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Slashback: GPLv3, Firefly, iTunes 275

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the different-results-from-the-same-actions dept.
Slashback tonight brings some corrections, clarifications, and updates to previous Slashdot stories, including Stallman's comments on GPLv3, Firefly fans clinging to hope, sentence handed down in student felony webpage refresh case, GP2X GPL issues resolved, Korean cloning scientist may get to keep his patents, Apple changes their tune for iTunes ministore, and much more -- Read on for details.

Richard Stallman speaks on GPLv3 and patents. Elton J. Won writes "A public forum on the updated GPL was held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Although Stallman solicited comments from forum attendees. he made clear that the GPL version 3 will not alter the license's basic stance on software patents. From the article: 'the GPL version 3 is explicitly meant to discourage litigation based on software patents. "This is not a placeholder. This is the text we currently plan to go with unless we're surprised by seeing a better idea," Stallman said.'" Relatedly RMS also recently expounded on some of these thoughts in an interview with PCPro.

Firefly fans refuse to go quietly into the night. CMGaretJax writes "The Browncoats, a fan group based around the hit cult TV show Firefly, and the more recent movie, Serenity, have set up a website for donations from people who want to see another season of Firefly. So far they have raised $840 dollars against an estimated cost of 1 million per episode. An admirable attempt, and one that will hopefully pick up steam, the show really is too pretty to die."

Student receives sentence for felony web-page charge. EMB Numbers writes to tell us that Michael Stone, the student who was recently charged with a felony for encouraging others to bog down a school server with web page refreshes, has cut a deal with the prosecutor for a lesser misdemeanor offense -- criminal mischief. Stone was given a suspended sentence of 60 days in jail along with 20 hours of community service. Although he declined to comment on camera Stone's mother stated that she appreciate all the support he received from the online community.

GP2X GPL issues resolved. gizmateer writes to tell us that after quite a bit of noise from the online community it appears that Gamepark has bowed to the pressure and will be releasing the source for the most recent version of the GP2X firmware. From the article: "Please stop posting to this board about GPL. Dignsys will post up the sources to the new firmware version 1.3.0 next week on http://source.gp2x.de. They intend to release it once the binaries to said firmware have been released."

Korean cloning scientist may get to keep his patents. Billosaur writes "According to an article on the New Scientist web site, disgraced Korean cloning researcher Hwang Woo-Suk may get to keep his patents for the process of creating embryonic stem cells via cloning human embryos. Already the UK patent office is looking into the validity of the patents in Europe. From the article: 'As long as an invention is not clearly contrary to scientific laws - like time travel - research has no bearing on the grant of a patent.'"

Apple changes their tune for iTunes mini store. jjbelsky writes "Apple has modified the iTunes MiniStore in response to the anger caused by its release of personal information. All users of iTunes, whether or not the music store is enabled, are now presented with a page informing them that when a song is selected 'information about that item is sent to Apple.' Users who do not click on the 'Turn on MiniStore' button will not have their privacy invaded."

Targets of RIAA lawsuit turn on i2hub operator. Doros writes "After being forced to fork over thousands of dollars to the RIAA, students want i2hub operator Wayne Chang to cover their losses. From the article: 'At least 42 students have been named as defendants in John Doe lawsuits filed by the recording industry. The industry trade group has offered to settle each case for $3,750, lawyers for the students said Tuesday. "Had the students known that they were exposing themselves to copyright infringement liability by using the i2hub service, they likely would not have used the service," the legal group wrote.'"

Adults exempt from Chinese online limits. Dotnaught writes "The Chinese government has yielded to pressure from adult online gamers and exempted them from its online gaming addiction policy. The rules, which went into effect last October, require that after five hours of consecutive play, players cease earning any virtual rewards such as experience points or beneficial items. To avail themselves of the exemption, some 26 million gamers will have to register their real names and identity card numbers with the authorities. The system hasn't proven particularly effective -- minors reportedly skirt the limits by logging onto different accounts or switching to another game after reaching the time limit."

Bill Thompson follows up Mac security remarks. Bralkein writes to tell us that in response to the overwhelming amount of feedback Bill Thompson received on his recent Mac security article, he has penned a response to his critics. In his reply, he admits that there were a few flaws in his article, and he acknowledges the high level of security provided by OS X's UNIX foundations. However, he stands by his assertion that the Mac cannot boast complete immunity to all security problems. As a Mac user himself, he still believes that the Mac community needs to remember that security is still an issue for them, too.

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Slashback: GPLv3, Firefly, iTunes

Comments Filter:
  • by Noksagt (69097) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @08:05PM (#14505307) Homepage
    So far they have raised $840 dollars against an estimated cost of 1 million per episode.
    $1M is relatively cheap for a network. They are more concerned about the opportunity costs. That is, they can get a lot more ad revenue from shows that people actually watch. Not to make any judgements of the show itself--I paid for my Serenity ticket on opening night--but no network is going to put on a show that is a ratings disaster just because it is free.

    Recall, also, the attempt to "Save Enterprise" the same way. The money was raised (much more than $840!) & it was still axed.
  • by Roadkills-R-Us (122219) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @08:10PM (#14505337) Homepage
    Good deal. This should never have been charged as a felony to begin with, but I agree he needed a reality slap. I haven't looked far enough into the case to have a strong opinion on the sentence, but 60 days, even suspended, sounds a little heavy. Then again, if there's more to it than I've caught from the news, maybe it's fine.
  • by Black Parrot (19622) * on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @08:10PM (#14505338)
    I loved the series, but was a bit disappointed with the movie. (Well done, but tried to wrap up / kill off too much stuff that should have been used to tittilate us for a couple of years.) In principle it could go on, but I can't see the magic ever being recaptured at this date.

    I wish Joss would give up on the dead horse and turn his attention to something new - on a different network.
  • by Freaky Spook (811861) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @08:15PM (#14505375)
    They may be able to raise 1 million, but if nothing eventuates out of it who gets the money??

    As much as I would love to see more firefly, I really don't want to put my money into reviving a tv show when I don't know where the money is going, i'd much prefer to increase my current donations to more needy causes like Oxfam.
  • WoW? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mr. Flibble (12943) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @08:24PM (#14505435) Homepage
    "The Chinese government has yielded to pressure from adult online gamers and exempted them from its online gaming addiction policy. The rules, which went into effect last October, require that after five hours of consecutive play, players cease earning any virtual rewards such as experience points or beneficial items. To avail themselves of the exemption, some 26 million gamers will have to register their real names and identity card numbers with the authorities. The system hasn't proven particularly effective -- minors reportedly skirt the limits by logging onto different accounts or switching to another game after reaching the time limit."

    And people were wondering why Chinese players prefer not to frequent Chinese servers. There were the recent (slashdot story) accusations of gold farming, which is possible. Or, the Chinese players of WoW perhaps want to circumvent this limit by playing on an outside server...

    Note, I don't know anything about WoW servers within China, and whether they acutally conform to this 5 hour limit or not, but then again, I don't play WoW on Chinese servers either.
  • Free CDs! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by VGPowerlord (621254) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @08:33PM (#14505505) Homepage
    "Had the students known that they were exposing themselves to copyright infringement liability by using the i2hub service, they likely would not have used the service," the legal group wrote.'

    This isn't a hard concept to understand. Really, it isn't. If you're downloading music that you see on CDs in stores, for free, it's illegal.

    Blaming the i2hub's operators is a diversionary tactic. It's pretty obvious that they chose to connect to a file sharing network, and IANAL, but I'm pretty sure that shows intent on their part.

  • by MindStalker (22827) <mindstalker @ g mail.com> on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @08:35PM (#14505519) Journal
    I wish Joss would give up on the dead horse and turn his attention to something new - on a different network.

    From what I understand Joss explicily stated there WON'T be another season after the movie (though there was a small hint at a miniseries).
  • by Tony Hoyle (11698) <tmh@nodomain.org> on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @08:36PM (#14505525) Homepage
    It's not wrong to dislike something just because the groupthink says you should like it (prepare to be moderated into oblivion though, as this post probably will be).

    I thought it was pretty damn awful too.... but then I'm not American (it was clearly in the 'Western' style to appeal to am american audience).

    OTOH the TV execs seemed to agree with us as it was canned pretty quickly...
    can't have been getting any decent viewing figures.
  • by PornMaster (749461) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @08:37PM (#14505532) Homepage
    In thinking about patents resulting from illegal behavior (I don't know if what the Korean guy did was illegal -- possibly fraud if nothing else), it would be interesting for a gov't to issue the patent, but assign it to the public domain.

    That'd keep people from profiting from the illegal behavior, and also not allow someone else to come in and profit from it just because they're "clean".
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @08:40PM (#14505550)
    Yep, and Mal didn't much like god after that... it was all part of explaining why Mal was like he was.
  • Fuck Off (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @08:42PM (#14505560)
    >Users who do not click on the 'Turn on MiniStore' button will not have their privacy invaded.

    how the fuck is it an invasion of privacy?

    no personal data is collected or sent, or ever was. it's a feature that turns your library into iTMS links, basically just a tabbed version of the little arrows that have been there for ages. oh noes! hyperlinks and tabbed browsing! teh interweb is stealing my identity!

    and even though it was blown way out of proportion, Apple still responded quickly and as desired.
  • by Scrameustache (459504) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @08:49PM (#14505600) Homepage Journal
    It's not wrong to dislike something just because the groupthink says you should like it

    No, it just mean you're sooooooo much better than everyone! Since you don't like something because others like it, by rejecting something popular, you set yourself appart! You're special!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @08:56PM (#14505628)
    It's not that you're "missing" anything - you are not part of the target audience :)

    I love Firefly, but I recognise that different people have wildly different tastes. I for one can't stand soaps, or law shows like Boston Legal. I hate modern art. I dislike rap music and hip hop.

    But I realise that a great many people enjoy those things, it is just that tastes differ.

    My advice? Don't worry that you are "missing something". Sometimes you are, sometimes it is an acquired taste (most things can be appreciated after time), and sometimes you are never going to appreciate what someone else does, just as they will not value something you treasure :) Try to expand your horizons as often as you can, but don't worry if you find it isn't worth it in some cases. Often, just the attempt will pay off elsewhere.
  • by lionheart1327 (841404) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @08:56PM (#14505631)
    It's the characters.

    After a while, you don't even care what they're doing or where they are, you care about them.
  • by Adult film producer (866485) <van@i2pmail.org> on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @09:56PM (#14505979)
    Stone was given a suspended sentence of 60 days in jail along with 20 hours of community service. Although he declined to comment on camera Stone's mother stated that she appreciate all the support he received from the online community.

    oh ya, only 60 days in jail... that makes about as much sense as throwing a person 5 years in federal prison for growing their own marijuana. This country is done for, whoever has to mop up this mess has their work cut out for them.
  • Oh, please (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @10:12PM (#14506067)
    Users who do not click on the 'Turn on MiniStore' button will not have their privacy invaded

    It's just doing a WebObjects query for related albums. Jesus Christ, my privacy isn't being invaded over that. There's more information stored via the Google cookie, and where is the Slashdot outrage over that? That information has been confirmed to be stored indefinitely, along with your email in Gmail. Oh no, Slashdot is storing your IP in its weblogs! In fact, every server does!

    Non-issue, in my opinion.
  • Re:WoW? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JourneyExpertApe (906162) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @11:06PM (#14506360)
    And people were wondering why Chinese players prefer not to frequent Chinese servers. There were the recent (slashdot story) accusations of gold farming, which is possible. Or, the Chinese players of WoW perhaps want to circumvent this limit by playing on an outside server...

    This makes me wonder if the Chinese government didn't have another motive in enforcing this limit. After all, it would interfere with "gold farming" businesses. Maybe they didn't like the idea and manufacutred this "gaming addiction" excuse as a cover-up.
  • Re:Oh, please (Score:3, Insightful)

    by labratuk (204918) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @01:02AM (#14507057)
    It's just doing a WebObjects query for related albums.
    And in the process, telling them what you're listening to.
    There's more information stored via the Google cookie, and where is the Slashdot outrage over that? That information has been confirmed to be stored indefinitely, along with your email in Gmail. Oh no, Slashdot is storing your IP in its weblogs! In fact, every server does!
    That's completely different, because people expect that to happen. They're using the internet. People don't expect a music playing application to be internet connected (unless they explicitly choose to use the store).

    It becomes subversive (and annoying) when something which doesn't have a particular obvious need to connect to the internet does so and doesn't make the user aware of it or doesn't give them the choice to prevent it.
  • by HardCase (14757) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @01:58AM (#14507301)
    I'm no rabid Firefly fan (honest!), but I did like the show and the movie. The movie looks like it broke even at the box office, but if you add DVD sales in, it surely must have done reasonably well - the DVD has been in the top 5 at Amazon since it was released. For that matter, the Firefly box set has been up there, too, which ought to make Fox happy.

    I'm not surprised that Fox stuck it to the show. It's not so much that the axe innovative shows as it is that they are locked into the short-term TV on the cheap program. Reality shows cost next to nothing and make a metric buttload of money. They're easy to promote. Firefly was an expensive show that didn't fit the Fox mold. It was easy to preempt because it was virtually unmarketable from Fox's point of view. But at some point, somebody at Fox is going to realize that having four or five shows to syndicate is a pretty slim library - I don't think that American Idol will do all that well in reruns.

    Firefly was here and gone before I ever heard about it. My first exposure was the movie, then I bought the TV DVDs. I vaguely remember hearing something about the show, but I always thought that it was a SciFi Network program - and I'm not that out of touch with my TV.

    -h-
  • by Robert The Coward (21406) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @12:09PM (#14509905)
    Has a box office movie every made any money. Granted at 25 Mil. it wasn't a big money maker but it wasn't a bomb either. It made a profit Hollywood has been cooking the books for years so that all movies either make no money or very little money. They move money around increasing cost to make zero profit on all most all movies.

    Robert

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