Feb. 2nd, 2012

mcity: (Default)
I used two last night.

Two were left this morning when I happened to open the freezer drawer.

I hate my flatmates so very much.
mcity: (Default)
There was a post on Engadget the other day about piracy.

Amidst the usual nonsense, there was one particular nutjob. Let me see if I can sum up his argument.

  1. Free speech is a natural right.
  2. Free speech means the government can't say you can't have someone's speech.
  3. Free speech, which is a natural right, is interfered with by copyright, which limits the natural right to free speech.
  4. The copyright system is based on the idea that speech can't be reproduced quickly and broadly, which hasn't been true since 1995.
  5. The system should change so artists give their work out freely and people can pay for it if they feel like it.
  6. FREE SPEECH NATURAL RIGHT FREE SPEECH NATURAL RIGHT FREE SP


The funny thing is that his most plausible-sounding points are incorrect. It's been easy to reproduce speech since the invention of the printing press, which is why copyright exists in the first place. Artists are already capable of giving away their work on an honor system, if they so choose, but that rarely works. Free speech is a legal right, not a natural one. And so is copyright. They're complementary, not conflicting. Free speech is about the government's right to limit the speech of the people, copyright is about the right of people or persons or organizations to control the distribution and reproduction of their speech. Copyright protects free speech, not violates it.

Of course, many piracy apologists seem to be completely unaware that copyright is, in fact, a right. You'd think the name would tip them off. Then again, I've heard people argue they should get to pirate something if it's not on iTunes yet when they want it.
mcity: (Default)
http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/02/french-court-fines-google-france-500-000-euros-for-gratis-maps/

In France, Google stop charging 10,000 Euros and started giving away Google Maps to businesses (up to a certain amount of traffic), whereas competitors charge for theirs. They sued, and were fined 500,000 Euros in damages to the plaintiff, a competitor, for anti-competitive practices.

According to the comments, France does this sort of thing all the time. They try to limit foreign products while allowing French stuff free reign.

Here's an example of the competition, BTW. No, you have not actually been thrown back to 2001, it just looks that way. I'm betting the site's code is optimized for IE5 and Netscape Navigator.

Mind you, this is the same France that fined Google for accidentally collecting wi-fi info on its Street View vehicles. Specifically, accidentally collecting personal information. I'm not sure of the technical aspects, but the agency in question also asked for their Source Code, which is the equivalent of suing KFC over contaminants found in its food, and asking for the Secret Recipe.

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