Monday, October 24, 2011

Questioning the notions of copyright and intellectual property - links.

When I first reflected on the foundations of intellectual property and copyright in the early nineties, when internet was in infancy, I felt quite lonely in believing they were not only illegitimate, but harmful to the process of creation. Since then, I felt comfort my viewpoint was not isolated and is gaining momentum.

A Fair(y) Use Tale
Disney Parody explanation of Copyright Law and Fair Use.

Joss Stone "piracy is great"
Fortune and fame, a by-product of talent, not the primary goal.

Alternative Freedom (Trailer)
Featuring interviews with Lawrence Lessig and more.

Eben Moglen - Wikipedia
Moglen believes the idea of proprietary software is as ludicrous as having "proprietary mathematics" or "proprietary geometry". "Anything that is worth copying is worth sharing."

The Real Reason for Germany's Industrial Expansion?
"Did Germany experience rapid industrial expansion in the 19th century due to an absence of copyright law? A German historian argues that the massive proliferation of books, and thus knowledge, laid the foundation for the country's industrial might."

Innovation: It Isn’t a Matter of Left or Right
Sharing is not communism. Stalin would have despised Wikipedia.

 Imagine a world without copyright
"We must keep in mind, of course, that every artistic work - whether it is a soap opera, a composition by Luciano Berio, or a movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger - derives the better part of its substance from the work of others, from the public domain. Originality is a relative concept; in no other culture around the globe, except for the contemporary Western one, can a person call himself the owner of a melody, an image, a word."
"Cultural monopolists desperately want us to believe that without copyright we would have no artistic creations and therefore no entertainment. That is nonsense. We would have more, and more diverse ones."

A qui appartiennent les connaissances ?
L’évolution du droit de la propriété intellectuelle est un enjeu politique. Tirant argument de la « révolution multimédia », certains groupes d’intérêts se sont en effet mobilisés pour demander et obtenir une révision du droit de la propriété intellectuelle allant dans le sens de son renforcement au profit des détenteurs de droits.

Who stole my story? by Paulo Coelho
How Coelho saw the sale of his book grow exponentially by allowing them to be downloaded for free.

“Since the dawn of time, human beings have felt the need to share – from food to art. Sharing is part of the human condition."

Against Intellectual Monopoly
"It is common to argue that intellectual property in the form of copyright and patent is necessary for the innovation and creation of ideas and inventions such as machines, drugs, computer software, books, music, literature and movies. In fact intellectual property is a government grant of a costly and dangerous private monopoly over ideas. We show through theory and example that intellectual monopoly is not necessary for innovation and as a practical matter is damaging to growth, prosperity and liberty."

The dotCommunist Manifesto. Eben Moglen
"Where are the advocates of freedom in the new digital society who have not been decried as pirates, anarchists, communists? Have we not seen that many of those hurling the epithets were merely thieves in power, whose talk of ``intellectual property'' was nothing more than an attempt to retain unjustifiable privileges in a society irrevocably changing? But it is acknowledged by all the Powers of Globalism that the movement for freedom is itself a Power, and it is high time that we should publish our views in the face of the whole world, to meet this nursery tale of the Spectre of Free Information with a Manifesto of our own."

L’invention suppose tout l’actif préalable au travail humain
"Je suppose que, demain, un inventeur imagine quelque outillage nouveau qui bouleverse la technique d’une des grandes industries directrices,..."

Enforcing Copyrights Online, for a Profit
"When Brian Hill, a 20-year-old blogger from North Carolina, posted on his Web site last December a photograph of an airport security officer conducting a pat-down, a legal battle was the last thing he imagined."

Feel Free to Steal My Content
"I consider that the golden rule requires that if I like a program I must share it with other people who like it." Richard Stallman

Texte fondateur du Droit d'Auteur.

Ce n'est pas fortuit qu'il fut redige pendant le regime de la Terreur de la France Revolutionaire, pratiquement en meme temps que la loi du partage égalitaire immédiat dans les successions, le décret sur le tutoiement obligatoire, l'institution de la loi martiale (donnant lieu a la fusillade du Champ-de-Mars), la loi de Ventose an 2 (le séquestre des biens des suspects reconnus ennemis de la République), et autre mesures dites "sociales".
Certains de mes amis republicains (a la sauce Francaise) me retorqueront que c’est un argument a contrario de mes theses sur la propriete intellectuelle. ;-)
Mais il est en realite bien dans mon optique: le monopole intellectuel est une notion communiste qui va a l'encontre de la creativite necessaire a la liberte d'entreptrendre.
Le communisme tel qu'il s'est manifeste n'a rien a voir avec le partage.
S'il est une chose qu'il est necessaire de partager, c'est le savoir universel. Imaginez ou l'on en serait si un malin profiteur de  la betise ambiante avait eu avant l'heure l'idee saugrenue de patenter l'alphabet.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Daylight "Saving" Time?

The so called Daylight Saving Time: yet another cretin decision imposed upon us.
"You can’t save daylight by moving around the hands on your clock, of course. So daylight saving time remains as absurdly named as it ever was.”
May I suggest a Google search on "The true cost of daylight saving". You'd be surprised of your findings.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Android emulation on your PC

From my facebook post on the topic...

Ha! (and hi) to all you guy's already converted to Android:
You can dump your gimmick smartphone and have your beloved android apps right on your pc, which has the added benefit of a proper screen, proper keyboard.
The only thing you'd be losing is the ability to call someone, but who cares? Isn't it degrading for a smartphone to be a mere phone?
With all the functions and Android phone distracts you with, you haven't got the time to make phone calls anyway.
It might even be an advantage not to receive calls at all:-D
And if you insist to be able to phone, you can always get the cheapest of Nokias, which is the best phone on Earth, which has the most useful function of all: a flashlight!

I hadn't actually tried when I posted the above, so my first self comment 30 min later was:

Amazing! It actually works.
I still have to learn how to install my favourite apps, since the dedicated "Market" icon I've got on my Streak is absent.
There is even a Galaxy Tab and Android 2.3 virtual devices!
The only quirks I experienced so far, are some Korean characters on the pop-up keyboard (but using my pc keyboard, or the side keyboardd is fine), and it's slow to load and react.
I wonder it would take advantage of 3g (and make calls) and GPS if the PC (such as the bModo mentioned earlier) had an integrated SIM...
Can you imagine the possibilities? Merging the best Windows and Android Tab (some truly amazing) apps in a single slate? All I can say is wow! 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The dotCommunist Manifesto

"Music, for example, throughout previous human history was an acutely perishable non-commodity, a social process, occurring in a place and at a time, consumed where it was made, by people who were indistinctly differentiated as consumers and as makers. After the adoption of recording, music was a non-persishable commodity that could be moved long distances and was necessarily alienated from those who made it. Music became, as an article of consumption, an opportunity for its new "owners'' to direct additional consumption, to create wants on the part of the new mass consuming class, and to drive its demand in directions profitable to ownership."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Claiming the right to smash their birdbrains against the wall of reality

Protesters rally across France over pension reforms

They are not faces of angry Muslims.
Nor are they faces of tennis players after a winner.
They are faces of French morons claiming the right to smash their birdbrains against the wall of reality!
It also shows the height of their aspirations.
These kids are already longing to twiddle their thumbs for the rest of their lives, 40 years ahead of time, when life expectancy will be such that retirement years will far exceed working years. Off course, they'd never consider the prospect of having a job that could provide satisfaction and that they'd insist to hold on as long as possible.
"Liberte, Fraternite, Egalite"? Fraternity, equality with all the countries whose retirement age is above theirs, in Europe (let's not talk about the rest of the world, where they haven't a clue of what social security means)?
Holding on to "acquired" benefits will come at a great cost.
After that they will be complaining that China and other Indias are overtaking them.

Friday, October 8, 2010

ACTA, a cause worth fighting against

ACTA stands for Anti-Counterfeinting Trade Agreement. It is aimed at enforcing copyright and tackling counterfeited goods and it has been secretly negotiated since 2008 by the European Union, the United States, Japan, Canada, South Korea, Australia as well as a few other countries.

This aggreement would bypass democratic processes in order to enforce a fundamentally irrelevant regulatory regime, that would put an end to Net neutrality.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Selected from common-sense-quotes

"Common sense is what tells us the Earth is flat and the Sun goes around it."

"The freethinking of one age is the common sense of the next."
Matthew Arnold

"Common sense ain't common."
Will Rogers

"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."
Albert Einstein

"The two World Wars came in part, like much modern literature and art, because men, whose nature is to tire of everything in turn, ... tired of common sense and civilization."
F. L. Lucas

"If an idea's worth having once, it's worth having twice."
Tom Stoppard

"Common sense is very uncommon."
Horace Greeley

"Common sense is in spite of, not as the result of education."
Victor Hugo

"The philosophy of one century is the common sense of the next."
Henry Ward Beecher

"Common sense is instinct, and enough of it is genius."
Josh Billings

"Stupid is forever, ignorance can be fixed."
Don Wood

"Nothing is more fairly distributed than common sense: no one thinks he needs more of it than he already has."

"Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes."
Oscar Wilde

Monday, September 20, 2010

Funny quotes, or paraprosdokians for the pedant.

Those are some favourites. More will follow. Contributions welcome.

Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

If I agreed with you we'd both be wrong.

Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, you will be a mile away and he won’t have any shoes.

The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.

War does not determine who is right - only who is left.

I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.

Evening news is where they begin with 'Good evening', and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.

To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.

Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.

A bank is a place that will lend you money, if you can prove that you don't need it.

Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?

Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

Why do Americans choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America ?

Behind every successful man is a woman and behind his downfall is another woman"

A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.

I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not sure.

You're never too old to learn something stupid.

To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won't expect it back.

A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you will look forward to the trip.

A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.

If you are supposed to learn from your mistakes, why do some people have more than one child?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

What are worthwhile problems?

 "The worthwhile problems are the ones you can really solve or help solve, the ones you can really contribute something to."
Richard Feynman

That's the very reason the fashionable atheist debate is futile and does more harm than good. It can't bring about peace. It potentially creates a far greater divide than the ones we have endured so far throughout our history (Catholics/Protestants, Christian/Muslims, Sunni/Shiites, the list is long...), since an explanation for our presence here is beyond our comprehension, a transcendental or symbolic substitute for it will never be stamped out IMHO; it's in our nature, it's what made us humans, since the remote times of the awakening of consciousness and symbolic communication (with the sense of social norms, realization of "self" and concept of continuity) when we started to adopt non-utilitarian customs, rituals such as burying our dead,  painting on cave walls, chanting, dancing and making use of gradually more abstract references.

Rational explanation for existence such as the latest well publicised solution suggested by Hawking "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing will leave even the staunchest atheists quite dissatisfied they expose further and more arduous problems. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist". This claim presumes pre-exiting laws of nature and gravity, before even  nature was there to obey them. I confess however that the scientific methods to come to that conclusion are beyond my comprehension.

However, in spite of my unfathomable ignorance, I can reasonably suggest that atheists are intelligent enough to realise that it is not the worldview a person adheres to that makes him/her right or righteous, and that the heart has other and better criteria than belief or doubt in the supernatural to discern what's right or wrong in human deeds.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Simone Weil. Selected quotes.

In Switzerland they had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock!

One cannot imagine St. Francis of Assisi talking about rights.

If Germany, thanks to Hitler and his successors, were to enslave the European nations and destroy most of the treasures of their past, future historians would certainly pronounce that she had civilized Europe.

I am not a Catholic; but I consider the Christian idea, which has its roots in Greek thought and in the course of the centuries has nourished all of our European civilization, as something that one cannot renounce without becoming degraded.

A work of art has an author and yet, when it is perfect, it has something which is anonymous about it.

Petroleum is a more likely cause of international conflict than wheat. (premonitory!)

Most works of art, like most wines, ought to be consumed in the district of their fabrication.

The destruction of the past is perhaps the greatest of all crimes.

The future is made of the same stuff as the present.

Two prisoners whose cells adjoin communicate with each other by knocking on the wall. The wall is the thing which separates them but is also their means of communication. It is the same with us and God. Every separation is a link.

What a country calls its vital... interests are not things that help its people live, but things that help it make war.

La beauté séduit la chair pour obtenir la permission de passer jusqu'à l'âme.

La religion en tant que source de consolation est un obstacle à la véritable foi, et en ce sens l'athéisme est une purification.

Le mot de révolution est un mot pour lequel on tue, pour lequel on meurt, pour lequel on envoie les masses populaires à la mort, mais qui n'a aucun contenu.

Dieu ne juge pas : par lui les êtres se jugent.

Le chrétien est un mauvais païen, converti par un mauvais juif.

Accepter le mal qu'on nous fait comme remède à celui que nous avons fait.

La politique m'apparaît comme une sinistre rigolade. 

Impossible de pardonner à qui nous a fait du mal, si ce mal nous abaisse. Il faut penser qu'il ne nous a pas abaissé, mais a révélé notre vrai niveau.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Why Are French Women Killing Their Babies?

Check it there:
Why Are French Women Killing Their Babies?

The obvious answer to the enigma: motherhood is seen as a stigma in our so called culture where professional "career" is the ultimate goal, as if giving life wasn't the very finest destiny one could aspire to. Being inescapable does not make it less valuable.
As a lady very dear to me said to her daughter, when she was, or rather, felt confronted with the motherhood/career dilemma "by definition, the exercise of freedom requires you to abandon all of possible choices offered to you but the one". Coelho made a very similar comment recently.