Archive for December, 2007

Steal This Film – Part 2

December 31, 2007

Cory notes that Steal This Film – Part 2 is now available to thieves. My high school tech class stole Part 1 last semester, following up with research on events surrounding Sweden’s Pirate Party and The Pirate Bay.

As the minuscule amount of readers who follow this blog know, I support granting authors some rights under copyright. As well, I support giving the public the freedom to non-commercially propagate legally obtained copies of published works (aka “share”).

I’m currently leeching Part 2 using BitTorrent (72%-complete). I’m hoping there’s a free software codec to play the .mov file.

sharing denies nothing

December 25, 2007

Tom notes some attribution lost in space beginning with this, which came from this, which came from this. Amid this comical exchange on copyright, a questionable argument is taken for granted (in the comments on Jukes’ entry) by Doug Johnson who says:

When I asked [my son] if he didn’t feel it was wrong to deprive someone of his/her livelihood by denying them payment for their creative property […]

This asking (“Don’t you feel it wrong to have deprived others by denying payment?”) depends upon the assumption that copying published information denies payment. Most certainly, file sharing does not necessarily include payment (hence “sharing”), but that’s very different than an active “denying” of payment. While the difference is subtle, it is significant and skews any copyright argument if not acknowledged.

penguin hater

December 19, 2007

rms generates some humor despite a serious issue:

Even I, the only man in the world who can get angry from looking at a picture of a penguin, find this bad news.

questioning superstition brings bad luck

December 19, 2007

a permissive post

December 18, 2007

Using “freer” to describe the difference between a modified BSD license and the GPL is confusing. Doing so leads to ill-defined conclusions:

The BSD gives greater freedom, the GPL gives more freedom.

A modified BSD license is better described as permissive in contrast to a license implementing copyleft. Some define freedom as the maximization of choice regardless of the effects upon others. However, is a society permitting unwarranted aggression toward others a “freer” society? Only the most obstinate argue so.

fighting capital punishment amorally

December 14, 2007


New Jersey lawmakers are demonstrating sound judgment in abandoning capital punishment after learning of its costs, the pain it causes victims’ families, and the risks the death penalty poses to innocent lives.

While these facts are important what do they imply? If we could reduce the cost, determine psychologically that a particular victim’s kin is unlikely to endure an exacerbation of mental anguish, and protect the innocent, then capital punishment is ethically acceptable.

While I understand that seeking positive social change may (in some situations) require an overemphasis on reason while holding one’s conscience in check, it can open the door to perverse argumentation…

[Some] had argued police killers and terrorists should still be eligible for execution […]

what’s the future for G1G1?

December 14, 2007

A short while ago I asked why. Since then, the page text has changed to “For donors outside of the US and Canada, please call 1-949-608-2865.” Perhaps this means G1G1 Europe 2008 isn’t in the cards. One wonders what possibilities are being considered.

Birdsong as I saw it

December 13, 2007

Red Hat’s Birdsong. Here’s my understanding:

As an extension of nature (e.g. a birdsong), music is freely shared by fellow beings. Music performance is transcribed (by composers like him). Technology then allows magnetic tape recordings. Then digital. Digital recordings are then shared globally via the Internet. All seems good.

Unfortunately, music listeners endure intentional hampering through DRM (the birdcage). Musicians and listeners cut loose 20th-century business models (the string), setting music free from digital restrictions.

Now we just need birds to whistle motion pictures.

misunderstanding the GPL

December 11, 2007

Marco Tabini:

Morally, however, I find the GPL repugnant. Its fight-fire-with-fire principle of forcing anyone who uses a piece of software to disclose all their source code in turn betrays its purported ideals of freedom in a disgusting way.

The GPL does not force users to disclose source code. Source code is only required when distributing GPL software to others. In fact, if you’re only using GPL code you don’t even have to agree to the license (sometimes that’s misunderstood too). That is, you’re free to disagree with the license yet install and use the software. Therefore, the GPL respects your privacy and asks only that when affecting others with copies of your software, you give them the same freedom you have. There’s nothing morally repugnant or disgusting about that.

Via J.B. Nicholson-Owens.

a Nokia double take

December 11, 2007

Yes, Nokia really did say this:

proprietary technology such as Ogg

Cory rips that apart here.