Sandee Cohen's Techdirt Profile

Sandee Cohen

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  • Dec Mon, 2010 @ 05:32am

    McQueen? Hmmm, that name rings a bell

    I always wondered if Lightning McQueen's name was supposed to remind people of Steve McQueen who raced motorcycles and cars.
    Was that some sort of infringement of publicity rights?

  • Oct Sun, 2010 @ 03:17pm

    They do have a legal leg to stand on

    I remember back in my days in advertising being warned by the guy in charge of music to watch out if we tried to get a specific song for a commercial.

    He said that if we asked about the rights to a song and found it too expensive, we would have to be very careful not to do anything that was at all a "sound-a-like" song.

    He said it was better to just go for a sound-a-like without asking first. Then it would be a simple coincidence. But as soon as we asked, the music house would be alerted.

    So the problem wasn't the sound-a-likes. It was asking before hand.

  • Sep Mon, 2010 @ 02:57pm

    I am an author of computer graphics books.

    If the Pentagon will tell me what it was they didn't like in the reservist's book, I can put it into my book too.

    And then they can buy up all the copies.

    10,000 copies will be about $20,000 in royalties.

    Of course if the reservist has PDF copies of his book floating around, the Pentagon will never get back all the copies of the book.

  • Aug Tue, 2010 @ 12:34pm

    And why not the whole show on Hulu?

    A trip out of town, a delayed plane, and a failed web connection kept me from setting my Sling to record the Emmys.

    So why can't I just go to Hulu this week to watch the damn thing?

    NBC, Hulu, the Emmys and all the unions, etc. are missing the point.

    TV shows should not have a regularly scheduled time any more. People want to view them when they can.

    Advertisers would have made more money for the show on Hulu. How stupid to not have these things online.

  • Aug Mon, 2010 @ 04:58pm

    Some content "web only"

    So I was really excited to get Hulu+. It meant watching stuff on my iPhone instead of dragging my computer on the road.
    But the only show I REALLY wanted to watch yesterday on a 3 hour bus ride was Persons Unknown.
    But for some contractual reason that show is available ONLY on the web. Not iPhone or iPad.
    Why is God's name am I paying for LESS content on the iPhone?
    My subscription ends tonight.

  • Aug Wed, 2010 @ 06:12am

    No "Right to Privacy"

    One of the biggest constitutional issues for the past fifty years has been the lack of a specific "right to privacy."

    These children were spied upon. Their privacy was invaded.

    We would hope that somewhere there is a concept of privacy that was illegally broken.

    But there is no right to privacy.

    Many cases brought to the state and federal courts try to make the case that there is a right to privacy.

    But strict constitutional judges have found no right to privacy.

    Some states have created laws that make it a crime to invade one's privacy. (Remember the landlord who installed spy cameras in the apartment he rented to a family. They had to figure out a law that he had broken. And only added a privacy law after the fact.)

    So, for everyone who thinks you have a "right to privacy." You don't.

  • Aug Mon, 2010 @ 10:09am

    Looks like porn legislation to me

    Triple X video?

  • Aug Wed, 2010 @ 06:51am

    Losing a suit

    Not only do I hope he loses his lawsuit. I do hope they take away his suit. And perhaps his shirt, tie, shoes, and socks. These guys should be paraded out of court in their underwear.

  • Jul Sun, 2010 @ 09:02am

    LOVE the video

    It brought tears to my eyes. My family only had one distant relative in the camps. But she made it out. And she was definitely a SURVIVOR!

    I wish every Jew could go and dance at the camps to show that we as a people have been survivors.

    Each word of the song is given new, poignant meaning in the context of the camp.

    Blessings to the Kohn family.

    I only wish the links to download the behind scenes videos and HQ version didn't take people to the scam artist surveys.

  • Apr Sat, 2010 @ 10:45am

    Re: Re: Information in the description of the film

    Thank you for personally responding.

    Ahh, the aggregator.

    A middle-woman who only causes confusion by not understanding what two experts do.

    Too bad you couldn't speak to Netflix directly.

  • Apr Sat, 2010 @ 04:23am

    Information in the description of the film

    As a Netflix subscriber, I am disappointed with both Nina and Netflix for not figuring out any other way to get her movie on the service.

    I don't know if Nina suggested another way of getting her message out instead of a bumper, but Netflix does have a fairly robust set of rollovers that provide synopsis and information about a rental movie.

    Did Nina suggest that the download information be included in all the descriptions of her movie? (I realize she is not going to answer me here.)

    Given her column, I think not.

    But if she had, I would be furious at Netflix if they had said "No." Because then their real reason for rejecting the bumper would be obvious. They just don't want to publicize the non-DRM nature of the movie.

    But I suspect they might have said "Yes."

    Did Nina know about these descriptions?
    Did she think of this idea and reject it as not forceful enough?
    Did Netflix not be imaginative enough to think of this idea?
    Did they reject it as being too dangerous to their business?

    Last night I discovered that a documentary that I rented from iTunes is available from Netflix. This makes the movie cost a fraction of what I paid Apple, plus I can effectively watch it for weeks and months instead of the 24-hour period to which Apple restricts me.

    If there had been a sentence directing me to a download of the movie, I would have also been happy.

    I would be more inclined to view my subscription to Netflix as a way to find out about movies and sample them. If I liked them, I could then download those that are DRM-free.

  • Apr Fri, 2010 @ 05:21pm

    The Coward is right

    While I don't usually agree with the Coward, I do for this.

    The concept that people are rigging the reviews on Amazon is hardly news. And getting exposed isn't either.

    I have a friend whose job it is to go through websites and post "reviews" of competitors products that would cast doubt on the safety and efficacy of those products.

    She then ever-so-gently suggests that a certain other product would be much better and/or safer.

    She actually had to take a writing test so they could tell if she writes well. And the company gives her the correct talking points that she should use to trash others.

    So why not the same thing with a lowly author?

  • Apr Thu, 2010 @ 07:17am

    A file that might identify the owner

    What if the file that identifies the owner is labeled "Pictures of kids"

    Wouldn't it be logical and expected that a co-worker would open those files to see if they recognized any of the "kids".

    Remember, it's a shared computer for a limited number of people who are affiliated with each other.

    The co-worker could have the most benevolent of motives to look at the files.

    And the owner of the thumb drive really has no expectation of privacy.

  • Apr Thu, 2010 @ 07:13am

    Totally agree

    Unless there was some sort of label attached to the drive with name and contact info, it is totally reasonable for someone to open the drive, even if they know it is the private thumb drive, to discover who owns it.

    But I disagree with the concept of the luggage in the bus terminal as not something that should be opened. If the luggage has no luggage tag, there is no way to figure out who owns it.

    And many people have been told by airlines and travel experts to put their name, contact information, and destination in a piece of paper inside the luggage to help someone find them should the luggage be lost and the tag missing.

  • Apr Thu, 2010 @ 05:35am

    Re: Re: 72 dpi low resolution is meaningless

    I agree that if they specified 72 ppi at 4 inches by 5 inches, they would have that low resolution image.

    But they state "a maximum of 72 dpi and no larger than a four-by-five-inch output to end use".

    This means that 4 by 5 inch requirement only comes into play on output. Therefore there is no restriction on what is captured in the camera.

  • Apr Thu, 2010 @ 04:38am

    72 dpi low resolution is meaningless

    I hope someone will explain to the USPS that a requirement that an image be low resolution is meaningless.

    If I use a 12 megapixel camera to shoot an image, the image is still 72 ppi. It may be 20 inches by 13 inches, but it is still only 72 ppi.

    It's only when I change the image to 300 ppi and it changes to 5 by 4 that it becomes a high-resolution image.

    But anyone taking a picture takes a low resolution image. It's just that the image itself can be changed to high resolution. (God, I wish I had a nickel for each time I have to teach that. Oh wait, I DO get a nickel for teaching that! I sometimes get more than a nickel!)

  • Mar Thu, 2010 @ 04:48am

    Answers, not questions


    Start doing investigation and stop just looking at things and asking questions.

Questions are good, but your real job is to investigate, to give us answers to the questions we have.

And yes, you bring up good questions, but this article is way too short on facts.

For all your questions, why not go out and do some research.

    Do you believe that Devries should be forced to get formal copyright releases from each and every one of the kids in question?

Actually, it doesn't matter what we believe. It's what laws have stated and courts have ruled. Our opinions are not law. (For which I give thanks.)

Do you think he has done so?

 This question is silly.

Not only are we being asked to judge the law, we are being asked to be mind readers or psychics.

If so, should they be able to repudiate their copyright agreement when they turn 18 since many jurisdictions allow minors to repudiate contracts signed before they reach 18?


This is a great bit of information that I did not know. It is unclear how it applies in this situation, but it is a good start for a conversation with a lawyer.

If so, should they be able to take Devries's work out of circulation? 

    Another good question for the lawyer.

    Do you think that the children should all share in the royalties from books, art and showcases that Devries produces for the rest of their lives (and beyond - for 7 decades)?


You ARE going to get that lawyer for the kids. I'm starting to worry about their rights.

    Do you think that is in fact the case of what is going on? 

    Again, you need a lawyer and a psychic.

If Devries hasn't gotten a copyright release and/or isn't paying royalties, do you feel that he is somehow "exploiting" these kids or "stealing" from them?

OK, perhaps we should skip the lawyer and find the Attorneys General for the states involved. Exploitation of children and theft are very serious issues.

These are pretty serious questions

    Good! You agree with me

    . . . because under copyright law today, this book is trouble, and that's unfortunate, because it looks like a lovely book.


Oh, you're not interested in stopping the exploitation of children. It seems you're just interested in railing against one or two things you know about copyright law.

My guess would be that Devries actually had to get permission from the parents...

Guessing doesn't count.

... but do parents have the right to sign away the copyright on a child's work?

    What did I tell you about finding case law?

    And do those children then have the right to terminate that agreement at a later date?

Well, you told us there was some case law on the subject. Did you ask the lawyer if it applies? Tell us what the lawyer said.

Perhaps people think the likelihood of kids later terminating the agreement is quite low -- and maybe they're right. 

By people, I think you mean Devries, his lawyer, his publisher, and their lawyer. I'm not a psychic, but I have a feeling those lawyers have thought about any future suits the children might bring.

    But what would happen if a kid no longer wanted to be associated with that artwork? 

Are you asking what the courts would do? Or the publisher would do? Or the kid (now adult) would do?

    But if you don't know the answer, why not call Devries or the publisher and ask them what they would do in that case. 

This is what a reporter should do. Investigate, not pontificate

  • Mar Wed, 2010 @ 03:11pm

    None of yours ever choked?

    Too bad for the rest of us.

  • Mar Wed, 2010 @ 12:26pm

    Yes. Seriously

    The number of children who choke on hot dogs each year is more than enough.

    The circular shape of a hot dog is exactly the right size to plug up a child's esophogus.

    However, it does not take a new design to avoid the problem.

    Just cutting the hot dog into vertical halfs and then quarters is enough to avoid the problem.

    If you want to check it out, slip a circular piece of hot dog into your 3-year-olds mouth and then watch if he turns blue.

  • Mar Wed, 2010 @ 11:59am

    I'm going to patent my new invention!!

    It's called the "aciculate hot dog splitter". It consists of a sharpened metal blade that is drawn lengthwise along the hot dog surface.

    The hot dog can then be split into two sections that are each covered with mustard, relish, or other condiments.

    The hot dog and condiments are then enclosed within the bun and eaten.

    The smaller section of the hot dog as is less likely to cause choking.

    I will enforce my patent rigorously.

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