* Posts by Chris

30 publicly visible posts • joined 17 May 2007

US states mulling Google book-scan pact


@George Snyder

You're proposing a system to create a series of copyright registration offices (one for every country? will that be $1950 a year to re-register everywhere?) administrating everything published, on a yearly basis, and which will need to somehow arbitrate between for profit and non-profit uses (the sort of thing which even the fine legal minds behind CC are stuck on) and which will only be used for one sort of format and you think that's simple? It might be better - certainly I'm fine with death+20 and 70 for Big Corporations - but I'd say it's actually more complex.

More importantly, do you think it's fair that an author miss out on control of digital versions (control which your system recognises as valuable) if, after five years and three sales, they don't renew their copyright only for their book to become insanely popular - made into a film in year ten of its existence, say? One of the reasons for copyright on books lasting a long time is the recognition that it's difficult to accurately predict value over time for books. Sure, it might be that it becomes popular and is filmed *because* it's freely available, but in that case people should be doing that anyway, and encouraged to do that, not just if they can't pony up a sawbuck every year.

It's probably moot anyway, because free digital versions of books are going to be widely available without registration unrenewed, legally as part of marketing campaigns, or illegally as part of the the continuing confusion between civil rights and entertainment.

And the Reg needs a 'Squirrel Boy is evil' icon.

YouTube a 'half billion dollar failbucket'


What an amazing coincidence

That just when Google is pleading penury when it comes to paying artists along comes an industry analyst to prove that YouTube loses lots and lots *and lots* of money. I bet he didn't factor in t-shirt sales either.

Robbie Williams, Billy Bragg et al say downloads aren't illegal

Dead Vulture

Attention subs

'Billy Bragg et al say downloads aren't illegal' != 'argued that individuals should not be prosecuted for downloading illegal music' (also, presumably that should be illegally downloading music). There's a difference between wanting something to not happen and trying to use criminal prosecutions to make it stop.

El Reg suffers identity crisis


Ad-banner trolling site ...

... who will publish any rubbish if it'll get clicks, and best ignored? That's not very specific, is it, Mr Gerard?

And when do we get the poll helping us to decide exactly what Andrew Orlowski is?

'Like pedos in a playground' - the media and Web 2.0

Paris Hilton

Maybe they're not *just* gullible naïfs

One other possible reason that New Media Whores have bought into Web 2.0 is because they took claims about Web 1.0 at face value and now want to escape from the responsibilities and costs that using the older tools properly placed on them. It's much better for them to have you following their Twitters quietly, occasionally suggesting a word to insert in their Bafta speeches, than hanging out on their message boards and comment areas making a contant nusiance of yourself.

Can't afford the book though, so I'll reserve it from my local library.

Paris, because she knows about the value of taking things on the face.

Satanic net neologisms - nominations invited



As in, a book based on a blog. Sheer crass.

Although had I my druthers, meme being used to refer to anything that is unaccountably popular, viral being applied to any video that has more than ten thousand views on the Utube, and community being used to refer to a small group of vicious loudmouthed sociopaths with internet connections and no jobs would all take a jump.

The Long Fail: Web 2.0's faith meets the facts


Re: "media futurist" Gerd Leonhart

Reminds me of Stewart Lee saying in his ironic, floppy-haired 90s Fist of Fun way, 'Yeah, well, you can prove anything with facts.' Oh, he's still doing it. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=4n-UGQcG3Jw

Royal Society of Chemistry requests 'Italian Job' ending


Tsk tsk

Presumably next the Royal Society of Biologists will want an ending to John Carpenter's The Thing.

Hundreds queue for Doctor Who Hamlet tickets


Changes to the text to suit the audience...

- Location changed from Elsinore to Cardiff

- 'Oh what a piece of work is man' speech changed to simply 'You humans! You're amazing!'

- Ophelia made 25% more feisty, saves Hamlet from farting aliens

- Fight with Laertes won through use of previously unknown supernatural power

- Instead of Hamlet dying at the end he regenerates

Why have Radiohead broken copyright activists' hearts?



... if you prefer.

'Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law,' says Kant.

'Can't some else do it?' ask the 'tards.

Lesbians turn on lesbians in battle of Lesbos



But what about sapphists who live on Lesobs? I don't think they've thought this through properly.

Why is the iPlayer a multi million pound disaster?

Thumb Up


"In focussing on DRM and Linux interoperability, campaigners have missed the bigger picture."

Damn straight. But at least we don't have to pay campaigners money to get it so very wrong.

Jordan mulls mamtastic epitaph


How about...

Thanks for the mammaries

Not dead, chest sleeping

Crossed over to the udder side

Excuse my bust

US study says Taser cattleprod guns are safe


Re: How to prove they are safe

I suppose so, and there are already some Chief Constables who have tried being tazering. Clips on YouTube. However, in order to make this a universal principle of putting your body where your mouth is, everyone who is against cops being issued tazers has to spend every Saturday night policing a city centre booze and nightclub cattle market with only fist, boot, truncheon and the British respect for the rule of law to help them. Fair's fair.

Israel suspected of 'hacking' Syrian air defences


Operation: Screaming Fist?

I hope Bill Gibson got royalties.

Will Bungie jump from Microsoft?


'do a Disney/Pixar '?

Whattttt? Disney bought Pixar outright in 2006 after a couple of years of Jobs and Eisner niggling at each other.

Start-up sued in US courts over GPL 'violation'


And that's the end of that chapter


"Monsoon Multimedia today announced efforts to fully comply with the GNU General Public License (GPL). Monsoon is in settlement negotiations with BusyBox to resolve the matter and intends to fully comply with all open-source software license requirements. Monsoon will make modified BusyBox source code publicly available on the company web-site at http://www.myhava.com in the coming weeks."

Some conspiracy, huh?

Microsoft vs. Google – the open source shame


Re: Force

Danny, nobody is forced to play the latest game, either. No, not even if it's Bioshock.

YouTube-Viacom trial turns comic


Surprise witnesses...

... each more surprising than the last! Sounds like Google aren't as confident as they say they are about their safe haven claim if they're even thinking about stunts like this.

Yahoo! tops! Google! on! customer! satisfaction! survey!


Re: Sequences and Logical Flaws

IF P1 = The Rake Sequence in Cape Feare works because it is a running joke that is repeated even after becoming boring, so that it once more becomes funny.

AND P2 = Sticking! Exclamation! Points! After! Headlines! Involving! Yahoo! Is! A! Running! Joke! That! Is! No! Longer! Funny!

C =/= Sticking Exclamation! Points! After! Everything! will eventually become funny again within the lifetime of this universe.

Hacker cracks Netflix copy restrictions


Balance of Hassle

Ross Fleming - I agree with you, DRM on physical media and much electronic media as it stands is mostly a problem for the wrong people and isn't likely to be able to usefully target the right ones, or at least the most damaging ones, and I don't think that legit users should face any hassle when it comes to making a backup or even tranferring to a different format in order to play elsewhere. But that said, keeping a copy of a streamed Netflix film isn't a legit use any more than copying the physical DVD you rent from Blockbusters for £2.75 and so DRM seems perfectly rational here - and I think it works for them as long as cracks aren't widely available, easily run and used by all, not just until it's cracked once. If DRM had a nail in its coffin every time someone cracked a bit, the damn thing would weigh more than China.

Stu Reeves - I'm pretty sure that if you know how to use masking tape or marker pens to defeat DRM on a disc then you are a geek. At least, I can't imagine my dad scribbling all over his Iron Maiden CDs to get the music out.


Translation: this hack is likely to appeal only to geeks.

Like just about every DRM-stripping hack in other words

When are the people who enjoy a good anti-DRM rant going to realise (or *admit*, to be honest, they're bright people after all) that the goal for the media companies and their DRM-creating lackeys isn't to make it impossible to circumvent the DRM, just too much of a hassle for the majority of casual ethically-flexible normals? I mean, the people who can't even be bothered to backup their iTunes purchases to audio CD to get that DRM off but who also are using torrents because that's *easy* even for a novice - they're not going to chase down hacker mirror sites for the latest update (and take the attendent risks) rather than pay a few bucks, because that's a waste of time to them and plus they're not fanatical about shoving it to the man.

All the mathematical proofs and cryptographic analasyes and spy talk and faith in the skills of da community don't matter a hill of beans if you can't figure the psychology of that one out.

Amazon throws cash at MySpace-ified music startup


Backwards? Depends on where you are standing.

Only if you are seeing the 98 cent song not as the standard price but as higher than the standard/average/median/whatever price of, I guess, 49 cents. But you could also see the 98 cent price as the standard price - that's where it levels off, after all - and anything lower than that is discounting poorer-selling, less popular content. With brand new songs starting at zero being promotional giveaways.

But even if the majors are all going to go DRM free sooner rather than later, why would they let other people price their products? Would you be happy if ebay set your starting and buyout prices for you?

Free Software Foundation plans protests at 'corrupt' BBC


Re: Company X

"... how would you like it if the BBC suddently announced that their TV signals would ONLY be viewable on sets made by COMANY-X - would that be ok with you, even though you have a BETTER TV made by COMPANY-Y ?"

Analogies are fun. How about...

... the BBC says it's going to start broadcasting in Medium Definition in addition to, not instead of, all the other ways it broadcasts. Why? Who knows. But they want to do it, preferably slowly and over budget. Only Company X currently makes the sort of MD-compatible TVs that will work with the type of MDTV that the BBC will broadcast. People who use Company Y's products - a much smaller number than those who use Company X's products - demand that broadcasting not be started until they make some too, but also say that they don't want to, and that broadcasting in MDTV is for stupidheads and besides they can watch HDTV whenever they want so why broadcast in MDTV at all and besides the BBC sucks and who wants to watch their programmes anyway and it should be privatised. Meanwhile, Company Z's users, who are also going to be losing out until Company Z gets its act together, are too busy being smug about their new toys to complain loudly which is surprising as Company Z's users are also often, in their way, self-righteous prigs.

Yep. That seems more accurate.



I'm sure this will be the FSF's most succesful protest action yet.

Can Osama keep Bush afloat?



What is this, the Register/Indymedia crossover?

BBC Trust backs calls for Linux iPlayer


Absolutely no change

It's still going to be other platforms asap (well, as asarp, and only as asarp as the BBC can be) with reviews every six months and no set timetable, no absolute limit of two years as was taken out of the original proposal, no change in the notion of using DRM in any way. But apparently this is now being presented as a triumph for the Movement. Huh?

By the way, much of the BBC's content is produced by independent companies. Especially the popular stuff. But that does leave the question of why the BBC isn't letting more of its own work be more free, even if they have to listen to their friends' concerns on other stuff.

Strict copyright laws do not always benefit authors


Moral rights?

Moral rights aren't just for mainland Europe, they're part of the Berne Convention and so apply to the UK as well - you'll have seen so at the start of a book where the assertion in on the imprint page. While some parts of Europe seem to not allow you to abrogate your moral rights (which is fair enough if it's seen as a natural right that you can't choose to give up, and would be unfair to allow that) authors can always sign up to promise-not-to-sue agreements, so in effect it's much the same.

As for the other comments, I agree totally. As presented, it's a useless study.

Book publisher steals Google laptops


Re: Therefore all Google needs to do is contact the author and get their permission

Well yeah, That is, in fact, the entire problem. Google is saying that getting in contact with anyone is just too much hassle for them. As said above, orphaned works are a problem - but that's why it should be done in stages, out-of-copyright first. The existence of some orphaned works doesn't mean that all works should be treated as such. Even if it was beneficial to people other than Google (big if), the precedent of allowing people to make copyright opt-in instead of opt-out is dangerous. I mean, for goodness sake, if Google can do it then anyone can. Even Microsoft chiz.

Also, although publishers rarely own copyright (but see below) when authors give publishers the publishing rights it also often includes digital rights which makes the publishers the people to contact. Double also, PLR goes straight to the author, in the UK at least. Triple also - please people, don't assume that books = fiction. Publishing is a lot bigger than that.

"Here is an interesting question. Do authors get paid based on number of copies sold or printed? I guess it depends on individual deals."

It's been a while since I had to do contracts but... Typically you might get an advance first and then royalties based on sales once that advance is passed, with varying rates of royalty at different stages of sales (ie 10% for first 10,000, 6% afterwards). Otherwise you might just get a straight fee. Copies printed don't often come into it. But - and this is one of publishing's relatively unique issues - publishing has a much more generous returns policy than other industries for unsold stock.

How to fix your kids' education for $200m


BBC Free?

BBC Jam was free to the cost of £150 million pounds of licence payers' money.