Oh Google!

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011 10:22 pm
forchancookie: (Angel Cookie)

Oh Google! Why are you being so douchey? As far as you are concerned, my name is For-Chan Cookie. As far as 99.9% of the internet knows, my name is For-Chan Cookie! So why are you getting your panties in a twist if I don’t tell you that my real name is Joe Schmoe? You don’t need to know my real name to provide me with your lovely services. I’m not paying you, you’re not billing me, so really there’s no reason for that. But now you’ve put out Google+ and you’re all handsy for my real name. What does it matter? What will it change? Nothing! And here I was hoping that finally Google+ would be the place that I could consolidate my online lives. I want to be both For-Chan Cookie and Joe Schmoe on you, but instead you’re being a dick.

Now I have to make the decision to either stick it out and hope you don’t freeze me out of my entire online life, because for the most part it’s contained within your cloud, or shut down my Google+ account, if that’s even possible, until you get over this ridiculous bullshit. I’d really rather not lose my years of emails and documents. I can completely live without Google+. I don’t need Google+. But it does lead one to wonder, if they’re so hung up on real names, how long will it be before they come for my gmail account as well? I certainly don’t have my name down as Joe Schmoe. My name is For-Chan Cookie and I am very disappointed in you Google.

You can undisappoint me by implementing my ideal model for G+ as seen here. Until then, we’re not really on speaking terms. :P

Scary Links of Scaryness:

+ Google Plus Deleting Accounts En Masse: No Clear Answers
+ Google+ and the loss of online anonymity
+ What’s in a name? Google+ is working on that (Less Scary)

[Reposted from my Tumblr]
forchancookie: (Grrrrr!!)
The Orphan Works Act has hit the books
The time has come to step up to the plate. The Orphaned Works Act has hit the books!

Orphan Works Bill Introduced
Orphan Works
Senate - S. 2913 Orphan Works Act of 2008
House - 5889 the Orphan Works Act of 2008
Bill Tracker - H.R. 5889
Bill Tracker - S. 2913
Orphan Works Resource Page for Artists

Note: I'm probably going to be editing this entry a lot as I A) learn more and B) think of more to add. Be on the lookout! I already took out most of my kneejerk reaction to the article.

Also, I know that there are a bunch of people going around saying that this legislation is old, or not happening. It is true that this issue was brought up in 2006, but this is a new proposal for 2008. Anyone who says this isn't happening needs to do a little more googling. The Orphan Works Proposal that was published on March 13th, 2008 is the first result of a search for "Orphan Works Legislation". You can also watch the webcast if you have an hour and a half to spare. I've uploaded it here if you wish to download it, but watch out, the sound is pretty crappy.

Also, you may link to this entry if you wish. Please feel free to do so without asking.

Discussion of the Orphan Works Proposal of 2008

Yesterday, multiple postings of the scare article You Will Lose All The Rights to Your Own Art by Mark Simon, made us pick up our pitchforks and rage against the machine. The article, however, is a big alarmist piece made to get you angry. If you're angry, please calm down. The picture painted in the article is a frightening one, but inaccurate. While there is an Orphan Works Proposal out, it is not out there to take away your rights. It does, however, have some holes and wiggle space that should alarm you.

On March 13th, 2008, the House Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property held a hearing to discuss the issue of Orphan Works. There, Marybeth Peters of the Copyright Offices put for the an Orphan Works proposal.

First of all, an orphan work is a copyrighted work where it is difficult or impossible to contact the copyright holder. The Copyright Offices feel that orphan works are a problem. Their arguments are that people are having trouble retouching old family photos because they do not have the permission of the person who took them. I've heard of these situations as well as similar ones with artists having trouble getting prints made even if they are the actual rights holder. This is a legitimate complaint. They also mention museums, archives, documentaries, etc and so forth running into trouble when wanting to include orphaned photos, family letters, or movie and sound clips in their works. They are simply unable to for fear of copyright infringement and thus such works can subsequently fade from view before they ever enter the Public Domain. Again, a legitimate complaint.

Their argument is that people should be able to use orphaned works if, after a "diligent, good faith search," the copyright holder cannot be found. They explain that if owners of orphaned works surface, the user of said works should provide reasonable compensation. They will have a protective zone for those not making profits from these works such as museums, archives and the like. They mention that they would like to remove statutory damages because they can only be collected within a certain frame of registration (if the work has been registered or if it's been registered 3 months since the infringement took place) and because there are so many exceptions that it seems clumsy and useless. They say "If the copyright owner is not identifiable and cannot be located through a diligent, good faith search, we believe the appropriate recovery is reasonable compensation. If orphan works legislation does not remove statutory damages from the equation, it will not motivate users to go forward with important, productive uses."

We next discuss the “Role of Best Practices". This means that while searching for the copyright owner, you should search in the appropriate place. For example, if you wish to hunt down a sound clip owner, you should search a sound database and not a photography database. Or more practically, here is their example. "For example, it makes no sense to require a user to check an electronic database specializing in contemporary images of American photographers if what he is looking for is the owner of a 1930's photograph of German origin." So, their "best practices" is basically to search the proper place.

Here's where we introduce the role of technology. They say "We are aware of several private sector companies working on tools and services that could help alleviate the orphan works problem by matching users to owners. On December 8, 2007, the Copyright Office organized a briefing and showcase of technology for Congressional staff.4 At the briefing, companies highlighted image recognition, fingerprinting, watermarking, audio recognition and/or licensing features, and discussed their efforts to develop business models and standards, including database control, security, population fees, and allocation of user fees or subscriptions. We are confident that the marketplace offers, and will continue to offer, an array of databases and search technologies that will result in more choices for the copyright owner and more aids for the prospective user." Essentially, they are saying the development of search technologies in independent companies' hands. As you can see, they will most likely charge user fees or subscriptions. They also say that there will be no certification of said databases as they do not feel they are qualified to make them.

Now, we delve into this "diligent, good faith search." Anyone who wants to use an orphaned work will need to carry out this “diligent, good faith search.” This is where the proposed databases step in. One of the companies developing these search technologies is PicScout. They say, “Our technology can match images, or partial information of an image – such as a single face of one person in a crowd, with 99% success.” While amazing and wonderful, what of that 1% that is not successful? That 1% is a potential danger for separating you from your work. It might sound like a small percentage but considering the potential number of searches with a 1% chance of error every time, the numbers stack up. You must also consider that you are only in the 99% successful searches if you've registered all of your works with the service. Not registering with these services puts you at potential risk. This is where Mark Simon took the idea and ran with it. You are not required to sign up for these database services, but as you can see it would almost be artistic suicide not to do so.

Why the Copyright office be running such an orchestration? They claim that the should not. They say that it is impractical and feel that it would actually scare off people from registering their works with the Copyright office by the idea that it could become searchable on a database. They point out that registering with them is voluntary anyway and many choose not to register, so such an act would be futile. Therefore, they feel that it is best to leave such databases and technology to be developed by outside businesses.

Basically, the proposal is that people be able to use "orphaned works" after a "diligent, good faith search" does not turn up an owner. There is no firm definition of a “diligent good faith search” and furthermore the Copyright office will not be aiding int he construction of searchable databases. This will be left in independent companies hands. They will not be regulated and there is no guarantee that whoever you register with will be used in said "diligent, good faith search". This is where the "your rights will be erased" cry comes in. It is not that your rights will be erased, it is simply that people do not trust big business to have your best interests in mind. You are the little person and they will walk all over you....unless you pay them to show up on the radar. While it sounds like it could potentially be helpful in some areas, more realistically, it sounds like a protection racket. "Sure, we'll make sure they know who this belongs to, but only if you pay us."

Of course, not everyone is out to screw you. A searchable image matching database would be an awesome thing with the right intentions behind it, but this proposal is so freely worded that there's a lot of potential for corruption. Being as cynical as I am, it's easy to point out potential places for you to be walked over by big business. An unscrupulous business could easily exploit your works by claiming to have done a search for your “orphaned” work and using it anyway. They will only get in trouble if you find out. If you do find out, with statutory damages eliminated and no recompensation for court costs, it could make using so-called “orphaned works” that much more tempting. They only have to pay you if you find out, and even if you do they only have to provide “reasonable compensation.” People do crazy things with money involved.

While the article by Mark Simon is full of inflammatory alarmist crap, there's still plenty of truth mixed up in there. The guy basically took the idea that corporations and the government are out to screw people and cooked up a nice little conspiracy theory. It sounds horrifying and it's gotten us worked up, but it's only marginally truthful. I think that everyone should read the proposal for themselves and mull it over. It's always better to think for yourselves than just spout whatever paranoid buzzwords you read in one article without any of your own research to back it up.

For those of you in other countries thinking that this doesn't apply to you, WRONG! The European Union, is also looking into the orphan works problem. Not to mention, you'd have to go through the same song and dance if you wanted to do business in the states.

In conclusion, do research! Read up on this. Ask questions. Write letters. Don't just sit there and get worked up over one inflammatory article, get out there and find the truth.

Required Reading Links:

Statement of Marybeth Peters. The Register of Copyrights before the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property, Committee on the Judiciary aka the Orphan Works Proposal

Illustrator's Partnership Orphan Works Resource Page for Artists

How Registries Will Orphan Your Work

Status of 2008 Orphan Works legislation

Last Edit: 4/25/08 7:00pm cst

Your Prescriber

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008 12:13 pm
forchancookie: (Et mon cul c'est du poulet?)
When I had the tv on last night, one of the hundred fifty billion medicine commercials came on and talked about how wonderful it is. But when it came to the part where they say to ask your doctor if it's right for you....they didn't say it. Do you know what they said? "Ask your prescriber". Wait...what? What the hell is a prescriber? Since when did doctors turn into mere pill dispensers?! It's a sign of the times I tell you. Something tells me that most people don't spend all that time and money in med school just to become a fucking prescriber. Fuck you pharmaceuticals companies! You can your damn drugs that you make up for shit that doesn't exist. Stuff you make people think they NEEEEEEEEEEEED. Bullshit. So much bullshit. Ugh.

*uses "my ass is a chicken" icon* XD
forchancookie: (Not an Artist)
Dear F-List,

This post is wanky. This post is a rant directed at a person who is a liar and a thief. Please feel free to skip this post and any wank it might generate. Should you have a taste for wank, please grab a bag of popcorn while I outline the situation for you.

I haven't talked about my RPing in this journal a lot. I'll tell you about it now, enough to explain this situation. Daeva and Drake initially came up with the character of David. He would be Archer's son with a female Kimblee. From David, the universe began. Roy became Reine, Jean Havoc became female and Hawkeye became a male and they had kids. Alex, Paige and Ryan were their names. Dae and I began to RP David and Ryan. Our wacky high-jinks inspired others. Phishy and Yuriko did some genderswapping and came up with Clara and Damien and various others. Worlds collided and it was random insanity and it was fun. Complicated, but fun.

Into this mix stepped Broken_Envy and Invidia1988. They had also been inspired and created a genderswapped universe. There were kids there as well. Lots of them. It got a little weird. They wanted to invade our universe, but Dae warded them off. It was ok, just weird. Then it got weirder. Suddenly their characters were popping up with our characters' names. Their characters were using the image songs that the others had carefully picked out. Hell, their characters resemble the art that Daeva and Phishy drew! Basically, something a little more than inspiration was going on.

But you couldn't bring this up. Oh no, you couldn't mention this. You see, Broken's been working on a novel for ten years and those characters are hers! She has rock solid proof of this!! Or so she claims. And when more characters pop up with more of our characters' names? Her sister made them. And when yet more characters pop up? Well we need to STFU up because we're big stupid bitches and you can't copyright a name. That may be so, but we're tired of these childish shenanigans. We're just a little too old for this kind of bullshit, and here is where I finally put my foot down. Cue an open letter to [livejournal.com profile] broken_envy.

Cut for sanitation and sanity )

September 2011

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