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Comment Remember ACTA, negotiated in SECRECY (Score 2) 285

The policy of secrecy surrounding the ACTA negotiations was shameful, and this policy was lifted straight from the Bush Administration. Obama gets a "ZERO"

But don't take my word for, listen to the several dozen civic organizations that filed a protest, listen to Senator Whyden, whose excellent letter to USTR went unanswered. Listen to Canadian law professor Michael Geist. Listen to Knowledge Ecology, whose FOIA request the Obama Administration denied on "national security" grounds.

Knowledge Ecology ACTA News: http://keionline.org/taxonomy/term/95

Knowledge Ecology ACTA timeline: http://keionline.org/node/991

Michael Geist: http://www.michaelgeist.ca/index.php?option=com_tags&task=view&tag=acta&Itemid=408

Comment Re:a list of facts is not copyrightable. (Score 1) 241

You should be acquainted with Feist v Rural Telephone. The information in the telephone book is NOT copyrightable. ALL of the information in the aggregation can be freely copied:

[7] Rural sued for copyright infringement in the District Court for the District of Kansas taking the position that Feist, in compiling its own directory, could not use the information contained in Rural's white pages. As applied to a factual compilation, assuming the absence of original written expression, only the compiler's selection and arrangement may be protected; the raw facts may be copied at will. This result is neither unfair nor unfortunate. It is the means by which copyright advances the progress of science and art. [20] This Court has long recognized that the fact-expression dichotomy limits severely the scope of protection in fact-based works. More than a century ago, the Court observed: "The very object of publishing a book on science or the useful arts is to communicate to the world the useful knowledge which it contains. But this object would be frustrated if the knowledge could not be used without incurring the guilt of piracy of the book." Baker v. Selden, 101 U.S. 99, 103 (1880). We reiterated this point in Harper & Row: "No author may copyright facts or ideas. The copyright is limited to those aspects of the work -- termed 'expression' -- that display the stamp of the author's originality. “Copyright does not prevent subsequent users from copying from a prior author's work those constituent elements that are not original -- for example . . . facts, or materials in the public domain -- as long as such use does not unfairly appropriate the author's original contributions.” 471 U.S., at 547-548 (citation omitted). [21] This, then, resolves the doctrinal tension: Copyright treats facts and factual compilations in a wholly consistent manner. Facts, whether alone or as part of a compilation, are not original and therefore may not be copyrighted. A factual compilation is eligible for copyright if it features an original selection or arrangement of facts, but the copyright is limited to [p*351] the particular selection or arrangement. In no event may copyright extend to the facts themselves.

Comment Re:Argumentum ad hominem (Score 1) 241

Would suggest that you actually acquaint yourself with the definition of ad hominem:

An ad hominem (Latin: "to the man"), short for argumentum ad hominem, is an attempt to link the validity of a premise to a characteristic or belief of the opponent advocating the premise. ... Conflict of Interest: Where a source seeks to convince by a claim of authority or by personal observation, identification of conflicts of interest are not ad hominem - it is generally well accepted that an "authority" needs to be objective and impartial, and that an audience can only evaluate information from a source if they know about conflicts of interest that may affect the objectivity of the source. Identification of a conflict of interest is appropriate, and concealment of a conflict of interest is a problem.

Pointing out a conflict of interest is not ad hominem. Note that this issue re header files has been discussed many times, and is getting to be a famous red-herring (remember these were mentioned by S.C.O. also, in the lawsuit that they lost against IBM) By the way, it is not I who attempted to hide the conflict of interest by erasing its history 1984-like. If the connections with Microsoft were not something to be ashamed of, why was the resume altered?

Comment ASTROTURF Alert (Score 1) 292

IF there was ever a more clear example of Microsoft funded Astroturf, this is it. We need laws against this, and to protect real people from corporations in the wake of Citizens United. There is a very simple solution: A Constitutional Amendment that declares that corporations do not have rights under the Bill of Rights, except probably for limited due process rights. Think that is extreme? Well read this:http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2011/feb/23/need-to-protect-internet-from-astroturfing

Every month more evidence piles up, suggesting that online comment threads and forums are being hijacked by people who aren't what they seem. The anonymity of the web gives companies and governments golden opportunities to run astroturf operations: fake grassroots campaigns that create the impression that large numbers of people are demanding or opposing particular policies. This deception is most likely to occur where the interests of companies or governments come into conflict with the interests of the public. For example, there's a long history of tobacco companies creating astroturf groups to fight attempts to regulate them. After I wrote about online astroturfing in December, I was contacted by a whistleblower. He was part of a commercial team employed to infest internet forums and comment threads on behalf of corporate clients, promoting their causes and arguing with anyone who opposed them.

Comment More noise from Microsoft, obviously (Score 4, Informative) 241

Microsoft has been shown to be behind the SCO lawsuit rather convincingly by groklaw. This is just more noise, and I am not surprised to see Florain Mueller, paid Microsoft stooge, jumped very quickly on this astroturfed bandwagon. See that Ed Naughton's bio used to list all of the work he had done for Microsoft and now it is suddenly revised. Microsoft is one of the most deeply immoral companies ever with no respect for the idea of truth, let alone integrity. As covered at Groklaw news picks:

"Edward J. Naughton bio gets revised [PJ: Edward J. Naughton, the attorney Huffington Post just published claiming Android may be in violation of the GPL has done work for Microsoft. Surprised much? His article states this at the end: "The views expressed are my own individual views and should not be attributed to any clients." Nevertheless, at least one of them may be delighted. His bio has changed recently. The link above is to its current state, where you will not find any mention of Microsoft. It's been changed to a "Fortune 50 software company". Here's what used to be on it, still in Google cache, a snapshot taken recently, on March 8]: - Co-counsel defending Microsoft against a putative consumer class action alleging that it had violated wiretapping statutes and common law privacy rights by designing Windows to permit third parties to place cookies on computers. Obtained dismissal of complaint.... - Represented Microsoft in several dozen lawsuits against resellers and corporate end-users of counterfeit, infringing, and unlicensed software. - Brown Rudnick bio page for Naughton

Comment An idea for a Hacker Project (Score 1) 637

....the Hacker community needs to do a better job of exposing threats. The questioning of an MIT hacker several months ago should have been more widely publicized. What is needed is a site just like Who is sick? called Who’s been questioned? Anyone who had been questioned by the FBI or the CIA could post the questions that they have been asked.The questions and especially their aggregation would contain a lot of very interesting information. Patterns emerge, and the threats to freedom will be understood more clearly. The rest of my post here: http://enigmafoundry.wordpress.com/2010/08/01/wikileaks-reaches-critical-mass/ Who is sick website: http://whoissick.org/sickness/ Cheers! eee_eff

Comment So you want to subvert democracy because... (Score 0, Flamebait) 242

There is no regulation that puts any limit on the energy level of the cell phones, it is just a disclosure requirement. All the "pro-market" folks always talk about how information makes markets more efficient, and here is a requirment that only requires one thing: disclosure. IF you are against this, you are against democratic process, and efficient markets. BTW, the science right now is somewhat equivocal. Certain is there is any health risk to using cell phones it is rather small, but who are to to decide what information people should have? Let them decide, and act accordingly. The attitude of witholding this information really is the same as those who advocate a 'nanny-state'--we know better then you, and we will decide what you need to know. Your attitude is very paternalistic and anti-freedom.

Comment Re:As they should be. NO RIGHTS ARE INALIENABLE (Score 2, Insightful) 628

No this is not true, and the attitude is deeply troubling. Because society is FREE and there are certain INALIENABLE RIGHTS. Please look up the meaning of inalienable if you don't understand it. Some of those are contained in the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Comment Re:Pftt (Score 1) 487

That is exactly right--free libre open source software (FLOSS) saves the entire economy money--everyone benefits--by producing a good for much less than it used to be produced for. That money is available to the companies that use FLOSS to spend on salaries, R&D or whatever. Incidentally, the lack of centralized projects in the FLOSS world means that it is more likely any big effort (like the Linux kernel) will be developed in many places, by many different companies, so there is no need for software companies to be so big. Remember, that is a feature, not a bug.

Submission + - New Blog ACTA watch looking for help

eee_eff writes: "There are several groups that are fighting to make the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement process transparent. But there is no one place that I am aware that collates and links to the various groups who are opposed to what James Love of KEI has characterized thus:

"In a plethora of settings, publishers and pharmaceutical companies are pushing an aggressive new agenda to expand and enforce intellectual property rights. The proposals are often advanced in undemocratic and non-transparent fora, such as the top secret and highly classified ACTA negotiations. This is big government and big business at its worst, creating rules without input or sensitivity to the concerns of consumers, overriding civil rights, undermining privacy, increasing prices to consumers. The topics under review are not simple technical issues or directed at organized crime, they are big sweeping changes in our basic freedoms, and underhanded attempts to give lobbyists rules they can't get in a normal democratic setting." James Love, Director, KEI

If you would like to help build a website that would serve as a clearing house of all things ACTA related, please send me an email at enigma.foundry@gmail.com

I have started the blog here: http://actawatch.wordpress.com/ I am looking for volunteers to help:

— post links to news stories about the ACTA,

— post and maintain an archive of the essential documents (for example the stuff that shows up on wikileaks)

If on the other hand someone knows of a source that has become a clearinghouse for all things ACTA-related, I'd be inclined not to undertake this effort, but the issues are just to important to let the ACTA process continue on in secret, allowing our freedoms to expire without contest or comment, so I feel there is a need for this undertaking. If there is anyone else out there who feels likewise please help."

Comment Re:Not exactly a surprise ... (Score 1) 386

The issue here (which ColdWetDog ignores) is NOT whether a crime was committed, but WHAT the appropriate punishment should be. The Taliban believe that hands should be cut off when people commit crimes, but we don't believe that do we? I agree that a crime was committed, but I feel the penalty should be something more like a speeding ticket ($100 dollar fine per song, maximum). Incidentally "stealing" is not the crime that is committed here. It is copyright infringement, and non-commercial copyright infringement at that. If I had an apple and it is stolen, I no longer have an apple. If I infringe someone's copyright, they still have the book/music/whatever it is, but someone else has it too. That is a big difference, coldwetdog. Obama seems to have forgotten everything that matters. Forgotten fairness, forgotten transparency (see his continuation of Bush-era secrecy surrounding the ACTA, for example)

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