* Posts by John 73

57 posts • joined 14 Jul 2009

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Sci-fi and fantasy authors wade into Amazon spat

John 73
Unhappy

A tad unfair, there

"Macmillan reckons they'll stump up $15 for the latest title and refused to sell its books for less"

That's not really a fair description of Macmillan's position - they want to charge _up_to_ $15 for ebooks, but also as little as $5. Amazon wouldn't let them have the flexibility all publishers (and other suppliers) have always had: to set the price for their own product. Amazon freely admit that they sell ebooks at a loss to drive sales of the Kindle - at the moment. But how long would that last once they had control of the ebook market, over both publishers and consumers?

Spook firm readies Virgin Media filesharing probes

John 73
Big Brother

Lots more BitTorrent for me, then

First thought, for me, was "Oh, I'd better start downloading lots of Linux distros by BitTorrent again soon." If they're going to intercept perfectly legal filesharing traffic, let's make sure they get lots of it!

Pig plague could crash interwebs, say US feds

John 73
FAIL

Stockbrokers?

"the congestion might be so acute that stock brokers and other securities market employees would be unable to telework from home"

And oh how terrible that would be.

Seriously, is preventing stockbrokers from working at home the worst result they could come up with?

Google acts to quell critics of book deal

John 73
Stop

Google will "consult" on "some" books?

Wow, Google's generosity in promising to "consult" European publishers when they scan _some_ European books is outstanding, isn't it? I mean, one might almost have thought that there wasn't some law saying that they had to do that, and more (like actually get permission!).

Meh. Hope (as someone working in publishing, and a writer) that the deal gets struck down and we instead get sensible laws in the US and EU (and elsewhere!) that allow indexing and searching while protecting authors.

Shop risks legal action for posting 'shoplifter' CCTV online

John 73
FAIL

Libel

Given the draconian libel laws in the UK, I'd have thought the shops would be well advised to take down these pictures promptly. Once an accusation of libel has been made, it's up to the defendent to prove their innocence - English law assumes that, a basic case having been made, they are by default guilty (no, really). So, anyone who could reasonably be identified from such a picture could make a pretty good libel case against the retailer, who would then have to demonstrate that their allegation was true (i.e. that the person was, in fact, guilty of theft)!

Johnson signs off ID card for UK citizenry

John 73
FAIL

10 year expiry?

Will this card really last 10 years? ISTR that the chipped passports carry chips that are guaranteed by the manufacturer for only 3 years or something like that. Will these ID cards be any different? And will we be forced to renew them when the chip dies (which also bears rather strongly on the "fry the chip" discussion)? Passports don't have to have a working chip to be valid, but will this be true of the ID cards?

Yorkshire cops accused of copyright theft

John 73
FAIL

Copyright on facts

@ Mel Collins:

No, you can't copyright facts, but you can copyright the _arrangement_ of facts. It's called 'database right' and applies to databases (Duh) including phone directories, and seems to be a no-brainer to apply to researched data like the tables at issue in this case. IANAL, of course!

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