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Comment Didn't intend to spark a warez discussion! (Score 1) 371

Whoa whoa whoa, folks! When I posted this story, I certainly didn't intend to spark a discussion of various means of violating 17 USC 1201(a). I expect you all to (a) call your lawyers, and (b) consult your nearest spiritual adviser for immediate legal and moral correction. (In all seriousness, thanks to Unknown Lamer for crediting me with the link to freecode. It's a way more diverse and cross-platform list of rippers than I would have included. I just figured that nobody needed my help.) Also, don't forget to tune in to hear the results from the triennial DMCA exemption proceedings, as administered by the Copyright Office. As PK notes in their post, they've filed for an exemption to make it legal when end users rip DVDs for personal use. While the process has been better in recent rounds, don't hold your breath. When Oscar Gandy and I did an analysis of the first two rounds, we condemned the process as a Kafka-esque exercise (pdf) administered by a captured agency. (OK, that's enough of a self-promotional victory lap.)

Submission + - Warner Bros: New Program to Digitize Your DVDs! (

shoutingloudly writes: "Warner Brothers has just announced a new "Disc-to-Digital" program to convert your DVDs into digital files that you can play on your internet-connected computers. As the helpful Public Knowledge graphics demonstrate, all you have to do is find a participating store, drive there, pay again for your movie, wait while it's ripped for you, drive home, and hope it works. This will surely have tech-savvy movie fans saying, "Brilliant! I've been looking for an excuse to uninstall this free, 1-step DVD ripper that I can use in the comfort of my own home. This is much better than DMCA reform.""

Submission + - Why Distributing Music As 24-bit/192kHz Downloads Is Pointless (

An anonymous reader writes: A recent post at provides a long and incredibly detailed explanation of why 24-bit/192kHz music downloads — touted as being of 'uncompromised studio quality' — don't make any sense. The post walks us through some of the basics of ear anatomy, sampling rates, and listening tests, finally concluding that lossless formats and a decent pair of headphones will do a lot more for your audio enjoyment than a 24/192 recordings. 'Why push back against 24/192? Because it's a solution to a problem that doesn't exist, a business model based on willful ignorance and scamming people. The more that pseudoscience goes unchecked in the world at large, the harder it is for truth to overcome truthiness... even if this is a small and relatively insignificant example.'

Submission + - Cdn Music Industry Wants Subscriber Disclosure Without Court Oversight ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: The incredible demands of the Canadian music industry as it seeks a massive overhaul of Canadian copyright law continues. It is seeking increased liability for social networking sites, search engines, blogging platforms, video sites, and many other websites featuring third party contributions plus a new iPod tax, and an extension in the term of copyright. Last week, it went further, demanding a requirement for Internet providers to disclose customer name and address information to copyright owners without court oversight as well as takedowns with no due process and unlimited statutory damages.

Comment Tried to subvert the democratic process, failed. (Score 1) 441

The copyright fundamentalists should have taken the OPEN Act (which itself still needs some tweaks; see the EFF write-up) and called it a day. It really says something that the voices for fair use—Ron Wyden, Zoe Lofgren, Jared Polis, etc.—were the ones introducing a bill to create a mechanism to starve allegedly infringing sites of funding.

Previous legislative processes, e.g. the development of the ideas that became the anticircumvention proceedings in the DMCA, showed at least some willingness to compromise and listen to critical input—hardly done in a good-faith effort to craft good legislation for the 21st Century, but at least willing to hold multiple hearings and actually hear from all of the critics. That at a time when there weren't nearly as many critics!

This time around, the copyright zealots and their allies in Congress decided on a fingers-in-the-ears, ram-it-through-ASAP strategy. That is, until January 18. Now, suddenly, they're claiming that the tech industry and civil society groups need to be more willing to sit down and talk. This while Chris Dodd won't even make time for lunch with Gary Shapiro—the head of the Consumer Electronics Association, not exactly Richard f'ing Stallman.

The gall these folks have shown in the last two years, the pure nerve, is amazing—even in the context of the copyright debate for the previous 25+ years, a time when they've some real chutzpah.

Comment Re:Door in face (Score 1) 441

I don't even think they were trying the door-in-the-face technique. Their ideas really are just that crazy! The **AAs are such fundamentalists in their beliefs they make Rick Santorum look like a flip-flopper. If their goal was to get something more reasonable through, e.g. the OPEN Act, they would have jumped on it between the first day of action (November), which itself drew a million people to contact Congress, and the second (January).
Your Rights Online

Submission + - RIAA chief whines that SOPA opponents were "unfair" (

shoutingloudly writes: "In a NY Times op-ed today, RIAA chief Cary H. Sherman accuses the opponents of SOPA of having engaged in shady rhetorical tactics. He (wrongly) accuses opponents such as Wikipedia and Google of having disseminated misinformation about the bills. He lashes out at the use of the term "censorship," which he calls a "loaded and inflammatory term." Most /. readers will get the many unintentional jokes in this inaccurate, hypocritical screed by one of the leaders of the misinformation-and-inflammatory-rhetoric-wielding content industry lobby."

Submission + - How Online Communication Connects Generations (

Orome1 writes: "AARP and Microsoft released “Connecting Generations,” a research report that examines how people of all ages are using online communication and social networking to enhance their family relationships. 30 percent of grandparents of teens/young adults agree that connecting online has helped them better understand their teen/young adult grandchildren, and 29 percent of teens/young adults say the same about their grandparents. While most respondents wish they knew more about how to keep personal information private, and how to safeguard their devices, the younger generation wants more information than older respondents about using social networks more safely."

Comment we needed a hole in the head. (Score 5, Interesting) 277

Don't be shocked if this follows the pattern laid out in the case of the WIPO anticircumvention treaty. It did not require anything nearly as strong as the DMCA, but the content industry kept waiving it in congressional faces, demanding that we pass something far too draconian to be justified by the treaty we had actually signed. In principle, this is set up to be in line with extant US law, thus not requiring a full Senate confirmation, but I wouldn't be shocked if (a) the content industries rammed down much stronger interpretations down other countries' throats, and (b) they then came back to the US and demanded that we "harmonize" with these stronger interpretations.

Comment Re:The evidence for video game violence is solid (Score 1) 154

This is a much, much more thoughtful response. Thanks! Sorry I called you a jerk, glad you apologized. (Travel has a significant crankiness effect, even when controlling for other variables, though effect size depends on the scale used.) You're clearly a thoughtful researcher.

I don't have time at the moment to read the articles or write an extended response, but I'll try to do so and reply here. Also, please do look me up (Bill Herman, pleasure to curse you out online) and send me a private email. I'd like to see your CV.

One note, though, that made lead the 3.5 people still reading at this point astray: You and I both know the peer review process is double blind. The authors don't know who reviewed the manuscript, and in principle the reviewers don't know who authored the paper. Thus, Anderson and company don't have an obvious benefit from being established authorities in the field--however that field is defined. (I assume you mean that reviewers often recognize famous authors' work and that does shape their evaluations. This can happen, but it's less common than one might think. Further, if I think your work is bullocks, my anonymity allows me to say so without repercussions, which I've done repeatedly--although I try to be polite about it. That most of their peers think it's sound research says they're doing at least a respectable job.)

Having served on both ends of that process, I know for a fact that most journal editors try to find reviewers who are experts in a paper's subject as well as its methods. If I were editing a journal and got any of these papers, I'd look for an expert on game effects to read it--and one not closely associated with the author(s). As you note, there aren't a lot of people who are gamers and media effects researchers, which definitely limits the pool, but every editor who's assigned reviewers has almost certainly tried hard to find them all. Are you an untapped resource here? If so, start publishing--even a more formalized version of what you're saying here is a good start.

Thank you for the cites. I'll look into them at some point. Hopefully you will have been in touch by then.

Comment Re:The evidence for video game violence is solid (Score 1) 154

I forgot to mention: really and truly, I have no dog in this fight--and I'd happily relinquish the dissonance that comes with being anti-censorship despite my belief that violent media lead to real violence. Thus, I'm willing to be wrong here (or at least concede that there's a valid contrast between credible scientific studies), but you have to prove it with sound evidence, not resort to nitpicking.

Comment Re:The evidence for video game violence is solid (Score 1) 154

OK, I've been stuck in a crap airport for 8 hours because of a cancelled flight by a crap airline (airport and airline needing not to be specified), and I'm not even capable of being polite or coherent right now. But let's start with the foul language I'm keeping to myself but which you totally, totally deserve. Because you baited me (with, by your own admission, a trollishly innocent-sounding question), I wasted an hour I should have spent doing work on my own research or teaching prep--or just reading or relaxing. What you just did was 100% awful and shameful.

Before I even think of responding, though, I'll put the burden on you. Produce a cite to a sound meta-analysis--that isn't by one of the hacks Huessman & Taylor diss and that uses sound meta-analytic methods--and comes to the opposite conclusion. You do research in this area? Great! Post some and let me tear it apart. Don't hide behind a bunch of two-sentence attacks on established research. (If this is all such obviously flawed work, why do the best journals keep accepting it?)

I have more to say here (note how I'm not trolling you, jerk), but until you make more constructive contributions to this discussion, I'll hold off. Until then, put up or shut up.

Comment Re:The evidence for video game violence is solid (Score 1) 154

Glad you read the chapter!

By video game tech standards, it's pretty dated (2003), and they suspect that's part of the limited effect size. Looking for violence effects from games that involve killing the grey blob with your blue blob (a not-too-uncharitable description of 8-bit gaming) created a lot of earlier studies with a more limited effect size. It's less obviously relevant to real life than film or TV footage of real people committing much more realistic-looking violence. That's NOT the same thing as finding no effect--just a diminished effect. They provide citations to the best, most relevant lit to that point.

I'm not a violence effects researcher specifically (though I did my PhD at a school where everyone learns a lot about this work, and I’ve done a good bit of reading since then), so I'm not sure how estimates of effect size have changed over time. That said, the quality research in the last decade has only cemented findings of a causal effect with real-world significance. The experiments continue to provide further evidence of a causal link, and the correlational and longitudinal studies continue to find that these effects take place in the real worldnot just in laboratories.

Here is a not-necessarily-definitive list of a few more recent studies that are video game specific and come to the same conclusions:

1. Anderson, C. A., Gentile, D. A., & Buckley, K. E. (2007). Violent video game effects on children and adolescents. New York: Oxford University Press.

Obviously, buying or borrowing and reading a whole book is overkill. This contains a shortened version of the same findings:

2. Video Game EffectsConfirmed, Suspected, and Speculative: A Review of the Evidence
Bartlett, Anderson, & Spring (2008), Simulation & Gaming 42(1).

Here’s a relevant quote:

Aggressive behavior. Many methods and tools are used to measure aggressive behavior (see Bushman & Anderson, 1998; Ritter & Eslea, 2005, for a review of laboratory-based methods). Methods used to assess aggressive behavior range from observations of children at play (e.g., Schutte, Malouff, Post-Gordon-Joan, & Rodasta, 1988) to reports by oneself, teachers, parents, and peers (e.g., Anderson et al., 2007, Studies 2 and 3), to standard laboratory paradigms (e.g., Konijn, Nije, & Bushman, 2007). Results using these and other measures show strong support for the causal relationship between violent video game exposure and aggressive behavior. Overall, experimental, cross-sectional, and longitudinal studies have all found that exposure to violent video games leads to increased physical aggression (for comprehensive reviews, see Anderson, Berkowitz, et al., 2003; Anderson & Bushman, 2001; Anderson et al., 2004; Anderson et al., 2007). (p. 382)

3. Longitudinal Effects of Violent Video Games on Aggression in Japan and the United States
Anderson et al. (2008), Pediatrics 122(5). [Speaking of publication quality, the 2009 ISI citation analysis ranked Pediatrics as the 3rd most-cited of the 94 included journals in the pediatrics category.]

This is a longitudinal study of both US and Japanese youth. A significant result was found in these real-world conditions (for those of you who would dismiss experimental studies as failing to establish results that matter in the real world).

4.Correlates and Consequences of Exposure to Video Game Violence: Hostile Personality, Empathy, and Aggressive Behavior
Bartholow, Sestir, & Davis (2005), Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 31 (11).

Study uses both longitudinal and experimental methods to show a link between violent game play and violent behavior.

5. Causal effects of violent sports video games on aggression: Is it competitiveness or violent content?
Anderson & Carnageya (2009), Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 45 (4).

Playing violent sports games is significantly more correlated with violent effects (violent thoughts and behavior) than other sports games that are competitive but not violent.

Obviously that’s way, WAY more than you asked for. But I hope that, if the dozens of commenters above are still paying attention to this thread, some of them will read some of the literature andmore broadlyconsider this as the scientific debate that it is rather than jumping to premature, ill-founded conclusions based on their policy views on whether and how to regulate games.

Comment The evidence for video game violence is solid (Score 1) 154

I know /. is pro-game and anti-censorship. SO AM I. That said, I'm really disappointed by the proliferation of anti-scientific misunderstandings propagated by the OP and commenters. (For instance: OP needs to RTFA. The study measures both quantity AND quality.) As a media studies scholar, I've studied the evidence, and there really is a statistically significant correlation (which DOES NOT equal an effect 100% of the time or anywhere near that often) between consuming violent media and engaging in real-world violence.

I'd say more, but these folks do a MUCH better job:

Read this chapter, read some more of the evidence, then share your thoughts based on the actual data. Don't oppose scientific findings based on policy preferences.

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