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  • Feb 11th, 2013 @ 6:31am


    It's not necessarily a failure on the part of the lawyers.

    It's possible the legal advice they got was, "No, she has no basis for this threat. If you don't take it down, here's what it will cost to prove it."
  • Jul 12th, 2010 @ 7:07am

    Not the place

    If the restriction needs to be demolished, it should be done by Congress, or the Executive branch (FCC, maybe FTC), not the judiciary. It's not a huge privilege to have this restriction unless either the carrier or the phone producer have a monopoly. You have alternatives, if you don't like the terms, don't sign the contract. IMHO, the abusive part of the practice was carriers not unlocking phones once you'd met the contract terms, but I think that has been changed.
  • May 4th, 2010 @ 7:51am


    Much of the value in the Economist is not the news. It's well-written articles that place facts in context, and explain why it matters, and what it will mean.

    And that value can be copyright protected, and can be easily copied (legally via fair use, or illegally).
  • May 4th, 2010 @ 7:48am

    Re: Sell the news. Let people make their own copies.

    I think newspapers serve two other important functions. They give people a convenient place to find news, and they filter the information deluge. I think the second is more important; good editors / journalists find good stories; good editors / journalists explain why a fact matters.

    Unfortunately for print media, there is no reason these functions cannot be just as effective in cyberspace.
    Fortunately for editors / journalists, there is no reason these functions cannot be just as effective in cyberspace.
  • May 4th, 2010 @ 7:42am

    Grey Lady Down

    Much as I love the Economist, it feels like they've got the Wall Street Journal attitude. "We're so important, people will pay to read us online." If any media outlets could make that claim, The Economist, NYT, and WSJ could. But I don't think anyone can. People who already read them appreciate the archive / access, but others don't know what they are missing, or get their information from another source. Moreover, all the potential readers coming from external links are lost once the paywall kicks in.
  • Feb 5th, 2010 @ 6:47am

    Re: Re: Double Edge Sword

    I do not claim that this instance is a 4th amendment violation. I was responding to the "how copyright law can possibly survive a First Amendment challenge" point. The existence of fair use is not necessary to survive the challenge. The other amendments are not subordinate to the First.

    I would argue that the Copyright Clause is the source of the fair use doctrine: "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." I think it also strengthens the claim that not having any copyright at all is a "taking".

    I seriously doubt that the ruling could survive a challenge, since parody is a clearly recognized fair use. If they're using a substantial portion of the video, perhaps that might tip the scales in the plaintiff's favor.
  • Feb 5th, 2010 @ 5:13am

    Double Edge Sword

    The Bill of Rights also guarantees "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures". Should the government be allowed to routinely seize something for public use just because the item is intangible? Arguably the lack of copyright would lead to just that.
  • Jan 29th, 2010 @ 4:57am

    May be clever, not stupid

    USOC might be more clever than stupid. If they sue an organization that can't afford to defend itself, they get a slam-dunk win. No, they won't be able to collect anything, but they've established a legal precedent. That precedent could not only expand their "protection" of the Olympic marks, but also their "right" to treble damages. The next organization they rattle sabers at has an uphill battle.
  • Jan 27th, 2010 @ 6:19am

    (untitled comment)

    The article also notes that "the board's stamp of approval is necessary for anyone in the world to sell a Warhol work," but that's the part that confuses me. Why?
    From the article, it doesn't sound as if the board can block a sale. It's just that the work sells for much less if not authenticated.
    The average price of a Warhol work at auction was $442,000 in 2006, according to the complaint. Shaer says the works "routinely fetch even more astronomical sums," noting that the 1963 "Green Car Crash," a single Warhol silkscreen, sold for $71.7 million. ... Because Shaer declined the board's invitation, she says her piece has an effective market value of "zero."
  • Dec 15th, 2009 @ 5:31am

    American Innovation?

    So if the Fortune 10 company I work for files for a US patent for R&D work done in Germany and India, it is demonstrating American innovation?

    We make about half of our revenues outside the US; we spend about half of our R&D budget outside the US; most of our patents are filed worldwide... It might be easier for CNN to tell the "USA vs the world" story, but in each of our businesses, the truth is it is "us vs the other 3-4 companies who are really good at this also."

    And patents as an innovation indicator? Patents are for innovations you're willing to disclose. A lot of the real innovation is protected as a trade secret - business processes, manufacturing methods, even financing models.
  • Nov 13th, 2009 @ 8:49am

    Fair is Fair

    So if the alleged Pirates want to countersue, and claim that the "private, industry-backed anti-piracy group FACT" engaged in criminal conduct (perhaps by making fraudulent claims to the police in the course of the "assistance"), can they get the police to seize FACT's computers?

    It seems only fair, and there is a delightful irony in using the same tactics in reply. Perhaps Surfthechannel could use the BSA's tactics and offer a cash reward to former FACT employees to report illegal conduct ;-)

    Dark Helmet - we Americans have a much more obscene variant of the law that allows the police to seize property alleged to be associated with criminal activity and sell it, keeping the proceeds. No criminal charges are filed, and the 'target' of the seizure is the property, not the owner, sidestepping many constitutional protections. eiture

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