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Comment Re:$15-$18 million of real money or FIFA money? (Score 1) 149

IIRC, the glider case says that bots are illegal, due to copyright since it has to technically copy the code to run in memory, when you don't have a license to run it. And there are similar issues with selling your characters.

Here's what I'm wondering, though: if this is considered fraud, and EA can pursue it, then EA is stating their in-game currency is worth real money. If it's worth real money, they can't simply forbid it from being sold. If they claim it's theirs (which virtually every game maker does) and has zero value (which virtually every game maker does), having it worth a real value could force it to be declared legal to sell characters and in-game currency for real-world money. Doctrine of first sale and so on.

Comment Re:That sounds like a lot of power to make oil (Score 1) 181

Plants pull carbon from both the ground and the air. Rich topsoil is full of carbon by definition.

Thus Human->ground (assuming you mean whole, preserved corpses going into the ground) doesn't really mean much, and means even less when you consider that sequestering bodies in caskets isn't done in most places (preferring non-preserving, or burning), the meat that is buried is insignificant. Even with 55 million humans dying per year, consider that we kill over 50 billion chickens every year, 40 million cows, and 100 million pigs. All of those are also eating plants, so they're consuming carbon. If what you said about them being carbon sinks was correct, we wouldn't have the issues with atmospheric carbon that we do.

In other words, that is not the cycle.

Some of our waste is just thrown in the ground, but that is not a good way to treat it. In order to prevent water contamination and diseases, our waste is filtered, blended, treated with bacteria, methane reclaimed, dried, chopped up, treated to remove pathogens, and used as fertilizer or otherwise churned back into the soil. Basically, it's fed to plants, and it goes back to us one way or another, in an altered form. Some of it goes right back into the atmosphere.

Comment That sounds like a lot of power to make oil (Score 2) 181

It sure sounds like it's not a cost effective way of making oil, but it might be very cost and space effective in sewage treatment.

It would be carbon neutral, very fast in comparison to traditional treatment, and sounds like there's no methane release (an issue in normal sewage treatment). If they can separate it on site, they can use the fuel generated to power the plant.

Comment Re:Once again laws trumps your feels (Score 1) 254

Except copyright only protects...copying verbatim or making derivative copies, still significantly like the original text/work.

Not really true in that respect. It protects all sorts of things, even compilations of works that might be copyrighted by others, but the compilation itself is copyrighted (e.g. the books Brad Templeton made by publishing jokes from rec.humor.funny). It doesn't have to be a verbatim copy, but derive a significant portion of its value from some copyrighted work. In fact, in the UK there was a judgement against someone who merely duplicated a style of photograph, found infringing due to having a history of actual copyright infringement. [I mostly disagree with this ruling, btw, but again copyright isn't strictly verbatim copies.]

The argument is that far fewer people will release their creative projects to the world without some form of protection, so it was coded into the US Constitution and subsequent treaties. Consider making something cool, then someone rich simply stealing the idea and capitalizing it through distribution channels while you reap nothing for your original creative idea. This has happened, and even happens today occasionally.

Basically, works based in fictional universes are copyrighted by the holder of the fictional universe, and such works are considered derivative because a large amount of their value (e.g. recognizability) are from the fictional universe or characters. There are certainly intentional exceptions such as parody where you make fun of the universe or the characters, and that's why sketch comedy like SNL has an ironclad protection to create their humor.

Comment Re:Once again laws trumps your feels (Score 1) 254

If one does not protect their IP then that opens up the door for your competitors to use your IP.

You're thinking of trademarks, not copyright. The Star Trek universe, and the characters, are copyrighted even if someone else writes a script using those characters. The copyright holder can selectively choose to prosecute all or none of the violators at his whim.

Certain copyright violations cannot be prosecuted, such as Fair Use. But it's very unlikely fan fiction can fall under fair use, although that has yet to be seen. I believe Star Trek Continues is trying to use that defense as they are non profit and claim their usage is educational (which usually does fall under Fair Use). This is a weak shield, but they also are not harming the franchise so it will likely be overlooked anyway.

"See a lot of post ignorant of the law."


Comment RIP Star Trek Continues (Score 5, Informative) 254

The fundraising issue really bothers me. I know that Star Trek Continues had done some fundraising and was producing 45m episodes that were excellent. The production value was amazing, and they recreated parts of the set that were very convincing.

This may shut that down, without special dispensation from cbs/p.

Comment Re: Whats the problem? (Score 4, Informative) 254

However I don't think the law should create monopolies in the first place.

Without a monopoly, art will dry up. The purpose of copyright is to protect the artist from exactly what just happened. If that protection is lost, or blatant violations are not prosecutable, artists will stop releasing their work.

Regardless whether you believe he wouldn't have had the incentive is immaterial. He created the work, not the hotel, and the hotel not only abused their usage limitations, they insulted him in the offer to compensate.

Whenever you use a piece of art, you need to know whether you have the rights to use it. That burden is on that party using the work. So, yes, you actually are liable for copyright infringement, whether or not you think it was legal or not. Otherwise, it would lead to leaks that were unprosecutable and everyone would just claim they didn't know. But if it's a creative work of any kind, you should know that it's copyrighted... because all works are copyrighted by treaty. Whenever you copy/use a piece of art from anywhere, the default is that you're probably pirating it unless you're certain you're not. Whenever I use artwork, I also save the license agreement somewhere including screenshots and addresses allowing use.

Comment Re:The 'real market value of his work' is irreleva (Score 5, Insightful) 254

But it seems dubious to sell short-term licenses for photographs - I've never even heard of that as a thing, and have no idea why anyone would agree to that.

This is a standard commercial license, and you haven't heard of it because you are not a professional photographer or need their services. Most commercial photography does not include the copyright, rather a license to use that copyright for a period of time and specific uses. People violate it all the time, and usually this is simple enough (and inexpensive enough) to deal with.

But TFA implied the hotel didn't care they pirated his work and offered a trivial sum for the excessive violation. The moment they exceeded the usage limits, they were violating copyright.

Consider lending someone your car to drive 100 miles. They return the car with 10,000 miles on it. You complain, and they offer to pay you for another 100 miles. That's not what the agreement was, and they made an insulting offer to compensate for it.

Comment The amount is so high because this is a slam-dunk (Score 2) 254

The hotel breached the contract and the copyright. In the US, that will result in treble damages of the value and use, plus potentially more due to the contract.

Whether it's worth $2M or not is debatable. But this absolutely isn't what the summary implied, that the "photographer is lazy" or something. No, he's quite serious about his work being appropriately compensated and not pirated. This is being pirated, and being used for marketing, and so on an so forth.

Most commercial contracts are written with a limited use. This photographer could not subsequently be selling this work of art, and if you look at the likes of Peter Lik (spell that correctly if you google it), the image sales alone could be worth more than $2M.

The summary implied that the hotel was inconvenienced in order for the photographer to make this image, yet he could've easily rented out the room. However, the hotel could not have easily made the shot themselves. That's insulting to professional photographers everywhere. They actually do more than just push a button.

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