Archive for March, 2011

Netflix Subscribers — Watch Out for Hollywood!

I mentioned last December how Hollywood, in it’s infinite stupidity, was becoming upset with the success of Netflix’s streaming video service.  Looks like they’re notching up the pressure now, with Showtime and Starz both limiting and/or delaying content that they’ll make available to Netflix.

Mike Masnick @ Techdirt has a great post that covers Hollywood’s “plan” to kill Netflix.  Be sure to read his reference articles from the LA Times & Variety.

It never fails to amaze me how the content industry, as a whole, continues to cut its own throat — over…  and over…  and over again.  They rant & rave about how piracy is killing their business, yet all they do is eliminate — one by one — any and all legal means to obtain their content.  If they cannot fully control it, they fight it.

If the only competition (legal or not) is P2P — then my “vote” is with P2P.

P.S.  You might find interesting this other post from Techdirt a few weeks ago concerning Hollywood.

Copyright History… nothing ever changes

I finally finished reading Adrian Johns’ Piracy: The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates last month.  It’s long — over 500 pages in length — but well worth the effort.  Rather than write a formal book review at this time, let me say that it can be briefly summed it up with the words “greed” and “monopolies.”  Mr. Johns coins the term “Intellectual Property Defense Industry,” which has emerged and developed over the past 40+ years to confront so-called piracy.  It is now a coherent, global, high-technology enterprise.  In addition, it now has the backing of the US Government (Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, or “Copyright Czar”) and Dept of Homeland Security’s ICE (Immigration & Custom Enforcement).  Mr. Johns states that we appear to be entering a “crisis” stage of copyright and that we’re ripe for a transformation.  He states in the last chapter:

“We may therefore be about to experience a profound shift in the relation between creativity and commerce.  It will be the most radical revolution in intellectual property since the mid-eighteenth century.  It may even represent the end of intellectual property itself.”

I certainly hope he’s right!

If you’re not yet ready to tackle a 500+ page book on copyright, I strongly recommend you read Rick Falkvinge’s seven-part  series on “The History of Copyright.”  It’s short, entertaining, enlightening and has been declared as ‘reference material.’  Before reading the history, be sure to read the first link in which Rick defines what copyright is (and is not):

Copyright is not a property right. It is a limitation of property rights. Copyright is a government-sanctioned private monopoly that limits what people may do with things they have legitimately bought.

Here are the links:

7-Part History of Copyright series (by Rick Falkvinge):

And lastly, here’s a couple more excellent copyright articles by Rick Falkvinge:

Dat’s all for now…

Daylight Savings Time – this weekend – don’t forget these items!

Daylight Savings Time begins this Sunday, March 13th at 2:00 am.  Two items I ALWAYS forget to set are my digital cameras and the electronic thermostat for my heating system.  In addition to those, I also forget to set the times in my “old” Davis weather station & indoor/outdoor digital thermometer which record Hi/Lo Temps & the time that they occurred.

Personally, I wish they’d just pick one time standard or the other and leave it at that.  The only value I seem to get for ‘the changing of the times’ is that it forces me to remember how to set all the damn cheap digital watches our family has accrued over many years (and seldom wear, either).  Oh yeah… and did I mention setting the time on my car radios?  Aren’t they just a royal pain in the arse!

Anywho’s… Happy “Daylight Savings Time” Weekend & enjoy losing an hour of sleep!

* Don’t forget — set your clocks AHEAD by one hour.

** And yeah… the only reason I’m putting this in my blog is that I’m hoping — for the first time ever — I’ll  remember to set the time in my cameras & thermostat!