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06 Apr 2021
Back in the 1980s, everyone used the Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet on their PCs.
In 1989, Borland released a competitor, Quattro Pro.
It used the same menu commands as 1-2-3 so that users could import their 1-2-3 spreadsheets
with keyboard macros.
Lotus sued Borland, and after a loss in the district court, Borland won on appeal, arguing
that the keyboard commands are a "method of operation" and not subject to copyright.
Lotus appealed to the Supreme Court, which deadlocked 4-4 (one justice was recused) in 1996.
That meant the appeals court decision was affirmed but it did not set a formal precedent.
Since then everyone assumed that settled the matter, you can't copyright the way a program works
or its interfaces.
Well, everyone except one guy in Hawaii.
See more ...
Stable link is https://jl.ly/Copyright_Law/oragoog.html
18 Jan 2021
When one person transmits the speech of another, we have had three legal models which I would
characterize as Magazine, Bookstore, and Railroad.
The Magazine model makes the transmitting party a publisher who is
entirely responsible for whatever the material says.
The publisher selects and reviews all the material it published.
If users contribute content such as letters to the editor, the publisher
reviews them and decides which to publish.
The publishing process usually involves some kind of broadcast, so
that many copies of the material go to different people.
See more ...
Stable link is https://jl.ly/Internet/commoncast.html
23 Oct 2020
The 20th century was the golden age of surveillance.
See more ...
Stable link is https://jl.ly/Internet/goodold.html
14 Oct 2020
I get a lot of mail from political campaigns. I expect a lot of us do.
In my case, each campaign gets a separate e-mail address so I can track how much they pass the addresses around.
(Nothing surprising, local passes them to national for the same party, stuff like that.)
While I was supposed to be doing something else, I wrote some scripts to track the mail, per campaign.
You can see the results, updated daily, at https://www.taugh.com/polispam.php.
If it looks like one day the Republican presidential campaign sent me 15 separate messages, yup, they did.
It's not entirely clear what their strategy is because they keep telling me that I am one of their TOP 100 SUPPORTERS
even though I've never sent them a dime.
Stable link is https://jl.ly/Email/polispam.html
14 Sep 2020
The Internet Archive scans paper books and lets people borrow the scans. In what they call Controlled
Digital Lending (CDL), scans of books still in copyright are limited to one person at a time per physical copy,
analogous to the one person at a time who can borrow a physical book from a library. For books not in
copyright, there's no limit on how many people can use the scans at once.
Earlier this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, they turned CDL into a National Emergency
Library that let multiple people borrow the in-copyright
scans as well, saying this was a temporary replacement while local libraries were closed, and indeed
they want back to the one-borrower CDL policy in mid-June.
The publishing industry has never liked CDL, and the expanded access was for them the last straw, leading four
large publishers to sue the Archive in early June to make them stop.
The suit is moving very slowly, with the current schedule running through at least September 2021 before
a trial could start,
but in the meantime, lots of people have opinions about the suit, such as a recent
in The Nation.
The public face of the Archive's CDL is
who started the Archive and still leads it.
Since those publishers are pretty faceless, the most visible public face of opposition to the CDL
Ed Hasbrouck, one of the leaders of the National Writers Union (to
which I belong so he's sort of my shop steward.)
Ed's written a lot about CDL, such as
this FAQ on the NWU web site.
I happen to know and like both Brewster and Ed, each of whom has been kind enough to invite me to dinner
at their respective houses when I was in town.
So which one is right?
See more ...
Stable link is https://jl.ly/Copyright_Law/cdl.html
My other sites
Who is this guy?
Airline ticket info
Internet Society Send An Open Letter to the Government of Canada
68 days ago
A keen grasp of the obvious
New Hope for the Dead
131 days ago
Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail
Network Abuse Clearinghouse