Sean Bonner has posted a snap shot of the sample address adorning a package of Avery mailing labels. The address belongs to Tyler Durden from the movie Fight Club (trailers). I love to see the small human aspects come through in the design of mundane products and packaging. Via Boing Boing
Archives for June 2004
Score one for freedom of speech!
From Copyfight comes word that Mattel has lost its trademark case against Thomas Forsythe, an artist who used Barbie dolls in a series of photos. The Ninth circuit court called one claim “completely without merit” and noted it “would lead to absurd results”. The court found it “objectively unreasonable that [Mattel] argued otherwise”. Best of all, the court recognized that Mattel’s suit was frivolous, awarding the artist $241,797.09 plus $1,584,089 to cover legal fees. The decision is available on-line thanks to Copyfight.
Susan Crawford presents a compelling case to bring the INDUCE Act to a hearing on the Senate floor in her article Overstatement and IICA. She addresses both sides of the issue on three fundamental questions:
- Will the bill cripple the development of new technology?
- Will the bill broaden secondary liability for copyright infringement in ways we cannot predict?
- Will the bill render Sony irrelevant?
This is just a quick post with some informative perspectives on the INDUCE Act. Sadly, I do not have the time to comment on all of them at present, though I do hope to post about select articles when my schedule allows. Anyway, here are the links:
Ernest, provides additional insight into the ramifications of the INDUCE Act on his site( The Importance of…) in a new article titled The INDUCE Act and the Right to Prepare Derivative Works. His perspectives on this issue and many others in the realm of copyrights are extremely informative for those of us who are just now learning of the issues. Yet again, Ernest points out the details and effects that may not be obvious on first blush. Well, at the very least, they were not obvious to me:
Most of the commentary on the Act and what technologies, creativity and innovation it threatens have focused on two types of infringement, those of the right of reproduction (the right to make copies) and the right of public distribution. We should remember, however, that there are other exclusive rights that can be infringed. The intersection of the INDUCE Act with these other exclusive rights will create an even broader swath of technology and acts that Hollywood will have an effective veto over. Let’s consider one of these other rights and the technologies that might be affected.
According to 17 USC 106, the second exclusive right is the right “to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work.”
That is a very scary proposition on a number of fronts as it could lead to so many more lawsuits, and legal bullying by large companies, driving innovators and fans into hiding, if not apathy. Ultimately, the INDUCE Act could prove harmful to the U.S. economy as we will lose ground to other nations who do not place such strict controls on innovation and product evolution.
While I like coffee, and I consider myself a geek, I have nothing on these guys: CoffeeGeek. Man o man.
As reported by Boing Boing and News.com, the Senate has approved the PIRATE Act which will give federal prosecutors the power to file civil lawsuits against people who may be infringing copyright law. News.com provides a typical quote from the ever-clueless Senator, Orrin Hatch:
One influential backer of the Pirate Act has been urging an avalanche of civil suits. “Tens of thousands of continuing civil enforcement actions might be needed to generate the necessary deterrence,” Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, said when announcing his support for the bill. “I doubt that any nongovernmental organization has the resources or moral authority to pursue such a campaign.”
Perhaps it’s me, but I could have sworn that Republicans were supposed to be supporters of free trade and against government interference in the markets and individual rights… They also used to be for smaller government – another pro in my book. I wonder how much
government of our money will be spent on civil lawsuits meant to protect an industry that hasn’t figured out that they need to shift their business model. While, Senator Hatch has to give his Media handlers something for their money, one would hope that he would at the very least recognize that he is supposed to be representing people before corporations. Check out his introduction to the “Protecting Intellectual Rights Against Theft and Expropriation Act” if you have a bit of time.
“Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what’s right.”
It is probably best to not install and run a new script on a live site when the music pumping through your speakers is the haunting theme from the Godfather. I should know better than the people in the movies, and heed the soundtrack.
All the worse when the next song is titled ‘Nervous Breakdown’…
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has created a Fake Complaint against Apple, Toshiba, and C-Net for Inducing Infringement of Copyrights to demonstrate the potential damage of the INDUCE Act should it pass. Scroll down to page three of the PDF version to read the actual complaint.
I think the complaint provides the best perspective of any coverage of the issue for those of us who aren’t directly involved in copyright law as it breaks it down into specific, real world acts that could set off litigation and crush our rights and future innovations.
The EFF also provides an easy to use method to write your senator about the issue. All you have to do is fill in your name and address. You aren’t locked into the letter that they provide you either, if you want to modify the letter to suit your needs, you can.
I have picked up the last few issues of Men’s Health and have found it to be a great source of information about workouts, eating and well, general men’s health issues. The most recent one had a great article, which they have now put on-line: Best Foods for Men. Not only do the editors provide nutritional information on their recommended foods, in many they tell you why they chose the item and how the nutritional breakdown affects you. An example:
Pepperidge Farm Hearty Wheat
Dense and crunchy. And not in the Swedish-cardboard-cracker kind of way, either. Per 16-g serving: 80 calories, 2 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 3.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 1 g fiber, 100 mg sodium
The categories are:
- The Bakery
- 6 Best Bar Munchies
- 9 Best Breakfasts
- Canned Food
- Dairy Case
- The Deep Freeze
- Meat Cooler
- Sandwich Fixings
- Snack Aisle
- Soda Aisle
- 6 Best Square Meals
I really do need to subscribe…
Trying to figure out what I have been compulsively posting about these last few days? Check out The Obsessively Annotated Introduction to the INDUCE Act. It does a much better job explaining the issue than I can. As always, thanks to Mr. Lessig for posting a link to the piece.
Another wonderful resource posted on Lessig’s blog is the press release Public Knowledge Says “Inducing Infringement” Act is “Overbroad” (PDF) from the technology and copyright policy group Public Knowledge.
Senator Hatch’s INDUCE Act is gaining more coverage as each day passes, though I have yet to spot anything from the major media outlets. Are you surprised? No, I didn’t think so. I’m not. Wired has posted a story this morning covering the backlash titled File-Trading Bill Stokes Fury and other sites have started to report the Senator’s plans to fundamentally change copyright law in favor of the media conglomerates. Ars Technica has also published a piece: Induce Act seeks to eliminate innovation.
Just a quick follow-up to my previous post about the INDUCE Act. The esteemed Lawrence Lessig has provided some commentary on the situation and added a little more information in the form of Senator Hatch’s floor remarks regarding the bill. His statements are worth a read, assuming you are up for translating politician-speak.
Mr. Lessig, also notes that “there is talk that this massive new layer of federal regulation of technology will happen without hearings — indeed, that it will be passed in the next weeks.” So, not only are we at risk of losing our rights to use media that we own in a manner we so choose, we may lose it by the whims of a small group instead of Congress as a whole. But hey, the bill is bi-partisan! We can blame these members of both parties for bowing to the will of the media industry instead of the people the are supposed to represent:
- Senator Orrin Hatch (R- Utah)
- Senator Patrick Leahy (D – Vermont) – Ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee
- Senator Bill Frist (R – Tennessee) – Senate Majority Leader
- Senator Tom Daschle (D – South Dakota) – Senate Minority Leader
Senator Bob Graham (D – Florida)I listed the wrong Senator Graham. My apologies.
- Lindsey Graham (R – South Carolina)
- Barbara Boxer (D – California)
Isn’t it good to see our tax dollars at work…?
In one of my recent projects I had to compare disparate time formats within an archiving script. As always, Google proved immensely helpful, leading me toPHP Function Libraries: Date and Time on FAQTs, which provides solutions to many (un)common date/time manipulation questions.
The PHP Knowledgebase should prove to be a great resource down the line.
“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.”
Author: Mark Twain
While this isn’t the least bit surprising, the Kobe Bryant case has brought to light the fact that the major cell phone carriers keep copies of text messages sent via their networks. In this case, the judge has ordered AT&T to hand over the transcripts of text messages sent by the alleged victim shortly after she had sex with Bryant. Engadget has a short write-up of the issue: AT&T Wireless keeps all your Text Messages.
According to this post at Engadget, Sprint and Cingular do not retain copies of yoru text message:
>[T]he guy who designed and implemented the SMS text messaging systems for Sprint and a large part of what is now Cingular gave us the scoop on how both carriers offer considerably more privacy than AT&T Wireless:
>>While the Sprint system is MUCH more sophisticated and does retain some data for a long time (billing and usage info, and similar) neither of these systems retain the actual content of SMS messages. Sprint’s system lets the user have a web based SMS mailbox (like an web mail but for SMS messages) and messages can be kept, at the user’s choice, in their mailbox but once a message is deleted, it’s gone. In Cingular’s case there is no retention at all. So, while the piece is true as relates to AT&T, it definately isn’t for Cingular and Sprint.
It’s the Hollings Bill by other means — an over-reaching new form of indirect liability that will force technology companies of all kinds to “ask permission” before innovating for fear of ruinous litigation if they don’t.
And so another front in the copyright wars opens, with the aggressors waving the bloody flag of file sharing, but really aiming at a much bigger target.
INDUCE stands for “Inducement Devolves into Unlawful Child Exploitation Act of 2004”. Go ahead, read that again. Yeah, that’s right, copyright laws, and ultimately your rights to make use of media that you have legally purchased will be directly affected by a law meant to protect children from exploitation. By hiding the new restrictions in a child exploitation law, he can try to crush the opposition by painting anyone against the proposed changes as not wanting to protect children. Utterly despicable, though not surprising coming from a politician who has received substantial contributions from the TV/Movies/Music industry, and advocated the idea that media companies should have the right to destroy the computers of people downloading copyrighted media – while his very own Web site was using unlicensed software. Brilliant.
The Act (to be proposed tomorrow by songwriter Sen. Hatch and others) amends the copyright law to say that anyone who “induces” copyright infringement is himself/itself an infringer.
“Induce” means intentionally aids, abets, counsels, or procures. So you can’t even hire a lawyer if you’re doing something risky.
If we don’t put a stop to this now, your VCR may well be illegal in the near future. I am going to follow this issue and post more news as I find it. For now here are some other sites discussing the matter:
“There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun.”