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Patry Copyright Blog Closed 129

Posted by kdawson
from the pecked-to-death-by-ducks dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "William Patry, noted copyright expert and Google's top copyright lawyer, has decided to close his personal blog. (For no reason that he has explained, the archives are gone too.) Ordinarily, that wouldn't be very newsworthy, but that little blog has made a lot of news, outing the ACTA treaty and discussing lots of other important pending legislation. Mr. Patry gives two reasons for the closure: his personal views were being attributed to Google, and the current trends in copyright law are too depressing. Though I am not the only one to have done so, as someone who has contributed to that misunderstanding by listing his credentials without a disclaimer, I would like to publicly apologize to him. Unfortunately, there's nothing I can do to reverse the depressing trends in copyright law that I'm not doing already."
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Patry Copyright Blog Closed

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  • Self-censorship? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kaos07 (1113443) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @12:46AM (#24492045)
    Or a wannabe martyr?
    • by BPPG (1181851) <bppg1986@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @12:55AM (#24492115)

      Postel's Law: be conservative in what you do, be liberal in what you accept from others. A good networking rule to follow whether or not you're a computer scientist.

      • by kaos07 (1113443) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @12:59AM (#24492133)
        I'm Australian. Our conservative party is called "The Liberal Party". I have no idea what that quote means.
        • by johndmartiniii (1213700) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @01:29AM (#24492311) Homepage
          It's sort of like the drains going the opposite way and Summer being cold, right?
          • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

            by kestasjk (933987)
            The Liberal Party is conservative on economic issues but liberal on social issues. It doesn't really have the same connotations in Australia as the Republican Party has in America. It's more like the Tories in the UK
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by kaos07 (1113443)
              This is so insanely off-topic, but it is hardly "liberal" on social issues. If by "liberal" you mean either the liberalist philosophy of personal freedom. Anti-terror laws? Mandatory detention? The official party stance on stem cells and abortion? Attitudes towards people of an NESB? Attitudes towards the arts?
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Anonymous Coward
              Yeah, the Australian Liberal Party is "liberal" on social issues: they like to lock people up for years without trial, they're against gays marrying, they don't mind a bit of racial brawling on Sydney beaches, and they think Aborigines can't raise their own kids.
            • by drsmithy (35869) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .yhtimsrd.> on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @05:00AM (#24493377)

              The Liberal Party is conservative on economic issues but liberal on social issues.

              You have that back to front. The Libs are "Liberal" in their economic policies (ie: pro-free-market, free trade, anti-union, etc).

              They _are_ conservative in their social policies, but I'm pretty sure that (originally, at least) has more to do with the type of people their primary beliefs attract, rather than any specific attempt at being so.

              • by lilomar (1072448) <lilomar2525@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @09:18AM (#24495159) Homepage

                You have that back to front.

                Duh. He said he was in Australia!
                /ducks

              • by jandrese (485)
                I'm confused, since when is pro-free-market, anti-union considered liberal? Liberals usually lean towards government regulation and allowing unions around here. They also tend to be against free trade insomuch as the pandering to the base ("we won't let your jobs go overseas!") propaganda goes.
                • by drsmithy (35869)

                  I'm confused, since when is pro-free-market, anti-union considered liberal?

                  We are not using the American definition of "Liberal" here, nor is it being used as a general description, but one specific to economic policies.

                  It might make more sense if you know that the opposing party is 'Labor', who are pro-union, pro-government-ownership, controlled economy, etc.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by n3tcat (664243)

            It's sort of like the drains going the opposite way and Summer being cold, right?

            I just had a mental image of a bunch of republicans holding hands and dancing in circles.

          • Really? I thought Summer was still hot in Australia.

            Bearing in mind that Summer runs from December through March in Australia, rather than from June through September like it does in the Northern Hemisphere.

        • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

          by Xanni (29201)

          I think you'll find our conservative parties are called "Liberal", "Labour" and "Family First". In the US, they are called "Republican" and "Democrat". There are progressive political parties, but they haven't been nearly as successful in appealing to voters and their fear and self-interest.

        • Re:Self-censorship? (Score:4, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @01:51AM (#24492425)

          I'm Australian. Our conservative party is called "The Liberal Party". I have no idea what that quote means.

          That's normal in politics. In Soviet Russia (don't even think it) the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was popularly known as "Four words, four lies."

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by bolo1729 (759710)
            Same with the states having "Democratic" in their names. I'd prefer to live in the Republic of Korea rather than in Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and in Federal Republic of Germany rather than in German Democratic Republic.
        • by jamesswift (1184223) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @02:36AM (#24492627) Homepage

          As a European who has seen Fox News I think Liberal means believing Stalin was The MAN! and Conservative means being persecuted for driving.

          *shrugs*

      • by istartedi (132515)

        Postel's law has been blamed for a lot of compatability issues, and IIRC, he may have even backed away from it himself.

        Consider this: If web browsers were required to *fail* when a server sent the wrong code instead of "being liberal in what they accept", then you can be sure that the servers would have complied. As it stands, a number of dubious things are being done by both clients and servers, and implementations are forced to attempt rolling with the punches. One of my favorites: the Netscape web se

    • Not really. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by yar (170650) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @01:42AM (#24492387)

      I do a number of things related to copyright law. IMHO, Patry's blog was one of the greatest free Web resources for anything interested in following copyright.

      If you read the comments on Patry's closing blog entry, you'll find a number of names you'd recognize if you follow copyright law at all- almost a who's who of the copyright world. And most of them, while they wish he would continue, completely agree with his reasons for leaving, including his second premise. Copyright law has gotten depressing, and it does bring the crazies out. And he's not the first person who works in copyright law that I've heard say pretty much the same thing.

      It's not like he's leaving the copyright world- he is still the author of the definitive legal treatise on copyright, and he's still a copyright attorney.

      • Seconded (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Xenographic (557057) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @02:52AM (#24492699) Homepage Journal

        I'm no lawyer, but I know a little about law anyhow. Mr. Patry is one of the heavyweight scholars of copyright law, not some random nobody on Slashdot like me.

        His blog was very important. Like TFS says, it broke the news on the ACTA treaty, which would still be secret if not for him. Lawyers read his books to learn about copyright law. His blog was incredibly useful to find out all the latest happenings in copyright law, which is only getting crazier now that it's being rewritten to appease Disney and to try to deal with the internet, which most politicians don't understand on a deeper level than "it's not a big truck, it's a series of tubes."

        So losing him is a big deal and it sucks. There simply aren't many people who could ever hope to replace him. Groklaw, Ars Technica and NYCL are all great, don't get me wrong.

        But they simply lack the authority someone like Mr. Patry can bring to the table. He will be missed.

        • Worse is losing the blog itself. Unlike, say, a discontinued magazine or out-of-print book that a library will continue to maintain, a discontinued web site leaves a "hole" in the web where it used to be. All of the sites that linked to it now link to the proverbial black hole.

          And yes, I know about the Internet Archive, but I suspect that many don't, and that still fails to help all of those broken links...

  • by strelitsa (724743) * on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @01:05AM (#24492169) Journal

    Mr. Patry gives two reasons for the closure: his personal views were being attributed to Google, and the current trends in copyright law are too depressing .

    The first reason is probably valid, and Patry is correct in wanting to clearly differentiate his views from Google's. (While most people would just slap "The views expressed here are my own and do not represent my employer's ..." boilerplate on their blog and call it a day, its a free Intertubes.)

    The second reason reads more like pure frustration and petulance than anything else. His pulling the archived material is likely a part of this martyrdom.

    I do wish that Mr. Patry would come on down off that cross - we need the wood.

    • by Hal_Porter (817932) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @01:25AM (#24492283)

      He also said

      On top of this there are the crazies, whom it is impossible to reason with, who do not have a life of their own and so insist on ruining the lives of others, and preferably as many as possible. I asked myself last week after having to deal with the craziest of the crazies yet, "why subject yourself to this?" I could come up with no reason why I should: My grandfather chose to be a psychiatrist, but I chose a different professional path, one that doesn't obligate me to put up with such nonsense.

      Funny how slashdot misses that part out.

      • by CKW (409971)

        Why does he "have" to deal with the crazies? Simply ignore them.

    • by yar (170650) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @01:43AM (#24492397)

      I'd hardly call it petulance, although working with copyright today is incredibly frustrating. I wouldn't call him a martyr. Read the comments on that entry.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @01:11AM (#24492201)

    This whole copyright business is depressing alright, mainly because those who are allegedly "our" politicians are working against us as a result of corporate $$$-based lobbying, which would be known as bribery in more enlightened societies.

    Well fine, if that's how the system works then why don't *WE* bribe our politicians too? Dozens of millions of citizens are affected by this media-led crap, hundreds of millions of people worldwide, so surely we can afford the bribes?

    It shouldn't be necessary to bribe those who in theory should be representing us, but if that's the only way to make them work for the people, then we should do it. If we don't, then the next step will be to employ contract hit men to make the politicians "see sense", and that's not a step to be taken lightly. But bribery appears to be acceptable in current society. So how about it?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      I don't understand why you've been moded Offtopic because you are clearly Ontopic. It's common knowledge that our politicians are bribed by all manner of corporations, and corporations certainly don't have our best interests at heart.

      I would love to see communities, counties or even whole states banding together to raise money for bribery of "their" representatives in congress.

      And it's probably way too soon to be talking about assassination.

      • I don't understand why you've been moded Offtopic because you are clearly Ontopic.

        Clearly.

        Well, I guess there is room to interpret him as off-topic if you don't take the popular heresay about politicians as fact, but it's such a tiny loophole, and nobody really goes against the groupthink... right? Right?

        • by lilomar (1072448)

          Assasination only works if you can point the blame at one person, or small group of people.

          You can't assasinate every politician in the US, and even if you did, the people who took over would be (or shortly become) just as bad.

          It's a human-nature problem. The only solution is to kill all humans.

    • by jlarocco (851450) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @01:50AM (#24492419) Homepage

      Well fine, if that's how the system works then why don't *WE* bribe our politicians too?

      We don't have to bribe our politicians because they are our employees. We pay their salary with our tax money. We, the citizens, are supposed to "bribe" them with their jobs. If they want to keep their job, they protect our rights and look out for our interests.

      The sad fact of the matter is, if enough people actually cared enough to implement a plan like yours, we wouldn't need it anyway because scumbag politicians would rarely get elected in the first place. As the saying goes, we're getting the democracy we deserve.

      • Letter of the Law (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Nymz (905908)
        Patry's warnings and frustration with the current fusillade on fair-use protections appears to me as a piece of a larger picture. A theme not uncommon in contemporary sciencefiction stories is of a planet where lawyers rule and litigation is omnipresent. Anyone who has read the US Constitution can tell you how short and succinct it is, and while some of the contributors were lawyers they certainly weren't 'slip n fall' lawyers that spelled out every little eventuality. Perhaps they felt that if men would no
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)

          In many places, judges are 'redefining' marriage from Husband & Wife, to Partner A & Partner B. If you just felt a knee-jerk reaction on this one, take a second to think about it. If you really cared about homosexual marriage, then you should go about it in the correct manner.

          The thing is, most such laws originally on the books don't explicitly specify man and woman to begin with - note the bazillion local movements to pass new laws that do explicitly specify one man and one woman. Those new laws would not be necessary if the original laws had been explicit to begin with.

        • by drsmithy (35869)

          Richard Stallman's defense of the idea of 'free software' which stresses freedom of use, versus its 'redefining' as 'open source' which Microsoft appears to be all too comfortable with embracing to the 'Letter of the Law'.

          Had Stallman not tried to redefine "free" in the first place, there wouldn't have been a problem. "Open Source" is not only a _vastly_ more accurate and relevant terminology, but also avoids the politics that Stallman tried to inject.

          The 2cd Amendment right to bear arms in the 'Spirt

          • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

            by Nymz (905908)

            Had Stallman not tried to redefine "free" in the first place, there wouldn't have been a problem. "Open Source" is not only a _vastly_ more accurate and relevant terminology, but also avoids the politics that Stallman tried to inject.

            We can agree to disagree on which is 'vastly' better, but claiming Stallman's purpose and motivation has changed really doesn't hold up against the plethora of his writings dating back quite a few years.

            I'm not American, but I'm pretty sure that self-defence was not the primary objective of the Second Amendment.

            "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

            There are only three types of people who are bothered by homosexual marriage:
            1. People that are just set in their ways. They grumble and mutter under their breath, but at the end of the day, are prepared to live and let live.
            2. Bigots who want to see their particular set of morals enshrined in law.
            3. Bigots who want to see their particular set of morals enshrined in law, but try to disguise it using a smokescreen of either other broken laws (welfare seems to be a favourite) or slippery slope fallacies ("legal bestiality" seems to be a favourite) as justification.

            You have convinced me to abandon my methods, as your method (calling people Bigots) sounds like a sure-fire way to convince people to change their minds and heart

            • 1) He never claimed Stallman changed position. He's claiming Stallman's starting point was a redefinition of 'free'.
              2) That doesn't say self defence anywhere. In fact, it explicitly says "security of a free State," which is rather different. Not getting into rights or wrongs of gun control (I really couldn't give a toss), just sayin' you quoted something that doesn't actually back up your position.
              3) So you're completely unbiased. We'll take that as truth; do you object to gay marriage, and if so why?
              • by Nymz (905908)

                1) He never claimed Stallman changed position. He's claiming Stallman's starting point was a redefinition of 'free'.

                So, he was "claiming Stallman's starting point" was 'free as in beer' before he later "redefined it" to 'free as in freedom'?

                2) That doesn't say self defence anywhere. In fact, it explicitly says "security of a free State," which is rather different. Not getting into rights or wrongs of gun control (I really couldn't give a toss), just sayin' you quoted something that doesn't actually back up your position.

                Heh, I quoted the 2cd Amendment. But to give you the benefit of the doubt which of these best defines your position:
                1) The security of a free State is ensured by hunting deer with guns.
                2) The security of a free State is ensured by owning a large gun collection.
                3) The security of a free State is ensured by defending oneself (with a gun) against those threatening you.
                4) Ok, I can't

                • I know; I recognised it. How about:
                  4) Form the militia the law mentions?
                  Shame on you! Some of your countrymen have used a shotgun as a tool while changing a tyre, and you can only come up with hunting, self defence, and support of the gun-polish industry? (",)
                  And I agree with the last point - though sometimes a good ad hominem is allowed, or at least funny.
                • by CorSci81 (1007499)

                  As I said before, I encourage people to change laws the 'proper' way (education, proposal, vote) and 'object' to discarding democracy in order to implement one's own agenda.

                  A few points here. One, the 'proper' way can be very difficult to achieve as a minority group with a long history of discrimination against it. While societies attitudes do eventually change as they accept the new realities, it is usually the 'improper' challenges to law that lead the way for later 'proper' change.

                  One role of the judi

                  • by Nymz (905908)

                    So, as a secular and multi-cultural nation, why should we allow a primarily religious notion to inject discrimination in what is functionally a legal and financial contract between two people?

                    If you are familiar with the saying "your right to swing your fists around ends where my nose begins", then "your right to 'a legal and financial contract between two people' ends when I have to subsidize it."

                    Frankly I'm surprised by the type of responses to my original post, which provided 3 examples, the 1st of which was the nerd one (free software). I figured Slashdot would be discussing that one, but more likely, most of Slashdot agrees with the free software, and gun examples, but a few have wished

                    • by CorSci81 (1007499)

                      If you are familiar with the saying "your right to swing your fists around ends where my nose begins", then "your right to 'a legal and financial contract between two people' ends when I have to subsidize it."

                      You should be very, very careful with that kind of logic, because it can be twisted in ways you never intend. I don't have children, why should my tax dollars subsidize you having any? What if I want to attach strings saying you can only have one? Similar logic also applied to interracial marriage (

                    • by Nymz (905908)

                      Some of us enjoy a polite debate on other issues, even if your viewpoint is totally maddening to me :-P I have some gay/lesbian coworkers/friends, some of them have families (with children), so to me the viewpoint you take on marriage is completely counter-intuitive and frustrating.

                      My views on homosexual marriage (which appear to match yours) should be irrelevant to the discussion of the subject. I'm stating the proper way to change society is 'within' democracy by education, proposals, and voting; instead of subverting democracy by redefining & ignoring laws. As you say 'maddening' indeed, I even placed a disclaimer in my original post to warn people not to have a knee-jerk reaction, but apparently homosexuality evokes a great deal of feelings for some people, which is a shame be

                    • by CorSci81 (1007499)
                      You should make yourself clearer if you want to avoid troll mods ;-) And as far as redefining laws, I think my points on the judicial system stand. With regards to the state laws it clearly fell within the jurisdiction of the courts given there was a legitimate conflict between laws.
            • by statusbar (314703)

              absolutely true...

              --Jeffk++

            • by drsmithy (35869)

              We can agree to disagree on which is 'vastly' better, [...]

              One is only accurate when taken within a very small, unintuitive and non-standard definition of "non-free". The other is an accurate description of the situation - "open source".

              [...] but claiming Stallman's purpose and motivation has changed really doesn't hold up against the plethora of his writings dating back quite a few years.

              I didn't say anything about his purpose changing, I said his terminology required a redefinition of "free" to be m

          • by skeeto (1138903)

            Had Stallman not tried to redefine "free" in the first place, there wouldn't have been a problem.

            He didn't try to redefine "free": the definition was always there (i.e. "land of the free"). It is just the unfortunate situation that English, the world's working technical language [catb.org], has two very different definitions mapped to the same word. Other languages make the distinction with the different words "gratis" and "libre".

            • by drsmithy (35869)

              He didn't try to redefine "free": [...]

              Yes, he did. "GNU/free" is not "free".

              It is just the unfortunate situation that English, the world's working technical language [catb.org], has two very different definitions mapped to the same word. Other languages make the distinction with the different words "gratis" and "libre".

              Free as in "no cost" and free as in "freedom", in English, are rarely difficult to discern using context.

              Stallman's problem is twofold - first, the context of his usage of "free" poi

        • by jvkjvk (102057)

          Perhaps they felt that if men would not honor the 'Spirit of the Law' then they wouldn't honor the 'Letter of the Law' either.

          Let's try and guess what the "Spirit of Law" behind Civil Marriage is, and why, really, according to the "Spirit of Law" that it might not matter if Person A and Person B are of the same sex.

          Hmmm, I know! - There are both legal benefits and obligations to civil unions beyond those granted by any religious body. These accrue in civil society and are real, tangible benefits. Why should the squeamish morality of people who are uncomfortable with their own sexuality continue to be a Legal barrier to such unio

          • by Nymz (905908)
            I simply don't have the time to attempt to write all that would be needed to address your questions, but I will take the time to show I'm sincere and hopefully point you in the direction that you can take on your own.

            Most of your concern on the topic of 'spirit of the law' versus 'letter of the law' appears to linked to homosexuality, so I will use their symbol as a metaphor. Imagine I described the their symbol (a rainbow) by saying it was composed of many colors. You interpret my colors as not being bl
            • by jvkjvk (102057)

              I will take the time to show I'm sincere and hopefully point you in the direction that you can take on your own.

              Thanks I appreciate that. Or would, if you weren't such an asshat about it:

              Perhaps after you have a little more experience, the world will make more sense.

              Right. there.

              You know, I often feel it is best to go back and quote the primary source and evolution of a thread, so here goes:

              In many places, judges are 'redefining' marriage from Husband & Wife, to Partner A & Partner B. If you just felt a knee-jerk reaction on this one, take a second to think about it. If you really cared about homosexual marriage, then you should go about it in the correct manner. The same is true of a law you don't like, where you work to eliminate that law from the books, with education, proposals, and finally a vote of the people. Too many people just want to get their 'gang' in power, and grab the reigns, and 'make' things happen in spite of the will of the people.

              Then, someone replied that mostly, it was the other way around, from "unspecified", to man and woman or some such.

              You replied to them that it did not need to be stated, as that's the way it's always been. Also this:

              Just how 'explicit' would you require it to be? Full color pictures of a penis entering a vagina with an internal camera to explicitly show conception?

              Then, I joined this conversation. I thought both your original example was incorrect as well

              • by Nymz (905908)
                I'm sorry if my response appeared condescending, but let's not lose sight of the topic. In order to support Patry's claim of attacks upon fair-use protections, I connected the method to a breakdown in the litigious nature of our current society. And in order to provide an understanding of that connection, I provided 3 examples of current events in dispute.

                If someone has a personal or religious objection to one of the examples provided, then I would hope the remaining 2 examples would help them to underst
      • You have to be wealthy and well connected to make it as a politician. They're are ruling class, not employees. You can occasionally join that class, but you still have to be in it. Otherwise you can't raise the funds needed to win.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      that depends. what are you going to ask for? abolition of copyright? (a popular theme here). And then when all of you are unemployed because the companies you work for no longer produce anything of value (increasingly US companies produce IP or goods that can be encoded digitally), are you then going to whine to the same politicians about why you are unemployed?

      • by lilomar (1072448)

        Actually, very few people on /. (and in the anti-copyright movement in general) are for the abolition of copyright.

        I'm just guesstimating these numbers, but I would say that the position of /.'ers is approximated by the following:
        5% - Want abolition of copyright.
        5% - Rabidly pro-copyright.
        10% - Think that copyright should be subverted from within the system, a-la CC, GPL, etc. (note that these are not the only ones who are pro-CC/GPL, these are the ones who think that they are the way to fix

  • by Steve1952 (651150) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @01:16AM (#24492229)
    Although I'm sure that Patry had an excellent Blog, the cynic in me thinks that there is only one real reason why the archives are now off line. This is probably fear that some of his earlier statements are now inconsistent with his high level legal position at Google. That is, he is concerned that an opponent might try to twist his words in the Blog against him.
    • I consider myself a cynic but I've gone a different path. I believe him, in the sense that there would be a serious difficulty for journalists to resist the temptation to not attribute anything he says to google.

      Whilst I'm sure that as he points out that he is under no duress to close, I'll bet this blog and the constant misquoting the google position is enough to make things uncomfortable in his day job often enough.

    • I don't think so. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by yar (170650)

      He's made it clear that Google, the company, is not directly involved with the closing of his blog. I've read and respect Patry enough to believe that if something along those cynical lines was the case, he'd pretty much say so.

      • He's made it clear that Google, the company, is not directly involved with the closing of his blog. I've read and respect Patry enough to believe that if something along those cynical lines was the case, he'd pretty much say so.

        just like, when the police ask, that escaped prisoner in the basement with a gun to your child's head was never there.

        I believe it like i believe the world is flat.

        • by yar (170650)

          I love Slashdot. ^_^ As a coworker of mine put it, on Slashdot the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Furthermore, absence of evidence is evidence. ^_-

          • Actually, denial of something pretty much out of nowhere is very much evidence something is up.

            My family has numerous occupational connections, but when they stop doing something in their spare time I don't automatically jump at their employers, nor is it the first thing that comes to mind. (in this case, the first thing that comes to mind is MAFIAA shenanigans)

            If "mother" comes to her teenager's door to say dinner is ready, and hears "there's no weed in this room now go away!", it's a pretty well foregone

  • by TheModelEskimo (968202) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @01:22AM (#24492261)
    I'm shutting down my blog about the finer points of the GNU GPL in protest of Mr. Patry's shutting down of his blog about copyright.

    I'm sorry it had to come to this. And to all my readers: I WONT be back.
  • Not to worry (Score:5, Informative)

    by martin-boundary (547041) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @01:28AM (#24492301)
    Just read it here [archive.org]. Thanks, Wayback Machine!
  • This sucks. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Larryish (1215510)
    I am really sorry to see the archives go. If he doesn't want to continue writing, the man has his reasons. But the archives were full of good material.

    Fortunately the Wayback Machine is on the case :)

    http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://williampatry.blogspot.com [archive.org]
  • by rasteri (634956) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @04:39AM (#24493287) Journal
    ... The patry's over. (I'm sorry)
  • by Raisey-raison (850922) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @06:04AM (#24493683)

    I wish someone could explain how it is that countries everywhere are moving towards stricter and stricter IP laws when at this level there is plenty of evidence that they are having a deleterious economic impact. Even in countries in Europe where campaign contributions are not influential as in the USA. It seems that left wing politicians who supposedly abhor big business are just as pro IP as everyone else.

    It also seems that whatever level of IP protection exists its never enough. Recently the EU considered extending copyright term lengths from 50 to 95 years. http://www.dmwmedia.com/news/2008/07/17/eu-proposes-extending-copyright-term-length-95-years [dmwmedia.com]
    If anyone has some insight I would appreciate it.

    • by earthforce_1 (454968) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `1_ecrofhtrae'> on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @07:17AM (#24494043) Journal

      This is going to end up, (already ending up really) like prohibition in the 1930, where certain narrow interests managed to get laws in place that the silent majority refused to follow.

      • I'm going to ask a question and you may call me a troll for doing it but I really want a honest answer from you: Do you honestly think "the silent majority" gives a damn about copyright?

        I just find it odd how many Slashdotters put high values on things that the real majority of people either don't care about or don't know about. What the odd part of it is isn't really the value they attribute to it but rather the idea that they think that our little community's interests somehow spread out far beyond these
        • by lilomar (1072448)

          The "silent majority" refuses to follow copyright, whether or not they "give a damn" about it.

          Or do you really think that /.ers are the majority of TPB/Limewire/etc's users?

          • Good Lord, talk about a distortion of what I said...

            If I read you right I would agree that the majority of p2p users do not follow copyright as a whole. But they still do not make up a majority. Not even a majority of Americans are on the internet let alone using p2p. And even if they did there is no way that what the bulk of these people are doing is going to be legalized anytime soon. These people know this. Revision of copyright on the level that would need to be made to make most p2p downloads legal wo
          • by AnyoneEB (574727)

            While it is true that Limewire, etc. are popularized, there are two major points to consider here:

            1. A lot of people I know will refuse to use p2p or accept pirated copies of movies, etc. on moral grounds. This may be a fluke, but it does seem rather common to have a sizable DVD collection.
            2. Most people I have encountered do not have a firm grasp on what copyright law covers. I think part of it is that the web has a ton of free-as-in-beer media and only some of it is legal. I know people that will buy DVDs of m
        • Didn't see your response right away. (Vacation)

          Maybe it is just who I hang around, but with C-61 looming in Canada, the educated, under 30 crowd seems to be very aware of the issues involved. Not the majority to be sure, but enough of a vocal minority to make a substantial push back against corporate interests.

          We'll know for sure after the upcoming by-election how large this issue looms.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by lilomar (1072448)

      It seems that left wing politicians who supposedly abhor big business are just as pro IP as everyone else.

      Ding-ding-ding! We have a winner!

      Are you going to vote for a Republican, or a Democrat? Also, would you prefer to be raped anally, or in the butt?

    • 1. The content distributors want to ensure a consistent and stable flow of revenue by ensuring their works have an indefinite period of copyright protection. Critics argue that just because they want to make a profit for the rest of the universe's lifetime, doesn't mean that they should keep renting content perpetually, nor should they attempt to recoup any perceived loss from digital copies by depriving the public domain of valuable content. This is a commonly held view among people online, but IMO money a

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dhalka226 (559740)

      I wish someone could explain how it is that countries everywhere are moving towards stricter and stricter IP laws

      Well, let's clarify: It's Western nations that are moving toward stricter and stricter IP laws.

      Why? Because we can't compete with cheap labor from other countries, at least not while maintaining anything near the standard of living we're accustomed to. For better or worse, we didn't really try to (though likely couldn't even if we did); we were content to let those "old economy" jobs go away

  • ACTA can be killed in no time.

  • Internet Archive... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The internet archive has his older blog posts archived here:

    http://web.archive.org/web/*hh_/williampatry.blogspot.com/ [archive.org]

  • ...to PJ at Groklaw. The summary is a straight copy-and-paste of her coverage of this issue that was posted days ago.

  • Lawrence Lessig went this way before him [sociocapitalist.net]. There's no doubt that the state and direction of copyright law is problematic when the brightest and most qualified people with an understanding of the subject can't bear to think about it.

    It leaves little room for optimism.

"Irrationality is the square root of all evil" -- Douglas Hofstadter

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