Archive for April, 2010

Spring in Colorado… April 23-24, 2010

Here’s what Spring in Colorado looks like this year, 15 miles NE of Colorado Springs.  Received approx. 22″ of snow between midnight Thurs and Saturday afternoon:

img_6453_resize.JPG  img_6457_resize.JPG  img_6471_resize.JPG  img_6490_resize.JPG

img_6509_resize.JPG NOT a happy camper! Western Bluebird

Western Bluebird & Pine Siskins Flicker Western Bluebird

iPad vs. Disneyland…

Meant to post this a couple weeks ago — an interesting blog post at “Freedom to Tinker” comparing the iPad to Disneyland .

(Remember… this isn’t an iPad slam… just an interesting comparison… and one that I happen to think is apt)

The Western Bluebirds are back again!

We never saw these birds the first several years we lived here, but they arrived one Spring 7-8 years ago.  We quickly constructed some bluebird nest boxes and they have been returning ever since.  These photos were taken April 7, 2010, on or near the bird feeder.

  Western Bluebird  Western Bluebird  Western Bluebird

(They kinda’ look fake, eh?  But I assure you, they’re real!  Mighty purdy birds they are.)

Copyright news over the past month…

It’s been a busy month for copyright news.  Just last week we heard that the US Government Accounting Office (GAO) released a report concerning Piracy that pretty much “poo poos” nearly all claims by the media industries concerning what the cost of piracy is.  Of course, the RIAA has already lambasted the GAO’s report.

Here’s a list of articles that discuss the GAO report conclusions:


Next we have news from Ireland that “copyright is a fundamental right” and it’s perfectly OK (& legal) to kick copyright infringers off the Internet:


Then we have this amazing “Wish List for fighting piracy” from the RIAA & MPAA in their comments to the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC).  This includes items such as requiring anti-infringement software to be installed on home computers.  These folks must be the aliens that 1/5 of people in a recent poll believe exist.  Only someone from another world could come up with a list like this!

If you’d like to see a more reasonable & balanced  input, read what Mike Masnick over at TechDirt submitted last month here.


Great article in the The Economist a couple weeks ago discussing “Why the rules on copyright need to return to their roots.


And from a month ago, an article concerning the warnings of “Piracy” author Adrian Johns titled “Historian warns against copyright-fight heavy hitting” from “The Register.”


For some interesting background info concerning copyright law in the international arena, check out the “Copy/South Research Group.”  They’ve published the following PDF documents that are freely available:

Dat’s all for now…

April 10: Copyright is 300 Years Old…

For an interesting read about the 300th birthday of copyright, take a look at this excellent post by Thom Holwerda at OS News “Copyright Turns 300 Today.

If only we could turn the clock back to 1710, when works were protected for a term of 14 years, extendable only once.  That’s actually what our copyright terms were when incorporated within the U.S. Constitution — Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 — in 1787 & in the first U.S. copyright law in 1790.

So where are we now?  Copyright “has metamorphsed from a narrow, short-term exclusive right to print books to a broad bundle of rights lasting for upwards of a century” (Copyright’s Paradox by Neil Weinstock Netanel).  Take a look at this copyright term chart from Tom Bell at Wikipedia:

Expansion of U.S. Copyright Law

Economists have confirmed that copyrights now endure for a time that is essentially “functionally perpetual.”

Even Lawrence Lessig (author of numerous books on copyright) has apparently given up on the possibility that any meaningful changes and/or improvements can be made to current U.S. copyright law.  The deck is just too stacked against it (i.e., extensive lobbying by media conglomerates; an extremely receptive ear in Congress; copyright-friendly courts; and even the President & his administration).

I myself, as many, was mildly optimistic that with the election of a younger, more tech savvy president, that the new administration might see the ludicrousness of current U.S. copyright law.  NOT!!!  Do you realize that President Obama has appointed five RIAA lawyers so far to the Justice Department?  In addition, he has not only openly sided with the RIAA & MPAA, but backs the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)!

Yes… this is indeed a sad time for copyright , certainly not worthy of any birthday celebration whatsoever.