May 21st, 2008

Dylan Feng Shui

Copyright and Orphan Works Take Four: Lawrence Lessig is at it again!

Via a heads-up by sonnyliew:

Lawrence Lessig has an opinion piece in yesterday's New York Times. An interesting read, but unless I'm confused and he's referring to a more recent report and/or bill than the 2006 report and bill (not likely, since I know...someone...who is currently working on the next bill, ergo it's not out there yet), he's off-base again.

Particularly with this statement:

But precisely what must be done by either the “infringer” or the copyright owner seeking to avoid infringement is not specified upfront. The bill instead would have us rely on a class of copyright experts who would advise or be employed by libraries.

I have...no idea where he's getting that. Maybe he just feels like talking without reading the information available, I don't know, but as far as I recall (and I've refreshed my memory lately with that series of 3 posts that I did recently), there's absolutely no mention of copyright owners and/or potential users being subject to anyone who's going to advise or be employed by libraries. (WHUT?) That Copyright Report and bill refers to encouraging the various creative fields and/or their organizations to create or maintain voluntary databases to make it easier to protect works and/or for potential users to search for works. The idea there is that the databases would be one step in a "diligent effort" to find the owner of a work, though that doesn't mean the search would stop there - it'd usually be the first in a series of search steps, which would all be considered. In the 2006 Report, at least, in cases where whether a user searched diligently for a copyright owner before using the work is disputed, the dispute would be settled by a court. Not a library, for goodness sakes.

I'd really love some citations to the Report or bill on his part, because my mind, it is boggled by these statements.

Also, as I mentioned to sonnyliew:

Once again Lessig is proposing a solution that would cause the U.S. to have to violate several international conventions/agreements (Berne, TRIPS) that we've signed on to. It's not going to happen - Congress wouldn't pull out of international agreements if there's any other solution to be had. I don't know why Lessig keeps proposing this, because he's a lawyer and should realize that this would violate the international agreements. But it keeps cropping up.

Also, bear in mind that Lessig is one of the proponents for making as much creative work as possible free for secondary users to use in as risk-free a way as possible. This means he generally puts the "needs" of the public to use creative work for derivative works over the original copyright owner's right and desire to protect their work with little hassle. I'm not saying that being able to use unprotected works isn't important to the growth of culture and the public good; I'm just saying he has a clear bias, and anything he's writing is as an advocate, not an impartial scholar.


ETA: Lessig is apparently talking about the bill that is being worked on right now. However, rivian notes that his conclusions are still a bit of a reach or jump from what the bill is actually saying or aiming towards. Here's a link to the bill, dated April 24, 2008. I haven't had time to read it yet.
Trixie heroine addict blue

Linky-link!

A couple of links via Wonderful Neil:

1. Paul Cornell of Dr. Who and comic book fame was in a car accident recently but he (and his wife) will be fine. He blogged about it, though, and actually, the account of what he was thinking and feeling at the time of the accident is really interesting to read. The wonkiness of thinking (the kind of slow shock and confusion of it all) certainly reflects how I felt during the (minor) car accident I had in high school.

I'm glad they are ok.

2. The 1001 Journals project sounds very fun. I decided to get in line for one of the journals. There are several people ahead of me, so I'll probably get an email 2 months from now and go, "Huh? Journal? What?" But then I will remember and it will be fun. :)

Via that site, an interview with the guy from FOUND Magazine, which publishes notes, pictures, etc. that people have found lying around and sent in.

The FOUND site also has a bunch of this stuff and is really kind of fascinating. Also amusing. This note made me laugh and laugh.

Via cleolinda:

Smiley Face Killers May Be Stalking College Men

That's creepy. Also creepy: We had a student die by apparently drowning at the law school in 2003. He was found in the Potomac. As far as I know, it was never definitively resolved as to whether foul play was involved. The circumstances were somewhat suspicious, though (his pants and shoes were found near the bank - the pants were folded - and it was very cold that night, so there wasn't really a reason to take them off or go swimming or something).

In less depressing news, this is the awesomest thing ever.

Also, Tilda Swinton appears as a centaur in Prince Caspian

I definitely missed that. But better than that tidbit is the quote from Adamson - Tilda Swinton is hilarious.

Finally, not one of your more welcoming comic book discussion forums. Geez. I mean, yes, I know to search for threads before posting a new one, but I've also been on several forums for several years and know the basic rules for all forums. If this person really is a newbie, they might not realize that it's taboo to post something similar to a going thread. Particularly in relation to a poll, where results might not always be the same. But as soon as the thread appears, regulars jump down the person's throat with:

USE THE SEARCH FUNCTION!!!!!!!! We've had 100's of these debates already. Stop trying to meet some quota.

and

Honestly, you need a nice long banning for spamming us with these crap threads. My threads may not be particularly genius, but I put some damn effort into mine.

and

SEARCH. Use the search function and add your two-cents to bump existing threads. The only reason I created an I Appreciate Sage thread was because I had studied all prior discussions of Sage and saw nothing positively-themed about her. You must use the process of deductive reasoning when thread creating.

IT IZ A SCIENCE. NOT FOR FUN. INTERNET IS SRS BIZNES!

and

Just do yourself a favor and stop posting entirely.

Granted, there appears to be an implied element of, "new person posting a lot to get post count up" or something, but MAN. If it was me, I'd be all, "Eff y'all, AND your popsicle stand. I'm outta here!"

(Oh, and the one person who kind of defended the newbie? Is told he has anger management problems. WIN.)

P.S. The Forum rules that people cited to the new poster. Rule #1? "BE CIVIL." Hah.