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Notable Sites 12/10/2013

Current Cites
Current Cites has been published continuously since August 1990. It is an Annotated Bibliography of Selected Articles, Books and Digital Documents on Information Technology. “A team of librarians monitors information technology literature, selecting only the best items to annotate for this free publication.”
How we organize what we find and or where to find it will only become more important in the future.
This is the Current Issue Nov 2013

The Internet Scout
Published continuously since 1994 it posts an issue every Friday. It covers Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

The Scout Report is the flagship publication of the Internet Scout Research Group. Published every Friday both on the Web and by email subscription, it provides a fast, convenient way to stay informed of valuable STEM and humanities resources on the Internet. Our team of librarians and subject matter experts selects, researches, and annotates each resource.

This is the Current Issue

Terry Hart and his collaborators review the latest court cases on and about copyright in the US. A lot of the material is sprinkled with Latin lawyer jargon, (although pains are taken to explain the terminology as it appears) it does present a clear look at the current law on copyright. It is also noteworthy in its use of footnotes with links to source materials used in creating their articles.
An excellent example is the recent post:
Righthaven Revisited: What the Ninth Circuit Got Wrong
(News and Media Sites could use more of this type of linking to allow readers to make up their own minds on the articles veracity.)

An Added Bonus is none of these sites use cookies or trackers!

Copyright, Click Wrap and the Fourth Circuit Court

Copyright in the United States was originally enumerated as a short term monopoly for authors as a method of defining ownership of ideas and concepts(aka ‘Intellectual Property’) and also creating opportunity for financial wealth for authors in the “short term” and increasing the intellectual wealth of the society as a whole upon expiration of its term, with assignment to the Public Domain. I use “short term” advisedly as US Copyright has been savagely extended for the benefit of the so called Entertainment Industry.

Click Wrap is the term used to define an electronic agreement between an owner and a user. Most commonly found on the internet when signing up for such things as social media sites like Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, and registration on sites that allow interaction like commenting, uploading images, and other forms of interaction. In the heat to become one of the cool kids and or join the gang, folks blow past these agreements in their rush to belong, assigning licenses and giving up rights to their individual property. This has happened time and time again.

These “agreements” all contain the following:

For content that is covered by intellectual property rights (like photos and videos), you specifically give us the following permission, you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to For content that is covered by intellectual property rights (like photos and videos), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use, copy, publicly perform or display, distribute, modify, translate, and create derivative works of (“use”) any content you post on or in connection with Facebook. of (“use”) any content you post on or in connection with (Insert Your Social Site Name Here).

Basically while you maintain ‘ownership’, these sites can use, copy, publicly perform or display, distribute, modify, translate, and create derivative works of any content you post Derivative Works can be as simple as resizing an image to just renaming it, which if you ever used Typepad was their MO. Also is the game of removing metadata in an image, further obscuring actual ownership. Also a claim can be made for Derivative work status, creating something that you cannot claim. Sort of like filing the serial number off a gun or changing the VIN Number of a car.

Also understand that these ‘agreements’ are subject to change at any time. Be aware that these fulfill all the requirement of a contract between you and them. And in almost every case You Lose.

Which brings us to this article from Copyhype:
Fourth Circuit: Clickwrap Agreement Fulfills Writing Requirement for Copyright Transfer

The important tidbit:

The underlying dispute in this case is between two competing real estate listing businesses, Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc. (“MRIS”) and American Home Realty Network, Inc. (“AHRN”). Plaintiff MRIS, located in Maryland, maintains a database of property listings to which real estate brokers and agents subscribe. These subscribers upload their listings to the MRIS database, and they agree via acceptance of the website’s terms of use to assign ownership of the copyrights in whatever photographs they upload to MRIS. Defendant AHRN, located in California, operates a nationwide real estate search engine. MRIS alleges that AHRN displayed real estate listings that contained copyrighted photographs from the MRIS database, and it filed suit claiming direct and indirect copyright infringement by AHRN.

MRIS is a social network for real estate agents with one important distinction: Their click wrap agreement assigns copyrights to them. Which was used as club to sue AHRN for copyright infringement. Due to the nature of click wrap contracts MRIS won.

Your really need to read the whole thing.

You should be very careful who you play with.

Instagram’s TOS – Facebook Beacon 2.0

OMG!!! Instagram the internet mobile phone photo sharing site has changed it terms of service and has the interweb media in an uproar!!!
They want to use your images as part of paid advertising campaigns without paying you or acknowledging your ownership.
Wake the Fuck UP!

There is no FREE on the internet!

When you signed up you agreed to:

you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, worldwide, limited license to use, modify, delete from, add to, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce and translate such Content, including without limitation distributing part or all of the Site in any media formats through any media channels, except Content not shared publicly (“private”) will not be distributed outside the Instagram Services.

Let’s look at this…
non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, worldwide, limited license
You gave them a license to use your photos anyway they want without any compensation aka money to you in any form or at anytime.
So quit your bitching about them using your stuff without your permission. You gave that right up as soon as you created your account and uploaded your very first photo.

Remember they did say it was Free. Is your ass beginning to itch yet?

limited license
“use, modify, delete from, add to, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce and translate such Content, including without limitation distributing part or all of the Site in any media formats through any media channels”
Since the ‘limits’ cover everything that you can do with any sort of image on the internet, the only limit seems to be printing it out and mailing it to your house. Which of course is the last thing any internet company is going to do. Even AOL stopped sending out CD’s years ago.

use, modify, delete from, add to
Holy Photoshop Buckwheat!! they can cut, paste, dodge, burn, and remodel your images anyway they want.This also gives them all derivative works rights also. They can change your photos from .jpg, to gif, svg, and so on and back and forth.

publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce and translate such Content
This allows them to bait the hook for the next group of suckers who can’t read and have mobile phones.

including without limitation distributing part or all of the Site in any media formats through any media channels
See use above for media formats. As far as media channels think Facebook who now owns Instagram and all of your content even if you are not a Facebook Member.

The new TOS

1.Instagram does not claim ownership of any Content that you post on or through the Service. Instead, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service, except that you can control who can view certain of your Content and activities on the Service as described in the Service’s Privacy Policy, available here: http://instagram.com/legal/privacy/.
2.Some or all of the Service may be supported by advertising revenue. To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you. If you are under the age of eighteen (18), or under any other applicable age of majority, you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to this provision (and the use of your name, likeness, username, and/or photos (along with any associated metadata)) on your behalf.
Source Instagram TOS

Yep they added sub-licensable to be able to sell your ass to ad networks and Facebook. And they say that they can take money for selling your ass to advertisers to support themselves disclosing your username, likeness, photos as part of the bargain.
No you still are not getting any money nor will you ever. Get Over It.
If this scheme sounds familiar it is. This is Beacon 2.0 with the Facebook fingerprints wiped off.
Facebook Beacon was the same scheme floated a few years ago that was found to be so creepy that it spawned a class action lawsuit and was eventually shut down.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Beacon was a part of Facebook’s advertisement system that sent data from external websites to Facebook, for the purpose of allowing targeted advertisements and allowing users to share their activities with their friends.”

The sneaky bit that the digerati has missed so far is (along with any associated metadata)
Metadata is data about data.
By default, most mobile phones with cameras have GPS enabled.
In that case, mobile phone photos contain metadata that show the GPS coordinates of the location where the picture was taken. Not only does it contain the date and time, but also the geographical area where the photo was taken.
A fuller explanation and a tool to extract this metadata can be found here

So you are thinking so what? You can see jacks bar in the photo.
On the one hand this could be an electronic alibi for you. On the other hand you could be tracked as an un indicted co conspirator due to time and location information buried in your photo. On the gripping hand, large quantities of photos that are data mined with this information can form all sorts of ‘interesting’ directions.
Let’s say while you are taking your buddies photo outside of jacks, Hannah the Hooker is being busted by an undercover cop. Let say a week later you are out with your buddies and the same thing happens in fred’s tavern. With this metadata you could be accused of being a person of interest either in soliciting prostitution, or frequenting known prostitution venues despite the fact that you are all happily married and are just having a guys night out.

By now your ass should be bleeding profusely and there should be sirens screaming in your lizard brain, because as sure as you are reading this, someone will figure out how to fuck you with this.

Yeah, I am a glass half empty sort of guy, because I know There is no FREE on the internet!

I pay for my internet connection, hosting and my time posting this. You pay for your internet connection and your space if you have any, and your attention reading this.
I hope it is a fair trade.

Copyright Notes FOR Artists

Copyright is the entity allowing creative artists to make a living from their work. Distributors/Publishers are the middlemen that can help or hinder you in making money from your work. Assigning all your rights to a single entity is a recipe for suicide.

Monopolies have no incentive to work hard for you. Think I am wrong? Just ask your cell phone company.
Nina Paley writes this at Techdirt:

Middlemen will only have monopolies if artists keep granting them. They’re not going to give them up on their own. It falls on us artists to simply refuse to grant these monopolies in the first place. A copyleft license sends a clear, simple, and non-negotiable message to middlemen that they need to innovate and compete to profit from the work. Only we artists can supply the incentives they need to do their jobs well; and we can only do that by refusing monopolies.
The Problem Isn’t Middlemen, It’s Monopolies | Techdirt.

If a middleman says they need exclusivity, run away.

KindleGate or Amazon’s Notion of Ownership

Last week, owners of the Amazon Kindle discovered that those who had purchased certain copies of 1984 had them deleted by Amazon. They were given a refund, but it was some time before an explanation of this unilateral action was made.  Amazon stated that the copies deleted were sold without ‘some’ copyright.

The Kindle is one of those ‘dancing bear’ devices. Some folks such as myself see how badly the thing works with a monochrome screen ‘ fer christsakes, a single format, being smeared with  fecal DRM, and a case of the paranoids long before Kindlegate. The idea that when you turn it on, it phones home, and you having no idea of who is maintaining the connection, what information they are gathering, who they are selling it to, or giving it away either in explicitly personal terms or aggregate.  Then there are the folks who actually ‘bought’ one because they are amazed that the bear dances at all. And having a dancing bear somehow validates their geekiness without  actually understanding what is wrong with dancing bears.

The irony of 1984 being the poster child of Amazon’s ability to remove things you bought at their discretion underscores why digital books and devices are not ready for prime time. This action is like your bookstore sending a clerk into your house, removing a book you bought and paid for and  leaving money on the nightstand. Like they will get past my dogs.

Stowe Boyd has the “Agreement” on his site with a few pithy comments.

Every ugly’ fuck the customer’ term and condition is there. Mandatory Arbitration, DMCA proscriptions, licensing rather than selling the material neatly sidestepping the First Sale Doctrine, that allows you to sell things you buy that have copyright like books, CD’s, DVD’s, etc. , unilateral changes to the agreement by Amazon without your consent, and further more your automatic agreement with their actions.

If i want to rent a book, there are things called Public Library’s that are a hell of a lot cheaper. If I Buy something I Own IT!

If you ever see me with a Kindle in my hands, just shoot me. Really.

Some Copyrights are more Equal than others, but everybody is waiting.

Copyright is seriously screwed up. Don’t get me started.
Now the Copyright Office is seriously screwed up. The Washington Post has this:
© 2009? Wishful Thinking, Perhaps, as Backlog Mounts

For $35 you can file electronically, for $45 you can file by mail, (which is going up to $65 in August) and for $695 bucks you can file an ‘expedited’ registration. Nowhere in the intent of Copyright was a class system mentioned.

Being granted copyright and registering it are two different animals, with serious implications.

Maybe we should outsource the Copyright Office to Google, as they seem to be the only folks who can copy, present, publish and announce stuff in near real time.

Code, Privacy, and Copyright

HTML is the language of websites. For a number of years the W3C has been the  accepted authority on the bits of code and tags that make up what shows up on your screen. As technology has changed, there has been a number of people who think about and are working on coming up with a new version of HTML which includes various hooks to display different types of information.

The point of various ‘standards’ is to try to get what is written to show up hopefully the same in the various browsers.  This is a battle that has been going on since the second browser showed up. There is work on a new standard taking place right now. It is not going well. Shelley Powers has a great post on what it means, and the spitballing going on.

A lot of what is creating confusion is not deciding what a tag does, but more in what can be hooked up to it, and what can be extracted from it. Where cases can be made for Sematic tags, RDF Frameworks, common tags for extraction, all of this disconnects the writer from the user, and opens the door for forming technologies that manipulate these various elements in ‘novel’ ways.  The problem with machine readable tagging is the garbage in, garbage out, problem. If you can’t get it on the screen in the browser it doesn’t matter what you can do with it.

On the privacy front with the aforementioned code lunacy and allowing third party scripting reporting to someone trying to sell you something, collating your viewing and surfing habits, are a number of tools to stop this behavior. Tools like AdBlock Plus can cut down on a significant invasion of your privacy. Highly Recommended!
Adobe and its Macromedia product Flash which runs so many video sites, sets cookies in non standard locations for tracking, and are not easily removed. If you try to block them, sites break. Never mind that Adobe has never respected either your privacy nor your choice in your home. One of the first versions of the Flash Player turned on your webcam and microphone by default, and you had to change it to regain your privacy. Getting rid of Flash cookies is harder, But Wladimir Palant has a trick for doing that.
Getting rid of Flash cookies It is a little complicated, which just points out the lengths that companies and organizations will go to in order to invade your privacy and sell you down the river.

Copyright in the US is irretrievably broken. It has moved from a simple limited time monopoly for writers and artists into a gigantic entitlement program for the Industrial Entertainment Complex. Mike Masnick at Tech Dirt has a great writeup on a conference celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Copyright Act of 1909 .
Read the posting.

Significant were the conclusions that International treaties are bullshit. I have long been an advocate of reducing Copyright back to 14 years, and re instituting Registration for Protection. Registration does not have to be a big deal especially in the internet age. Nor does it have to be expensive. Such a registration methodology can eliminate a lot of the present court time being sucked up litigating copyright issues, when a simple online search of the Registration Database can answer these questions.
Copyright is not a welfare program for the entertainment industry.

newspapers are the only means

Over at the Guardian UK, yet another reporter, Henry Porter blames Google for killing newspapers, and fostering what he claims is an Amoral Menace. He drags up all of the old arguments about piracy, and other crimes. He blathers on for a while until we get to the heart of his rant, that being Google is killing the newspaper industry and offers this chestnut as justification:

“newspapers are the only means of holding local hospitals, schools, councils and the police to account, and on a national level they are absolutely essential for the good functioning of democracy.”

This is bullshit on so many levels as to be almost laughable. When you look at your local newspaper, see how much is actual local reporting by boots on the ground vs regurgitated crap by-lined by one of the wire services. Since a lot of cities and towns have gone online, the need to have ‘professional’ reportage, is nowhere as dire as Porter would have us believe. Anybody with a computer and a few moments with a search engine, and yes there are alternatives to Google, can find just about anything on any issue in their own home town, your home town, or some place that you will probably never see. The internet has opened up all of these local areas to the floodlights of citizen participation.

An interesting case in point locally is the Phoenix police raiding the home of blogger Jeff Pataky, who runs Bad Phoenix Cops, who has been critical of the department. This is a significant story as a lot of the information that Jeff publishes comes from sources inside the Phoenix Police Department. Additionally, despite the fact that the police seized his computers, modems and files, he is still publishing, from anywhere he can find an internet connection. You cannot say that about local newpaper operations in the case of catastrophe.

He then points out how evil Google is with this:

“Despite the aura of heroic young enterprise that still miraculously attaches to the web, what we are seeing is a much older and toxic capitalist model – the classic monopoly that destroys industries and individual enterprise in its bid for ever greater profits. Despite its diversification, Google is in the final analysis a parasite that creates nothing, merely offering little aggregation, lists and the ordering of information generated by people who have invested their capital, skill and time.”

That sounds awfully familiar, considering the revenue model that has driven newspapers which for the most part enjoy a monopolistic position outside of major metro areas, out of the news business and into the advertising business. As for little aggregation, again I point to how much of local news is actually in local newspapers vs wire service copy.

As for ordering of information, whose fault is it that news organizations use the AP style,(putting the conclusion of the article in the first paragraph, and using the rest of the story as filler), making going any further an exercise in regurgitation.

One other note. Somebody who whines about ‘individual enterprise’ while collecting a paycheck from a organization that held a monopolistic position might to examine their own role in that toxic capitalist model.

But he is still not done. He figures that he has one last card to play, the censorship card.

There is a brattish, clever amorality about Google that allows it to censor the pages on its Chinese service without the slightest self doubt, store vast quantities of unnecessary information about every Google search, and menace the delicate instruments of democratic scrutiny.

Here is the problem with censorship. It is a concept that brings out fear, uncertainty and doubt. Censorship takes many forms. I wonder how many stories Henry has had ‘spiked’ or killed, by some editor or other management wienie, due to a conflict of interest, of editorial ‘guidance’, or advertising pressures. This is censorship. No I do not buy the chinese wall argument. There have been too many reported cases where pressure from advertisers and or ‘interested’ parties have distorted reporting. And when they get caught they look like assholes, and credibility crashes.

Another interesting look on censorship is the standard usage of unnamed sources, and the refusal to publish documents, notes and background materials that go into newspaper stories. Yes it is true that newspapers have limited space, but whose fault is that? On the internet we can publish and provide links to our source materials, so that the readers can make up their own minds, so the actual ‘good functioning of democracy’ can take place. Keeping that in mind, newspapers online and news organizations are still producing Father Knows Best reporting, telling us what they think we need to know . This is censorship of a far subtle nature and just as damaging than anything Winston Smith in 1984 was subjected to.

‘Storing vast quantities of unnecessary information’ is a real gem especially in view of newspaper sites that use cookies for tracking, use third party advertising servers, having pop ups, pop unders, require registrations for commenting on those sites that even embrace that concept, and use that self same information to sell more advertising, cutting up stories requiring multiple page views, creating more advertising, and collecting yet more information, that in the final analysis does more to ‘menace the delicate instruments of democratic scrutiny‘, than any search engine.

The newspaper industry in its current mold is dead, and the collateral damage to reporters is as real as it gets. But blaming somebody else for the failure of a system that was the precursor of what is replacing it, is just a failure to get the facts, and to adapt.

Facebook Proposed Statement of Rights & Responsibilities, bullshit walks Take 2

The kids at Facebook are still trying to dig themselves out of the intellectual property hole they dug themselves. The latest episode in this saga is: Facebook Town Hall: Proposed Statement of Rights & Responsibilities

This is their latest proposal. The cute thing here is calling it a Statement as though it is just folks talking. Make no mistake, this is a fucking Contract, and will bite you on the ass. This is a work in progress, but still falls short.
The most important section of this is Section 2, which deals with your stuff, and licensing it to them.

2. Sharing Your Content and Information
You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, including information about you and the actions you take (“content”). In order for us to share your content and provide you with our services, you agree to the following:

This is reality slapping them in the face, due to to Copyright Law in the US. Here is the problem with this. Currently if you have Copyright in one hand and shit in the other, you will need to have toilet paper handy. (Also in section 14, they make the point that they are bound by the laws of the State of California, so Federal Copyright applies. Cal hasn’t seceded, or fallen into the ocean yet)

2.1 You give us permission to use, store, and share content you post on Facebook or otherwise make available to us (“post”), subject to your privacy and application settings.

Here is where the rabbit hole opens up. “You give us permission to use, store, and share”. This opens the door to granting them a license in absence of any other statement they make. ‘Implied’ and ‘reasonable’ have won more contract lawsuits than you can imagine.
The only thing this needs to say is: You give us permission to store, because that is the deal here, you get space and they get numbers and data. They are providing space, but you are creating the page. There is no reason for Facebook to need usage or sharing unless they are going outside of this agreement.
The only one who is using or sharing your stuff is you, and the folks in your circle.

Privacy? This is the fucking Internet. There is nothing private out here.

2.2 You may delete your content or your account at any time with the understanding that removed information may persist in backup copies for a reasonable period of time (but will not be generally available to other users), and that content shared with others may remain until they delete it.

The gem here is the qualifier “(but will not be generally available to other users)”. If you delete your account, under what specific scenarios would it be kept? The internet is just like a neighborhood. Stuff appears and disappears just like neighbor who moves or the store on the corner that closes down. The space may be there, but nobody is home and you have to move on.
Content shared with others? let me see here… you write on somebody’s page, it becomes part of their page, you share a photo, it becomes part of their page, and no longer is yours, making this a bullshit argument. Creating a url to a picture or page on your page is leaching and is frowned upon. In a worst case, somebody’s page will show a busted link or a broken image. This is a pancake makeup argument. They want to have every bit of crap to be permanent, so they don’t have to explain that your page get busted links and a demonstration of churn, and looks like shit because your ‘friends’ left Facebook. Remember when I mentioned that these sharecroppers don’t publicize how many active accounts they have?

Before we get to the money shot part of this, let’s review Copyright. In its simplest form, Copyright covers original writing and creation, whether it be words, photographic, visual(painting, dancing, design, still or moving like video), or auditory such as music. As the Creator of stuff, your Copyright gives you a limited monopoly to license your work, such as copying , publicly perform or display, distribute, modify, translate, and create derivative works. Licensing is what makes the book, movie, and music industries possible.
Do you really want to give all of these away for free?

2.3 For content that is covered by intellectual property rights (like photos and videos), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use, copy, publicly perform or display, distribute, modify, translate, and create derivative works of (“use”) any content you post on or in connection with Facebook. This license ends when you delete your content or your account.

Let’s start with they left out. Your writing. Everything you write is covered by copyright. Copyright got its start with the written word.
Here is where the bullshit gets deep. you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use, copy, publicly perform or display, distribute, modify, translate, and create derivative works of (“use”) any content you post on or in connection with Facebook.
They do not need nor should they be allowed to have a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use, copy, publicly perform or display, distribute, modify, translate, and create derivative works of (“use”) any content you post
You do need to grant them a license of sorts to play on Facebook.
This covers your ass and acknowledges you as the Copyright Owner.
They need a non-exclusive license to be able to display your writing and images, as this again notes that you are the copyright owner. The primary reason is that you may be one of those fickle people who has a MySpace or windows live account, as well as a Facebook account. They are smart enough in one respect of understanding that an exclusive license would put them in a world of hurt. Somebody would sue somebody, and there is no need to stimulate the economy with full employment for lawyers.

They do not need nor should they be given, any transferability as you are in a gated community, nor should it be sub-licensible, which gives them the rights to grant or sell your stuff without any permission or royalties.
They do not need a worldwide license as their servers are in California, and despite where you may be viewing from, at the end of the day, you are viewing things in California.
They do not need a license to copy except for backups which are not publicly available(hopefully).
They do not need a license to publicly perform or display, as this is a gated community and you have to be a member to see things.
They do not need a license to distribute, modify, translate, and create derivative works. Distribution is your right as the copyright holder, modifification, translation and creating derivative works are also Your Rights as a copyright owner.

You really do not want to give these rights away.

Royalty Free
This is not an outrageous demand, since they are providing you with space for your cat photos.
Royalties are money and what you get when you license your stuff for money. Social Networks are not the place to make money. Besides, there are not enough accountants on the planet to track this stuff. They are all busy trying to figure out what credit default swaps are or where the ponzi scheme money is.

Here is what a fair license grant should look like:

In exchange for my uploading materials to your site, you will receive a Limited, fully revocable, License to Display my materials on your network in the Original forms as delivered to you, with full attribution to me as the author/copyright holder, for the duration of our engagement, being the period of time that we are entered into this arrangement, evidenced by my use of the username/password you have provided and the space on your network you have made available to me.

All others rights are Reserved including, but not limited to, reproduction, modification, distribution outside of the aforementioned space, subsidary public display, public performance, and or derivative works in any format, online or offline.

Anything less is bullshit. They need you a lot more than you need them.
Remember, without you, there is no them.

Twitter Bookmarks, Facebook Ads, and Roy Blount Jr’s Curious Copyright Blindspot

The sharecroppers are having a banner week on the interwebs.

Buying Tweets one book at a time
According to ValleyWag, one of its former employees has sold a book of twitter postings to HarperCollins. He has automated the process of collecting and obtaining permissions, which in this case carry no royalties, but get the folks a free copy of the book.

This is one of those deals that you will probably see more cropping up,as sharecropper networks begin to use the unlimited licenses that you granted them. The labor market for ghost writers will heat up as these folks put a fig leaf on this.

Facebook’s Advertising Schemes.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald Facebook is running get rich quick scam ads.
According to the report Facebook said, “We will continue to take user feedback into consideration as we evolve our advertising systems and policies in order to maintain a trusted environment.”
Yeah, like when you get caught.

Roy Blount Jr., Authors Guild President and Resident Comedian
The new Amazon Kindle book reader has a text to speech program that Roy Blount Jr. says is a violation of Copyright. His theory in short, is that since there is an audio book market, somehow this entitles authors to audio rights royalties.
He sort of ignores the fact that we can do what we want in private with books and computers.
Mike Masnick at Techdirt sums it up nicely;

Using text-to-speech to read text you legally own aloud is not copyright infringement. It’s not a “fixed” version of the material, and it’s not a public performance.

Roy should stop making bullshit arguments and perhaps work on his radio career.