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Comment Re:Who are these guys? (Score 1) 99

Update: I found the closest thing to a mission statement I could find buried in a wall of text on page 17 of their 2013 tax return.

Although the Phoenix Center does not meet the safe harbor test for public support (33-1/3%) in 2013, it believes that the following facts and circumstances support the organization's continuance as a public charity. The Phoenix Center has grown and developed since its inception to become a voice for consumer welfare by promoting free markets, competition, and individual freedom and liberty.

In other words, its exacta what everyone thinks. This is yet another one of those corporate mouthpiece "think tanks" that release studies to push a corporate agenda.

I think you're right about that, but that's not what the text says. Unless you think that only corporations want "free markets, competition, and individual freedom and liberty". Corporations typically want none of those things. They like markets that benefit them at the expense of their competitors, not free markets, and they'd love to have no competition. They tend not to care much about individual freedom and liberty, except to the degree that their directors feel personally strong about such issues.

Comment Re:I posit that (Score 1) 99

If YouTube were to pay the recorded music industry market rates, similar to what other streaming services pay, its economic contributions to the sector would be 0. This would be so because YouTube would simply not allow copyright music on its service.

But YouTube actually does pay the industry. Most of the time, if you post a copyrighted song the copyright owner doesn't bother filing a DMCA takedown request, YouTube just informs you that your video contains copyrighted material and that instead of paying you for any ad revenue from views, YouTube pays the copyright holder. I've made a few videos for weddings and funerals, set to music, and that's the case for all of my videos. I don't care. I didn't make them to make money but to honor the people in them, and being able to use the subjects' favorite music and allow the copyright holder to get paid for that use is perfectly acceptable to me.

Are the rates YouTube pays "market rates"? Beats me. They're the rates that the copyright holders agreed to, which makes them "market rates" by definition, doesn't it?

It's not clear to me what the author of this paper is talking about, exactly. Is he talking about revenue lost to copyright holders tho haven't bothered to register their material with YouTube so it can be automatically identified and paid for? Is he talking about revenue lost to copyright holders because YouTube's systems fail to identify their material? The most likely thing, based on the summary, (no, I did not RTFA), is that he believes that if YouTube had to pre-vet content to avoid being sued for inadvertently hosting infringing material, then YouTube would simply not exist and that record labels would instead be able to run their own services and charge whatever they wanted.

I agree that if you allow the record labels complete control, they can find more ways to extract revenue. I don't agree that that's a good thing.

Comment Re:Coding is a profession with a long term future (Score 1) 535

Cool! Thanks. That speaks to several things I've been turning over in my mind.

YW. Note that I think the industry has changed a little, and I'm not sure that being a generalist is practical any more. Which isn't to say that you shouldn't know about a lot of different things, but there's value in being expert in one field. Note I said one field, not one technology and especially not one tool. Being expert in one tool is great in the short term while that tool is in demand, but it's also a good way to get left behind. Oh, and you have to expect that you'll constantly be learning new stuff for your entire career.

My bottom line, though, is that if you're smart and have an actual interest in software technology for itself, rather than just as a profession, you can develop software for as long as you want to. At some point you'll run into a compensation ceiling, and breaking that requires moving into a different sort of role. But... the ceiling is pretty high if you find a company that values you. And you can make it even higher if you go independent, though that comes with considerable risk.

Comment Re:Trolling and Fake News = same (Score 1) 174

To make it even worse, Pravda, the Soviet Union's old ministry of propaganda, changed it's name to RT, and hired a bunch of anonymous posters, making it one of the single most effective propaganda organizations the world has ever seen.

You think that's bad? Fox News, USA Today, and CNN haven't even had to change their names!

Comment Re:It was bound to happen (Score 1) 225

Translation. You're some armchair quarterback commenting on something you have no real experience with.

We all have real experience with it now, thanks to assorted nuclear disasters.

You should have just been honest and said that up front.

You wouldn't know honestly if it crawled up your ass and died. Which is apparently approximately what happened to you.

Comment Re:Background and the real issue (Score 1) 359

Bruce first! You can't have it both ways, unless of course you are simply a biased prick. Are you?

I might be. But I know that ESR is, because I participate in discussions with him on G+. I'm going to go ahead and echo Bruce here, who said "I looked over your words and didn't find a political argument". Except I didn't look over your words, but Orgasmatron's. And like Bruce, I didn't find a political argument. But Bruce did make specific claims, and then he was simply snarked at. That might go down well on television, but it doesn't win arguments on Slashdot.

Comment Rudd? Working on becoming Cameron's successor? (Score 1) 97

Seriously, Cameron was awesome when it came to finding blunders and jumping right into the middle of them. Actually the Cameron is the SI unit for the minimum distance between two blunders.

Is Rudd really trying to outdo the grand master? It's not easy, but she's very obviously ambitious and willing to put her mind to it. Or ... well, whatever substitute she has.

Submission + - Publish Georgia's state laws, you'll get sued for copyright and lose 1

Presto Vivace writes: If you publish Georgia’s state laws, you’ll get sued for copyright and lose

Malamud thinks reading the law shouldn't cost anything. So a few years back, he scanned a copy of the state of Georgia's official laws, known as the Official Georgia Code Annotated, or OCGA. Malamud made USB drives with two copies on them, one scanned copy and another encoded in XML format. On May 30, 2013, Malamud sent the USB drives to the Georgia speaker of the House, David Ralson, and the state's legislative counsel, as well as other prominent Georgia lawyers and policymakers. ... ... Now, the case has concluded with US District Judge Richard Story having published an opinion (PDF) that sides with the state of Georgia. The judge disagreed with Malamud's argument that the OCGA can't be copyrighted and also said Malamud's copying of the laws is not fair use. "The Copyright Act itself specifically lists 'annotations' in the works entitled to copyright protection," writes Story. "Defendant admits that annotations in an unofficial code would be copyrightable."

It could have been worse, at least he was not criminally charged liked Aaron Schwartz.

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The means-and-ends moralists, or non-doers, always end up on their ends without any means. -- Saul Alinsky