Sunday, January 3, 2010

watch my face as I pretend to feel no pain, pain, pain

Zimoun and the fascination with the mechanical. The last video is a bit over ten minutes long, but oddly compelling. There are other videos on Zimoun's website.

Bono manages to sound an utter idiot in his top ten list for 2010, and really, I think even if someone sat him down and explained it, he wouldn't get it. He's bought into Universal's party line wholly, with nary a hint of struggle.

But--though it will do no good--let me lay this out for him, and anyone else who might still be a tad bit confused: the "young, fledgling songwriters" he so earnestly strives to protect are the same ones getting on MySpace in droves, offering up their songs via Amazon, iTunes or PayPal--and getting paid for it. The RIAA's avowed 'cleanup' of music piracy resulted in lawsuits being filed by the major music labels to get the RIAA to unclench their greedy fists on the millions obtained; then the singers and songwriters themselves had to sue the major labels--and many still haven't seen a dime from their own contracted publishers. How sick is that?

I don't think I'm alone in saying that, at this point, I'd much rather hop on Amanda Palmer's website and buy a poster, a t-shirt, or an album, knowing that the money goes to feed, clothe and support her, rather than wander some soulless music store and get the latest U2 album--knowing that, most likely, Bono and the gang will see perhaps 3% of the sale of that album--if they're lucky. And that has nothing to do with music piracy driving sales down. That has to do with cantankerous behemoths wanting more of the cut than the artists they claim to defend.

Bono should be ashamed of buying into the hypocrisy.

Via Miss Muse Carmona, comes this complex essay on device functionality regarding that spatial rift between simplicity of use (for the device makers) and the desire to customize and adapt said device (for the end user). It's somewhat ponderous, but it has a ton of other links to peruse.

And via Jarl Otenth Paderborn, a new da Vinci may soon see the light of day? I don't know, either, but it sounds fascinating. (And thank you again, Otenth.)

(And hee, the mistake I left in--it wasn't Otenth, it was William Gibson. I know I was following a link that Otenth gave out on Twitter around the same time, but of the fourteen-odd windows I have open currently, it was easy to confuse which link was sent by whom.)

Let's get back to SL. Pais Kidd takes on content rights in the metaverse; no definitive conclusions are reached, but it's an excellent essay on the topic.

Beginning from Miss Kamenev's comment from yesterday's post, I wanted to investigate a bit on trademark law, versus copyright law. As with all my entries on these procedures, they really only apply in the US; international trademark law gets as murky, country by country, as international copyright law.

From the US trademark law site:

The application should include your "basis" for filing. Most U.S. applicants base their application on their current use of the mark in commerce, or their intent to use their mark in commerce in the future.

The items bolded are legally defined terms. To wit:

*Current use: Essentially, "current use" boils down to identification: that the mark in question is in acceptable current use, is recognizable as identifying that brand, and accepted as identifying that brand. For example:


Instantly recognizable, right? Do I have to tell anyone out there who these logos represent? Maybe, if you're not up on fashion, I could have chosen this over this, but even so. Simple. Distinctive. And all in current use.

*In commerce: That's pretty simple, too. "In commerce" simply means that the logo (or mark) chosen must be either on the products sold themselves, or on the crates, shipping containers, boxes, or advertising and business adjuncts that are shipped from the brand in question.

*Intent to use is a bit more vague, but it boils down to the same thing: the brand maker or developer has a stated intent to use a certain mark or branding logo in the production, shipping, and sale of that brand, and states in the application that that mark will subsequently be used on the products sold, or on the shipping crates, boxes, containers, and advertising regarding that product.

So Miss Kamenev is right--many of the deeper issues are not, strictly speaking, copyright ones--they're becoming trademark issues. And trademark issues are much less well-defined.

More when I have more of a brain to lay it all out.


Anonymous said...

I don't think I'm the one who alerted you to that Da Vinci. (Unless you pour over the Boston newspapers because of me.)

But you're quite welcome, all the same!

Emilly Orr said...

Oh, oop! I meant to change that. It was William Gibson (@GreatDismal on Twitter).

The 'thank you' was for your note on the expiring of sick cat. Still, though, it would be an amazing find, a new da Vinci. Something you might be interested in as well. :)

Magdalena Kamenev said...

Thank you! I am honored ...

Emilly Orr said...

You're more than welcome. Me, I'm stumbling through the minefields, but I'm trying to figure it out.

Trademark law gets dizzying, and trademark, I'm starting to realize, is not only much larger than other forms of IP law, but much more indistinct.

And copyright law, as it exists, is indistinct enough.

Fogwoman Gray said...

I see a potentially lucrative career option for a tech and virtual worlds savvy lawyer here.....

Emilly Orr said...

Me too.

*Hint drop thud*, Miss Kamenev...

turnerBroadcasting said...

The RIAA , and the Groups that now Scour Youtube for Content and delete soundtracks at random - are part of a serious Fair Use problem in the USA.

The basic idea you need to get at here, Emily - is that artistic expression requires, in a heavily technologized society - a set of fair use principles that allow artists to communicate using the symbols of their culture -

And the key behind that, old friend - is how we will ultimately pay for the ride.

We are the most heavily marketed-to society in the history of Earth.
As I wrote in a recent blog post - this also includes drugs. Ever noticed we've got a drugstore on almost every corner? Drug use is up tenfold, patients use the net to get the skinny on the drug then go into their doctor's office as an armchair physician and ask for their damn plavix.

Now pay attention. The word Plavix. Is copyrighted, and trademarked. But I used it here.

That was fair use.
And that is the secret to making this all work. Define Fair Use, grasshopper.

And you will define a path forward.

PS. Been playing Guild Wars mostly because its free. How is Half Life?

turnerBroadcasting said...

Oh BTW I used the word Plavix in the previous comment because the evidence that Plavix works better than just plain old street aspirin is pretty damned sketchy....

But they keep marketing the stuff, don't they?

Couldn't help but notice the pepsi logo there. Candy flavored sugar water with carbon, anyone?

Emilly Orr said...

Defining fair use may occupy the rest of the blog entries on this blog for the next year. But I'll see what I can do.

I actually like Hulu's approach--"We will show you television and movies for free, and you will watch ads. In return, we ask that you log in and tell us if you like the ads, or dislike the ads. You are helping us pay for the stuph you want by being marketing drones. You're welcome!"

Half Life I haven't installed yet, I've been playing Diablo II and a ton of Team Fortress 2. And Portal when I can handle the frustration. Runes of Magic and SL are falling by the wayside.


Oh, I bet you meant SL in the first place...