Doug McClean's Techdirt Profile

Doug McClean

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  • May Mon, 2015 @ 06:20pm

    Re:

    Another thing the feds seem to be ignoring (maybe they're not, but it doesn't sound promising), is that because Roberts exposed that he could control a real aircraft means that he potentially saved real lives. That definitely outweighs the risk he took, especially because he already tried to go through the proper channels. If he had simply given up, and any terrorists had found this vulnerability, this entire news story would instead be about how planes were smashed into buildings again.

  • Apr Wed, 2012 @ 09:46am

    Re: Re: Re:

    But the Marcus-hater above was being intentionally misleading by making it sound like Dropbox and Skydrive are both not granting themselves those same broad rights, while conveniently leaving out that Google's terms also make it clear that users retain their own copyrights.

  • Apr Fri, 2012 @ 10:35am

    Re: Re: Re: The bigger picture

    Actually, I think that's exactly what they're arguing -- that a copyrighted product made abroad and not sold in the US by the copyright holder, is illegal to sell in the US at all.

    And as I understand it, the US usually allows you to import "illegal" purchases from other countries, as long as the purchase is lawful in the other country, it is only for personal use, and it isn't in itself illegal to possess (certain weapons, child porn, etc).

    I personally believe that argument completely defeats the entire purpose the first sale doctrine even exists -- you have the right to use/abuse/sell your physical property as you see fit.

  • Apr Fri, 2012 @ 10:02am

    Re: Re: Help me out here...

    This is exactly what we're trying to say is wrong. Marketing is considered a sunk cost, and it is mathematically unwise to include sunk costs in your prices.

    Digital goods really illustrate this point extremely well, because it makes the "total cost" equation extremely simple:

    normally (sunk costs) + (units sold * marginal cost), but since marginal costs are so close to 0, it's even simpler:

    (sunk costs)

    At this point, once you have reduced your sunk costs as much as possible, the only variable you need to worry about is the number of units sold. As an example, you spend $1.5 million on sunk costs (including marketing). As stated before, if you only sell 100,000 units at a price point of $15, you've barely recovered your sunk costs. But by reducing the price to $10 you sell 300,000 units, you've now recovered twice your sunk costs - this is the entire reason why it's unwise to factor sunk costs into your pricing.

  • Apr Wed, 2012 @ 12:11pm

    Re:

    Regardless of Congress's shortcomings, this is a very good thing to hear from a judge.

  • Feb Mon, 2012 @ 02:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I disagree, if your house and car could be used by an infinite number of people at the same time, without causing any problems among any of them, there would be no compelling reason for physical property rights to exist. They are yours because of the physical need for them to be.

  • Feb Mon, 2012 @ 10:50am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, you do need a very, very, very good reason to exclude people from your home and car.

    A house or car are a rivalrous good, so only a limited number of people could use it at a time. To avoid the problems of fighting over what home or car you will be using today, it makes a pretty damn compelling reason to allow exclusivity laws for them.

  • Feb Fri, 2012 @ 01:55pm

    For science

    But lawyers would not have incentive to help promote the progress of the science of legal theories if we didn't grant copyright on their work. If you use another lawyer's work in your own cases without paying the required license fees, then you are a dirty lawyer pirate that just wants legal theories for free. And, you should be charged with criminal infringement since you are profiting from the use of that intellectual property.

  • Feb Fri, 2012 @ 10:01am

    Re: how it works

    This is a totally win-win situation. After their kids are done with it, your laptop will be returned with even more free music and movies than before your vacation.

  • Feb Tue, 2012 @ 02:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Not only that, but to me, your comment also clearly shows that those of that haven't read the bill or don't have the legal training to truly understand it, actually do need to rely on experts we do trust that are trained to understand this stuff, have read the text of the bill, and given a thorough analysis about what is wrong with it.

  • Feb Thu, 2012 @ 09:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It absolutely is their choice, until they decided to accept payment for it. If they're taking payments, but then take steps (even if unintentional) that avoid it ever entering the public domain, then they aren't keeping their end of the bargain.

  • Feb Thu, 2012 @ 09:34am

    Re: Re: Re:

    My company actually issues organizational certs to all of our workstations. Even with the "man-in-the-middle" attack you describe, a savvy employee could still possibly catch this one (since as you said, it is still a valid chain of trust), and I occasionally double-check certificates of websites I visit to make sure they are signed by an external certificate authority. To the best of my knowledge, my company hasn't turned on any https monitoring yet, even though they definitely can.

  • Jan Tue, 2012 @ 02:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    See, this is where our disconnect with you is, and why it is so difficult to debate this. Without some miracle, it would be near impossible to convince you that creators have absolutely no moral or ethical right to control what they create. And because we can't agree on that, by definition, we have trouble agreeing on the purpose of copyright in the first place.

    If a creator makes something? Congratulations, the public doesn't owe them anything. If they doesn't like the terms something is being bought under, don't sell it. But stop telling us what to do with what has been shared with us. However, we do want creators to share what they've created, and that is the entire purpose the US Constitution (and those of us that agree with that line of reasoning) allows intellectual property laws like copyright. We allow a limited incentive to "promote the progress of useful arts and sciences."

    This point has been made to you over and over again, but we can't seem to get through to you that promoting progress is much more important (and that's an understatement) than a creator being allowed to control their works merely because "they made it."

  • Jan Tue, 2012 @ 09:21am

    Re: Re:

    Bleh, that extra whitespace in my last comment was supposed to be /sarcasm between less than and greater than signs...

  • Jan Tue, 2012 @ 09:19am

    Re:

    Actually, Mike realized how totally wrong he is about SOPA, and that the entire State Department secretly wants it to pass so that bunnies and rainbows will appear after the flood of piracy ends. This next quote proves he changed his statement, because he couldn't possibly make the same mistake twice:

    And, in fact, as we've reported, we've heard from multiple sources that many, many people within the State Department aren't against the bill, and have put some pressure on other parts of the government over the bill.




    Hehe, sorry Mike, I just thought it was pretty funny that you actually did make the same mistake twice (either that, or updated the wrong sentence that Richard pointed out, since I didn't see this article at 4am).

  • Dec Fri, 2011 @ 10:03am

    Re:

    ^

  • Dec Thu, 2011 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Re: Worth it ?

    I think what darryl was trying to say is that if you average 15 minutes per post, then that's 10,000 man hours of work; or, at 2000 hours of labor per year, comes out to 5 years of labor for all the posts.

    He then takes some random income of $44k (I can only assume he's claiming that's the median income for that type of work), multiplies by 5, and is claiming that Mike's blog cost $220k, because he gave all that content away for free.

    And then, for everyone riding darryl's wonderful logic train, we arrive straight to the obvious conclusion:

    Why do you hate content companies and love thieving raporists, Mike?

  • Dec Thu, 2011 @ 09:55am

    Re: Re: Re: CHEATER!!!!!

    It's over nine thousand!!!

  • Sep Tue, 2011 @ 09:24am

    Re:

    I have no idea if this would ever hold up in court, but I told my 9 year old son that he doesn't have permission to accept any agreements on our PS3, but then also told him that if the PSN store and Netflix won't work unless someone accepts them. I've never accepted any Sony agreements, but both of those things surprisingly work on my PS3 right now.

  • Sep Wed, 2011 @ 09:45am

    Re:

    The only time you own the copyright (without a contract or work for hire) when you "cause it to be created", is if you directly set up the chain of events to create the picture, and there is no other creative input from another person. Otherwise there would be far less joint copyrights, or works for hire wouldn't need contracts or separate laws to exempt them from termination laws.

    In your example, the teacher has already likely created the entire exam, and she absolutely would own the copyright on the compilation of questions and answers. A student's separate answers, assuming that they have enough creative value to be copyrightable and that they are different enough from the teacher's original answers, are absolutely owned by the student.

    If you ask a neighbor to take a picture, even if he is using your own camera, he absolutely owns the copyright; if you also had creative input (subject matter, lighting, framing, where to stand, when to take the picture), then it's possible you would both own the copyright. Only if you could prove that your neighbor had absolutely no creative input (you set up the camera on a tripod and told him when to push the button), then you might own the full copyright.

    The entire thing that is up for debate here is if the chain of events this photographer set up, qualifies for enough creative input to qualify for copyright. Even if it does qualify, it's still extremely tragic that far too many people have never even entertained the idea that it is entirely possible for something to be created without being copyrightable.

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