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Comment Re:Makes sense from a shareholder PoV (Score 2) 298

But if you shed the casual Prime customers, the ones that are making less purchases, you are decreasing your prime revenue more than you are decreasing the cost of providing prime services. Also, you risk loosing the sales of those customers altogether if they no longer feel "locked in" to Amazon through their prime membership.

Comment Re:Ridiculous, Impossible, Etc. (Score 1) 398

Yea, I mostly just didn't like the headline because it's wrong. But that's what I get for reading the f* bill! (BTW, go read it, it's shorter than the Slashdot blurb about it:

And apparently one of the sponsors of the bill is pissed because someone was attacking him anonymously. ( ) That is exactly my point though. Killing things like YouTube or 4Chan is bad, and they won't die anyway, they will just never be anywhere near NY jurisdiction. So there this doesn't end up doing anything at all to help "save the children" in the end anyway.

Comment Re:Ridiculous, Impossible, Etc. (Score 1) 398

Thanks! I am putting that in my letter to my Assemblyman and Senator.

Although in reality the bill is not as bad as the headline proposes. It would not ban anonymous speech, only give anyone the power to ask for anonymous speech to be removed. Still a crappy law.

Anyway, all us New York Staters, let's write to our representatives! Here is my letter:

I have recently read Senate bill S06779 sponsored by Senator Thomas F. O'Mara and the Assembly counterpart A8688 sponsored by Assemblyman Dean Murray. The bill would require websites to remove anonymous postings upon any request. I am concerned about the impact that this bill will have and do not support it.

First and foremost, this bill would have a stifling effect on the free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and extended over state law by the Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution. Documents critical to the formation of our country such as Common Sense by Thomas Paine and The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, et al. were published under the safeguards of anonymity. I certainly understand the importance of protecting innocent people, especially children, from the torments of online bullying. I feel that this bill is too broad and goes too far though, allowing anyone to order the removal of anonymous critical comments including those that are justified, true, political, or from corporate whistleblowers.

Aside from the free speech issues, and almost as important, I fear the effects that this bill would have on the Information Technology industry in New York State. The Internet is a global presence. Websites that wish to allow anonymous speech will be encouraged to move to or start up in jurisdictions outside of New York State, hurting our economy. Furthermore, the bullies that wish to spread the hate speech that this bill intends to protect will also move to the many websites located outside of New York State, severely limiting the potential benefits that this bill may have.

Though well intended, the negative effects of Senate bill S06779 and the Assembly counterpart A8688 far outweigh any positive effects and I sincerely hope that you will not support this bill.

Comment Re:Bah. This was the correct decision. (Score 2) 380

This is no different than if a current document protected by copyright were passed off as a public domain document by a third person. The onus on assessing the right to copy lies with the person making the copy. This is not a problem particular to this law, but with the entire copyright system as a whole. The problem of acquiring the rights to copywritten documents that have been abandoned is in fact pointed to in the dissenting opinion.

The law in fact allowed for the continued use of material that had been used before the law had been passed until being informed by the rights holder of the new status.

Logo's are protected by trademark law, not copyright law, so are a completely separate issue. And Disney's retelling of the stories of Snow White, Pocahontas and Cinderella are not exact copies, so would also be a separate issue.

Comment Re:Bah. This was the correct decision. (Score 1) 380

Perhaps you don't understand the difference between unlicensed public domain content and licensed copyright content. Licensed copyright content, such as the GPL, use copyright to enforce the terms of the license, ie that you can continue to copy it in perpetuity. It is an agreement between you and the author.

Public domain does not have or require any such agreements. There is no limit to copying, so there is no necessity to come to any sort of agreement between you and the author. So the ability to copy is dictated solely by law (or lack thereof) and not any sort of license agreement. It just happens that there is now a law that limits your ability to copy some works that used to have no such law protecting them.

tl;dr Laws trumps Licenses

(ps. I actually agree with the dissenting opinion of the court.)

Comment Re:Poor analysis - its film not the camera itself (Score 2) 309

The Wikipedia article ( shows that the file format has been documented ( As to why it doesn't use some sort of XMLish format, this thing was created in the early 90's, before XML based file formats were in vogue and computers were much less powerful.

Comment Re:Opt-in is not an option (Score 1) 284

If you eliminate the service by regulation you are only creating a facade of privacy. (And the same argument can be used for regulating security.) The only way that you can truly eliminate the privacy risk is through technology. (And not just an opt-out tag which is just a form of regulation, albeit self regulation.) As long as you have a wireless beacon sending out a unique identifier, there is no way to control what is done with that information. You can pretend to make laws that say "Thou shalt not collect information from your surroundings and remember where you collected it," but in the end the information is out there and someone will collect it. If it's not Google telling you very publicly about it, it is the government or the "bad guys" doing it secretly.

Comment Re:Copyrights aren't property (Score 1) 349

In the United States the Constitution gives this right:
Article I Section 8:
"To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;"

The idea behind this being that the public can give up rights to created works and allow the author to have exclusive rights for a while, with the end goal of having more works available to the public (domain). The problem comes when people no longer understand what the point behind copyright law and mutilate it into "it means it is the authors property forever." Should it be theirs forever? Does it really encourage an author to write more books if their grandchildren can collect a royalty long after their death?

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