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Comment Re:Great! (Score 4, Insightful) 125

Modded insightful? What are you calling a oil or coal subsidy? Generally when people talk about subsidies for fossil fuels, they are really pulling bullshit out of their asses. Are there tax breaks and funds that indirectly go to oil and coal companies? Yes. Are those direct fossil fuel subsidies? Not really. They are tax benefits for capital construction that apply to all industries. Depreciation benefits that apply to all mining and resource industries. When they tout the really big numbers for oil subsidies they usually throw in infrastructure spending that benefits cars regardless of fuel source (but happens to be primarily oil based). Maybe some home heating subsidies which usually means gas, electricity from coal, or heating oil. Maybe they include military and civilian fuel purchases by the government that happen to be based on fossil fuels.

Those aren't really subsidies for fossil fuels as much as they are the reality that to provide energy, you have to generally use fossil fuels for a lot of it at this point. So those huge "coal and oil subsidies" are really just energy subsidies.

Comment Re:Mandate reporting when antibiotics are prescrib (Score 1) 71

Yes. But we need to be aware that man is not the only source of antibiotics. They naturally occur. We get a good lot of them from plants and bacteria, starting of course with penicilin which we got from mold, and which was already present on salted food and damp environments. What we did was to make antibiotics present in organisms other than their natural sources.

Comment Everything Old is New Again (Score 2) 71

The Andromeda Strain was published in 1969.

The United States has some disease reporting, it started at least 75 years ago before the antibiotic bubble. This CDC Report summarizes the present state of disease reporting, in two pages. We need higher standards of reporting and legal penalties for failure to report.

Comment Re:When I meet a copyright owner (Score 1) 70

Just to follow up on a couple of the points you mentioned:

Downloading some things from our library for use off-line is actually one of our most frequently asked questions, and again it's something where we generally take a pretty liberal approach and always have. We want people to enjoy the material. That's why we make it!

What I'm talking about is people who don't just download a few bits and pieces, but blatantly try to download everything right before the end of their subscription. These aren't people who are going on a trip and want something to listen to on the train. These are the people who would sign up to Spotify and then try to run scrapers on a mass of cloud-hosted machines to download literally every song on Spotify for their permanent use. Somehow, I would be rather surprised if the facility you mentioned for downloading content for offline use extended to providing a 100% DRM-free copy of Spotify's entire library, or if their ToS said that was OK, or if they would take no action if they caught someone doing it.

As for what is reasonable, I'm not sure I understand your position here. We're not offering (or in any way pretending to offer) a permanent copy of our works for someone to keep. We work on a subscription basis, and we offer subscriptions at a price that makes sense for that arrangement. I don't see how it's any different to saying you used to go rent a movie from the video hire store, but you paid a much lower price than buying your own copy and you had to return it. Offering the movie for rental didn't give customers any automatic right to buy a copy, at the same or any other price, nor did renting it out give customers the right to make their own copy to keep forever or share with their friends.

In the same way, I don't see how it is reasonable to expect us to provide access at a fraction of the per-user cost it would take just to produce the material, let people sign up for the minimum period, and then let them download as much as they can before it runs out even though it's clearly not being used on the terms we offered. Sure, you can just download the web pages or audio files or whatever from our site, and up to a point we'll be understanding about why you might want to even though that's not really part of the deal, but you basically seem to be implying the same as DRM guy: if we don't want people to abuse our openness, we should actively stop them, which brings us back to limitations and DRM of one kind or another.

Or maybe I've misunderstood and you were just saying you only like payment models where you get permanent ownership of your copy of the content? If so, that is fine and your choice, but it's not the deal we're offering and so joining our library wouldn't be a good option for you. Apparently it's also not a deal that would be economically viable in our case (we know, we did plenty of research to find out), which means if we were required to offer such terms if we were offering our material at all, then we simply wouldn't be producing and sharing that material, and again everyone who does currently enjoy it and find our current pricing plan acceptable would lose out.

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