Posts Tagged ‘Legal and Copyright’

Afronts to the Rights of Bloggers

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

Italy’s politicos certainly seem to have a certain part of their anatomy above the shoulders stuck inside another part of their anatomy below the belt. They seem to have this idea that passing a law which would require all bloggers to register, pay tax and be regulated by a government body (also here) is a good idea.

The Levi-Prodi law lays out that anyone with a blog or a website has to register it with the ROC, a register of the Communications Authority, produce certificates, pay a tax, even if they provide information without any intention to make money.

So that means your blog about your dog would be required to pay the same kind of fees and suffer the same kind of regulation as a blog run by the NY Times. So wrong!

Even more so, considering bloggers are treated like the red-headed step-children of the journalistic world. Case in point, the new journalist shield bill that got neutered in our own House of Congress (with more editorial thoughts here).

The original version was reasonably protective, and the term “engaged in journalism” was reasonably well-defined. But by the time our esteemed elected representatives got finished with it, a serious blogger who breaks news (but doesn’t have Google Ads on his site) would not benefit from the shield. It requires “substantial” income, even though not all good journalism is done for significant financial gain.

We’re in a world of citizen journalism now, like it or not. We need rights to protect us, not regulating bodies and asinine tax schemes. Just more proof that most politicians are idiots, no matter where in the world you live.

Boastful claims and overstatements

Friday, August 31st, 2007

The Department of Justice is crowing about how much their antitrust settlement with Microsoft has benefitted consumers. Now, why do I have a hard time swallowing that?

Among the DOJ’s evidence that the settlement is working: Increased competition to Internet Explorer from other browsers such as Firefox and Opera; the popularity of Apple’s iTunes, QuickTime, and Adobe’s Flash for handling multimedia content; the increasing use of web-based services for email and other applications; and the decisions by hardware vendors such as Dell to offer Linux preloaded on their computers.

All that “claims” relating to Web 2.0 apps, Flash’s media support, and iTunes are laughable at best. The market shifted, some very smart people made some really good software, and some even better decisions on how to get it into people’s hands. The DOJ is trying to ride on the coattails of all that, and it’s disgraceful. That neutered settlement may have had some effects, but it’s just plain dishonest, what they’re saying.

Fighting back

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

You may recall back in early August that the RIAA sued LimeWire. Well, in a move that certainly shocked me, it seems that Limewire is suing them back.

(Via Slashdot)

Update: More in-depth details over at Macworld.

Do some friggin’ research before you hand these things out!

Wednesday, July 14th, 2004

Yet another computer company gets a software patent that’s not worth the paper it’s printed on. This time it’s Oracle claiming it owns copyright on content management systems (CMS). But the comments to this story point out numerous examples of prior art, and I’m sure a ton more can be found without too much effort.

Want a job where you can slack off and be totally inept, yet still collect a paycheck? Then you want a career working for the US Patent Office! *groan*

Justice is blind, after all

Thursday, January 16th, 2003

The injustice of corporate rule over creativity was upheld by the Supreme court yesterday when they ruled 7-2 that the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act was constitutional, thereby keeping more works from entering the public domain (also here). Disney gets to keep Mickey from entering the public domain once again. Boooo!