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Millions of Blogs Knocked Offline By Legal Row

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the hopelessly-disproportionate dept.

Education 162

another random user writes with this excerpt from the BBC: "A row over a web article posted five years ago has led to 1.5 million educational blogs going offline. The Edublogs site went dark for about an hour after its hosting company, ServerBeach, pulled the plug. The hosting firm was responding to a copyright claim from publisher Pearson, which said one blog had been illegally sharing information it owned. ... The offending article was first published in November 2007 and made available a copy of a questionnaire, known as the Beck Hopelessness Scale, to a group of students. The copyright for the questionnaire is owned by Pearson, which asked ServerBeach to remove the content in late September."

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Do hosting companies have a clue? (4, Insightful)

Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) | about 2 years ago | (#41668971)

Or are most of them just total crap? Frankly I think people need to sue a few of them real hard on this and lets see them cut the crap.

Re:Do hosting companies have a clue? (0, Troll)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 2 years ago | (#41669435)

Sue them for what, exactly? The site almost certainly breached its hosting agreement when they neglected to respond to the copyright infringement notice, and the hosting company tried to contact them several times over the issue - then they pulled the plug and things got sorted. Funny that, eh?

The key line missing from the summery is "ServerBeach said it had had to act because two requests to remove the content had been ignored."

So, fuck Edublogs, they had their chance.

Re:Do hosting companies have a clue? (4, Insightful)

Canazza (1428553) | about 2 years ago | (#41669553)

"Unfortunately, in early October automated systems at ServerBeach spotted a copy of the disputed blog entry stored in the working memory of software Edublogs uses to make sure web pages are displayed quickly."

IE, there was still a version stored in the server's cache, and that's why they took the site down.

I know it's against /. ettiquete to read the fucking article, but it does help some times.

"The copy of the blog entry was in this memory store - only visible internally - because of the way Edublogs readies web pages for display. When Edublogs did not respond within 24 hours to emails alerting it to the allegedly infringing content, ServerBeach shut down the entire site."

Re:Do hosting companies have a clue? (3, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 2 years ago | (#41670111)

Uhm, I read the article. I read both articles - and no, it was not "only visible internally", lets see what ServerBeach said on that topic shall we?

ServerBeach said the additional notice on October 8 came "because the same alleged infringing content was once again made available on their system despite the fact that it had already been removed due to the prior notice."

Farmer acknowledges that "the blog was taken down when we got the message but the file stayed in varnish cache" until it too was taken down after the second notice.

ServerBeach further said that Edublogs uses "a failover system that allowed Web traffic to still reach the allegedly infringing material."

Lets highlight the specific bit which backs me up:

"a failover system that allowed Web traffic to still reach the allegedly infringing material."

If its still available its still available, regardless of whether is "just in a cache" or not - its available, its under your control and it must be made not available to comply with the notices.

So how about we all try and actually read the full story here, shall we?

Re:Do hosting companies have a clue? (4, Insightful)

1u3hr (530656) | about 2 years ago | (#41669601)

The key line missing from the summery is "ServerBeach said it had had to act because two requests to remove the content had been ignored." So, fuck Edublogs, they had their chance.

Edublogs took the offending text off their website when they were requested to. There was a backup copy though which WAS NOT ONLINE that triggered the takedown. So, fuck Pearson, fuck the hoster, and, on Edublogs' behalf, fuck you .

Re:Do hosting companies have a clue? (4, Insightful)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 years ago | (#41670079)

Edublogs took the offending text off their website when they were requested to. There was a backup copy though which WAS NOT ONLINE that triggered the takedown. So, fuck Pearson, fuck the hoster, and, on Edublogs' behalf, fuck you .

Doubly so, since Pearson should've contacted Edublogs directly using their DMCA page [edublogs.org] rather than having to go through their service provider. (You can get to that page by going to "Contact Us" and scrolling to DMCA)

ServerBeach provided the servers to Edublogs, yes, but Edublogs provided services to users to post blogs and have their own DMCA page in case their users post something infringing.

Though this brings a question - how far up should one go for a DMCA request? I mean, if you can get the hosting company to do it, could you get the ISP providing the internet link to the hosting company?

Re:Do hosting companies have a clue? (0)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 2 years ago | (#41670143)

It was available, as per ServerBeach:

ServerBeach further said that Edublogs uses "a failover system that allowed Web traffic to still reach the allegedly infringing material."

That would still make it available, and infringing.

Re:Do hosting companies have a clue? (4, Informative)

1u3hr (530656) | about 2 years ago | (#41670441)

ServerBeach further said that Edublogs uses "a failover system that allowed Web traffic to still reach the allegedly infringing material."

That would still make it available, and infringing.

CYA bullshit."Available" if you knew a backdoor to the server. Which would be a concern if we were talking about missile launch codes, but no reason to take a million blogs offline after it's been "available" for five fucking years without anyone noticing already.

Here's the text, courtesy of Scribd. Just as a comment on how absurd and disproportionate this all is..

1.
I look forward to the future with hope and enthusiasm.
2.
I might as well give up because there is nothing I can do about
making things for myself.
3.
When things are going badly, I am helped by knowing that they
cannot stay there whatsoever.
4.
I can't imagine what my life would be in 10 years.
5.
I have enough time to accomplish the things I want to do.
6.
In future, I expect to succeed in what concerns me most.
7.
My future seems dark to me.
8.
I happen to be particularly lucky and I expect to get better.
9.
I just can't get the breaks and there is no reason I will in the future.
10.
My past experiences have prepared me well for the future.
11.
All I can see ahead of me is unpleasantness rather than pleasantness.
12.
I don't expect to get what I really I want.
13.
When I look ahead to the future, I expect I will be happier than I
am now.
14.
Things just don't work out the way I want them to.
15.
I have great faith in future.
16.
I never get what I want, so it is foolish to want anything at all.
17.
It is very unlikely that I still get any satisfaction in future.
18.
The future seems vague and uncertain to me.
19.
I look forward to more times than bad times.
20.
There is no use really trying to get anything I want because I
probably won't get it.

Re:Do hosting companies have a clue? (-1, Troll)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#41669733)

i love your Mitt Romney style of spewing Lies as if they were fact.....

"Unfortunately, in early October automated systems at ServerBeach spotted a copy of the disputed blog entry stored in the working memory of software Edublogs uses to make sure web pages are displayed quickly."

IT was a cached copy that NOBODY KNEW ABOUT... But hey, dont let facts get in the way of your rampage governor...

Re:Do hosting companies have a clue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41669807)

Welcome to /. Mr. President

Re:Do hosting companies have a clue? (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 2 years ago | (#41670041)

So what if it was "in a cache that no one knew about" - Edublogs FAILED TO RESPOND TWICE to requests to remove said content, thus THEY KNEW ABOUT IT AT THAT POINT .

But nice of you to try and link this to bullshit American politics...

Re:Do hosting companies have a clue? (3, Insightful)

1u3hr (530656) | about 2 years ago | (#41670163)

So what if it was "in a cache that no one knew about"

So what? It was offline. That's what a DMCA "take down" is supposed to achieve. You don't have to erase every copy of the file in existence, just stop making it available, which they did.

The hosting company has apologised, so you're saying they were wrong to do so?

Re:Do hosting companies have a clue? (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 2 years ago | (#41670237)

According to the Ars article, no it wasn't necessarily "off line", it could have been accessed at any point in time due to it also still being available via a failover system.

And if its still available in a cache, or an alternative failover system, then its still available - no bullshitting around, if you can get to it, its available. I also haven't seen an apology from the hosting company, just a "lets get together to see how we can move foward in our relationship" comment on Edublogs blog.

Re:Do hosting companies have a clue? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41670165)

How about before you start spouting your crap you sit down, shut your fucking big mouth up and read the article?

Re:Do hosting companies have a clue? (-1, Troll)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 2 years ago | (#41670269)

That's something I suggest you should do - everything I have said is correct, as per the articles. So take your own advice.

Re:Do hosting companies have a clue? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41670529)

People like you are part of the reason why we have to deal with so much of this copyright bullshit. Even the most mundane thing that doesn't even affect anyone or anything at all can get millions of blogs taken offline, and it will stay that way until people like you pass away.

You're just stupid, not misinformed, but my post still stands. You should probably read it until you get why this makes no damn sense to anyone with a practical approach to problem solving.

Re:Do hosting companies have a clue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41669907)

A lot of them are unethical: they provide the tools spammers use. ServerBitch is one of those unethical hosting providers, so no surprise here. Another lowlife ISP is DimeCock^WDimenoc

Re:Do hosting companies have a clue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41670619)

A lot of them are pretty terrible.

And it sucks. I have a friend who would have done a great job at many of them, but like everyone these days, they are being replaced by absolute morons who have no clue how to do the job they were hired for, most likely because they thought it was the lazy loads of money life.

Same thing happens in programming and especially game-anything, so many people thinking "hey I could make the videogames! It is just pointing on the Make Game button, right? I done it on Gamemaker.", join and end up leaving a quarter of the way through the damn year, taking up space that those who probably actually weren't a sack of idiot like these quitters could have put to better use.
I remember my course had half the class drop before mid-year. And we hadn't even done anything hard at that point, that stuff was intro to programming nonsense that you have to suffer through before you get to the fun bits.

A good reason to host your own blog (2)

Froggels (1724218) | about 2 years ago | (#41669013)

If I were serious about blogging then I'd host my own. I wonder why more people don't?

Re:A good reason to host your own blog (3, Informative)

queazocotal (915608) | about 2 years ago | (#41669075)

Because it takes effort, and skill, as well as having some cost.
Yes, it may only take a few hours to research the best way of doing it from scratch, for someone not into computers, but if they are not deeply involved, they are not likely willing to invest that, when there are solutions that are in some ways better.

Re:A good reason to host your own blog (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41669429)

No? There are a lot of free open-source blog systems around. With very short descriptions of how to install it:
1. Just get a cheap hosting solution [google.com] (preferably outside Mafia territory),
2. upload the decompressed [rarlab.com] archive using a FTP program [filezilla-project.org] ,
3. point your browser to your domain,
4. set the few settings it asks you,
5. make the config file read-only on the server,
and you're done!

Takes just a couple of minutes, and neither effort nor skill. Plus, the hosting price is what you pay for the added feature of a bit more independence.

Re:A good reason to host your own blog (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41669883)

No? There are a lot of free open-source blog systems around. With very short descriptions of how to install it:
1. Just get a cheap hosting solution [google.com] (preferably outside Mafia territory),
2. upload the decompressed [rarlab.com] archive using a FTP program [filezilla-project.org],
3. point your browser to your domain,
4. set the few settings it asks you,
5. make the config file read-only on the server,
and you're done!

You do understand what "not into computers" means right?

All of that is probably going to take someone with limited tech skills at least few hours, not to mention they will have to keep it updated (especially if using something popular like wordpress, where running an out of date version for a few weeks will probably lead to your site serving up malware..).

Blog hosting is popular because it (usually) just works. Obviously most people with a tech background and people running larger/more popular blogs are going to want to host their own.. but your average guy who just wants to babble about his hobby.. not worth the hassle.

Re:A good reason to host your own blog (4, Informative)

bhagwad (1426855) | about 2 years ago | (#41669085)

There's nothing preventing a hosting provider from shutting down your website. I have my own blog, but if BlueHost chooses to, it can knock it offline.

Re:A good reason to host your own blog (3, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | about 2 years ago | (#41669101)

Because most people don't want to either move to an area where they can get "business class" broadband (or buy colo service), purchase their server, install and configure and be responsible for all the setup and continued maintenance (including security patches, etc). They just want to write their blog, which more than likely is not about any of those topics.

Re:A good reason to host your own blog (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#41669773)

you can get Business Class broadband anywhere. I have a T-1 going to my home for my server connection. I have a friend that has 2 of them to his rural home. T-1 technology can go 900X farther over crap copper than DSL or Cable. AND it's not set up to allow someone else to have control over your content.

Re:A good reason to host your own blog (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41669917)

I think you miss the entire point.

Re:A good reason to host your own blog (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#41669123)

If I were serious about blogging then I'd host my own. I wonder why more people don't?

  1. You need an Internet connection that is suitable for hosting your blog (static or rarely changing IP address, decent upload throughput, nothing in the contract that forbids hosting a webserver, etc.).
  2. You need a computer that you can leave on all the time.
  3. You need the technical expertise needed to install and configure a blogging system (and by extension, a web server and database server).

For us on Slashdot, the only problem is with the first one, and even then, most of us probably know a place that will let us run a server for our blog. For most people, the combination of those three is a daunting task, and so they just pay some hosting company somewhere to take care of it for them.

Re:A good reason to host your own blog (1)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | about 2 years ago | (#41669191)

A buddy of mine makes more from his side gig of setting up Amazon AWS services and Wordpress for bloggers and small businesses around my area than he does at his regular job. I've thought about branching out, but don't know if I could bring myself to charge that much for what is essentially an hour or so of work.

Re:A good reason to host your own blog (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | about 2 years ago | (#41669233)

Does he at least do some custom skinning/theming, or is it purely pointy-clicky Wordpress installation and ticking a few boxes on the settings page?

Re:A good reason to host your own blog (1)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | about 2 years ago | (#41669327)

I know more about his AWS setup than the Wordpress one, but from what I remember he'll do a basic theme and throw in a few hours of training if needed.

Re:A good reason to host your own blog (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | about 2 years ago | (#41669419)

Damn. I gotta put up a Craigslist ad.

Re:A good reason to host your own blog (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#41669813)

Pretty much betting your buddy will smack you for saying that. It takes at LEAST 3 hours to modify a template to have it branded for the company or blogger.

Re:A good reason to host your own blog (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41669927)

What's his contact info / site? I have a client that I cannot get around to who needs someone to set him up a server. Thanks.

Re:A good reason to host your own blog (2)

jest3r (458429) | about 2 years ago | (#41669213)

Serve Beach is a dedicated server company. So presumably they did have their own server.

What's scary here is the article states it was a Server Beach automated script that detected the copyright infringement in a "cache file" that was not visible on the live website at all. And they shut down the server because of that.

It's actually worse than stated... (5, Insightful)

BMOC (2478408) | about 2 years ago | (#41669021)

The offending post was published in 2007, which is true, however the material (questionnaire) that was posted was 38 years old. Worse yet, the questionnaire was a suicide prevention questionnaire, so its existence in the public domain might actually save lives. So a DMCA request pulled down millions of blogs because one page that was originally published nearly 4 decades ago supposedly has some copyright value to someone. These times we live in, they're literally not far off from a lot of books I was encouraged to read in high school, but was told would never actually happen.

Re:It's actually worse than stated... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41669183)

Oooh name the books please, I want to make sure I havn't missed any. I would also like to point out I just realized we live in Fahrenheit 451...

Re:It's actually worse than stated... (5, Funny)

BMOC (2478408) | about 2 years ago | (#41669197)

I was trying to be vague to avoid any possible DMCA takedown notice, now see what you've done...

Re:It's actually worse than stated... (4, Insightful)

Quakeulf (2650167) | about 2 years ago | (#41669267)

1984 and Animal Farm. George Orwell did not write books, he wrote the law.

Re:It's actually worse than stated... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41669611)

The politicians took 1984 to be a how-to manual rather than a warning.

Re:It's actually worse than stated... (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about 2 years ago | (#41669409)

...I would also like to point out I just realized we live in Fahrenheit 451...

Well, that explains the constant sizzling sound I'm hearing... does anyone else smell bacon cooking?

No, Actually It's Exactly How It Was Stated (3, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 2 years ago | (#41669253)

The offending post was published in 2007, which is true, however the material (questionnaire) that was posted was 38 years old.

Astonishing but still within the copyright term length. Abhorrent? You bet. But I wouldn't go around attacking publishers and would instead focus on reducing the law that governs said term length.

Worse yet, the questionnaire was a suicide prevention questionnaire, so its existence in the public domain might actually save lives.

So what you're saying is that if I want to make money publishing my research, I should stay away from publishing suicide prevention materials since placing a copyright on that is morally reprehensible because if it's public domain it might actually save lives?

So a DMCA request pulled down millions of blogs because one page that was originally published nearly 4 decades ago supposedly has some copyright value to someone.

So I'd like to point out that from what I've read they were given 24 hour notice from their provider [techdirt.com] and they failed to remove the article from their cache (although they did remove it from their site). If you're running a site that costs $6,954.37 just in hosting service per month, I would hope you would be a little more competent about complying with DMCA requests. Do they not have anyone on staff who knows how to flush a Varnish cache? And in defense of the hosting company, it's not their job to pick through and block each individual page you host and play their own version of whackamole. It's terrible that so many educational resources went down but the incompetence is shared between the people who run that operation, the hosting provider, the dumbass politicians who gave us the DMCA and the citizens who don't complain to their representatives about it. If you don't like the law, change it. But what you're attacking are symptoms of this law and you should be railing against the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Be prepared, people are going to want to know how you think we should balance the rights of the artists and authors who create material (and subsequently their income) and the benefit of the public from that material.

I'm telling you right now, the way you described how horrible this is makes me never want to produce any sort of writing that might be construed as beneficial to society because then I won't be paid for my work or I'll be a monster. If Pearson can't make money off these texts, goodbye Pearson. It's that simple. And yeah, that might be the future with self publishing on the rise but right now they have those texts under laws that are legitimate US Laws.

These times we live in, they're literally not far off from a lot of books I was encouraged to read in high school, but was told would never actually happen.

Did you know that many if not all of those books are copyrighted and those authors benefited from copyright? Also before you go around equivocating this to burning books in Fahrenheit 451 you should probably come up with an ideal middle ground between where we are now and everything is public domain. Hyperbole doesn't really help this debate.

Re:No, Actually It's Exactly How It Was Stated (5, Insightful)

causality (777677) | about 2 years ago | (#41669433)

And yeah, that might be the future with self publishing on the rise but right now they have those texts under laws that are legitimate US Laws.

If by "legitimate" you mean:

  • Terribly unbalanced against the public domain
  • Pushed upon us with no connection to the will/demand of the people
  • By a tiny minority of monied interests who long ago usurped the political processes of this constitutional republic
  • Written and voted for by legislators who are not representing their constituents because they've been bought and paid for

... then yes, it is perfectly legitimate.

Re:No, Actually It's Exactly How It Was Stated (0)

outZider (165286) | about 2 years ago | (#41669855)

Is it on the books? Legitimate.
Has it won court cases? Legitimate.

If you don't agree with a law, it doesn't make it not legitimate. Have you fought it personally yet, beyond making grandiose posts and starting web petitions?

Re:No, Actually It's Exactly How It Was Stated (2)

CanEHdian (1098955) | about 2 years ago | (#41669441)

Astonishing but still within the copyright term length. Abhorrent? You bet. But I wouldn't go around attacking publishers and would instead focus on reducing the law that governs said term length.

It's only astonishing to the sheeple ("don't care") and Generation Typewriter ("don't know") types that make up the vast majority of the US population. Slashdotters know that even "Happy Birthday To You" (c) 1935 is still under copyright today, and use this fact, when persistant, to quickly silence Defenders Of Copyright As Beneficial To Society.

As to your suggestion, it's perfectly alright to do both: by all means attack Pearson for doing this as -- unlike trademark rights -- you don't have to "defend" copyrights in order to keep them. Pearson could have decided, based on the circumstances, to let this particular case go. They didn't.

Of course, copyright law needs to be brought into the 21st century where EVERYONE is a publisher, creator, distributor... all those roles that were previously held exclusively by industry are now in everyone's homes. I believe Europe, as a "real democracy", will have to step up and lead the way.

Europe leading the way.... (1)

harvey the nerd (582806) | about 2 years ago | (#41670047)

to the (in?)voluntary human extinction movement.

Hundred+ year copyrights on everything is a fubar.

Re:No, Actually It's Exactly How It Was Stated (4, Interesting)

BMOC (2478408) | about 2 years ago | (#41669443)

Astonishing but still within the copyright term length. Abhorrent? You bet. But I wouldn't go around attacking publishers and would instead focus on reducing the law that governs said term length.

What is the purpose of copyright? To allow a creator to profit from his or her creativity.
What creativity in this case could possibly be profited from? Is the publisher actually going to lose money from a small portion of 40 year old book making it into the public domain? Are you actually arguing that this is the case?

So what you're saying is that if I want to make money publishing my research, I should stay away from publishing suicide prevention materials since placing a copyright on that is morally reprehensible because if it's public domain it might actually save lives?

I said no such thing, but you're free to put words in peoples mouths if it gives you a reason to argue over nothing on the internet. I would however suggest that creating something that is intended to benefit the public health be allowed to benefit public health first, and be used as a mechanism for profit SECOND. But apparently I am to consider myself in the minority in that viewpoint.

So I'd like to point out that from what I've read they were given 24 hour notice from their provider [techdirt.com] and they failed to remove the article from their cache (although they did remove it from their site). If you're running a site that costs $6,954.37 just in hosting service per month, I would hope you would be a little more competent about complying with DMCA requests.

And I would hope that someday small internet businesses be freeed from the ridiculous requirement that they respond to such takedown notices before a judge has actually confirmed that someone is losing money from the violation. But I must be some kind of dreamer to hope that small business be allowed to create jobs first, and protect the property of other companies in different industries second, right?

I'm telling you right now, the way you described how horrible this is makes me never want to produce any sort of writing that might be construed as beneficial to society because then I won't be paid for my work or I'll be a monster. If Pearson can't make money off these texts, goodbye Pearson. It's that simple. And yeah, that might be the future with self publishing on the rise but right now they have those texts under laws that are legitimate US Laws.

So, suggesting that a portion of a work that was written 40 years ago might be better in the public domain actually makes you afraid to write? Are you for real?

Re:No, Actually It's Exactly How It Was Stated (2)

hazah (807503) | about 2 years ago | (#41669817)

I think it's pretty obvious that he is not. Reads exactly like a paid for mouthpiece. A shill, if you will.

Re:No, Actually It's Exactly How It Was Stated (-1)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 2 years ago | (#41669833)

What is the purpose of copyright? To allow a creator to profit from his or her creativity. What creativity in this case could possibly be profited from?

Fortunately, that's not for you or the United States legal system to decide. If you want to go insane and spend your entire life writing your book and then sell it for one hundred billion dollars per copy, you are more than free to do it. That is a personal freedom that cannot be taken away from an entrepreneur no matter how completely stupid it may sound.

Is the publisher actually going to lose money from a small portion of 40 year old book making it into the public domain?

Okay, we're starting to get somewhere. You say "forty years" because of this work. So what you're saying is that everything written over forty years ago is fair game and public domain? So I can make movies out of Sirens of Titan, A Clockwork Orange, To Kill a Mockingbird, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Dune, Catch-22, Stranger in a Strangeland, etc and not pay anyone a dime for those rights or royalties? Okay so where do you draw the line on copyright? Give us a proposed length and then we can start discussing this like adults instead of asking stupid vague rhetorical questions about a suicide prevention questionnaire.

I said no such thing, but you're free to put words in peoples mouths if it gives you a reason to argue over nothing on the internet.

You did effectively say that. You said that because this might save lives if it's public domain then this is an even worse case of copyright than, say, Dune because the suicide prevention sheet has life saving potential. And I take objection to that. You can't sit there and decided what is morally more copyrightable than anything else for the exact same reason I stated at the beginning of this post. Copyrighted material is very subjective content in that creativity and art can be whatever the hell a madman wants it to be. That's a personal freedom you enjoy in the United States.

I would however suggest that creating something that is intended to benefit the public health be allowed to benefit public health first, and be used as a mechanism for profit SECOND. But apparently I am to consider myself in the minority in that viewpoint.

So here's another example of you making this a special case. Because this copyrighted work is medically related and might benefit public health, it has some special status that a creative work outside of this domain does not. And that's just laughably insane.

But I must be some kind of dreamer to hope that small business be allowed to create jobs first, and protect the property of other companies in different industries second, right?

Dude, your rhetoric is top notch. What the hell does job creation have to do with this? What about job creation at Pearson and the other publishing houses? Are you a politician? We aren't talking about job creation, we're talking about publishing creative works. Did you know that if someone walked around with a pistol shooting people, it would create a lot of jobs? You'd need people around to take care of the wounded, people to fill out paper work, people to arrange funerals? It'd be an economic boon, just like a war! So should we allow it?

So, suggesting that a portion of a work that was written 40 years ago might be better in the public domain actually makes you afraid to write? Are you for real?

Now who's putting words in someone's mouth? Where did I say that? What I said was that you're giving special status to some creative works over others so if I'm a writer, I'll stay away from your realms where I have a moral obligation to give it away for free or have a shorter term length on it just because it might help people.

On the plus side, you keep saying "40 years" so what is it? What your suggested term length?

And I'd like to remind you that we have China and the USSR to compare with the United States to see how well their copyright (or lack thereof) stimulated the ability to make a living out of creating copyrighted works. It's hard enough in the United States and probably impossible in today's China.

Re:No, Actually It's Exactly How It Was Stated (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41670077)

So what you're saying is that everything written over forty years ago is fair game and public domain?

No, what he's saying is that an excerpt of a 40 year old book used for educational purposes might be classified as fair use, and indeed unless the person was profiting from it, it would meet pretty much every prong of the fair use test: an insubstantial portion of the work, educational purpose, non-profit use. The fourth: effect on the market, can't be judged from my armchair. Funny that you berate him for "putting words in your mouth".

You're Confused, It Wasn't a Book (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41670105)

It was a handout and the whole thing was placed on the site.

Re:No, Actually It's Exactly How It Was Stated (1)

BMOC (2478408) | about 2 years ago | (#41670563)

What is the purpose of copyright? To allow a creator to profit from his or her creativity. What creativity in this case could possibly be profited from?

Fortunately, that's not for you or the United States legal system to decide. If you want to go insane and spend your entire life writing your book and then sell it for one hundred billion dollars per copy, you are more than free to do it. That is a personal freedom that cannot be taken away from an entrepreneur no matter how completely stupid it may sound.

In this internet age you're also free to paint mural a wall and try to charge admission for viewing it 40 years later, but people are generally not stupid enough to try this. We have lots of lawyers trying to maintain their industry size who are very active at trying to convince us that the sky is red, and that any and all media content should result in fees being paid to them to protect it.

Is the publisher actually going to lose money from a small portion of 40 year old book making it into the public domain?

Okay, we're starting to get somewhere. You say "forty years" because of this work. So what you're saying is that everything written over forty years ago is fair game and public domain? So I can make movies out of Sirens of Titan, A Clockwork Orange, To Kill a Mockingbird, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Dune, Catch-22, Stranger in a Strangeland, etc and not pay anyone a dime for those rights or royalties? Okay so where do you draw the line on copyright? Give us a proposed length and then we can start discussing this like adults instead of asking stupid vague rhetorical questions about a suicide prevention questionnaire.

Is the creator still profiting from it? If the answer is yes, then perhaps an argument can be made to protect it. If a publisher owns all rights to it and is simply protecting their rights, the enforcement of those rights does nothing to encourage creativity, rather such activity only destroys jobs in other industries. Also, action without PROOF that a creator is being harmed needlessly destroys the profitability of other media companies.

I said no such thing, but you're free to put words in peoples mouths if it gives you a reason to argue over nothing on the internet.

You did effectively say that.

No I didn't, go read the OP and quote where I stated any such thing. You're a writer, certainly you can understand how you misread my intended statement in such a way as to create an argument for you to then write about.

I would however suggest that creating something that is intended to benefit the public health be allowed to benefit public health first, and be used as a mechanism for profit SECOND. But apparently I am to consider myself in the minority in that viewpoint.

So here's another example of you making this a special case. Because this copyrighted work is medically related and might benefit public health, it has some special status that a creative work outside of this domain does not. And that's just laughably insane.

No, it's not a special case. If I design a car, I'm not designing a car because I want to patent the design and sell usage of the design. I design a car because I intend on manufacturing it and providing a tangible good in exchange for profit. My business in such a case is an interaction with a consumer of my goods, not legalized extortion to extract money for intangibles. All legitimate business works this way: you provide benefit to that consumers will pay for first, figure out how to profit second. If the distributors of owned media cannot profit any other way than keeping their product under lock and key, they will find themselves replaced sooner than they might think. This isn't a threat, it's just reality.

But I must be some kind of dreamer to hope that small business be allowed to create jobs first, and protect the property of other companies in different industries second, right?

Dude, your rhetoric is top notch.

No, it's just that you haven't faced a good argument yet, and you'd like to label my words as rhetoric so you can dismiss them. You might convince others on /. that you dismissed my argument, but I'm certain it's annoying you right now by that response.

So, suggesting that a portion of a work that was written 40 years ago might be better in the public domain actually makes you afraid to write? Are you for real?

Now who's putting words in someone's mouth? Where did I say that? What I said was that you're giving special status to some creative works over others so if I'm a writer, I'll stay away from your realms where I have a moral obligation to give it away for free or have a shorter term length on it just because it might help people.

Did you not say that what I wrote made you afraid to write? Did I not write that I thought that a single page from a 40 year old book might be better served to be in the public domain? I think you said exactly that, but are unable to make yourself not look ridiculous after having been called out on the absurdity.

On the plus side, you keep saying "40 years" so what is it? What your suggested term length?

15 years maximum on copyright, patents, and trademarks. After that, everything goes into the public domain. If your response to that is "Well we can still profit from this!" then you're being narrow-minded again. The purpose of copyright was to encourage CREATIVITY, not profit. If an artist can create one thing, and do nothing for 40 years, creativity is not served.

And I'd like to remind you that we have China and the USSR to compare with the United States to see how well their copyright (or lack thereof) stimulated the ability to make a living out of creating copyrighted works. It's hard enough in the United States and probably impossible in today's China.

And I would like to remind you that China's economy is exploding, and has been for over 10 years. Meanwhile, in the failed-patent-system copyright-jailed trademark-laden United States, we're facing a large double-dip recession, a currency on the brink of hyperinflation, and no new creative industries on the horizon to rescue us with job creation like the internet bubble did last time. More interestingly, we have an industry of lawyers that is expanding to punish the small business with violations of intellectual property rights. Are you seriously arguing that lax patent/copyright/trademark laws did not help allow China's economy to create so many jobs?

Re:No, Actually It's Exactly How It Was Stated (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41669455)

Ideal middle ground is that everything is public domain.

Pearson didn't come up with the research, they just made it available to others. Unfortunately they have featured prominently in lobbying to extend copyrights despite the fact that we have far more efficient methods for doing that now.

Bottom line: If you are producing anything that is trivial for someone else to copy at near-zero cost, then your had better either learn to rely on patrimony, performance or public funding (govt or crowd). Current copyright laws amount to paying for it to be made illegal to open barn doors 75 years after the horse has bolted, only slightly more ridiculous.

Sidenote: I found a copy of the questionnaire in the top 10 google results; and I think my score jumped a few points after reading yet another flawed defence of an indefensible theft of inherently communal property.

Re:No, Actually It's Exactly How It Was Stated (0)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 2 years ago | (#41669725)

Sidenote: I found a copy of the questionnaire in the top 10 google results; and I think my score jumped a few points after reading yet another flawed defence of an indefensible theft of inherently communal property.

"Flawed defense?" What the hell are you talking about? I myself think that copyright term limit should be reduced down to something more like 40-50 years on future works (from date of publishing). Even if I succeeded in doing that it would make this particular work still copyrighted because when they published it the law was ridiculously lengthy. How is something you write "inherently communal property"? It's something you wrote! It's yours! It's your idea!

Oh you found a copy of that questionnaire in the top 10 Google results? So that does what? Legitimizes this? When you watch the news and you see laws broken like tax evasion and they prosecute you think "Well, it's happening all over, anyone should be able to do it" and then you stop paying taxes? Because you google for tax evasion and see lots of cases of it?

Re:No, Actually It's Exactly How It Was Stated (2)

BMOC (2478408) | about 2 years ago | (#41670059)

How is something you write "inherently communal property"? It's something you wrote! It's yours! It's your idea!

This is where all arguments break down for me. Real ownership of ideas is simply not possible. It is a shoddy political construct that was granted to allow for creators to profit from intangible things. All human minds are essentially equal in capability, all are capable of understanding the same exact concepts. So nothing makes your brain more special for coming up with any particular idea. It is entirely likely that whatever you consider novel was actually thought of hundreds, perhaps thousands of times before in countless minds across humanity and human history. If you want to make your idea special... ACT ON IT. Making something tangible that benefits humanity is the most important thing you could do with your idea. The idea *IS WORTHLESS* by itself. You can't feed any population with thoughts. You can't clothe the masses with patents. You cannot send humans to the moon with only a well-calculated design. Ultimately to have any value you have to do something with your invention/creation that benefits someone else. Human thought should not be protectable by any sort of law or legal leverage, but that's exactly the system we've created and it's biting us in the ass bigtime.

Re:No, Actually It's Exactly How It Was Stated (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41669633)

Worse yet, the questionnaire was a suicide prevention questionnaire, so its existence in the public domain might actually save lives.

So what you're saying is that if I want to make money publishing my research, I should stay away from publishing suicide prevention materials since placing a copyright on that is morally reprehensible because if it's public domain it might actually save lives?

Placing a copyright on it that prevents your material from saving lives is unethical yes. Now if that's unethical because you placed the copyright or unethical because what a copyright is or how it is interpreted into law, thats where the solution to this moral dilemma is found.

Did you know that many if not all of those books are copyrighted and those authors benefited from copyright? Also before you go around equivocating this to burning books in Fahrenheit 451 you should probably come up with an ideal middle ground between where we are now and everything is public domain. Hyperbole doesn't really help this debate.

Ok, so it's unethical to use copyright to prevent saving lives but we still need copyright to compensate authors.
Perhaps we could propose the following:
Material that is submitted for copyright, but would actually save lives or be of great benefit to society without copyright, becomes public domain. Because its of benefit to society, the authors/creators should get some compensation, preferably from that society: some government subsidy or whatever.
Calculating such subsidy can be done:

Your research saved 100 lives?
The GDP per capita = x so you earned/saved the society 100*x.
No saving lives, still huge benefit, there will be a way to calculate that to.
And yes, authors really can wait for actual statistics or calculations about how their work benefited society. They can apparently wait 38 years and still deem it necessary to waste time/resources for TFA.

Re:It's actually worse than stated... (5, Funny)

chalkyj (927554) | about 2 years ago | (#41669609)

What sort of world would we be living in if you couldn't make a big fat profit out of suicide prevention? Certainly not a world I'd want to live in...

Re:It's actually worse than stated... (1)

cellocgw (617879) | about 2 years ago | (#41670497)

What sort of world would we be living in if you couldn't make a big fat profit out of suicide prevention? Certainly not a world I'd want to live in...

Obligatory "I see what you did there..."

But let's refine this model a bit. It's always nice to make a few bucks by providing a service, but it's much nicer when your clients keep needing the service. So let's make sure our SuicidePreventolaProcess only works so long as you pay for our monthly upgrades and bug fixes!

Re:It's actually worse than stated... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41669797)

Can we get a Streisand on this? I want TPB links to download the test.

Industrial feudalists' wet dream come true (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41669025)

Broad censorship of everything without any responsibility.

The only question is, why we don’t do the same to those who do that, to show them the bad end of the stick.

Probably because we don't want to become what we hate.

Re:Industrial feudalists' wet dream come true (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41669127)

Not to mention guaranteed profits for worthless copies (of the work of others) that took zero work for them to make. Completely circumventing the concept of supply and demand. (Going way beyond just artificial scarcity into the world of forced monopoly.)

Hahaha (4, Insightful)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about 2 years ago | (#41669047)

Something outright awesome about a HOPELESSNESS SCALE being the central topic of conversation in a COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT case.

Re:Hahaha (2)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about 2 years ago | (#41669091)

I just checked out Parsons too. The entry for the "product" reads:

Use this powerful predictor of eventual suicide to help you measure three major aspects of hopelessness: feelings about the future, loss of motivation, and expectations. Responding to the 20 true or false items on the Beck Hopelessness Scale® (BHS®), patients can either endorse a pessimistic statement or deny an optimistic statement. Predicts Eventual Suicide Research consistently supports a positive relationship between BHS scores and measures of depression, suicidal intent, and ideation.

They're charging 120.00 USD a pop for this baby. I've not taken the test, but I feel like I just failed it.

Re:Hahaha (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41669361)

They're charging 120.00 USD a pop for this baby. I've not taken the test, but I feel like I just failed it.

I'd rather kill my self than pay that price

Re:Hahaha (3, Interesting)

clodney (778910) | about 2 years ago | (#41669959)

Disclosure: I used to work for a company owned by Pearson.

$120 for a test is very much the reality of clinical testing. The research, norming and validation of the test are not cheap, and while I don't know anything about this particular test, instruments like this are normally developed and refined over multiple years of research. You are talking about lots of administrations in clinical settings, and follow ups to determine the eventual outcome of the patient. And research papers in peer reviewed journals to convince people in the industry that you have statistically valid results.

And any clinical test has a small market, since the number of people that can use it is relatively small. And usually getting paid by health insurance to boot.

Re:Hahaha (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41669279)

[...] a questionnaire, known as the Beck Hopelessness Scale [...]

Oh, come on. Beck's definitely more alt-rock, not emo or goth. That wasn't fair to name it after him.

Re:Hahaha (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about 2 years ago | (#41669365)

He's a scientologist. Hopeless is actually pretty fair.

Who is stupid enough to host anything on U$A? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41669065)

Oh yeah, the 'mericans...

Re:Who is stupid enough to host anything on U$A? (2)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#41669125)

Probably about half the people who host their blog in 'The Cloud'. The other half think they're hosting it in America, but 'The Cloud' is actually in Europe and they're breaking various privacy laws without even realising.

Beck's Hoplessness Scale, you say? (1)

slumberheart (1423685) | about 2 years ago | (#41669111)

I bet it's scored from 0 to "Soy un perdido"

Re:Beck's Hoplessness Scale, you say? (1)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | about 2 years ago | (#41669201)

Holy shit! I'm a loser, baby.

Re:Beck's Hoplessness Scale, you say? (1)

Digital Vomit (891734) | about 2 years ago | (#41669269)

I bet it's scored from 0 to "Soy un perdido"

I was trying to make sense of the grammar in that Spanish bit, but now I'm lost.

Re:Beck's Hoplessness Scale, you say? (1)

slumberheart (1423685) | about 2 years ago | (#41669293)

I should have spelled it "perdedor".

I guess I score pretty high on this scale.

information it owned? (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41669145)

You can't own information. You can have a "limited" time monopoly on its presentation, but you can't even own the document that holds the information.

Example: Your textbook says "Gravity was described by Sir Isaac Newton when an apple fell on his head." That little snippet alone would be fair use, but assume that one phrase is the entire work. Publish it and you're in violation of copyright. But reword the same information, "Sir Isaac newton developed his theory of gravity after an apple fell on his head" and you're not infringing anything.

If people keep saying you can own a work or even information, it will eventually be possible. So please stop it, you damned journalists!

Beck Hopelessness Scale (2)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41669149)

It ranges from Loser to Satan gave me a Taco.

1.5 million?! (2)

sanosuke001 (640243) | about 2 years ago | (#41669155)

All aside regarding how a 38 year old questionnaire still being protected under copyright and whether that is right or wrong, how does taking 1.5 million sites offline because of one site having a DMCA takedown request? Doesn't that seem completely ridiculous? That's like burning down the Library of Congress because we found termites in a shed out back.

Re:1.5 million?! (2)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 2 years ago | (#41669463)

No, its not "completely ridiculous" because Edublogs is a blog hosting site, just like Blogger - to take down one Edublog blog, the hosting company would have had to access and alter Edublogs databases and individual site settings without the permission of Edublogs, which would have had severe legal consequences. Better to have Edublogs lose their entire hosting ability in that case...

Re:1.5 million?! (1)

sanosuke001 (640243) | about 2 years ago | (#41669949)

Or forward the DMCA request to Edublogs and, if within a reasonable amount of time they do not comply, then knock them off.

Re:1.5 million?! (1)

sanosuke001 (640243) | about 2 years ago | (#41669987)

I should have RTFA; they state that two requests to remove the content were ignored. I blame Edublogs for all this bullshit (and the copyright system).

moral of the story (5, Insightful)

jest3r (458429) | about 2 years ago | (#41669171)

"Unfortunately, in early October automated systems at ServerBeach spotted a copy of the disputed blog entry stored in the working memory of software Edublogs uses to make sure web pages are displayed quickly. The copy of the blog entry was in this memory store - only visible internally"

So Server Beach has an automated system that detected copyright infringement in a "cache" file and automatically shut down the server before checking to see if it was actually visible to the public (which according to the article it was not)?

Moral of the story ... stop using Server Beach I guess.

This is scary for Server Beach customers because any copyrighted material could end up on disk (ie. if someone submits a form that writes to disk or into a database. Then the Server Beach script will nuke your site no questions asked!!!

Re:moral of the story (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41669281)

According to server beach they're all back up now, guessing not the 1 which had the takedown notice.

But still, not great for their reputation.

Re:moral of the story (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 2 years ago | (#41669283)

Stop using US located hosting companies. Server Beach is a symptom, not the disease, those are the laws. And the US people is about to give their seal of approval to the government that pushed that laws.

Re:moral of the story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41669291)

How do they detect that stuff, without *having a copy themselves*? A mere hash wouldn’t be able to get around minute word changes.
Also, what happens, if you submit something like that using their *own* forms? Let's try. ;)

Re:moral of the story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41669387)

Or american services. Apparently all it takes to bring down millions of blogs is a piece of paper of questionable legality.

Just goes to show you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41669227)

What happens when you let a bunch of FAGGET lawyers run the cuntry.

Just goes to show you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41670185)

What happens when you let a bunch of TEXANS run the edumacation.

Obligatory reference (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41669239)

I sense a great disturbance in the blogosphere, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out about useless bullshit, and were suddenly silenced...

Not a "legal" row (3, Insightful)

JobyOne (1578377) | about 2 years ago | (#41669251)

This row wasn't "legal" at all. Thanks to the fucking DMCA copyright infringement is now generally sorted out with the content "owners" functioning as judge and jury (because they're not at all biased or greedy). If the legal system isn't involved it's hardly a "legal" row, it's more like a shakedown.

mass mafiaso (1)

harvey the nerd (582806) | about 2 years ago | (#41670093)

It's more like a legbreaker. Now for a million people at a whack.

This is tantamount to the Muzzies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41669277)

This is tantamount to the Muzzies burning the library in Constantinople because they didn't like the books

Deep breath, people. (3, Insightful)

metrometro (1092237) | about 2 years ago | (#41669287)

This is less of a censorship issue as a service interruption issue. The service was down for about an hour.

The DMCA is deeply fucked and this illustrates how broken it is. But this particular event did massive harm to the hosting companies reputation of reliability -- which is pretty much the only thing it sells -- while the blogs in question were restored in entirely, other than the apparently copyrighted page in question. No hosting company is look at this and saying, "That's how we'll do it!"

There are censorship issues today, real ones, but they are aimed at the fringes where authors are pressured, official accounts are bullshit or information is hidden. Look at, for instance, Apple's refusal to allow an app that pushed notifications when the US killed someone with a drone attack. Meanwhile Microsoft is looking at that and saying "Let's lock down Metro apps!"

So... (1)

s0nicfreak (615390) | about 2 years ago | (#41669315)

We're not even going to pretend you can't own/hoard knowledge, anymore?

The original paper (5, Insightful)

clickety6 (141178) | about 2 years ago | (#41669323)

The original paper is available in a number of places - just search for PCA1clinical2011.pdf - and contains the original questions. Not sure how Pearson gets to claim copyright over something that was published in The Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology based on research probably conducted with public money (Univ. of PA, PA General HGopsital, Camden County Community Mental Health Program)

Executive summary (1)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | about 2 years ago | (#41669373)

Copyright holder contacts ISP about possible infringement in blogs hosted by their customer, Edublogs. Like it or not, 38 years is well within UK copyright terms, so it probably still is under copyright. Edublogs marks the offending article so it cannot be publicly seen any more. However, it does NOT disappear from their systems. ISP runs a program that finds that the blog is still on the client servers and equates that with "Gasp! Entire world can see it! INFRINGEMENT ALERT!" and goes into panic mode. ISP contacts Edublogs via email and gets no response. Fearing the copyright holder's wrath, ISP shuts down ENTIRE Edublogs site to stop one blog that couldn't be publicly seen anyway. Edublogs basically says "Dude. You've got our phone numbers. Why didn't you call any of them instead of relying on email?".

i dont agree with all t hese copyright things (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41669537)

i do agree that if you own something, you should get paid for it. however, i think things have just gone too far. 'they' allow companies to copyright anything and everything, but companies don't patent things ahead of time. people do. always have. now the ones that do are given bad names so the rest of us don't do something similar. suing over a 40 year old suicide questioner shouldn't happen. the judge should have thrown that out. the people suing over this should have their names made public. it would only be fair i think. if their going to do something so disrespectful and mean as to sue over the 'use' of that. i can see the CEO complaining about it now...

no, i don't care how many lives that could save, they did not pay me for its use, lets sue them bastards into the ground! we need to get all 15 cents that we deserve!

anyone else read this as (1)

milkmage (795746) | about 2 years ago | (#41669603)

The Edublogs site went dark for about an hour after its hosting company, ServerBeach, pulled the plug.

ServerBReach?

Good business, poor business (2)

mveloso (325617) | about 2 years ago | (#41669793)

ISPs are run by technical people, who are somewhat notorious for poor people skills.

The site owner TFA:

Rather than shutting down the site, he said, it could have done "something simple, like, calling any of the three numbers for us they have on file".

Why didn't they just call? Oh wait, that would involve human contact.

Reasonably quick solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41669905)

So the origin of the problem is Pearson's bullying tactics to ensure the quick buck, right? Let's take care of that and the problem disappears.

Being that the Fall semester is drawing to a close, the legion of book peddlers are out to ensure that all students in the Spring have only Pearson books. What if everyone with an interest in gettting EduBlogs back online makes sure to leave no doubt to Pearson's minions that no more books will be purchased till the silly DMCA notice is withdrawn and EduBlogs is back online. Pretty sure that a credible threat to the bottom margin is wonderfully persuasive.

Here's the real problem... (1)

Harvey Manfrenjenson (1610637) | about 2 years ago | (#41670005)

The real problem is that there are too many copywritten, closed-source rating scales being used in mental health. The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-2), the MMPI-2, the SIRS, the BIDR, the MMSE, and on and on... These are all used clinically and are also used in peer-reviewed research which affects clinical practice (e.g., they are used in human trials to get FDA approval for medications). They're important, and some of them are good (or at least interesting) tools.

But when copyright forbids you from revealing what is in the rating scales, this leads to a peculiar situation. You can publish a study saying "Drug X produced a 20% reduction in the BDI-2", but you're not allowed to describe the details of what is on the Beck Depression Inventory. You can publish a 50-page "validation study" of the MMPI-2, which is full of tables stating that "a positive response to question #211 correlated with this or that clinical outcome", but you'd better not indicate what question #211 was.
(The reader is expected to have paid $200 or whatever it is to obtain their own copy of the MMPI-2 so that they can follow along).

One consequence of this is that researchers are inhibited from discussing, or even thinking about, the "content validity" of the scales they use. You're unlikely to find a researcher commenting about scale items that are ambiguously worded, or which don't measure what they claim to measure. (Did you know that the MMPI-2 contains a "Psychopathic Deviate" subscale, and that one of the items on this subscale pertains to whether the subject has ever used illicit drugs? That sort of thing.) If any discussion of content validity takes place, it is conducted by the healthcare providers who actually use or develop the scales, and who have a financial and professional interest in seeing the scales as "valid". The general public doesn't get to have an opinion, because they don't get to look at the scales.

What's needed is an open source movement within the mental health field. Some researchers at St. Louis University have already created an open-source alternative to the MMSE (called the SLUMS)-- it's a good start, but much more is needed.

In memory?? (1)

phorm (591458) | about 2 years ago | (#41670369)

Unfortunately, in early October automated systems at ServerBeach spotted a copy of the disputed blog entry stored in the working memory of software Edublogs uses to make sure web pages are displayed quickly.

What frightens me is that hosting apparently have these programs running and actively scanning *memory*
How many providers do this, and for how much content? Seems like it would be a significant performance hit if your server is running some app that is constantly scanning through RAM for a huge list of copyrighted material.

What else do they scan for? Music? Videos?

But why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41670573)

Why don't they shutter google too since google almost certainly has the page cashed, or the wayback machine, they probably have a copy too. It was an internal cashe, it would have been purged over time anyway.

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