* Posts by Andrew Orlowski

1328 posts • joined 6 Sep 2006

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EU court: Linking to pirated stuff doesn't breach copyright... except when it does

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

In theory but not in practice.

You would need to use tort law to obtain an injunction against an infringing site, because the right to communicate would triumph. There would be no recourse to copyright law, therefore "copyright protection" ceases.

Read carefully - you will be less confused.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Umm

What you're describing is secondary liability theory.

The difference between the internet and real life here should be obvious. The link is not merely Information, a signpost, as you suggest. To some extent, the link is helping deliver the infringing material into someone's possession. It's part of a new distribution chain too. So it's both.

So, your analogy that the link is "only information" collapses here. Secondary liability theory has to evolve along with common sense.

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Larry Page snuffs out ‘too expensive’ Google Fiber project

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Actually an argument for a public utility to own the last mile

Please show your sums.

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Google quietly takes gag off Mississippi AG after wrecking ads probe

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: You missed...

"Copyright terror"

The MPAA angle was a conspiracy theory that Google generated so you took your eyes off the ball. Some people are easily distracted. Copyfighter view everything as a conspiracy, and the most easily distracted of all.

The fact is that 75 pages of the 79 page subpoena are about not about Google's copyright behaviour, and 4 pages are. Maybe Hood should be doing more to protect musicians, given Mississippi's rich musical history? But that's not what you're saying.

We do provide the link to the subpoena in every story, so intelligent readers can make their own minds up.

Watch the pea not the cup.

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Spotify, YouTube pay musicians with ever-shrinking buttons

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: This is where the party ends

It's that shit sandwich again.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: This is where the party ends

Music is certainly providing riches for some people today, but they're just not in the music industry.

The old models of the recent past supported a "middle class" of creators for 40 years, who never actually recouped. They were redistributive.

The idea that everyone who actually makes the music now has to be poor from now on is very self-serving. You're really just saying that a gigantic shit sandwich isn't so bad if you think about it enough.

It's still a gigantic shit sandwich.

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The Great Brain Scan Scandal: It isn’t just boffins who should be ashamed

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Given how this intelligentsia reacts to criticism,

I'm referring to the appetite for behaviourist explanations from the political class. This demand creates the supply (and even funds it). The demand is the incentive to cut corners, and pump out impressive-sounding rubbish. Scientists (even trick cyclists in psychology) don't operate in a vacuum.

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Wealthy youngsters more likely to be freetards than anyone else – study

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: Someone forgot a Golden Rule

Rumbled.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Following this argument

That is a classic troll. 10/10

I love the internets.

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Happy Mappiversary, Ordnance Survey

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: The London map is already up for sale

Maybe it's not quite finished - like Slartibartfast, they're working on the crinkly bits.

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Three non-obvious reasons to Vote Leave on the 23rd

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: I'm In

@rmason

This isn't right:

"As Andrew mentioned his dad in the article never meeting a single person who voted the other way"

That wasn't written or even implied. Most people he met were pro-Common Market. Most of our neighbours and his colleagues were pro-Common Market. He wasn't, and the Doctor wasn't.

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This is how the EU's supreme court is stripping EU citizens of copyright protections

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: I don't fully understand...

"A hyperlink is purely a direction towards material. How can hyperlinking to content which is in violation of copyright itself be a violation of copyright?"

Uh. Because it's the internet, and the principles have to apply. You're talking about secondary liability. A bunch of hyperlinks giving a user direct access to all the content in the world, that isn't licensed, doesn't have a physical analogy. Physical analogies don't really apply, principles do. So the courts have to grope their way towards a just theory of secondary liability.

Your argument (possibly made more in hope than expectation) is "Not illegal. Because internet."

That ship sailed a long time ago.

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Why Oracle will win its Java copyright case – and why you'll be glad when it does

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: According to Mr. Orlowski

I'm glad you raised the SCO story, because people should remember what happened. The SCO story fundamentally undermines the argument that the "copyrightability of APIs" will have any new chilling effect on software. SCO tried it and was blown up.

You say you want more truth and less misinformation, but then start going on about clean rooms and I'm not sure why. Patents were not part of the 2016 case. Google didn't even attempt to mount a clean room defense, because Rubin knew exactly what Google was doing:

"My reasoning is that either a) we'll partner with Sun as contemplated in our recent discussions or b) we'll take a license. I think a clean-room implementation is unlikely because of the teams prior knowledge."

- Andy Rubin.

Like I explained, you don't need to copy someone's copyrighted work, you can create your own. Or use something else. But if you do copy a copyrighted work, you need a license. Google decided to copy but not get a license, and has bluffed its way along ever since.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: Author is Dead Wrong

" if the argument put forward in the article is to hold, then Oracle can also be sued by Nokia Bell Labs for copying C/C++-like commands and stdlib calls and syntax."

No.

This is one of the biggest myths about the case. Just because something falls under copyright, doesn't mean you can be used in to assert infringement. Words are copyrightable. We can't go after people for copyright infringement for using "Itanic" or "cloudobile". You can't defend a word.

What SCO did was what you said: try to use copyright to close down use of APIs, and failed. SCO failed instantly and spectacularly. The law hasn't changed, so why do you think anyone else is going to have a go?

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Author = Idiot or worse

Actually, as a former developer, I understand it fairly well. You either don't understand or misrepresent the most basic stuff: why FOSS works, and what copyright covers.

The law treats code as as an original expression covered by copyright, and the design and arrangement of the interfaces indivisible from that. You use "permissive" to describe "copyleft" as if they're interchangeable; they are very specific technical terms in this context.

I am sympathetic to taking code out of copyright altogether and giving it a sui generis IP right, but that's not going to happen any time soon, and is a whole other discussion.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Multiple points

Thanks for the comment Paul, but just to clarify the history:

"In the previous trial the judge had some computer knowledge and ruled, quite reasonably, that blocking API re-use is against the whole of software inter-compatibility and so not the intended outcome."

It's the same Judge in both the 2012 and the 2016 trials.

The Judge's interoperability argument in 2012 was subsequently shot down on appeal in 2013/2014. They appellate hearing ruled that interop is irrelevant. (There are other laws with which you can go after interoperability, and the EU did just that in EU vs MS. But you can't use interoperability as a get-out-of-jail-free card when you've been copying without a license.)

"The currently finished trial said no, APIs are under copyright by the legal definition of this, so the trial was on point 2, and it ruled re-implementation is "fair use".

It was the 2013/14 appeal that confirmed that APIs are under copyright. Which doesn't mean APIs are very "defend-able". Look what happened when SCO tried it.

The clean room discussion applies to patent, not copyright cases.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: That's not what free software is about

This is why I emphasised the need to think from first principles:

"What the author is doing here is just repeating what Oracle claims. Oracle is, as we all know, not really a proponent of Free Software"

So it follows that you can discount the validity of any and all statements based on the speaker's political views. Turn off your critical faculties and discount every argument Oracle makes.

Not all of Oracle's claims are supportable, particularly the claim made at Arse that last week's trial sets a legal precedent. It doesn't at all.

But you're taking a position of convenience, in which you avoid the tough issues raised by the case. Are rip-offs OK sometimes? What if your open source code has been swallowed a giant corporation, like Oracle, which incorporates your code and shouts "Fair Use!" in your face. Fighting them on a tort is much harder than fighting them on copyright infringement grounds. There is a risk of a genuine chilling effect here.

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SHOCK: GM crops are good for you and the planet, reckon boffins

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

"kaching! big money behind study, big money behind article, big money behind comment section"

Where's my cheque, then?

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Queen’s Speech: Digital Bill to tackle radicalisation, pirates

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: That's just cover

If you RTFA and my comment, you'd know this won't ensnare casual torrenters. The IPO has made that clear. Egregious hasn't changed.

I'll explain what you're doing here, anon, because I see it a lot, but you provide one of the best examples of this phenomenon anywhere on the web.

Rather than offering a dispassionate analysis of the evidence, your comments are entirely driven by a persecution complex. You *need* to see evidence that you're being persecuted. Every day you wake up and need to see evidence of persecution. Persecution is possibly what gives life meaning.

Just a thought, but maybe this isn't particularly healthy or effective? You seem intelligent enough to deal with copyright issues better than you do, without the paranoia or persecution.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: Still might be a tad excessive

Exactly.

Large companies can lobby for better terms, stiff the competition, and are better placed to deal with regulation.

Commercial piracy hits indies - eg, the small software house, the small games developer, the small publisher or label - the hardest. So does the takedown framework. Freetards really hate to hear this and will do anything to reject reality. This says a lot about the quality of such arguments in 2016.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: That's just cover

"Are we talking about extending existing civil liability into the criminal space or are we just talking about upping the sentence for the existing crime?"

I would have thought that's obvious, not just from the original article, but my comment.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: That's just cover

I know it's far too much trouble to RTFA, but anyway.

There is no change in copyright law. The threshold for bringing a prosecution has not changed. What a jury needs to determine guilt has not changed, either. The only thing that changes here is what a Judge can determine at the end of a trial, after the jury has returned a guilty verdict. A Judge is still free to determine what ever sentence he sees fit, but it can't be longer than 10 years.

"The proposed change is to make copyright infringement a crime with up to 10 years for NON commercial infringement."

No. That's not even wrong.

The word you missed here is "egregious". Which means "extraordinary", which if you're still struggling, means "out of the ordinary".

You cannot today be infringing on a massive scale, and turn around and argue that Daddy left you a nice trust fund, and that you actually run at a loss, and/or give away anything your operation earns to cat charity. That doesn't work, and nothing changes here either.

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The Lonely Pirate MEP's Holocaust copyright stunt backfires

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: It is out of copyright

"Andrew, the cost (and beneficiary) of the (DRM, rented) Kindle edition is irrelevant, the whole of the story is around copyright terms."

That's the same mistake Reda made. She thinks people give a flying fuck, and they don't.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

I write about the problems with digital copyright every day. People like the protections that copyright gives them (it's an automatic right - no registration) and they want the system to work well. The "abolition of copyright" movement never even got off the ground. Modern technology allows people to create and share their work more easily but the legal protections haven't kept pace.

A few narcissistic nutters want to weaken the protections, and cling desperately to any evidence they can find that it doesn't work. It's sad they still think that it's 1995. Term length is one of the few "unfairnesses" left. But we are in Comical Ali territory here.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Pot, kettle...

You need to look in the mirror, veti.

" Let's cut copyright terms already, since according to you they make no difference anyway."

If getting copyright to work properly, it probably wouldn't be in the top ten issues to address. Only a few loony obsessives care, who are desperate to avoid reality.

I think a few of the high profile figures have so much of their identity invested in this they don't want to lose face.

No one cares about copyright term lengths. People care about problems with copyright that are real and immediate - like not getting paid, or being able to walk out of the room with a fair deal. Or access to justice.

The loonysphere clings on to term length because it needs to feel aggrieved, and it needs to avoid reality - It's a bit of driftwood for a drowning man.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: "when actually allowed to say anything at all by the mods"

@scrubber

I'm not sure why you think repeating something false and misleading makes your point any less false or misleading. Eg: "Your view that only industrial infringers will be hit is naive in the extreme."

It is regrettable you were misled by the article. But a large part of that is because you actively go out of your way to be misled, because you require the persecution complex.

eg, "They have managed to ruin companies like Aereo"

Seriously? Aereo was a short-lived engineering hack around a loophole in the law. It would not have been created otherwise. It failed, and deservedly, IMHO. It makes you sad that a startup designed to rip people off failed, but few people outside the loonysphere of copyright slacktivism would agree with you.

You really won't be able to understand complex copyright politics (and there's lots to fix here) unless you let go of your persecution complex. Yes, huge corporations rip people off - but you're blind to the ripoff.

Do RTFA. It's exactly the mentality I'm describing:

"Instead of adjusting their politics to the reality of Facebook and Google, the activists have become trapped down an intellectual cul-de-sac, and have to adjust reality to their politics."

That's what you're doing: you won't let go of your big political idea, so you've become highly selective with reality. Over and over again. I wonder if some sort of intervention is needed?

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Why would you want to rip off a charitable foundation?

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: "when actually allowed to say anything at all by the mods"

No, you illustrate the copyfighter's persecution complex I describe perfectly.

The 10 year penalty recommended by the Government after a consultation applies only to industrial scale pirates, bringing the law It doesn't apply to home users as the IPO has clarified.

see: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/01/29/slacktivism_robo_responses_shredded/

So to recap. Your persecution complex has led you to a) misunderstand the law because you need to feel you are persecuted by copyright; b) then get even angrier leading to more feelings of rejection, persecution and paranoia. It's a vicious circle only you can break.

You could try being less angry and persecuted. Just a thought.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

"I love the implication "If you don't like copyright then you're a dictator!!"

Er, no: RTFA. Authoritarian regimes don't like the individual asserting their rights. Particularly their rights over their cultural works. That's just a fact.

"It currently is not even remotely fair on all sides because it is de facto infinite for any work from Steamboat Willy on."

Copyright comment bingo: the first person to mention DIsney or Mickey Mouse wins the office sweepstake. Well, a) the system currently isn't fair to creators (as you would discover if you tried to assert your legal rights against Facebook, Google or Twitter) and b) millions of works fall out of copyright every year. But don't let evidence get in your way. You must do whatever you need to to keep up the irrational rage against copyright.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: It is out of copyright

How would the creation of a enormous grey area the size of planet Earth between Public Domain and In Copyright simplify things, or create legal certainty? Perhaps you need to think this through.

The ebook costs £1.99. It's in libraries. It's not inaccessible.

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Ten years in the clink, file-sharing monsters! (If UK govt gets its way)

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: His (her) Master's Voice

The consultation response removed any ambiguity that this was about the Torrenter at home in his shed.

Freetards completely need to have a persecution complex, just like Nelson Muntz needs to argue Bart hit him first.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: His (her) Master's Voice

Perhaps you were misled by the headline. The penalty for industrial scale digital piracy is being brought into line with the penalty for physical piracy and counterfeiting. These are not torts.

Given that the games, TV, movie and music industries in Britain employ millions of people (including loads of high quality tech and engineering jobs), I would expect them to a view on industrial scale piracy, wouldn't you? They would be negligent if they didn't.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Actually, no

The penalties, which bring punishments for digital piracy into line with penalties for physical piracy, apply to commercial scale infringement. Not to individual file sharers.

The conviction that one is being persecuted by shadowy powers is is a kind of mental illness. (A "persecution complex") There is no need to succumb to it, when the threat isn't actually real.

Unless you're actually running a pirate site, I wouldn't worry.

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HTC 10: Is this the Droid you're looking for?

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: UI design

Material makes a lot of sense for regimenting design, but it is very crude and toylike for power users (no long press/right click menus). Some readers like a bit of thought and innovation on their device UX. When no one can innovate except Google, you'll get innovation at Google's pace. Like the PC world where Microsoft got stuck on IE6 for years.

What you're asking for is phones differentiated only by price. But I suppose that's where it's heading anyway.

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'Impossible' EmDrive flying saucer thruster may herald new theory of inertia

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: I don't believe this has an exhaust. That's what all the excitement is about.

It's up to the room-temperature fusion people so demonstrate that it works.

EmDrive produces a reproducible effect, now we need to know why.

Do you see the difference?

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Official: EU goes after Google, alleges it uses Android to kill competition

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: meh

"I;m really confused as to why EU bothered (I'm EU based)"

You answered your own question when you mentioned the Fire phone. Which doesn't run Facebook, Uber etc etc, because they rely on Google middleware.

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Google's 'fair use' mass slurping of books can continue – US Supremes snub writers' pleas

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: Project Gutenberg

It's actually useless for real research. You have to buy the book, and often you can't.

The point is, not that there's no value in "snippets with gaps". Yes, that's fun. Google Books is a massive fail because there could have been a great market for extracts, somewhere between snippets for free and go and buy the book.

Plenty of blame to go round on this one, not just Google. But Google foreclosed the possibility of something really useful.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: "Out of print" is a mortal sin

"However the copyright law ignores the market reality, most works have a very limited "shelf-life" after which there is no real market."

Not true in the book world. The sums may be small, but earning potential persists for years and decades. Most books we read are not hot off the presses. The internet has made discovering old works easier, and lowered the cost of warehousing them. So their value should go up, not down.

In any case,the "law" is what it is. Producers and technology couldn't come together to create a market in this case.

I don't think you really understand where the commercial value of Google Books should be: a Spotify for research, with all kinds of bundles and deals on offer ranging from free grazing to metered access.

I use libraries a lot for research, and would happily have handed over a lot of money by now. GB is little more use than a card index.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

What's missing from Google Books is the middle ground: between "free grazing a couple of pages" and "buying the entire damn book". There's a lot of opportunity for authors and publishers to profit from that. And a lot of scope for innovation in how it's marketed and presented.

It didn't happen and probably never will.

"anyone to self-publish on the interwebs probably does as much to kill organised scholarly textbook writing"

Erm. Wikipedia has worked out so well!

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Music's value gap? Follow the money trail back to Google

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

As usual, you're avoid the issue with a boilerplate rant. ("Go and sell more T-shirts. Go and play live. I want the recordings for free").

The issue is whether trade negotiations for the use of the artist's recordings is a fair one or not. The evidence suggests not: that artists are getting a fraction of the value those recordings can get from Google, because Google can pull a stunt that Spotify cannot pull.

Given your comment history I wouldn't expect you to say anything else. I just live in hope.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Asleep at the wheel

The piece is about a weird legal loophole that permits YouTube to maintain an unlicensed supply chain. It has also leveraged two monopolies: a video monopoly and an advertising monopoly. The fairness of the terms of trade is reflected in the market price: a few cents per used are returned by YouTube, for Spotify it's in dollars.

($18 to $1)

You write:

"It's time to dump our labels and the greed that drives them."

That's a pretty amazing thing to write in 2016. Maybe you've been writing the same thing year after year, and not noticed the world has changed: the power is overwhelmingly with UGC platforms. I get that impression from a few comments: minds were made up a long time ago.

Blathering about past injustices is just a way of avoiding what's staring you in the face.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Great . .

"If the user could not access the music for free on Youtube et al then most of them probably wouldn't access it at all. "

That isn't really credible - it's an argument of convenience, that the music must be given away. Maybe sweets have to be given away too. Or cars and houses.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

No, Google won't turn the filters on unless you do business with Google, on Google's terms.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Oh dear. What a poor metaphor!

eh?

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: That is all well and good

"But Prestige Boots would use a take down request to prevent anyone else selling a pair of wellies which looks similar to theirs, or any type of foot coverings to protect their interlectual property."

Are you drunk? What are you trying to say?

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You Leica? P9 certainly is a Great Leap Forward in imaging... for Huawei

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

"Radio" in our reviews is shorthand for anything to do with cellular radio reception.

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Huawei's P9 flagship: There's a lot to Leica

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: 4g on huawei

There was no P4. (Tetraphobia)

The P6 (2013) maxed out at 3G

The P7 (2014) supported LTE/4G.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

You've saved me a review. Only now with the P9 you can't switch to another launcher.

Phew. I'll see you in the pub.

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'Contractual barriers' behind geo-blocking could breach EU rules

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

@robidy

"Could this mean the BBC licence fee becomes pan European? Could stop a lot of people voting for Brexit..."

Greeks and Bulgarians are desperate to pay the TV License apparently:

"[Ansip] gave the BBC as an example. “Because of rights agreements you can only download or stream BBC iPlayer TV programmes while you are inside the UK. In the off-line world this would be called discrimination. In the online world it happens every day. I want to pay, but I am not allowed to. I lose out, they lose out. How can this be a good thing?”

http://www.politico.eu/article/geoblocking-targeted-in-digital-single-market-strategy/

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We tested the latest pre-flight build of Windows 10 Mobile. It's buggy but promising

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: "Cortana unfortunately adds next to nothing to the Windows experience"

Fair point.

But then you probably drive a modern car that starts with one of those automatic "ignition" things. With mine, you put your feet through the floor and run really fast.

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