along a link to an interesting paper today, “The Challenges of Integrating the Unix and Mac OS Environments” by Wilfredo Sanchez of Apple. I must say I’m getting excited about OS X, the public betas of which are expected this summer. The friend who passed this along is a serious software and network engineer, so his vetting of things carries a lot of weight with me.
illegal to buy a copyright, if they could only be assigned for a limited time? What if, unless you were a salaried employee (hence making your work a product of the company paying you), you owned your work, period? If you were permitted to lease it, but not sell it outright?
I’m always torn in a discussion of Napster and the other digital music schemes. I have, from time to time, made my living (or an important part of it) as a writer. My brother’s a musician. Many, if not most, of my friends are writers or artists of some sort or another. These people work hard at what they do. But when I look at a particular acquaintance of mine’s CD, she doesn’t own the copyright, the record company does. When I write an article, I own the copyright – the newspaper or magazine it is published in only owns certain rights; usually the right to first publication.
I think a clearheaded study of how copyright works and a legal expression of how that system should function would go a long way to solving a lot of the current issues. It’s one of those situations, I think, when the road ahead in terms of the specifics will only be apparent when the first principles are reiterated and strengthened.
Trouble is, the pattern is clearly in the other direction – away from privileging the rights of individual copyright holders, towards rights of corporate copyright holders and other businesses involved in such matters. I have personally been involved with a number of publications that have asserted that their purchase of first publication rights includes, with no further compensation, the right to place the work in databases that, essentially, exist in perpetuity. And the DCMA points in that direction pretty clearly as well.
For the moment, I don’t have a huge problem squaring my deep belief in copyright – the right I have over my creative and intellectual work with the free distribution of songs on the net, but that’s only because of the total belligerance and seeming cluelessness of the recording industry, and it won’t hold indefinitely. At some point, I believe that copyrights should be inviolate. So my conclusion, for now, is that the whole concept of copyright must be strengthened and affirmed. Trouble is – I doubt it would be by those with the deepest pockets in this ongoing dialogue.
The issues Tom raises have been on the front burner in Quebec for a while now. Essentially, the battle over “gay marriage” is over now in Quebec – it’s fine. There are still some minor battles that are ongoing, but as a principle upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada and as a principle of legislation by the Quebec gov’t, it’s moving towards an inclusive position very quickly. I agree with him, though, that there are other questions, other issues, beyond just “can gays be just like straights?”
Being straight myself (but not narrow), my personal opinion has turned to suggest the removal of any official state sanction of any marriage for anyone. If you want to get married and are religious, or would just like a ceremony – go for it.
But as far as the state is concerned – any couple should be able to sign an affadavit and gain the tax benefits of marriage (where they exist). Roommates, lovers, friends, a older father and his single son taking care of him, whoever. Likewise for other issues – like inheritance, power of attorney, etc. These should be open to any of the myriad of arrangements that people dream up.
Goodness knows hardly anyone in Quebec gets married anymore – it’s mostly common law.
from Ottawa, where I came tonight for dinner with a friend. To anyone who’s lived here before – Ottawa is barely recognizeable, and that’s not entirely pleasant. It seems very glossy and insincere, and maybe even a bit mean, in that suburban way. At that, though, when I walked into the restaurant where we ate, I did bump into an old friend who I worked at summer camp with about 15 years ago. Which is such an “Ottawa” thing, at least for folks who grew up here. Later I went to the bar that the aforementioned friend owns (she’s a partner, I think, in the Manx) and one of the servers had gone to my high school.
had a pretty good night: Blair’s son ‘drunk and incapable’. I remember going to Hull (right across the river from Ottawa) in high school and having to put a friend in a cab and giving the driver a probably insufficient wad of cash, “take this guy as close to 101 Jones Drive as you can get him!” [Street and number changed to protect the embarrassed].