* Posts by jameshogg

14 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Jul 2015

FYI: Faking court orders to take down Google reviews is super illegal


"FYI: Faking court orders to take down Google reviews is super illegal"

Unless it's a baseless DMCA.

Texas ISP slams music biz for trying to turn it into a 'copyright cop'


"Government tries to enforce new fiat currency where a written dollar sign on a piece of paper counts as legal tender. Is furious that everyone writes dollar signs on paper without permission and is baffled why nobody will do anything about it."

European Parliament balks at copyright law reform vote


You're making it sound as if MEPs are too stupid to work out for themselves what's spam in their inboxes, and what their constituents - you know, the people who vote them in and need attention above all else - actually want.

Who knew you actually had to put effort into researching the needs of your voter base when they can just all come to you!

The "false consciousness" arguments are always so empty, whether made here or by some hopeless Chomskyite.

Getty load of this: Google to kill off 'View image' button in search


Re: Bad bargaining

The lawsuit probably did go along the lines of "if you make us pay damages we'll strip everything you've got from our search results completely forever". That's probably why there was this compromise. The lawsuit would have kept going otherwise, considering all the energy they put in to starting the lawsuit in the first place.

Now all I see is either Getty images being at the top of all search results spamming with pay passes, pissing everyone off so much that all users go to a different image search engine, or Getty images being at the bottom of all search results stripping them of traffic unless Google pushes them back up artificially and probably at an additional cost to Getty. No doubt in all cases with the images being placed beside similar-but-free photographs using the magic of algorithms and AI-photo-recognition.

Either way Google is still calling the shots. Nobody backlinks to a paywall anywhere near as much as they do to a free page.

Murdoch to Zuckerberg: Cough up cash, nerd


Re: Hold back the findings until you pay?

It works well enough for, picking one example of many, Private Eye. Their monthly subscription model is a working, regular assurance contract: getting simultaneous payments from your customers in that way as a condition for the work to be published at all is no different from crowdfunding. Same goes for the magazine shops, only they buy the copies in bulk (bigger "pledges").

That seems like a working method of demanding payment for labour to me.


No doubt more folk are moving towards traditional news media and even paying when they don't have to as they recognise the value of (reasonably) legitimate news, though the problem remains: lack of exclusivity of stories is causing a money shortage.

Before the internet there would be a bottleneck - you'd have to wait for tomorrow's papers or tune into TV or radio, and that bottleneck was the natural advantage news organisations had to steer advertising etc in its favour. But now this particular bottleneck is gone - any story that a paper will take ages to research with lots of labour behind will not see the rewards reaped, as the main abstract of said story will be on Twitter for all to see without costing a penny.

Unless we want to extend copyright law to cover ideas as well as expressions (and good luck enforcing that even if it did come about), papers are going to have to contend with the reality that they have no choice but to compete with free. Asking everyone to stop talking about a major news story online for the sake of forcing everyone to hear it from the paper that produced the story is asking too much.

There is one bottleneck that does remain though, and papers should utilise it: hold back the findings of the story until everyone puts in their share into a big pot. It is not true to say that crowdfunding is a "pay-what-you-want" system where you donate, as everyone seems to think. It's a payWALL. And it meets the definition of protecting fruits of labour: everyone pay up this price, or you don't get the goods. And it works: tickets for gigs, pre-orders, subscriptions are all forms of assurance contracts too with simultaneous payments, and they've protecting fruits of labour long before the internet.

Vlad the blockader: Russia's anti-VPN law comes into effect


Unless every connection from Russia to any other outside country is severed, there will be a way around.

Every computer that can connect to another computer outside of Russia can potentially act as a proxy. ToR's whole game isn't just encryption, but multiple proxies with the intent of outnumbering a hostile state.

The only thing that comes close to getting in the way of traffic is China's firewall which works on a "everything is banned unless we approve of it" level as much as it can, but even that can sometimes look like trying to pick up water with a fish net.

More are paying to stream music, but YouTube still holds the value gap


Re: The Ace

Unless of course you're trying to time the release of your video at the peak of traffic and advertising revenue. Get flagged and taken down? Sure you can counter-claim and get back up quickly, but you've missed that massive peak and revenue that was rightfully yours.

Kraftwerk versus a cheesy copycat: How did the copycat win?


"Fighting copyright today requires a persecution complex, because concrete examples of real oppression are fleeting and trivial."

Oh yeah because we all know silly remixes from a few beats and notes are truly the concrete examples of real oppression here. Just like Ice Ice Baby totally destroyed the careers of Queen and David Bowie, only the threat is much worse, because this remix sounds so freaking terrible!! This is literally on par with the Chinese State's Great Firewall, and if we don't go after websites like deviantArt soon we will all be living under a 1984 state you can count on it!

It sort of reminds me how in the Dancing Baby case, where this video was shot down because it posed such a threat and "didn't contribute a thing" to art and culture (these guys would make great upper-class art-critic snobs who could look down on childrens' drawings in a community hall just after having been at an art gallery staring at scribbles on a plain green canvas and soaking in all the "abstract meaning" BS from it all, only to say every other bit of art sucks especially that from these kids, and only they know what art is because only they've LIVED and BREATHED it, you get the idea), yelling at everybody else who protests "just why are YOU being so hysterical?!?!" Yeah. Because the dancing baby video was the real threat, here.

And folk like me, the abolitionists, are just sitting on the sidelines spectating all this pointless legal drivel while the number of infringements totally dwarves the number of enforcements in the real world. Like Bill Hicks' joke about trying to sell dirt in the deep south. "Dirt... for SALE!" Yeah, and JPEG dollars could be artificially scarce if we put our minds to it, too!

Face it, nobody here can name one thing that can't be pirated on the internet. And they never will. Because if you could, you wouldn't NEED copyright law! That's the sad part.

Start making your livings and going after your free-riders using assurance contracts instead, and stop with these 19-year legal farcicles.

Why Oracle will win its Java copyright case – and why you'll be glad when it does


"In a nutshell, free and open source software depends on simple, strong copyright law."

"Challenges to the GNU GPL have been infrequent and unsuccessful, not because a judge gets misty-eyed about GNU Emacs or GDB, or breaks into a spontaneous rendition of The Free Software Song – it's because of strong copyright."

And this is why a copyright abolitionist like myself has to be AGAINST the open-source and GNU movements. And I am.

Copyright cannot possibly be enforced, and it is not desirable to have it enforced either. Libertarians do not call for a JPEG standard, they call for a gold standard. And for a reason. Plus, no amount of "copyleft" licences would give such JPEG dollars any de facto scarcity if such copyleft licences depend on copyright law themselves.

I think the last figures I saw on global internet access put about 1 billion people as having connectivity of some kind. There are 7 billion on the planet. You think piracy will get better as access, and Moore's law, continues to increase? You're wrong.

The Lonely Pirate MEP's Holocaust copyright stunt backfires


Why do I need copyright law to exist to know it's moral to give to a charitable foundation? That's the insulting bit.

I can read a book and still pay my dues. I know that's baffling to a lot of people. The idea that I somehow wouldn't be able to do that if it weren't for some intellectual monetary law - the JPEG standard instead of the gold standard - is ridiculous. For one thing it gives readers of second-hand books a moral high ground they don't deserve, for another it profanely encourages artists and audiences to believe in an unenforceable, exploitative empty promise that'll only get worse as Moore's Law advances. I know Ron Paul wants to abolish the fiat dollar and introduce private competing currencies. But not even a crackpot such as him would expect a private JPEG currency to be a viable business model for any bank. And for a reason.

Yet we're supposed to take such an absurdity at face value for its ability to protect artists! It's rather like those folk who walk up to me and ask "how on Earth are you as an atheist meant to know right from wrong if you don't have a God to lay down rules for you?" They don't even realise how arrogant they're being. Some of us can take labour rights seriously, thank you very much. We also have solutions to free-rider problems - assurance contracts that is - to protect artist rights. We also understand that moral rights can be covered under trademark, which does the trick enough.

Copyright shouldn't just be abolished, it should be refused by any artist who seriously thinks about the protection of fruits of labour. Asking for the money before the work is done and not after - like tickets for gigs, subscriptions, pre-orders, crowdfunding (with refunds for no-shows) - is the only way to guarantee the right price for a work and protect everybody.

Not some overly complicated, dysfunctional, anti-Occams-Razor law that can be subject to massive corruption just through copy and paste. Is it any wonder why artists are so easily exploited? They can't even call the police, they have to call lawyers. It's a farce.


I should also add, I don't know what this Pirate Party MEP is complaining about. It's not like it's difficult to pirate Anne Frank's diary. Because it's not like copyright can actually stop infringement - it just wishes it could.

Google's 'fair use' mass slurping of books can continue – US Supremes snub writers' pleas


Libertarians don't call for a JPEG standard, they call for a gold standard. And for a reason: anyone insisting JPEG dollars would work as legal tender would be considered insane, by both gold-standard supporters and fiat supporters alike.

That is why copyright law is utterly unenforceable. Artists are being asked to manage their own de facto currencies, where ANY medium is a legal tender medium, not just coins and notes. They then ask someone else to do the printing without anything like the checks and balances that are thrown at the US treasury/Federal Reserve to prevent corruption, never mind the pirates across the rest of the planet who profit as a result of copyright, just as the drug barons profit off of the war on drugs.

Copyright is a utopia, frankly. It is the control-freak mentality, and the mentality of the sacred where the image of art must be protected against blasphemy in the name of "moral rights" or even to prevent "cutural appropriation" which has rightly drawn comparisons with social justice warrior safe-space mentalities.

The cognitive dissonance that is "fair use" - i.e. it's okay to break into the bank as long as you only steal £50 - will keep being exposed for the contradiction that it is as long as cases like these happen. Where free expression is a right, yet simultaneously a "defense". Where it's okay to quote from a book, but not if that book is a book of poems. Where the line between "notes" and "symphonies" is "where we say it is" and "what the market will potentially be, not what it will be".

However, the protection of artist labour is a real issue. But the way to do that, and the only way that will ever work in this age of copy and paste, is to go down the route of assurance contracts. Demand your price BEFORE you work, not after you work. Go to Kickstarter, IndieGoGo and Patreon, and demand they all refund the pledgers if the project falls flat to really get this going - it can't be "pay what you want", it has to be a payWALL. Get Marvel to demand $50 million for the next comic book movie, and there's a very good chance they will get it. And cover any moral rights by extending trademark laws - also known as an artist's right to a signature.

Because only the bold will work at, say, Ralph Lauren, and only be told what his salary is going to be after the work has been done for the month. The month in particular.

So don't mistake me: I do believe in the protection of labour ("labour" being a better word than "property" because it highlights the issues without confusing them with artificially tangible goods). The disagreement I have is HOW to protect it, not IF it should be protected. Because I really do hate for artists to keep going down this road of empty promises and wishful thinking - they're just going to end up hurt and disappointed over and over again, especially as Moore's law continues.

EU squashes bogus copyright scare as red-faced Guardian slaps down Wiki's Wales


Yeah guys it's not like your right to back up your music CDs can be taken from you at any moment! http://gizmodo.com/music-industry-wins-uk-court-battle-over-legality-of-ba-1712657523 OH WAIT.

For goodness sake. It's insane how it is folk who raise the slightest hint of skepticism who get accused of hysteria about this, when copyright cultists go absolutely insane over even the slightest exemption to copyright, saying it will be the end of the world.

It's almost as bad as some copyright fools who insist insignificant baby-dancing-to-Prince videos must be taken down at the artists whim because passiveness to this sort of thing will "break the int-*cough*-copyright law" and then turn to the campaigns that protest to resist it and ask "just why are you being so hysterical?!" Complete irony deficiency.

I think it's a good thing how the copyright side aren't even being given an inch on this (well, another inch of millions, anyway). We've already had hysterical claims over the need to charge for news aggregation snippets not even a paragraph in length. Plus furious raids on anime translations websites (the idea that English speakers try to get past language barriers, eh?).

These are the sorts of people who would claim with a grin and a smirk that websites like deviantArt are mass pirate websites that need to be destroyed "in the name of artists rights" and feel no shame.

They have lost touch with reality. They believe in a utopia. A utopian world with perfect property rights of infinitely divisible dualistic - not materialistic - mind property. It's the equivalent of believing in JPEG dollars. Ron Paul may want to abolish state currency and have each citizen use private currency in place of "unjust inflation" and the like, controlled privately by private banks, but not even a supremely insane crackpot such as him would dare suggest something like that would work in digital form.

Yet copyright is a digital private dollar that people genuinely believe can be policed. And we get absurdities such as their right to look into your house in case of infringements only to yell "get off of my property!"

There's not ENOUGH outrage about it, actually. We need to keep on stressing how ridiculous it is and insist that we have far better ways of protecting the worker's rights of artists - the beauty of the assurance contract economy to solve the free-rider problem the cultists keep banging on about, for instance. Simultaneous payment across all parties secures artists rights in ways copyright cannot dream of.