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LittleBigPlanet Creations Raising Copyright Questions 66

Joystiq's Law of the Game column uses the recently released LittleBigPlanet to address the question of intellectual property rights for user-created content within and for games. At this point, Sony's ToS claims a great deal of control over users' work, unlike Second Life's, which is much more permissive. GiantBomb has a related story pointing out creations within LittleBigPlanet that are copies of other games, and how they could lead to legal troubles for Sony if they aren't quick about taking them down.

Mars Lander Faces Slow Death 212

Riding with Robots writes "It's the beginning of the end for the Phoenix Mars Lander. As winter approaches in the Martian arctic, NASA says it's in a 'race against time and the elements' in its efforts to prolong the robotic spacecraft's life. Starting today, mission managers will begin to gradually shut the lander's systems down, hoping to conserve dwindling solar power and thereby extend the remaining systems' useful life. 'Originally scheduled to last 90 days, Phoenix has completed a fifth month of exploration in the Martian arctic. As expected, with the Martian northern hemisphere shifting from summer to fall, the lander is generating less power due to shorter days and fewer hours of sunlight reaching its solar panels. At the same time, the spacecraft requires more power to run several survival heaters that allow it to operate even as temperatures decline.'"
The Courts

Judge Tells RIAA To Stop 'Bankrupting' Litigants 332

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The Boston judge who has consolidated all of the RIAA's Massachusetts cases into a single case over which she has been presiding for the past 5 years delivered something of a rebuke to the RIAA's lawyers, we have learned. At a conference this past June, the transcript of which (PDF) has just been released, Judge Nancy Gertner said to them that they 'have an ethical obligation to fully understand that they are fighting people without lawyers ... to understand that the formalities of this are basically bankrupting people, and it's terribly critical that you stop it ...' She also acknowledged that 'there is a huge imbalance in these cases. The record companies are represented by large law firms with substantial resources,' while it is futile for self-represented defendants to resist. The judge did not seem to acknowledge any responsibility on her part, however, for having created the 'imbalance,' and also stated that the law is 'overwhelmingly on the side of the record companies,' even though she seems to recognize that for the past 5 years she has been hearing only one side of the legal story."
GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - RMS talk on The Free Software Movement

dalektcalum writes: Richard Stallman recently gave talk titled "The Free Software Movement and GNU/Linux Operating System". Of particular interest is the open Q&A session where RMS is asked such questions as "Can I use ATI and NVIDIA drivers because Mesa isn't nearly as complete?", and other ethical as well as practical questions.

In keeping with RMS' wishes the talk is only available in Ogg Theora and can be downloaded by http, bittorrent, and dijjer

Submission + - Novell and EFF together against patents

mrcgran writes: "ArsTechnica is reporting that Novell and the Electronic Frontier Foundation are joining forces. From the article: "In a surprise announcement earlier today at the Open Source Business Conference, Novell and the Electronic Frontier Foundation said that Novell would be contributing to the EFF's Patent Busting project. In addition, the two entities will work for legislation and policies that will "promote innovation," specifically targeting the World Intellectual Property Organization.""

Submission + - How do you DMCA a tattoo off of a person?

dmn writes: Shannon Larratt (of the BMEzine fame) recently posted a challenge at modblog for someone to tattoo the recently published HD DVD key on them and test what happens if they go public. From the first post:

"Any site that lists the AACS key/crack is getting legal takedown notices if someone gets it tattooed, would a lawsuit forcing them to never show it to anyone be launched? Would they try and force a removal?".
Well someone did take the challenge. From the second post:

"So how do you DMCA a tattoo off of a person? Am I allowed to tell people that its a 09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0 tattoo? Is a magazine permitted to print photos of this tattoo? Can the tattoo artist or shop (Good Faith Tattoos, Boston) be sued? Can the person wearing the tattoo be sued? Can a corporation force a medical procedure (a tattoo removal)? Can they force him to always wear a shirt? Well, Rich from The New Freedom has decided to be the bait!".

Submission + - Cops, FBI hates shared Wifi

PhilipMarlowe9000 writes: le/2007/02/10/AR2007021001457.html "We're not sure yet how to combat that," said Kevin R. West, a federal agent who oversees the computer crimes unit in North Carolina's State Bureau of Investigation. "Free wireless spots are everywhere, and it makes it easy for people . . . to sit there and do their nefarious acts. The fear is that if we talk about it, people will learn about it and say, 'I can go to a parking lot, and no one will catch me.' But we need to talk about it so that we can figure out how to solve it."
User Journal

Captain Copyright Expires 114

The Canadian superhero Captain Copyright has finally expired, not due to pirates or to the passage of 50 years after the death of the author, but because "the current climate around copyright issues will not allow a project like this one to be successful." The cartoon was intended to provide an education in copyright law for children, but it became a focus for criticism when even the Canadian Library Association condemned it for lacking balance because it ignored issues like Fair Dealing (Canada's version of Fair Use). Personally, I was hoping we'd see them get sued by DC & Marvel, who claim to own the trademark on the word "superhero", and vanish in a puff of logic.

Journal Journal: How The RIAA Is Like 17th Century French Button-Makers 150

Requiring permission to innovate? Feeling entitled to search others' property? Getting the power to act like law enforcement in order to fine or arrest those who are taking part in activities that challenge your business model? Don't these all sound quite familiar? Centuries from now (hopefully much, much sooner), the actions of the RIAA, MPAA and others that match these of the weavers and button-makers of 17th century France will

Submission + - Lisp and Ruby, sitting in a tree...

sdelmont writes: "The developers of Rubinius, an experimental Ruby interpreter inspired by SmallTalk, have been discussing the possibility of adding a Lisp dialect to their VM. Pat Eyler collected some ideas and opinions from the people involved and it makes for some interesting reading. For many, Ruby already is an acceptable Lisp, and the language itself started as a perlification of Lisp (even Matz says so) so it is perhaps fitting and might help explain why the whole idea feels right. Now, if someone added support for VB and gave it the respect it deserves, the world would be a better place."

Submission + - MyBlogLog Flaw Makes for Free TechCrunch Ads

An anonymous reader writes: MyBlogLog (recently acquired by Yahoo) has a flaw that exposes sites like TechCrunch to free advertising by MyBlogLog users. The flaw was exposed by Michael Jensen after doing an experiment with TechCrunch and 20 other blogs using Opera software with its auto refresh feature. TechCrunch claims that MyBlogLog is working on fixing this and should have something in the next week or so.
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Does Income Inequality Matter?

theodp writes: "Alarmed by Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein's record-setting $53M bonus, Charles Wheelan (aka The Naked Economist) argues that income inequality matters. Wheelan notes that the Gini Coefficient (a measure of income inequality) for the U.S. has been moving away from countries like Japan and Sweden and closer to that of Brazil, where the murder rate is 5X that of NYC and crime is materially impacting GDP."
The Courts

Submission + - YouTube ban reversed in Brazil

xirusmom writes: "From reuters: A Brazilian judge reversed his order to ban the YouTube site in Brazil. MTV Brasil, where the model in the center of the controversy, Daniela Cicarelli, hosts a show, has received thousands of emails of protest. A website urging people to boycott the modelwas set up, and a blogger had an online petition signed by around 7500 people. The ban on the sex video itself is still valid."

Submission + - Japan's Newest Diplomats: Manga and Anime

jonerik writes: "The Asahi Shimbun is reporting that Japan's foreign minister, Tara Aso, has ordered Japan's diplomats and bureaucrats to brush up on the nation's cultural exports; in particular manga and anime. "We live in such times where the popular voice coming from the general public could sway a country's foreign policy," says Aso. 'I'd like to make sure that our robust pop culture is on our side.' The biggest problem is that very few members of the Japanese diplomatic corps actually know much about Japan's cultural exports. '[An] obstacle is that few officials high up in the diplomatic ranks are well-versed in Japanese pop culture. Most admit they never read manga, and they don't watch much television, either. One senior government official admitted: "Our (pop culture) knowledge base is far weaker compared to the private sector." The official added he is now diligently working through the manga best-seller list as the first step to catch up.' The risk that Japan runs in this approach is that publicizing the good aspects of the country's culture is also likely to make more people aware of the less wholesome ones (panty vending machines, lolicon, and so on) According to Yasuki Hamano, a professor at the University of Tokyo's Graduate School (and who also chairs the ministry's special committee on pop culture), 'Pop culture is not all snow-white — there is a down-and-dirty side, too. But the government should not be censoring its content.' The directive from Aso is unsurprising in at least one sense: the 66-year-old Aso has long been known to be a fan of the Rozen Maiden manga and anime series."

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