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Comment Late-Breaking News from the Council: WTF G'RANEE? (Score 2) 244

>K'Breel was deposed and executed after his repeated failures in repelling the Terran aggressor. We don't speak of him. All hail mighty G'Ranee, Supreme Leader for Life!

LATE-BREAKING NEWS FROM THE COUNCIL: VICTORY! The Council of Elders has confirmed the blueworlders' resumption of aggression upon our noble red sands. K'Breel, Speaker for the Council of Elders, addressed the planet thusly: OKAY. Okay, so I'm K'Breel (even though anyone on Slashdot can assume the mantle merely by declaring themselves Speaker for the Council), and I'm late, but I'm merely chronologically late, not as in the Late Second Adjunctant to the Council Formerly Known As G'Ranee.

But domestic politics is beneath us tonight -- just take a glance at the blue world beneath us for a look at how bad that can get -- and let us focus on what's important: over the past sol or so, our Planetary Defense Force has been so good at pre-emptively distracting the blueworlders with tasks like landing comets, grabbing their prospective mates by their genitals, low-planetary orbit missions, and just general tribal infighting that we haven't had to shoot down any robotic invaders in quite some time. But when the opportunity presents itself, we take advantage of it, and so, we did. Hence the trivial elimination of yet another putative invader from elsewhere. We'd do it every day, except that the blueworlders lack the gelsacular fortitude to send us more targets. Now as to gelsacular fortitude, on to Second Adjunctant G'Ranee...

When a junior reporter pointed out that the destroyed invader was merely a technology demonstrator built on the cheap to see if a landing was possible, and that the blueworlders' actual payload was safely in orbit, K'Breel had the reporter's gelsacs launched into orbit alongside those of G'Ranee for a closer look.

Comment Re:Unity on Slashdot? (Score 1) 282

Your two statements are contradictory.

They're not. Holding a copyright on a work does not confer one with complete authority as to how that work may be used. The rights which comprise copyright are relatively few; further, they are themselves limited in a number of respects.

For example, copyright on a book does not include a right to prohibit other people from reading the book. The list of exclusive rights that together form a copyright can mostly be found at 17 USC 106. (Again, only for the purposes of US copyright law; I have no idea about foreign copyright law, and I don't care to)

And posting a picture on your website doesn't tell or demonstrate anything.

The conduct of doing so, assuming a website open to the public, is an implicit license to anyone to access and view it (and to make incidental copies in the process of doing so).

If I happen to know that the Mona Lisa hangs in the Louvre, there's nothing wrong with my telling people to go there to see it. And if I happen to know the URL of your picture, there's nothing wrong with my telling people to go there to see your picture; this is so whether I provide people with a link to be manually followed, or an embedded link to be automatically followed such that the picture appears in the web page. I'm not copying it onto my website or anything.

First sale is not profiting in a commercial sense.

It is absolutely that. A used book store will sell copies of works for a profit, because it is a commercial enterprise. It is totally reliant on the first sale doctrine. Ditto however many independent video stores still exist (since it's perfectly legal to rent lawfully made copies of movies that you own).

Commercial use is not fair use.

Well, where the hell were you when the Supreme Court needed your input in 1994 in Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music?

There the Court not only found that a commercial use certainly could be a fair use, they even said that it is wrong to treat a commercial use as being presumptively unfair. Commerciality is just an element to be considered, and that's all:

If, indeed, commerciality carried presumptive force against a finding of fairness, the presumption would swallow nearly all of the illustrative uses listed in the preamble paragraph of  107, including news reporting, comment, criticism, teaching, scholarship, and research, since these activities "are generally conducted for profit in this country." Harper & Row, supra, at 592 (Brennan, J., dissenting). Congress could not have intended such a rule, which certainly is not inferable from the common-law cases, arising as they did from the world of letters in which Samuel Johnson could pronounce that "[n]o man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money." 3 Boswell's Life of Johnson 19 (G. Hill ed. 1934).

But then I guess you already knew everything you wrong was wrong since you fell the need to try and make your point using an insult.

'Everything you wrong was wrong?' What the hell is that?

Anyway, I called you an idiot because you're clearly an idiot. It had nothing to do with my actual argument. But my advice to you is that you have no idea what the hell you're talking about, at least within the context of US copyright law, and you would do yourself, and everyone else a great service if you'd shut the fuck up and learn something from a legitimate, neutral source before you next presume to talk about it.

Comment Re:Unity on Slashdot? (Score 3, Informative) 282

You still retain all rights to decide how people may use that photo.

No, you still retain whatever rights you had. You certainly don't have complete authority to decide how other people may use it. So long as other people use it in a manner which doesn't infringe on your copyright, you can't control them at all, in fact.

At no time does making something publicly available give a 3rd party ability to profit from it.

It does for first sale. It does for fair use, if the particular use happens to qualify (commercial uses are fully able to be fair uses). There's a number of other exceptions that can apply as well. For example, if you release a record, other people can record and sell cover versions of it, and the whole intent of this was to allow third parties the ability to profit without the permission of the copyright holder.

This sounds like a perfectly ordinary copyright ruling

In fact, this is an asinine ruling. The court got it right before, when it found that linking to a file which had been put up with authorization was not infringing (which the exact thing you've been claiming was infringing, idiot). Here, the difference was that the underlying files had been put up in an infringing manner. But, rather than tell the rights holder to go after the actual wrong-doer who put them up to begin with, they decided to shift liability to third parties who were not responsible for the underlying infringement. It's very reminiscent of the stupid 'right to be forgotten' cases, in that it tries to sweep things under the carpet by imposing liability on the wrong parties just because they're more convenient.

Comment Re:Well, I thought we had settled this (Score 1) 282

Commercial use is, and it always has been too. This isn't anything surprising to anyone who's done as much as first year of lawschool. There's a big difference between publishing content, even distributing it widely, and making a profit of the said content.

I have no idea about European copyright law, nor do I care, but in the US, there's not any significant difference.

Infringement is essentially any infringement of the rights granted to authors in section 106, which are subject to various exceptions and limitations.

Prima facie infringement makes no distinction between commercial and non-commercial use. That may be relevant in computing damages, but often isn't. A few of the exceptions to copyright may apply in certain circumstances that include non-commercial use, but others apply in any kind of use.

Since no one in the US studies copyright law in their first year of law school, I wouldn't worry too much about what some 1L thinks.

Also I think your hypo with the photograph is wrong. First, 'embedding' is not a right of the copyright holder. Copying is, but in the case of embedding, the Coca-Cola company has not engaged in copying; only you and the end user have. Distribution is, but in the case of embedding, they're not distributing anything; you are, if anyone is. Public display is your best bet, but again, they're not the ones displaying it, you are. Your problem is that you have set up your server to accept requests from users who are not viewing your site, but who may be viewing some other site that is embedding an image from you. That's your fault, and within your control. Your failure to prevent it can be viewed as an implicit license for users to view that material, which kills any argument at direct, and therefore secondary, infringement.

As for the model release, that's a whole different kettle of fish, but certainly wouldn't come back against you.

Comment Re:Fair use (Score 1) 172

It would be fair use only if used infrequently. For example, if you want to quote someone else's article in your article, that's fair use. However, if your entire business is dependent upon making snippets from thousands of articles, that's no longer fair use, it's commercial use.

No, you're wrong.

First, fair use applies to both commercial and non-commercial uses. For example, when Mad Magazine did a movie parody, that would be fair use, even though the magazine us sold for an increasing cheap price and is a commercial venture.

Second, the previous poster didn't really explain it well. Fair use is when a copyrighted work is used without permission in a way that, but for fair use, would be infringing, but which is not infringing because it is in the general purpose of copyright to allow such a use. It's evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and is completely fact dependent. This, any particular use might be a fair use, but not just any use actually is.

There's a test for finding out whether a use is fair or not. It has four factors, though it isn't a matter of adding up how many factors go one way or another, and depending on the case, one factor might be treated as outweighing another. Plus, it's just a tool; other factors can be considered too.

The factors are: 1) the purpose and character of the use, such as whether the use is for profit or not, whether the use would advance the progress of knowledge by resulting in something new or otherwise helpful; 2) the nature of the work being used, such as whether it is fictional and therefore very creative and worth protecting, or factual, and therefore not worth protecting quite so much (how a work presents itself is also often relevant in copyright; if you claim that something is a fact, even though it's made up or is just a hypothesis, others may get to treat it as a fact) as well as whether the work being used has already been published or not; 3) the amount of the work used, and how important to the work that portion is; and 4) whether the use will have a negative effect on the value or market for the work (positive effects are not considered).

Snippets of this type -- in aggregate, mind you -- have repeatedly been found to be fair use in the US because for the first factor, although the use is commercial in nature, it provides a benefit to society in being able to search for this material (which of course requires as much material as possible to be used in constructing the index, even though the index itself, as opposed to the results of a search, is not made available), the second factor may weigh against the use depending on the material being indexed, but it is not treated as being very important, obviously the whole work must be used to make the index for the index to be useful, so the third factor doesn't matter, and for the fourth factor, it doesn't harm the market for news articles to be able to find them and to see in one or two lines why they match your search terms. It doesn't matter if that's the business model.

And if you think this is extreme, look at time shifting, which is bad on all of the first three factors, but is sufficiently successful on the fourth so as to be fair use (in a general way, since again it is highly fact dependent)

Submission + - US Efforts To Regulate Encryption Have Been Flawed, Government Report Finds (theguardian.com)

An anonymous reader writes: U.S. Republican congressional staff said in a report released Wednesday that previous efforts to regulate privacy technology were flawed and that lawmakers need to learn more about technology before trying to regulate it. The 25-page white paper is entitled Going Dark, Going Forward: A Primer on the Encryption Debate and it does not provide any solution to the encryption fight. However, it is notable for its criticism of other lawmakers who have tried to legislate their way out of the encryption debate. It also sets a new starting point for Congress as it mulls whether to legislate on encryption during the Clinton or Trump administration. "Lawmakers need to develop a far deeper understanding of this complex issue before they attempt a legislative fix," the committee staff wrote in their report. The committee calls for more dialogue on the topic and for more interviews with experts, even though they claim to have already held more than 100 such briefings, some of which are classified. The report says in the first line that public interest in encryption has surged once it was revealed that terrorists behind the Paris and San Bernardino attacks "used encrypted communications to evade detection."

Comment Benefits: "Giving back some of what we took" (Score 0) 760

Government can only give benefits from money they took from someone else in the first place.
The top 10% of earners pay 68% of taxes in the US. Anything government "gives back" was theirs in the first place.
That is unless we've moved to a ideology that government already owns everything the citizens have and we are all serfs.


Men Are Sabotaging The Online Reviews Of TV Shows Aimed At Women (fivethirtyeight.com) 858

FiveThirtyEight has an interesting article today which accuses men of sabotaging the online reviews of TV shows aimed at women. The publication cites an example of "Sex and the City", a show which apparently won plenty of awards and ran for many years on TV, getting hammered by males on IMDb. Compared to women, who amounted to 60% of the people who rated the show with an average of 8.1, men gave it a 5.8 rating. It's not an isolated case, FiveThirtyEight says, citing several other instances where the male audience has downvoted shows aimed at women audience. From the article: The shows with the largest proportion of male raters are mostly sports, video game web series, science fiction and cartoons. The programs with the highest proportion of female voters are -- at least the American ones -- mostly from The CW and Freeform, the new name of the network previously called ABC Family. This list is pretty hilarious. Beyond the top 25, shown in the table above, male-dominated shows of note include: "Blue Mountain State" (92 percent male), "Batman: Beyond" (91 percent), "Batman: The Animated Series" (90 percent), "The Shield" (90 percent), "Ballers" (90 percent), "Justice League" (90 percent), and "The League" (88 percent). "Star Trek: Enterprise" is the most male-heavy of the various official live-action Trek enterprises, while "Battlestar Galactica" still managed to grab 15 percent of its ratings from women, which is somewhat shocking. For women, other skewed programming includes "Private Practice" (71 percent female), "Gossip Girl" and "Gilmore Girls" (67 percent each), "Grey's Anatomy" (60 percent), "Scandal" (60 percent), and "One Tree Hill" (59 percent).

Comment Reverse Calculate Average Lifetime of Civilization (Score 1) 267

I'd be interested in seeing a paper that estimates the maximum lifetime of a technological civilization, on the basis that : (A) the estimates given are right about the number of stars, how many habitable planets are in the goldilocks zone, etc.,., (B) we are not atypical, and then (C) that we have not encountered signals from any radio emitting civilizations.

We might find that there would be so many technological civilizations, that technological civilizations should only exist for a few dozen years. Or we may find that they are so rare, that it's extremely uncommon that they overlap, and they may well last for several millennium.

Submission + - IBM Giving Everyone Access To Its Quantum Computing Processors (fortune.com)

An anonymous reader writes: IBM said on Wednesday that it's giving everyone access to one of its quantum computing processors, which can be used to crunch large amounts of data. Anyone can apply through IBM Research's website to test the processor, however, IBM will determine how much access people will have to the processor depending on their technology background — specifically how knowledgeable they are about quantum technology. With the project being "broadly accessible," IBM hopes more people will be interested in the technology, said Jerry Chow, manager of IBM's experimental quantum computing group. Users can interact with the quantum processor through the Internet, even though the chip is stored at IBM's research center in Yorktown Heights, New York, in a complex refrigeration system that keeps the chip cooled near absolute zero.

Submission + - Study Suggests Free Will Is An Illusion (iflscience.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A new paper published in the journal Psychological Science has attempted to define and investigate the subject of free will. By asking participants to anticipate when they thought a specific color of circle would appear before them, something determined completely by chance, the researchers found that their predictions were more accurate when they had only a fraction of a second to guess than when they had more time. The participants subconsciously perceived the color change as it happened prior to making their mental choice, even though they always thought they made their prediction before the change occurred. They were getting the answers right because they already knew the answer. “Our minds may be rewriting history,” Adam Bear, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Psychology at Yale University and lead author of the study, said in a statement. The implication here is that when it comes to very short time scales, even before we think we’ve made a conscious choice, our mind has already subconsciously decided for us, and free will is more of an illusion than we think.

Comment Re:spin (Score 1) 211

Which is the point where you've broken copyright law. Photocopying books is, well, copying them.

Unless you're engaged in a fair use (or fall under certain other exceptions), in which case the copying is perfectly legal under copyright law. Which turns out to have been the case here.

And thanks to Google clearing the trail, it'll be easier for others to do the same thing, if they're inclined.

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