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Comment Re:Under what clause of "Fair Use" does this fall? (Score 1) 219

Nice argument re: the bill of rights, but it's fantasy. Retrieving something online doesn't make it your property, although clearly that's the point of contention. There's no legal basis for the idea that by posting something online I automatically give away property rights to it. Again, copyright protects the copyright holder and puts the onus for defending fair use on the user. The gray area falls on the side of the copyright holder. It seems you don't agree that should be the case, an opinion that you're certainly entitled to. Your intepretation of copyright law is very broad, and very convenient. Unfortunately, it's not borne out by much legal precedent, nor is the EFF's (in this case).

Comment Under what clause of "Fair Use" does this fall?? (Score 1) 219

I'm going to get flamed for this, but under what idea of "Fair Use" would this fall? IANAL but I don't see how this is particularly transformative, and it certainly isn't parody. Pretty much just a guy who got his feelings hurt, sounds like. There is no inalienable right to use copyrighted material, and the law generalizes on the side of the copyright holder, not the user. In general, copyrightable materials are copyrighted unless proven otherwise, not in the public domain unless proven otherwise. And oh by the way, YouTube is private. They're not obligated to post anything, ever. Or as a corrolary, they can pretty much take anything down anytime they want. You don't have to like it, support YouTube, etc., certainly, but the whole idea of having some inalienable right to use a service that costs somebody else money for free, on your own terms, is pretty laughable. I have to say the EFF is starting to look like the ACLU in that their arguments are becoming increasingly bizarre. The EFF should probably recommend that people boycott my media server too, since I don't have any intention of ever letting anyone outside of my immediate family post to it. Fire away ...

Comment Re:Negotiate. (Score 1) 440

IANAL, but "signing away" isn't really correct terminology here ... software is generally considered a "work for hire" in the U.S., which means that whoever's paying for the software (the employer) owns it. In point of ugly fact, that usually applies to any software that you write, whether or not it's on company time, if writing software is part of your job. In this particular case, the university has signed away some of their rights to some people and not to others.

Of course you should not sign a contract that contains clauses you don't agree with, whether or not it's conventional wisdom or law. My point is only that you really need to be aware of labor law around your work when you go to work for somebody else. The "lost right" that's shown here was actually never a right you had in the first place, at least in most places in the U.S.


10,000-website Strong Malware Maze Created by Criminals 118

Stony Stevenson passed us an ITnews article about the newest scam in online crime. Some 10,000 web pages have been rigged by IT-minded criminals, with the aim of hijacking unsuspecting PCs. The site reports that the users are redirected through a maze of malware, all with the goal of gaining access to personal user information. "The reprogrammed web pages are probably victims of an automated attack that included scanning the internet for unsecured servers and planting a piece of JavaScript code that redirects to a site in China to serve up the malware. The malware cocktail attempts to exploit vulnerabilities in Windows, RealPlayer and other applications to break into the PC. A back door also allows the subsequent installation of additional malicious programs. McAfee Avert Labs first spotted the attack on 12 March. 'Of the 10,000 pages that were compromised a number have already been cleaned up,' the firm stated."

AI Researchers Say 'Rascals' Might Pass Turing Test 337

An anonymous reader writes "Passing the Turing test is the holy grail of artificial intelligence (AI) and now researchers claim it may be possible using the world's fastest supercomputer (IBM's Blue Gene). This version of the Turing test pits a human conversing with a synthetic character powered by Rascals software crafted at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. RPI is aiming to pass AI's final exam this fall, by pairing the most powerful university-based supercomputing system in the world with its new multimedia group which is designing a holodeck, a la Star Trek."
United States

Congress Turns Up The Heat on FCC's Chairman 148

Fletch writes "FCC Chairman Kevin Martin could be in for an uncomfortable spring, as House Energy Committee Chair John Dingel (D-MI) has requested a truckload of FCC paperwork relating to some controversial decisions Martin has made. Those include the FCC's reversal on the a la carte cable issue and newspaper-television cross-ownership restrictions. 'This request has got to be turning the FCC completely upside down. Significantly, it appears to reflect a bipartisan discontent with Martin's performance. Democrats and some Republicans are upset over his recent move to relax one of the agency's key media ownership rules, as well as the rushed manner in which he handled the matter late last year. Other Republicans dislike what they see as Martin's persecution of the cable industry, especially Comcast.' The Committee originally announced its intention to investigate the FCC in January."

The Secret China-U.S. Hacking War? 107

bored-at-IETF-ntp-session writes "In an article at eWeek Larry Seltzer examines the supposed hacking war between the US and China. He surmises 'Even if you can't prove that the government was involved ... it still bears some responsibility'. He quotes Gadi Evron who advised the Estonians during the Russian attacks. 'I can confirm targeted attacks with sophisticated technologies have been launched against obvious enemies of China ... Who is behind these attacks can't be easily said, but it can be an American cyber-criminal, a Nigerian spammer or the Chinese themselves.' Seltzer concluded 'It's just another espionage tool, and no more or less moral than others we've used in the past.'" This a subject we've also previously discussed.

NBC Still Down On P2P But Plans To Use It Themselves 153

Cotton Eye Joe writes "Ars Technica has an interview with Rick Cotton, the general counsel for NBC Universal who is best known for saying that piracy is a more serious offence than robbery. Cotton still has some strong opinions on P2P, even though the network will be using it for distribution. 'He's convinced that the pirate problem is costing NBC Universal real revenue and that the scale of the problem is so vast as to discourage investment in the carrots, positive solutions like Hulu. "With all that pirated material available, it creates tremendous disincentives to content owners who need to invest in new content," Cotton says, "and that just hurts consumers over time."'"

Legal Counsel Advises Against Accepting OOXML Pledge 139

ozmanjusri writes "A legal analysis of Microsoft's Open Specification Promise (OSP), which was purportedly written to give developers protection from patent risk, says the promise should not be trusted. According to the Software Freedom Law Center, 'While technically an irrevocable promise, in practice the OSP is good only for today.' This is on the back of a chaotic ISO meeting to resolve outstanding specification problems. The session was described by Tim Bray as 'Complete, utter, unadulterated bulls**t. This was horrible, egregious, process abuse and ISO should hang their heads in shame for allowing it to happen.' The advice would seem to throw more doubt on OOXML's suitability as an international document standard. Microsoft responded to these assertions stating that they've already taken steps to answer these concerns"

Apple Sued Over Fundamental iTunes Model 257

tuxgeek writes "A suit was filed Wednesday against Apple over the possibility that the iTunes music store and iPod are 'illegally using a patented method for distributing digital media over the Internet.' ZapMedia Services filed the suit, accusing the well-known OS and computer manufacturer of violating patents obtained just recently. 'The patents in question cover a way of sending music and other digital content from servers to multiple media players, a broad description that could also apply to a wide swath of other companies selling digital media and the devices to play it. ZapMedia said it met with Apple to discuss licensing, but Apple rebuffed the offer.'"

Blu-ray Player Prices Hit 2008 Highs 318

An anonymous reader writes "HD DVD is almost gone and Blu-ray prices are already on their way up. TG Daily went through average retail prices of some of the popular Blu-ray players and found that you should expect to pay at least $400 for an entry-level Blu-ray player, while you could get a player for less than $330 in February. It really should not be a surprise for all of us, but it is interesting to see how quickly retail adjusted to the new situation and increased prices."

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