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Comment Copyright (Score 1) 211

What country are you in? Copyright law is going to be different in different places, at least a bit.

What university are you at? Some universities require students' to turn over copyright in their work (although many don't). Some universities also have requirements or restrictions on how you may license the work- the most common one I've seen recently is requiring students to allow the library to provide an electronic version.

Assuming US law, part of your statement is redundant; someone else can't legally claim copyright in your work, either published excerpts or its entirety.

Your pirate/steal bit is a bit confusing, even without the normal misuse of the terms to describe infringement. ;) If something is in the public domain, anyone can use it for any purpose, commercial or not. Once you've put it in the public domain, in this situation it probably can't be taken out of the public domain. (It would be nice to say that can never happen for any reason, but there is some precedent for some foreign works that probably doesn't apply here).

Creative Commons does sound like your best bet- check it out. ^^

Comment Re:How is it anti-science to teach... (Score 1) 726

An issue is that "all the facts" is that matter that is contentious, with the proponents of these bills being supporters of materials and findings that aren't recognized as fact-based by the great majority of scientists. These bills hide in terms of "academic freedom" and "critical thinking," but generally are nothing of the sort.

Comment I liked the PC controls. (Score 1) 49

I'm going to disagree with the interface evaluation- I actually like it quite a bit on the PC side with the mouse/keyboard set up, and to me that was preferable to the PS3 interface. I could use hotkeys and the mouse combos, which is my preferred playing style, and I thought it worked great.I agree with some of the commentors that the menu interface is a bit clunky, though.


How High-Tech Gadget Trends Differ By US Region 51

Ant writes in with news of a study revealing differences in gadget preferences by US region. The survey is not rigorous, based as it was on 7,500 online questionnaires submitted to Retrevo, a website for tech shoppers. The company plans to run the survey annually. "...in the smartphone category, the state of Maryland came out on top with 48 percent more households owning at least one such handset than elsewhere in the country. ... In iPad use, the state of New York took top honors. According to the survey, 52 percent more households have at least one iPad in the Empire State. ... Massachusetts beat out the rest of the nation in e-reader adoption..."

Comment Re:It was never illegal in the first place (Score 2, Informative) 423

Not quite. While reverse engineering is ordinarily legal, the anti-circumvention provision of the DMCA doesn't make allowances for fair use or other uses that may have otherwise been legal. That's one of the reasons the Section 1201 rulemaking procedure exists; to see if there are legitimate reasons for circumventing technological protection measures. I think it's a bit backwards, personally.

Comment Re:Is this subject to a whim? (Score 5, Informative) 423

The Librarian of Congress is appointed by the President. The Register of Copyrights is appoints by the Librarian.

There is an extensive rule-making procedure for this process (Section 1201 rulemaking- see the featured link at copyright.gov). Unfortunately, those asking for the exemptions generally bear the burden of proof, and have to ask for the exemptions every three years. It is difficult to plan based on these exemptions.


Prince Says Internet Is Over 450

the_arrow writes "According to the artist currently known as Prince, 'The internet's completely over.' At least that what he says in an interview with the British newspaper Mirror. Quoting Prince: 'The internet's like MTV. At one time MTV was hip and suddenly it became outdated. Anyway, all these computers and digital gadgets are no good. They just fill your head with numbers and that can't be good for you.'"

How Sperm Whales Offset Their Carbon Footprint 150

Boy Wunda writes "Scientists at Flinders University in South Australia found that in an awesome example of design by Mother Nature, Southern Ocean sperm whales offset their carbon footprint by simply defecating – an action that releases tons of iron a year and stimulates the growth of phytoplankton which absorb and trap carbon dioxide. If only we humans could say the same for our poop, which really doesn't do much more than just sit there." I'm going to do my part by buying some iron supplements and a can of chili, and heading off toward the ocean.

Comment Re:They Need to Write a Distinction into Their Stu (Score 1) 261

In the report, they do distinguish between what they term "counterfitting" and "piracy." Unfortunately, their definition of piracy is still overbroad, referring to making any unauthorized copy (which, as we should know, is not always illegal).

The report is good in pointing out that none of the Internet-based piracy "research" is reliable, specifically looking at numbers the Government claims, the BSA, and the MPAA studies.

The report still says that despite these weaknesses, piracy is a problem.

Comment Privacy is more nuanced than that... (Score 3, Informative) 521

Privacy is a nebulous concept, and it's possible that in some cases, we give up privacy, and in others, we don't. It's not necessarily a binary on/off thing that you either have or you don't. I don't believe that people who say that privacy is dead are correct; or if they are, it's a very narrow view of privacy. You still don't have people watching you in the shower, for example. (Hopefully...)

Check out Daniel Solove's work- here's a good start.
"I've got nothing to hide" and other misunderstandings of privacy

He's got some other interesting articles on the subject there, and some interesting books as well.

There are still things you can fight for to protect privacy, even if you are giving up some facets. You can fight against ubiquitous surveillance, and continue to do the things that you're doing to protect your privacy. You can help make threats to privacy transparent, for example, by supporting groups like EFF.

Comment Re:Good (Score 4, Insightful) 218

Orphaned works are most certainly not a fiction. As someone who regularly works with libraries, archives, & museums, I can say with some certainty that orphan works are huge problems for such entities, and copyright law as it's currently instantiated ensures that these works may disappear forever. Orphaned works are the majority of works in existence.

See the Copyright Office comments (and the US Copyright Office favors strong copyright laws)
See the Association of Research Libraries comments to the Copyright Office
See the Society of American Archivists Best Practices
See some of Peter Hirtle's comments.
http://blog.librarylaw.com/librarylaw/2009/09/orphan-works-and-the-google-book-settlement.html ...and so on.

Orphaned works is a huge issue, and will become more of an issue as we attempt to work with and preserve digital works.


Italy Floats Official Permission Requirement for Web Video Uploads 131

An anonymous reader writes with some bad news from Italy, noting that new rules proposed there would "require people who upload videos onto the Internet to obtain authorization from the Communications Ministry similar to that required by television broadcasters, drastically reducing freedom to communicate over the Web." Understandably, some say such controls represent a conflict of interest for Silvio Berlusconi, "who exercises political control over the state broadcaster RAI in his role as prime minister and is also the owner of Italy's largest private broadcaster, Mediaset."

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