Intellectual Property

  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/jdaverth/thehindsightfactor.com/sites/default/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
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  • warning: Parameter 1 to flickrjpegcache_get_path() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/jdaverth/thehindsightfactor.com/includes/module.inc on line 476.
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  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_comment::init() should be compatible with views_handler_field::init(&$view, $options) in /home/jdaverth/thehindsightfactor.com/sites/default/modules/views/modules/comment/views_handler_field_comment.inc on line 0.
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  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/jdaverth/thehindsightfactor.com/sites/default/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be passed by reference in /home/jdaverth/thehindsightfactor.com/sites/default/modules/captcha/captcha.inc on line 61.

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in 31.05.2012, 365: the 2012 edition, 365:2012, Day 152, Field, Flowers, Intellectual Property, Nature, Video

152 of 366

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  • Photo owner: Jay Daverth
  • Date Taken: Thu, 2012-05-31 16:02
  • Date Uploaded: Tue, 2012-06-19 14:06
  • Views: 7
Heading out to Spain tomorrow -- can't wait to get out from under these Mancunian clouds!
31 May

Techie Tuesday – Leahy’s Orwellian Protect IP Act blocked!

in Congress, Copyright / Copyfighting / Piracy, Entertainment, Intellectual Property, Internet, Law Enforcement, Piracy, Politics, Techie Tuesday
Bun-Pirate

Image via Wikipedia

Some good news in the world of copyfighting!  I mentioned this bill in last week’s link purge, but under the authorship of the entertainment Mafioso, PIPA was intended to provide the DHS and private corporations with additional authority to seize the top-level domains of dangerous terrorists file sharing websites and bring lawsuits against those, such as Google, who provide links to them (Google has already vowed to fight any such measures).  I don't know if the bill is officially dead, but for the time being it has been effectively put on hold by Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon).

“The internet represents the shipping lane of the 21st century,” Wyden said in a statement. “It is increasingly in America’s economic interest to ensure that the internet is a viable means for American innovation, commerce, and the advancement of our ideals that empower people all around the world. By ceding control of the internet to corporations through a private right of action, and to government agencies that do not sufficiently understand and value the internet, PIPA represents a threat to our economic future and to our international objectives,” he said.

Even if you equate file-sharing with digital piracy you should care about killing this bill for several reasons:

  • In the most benign sense, it is wholly unnecessary – domains can already be ‘seized’ (albeit with a tremendous assault on due process) through a number of judicial channels and the DMCA provides the means through which to stop Google et al from linking to them.  Codifying this behavior only reinforces the governments right to intervene in the only port of free expression currently in existence.
  • It forges an unholy alliance between federal law enforcement and private enterprise whereby the same industries who decry government intervention in the free market are all too eager to expect taxpayers to foot the bill for their civil complaints.
  • It has nada zip zilch to do with national security and the DHS should not be compelled to expend resources on enforcing private litigation while actual security concerns remain unchecked.
  • Finally, for the massive expense it is entirely ineffective.  Seized domains simply rely on existing mirrors to bridge the short amount of time it takes to respawn elsewhere.  And thanks to sympathetic programmers everywhere, systems are popping up like MAFIAAfire that make it even easier for users to find them.

When you consider the the War on Drugs whose crippling expense is paralleled only by its spectacular failure, It’s inconceivable that we want to extend such tactics to the virtual world on behalf of a few, dying private companies.


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26 May

Throwaway Thursday–Copyfighting Edition

in Entertainment, Intellectual Property, Internet, Piracy, Politics, Privacy, Science & Technology, Throwaway Thursday
Banner @ Copyfight

Image by David Domingo via Flickr

In the latest outbreak of pure douchiness, BMI - those happy, benevolent little elves who run the collection cartel on broadcast radio stations – is alleging that listening to your own music via cloud services amounts to a '”public performance” subject to licensing fees. 

Presumably trying to get back in the good graces of open-standards proponents, Google has signaled that it is prepared to fight both houses of congress and the president of the United States if the entertainment mafia successfully pushes through Leahy’s Orwellian Protect IP Act – a wish-list of anti-piracy measures that threaten to undermine the open internet.

HarperCollins has announced their intention to cripple e-books after 26 rentals forcing public libraries to cough up additional annual licensing fees.  Which is really not a big deal since libraries and their patrons are so flush with cash anyway.  For the moment, HC is the only publisher to have done so, though if the trend continues it could spell the end of digital modernization in public systems.

Finally, the award this week goes to Nintendo whose 3DS EULA mandates ongoing centralized updates during which they will brick (deactivate) your system if it contains unapproved software or peripherals.   But at least Nintendo claims a perpetual, worldwide copyright to all photos and videos taken with your camera. 

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20 Apr

We have to get out of LA - it's all comin' down!

in Animation, Capitalism, Corporatism, Intellectual Property, Products, Video

Welcome to Logorama - quite simply the most enjoyable and provocative short I've seen in Donkey's years!  Logorama was directed by the French H5 collective and debuted at last year's Cannes festival.  It later won an Academy award under the “animated short” category.

It's a bit long (about 16 minutes), and definitely NOT suitable for work, but totally worth it.  I watched it and then watched it again.  I think I might grab a third showing after I post this.  Enjoy!



16 Apr

UK’s TalkTalk will not comply with draconian Digital Economy Bill

in Copyright / Copyfighting / Piracy, Entertainment, Intellectual Property, Video

For those who are unfamiliar with such bills, there has been a major worldwide push, lead by those poor, suicidal bastards in the entertainment industries, to force internet service providers (ISPs) to cut off customers after three, unsubstantiated accusations of copyright infringement.  291106riaa

At least one company  has proven willing to stand up for common sense:

After the election we will resume highlighting the substantial dangers inherent in the proposals and that the hoped for benefits in legitimate sales will not materialise as filesharers will simply switch to other undetectable methods to get content for free.

In the meantime we stand by our pledges to our customers:

  • Unless we are served with a court order we will never surrender a customer’s details to rightsholders. We are the only major ISP to have taken this stance and we will maintain it.
  • If we are instructed to disconnect an account due to alleged copyright infringement we will refuse to do so and tell the rightsholders we’ll see them in court.

Not likely to see this level of consumer advocacy in a U.S. ISP anytime soon.  I imagine something a little more like this:

08 Feb

Please sign (or at least READ) the Public Domain Manifesto

in Copyright / Copyfighting / Piracy, Intellectual Property

In the midst of our ongoing debates over file-sharing and the latest twisted headlines from the RIAA, the discourse seems to have slipped into whether artists need to be compensated for their work (which they should) and whether the poor suicidal copyright watchdogs have gone over the deep end in attacking their own consumers (which they have).  Yet it is important to remember that this is more than just an economic debate – this is part of an ongoing struggle to determine the appropriate line between comodification and our cultural evolution.

1478541769_e0d931e329 Let’s face it – to varying degrees, we all enjoy what Hollywood spews out no matter how trite and repetitive it can be.  Such endeavours require a substantial amount of capital and investors should be able to profit from their work if we expect them to continue being produced.  Much as in the publishing and music industries, copyright law has existed for the purpose of safeguarding this monetisation.  Yet it is important to remember that copyright is meant to be of a finite duration.  This allows artists to profit from their work while also ensuring that future generations are able to continue building on this work when it enters the public domain.  As James Boyle of The Public Domain notes:

Our markets, our democracy, our science, our traditions of free speech, and our art all depend more heavily on a Public Domain of freely available material than they do on the informational material that is covered by property rights. The Public Domain is not some gummy residue left behind when all the good stuff has been covered by property law. The Public Domain is the place we quarry the building blocks of our culture. It is, in fact, the majority of our culture.

Perpetual copyright effectively consolidates our cultural heritage into the hands of a few wealthy industrialists and restricts creative expression worldwide.  This trend must be stopped. 

You can read the full Manifesto here and please take the time to sign it.