Do digital media harm our brains? Don’t be so sure

By Chris Meadows
September 12, 2015 // 1 Comment

Does digital media harm our intelligence? Neuroscientist Susan Greenfield has been making claims to that effect for some time, especially with regard to children. She’s written a number of books on the subject. But such claims tend to be of a piece with the worries of every generation about [...]

Australian ‘copyright expert’ advocates perpetual copyright

By Chris Meadows
September 5, 2015 // 0 Comments

Techdirt is one of the more opinionated news sources I read, and while I do often agree with that opinion, sometimes it isn’t terribly well informed. Sometimes it’s even flat-out wrong. You always have to adjust for that when you read any story on the site. But that said, when it’s right, [...]

Why hasn’t piracy killed artists’ incomes?

By Chris Meadows
August 22, 2015 // 1 Comment

15 years ago, during the height of the Napster hearings, Lars Ulrich testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee of his concerns that Napster was going to set off a “creative apocalypse.” How were people going to afford to be able to continue making art, he asked, if people just wanted to [...]

Retro games market shows piracy doesn’t always win

By Chris Meadows
August 18, 2015 // 1 Comment

Piracy might not be as bad of a scourge to business as some people make out. Or at least, that’s what Techdirt’s Timothy Geigner suggests, based on an article about price hikes in the retro video game market. Retro video games are some of the most easily-pirated, most often-emulated media [...]

Belgian collection agency attempts to levy multifunction printers

By Chris Meadows
August 7, 2015 // 2 Comments

Techdirt has an interesting piece on an attempt by a Belgian collection society to impose levies on Hewlett-Packard’s multifunction printers—computer printers that include a built-in scanner and photocopying functionality. After negotiations between collection society Reprobel and [...]

Should Copyright Live Forever?

By Joanna Cabot
March 25, 2015 // 4 Comments

We’ve probably all seen that little graph which was making the rounds last year, which showed that longer copyright terms—thought to protect authors and make them more money—can actually make authors LESS money by keeping legitimate works out of the marketplace. Techdirt has a [...]

A strange little copyright story

By Joanna Cabot
September 17, 2014 // 2 Comments

Techdirt has a great write-up about one of the strangest little copyright stories I’ve read this week. The story involves an anti-litter campaign launched in my own fair city recently, which cleverly used the letters on brand-name packages to spell out messages. From the article: “The [...]

The great monkey copyright war of 2014

By Joanna Cabot
August 8, 2014 // 5 Comments

Here’s a fun little story which highlights the absurdity of our current intellectual property laws. Yahoo News had a write-up about a photographer who is embroiled in a legal dispute with Wikipedia over a photograph of his which became viral and ended up on Wikipedia website. As the article [...]

A case study in the difficulties of the permission culture

By Joanna Cabot
April 11, 2014 // 1 Comment

I wrote on Thursday about a great term Techdirt has been using to describe the new normal ‘permission culture’ in which we find our every media move governed by a rights-holder who can, or cannot grant permission for the use we desire. Whether it’s ‘this movie is not [...]

Is 'Happy Birthday' Still Under Copyright?

By Joanna Cabot
June 14, 2013 // 1 Comment

Photo by Emma Glover | Mike Masnick has a great write-up about a pending lawsuit that finally challenges the copyright claim Warner/Chappell Music has been enforcing for decades over the ‘Happy Birthday’ song. I remember first hearing about this odd little [...]

The Perils of Newer, Easier Sharing

By Joanna Cabot
May 15, 2013 // 2 Comments

I’ve had an object lesson this week in the perils of newer, easier information-sharing, via two news articles which came my way through different means. The first was a write-up in the local paper featuring a colleague of mine who had decorated her house in celebration of the Maple [...]

We Goofed! Nintendo story accidentally appeared as ours

By Dan Eldridge
May 15, 2013 // 6 Comments

Yesterday evening, we posted as our final story of the day a fascinating article about a new Nintendo video game titled Tomodachi Collection: New Life, which has been described as not unlike a Japanese version of The Sims. The crux of the article was that Nintendo had unintentionally made it [...]

The SimCity Debacle: Another lesson in why DRM is a bad idea

By Joanna Cabot
March 15, 2013 // 5 Comments

For anyone who is still not convinced that DRM, as a concept, is a terrible idea, the recent Sim City debacle illustrates why. The short version is, software publisher EA so feared ‘piracy’ of the latest Sim City incarnation that they crippled the game to require a live Internet connection (to [...]

More on the Death of Google Reader

By Joanna Cabot
March 14, 2013 // 4 Comments

We’ve all heard by now about the upcoming death of Google Reader. Our own Chris Meadows, in his write-up, has even thoughtfully offered some alternatives for those who, like me, are suddenly scrambling to fill the void. But to my surprise, reactions around the Web have been decidedly mixed. [...]

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