* Posts by Dodgy Geezer

1093 posts • joined 27 Jul 2007

The UK's copyright landgrab: The FAQ

Dodgy Geezer
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Unhappy

Re: Two sides to the orphan issue?

No problems - we're in this for the long haul. Interestingly, one of the biggest issues with operating the proposed orphan copyright process is that of language. At the moment I'm having to make myself understood to the remains of a small toy company in Czech - Swedish would be yet another tongue to translate my request emails into.

I wish people still used Latin as an international language.... :)

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Dodgy Geezer
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Go

Re: Two sides to the orphan issue?

...I loved to build plans and boats as a kid. I think I still have plans at my summer cottage that I could mail you.

I hope your "contact me" works, your hotmail will be old soon....

Well it seems to work - but I have had no mail from you so far today. If you have problems you could ask The Register to forward mail to me at my sign-on address here, and reference this message to indicate my agreement...

DG

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Dodgy Geezer
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Alert

Re: Two sides to the orphan issue?

...or perhaps they once had an unfortunate experience in the bath with a toy submarine....

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Dodgy Geezer
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Coat

Re: Two sides to the orphan issue?

...7 thumbs up & 1 thumbs down...

Someone who fell in the boating pond when they were little?

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Dodgy Geezer
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Linux

Re: Two sides to the orphan issue?

It's running in beta test at the moment, but I really don't want the entire collection of Vultures descending on it at the moment! And it's only got half-a dozen plans in at present.

An earlier site I did specialises in the Keil Kraft EeZeBilt range of starter models - that's at:

KK EeZeBilt junior boats

Contact me at the email given there if you want further info. You will see that copyright permission has been granted by AMERANG, who currently hold rights to the old KK name.

The new site will be for all vintage model boat kits. There is a similar one for model aircraft which is not run by me and is in a more advanced state, with about 4000 plans - that will give you a flavour of what is being done, and that can be found below:

Outer Zone - model Vintage Aircraft plans

All these sites are a lot of work to keep going, with no reward. The 'orphan' feature allows people to do this without being criminalised. If it were to be withdrawn, we would have to stop, and these plans would become unavailable. Any plans out there that we might have saved would become completely lost.

Linux because I don't want to have to pay a microsoft tax on top of everything else...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Unhappy

Two sides to the orphan issue?

Hmmm..

I make model boats as a hobby.

At the moment I am running a project intended to 'save' as many of the old 1930s-1960s model boat kit plans. These kits were typically created by small 'garage' companies post WW2, and went out of business as the owner died. The inheritors of the estate were typically uninterested in continuing the business - any equipment would have been sold and no archives maintained. So all data on the kits and plans would have been withdrawn from sale and lost.

Fragments of these kits exist in attics around the country - now usually dumped in a house clearance after a death. I am producing a web repository for such information where it can be cleaned up, cataloged and made freely available to other modellers. Copyright issues are obviously considered - for instance, where a larger modeling company bought up all assets they are assumed to have the IP and asked for permission to publish. But in many cases the relatives of the original creator (those I can manage to find) knew nothing about any IP that they may have inherited, and, of course, had no documentation from their grandparents of 70 years ago of any kind.

I still contact and inform them when I can, following the proposed EU Orphan procedure. They would be hard for a professional company to find - even harder for an amateur. When found, you might have the interesting issue of who, amongst all the surviving relatives, actually owns any of this IP - if it is ignored I suppose it is split equally between ALL the inheritees? Which would make saving it an impossible task if I had to find all branches of the family. Instead, if I treat it as an orphan, I can process it without being criminalised.

I receive no money from this - it is all done to try to record and preserve data which is in danger of being completely lost. The data is made freely available to everyone as part of the common heritage of humanity. This is the issue which the 'orphan' clause in the Copyright legislation is trying to address.

There may well be things wrong with the current proposals, and opportunities for big companies to ignore the rights of small copyright holders. But I think that the item should have mentioned the real issue that caused the proposal in the first place - not so much the existence of unattributed information in libraries, but the impossibility of collecting and saving unattributed historical information from the world if ALL data must be owned by somebody, and permission obtained before it is processed.

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Plans for fully 3D-printed gun go online next week

Dodgy Geezer
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Trollface

Re: It's their political agenda we should be worried about

...through facilitating global access to, and the collaborative production of, information and knowledge related to the 3D printing of arms...

Er - we're talking about AMERICANS here. That's GLOBAL, as in 'from New York to San Francisco'. As in 'The World Series'.

Why would you think that anywhere outside of the US exists? The Americans clearly don't...

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UK.Gov passes Instagram Act: All your pics belong to everyone now

Dodgy Geezer
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FAIL

Re: Excuse me

...There are many images out there that, when fed into Google Image Search and the likes, will give hundreds of entries. Seeing the large quantity of results, will be an excuse to say they couldn't find that drop of water in the ocean...

Your view of the legislation is laughably incorrect!

If you are responsible for carrying out a proper due diligence search on millions of images then you have to do it. Properly. You can't just say "I thought it looked difficult, so I didn't bother". Or rather, you can say that, but the Judge will reply "You admit you didn't do it properly - Guilty".

If you do do a proper job, but still end up using someone else's work, then they don't lose the copyright. They can come after you, have it taken down, and be paid compensation from the fund that you HAD to set up when you started using orphan works.

If they try to delete the metadata and claim that it's not your work - well, they could do that anyway now. This law doesn't make it any easier, or any harder....

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Dodgy Geezer
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Facepalm

Re: Fine

Now it's odd - you are quite correct and yet you have a lot of down votes....

Lesson 1 in life - Nobody wants to learn the truth if it will spoil a good knee-jerk reaction...

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Serial killer hack threat to gas pipes, traffic lights, power plants

Dodgy Geezer
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FAIL

I would have thought...

... that the history of DRM and Copyright protection, as well as all the hacking incidents reported for the last 3o years, would have convinced people that there is no such thing as 100% protection. What one person can defend, another can attack.

That being the case, anyone who allows remote control of anything must assume that at some point it is going to be attacked successfully, and should do their risk analysis accordingly.

Maybe the cost-benefit for these connected items has been considered, and determined to be acceptable. But I strongly suspect that it hasn't been considered at all...

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Securing the Internet of Things - or how light bulbs can spy on you

Dodgy Geezer
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FAIL

...Smart meters are supposed to make changing suppliers easier. The enormous cost is, in part, justified by their ability to drive down prices by increasing competition....

Such a justification is nonsense. Smart meters ONLY reason for existence is that when 'green' power was first proposed, it was obvious that it could never be truly 'dispatchable' - that is, it could never be always provided when it was needed. The answer was found in 'demand management' - that is, forcing you to use energy when the provider company says you can rather than when you want.

All these stories that things will somehow be 'cheaper' are just that - stories. Remember how the Identity Card was going to stop criminals? Same trick. The idea is to get the service or policy out into the country, and then, when people start complaining, say that it's there now and would cost too much to take away...

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The fast-growing energy source set to replace oil: Yes, it's COAL

Dodgy Geezer
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FAIL

Keep the fight going...

...The emergence of renewable power has had essentially no effect on the amount of carbon emissions involved in energy generation...

It does seem important to point out that we shouldn't be caring about the amount of CO2 being emitted. CO2 emissions are NOT a problem - they don't cause any environmental damage, in fact they help plants.

There has now been a 17-year pause in global temperature rise (It's actually gone slightly down), while at the same time we have been continuing to pour CO2 out. All the models which said we would be in danger have been comprehensively proven wrong. But I am sure that the government will still try to tax us on CO2 emissions on the grounds that they might be harmful, but we haven't quite found out how just yet...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Facepalm

Re: Renewable Energy

...An extra £50 here and there on the initial purchase sure, but that's pay for itself over the years in energy bills. Especially at current rates....

You should note that you are in a circular argument here. Energy prices are high purely because of taxes. They are not expensive because of any market shortage. The 'Peak Oil' assertion has now been shown to be a lie, and nuclear energy is practically unlimited, and could be provided for free if we so wished. The prices are being kept artificially high to justify expensive energy-saving technology.

Green activists like to make energy prices high because they view minimal energy use as good in itself. But it is not. We already use far more energy per head than our parents, and our children will use even more - and that is not a bad thing. It is part of the way human societies better themselves. Read Julian Simon.

The Greens have now been defeated in this latest fight. But they will come back again over some other technology. They are anxious to achieve zero growth and stop all human development. Being on their side is not something I would be proud of...

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Cutting CO2 too difficult? Try these 4 simple tricks instead

Dodgy Geezer
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Angel

Re: All hail the climate God!

... And the hockey stick is true too unfortunately....

I really am interested in which paper you believe proves the hockey-stick. Do you just generally believe it to be true regardless of any disproof, or is there a specific dataset which you believe has not been disproved?

Do you, for instance believe that Mann's original hockey-stick is still valid? Or Marcott's? Or some other?

Enquiring minds would like to know...

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FAA: 'No, you CAN'T hijack a plane with an Android app'

Dodgy Geezer
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Stop

Only aviation?

..."and the extent to which different myths, fallacies, wives' tales and conspiracy theories have become embedded in the prevailing wisdom is startling."..

Why should aviation be any different? Almost ALL aspects of human endeavour are full of myths and stories. Read Snopes.

Sometimes I wonder how scientists ever manage to advance or engineers manage to design things. Making up stories seems to be so bound up in the human psyche. The current philosophy of 'PostModernism' actually cements this idiocy by claiming that 'what you think is happening' has as much validity as 'what is actually happening'.

Very much like Climate Science...

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The Man Who Fell to Earth: Plane plummet plod probe phone

Dodgy Geezer
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Boffin

Re: Could he have survived the flight?

Looking at the papers on the subject, a couple of things stand out.

1 - Stowaways typically pick a sensible place near the upper hinge point of the u/c leg. This is nowhere near the wheel, so they are unlikely to die when the wheel is retracted. They may fall out during the take-off process (accelerations can be quite high, as can the angle of climb) but if they survive this they are set for the flight.

2 - Unless the flight is unusually low or short for some reason, the environment will rapidly get very cold and low on oxygen. Oddly, these impacts work together to make the situation barely survivable. At typical low temperatures of -55C, the body can enter a hypothermic hibernation state, a state in which very little oxygen is needed to maintain life. In about half the identified attempts the stowaway's body manages to achieve this delicate balance, such that they are still alive (though comatose) at the end of the flight. If the stowaway were to have brought insulating clothing, they would have died rapidly unless they also had access to several hours supply of oxygen...

If the stowaway fails to achieve this balance they will die, and their dead body will probably fall from the undercarriage well when the door opens. If they do survive, they may gradually regain consciousness as the plane descends into higher air pressures and warms up. If the U/C doors open before they are fully conscious, they may fall out anyway. If the plane descends slowly or waits in a holding pattern, they may regain enough consciousness to hold on properly as the doors open and the plane lands.

It seems unlikely that a stowaway who had passed through this experience would be physically able to descend from an aircraft after landing and escape unnoticed. They would probably remain in the wheel-well and call to a ground staff worker as the jet was being attended to. I would expect them to need removing on a stretcher, and undergo immediate treatment in hospital...

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The UK Energy Crisis in 3 simple awareness-raising pictures

Dodgy Geezer
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FAIL

Re: Not according to Beddington.

I'd be much more impressed if your excuses were generated BEFORE the incidents they refer to rather than after.

At the moment we have:

1970s and the temperature drop - We're all going to die in an ice age

1980s and the temperature rebounds - We're all going to die from something else - chlorofluorocarbons?...

1990s and the temperature goes up - We're all going to die from the heat

2000s and the temperature rise halts - We're STILL going to die from the heat (after fiddling the figures)

2010s and the temperature starts dropping - We're going to die from...er, um.. the climate changing!

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Dodgy Geezer
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WTF?

Re: Build Nuclear

Aid is indeed tiny, but defence isn't that much bigger. If you wand to address the big spenders, these are:

Pensions

Social Security

Health

Education

Together, those make up 80-90% of the state spend...

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Hold on! Degrees for all doesn't mean great jobs for all, say profs

Dodgy Geezer
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Boffin

...*We're aware of the heated debate among our readers (and some of our staff) as to whether computer science degrees are of any use in doing actual technology jobs. It seems safe to say, however, that they're of more use in general than a degree in english, psychology etc. -Ed....

I have had a VERY productive and lucrative (so far!) career in technical computing (subgenre security).

My degree is in Medieval English and Philosophy.

FWIW, my personal belief is that if you want to code in multiple languages, and particularly in machine code, there is no better initial discipline to get under your belt than a thorough grounding in Latin.

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Patent shark‘s copyright claim could bite all Unix

Dodgy Geezer
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Go

How fast did you get it?

It took me 4 paragraphs. NSFW daemon is a bit of a giveaway......

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GCHQ attempts to downplay amazing plaintext password blunder

Dodgy Geezer
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Trollface

...But GCHQ - whose CESG arm advises large corporations including banks and utilities on how to safeguard critical infrastructure systems, and which itself deals daily in absolutely critical national-security information belonging to the British and various other governments can reasonably be held to the highest possible standards....

Aha - I think I see the problem here.

WHAT 'absolutely critical national-security information' have we got?

We used to have a lot, when we ran half the world, and had a military that was equal to/better than the US. Those were the days when our position needed to be considered amongst the world's powers. Now, however, we are not really part of the game any more.

Perhaps someone might be thinking of attacking us, and needs some information on our defences? The Falklands showed how any real information passing through the intelligence system soon got ignored if it didn't conform to pre-determined government policy. At the moment we could be considered as 'under economic attack' from the Chinese. And what are we doing about it? Stuffing our own economy with green taxes in an attempt to de-industrialise.

We should only spend money on defences when we have something worth defending. Which, at the moment, we haven't...

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NASA chief: Earth is DOOMED if we spot a big asteroid at short notice

Dodgy Geezer
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Mushroom

Re: Yes the Rothschild Bank and the US Federal Reserve....

...Of course, that same 10 ton or better, 10 tonne monster would be better served as a gravitational tractor, with thrusters to keep its distance and slowly drag the offending asteroid into a more innocuous orbit. Maybe into a lunar orbit or lunar impact.

Then, we'd have an asteroid to mine for useful metals at a convenient location in space....

DON@T say that!!! Otherwise the US will realise that pulling an asteroid into Earth orbit would be quite possible, and then they would use it to threaten any country they didn't like with complete annihilation...

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Dodgy Geezer
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WTF?

Re: Nothing new under the sun

...The chance of a city being wiped out by a medium sized rock are probably quite remote....

The chance of Climate Change causing any measurable problem at all is zilch.

But that doesn't seem to stop them spending trillions on it...

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Global warming fingered as Superstorm Sandy supersizer

Dodgy Geezer
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Stop

Re: Scientific Terminology

...And, yes, it is inarguable and human activity is causing it. As xkcd so aptly put it, "Science. It works, bitches."..

Aha... so the Earth's temperature is continuing to rise as the climate scientists predicted, is it?

Unfortunately, it isn't. And the scam artists have been revealed to be aware of this, but are still trying to scam us. "We can't account for the lack of warming - it's a travesty.."

So, if it's science, it works. This DOESN'T work. Still think it's science?

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Dodgy Geezer
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Boffin

Re: Scientific Terminology

"...There are three factors, AGW, natural variation, and soot pollution...."

A very perceptive post.

There may actually be more factors - it would be sensible not to commit the enormous faux pas which IPCC made by saying that because we can't (won't?) think of any more reasons, therefore there aren't any.

It's worth pointing out here that Arctic ice cover has dipped somewhat in the last 10 years, though it seems to be recovering now. When it started dipping, it was noticed that warmer currents of water were making their way further north than usual, and that particularly strong winds were breaking up the ice surface. These seem to have been that major reasons for the ice-cover dip.

The problem with current 'peer-reviewed' climate science is that it is often fraudulent. An obvious example is the latest Marcott et al paper reviving the hockey-stick, which has just been shown to have passed peer-review as a PhD thesis without the hockey-stick graph ending, and then had that added later for publication.

With this sort of thing going on, 'peer-reviewed' has become a byword for deception.

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How UK gov's 'growth' measures are ALREADY killing the web

Dodgy Geezer
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Meh

Re: *Not* orphan

Sigh.... if you don't know why 'stolen' is the wrong word to use by now, I don't suppose you'll ever learn...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Re: So,

Someone out there LIKES keg beers?

Why are they on the Register...?

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Dodgy Geezer
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Childcatcher

Re: Quadcopter

... Until, of course, a law comes in banning photo-snooping via unmanned R/C aircraft...

Won't somebody think of the children..!!!!

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Dodgy Geezer
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Pint

Re: So,

A very good point. I'll drink to that.

Much of the comment here is the equivalent of buggy-whip manufacturers complaining that the car has put them out of business, so it ought to be forbidden, or they ought to be protected.

Change happens. Sometimes it needs to be accepted*.

* (with the exception of keg beers, of course...)

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Dodgy Geezer
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Stop

Re: @Dodgy Geezer

1 - Yes. a photograph is 'an idea' for the purposes of this analogy. We're NOT talking about the actual printed item - we're talking about an infinitely transmittable and duplicable concept, which multiple people can hold at the same time . If you don't like using the word 'idea' for that, give me another one...

2 - I have skipped no steps. You have added a point which is wrong and nothing to do with the proposal.

a) - you can't 'use it if you remove the ownership data' . Removing the ownership data is a criminal act which is explicitly forbidden in the law. You might as well say that if you shoot a traffic warden you can park in a controlled zone without a ticket - true, but a separate issue which is not covered in parking legislation. The orphan proposal does NOT say 'if you remove the data then you can use it'...

b) removal of the metadata does NOT make it 'safe to use'. If you find someone using your 'orphan' work, then you can stop them and require payment. They have to comply, even if they have removed the metadata. Or if they didn't. They used it to make a profit, so they have to pay. The only advantage to them in removing the metadata is that they can then claim that 'they used your idea in good faith', and they may not then get done for actually 'stealing' it.

To be able to make this claim, they will have to show that they made a 'diligent search'. This will include showing how they got the image. If they cannot show that they got the image in 'data-stripped' form and how, then a court is likely to find that they did the stripping. The onus is on them to show that they got the image in an untraceable way and were not able to find the owner after looking.

Of course, they may still get away with it. People get away with murder. But that's an issue for enforcement, not an issue with the law against murder.

I wish people who comment on the proposal here would read the proposal first....

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Dodgy Geezer
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FAIL

Re: Care-o-Meter hovering at zero

...FFS I bet you wouldn't agree that it's right that I should be able to pick up your phone in a bar, remove the SIM, whisper "does this belong to anyone" and then LEGALLY walk off with it would you?? A weak analogy I know but it illustrates the point....

No it doesn't. You obviously haven't read the proposal. Leaving aside the stupid analogy that ideas are like property (which they are obviously not), the way your analogy should go if it wants to match the proposal is:

1 - you find a phone in a bar.

2 - you look to see if there is ownership info on it.

3 - if you can't find any, you can use it.

4 - If someone turns up later and can show that the phone is theirs you must give it back.

5 - If you have made any money out of your use of the phone, you must pay the owner an appropriate percentage

6 - if you cannot show that you took the phone 'in good faith' and didn't try to find the owner ( eg, only whispered 'Whose is this?), you may be done for stealing.

Put like this it doesn't seem to be so unfair, does it?

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Dodgy Geezer
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Boffin

Not a lot of balance here...

... and yet the WHOLE point of copyright law is about balance.

The principle behind copyright and patent legislation is that:

1 - humans are creative and have new ideas all the time.

2 - it's a good idea to use these ideas for the general benefit of humanity

3 - but if they are used freely, the few humans who contribute most of the ideas will get pissed off

4 - So, we developed a system that lets the humans who have the ideas get a free run at using them without competition first, and after a while we throw them open to general use.

So (if you accept the above), you can see that the main issue is going to be 'How long is it reasonable to run this protection for?

There is no right answer to this. The American music and film industry want forever - but are settling for two lifetimes at the moment. Originally, IIRC, the period was 7 years. In reality, differing periods are needed in differing circumstances - no single period is going to be right for everything. That's one area the discussion should be about.

Another area is 'who should pay'? There's actually nothing wrong in principle with the idea of 'orphan works' - Orlowski has carefully left out the associated features in the EU's 'orphan proposal'. The full suggestion goes like this:

1 - If you have done a diligent search for an owner and can't find him, you can use the item as an 'orphan'

2 - you have to document your 'diligent search', so that it can be examined in court if a complaint is made later

3 - if you are making money out of the 'orphan work' you have to put some aside so that you can recompense the owner if they turn up later.

So the issue of how hard a 'diligent search' needs to be is really a non-issue. If you own copyright and find that someone is breaching it, it's a cut-and-dried case that they should stop and pay you. Whether they have searched hard or not. The only importance of the 'diligent search' is to indicate whether the copyright breacher is doing it 'in good faith' or not. If not, presumably punitive measures will apply...

All of these proposals are actually quite sensible. The issues with them are all going to be matters of balance. How long do you have a monopoly for? How much should taxpayers contribute to running the system, and how much should the copyright owners contribute?

And of course the major one - how much will it cost to enforce my rights at law? But that is a much larger question than just copyright alone....

PS - Interest declaration. I have several balls in this game.

1 - I generate new ideas and sell them to clients to make a living.

2 - I also generate new ideas for the general benefit of humanity and issue them under the Creative Commons license.

3 - At least two organisations are currently using my work commercially in breach of this license.

4 - I also try to save historical artifacts which are 'ideas-based'. The orphan concept would help me a lot here, since owners of rare objects are now very unwilling to have their objects copied, even for preservation...

5 - I don't believe in the concept of 'intellectual property'. Ideas cannot be 'owned' in the same way as objects can, and to pretend that they can is wrong. This is a separate legal field, and needs to be treated differently to 'property'....

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There's cling-ons on the starboard bow! Trekkies' wallets under attack

Dodgy Geezer
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Black Helicopters

I want....

..."but they offer the same functionality in that one can tap to open a voice channel to one's computer (aka one's mobile phone) and speak commands as well as making calls "

... a pen that I can hold up in front of me and say :

"Open channel D..."

The Man from UNCLE

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BAN SMUT, rage MEPs: Purpose of internet must be EXTERMINATED

Dodgy Geezer
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Thumb Up

Re: Where's the beef?

"...Ladies and gentlemen, I give you exhibit 1 from Dodgy Geezer...

Thank you, folks, thank you! I'll be here all week....

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Dodgy Geezer
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Alert

Where's the beef?

..A group of Euro politicos hope the web filth block will bring about a "genuine culture of equality" online.

A motion was tabled this week by the EU's committee on women’s rights and gender equality. A report titled Eliminating Gender Stereotypes in the EU urged all members of the European Parliament to support the draft resolution...

I can't follow the 'equality' argument. Perhaps the females on the "EU Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality" are complaining because they aren't asked to perform in these movies?

Er, ladies, there's probably a reason for that...

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Microsoft about-face: Office 2013 license IS transferable now

Dodgy Geezer
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WTF?

What is this 'Office 2013'?

Is it another fork of Open Office?

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The supercomputers LIED: UK rainfall is rising, but won't drown our phones

Dodgy Geezer
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Flame

Re: But we were told it was going to get drier...

...The conventional message has been drier summers, wetter winters in southern Britain, and there has been an emphasis on predicting that extreme events are likely to get more extreme - e.g more droughts, more floods, more intense rainfall. ...

Er, no. That that's the RECENT message - the one that the Global Warming believers changed to after it became apparent that their predictions were failing to come true. You have it mixed up with the 'Extreme Weather' claim, which came after they junked 'Climate Change'.

We were originally told, quite clearly, that there would be much less precipitation, then none at all, and the last breeding pairs of humans would be found in the Arctic.

Then, when that was obviously not going to happen, we were told that the new climate would involve long and continuous droughts, so we had to save water, but we weren't allowed to build reservoirs for some reason. In winter, our children would; never know what snow was.

Now that's become a laughing stock, and the current excuse for high taxes and no proper infrastructure spending is that ANY news report of unseasonal weather is caused by human 'pollution', either CO2 if it's hot, or SO2 if it's cold. And if the weather ids normal, it's CO2 AND SO2 together.

I note that NASA have just reported the results of a study into average water vapour around the world. CO2 warming theory INSISTS that it has to go up - it is this increase which causes the extra heat.

It has gone down. In one blow, the whole underpinning of the AGW scam has been disproven. But, as far as I can tell, that isn't going to stop the activists ....

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US lawmaker blames bicycle breath for global warming gas

Dodgy Geezer
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Boffin

Re: I seem to recall...

...I do pay for road maintenance- out of my taxes. You don't think the vehicle tax covers all the costs do you?..

Um.

In round figures:

Public spend on UK road system per year - £10 bn.

Tax income from motor vehicles per year - £30 bn.

So, yes, taxes on vehicles would cover the road cost three times over. I suspect that you were forgetting the fact that petrol is taxed up to the hilt....

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SpaceX: 'We have control, it's just a glitch' Musk tells world+dog

Dodgy Geezer
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Coat

Re: Don't sign up to a commercial provider..!!!

I tried using fluffy dies on the rover - but I found that they wouldn't cut the threads properly...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Don't sign up to a commercial provider..!!!

Gentlemen,

It is heartening to see that I am followed with such appreciation, and I feel that a couple of comments are in order:

Though light in tone (I had to stop writing when I saw that I was falling into the Monty Python Torremolinos sketch), there is a semi-serious message here. In general, private enterprise with competition = very good, private enterprise without competition = somewhat less so. And you only get competition in a flourishing commercial environment - the UK experience has shown that trying to apply 'competition' via regulation to a naturally monopolistic structure like the National Grid or water supply results in the mess we have today....

New Mexico is, of course, the place to which the Virgin Galactic flights will fly from. Ignoring the realities of orbital physics, I imagined that, just as today we are looking at short holidays in space, staff in orbital stations might be attracted by a short holiday on the ground...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Don't sign up to a commercial provider..!!!

You know how it goes.

One day you're sitting in your space station, wondering what's on the radio, and you get a knock on the door. It's a commercial capsule with a load of supplies that you could do with, and the price looks very tempting. So you sign up to them with a 3-month offer to undercut anything NASA will provide, PLUS a free squeaky toy for your space cat, and two zero-g fluffy dice for the lunar rover.

Then, after the 3 months, the price starts to increase, and the delivery rates drop. Soon, you realise that it would have been cheaper to stay with NASA. And Richard bloody Branson starts phoning you up at all hours pushing Virgin Galactic, offering cheap 1-day breaks down at his holiday villas in New Mexico....

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NASA probes spots temporary third Van Allen radiation belt

Dodgy Geezer
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And of course...

...The thing is, there are people who would gladly sacrifice their health in order to perform a "first". Bloody good job, as well, or we'd be nowhere....

...there's Killimanjaro. About 7000 people are damaged by altitude sickness on it each year - usually temporarily, but an annual average of 2-3 tourists die - 10-15 if you count the local guides who don't get much medical support...

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Colombian boffins reconstruct flight path of Russian meteor

Dodgy Geezer
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Mushroom

A modest proposal...

If this had hit a town instead of exploding in the air it would have wiped it out. 500 kilotons is a big bang.

I thought that we had a system for tracking and watching dangerous objects in space. Why didn't that system warn us?

It seems to me that it would be worth taking the cash away from the disproved and discredited Global Warming scam, and spending it on improving our meteorite watching capability.

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Look out! PEAK WIND is COMING, warns top Harvard physicist

Dodgy Geezer
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Not a problem!

The answer to ALL our problems, coming to a country near you soon.

DEMAND MANAGEMENT.

That's a cuddly way of saying that we're going to raise the price of energy to astronomical levels in order to force everyone to stop using it.

Then we'll be at environmental peace with Gaia. And some politicians, energy business , bankers and environmental quangos will be rolling in riches...

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Climate scientists link global warming to extreme weather

Dodgy Geezer
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Boffin

Umm... What about the science...?

...As global temperatures have increased, the Arctic is warming to a greater extent than the rest of the northern hemisphere...

But...?? What about the theory?

I have been watching the Global Warming hypothesis since its earliest beginnings. In the heady days of 1998, when it was obvious that the temperature was going up, the AGW theory explanation was quite clear. The Sun's UV rays were absorbed by CO2 and re-radiated as IR. This was going to happen most where the rays were densest - over the TROPICS. The theory says that the tropics should warm faster and earlier than the poles. But that doesn't seem to be happening....

Which suggest to me that, whatever is warming the poles, it's not the originally proposed 'global warming' process....

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BBC's new bosses - the lawyers - strike out Savile probe testimony

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: lawyers

..dont fuck kids. fairly simple. how hard is it for the BBC to understand that?..

Don't treat people accused of fucking kids as guilty without evidence.

There. Fixed that for you...

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Council IT bod in the dock for flogging scrap work PC parts

Dodgy Geezer
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Oh dear....

...It is your moral duty for the sake of the planet to extend the life of those parts and slow down the rapid depletement of the worlds precious metals and other resources...

I've not come across the word 'depletement' before. Everyone I know calls it 'depletion'.

Unfortunately, I have come across many people telling me that my 'moral duty' should be to obey their half-baked ideas without question. The way I see it, Gaia has been ravaged for her precious metals, which have been illegally ripped from her womb, and we ought to return them all to below ground as soon as possible.

Preferably together with all the environmentalists...

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Dodgy Geezer
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The difference between UK and European Law...

... is that, under UK law, anything not specifically forbidden was deemed to be allowed.

Under the Codex Napoleon, the base principle was that you were not allowed to do anything unless properly authorised.

We USED to operate strictly to UK law, but we are now moving towards the European approach as we slowly merge our legal systems. So nowadays, ask for authorisation before doing anything.

You know it makes sense!

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Dodgy Geezer
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...There should be provision to give away electronic equipment without warranty so that servicable equipment does not just go in the bin....

Alas, nowadays that is illegal under the EU Waste Directive. You cannot just give electrical equipment away anymore - that's why Oxfam shops no longer sell it...

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The universe speaks: 'It's time to get off your rock!'

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: none of this is new

... The petri dish for the organism called the human species is finite. Traveling to distant planetary systems is impossible. ...

The petri dish for the organism called the human species is INFINITE. Traveling to distant planetary systems is impossible with the knowledge we have today. But who knows what amazing methods of travel human ingenuity will develop in the future?....

There, fixed that for you...

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