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Comment Re:Safe Harbor Limits for Fair Use (Score 1) 335

I've been thinking about this issue and I really liked the posed question:

Could you come up with a system that takes into account the incentives of parties on both sides, and that prevents huge legal bills from being generated?

What if instead of immediately taking down the content, users were given 24 hours to respond that their content is non-infringing. If the users did not respond, it'll be taken down after 24hrs, but the user still has the ability to revoke the takedown notice. Or we can even make it so the content is taken down immediately, but allow the users to revoke the takedown notice and even provide a reason why their content is fair-use/non-infringing.

The problem today with takedown notices is that there's very little recourse for the user. The user "can" re-upload their content, but most likely will be flagged the next time around with these automated detection systems. I mean do we really need a counter-notice just to restore user content that is fair use?

With this model, I'm assuming people who know they're infringing will not respond or take down the content immediately (sort of like a cease/desist order). Only those who believe they're not infringing would bother responding to the notice. This would also help further narrow down the number of cases the other side has to verify. (e.g. YouTube will send back a list of content where users have responded to claiming it's fair use/non-infringing.)

Of course the media companies can still send an immediate take down notice for particular content they're sure are infringing, but for anything using automation to detect infringing content, the user should be given an option to respond before taking down, or a chance to easily restore the content.

If you're wondering what would deter an infringer from always responding back and saying it's non-infringing when it is? Banning the user and removing all his content could be a deterrent. Another possibility is the media company now has a legit case to actually sue the user for damages.

Just my 2 cents.

Comment Re:Not anytime soon (Score 4, Insightful) 393

I agree, especially when Google Voice's text to speech only does English at the moment.

I may be in the smaller crowd here, but I hate phone calls and use voicemail to screen calls. When I say "screen", I'm also referring to the urgency.

When someone calls me and either I don't know the number calling in nor I don't feel like talking on the phone at that particular moment (even if it's someone I know), I use voicemail to screen.

If the call is important enough, they'll leave a voicemail or try calling again later. If they don't leave a voicemail, I don't bother calling back since I deem the call wasn't really urgent/necessary.

Comment Re:kenneth (Score 1) 420

What happened here is just that Google wasn't expecting such a huge surge in usage and had no other choice to disable for 3rd party clients for now.

It's a bit ironic that you start your post by blasting someone for reading between the lines, and then you proceed to do the same thing yourself. Unless you work at Google, you have no way to know why this decision was made.

That's because Google did in fact state:

While Google is supportive of third party apps, we've decided we can't support this particular usage of our system at this time.

I'm of course taking Google's words at face value here. Like you said, the only people who know what the real reason is are those working at Google and making their decisions.

Comment Re:kenneth (Score 1) 420

I believe you read my post, but didn't understand I was trying to say.

The "hardly publicized" part is from the author of the article, not from Google. What does it even mean to be a hardly publicized method/API? If it's documented and on the web, it's publicized. Does Google have to spam it on their homepage to make it not "hardly publicized"?

If you remove the "hardly publicized" portion (since Google never stated that), calling it an experiment/early testing stage does NOT imply it wants to keep the number of users down. In fact, you'd might even want more testers to help you find issues with your service.

Also do note that Google could've easily controlled which users could use their SMS service. Using Google SMS required a Google account and just like any other Google service (i.e. GrandCentral, early days of GMail, etc.), access can be granted on a per user basis.

Comment Re:kenneth (Score 4, Interesting) 420

You just mashed together a bunch of unrelated statements and even made up some of your own.

rupesh (article author) stated, "Google's hardly publicized method for sending free text messages has been revoked ..."

Google stated, "SMS chat is still just an experiment in the early testing stages in Gmail Labs."

Nowhere did anyone state they wanted to "test it with limited numbers of users"

Do note that "hardly publicized method" still means a public API, which I would guess is intended for others to use.

What happened here is just that Google wasn't expecting such a huge surge in usage and had no other choice to disable for 3rd party clients for now. If they can figure out a way they can support it, they would most likely re-enable this service for 3rd parties.

Comment Inner Fence's and Google's Official Statement (Score 5, Informative) 420

Inner Fence's Official Statement

Google will soon block Infinite SMS and all other non-Google software from sending free text messages.

For now, Infinite SMS will continue to work, but when the block goes into effect, you'll start getting an error every time you try to send a text message.

If you have comments for Google, you can visit their Text Messaging Google Group.

Google has claimed no grievance with Infinite SMS other than its success. Their given reason for the block isn't abuse or wrongdoing; it's that we brought too many users (and thus too much cost) to an experimental service.

We acted in good faith, accessing a feature publicly announced by Google over open protocols they made available. Other non-Google apps have been able to access the SMS feature since its launch. To us, this was no different from accessing Gmail's near limitless storage over the open IMAP protocol. We never could have guessed that the two of us would write an app too big for Google.

Our first warning was an unexpected call from Google on Monday, 9 March 2009, indicating that the service might be blocked as soon as the very next day.

We asked them to reconsider or at least give us more time to change our program or migrate our users. We scheduled a call for the next morning to hear Google's final time line.

We immediately removed Infinite SMS from sale, since we could not in good conscience continue to sell a product whose lifetime was so likely to be cut short.

This morning, Tuesday, 10 March 2009, our email is overflowing with questions about why Infinite SMS is not available in the app store. We've decided we need to get real information out there for people, despite not having the complete picture yet. We will update this page when we hear from Google again.

We hope that Infinite SMS users will see this announcement and have some warning before they can no longer use our app for messaging.

Apple does not give app developers any way to perform refunds. Hopefully, at 99ï people will feel like our app paid for itself after only a few messages.

Google's free SMS feature isn't entirely gone. They've only blocked non-Google apps like Infinite SMS. You can still send free text messages through the Gmail web interface (but it doesn't seem like it works in Mobile Safari). The instructions are in their original SMS chat announcement.

Google's Official Statement

Infinite SMS is a third party app that has been using Google technology to provide free SMS for users, while we were paying for the cost of the text messages. While Google is supportive of third party apps, we've decided we can't support this particular usage of our system at this time. SMS chat is still just an experiment in the early testing stages in Gmail Labs. We're blocking all external XMPP clients from sending SMS; we're not singling out Inner Fence.

Comment Don't the first 2 sentences contradict each other? (Score 0) 85

I was reading the summary and became confused after the 1st 2 sentences:

Facebook became the largest worldwide social site in the middle of last year.

If their current pace holds they will pass MySpace as number one in the US some time next year.

If they became the largest "worldwide" social site sometime last year, I assume that means they became the #1 social site last year.

The following sentence states they'll pass MySpace some time next year... The only reasoning I can come up with is that MySpace isn't considered a "social site", or maybe they're just not part of this "world".

Comment Phantom Limb Experiment! (Score 1) 297

This reminds me of Vilayanur Ramachandran's talk on TED: A journey to the center of your mind

If you don't recall the talk, it's the one about the phantom limbs and how a simple trick helped people who had their arms amputated to stop the pain from the phantom limb.

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