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03 May 15:58

May, 3rd


If your birthday cake doesn't feature a strawberry pentagram with upside down cross, and chocolate hearts, what are you even doing? (not my birthday)

May, 3rd

01 May 04:55

Check Out: A New Index of Copyright Fair Use Cases

by David Malki

Source: Christopher Dombres via Flickr

The U.S. Copyright Office has launched a new Fair Use Index:

Fair use is a longstanding and vital aspect of American copyright law. The goal of the Index is to make the principles and application of fair use more accessible and understandable to the public by presenting a searchable database of court opinions, including by category and type of use (e.g., music, internet/digitization, parody).

The Fair Use Index is designed to be user-friendly. For each decision, we have provided a brief summary of the facts, the relevant question(s) presented, and the court’s determination as to whether the contested use was fair.

The Index itself is a series of summaries of key legal decisions regarding copyright and fair use, largely from the last sixty years.

It’s super interesting to me! Wondermark is, of course, created using images from the public domain. Which is not the same as fair use; public domain works have no copyright, whereas fair use is made of works that are copyrighted.

But copyright in all its gleaming facets is still a topic near and dear to my heart as an artist, author, and attentive internet citizen: I’ve written a fair amount about copyright and intellectual property.

The Fair Use Index includes some watershed copyright cases, such as 1978′s Walt Disney Productions v. Air Pirates, the precedent that defines the infringement threshold for copying copyrighted characters for “parody” purposes.

It might be said that under the Air Pirates test, the entire product line of the t-shirt website TeeFury is illegal, and I notice that very conveniently, most of their designs are only available in strictly limited, before-they-can-send-us-a-cease-and-desist editions.

Also included is the “Betamax” case, 1984′s Sony Corporation v. Universal City Studios, which ruled that recording a free broadcast of live television onto videotape for later home viewing — referred to as “time-shifting” — was, indeed, legal. “Home taping” (of both television and radio) was the big I.P. boogieman threat before “piracy”, and this court decision was what enabled the VCR, as a consumer device, to exist at all.

In browsing, I also came across some interesting cases I hadn’t heard about before, such as:

• 1985′s MGM v. Honda Motor Corp., in which MGM sued — and won — claiming that a spy-themed Honda commercial was too reminiscent of their copyrighted character, James Bond (and that it damaged the James Bond brand to show him in a Honda);

• 2004′s MasterCard v. Nader 2000, in which MasterCard sued — and lost — a copyright infringement suit against Ralph Nader’s presidential campaign commercials which copied/parodied its “priceless” slogan;

• 2006′s CleanFlicks v. Soderbergh, in which the company CleanFlicks, which edited objectionable content out of Hollywood movies and re-sold them to customers who preferred them that way, sought a declaratory judgment that doing so was legal — and lost. They thought they’d be OK because they’d buy a copy of the actual DVD, add in the edited version, and re-sell that precise physical DVD — not unlike buying a book, blacking out various passages, and then re-selling that physical book. Anyway, they lost;

• And of course, 2011′s CCA and B v. F+W Media, which ruled that the parody book Elf Off the Shelf (featuring a drunken, naughty elf), was, indeed, legal. Thank God for that.

The Fair Use Index: really great browsing, if you’re interested in copyright!

30 Apr 21:57

April, 30th


Extreme lensflare.

April, 30th

01 May 16:20

OpenBSD 5.7 Released

by Soulskill

Best non-linux OS I've tried lately, when I wiped my laptop a few months back. Had some troubles that made me move on (tried 5.6), but had more severe troubles with alternatives like FreeBSD (no support for my wifi chip the most important), so ended up on gentoo again, but I ever wipe my laptop again, I'll definitely try OpenBSD again.

An anonymous reader writes: Right on schedule, OpenBSD 5.7 was released today, May 1, 2015. The theme of the 5.7 release is "Source Fish." There are some big changes in OpenBSD 5.7. The nginx httpd server was removed from base in favor of an internally developed httpd server in 5.7. BIND (named) was retired from base in 5.7 in favor of nsd(8) (authoritative DNS) and unbound(8) (recursive resolver). Packages will exist for BIND and nginx. This version includes a new control utility, rcctl(8), for managing daemons/services, USB 3 support and more. See a detailed log of changes between the 5.6 and 5.7 releases for more information. If you already have an OpenBSD 5.6 system, and do not want to reinstall, upgrade instructions and advice can be found in the Upgrade Guide. You can order the 5.7 CD set from the new OpenBSD Store and support the project.

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01 May 15:17

Fair Use At Risk When Private Companies Get To Make The Decision For Us

by Mike Masnick
We talk a lot about how fair use is under attack these days, and I've discussed in the past my concerns about freedom of expression when we always have a company (or a few companies) standing in the middle of our decisions on whether or not we can speak. NiemanLabs has a great example of where this becomes problematic in a story about how SoundCloud will not even consider fair use in making decisions about whether or not to take down content, and how that's harming journalism:

Here’s a wakeup call to audio creators everywhere: SoundCloud does not recognize your fair use rights under U.S. copyright law. If your content contains any copyrighted material to which you haven’t secured the rights — even if you have a valid fair use claim — SoundCloud may take it down at any time.

That’s exactly what happened to a former student of mine, and his experience should serve as a warning to the growing number of news organizations (including several that I work with) that use SoundCloud to host podcasts and other audio content.

Journalism as we know it could not exist without fair use, so it’s possible SoundCloud may not be a viable tool for the field. Imagine trying to do a story about the “Blurred Lines” lawsuit without playing copyrighted clips from the songs involved.

The article goes on to discuss an interesting journalism project that used a very brief clip of copyrighted music in a way that almost certainly was fair use. SoundCloud took it down. When pressed on this, the company eventually admitted that it refuses to take fair use into account, in part because fair use is only in the US:
We understand that US copyright law includes a doctrine of fair use. However, these rules are limited, difficult to apply outside of a court of law, and in any event do not necessarily apply outside of the United States. As SoundCloud is a global platform, we expect all of our creators to respect copyright law, and the rights of copyright owners, on a global basis.
As the writer of the article, Adam Ragusea, points out, this should be a major concern for any journalists using Soundcloud. And that includes us at Techdirt -- as we use SoundCloud to host our podcast. But the fact that the company might not even allow us to make use of our fair use rights -- the same rights that the Supreme Court has said are essential for protecting the First Amendment -- is a major concern, and one that has me thinking we should be looking for other platforms.

But, even then, we would most likely face the exact same situation. Any other platform will be under pressure from any sort of DMCA notice system as well. And while they could stand up for their users, many don't want to take on the liability risk. And thus, we run a serious risk of losing a key component of free expression.

And, honestly, the problem is only partially the companies like SoundCloud. The entire legal system is designed to make this sort of response the only real choice they have. With fair use being only truly available in a few countries, it's difficult to operate a global platform. This is why if we're going to put copyright into international trade agreements fair use needs to be included, otherwise we risk losing it back here in the US as well. But when you combine that situation with copyright law in which statutory damages are insane, and where the DMCA requires you to shoot first and ask questions later, it is way too easy for companies like SoundCloud to just throw up their hands and say this isn't worth dealing with.

Even companies that do try to take fair use into account -- like YouTube -- all too frequently fail to do a good job of considering fair use, leading to perfectly legitimate content disappearing, with no real recourse for the creators. This is why, beyond fair use, it seems like we need much stronger safe harbors for intermediaries like SoundCloud. It works with Section 230 of the CDA, in which the rule is pretty ironclad: the service provider should never be seen as legally liable for the content its users create. For fair use to thrive, copyright law requires a similarly ironclad safe harbor. This doesn't -- as some will inevitably claim -- mean that there is no recourse over infringement. There absolutely is. The copyright holder still has every right to target the actual end user, and that person can then stand up for their own fair use rights, which is only proper.

But under the current system, end users don't even have the chance to stand up for their own fair use/free speech rights, because third-party platforms like SoundCloud get to make the final decision for them -- and with all of the liability incentives stacked against them, free speech doesn't have a chance.

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01 May 05:39

No Manwich is an Island

by Adam


31 Mar 23:30



Cheese it!


30 Apr 02:30

Frozach Submitted

29 Apr 14:13

Doomed To Repeat

by jon


The Supreme Court is hearing arguments on marriage equality this week! I wonder if they discuss the issue amongst themselves? I imagine it would go a little something… like this.

It’s almost that time of the month again — Patreon time! Please consider chipping in a buck to help keep the comics coming. You fine people are the reason I get to do this, and I thank you deeply for the opportunity.


12 Apr 14:34

Undisclosed: The Preview

by Undisclosed: The State Vs. Adnan Syed

For those that listened to the Serial podcast and wants to dig deeper.

A preview of Undisclosed: The State Vs. Adnan Syed
29 Apr 00:07

Battlefront fans may enjoy this awesome ATAT Arma 3 mod footage

by Brenna Hillier

Heh, last 10 seconds of this video is hilarious.

Star Wars: Battlefront is still a ways off, but the modding scene has stepped up to bring us something to tide us over.

The video below shows an unfinished Arma 3 mod by YouTuber McRuppertle.

The footage was taken during the first in-game test, and, sadly, the project has since been abandoned.

“This Walker was never finished and was just a test. The walk animations are very poor, done with O2, but it does the job,” McRuppertle wrote in the video’s description.

“I don’t think I will ever finish.”

Alas! But Battlefront is coming. Just hold out a little longer.

29 Apr 05:00

Comic for 2015.04.29


Look at his happy face!

New Cyanide and Happiness Comic
29 Apr 01:56



Easy now.

28 Apr 17:12

death bastard xiiTumblr — Twitter — Facebook— Buy my books


How to modern.

death bastard xii

Tumblr TwitterFacebookBuy my books

16 Jan 12:00

Sang i Sutge LP: 7. La tardor dels martirs


Now that is how you brutal.

track art

Ósserp - Sang i Sutge - MMXV

27 Apr 18:49

Refused Refuses To Die, Releasing New Album "Freedom"

by Ty Arthur (aka xFiruath)

Oh damn, another classic band having a non-embarassing reunion? New song doesn't sound terrible.

Refused is fucking alive and there's no escape: the Iconic Swedish hardcore band is releasing "Freedom" (the band's first new album in 17 years) on June 30th via Epitaph. Listen to the first new song "Elektra" below, courtesy of In 1998, Refused released the iconic album "The Shape of Punk to Come." It was also the year that the b... Read More/Discuss on Metal
25 Apr 17:18

April, 25th


This is how you rock 'n' roll

April, 25th

24 Apr 19:00

Pure bliss

Pure bliss

24 Apr 05:08

Comic for April 24, 2015


The truth about people.

Dilbert readers - Please visit to read this feature. Due to changes with our feeds, we are now making this RSS feed a link to
21 Apr 02:36


23 Apr 07:01

Opposite Mirrors

by alex

Opposite mirrors, people, they're deceiving as all that!

Opposite Mirrors

23 Apr 15:46

April, 23rd


Four months later, still celebrating yule? Hardcore...

April, 23rd

22 Apr 23:05

Fooled by some sheep

22 Apr 12:39

Germany 1 : AdBlock Plus 1 : Advertisers 0

by cmn32480


juggs writes:

During an outbreak of common sense in a Hamburg, Germany, court it was ruled that.. no, advertisers don't get their own way every time.

Zeit Online GmbH and Handelsblatt GmbH as representatives of the advertising world filed suit against Eyeo GmbH (the owners of AdBlock Plus) claiming that the latter should not be allowed to distribute software (a browser plugin that blocks ads) that disrupts their income stream.

The court did not look favourably on the advertisers' case.

From an article in The Register :

Ben Williams, a director of Eyeo, wrote in a blog: "The Hamburg court decision is an important one, because it sets a precedent that may help us avoid additional lawsuits and expenses defending what we feel is an obvious consumer right: giving people the ability to control their own screens by letting them block annoying ads and protect their privacy."

This has ramifications for another simmering case in neighboring France.

Read more of this story at SoylentNews.

22 Apr 09:04

April, 22nd


Tree is moving into spring-modus. The green is coming!

April, 22nd

22 Apr 07:01

Bargain Bane

by Ronnie


22 Apr 04:00


by Christopher Hastings



30p13 is a post from: The Adventures of Dr. McNinja Ads by Project Wonderful! Your ad could be here, right now.

30p13 is a post from: The Adventures of Dr. McNinja

Ads by Project Wonderful! Your ad could be here, right now.
22 Apr 02:30

Frozach Submitted

21 Apr 21:30

Frozach Submitted

20 Apr 15:42

April, 20th


Met this little girl on my way to work this morning. In the time it took me to snap a picture, her man had almost snuck up on me, the sneaky guy.

April, 20th