something like this in their bizarro world. Nevermind the fact that you would need an HDTV, HD Camcorder, Tripod, good lighting, and tons of time on your hands to manually create compilation clips with your camcorder (as if educators had any free time as it is).

I couldn't tell if the Copyright bigwigs that heard the argument were actually taking it seriously, but I sincerely hope that any appearance of sincerity was simply there for the sake of keeping respect for the hearings.

The one thing that I learned at the hearing was that you have to be fucking crazy in order to be a lawyer on their side. Even I (a soon to be unemployed law school graduate) didn't think that I could make this argument with a straight face even for tons of money.

Comment Re:For Apple to claim copyright... (Score 3, Insightful) 242

I highly doubt Apple is making that kind of Copyright claim. Most likely, they're attempting to claim copyright in any software or hardware code that was mentioned in these discussions. Considering the whole issue is about figuring out a way to reengineer the iPod and such to work with non-iTunes programs, they've most likely been having a discussion on the signals that the iPod sends to iTunes and to figure out a method of interpreting them.

That's what they mean by a copyright claim.

Comment Re:Read through his posts... (Score 1) 419

Oh please, stop the FUD already.

The only thing that was arguably be "retroactively disabled" were his subscriptions. He can still read his books that were on the Kindle, and he can still transfer new books onto his Kindle by plugging it in a computer and putting free books from third party sites on there.

As for losing access to archived books. I agree that sucks, but here's an idea: BACK IT UP on your computer. It's as easy as plugging it in and dragging and dropping them all on some folder in your HD.

I'm just more surprised that people here at Slashdot seem to condone this practice of buying big ticket items and then returning them constantly for "defects."

Comment Re:Thumbs up to Amazon (Score 1) 232

You do know that Amazon has slashed the inflated prices of eBooks, right? A great deal of the new books with a $9.99 price point are being sold at a loss by Amazon. The official price of the books set by the publishers is very similar to the paperback equivalents.

It's still high, yes. But it could be a lot worse.

Court Allows Arkansas To Hide Wikipedia Edits 145

rheotaxis writes "A circuit judge in Arkansas will not order the state to reveal where its computers were used to edit Wikipedia articles about former governor Mike Huckabee while he was running for President. Two Associated Press journalists used WikiScanner to track the edits to IP addresses used by the state. Writer Jon Gambrell and News Editor Kelly P. Kissel filed a suit in October 2007 asking the state to reveal which state offices used the IP addresses, because state rules don't allow using computer resources for political purposes. The director of the Arkansas Department of Information Systems, Claire Bailey, claimed in court that releasing this information would allow hackers to target these state offices."

Comment Re:How about this (Score 4, Insightful) 188

Dude, I don't you get it.

As far as our government is concerned right now, ripping DVDs IS illegal when doing so circumvents the CSS, which is a violation of the DMCA. Everything that is being asked for is CURRENTLY illegal under the DMCA, regardless of what you or many other wishful thinking nerds believe. I don't understand why asking for these exemptions are a slippery slope -- how can you give up rights that you currently don't have under the law?

Now I understand your frustration, because it really is unfortunate that this is where we're at. But we don't succeed by ignoring the laws. We succeed by working with them, compromising, and then, hopefully, overcoming them with logic, common sense, and hopefully the backing of the American populace.

For example, one of the exemptions listed was for Media Film Studies education. The exemption was granted in 2006 and was a boon to that academic industry. This year, they are arguing that their 2006 exemption was so successful and necessary that they are asking to expand the exemption to encompass even more uses. They used clear factual examples, compelling legal arguments, and logic to show the LOC that it is necessary to expand their rights, and I hope that they get it.

To some (or most) these may seem like small potatoes sure, but they're a legitimate foot in the door. The odds of an exemption being granted that simply asks for something as broad as "everything that is under fair-use" is extremely unlikely. But, if we continue to succeed at these exemptions and show Washington that this is where the people are heading, this is what society needs, and these are the reasons why we are having issues, maybe that becomes one more brick in the wall to convince them that the DMCA is not a good idea.
Hardware Hacking

DMCA Exemptions Desired To Hack iPhones, Remix DVDs 188

An anonymous reader writes "For copyright activists, Christmas comes but once every three years: a chance to ask Santa for a new exemption to the much-hated Digital Millennium Copyright Act's prohibitions against hacking, reverse engineering and evasion of Digital Rights Management (DRM) schemes protecting all kinds of digital works and electronic items. Judging from the list of 20 exemptions requested this year [19 shown], some in the cyber-law community are thinking big. The requests include the right to legally jailbreak iPhones in order to use third party software, university professors wishing to rip clips from DVDs for classroom use, YouTube users wishing to rip DVDs to make video mashups, a request to allow users to hack DRM protecting content from stores that have gone bankrupt or shut down, and a request to allow security researchers to reverse engineer video games with security flaws that put end-users at risk." Reader MistaE provides some more specific links to PDF versions: "Among the exemption proposals is a request from the Harvard Cyberlaw Clinic to allow circumvention of DRM protection when the central authorization server goes down, a request from the EFF to allow circumvention to install third party programs on phones, as well as a request for ripping DVDs for non-commercial purposes. There were also several narrow requests from educational institutions to rip DVDs for classroom practices."

Submission + - DMCA Exemption Comments Now Available for Reading (copyright.gov)

MistaE writes: "With the December 2, 2008 deadline for DMCA Exemptions having come and gone, the U.S. Copyright Office has now made available to the public all nineteen received exemption proposals. Among the exemption proposals is a request from the Harvard Cyberlaw Clinic to allow circumvention of DRM protected works when the central authorization server goes down, a request from the EFF to allow circumvention to install third party programs on phones, as well as a request for ripping DVDs for non-commercial purposes. There were also several narrow requests from educational institutions to rip DVDs for classroom practices. This round of exemption requests continues into the new year with reply comments the exemption proposals due in early February and a discussion forum at the Library of Congress in Spring. Those interested in the future of Copyright and the DMCA are encouraged to read these comments and participate in any way they can."
The Almighty Buck

US Has Been In Recession Since December 2007 540

The National Bureau of Economic Research said Monday that the US has been in a recession since December 2007. The NBER is a private, nonprofit research organization of academic economists who determine business cycles. The stock market took a dip on the news that reached double-digit percentages for some tech stocks.

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