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Comment Re:the complaint (Score 4, Funny) 92

The government's response? LOL, you Republicans crack me up. We elected President Hope & Change 7 years ago in case you forgot, and we now have the most transparent government in history which works for the *people*, not big Republican-donating industries like the movie industry.

The government's response will be quite predictable: the EFF is correct and we need to quit enforcing these Republican corporatist crony laws right now!

I can't wait to see the looks on those Hollywood Republican's faces when Obama tells his Justice Department lawyers to give it to them good and hard! For the People!

Comment Re:The Polanski case (Score 1) 300

Yes, it's true that for criminal cases, it's the state bringing charges against you, not the victim. That's what that stuff in cop TV shows about the victim refusing to "press charges" is sort-of BS. However, not completely: a prosecutor who pursues charges against a (alleged) criminal, but has a victim who is completely uncooperative, is going to have a hard time winning that case, so in practice they rarely pursue cases like these because it's a waste of time and money, and makes them look bad too.

Yes, acknowledged - if the main witness is uncooperative then it's difficult. Given the instant case, though, I'm not sure the witness is needed at this point.

Comment Re:The Polanski case (Score 1) 300

Just a nit - there's a difference between a civil case and a criminal case. It's nice that Polanski's victim has forgiven him - that means he doesn't have to face a civil case. But that doesn't absolve him from criminal liability. Statutory rape (and, if I remember the case correctly it was actually just plain "rape" - big difference for those of you who are scratching your heads) is a crime and is considered an offense against everybody, hence the criminal aspect of it.

Comment Simple solution (Score 2) 212

Make breaking the law a crime. Yeah, totally crazy, right? Except, that's how laws that don't apply to government employees work. We need to criminalize "breaking" the 4th amendment along with the rest of them. It'll only take one or two government criminals going to jail before the rest catch on.

Sadly, it really is that simple and congress could do that tomorrow.

Comment Re:Art is best as a hobby (Score 1) 153

Thanks for the advice. I work on the fringes of the music industry and know plenty of people who make money from it. Few of them "perform". She's very capable and has what it takes, just needs to add "hard work" to what she has. Difficult to say what she'll end up doing.

I've explained that it's a hard road, but I think she'll be fine.

Comment Content owners? (Score 5, Informative) 153

What is a "content owner"? Oh, the person who owns the recording.

For those of you who don't understand the big issue, there are two kinds of "owners" for a piece of recorded music - the guy who owns the actual sound recording (master) and the person/people who own the copyright on the underlying work (the writers). These are often not the same people, particularly in commercial music where a record label typically owns the masters.

Writers get paid statutory rates for sound recordings or digital downloads, known as a mechanical royalty rate. For a song that's 5 minutes or less, it's 9.1 cents per copy, with a 1.75 cent/minute increment above 5 minutes. They also get paid for broadcast uses of their works (this is what BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC handle in the US). The issue with Youtube is that there's no good way to pay writers, so they get screwed. Frankly, the labels are getting screwed, too, as $1B isn't a whole lot of money after it's sliced a million ways. I doubt Youtube's ads bring in enough money to pay out more, anyway. ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC pay writers some from Youtube if the song is recognized in the content-id system, but the money is paltry.

Writers are really getting screwed on streaming and Youtube, and while people used to be able to make a decent living as a writer even 10 years ago, it's getting quite difficult now. I have a niece trying to get into the business and I'm telling her she has to perform as well as writing so she can make a good living at it.

Anyway, that's the issue.

Comment Re:Walmart (Score 4, Insightful) 118

They sell the same stuff as the other grocery stores around here, just at lower prices. The produce is sourced locally where possible (like Kroger and Publix).

Why do you think they sell different stuff?

Or are you the typical cluefuck elitist who thinks that only organic overpriced stuff from Whole Foods is "healthy"?

Comment Re:Small Government? (Score 1) 186

Some libertarians have a naïve belief that in a free market, good honest companies will always prevail over fraudsters. And they are not completely wrong... in the long run. Fraud generally is discovered eventually and bad companies get replaced with better ones, but often not before massive damage has been wrought. And where one fraudster succeeds even for a while, others will try and follow in his footsteps.

Which is why other libertarians do see a role for government to provide some ground rules and provide oversight to actually enforce those rules. Even if only because it's far cheaper than letting fraudsters run wild.

ALL libertarians believe the government has a role in providing ground rules and oversight. It's one of the only legitimate functions of government - contract enforcement. See above for more information.

Comment Re:Small Government? (Score 1) 186

With the "small government" approach the scam would continue.
"Libertarians" take note.
Being free to scam others without consequence doesn't do a lot for the liberty of those being scammed.

It's always funny how people who argue against libertarianism don't have any fucking clue what libertarianism actually is. I'll explain, you try to understand.

One of the essential roles of government is contract enforcement. Along with property rights, contract enforcement is one of the bedrock principles that makes civilization civilized. I as an individual can make a contract with a multi-billion dollar company and if they renege on their end the government will enforce it (in theory, at least).

Theranos promised to provide something and didn't deliver. Their claims were fraudulent. They broke the implied warranty of merchantability. This is absolutely a case where the government needs to step in and force Theranos to make the victims whole. Given that it's a healthcare product, we also believe that the state has a vested interest in making sure that their claims are valid before the product is sold, anyway.

What's hilarious is that cluefucks like yourself believe that this is a failure of libertarianism when, in fact, it's a failure of big government. We have a regulatory framework in place already that's supposed to find out that Theranos is a fraud before they sell the product, and yet they allowed the product to come to market. As usual, your side fails and you try to blame my side.

Rather than railing against a boogeyman that you're not smart enough to understand, you should be asking why the substantial regulatory framework already in place failed.

Comment Re:Well past time... (Score 2) 117

...to move to a public utility model for telecom. Government owns and maintains the right-of-way and the copper/glass. Everybody who wants to gets to buy access to it, be it last mile or peerage

No. Please spare us the tired, "the guvamint will screw it up" argument. It's bullshit. I can show you public utility districts that make their commercial counterparts in the electrical service delivery business look like third-world pretenders. It works as well as it does for one simple reason, the district is beholden to the electorate, not shareholders.

Yeah, we have that model here in Tennessee, and it works well. For electricity.

You see, the standard that we use for electricity hasn't changed significantly in the last 100 years. Broadband isn't even remotely comparable. The sad reality is that we don't have a good answer as market forces don't work well when there's only one or two providers and government cannot possibly move at the speed necessary to stay updated.

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