First, read this:
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a United States copyright law that implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures (commonly known as digital rights management or DRM) that control access to copyrighted works. It also criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, whether or not there is actual infringement of copyright itself. In addition, the DMCA heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet. Passed on October 12, 1998, by a unanimous vote in the United States Senate and signed into law by President Bill Clinton on October 28, 1998, the DMCA amended Title 17 of the United States Code to extend the reach of copyright, while limiting the liability of the providers of on-line services for copyright infringement by their users.
The DMCA’s principal innovation in the field of copyright, the exemption from direct and indirect liability of internet service providers and other intermediaries, was adopted by the European Union in the Electronic Commerce Directive 2000. The Copyright Directive 2001 implemented the 1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty in the EU.
Google asserted misuse of the DMCA in a filing concerning New Zealand’s copyright act, quoting results from a 2005 study by Californian academics Laura Quilter and Jennifer Urban based on data from the Chilling Effects clearinghouse. Takedown notices targeting a competing business made up over half (57%) of the notices Google has received, the company said, and more than one-third (37%), “were not valid copyright claims.”
The original purpose of copyright laws was to protect creativity by allowing artists, both of visual arts and music, to make their fair share of money from selling their own creations. It is certainly unethical for anyone to claim another’s original work as his own and then make a profit from that work being sold.
Too often, however, what happens is that people wanting to censor a viewpoint they find offensive make claims based on their interpretation of the DMCA to claim copyright infringement that is not valid or, even if technically valid, really is not fair at all.
Here is a perfect example. Watch this video by YouTube user cdk007:
Did you enjoy it? Maybe if you were a younger person you were bored by the classical music track that was used for it. But in fact, that was not the original music that was used for the video. Instead, cdk007 used this music first:
That DOES sound 100% better, in my opinion. But soon after cdk007 posted the video about evolution, he was slapped with a DMCA takedown notice and he was forced to replace the soundtrack. But he never claimed the song “Jesus of Suburbia” was his creation, nor did he make money from that video. I doubt that Green Day, the artist that made the song, was to blame for what happened, it seems so unlike them!
What happened in this case was de facto censorship. The DMCA actually SUPPRESSES creativity and freedom of speech and it should be repealed.
If only she were real and I was again a teenager, I would have been proud to be her boyfriend!
While she is hardly perfect (which makes her realistic and thus acceptable to most TV viewers), she seems to embody more than most the Honorable Skepticism I follow.
Her first appearance was in the TV show Beavis and Butthead (B&B). Surprizingly, she didn’t seem to hate the morons as much as others did and they in turn respected her more than one might have expected:
When Daria got her own show a few years later, she blazed a trail for cartoon characters few ever dared to go before, or since.
Yes, I was a lot like Daria when I was her age, except I was a born-again Christian. But otherwise I didn’t tend to follow the crowd, I was very into science, and I wore glasses. Today, I am even more like her, having dropped Christianity for agnosticism.
Here is some behind the scene information on the Daria show:
I have heard they are bringing back B&B, with all new episodes. They need to do the same with Daria, with her now being depicted as a college student. Because while B&B were hardly role models for teenage boys, Daria is a great one for teenage girls! We need MILLIONS more girls like her, rejecting the shallowness of modern culture and embracing rational thought.
Strictly speaking, as an Honorable Skeptic, I do not expect to have followers of my ethical philosophy. Nor am I a blind follower of anyone (because then I wouldn’t be a skeptic). No, not even Carl Sagan, though he was a idol of mine in childhood and he was one of my direct influences in the creation of my standard of ethics. But there is one person whose vision so closely mirrors my own, and even exceeds it in many ways, that I must pay tribute to him as a brother in arms against ignorance, superstition, and self-serving bigotry: Nick Josh Karean.
He lives in a nation split between Buddhists, Muslims, Christians and Hindus, among other religious communities, yet he was a fundamentalist Christian early in his life, just as I was. Eventually, however, he learned to get away from that and developed critical thinking. He is one of the strongest advocates for reason, science and objective truth I’ve ever known and is a vegan and animal rights advocate. He currently works in film making and visual effects.
I invite all who know me to also join with him.
Carl Sagan died in 1996, yet he still lives in the hearts of those who knew him, whether personally or as the public celebrity he became.
Now the time has come for science to move on and find a new superhero, someone who can command both the public respect that Sagan did and challenge society for the better. Although Sagan was an agnostic who championed skepticism, he did not come across as openly hostile towards all religion, as Richard Dawkins does. Such hostility, even if justified, can turn gentle souls away from science. So who can possibly succeed Carl Sagan? Who can be the champion of reason, rationality, and tolerance for all?
I will. And so can you. And you, you, you, you and you, if only you just care to be as dedicated to science and to the welfare to humanity as Sagan was. I have championed the philosophy of Honorable Skepticism as my tribute to Sagan. But the best way to honor him is not merely to keep playing his COSMOS series and talking about what he did, but to make our own contributions to science, to EXCEED Sagan’s work, to become superheros of science ourselves. We are not expected merely to blindly follow what Sagan taught, for he was by no means infallible. Because he was human as we, we can carry his vision forward, and we will do it by eliminating the concept of “sacred cows” and seeking change to improve our societies, regardless of what short-term and localized interests get stepped on. They deserve it! And we cannot afford to appease those interests anymore. Having a global and long-term perspective is what will save us, not any religion or political ideology.
Today I was accused by an enemy of mine of misusing the term “intellectual” by applying it to myself. That would only be valid if in fact someone could prove that I was not intellectual. First we need definitions of “intellectual”:
There are, broadly, three modern definitions at work in discussions about intellectuals. First, ‘intellectuals’ as those deeply involved in ideas, books, the life of the mind. Second, ‘intellectuals’ as a recognizable occupational class consisting of lecturers, professors, lawyers, doctors, scientist, engineers, etc. Third, cultural “intellectuals” are those of notable expertise in culture and the arts, expertise which allows them some cultural authority, and who then use that authority to speak in public on other matters.
Some people, including the one who attacked me today, seem to think that intellecuals must express no emotions, like the Vulcans of Star Trek. That strikes me as unrealistic, since all humans do have emotions. It is the combination of intellect and emotions in people that make their characters what they are. To call myself intellectual is hardly unethical, if one can read my writings and see for themselves what I am capable of.