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Comment Re:What does this mean for free software copyright (Score 1) 141

Oracle vs Google re: the Java API comes to mind as one noteworthy example...

But what, exactly, makes their use of this work "fair"? They rebroadcasted the work without permission of the copyright holder, and I'm not sure they even acknowledged the copyright holder in their rebroadcast. Unless facebook live's terms of usage states that they own the content that is uploaded to it, I think that the guy's copyright was most definitely infringed.

Comment Re:CRISPR for the masses (Score 1) 161

Eugenics became a dirty word because of Nazis, who would improve humanity by killing off the "degenerates". But there is nothing wrong with improving the human stock per se..

Perhaps not, except for the fact that if you *don't* "kill off the degenerates", then they will continually breed with your so-called "improved stock", defeating any attempts to improve them over the course of generations, unless you legislate mandatory sterilization for absolutely everyone that does not fit certain criteria, which itself poses no small ethical problem for those that might consider it... Perhaps almost ironically, it has much in common with the ethical problems created by outlawing abortion.

Comment Re:If the *.AA think it's bad (Score 1) 134

Nothing in the definition of property necessitates that it should necessarily be physical or tangible, that is a wholly arbitrary distinction that you have randomly chosen to apply to it.... The only criteria for property is that it belongs to someone... and at best the only reason why the exclusivity of control would not be considered property is because perhaps you, personally, do not recognize it as such.... but because that exclusivity is entirely the point of having copyright in the first place, the law recognizes that this exclusivity *does* belong to the copyright holder, and so any unauthorized copying of their works amounts to theft of that property to a commensurate degree. You can steal cable and internet bandwidth, for example... neither of these have any tangible component, but they are the property of those who have rightful access to them, and as such can most *definitely* still be stolen.

Comment Re:If the *.AA think it's bad (Score 1) 134

Theft - the unlawful deprivation from the rightful owner of some of their lawfully recognized property.

Copyright infringement - the unlawful deprivation from the rightful owner of some measure of exclusivity of control over who may copy a work. This exclusivity is supposed to be part of copyright, and so is rightfully the property of the copyright holder. You can hardly say that the copyright holder has just as much exclusivity of control over who may copy a work if somebody copies the work without authorization because by definition, exclusive means that nobody else is doing it.

So how, exactly, is copyright infringement not theft?

Comment Re:If the *.AA think it's bad (Score 1) 134

I agree, but the solution to that is to address the moral rights that the public have to public domain works... to write letters to representatives and to educate more people to do likewise, not to go and infringe on copyright. All that taking the latter approach will do is make the rights holders push harder and harder at trying to enforce their rights, resulting in increased inconvenience for everyone. DRM, anyone? It perpetuates an arms race that nobody is going to win.

Comment Re:If the *.AA think it's bad (Score 1) 134

My point is that copyright infringement still deprives the copyright holder of something they would have otherwise had without the infringement, the exclusivity of control over who may make copies, so the argument that it can't be theft because the copyright holder doesn't lose anything is invalid. I remain resolute in the notion that the only real reason that people object to calling copyright infringement "theft" is because they don't want to feel guilty about doing it, and they want to somehow rationalize to themselves that it's okay when they think that theft is still wrong. I would suggest that such people should better spend their efforts on explaining why such theft is actually morally justified than trying to call it something other than what it is.

Comment Re:If the *.AA think it's bad (Score 1) 134

First, when you infringe on copyright by electronic distribution nobody is claiming that any electrons are being stolen.... what is actually being stolen is a commensurate portion of the copyrighter's exclusive right to control who is allowed to copy the work... if someone is copying the work without permission, they are effectively permanently usurping that control from the copyright holder (since the copyright holder never actually regains any of the control over copying that was lost by unauthorized copying unless the unauthorized copy and all of its descendants are destroyed).

Now what is being stolen here is admittedly intangible, but that does not mean that it does not have a quantifiable value to the rights holder, and in this way copyright infringement fully meets the criteria of depriving the original holder of something, which is typically cited as an argument for why making a copy can't be considered stealing.

One may not agree that the rights holder should have those exclusive rights in the first place, but that does not alter the fact that the law recognizes that they do.

Infringing on copyright is theft. Convincing yourself otherwise is just rationalizing the behavior so that one can think they don't need to feel guilty about it. Honestly, I think they'd do well to just admit that they don't think that the rights holder ought to have those exclusive rights in the first place and say that they are just usurping the rights holder's rights on those grounds.... at least then they are being honest with themselves and with others.

Comment Re:Why the fuck do people *swerve*??? (Score 1) 640

The entire point of using the brake in an emergency is to slow down so that you can *give* your brain more time to figure out what is wrong and correct it. Obviously you don't brake on a skid, but you definitely shouldn't be trying to acellerate either. Again, the slower the car is moving, the better your position is going to be with regards to dealing with the situation. This was not a situation where she was under a skid however... this is a situation where a person swerved to avoid one thing she didn't expect and drove right into a situation that they had even less time to react to and exemplifies the very reason why swerving should *NEVER* be your goto response to seeing something on the road that you did not expect to see.

Obviously she should not have been driving drunk in the first place, but if people weren't so fucking obsessed with using the steering wheel as some sort of collision avoidance system and the instinctive response to seeing something you did not expect being to try and slow down, with skids alone being treated as a special case, then even when drunk she would have slowed down first before trying to pull over... and while the accident may have still occurred, at the lower speed it may not have killed both her and her passenger.

Slowing down when you see something that you don't expect is just part of defensive driving, and I think it's unfortunate that it isn't drilled into more young people as they are learning how to drive.

Comment Re:Why the fuck do people *swerve*??? (Score 1) 640

You don't try and steer while under heavy braking, you brake so that you give your brain more time to visually assess *WHERE* you can safely steer to. The fact that she steered the car right into a building and tree exemplifies the fact that swerving to avoid a coillision is generally the *WORST* thing you can do, because you haven't yet assessed whether where you are swerving to is actually any safer. In this case, she swerved into a situation that she had even *LESS* time to react to, whereas if she had slowed down first and *THEN* pulled over, she would have had more time to react before hitting anything on the side of the road.

Comment Why the fuck do people *swerve*??? (Score 1) 640

If you are approaching something that you didn't expect to see, you should be slowing the fuck down, not trying to swerve away into god knows what. This gives your brain more time to assess the situation, and you can then try to *safely* and slowly pull over, because you can look for a safe place to move the car off to the side instead of pointing the car randomly at what may be something just as bad or maybe worse.

Of course she was drunk anyways, and her judgement was impaired which can prevent her from making rational decisions but if while she was being taught to drive it had been hammered into her brain that using the brake was to become the *instinctive response* to any unexpected situation while driving, then she probably wouldn't have been swerving into a tree in the first place.

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