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Comment Re:If this intellectual property is like your hous (Score 1) 309

What you describe sounds a lot like the patent system. There for an administrative fee of some thousand dollar per country you can patent your idea, somebody will do a check to see if it's original and innovative and then grand you a patent.
So as I said before, I don't believe the government can do anything for $1/year, the administration alone of recording the request would easily be a hundredfold more expensive. Let alone validate that the request is original and deserves copyright.
Secondly, if I have to request copyright globally, because my website is global, then it's not $1/year but with 200 countries worldwide a lot more. If any country decides that copyright has to be requested in person, or it costs $1000,-, or it's only accessable by locals, then it becomes impossible for consumers to get worldwide copyright.
If I make a digital creation and somebody pirates it in for instance Congo, I'm probably not loosing a potential customer and missing money. However if that same person uploads my creation online then anyone worldwide can download this. They are downloading a creation from a Congo-lean which is not copyrighted in any country worldwide. That this person would not have been entitled to create this if he would have lived in a country with copyright is regardless, he did nothing illegal in his country and you download an unprotected work.
That means that downloading and sharing of every single creation, protected or not, is completely legal as long as somebody in an uncopyrighted country copied it at some point.
Your idea would basically make it impossible to create copyrighted content and protect it, given that we live a global economy.

Same thing here. If a work is worthless to you, so be it; that's your decision to make. But I see no reason to help you attack someone else who was willing to take a chance. Especially since there'd be no copyright, which means that anyone, including you, could still directly compete with them.

I'm not saying a work is worthless to me, it's just not worth to pay thousands of dollars a year to protect it globally. And without it, if you succeeded with your idea locally you have no ability to go global because somebody else has very likely already copied it there. It also means that if I make a significant investment to create something, be it money or time, if I don't instantly copyright it globally people can freely copy my work into that nation, saturate the market and make it impossible to sell my idea there.

I fully agree with you that the current system is flawed, but you are converting it to the patent system which in my opinion is way more flawed then the copyright system at this point. I personally think the proper solution should be in reasonable terms after which copyright ends together with clear and useful fair use legislation. And also add clear and appropriate punishment for copyright violation. I'm from the Netherlands and I find the current law here that downloading is not illegal but uploading is quite reasonable.
However as soon as you start putting tax in this on a per country basis you break the entire worldwide market of digital and easily copy-able goods. That makes it near impossible for consumers to earn money online and would break the whole economy of websites, ebooks, movies, music and anything else that is effortless to copy.

Comment Re:If this intellectual property is like your hous (Score 1) 309

Without copyright I can't control if I get credits for it,

Well, if this is important to you, would you be willing to pay a registration fee, with periodic renewal fees, in order to maintain that control?

My website is my portfolio, and because of the games and resources I have created I have gotten several jobs. So this is important to me. This consists in part out of a few dozen games I've created but also out of hundreds of tutorials and articles I've written, most of which are shared under a creative commons attribution license.
While it is important for me to protect my portfolio, at $1/piece/year this would be in the neighborhood of $200/year. Currently I have some sparsely spread advertisement on my website that just covers the hosting cost. This means that hosting tutorials and resources to help the community is costing me money. That would likely result in me taking most of them down and hiding them from public.
In the past I have gotten regular complaints and negative press that I'm stealing other people's idea and re-hosting them under my own name, while in fact it was reverse. In those cases I have managed to rectify the situation by using the copyright law to get the offending items taken down, or if that creater did read the license, point people to the relevant credits page.

Without copyright law I will get a lot more bad press and negative feedback for helping others. So I do not wish to share my creations unprotected and I find a Create Commons Attribution license is a very fair deal to help these people.
I started this website as a student, and at the time did not have a lot of income that I could give $200/year as loose change for copyright. So then end result would be that I would not have shared these items and kept them private.

... a dollar, annually,

I do not believe that any government will be able to protect my copyright worldwide for a mere $1. The administrative cost alone to handle would easily be a hundredfold of this value in any government system. Which also means you are not asking a student like I was for $200/year but $20000/year which I would surely have declined.

it's to protect the citizens

But you aren't being hurt!

True, if someone steals my work and becomes very rich with it, I'm not directly hurt. But I've did quite a bit of the work to create the resource and I'm not paid for that because I don't have the money and the marketing drive to protect myself. I could afterwards even risk lawsuit for sharing my own creation if the company in question did copyright my creation. Corporations that are getting rich over the backs of unknowing citizens is something I feel the laws should protect me against.
Also, lets say your local photo print shop copies all your photos and sells them to a marketing firm. And the marketing firm decides to start a new ad campaign, picks a photo of your dog at random because of its looks, and uses it as the model for their new ad campaign against rabies.
Copyright law prevents them from doing this, without it you'd have a famous dog and nobody would ever visit you again if they found your dog has rabies.

Copyright law is very broadly defined and protects basically any original creation. This has a lot of uses and not all are bad. While the current system certainly has flaws I don't think an extra layer of bureaucracy solves it, this merely makes it hard to do for ordinary citizens while hardly influences big corporations.

Comment Re:If this intellectual property is like your hous (Score 1) 309

I make computer games in my spare time. I put them for free on my website as a portfolio and because I'm a generally nice guy.
In your case I'm required to pay extra taxes because I've created something that I want to share for free under my own terms. Mainly some advertisement to pay the hosting, credits and the ability to get feedback.
I do actively control that people don't copy the executable and mirror it without credit, because then I miss those advantages. However I'm not willing to pay higher tax on free games I create to prevent people from claiming then as their own.

Copyright is a very broad law that anything anyone creates is protected. If I write a poem on a birthday card that is protected and Hallmark can't copy that, just like if I create a multi million dollar movie it's protected so someone at home can't share it for free.
While the idea for taxes is nice, it's not a practical solution given the broadness of copyright law.

Comment Re:What's the point? (Score 2, Interesting) 365

It turns out that the people who like to hack the copy protection and share the game aren't the real gamers.
I've read a success story about a game in which the finish of the first level wasn't there when the DRM check failed. It was cracked multiple times & uploaded but none of the pirates notices the game could not be finished. It took 2+ months for a real crack to be made while lots of gamers got frustrated with the cracked version and the game had higher sales then normal in the first 2 months.

So making sure that an illegal version has a worse game experience then the genuine article will make people pay for it. If the copy protection is totally obvious then crackers won't upload buggy cracks and thus the illegal version will have a better game experience.

Google Starts Charging a Signup Fee For Chrome Extension Developers 132

trooperer writes "On Thursday, Google introduced two significant changes in the Google Chrome Extensions Gallery: a developer signup fee and a domain verification system. The signup fee is a one-time payment of $5. The announcement says its purpose is to 'create better safeguards against fraudulent extensions in the gallery and limit the activity of malicious developer accounts.' Developers who already registered with the gallery can continue to update their extensions and publish new items without paying the fee." Google also made available a developer preview for the Chrome Web Store.

Comment Re:Gamers grown up (Score 1) 68

I've given several classes in programming games in the Netherlands. Most recently for a group of 11 year olds at IMC Weekend-School. For this I use the off the shelf tool, Game Maker.

What surprises me is that an 11 year old kid, with a 10 minute training, can create a fun and interesting game in just 2 hours. They can analyse there game concept and add a layer of abstraction to it to program it. They can convert the idea, the cat needs to move to his basket while luring the dog away to the concept, the object with the sprite cat needs to collide with the object 'bone' to make the object 'dog' disappear after which it needs to collide with the object 'basket'.

With almost no training they can create a large variety of games (Windows only). And admittedly, they vary greatly but there are some very fun games with them.

Using an off the shelf program might not teach them to become perfect programmers but it does teach them to think up a game concept, analyze it and convert it to a system of rules. Being able to critically analyze a concept and convert it to it's basic is a very useful skill to learn, one which will also help them if they decide to go programming.

I'm an administrator of a variety of game communities and I see many young kids passionately working on there creation and I fully agree with this study. Already, many schools in the Netherlands but also worldwide teach game creation with tools like Game Maker and I've seen many kids who learned a great deal off it, myself included. While an off the shelf tool might not teach them to become programmers, they learn a great deal more, have a more fun experience and thus an easier learning curve. While starting from scratch might be it for some talented kids, you can interest a great deal more kids with an off the shelf product.

Windows Vista Keygen a Hoax 154

An anonymous reader writes "The author of the Windows Vista keygen that was reported yesterday has admitted that the program does not actually work. Here is the initial announcement of the original release of the keygen, and here is the followup post in which the same author acknowledges that the program is fake. Apparently, the keygen program does legitimately attack Windows Vista keys via brute force, but the chances of success are too low for this to be a practical method. Quote from the author: 'Everyone who said they got a key is probably lying or mistaken!'"

Submission + - Students charged in online snow-day hoax

We used to pull the fire alarm writes: "Two teenage girls caused a number of parents to keep their kids home from school by posting a fake announcement that school was cancelled due to snow. The best part: some parents fell for it even though it wasn't snowing!

From the article: "The two Edgewood High School students, whose names were not released, were charged in juvenile court on Friday and face expulsion. One of the girls, 16, was charged with delinquency by unauthorized use of a computer and by reason of records tampering. The other, 17, was charged with delinquency by reason of complicity, Sheriff's Sgt. Monte Mayer said."

The punishment seems harsh considering the hosting company "said the system was not hacked into because no security breach was detected" and again, it wasn't snowing. Is this another case like the Boston Cartoon Netork Fiasco where pranksters are being punished for making adults look like idiots? Or do these girls deserve to be in handcuffs for making what seems to be a funny forum post?"

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