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Comment Re:Copyright itself is problematic for technology (Score 1) 259

We choose to treat intellectual property like real property because the system works. Or I guess I should say that it works better than pure anarchy.

If you can show me a working system that encourages people to synthesize information and share it with the population, I'll sign right up. But right now the Wikipedia is the only example I can see and it has many limitations. (It's also protected by copyright and I wonder whether it would work without copyright.)

Comment Re:Copyright itself is problematic for technology (Score 1) 259

Actually, it's society's fault. I could just as easily say, "It's the file sharer's job to figure out how to get material for free. Extending loopholes to protect a sharing model isn't something that we should justify."

Plenty of laws protect business models. The cops stop us from looting stores and I'm happy for that. I like stores. I like to be able to buy food and things I need. Now you might argue that vegetables will just grow on their own. Sprinkle some seeds and then nature does the rest. That's true, but I'm happy to protect the business models, no matter how flawed, if they're providing a service.

Comment Re:Copyright itself is problematic for technology (Score 1) 259

Are there really plenty of others? The Chicago Sun Times recently fired their photography staff. Is there some wellspring of photographers rushing to take pictures of all of the news events? Oh sure, a few people will upload pictures to Flickr of some big events, but I don't see anyone getting out of bed at night to cover the fires or disasters.

And it's not just about profit. I want to encourage talented artists to make a profit so they'll be able to afford to take time off from work and make more art.

Comment Re:Copyright itself is problematic for technology (Score 1) 259

Actually, the artists are allowed to have monopolies. It's in the constitution.

But your use of the word "monopoly" is unfair because they don't enjoy monopolies in the classical sense of the word. If an author writes a book on the civil war, the author can't stop others from writing a book on the civil war.

A more accurate word is "property" because the law gives the artist much the same rights as a carpenter or a plumber. Just as a team of carpenters can put a lock on the front door of a house that they built, copyright gives the artists the right to control their work. How many homes would carpenters build if any old squatter could just rush in and live for free after the last nail is driven home? I'm happy to give carpenters and other workers what you call "a monopoly" on their work because I want the world to have houses. And I also want the world to have books and that's why I'm happy to give the artists control over their work. It's the ethical thing to do.

Comment Re:Image metadata is the answer (Score 3, Insightful) 259

While I agree that some history is locked away in books that can't be copied, I think that many, many writers and artists are only able to devote time to their work because copyright allows them to charge for access to their work. All of the new books at my store-- including plenty of non-fiction-- is protected by copyright.

The only counter-example I can think of is the Wikipedia. While it is quite good, it has a strange reliance on copyrighted work. It requires all information to be based upon a citation to a real publication-- a publication that's usually protected by copyright.

Comment Re:Interesting concept (Score 1) 28

I think we're going to see some clever work come out of Hollywood that may answer your question. The regular car chase is a bit tired, but it's going to be different when the robots drive the cabs. "The Fifth Element" was pretty cool. I think we'll see some more that try to answer the question of what to do when you can't get away.

Comment Re:anything new that wasn't in popsci 20 years ago (Score 1) 28

I don't know if there's much in it that wasn't in Jules Verne more than 100 years ago. :-)

But I did try to bring together some basic numbers that offer some context to help readers think about some of the ways that the autonomous car can change society. It's a deliberately short and simple book. It's more of a seed that helps the reader crystalize his or her thoughts.

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One good reason why computers can do more work than people is that they never have to stop and answer the phone.