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Submission + - Austrian photographer sues hotel chain for â2m for copyright breach ( 2

Unhappy Windows User writes: An Austrian photographer was contracted by the luxury Sofitel in Vienna to photograph the bar with an amazing view over the skyline. He was paid for his time (â4200) and arranged a three year internal usage contract for the photos. After the contract expired, he still found his photos being used — on external sites too. He is now suing for â2million, based on each individual usage.

My question is: Is this the real market value of his work? There is nothing particularly creative or spectacular about his contribution — any competent photographer could have done the same. I know art galleries often charge high amounts for reprints of their work by controlling access to who gets to photograph it under which conditions. It seems like the largest economic contribution to the work was from Sofitel, who allowed access to the property and closed it to customers.

I don't have any issue in a photographer wanting to be paid fairly for his work, and asking for perhaps double or treble the original price for the breach of contract to match what an unlimited license would have costed. After all, with this money they could have employed a professional for a month and automatically obtained full rights to the work.

Any other competent photographer could have done the job just as well (and perhaps have done a better job on correcting the pincushion distortion!), but it seems like this guy is trying to take advantage of an oversight by a large corporation, never to have to work again.

What do you think?

Submission + - Language Creation Society says Klingon language isn't covered by copyright

AmiMoJo writes: Earlier this year Paramount Pictures and CBS Studios filed a lawsuit against the makers of a Star Trek inspired fan film, accusing them of copyright infringement. In their amicus brief, which actually uses Klingon language, the Language Creation Society lists many examples of how Klingon has evolved, and it specifically disputes Paramount’s earlier claims that there are no human beings who communicate using the Klingon language. “In fact, there are groups of people for whom Klingon is their only common language. There are friends who only speak Klingon to each other. In fact, at least one child was initially raised as a native speaker of Klingon." As such, Paramount should not be allowed to claim copyright over the entire Klingon language, both in written and spoken form. The language is a tool for people to communicate and express ideas, something people should be allowed to do freely under U.S. law, LCS argues.

Paramount's copyright claims have already started to having a chilling effect on Star Trek fan series. Star Trek Continues is currently running a fundraiser campaign to produce more episodes, and in a video message Vic Mignogna, who plays Kirk, mentions that fans have been unwilling to support them due to fears over legal action. The campaign has 5 days to left to go, and the team is trying to reach a reduced goal of $200k, down from the original $300k they were hoping for.

Comment Re:Farewell, appointment slots, we hardly knew ye (Score 1) 235

Yeah, I'm sad, too. I just had recommended the feature to my significant other for letting people schedule their use of a joint workspace, and I was considering using the system for scheduling volunteers at co-op. Anybody know of a good alternative for scheduling appointments?

Comment Re:It was never added to OpenStreetMap (Score 4, Insightful) 182

Oh please. There are plenty of good reasons to prefer OSM over Google Maps and other non-free maps and I am an active contributor myself. But using this case as an argument? No. I've seen plenty of phantom cities added to OSM, either by mistake or intentionally. My favorite was a road shaped like the Batman symbol somewhere in the mountains of Washington. In addition, OSM does import a whole bunch of data (from government sources etc.) and thus it's quite possible that they could replicate someone else's mistakes.

Submission + - Misconduct, not error, is the main cause of retractions (

ananyo writes: "One of the largest-ever studies of retractions has found that two-thirds of retracted life-sciences papers were stricken from the scientific record because of misconduct such as fraud or suspected fraud — and that journals sometimes soft-pedal the reason. The study contradicts the conventional view that most retractions of papers in scientific journals are triggered by unintentional errors.
The survey examined all 2,047 articles in the PubMed database that had been marked as retracted by 3 May this year. But rather than taking journals’ retraction notices at face value, as previous analyses have done, the study used secondary sources to pin down the reasons for retraction if the notices were incomplete or vague. he analysis revealed that fraud or suspected fraud was responsible for 43% of the retractions. Other types of misconduct — duplicate publication and plagiarism — accounted for 14% and 10% of retractions, respectively. Only 21% of the papers were retracted because of error (abstract)."

Comment Re:Sorry, but glossy screen == no buy (Score 1) 627

From TFA:

The MacBook Pro15-inch (Thunderbolt) has several screen options, all of which require that you pay a significant premium, although I can't think of many consumer laptops that have an anti-glare screen (a $150 option).

So yes, there is a non-glossy option. I find it somewhat odd that the reviewers compares the MBP to "many consumer laptop." Most of the business line models od Dell, HP, Lenovo have non-glossy displays or at least offer the option, too.

United States

Submission + - Consumers Buy Less Tech Stuff, Keep it Longer 1

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The NY Times reports that there are indications that a sea change is taking place in consumer behavior as a result of the great recession: Americans are buying less tech stuff and making it last longer (reg. may be required). Although in many cases the difference is mere months, economists and consumers say the approach may outlast a full recovery and the return of easy credit, because of the strong impression the downturn has made on consumers. For example Patti Hauseman stuck with her five-year-old Apple computer until it started making odd whirring noises and occasionally malfunctioning before she bought a new computer for Christmas — actually, a refurbished one. "A week later, the old one died. We timed it pretty well,” says Hauseman adding that it was not so much that she could not afford new things, but that the last few years of economic turmoil had left her feeling that she could be stealing from her future by throwing away goods that still had value. Consumers are holding onto new cars for a record 63.9 months, up 4.5 months from a year ago and 14 percent since the end of 2008, according one research firm and industry analysts also report that people on average are waiting 18 months to upgrade their cellphones, up from every 16 months just a few years ago. “We’re not going back to a time of our grandmothers’ tales of what they kept and how they used things so carefully,” says Nancy F. Koehn, a professor at the Harvard Business School and a historian of consumer behavior. ". But we’ll see a consistent inching or trudging towards that.""

Submission + - Budget NAS Devices - A distant dream? 2

Anonymous Coward writes: "I recently decided to man up and sort out my mid to long-term storage situation. Having a strict budget of under £200 didn't seem too bad, especially with the low price of hard drives these days. £120 bought me 2 x 2TB Samsung drives.

But how to use them? I like many others am working solely from a laptop these days so a network accessible consumer NAS was needed (with DNLA for streaming to the PS3 also a requirement). Only problem — suitable units from Thecus, Netgear et al seem to cost a couple of hundred themselves. I picked up a budget £50 second-hand enclosure and it's awful — terribly designed software which gives actually no faith in the underlying RAID1 array.

The only alternative appears to be to roll my own — but for £80 how do I achieve this without resorting to an old, load & power-hungry box? Is anyone rolling their own ARM based unit or is Atom the way to go once again? Also, underneath what is everyone using? A flavour of server 'NIX, FreeNAS, unRAID?"
Portables (Apple)

Submission + - New Apple MacBook Pro Review

adeelarshad82 writes: As fate would have it, an Intel chipset glitch delayed shipments of almost every laptop manufacturer, save one. Apple, which has typically been last in transitioning to new technology, is now among the first to launch laptops with Sandy Bridge. The Apple MacBook Pro (Thunderbolt) is the fastest laptop out there. Powered with a Quad-core Core i7 processor and AMD Radeon HD 6750M, the MacBook Pro has a lot of fire power to offer. Unfortunately though it is still a bit expensive and there is a lack of Thunderbolt devices to take advantage of the new interface.

Sex Drugs and Texting 287

statesman writes "The Associated Press reports that teens who text frequently are three and a half times more likely to have sex. A survey of 4,200 public high school students in the Cleveland area found that one in five students sent more than 120 text messages a day or spent more than 3 hours a day on Facebook. Students in this group were much more likely to have sex. Alcohol and drug use also correlate with frequent texting and heavy Facebook use."

Submission + - Swiss High Court Bans Snooping on File Sharers (

An anonymous reader writes: Forget about "you can click but you can't hide" campaigns in Switzerland. In a precedent setting ruling, the country's High Court barred Logistep and other private companies from collecting IP addresses on peer-to-peer networks to later send threatening letters to file sharers. According to the judges IP addresses are personal data and although copyright violation is a problem it doesn't justify the kind of privacy invasion that is considered acceptable for criminal proceedings. In light of this decision the administrator of the now defunct Razorback eDonkey server and his lawyer are now about to sue the IFPI which happens to be based in Zurich.

Company Presses Your Ashes Into Vinyl When You Die 101

Lanxon writes "Music lovers can now be immortalized when they die by having their ashes baked into vinyl records to leave behind for loved ones, reports Wired. A UK company called And Vinyly is offering people the chance to press their ashes in a vinyl recording of their own voice, their favorite tunes or their last will and testament. Minimalist audiophiles might want to go for the simple option of having no tunes or voiceover, and simply pressing the ashes into the vinyl to result in pops and crackles."

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