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November 04, 2010

Magazine engages in bold copyright infringement, tells author she should be happy her stuff was published

illadore: Copyright Infringement and Me
I was contacted early last week by a friend of mine who lives in the Northeast about my "As American as Apple Pie - Isn't!" article that was published in Cooks Source magazine, mostly to inquire how I had gotten published. This was news to me, as I hadn't ever heard of this magazine before. . . . So. I first phone the magazine then send a quick note to the "Contact Us" information page, asking them what happened and how they got my article. (I thought it could have been some sort of mix-up or that someone posted it to some sort of free article database.) Apparently, it was just copied straight off the Godecookery webpage. As you can see from the page, it is copyrighted and it is also on a Domain name that I own. After the first couple of emails, the editor of Cooks Source asked me what I wanted -- I responded that I wanted an apology on Facebook, a printed apology in the magazine and $130 donation (which turns out to be about $0.10 per word of the original article) to be given to the Columbia School of Journalism. What I got instead was this (I am just quoting a piece of it here:) "Yes Monica, I have been doing this for 3 decades, having been an editor at The Voice, Housitonic Home and Connecticut Woman Magazine. I do know about copyright laws. It was "my bad" indeed, and, as the magazine is put together in long sessions, tired eyes and minds somethings forget to do these things. But honestly Monica, the web is considered "public domain" and you should be happy we just didn't "lift" your whole article and put someone else's name on it! It happens a lot, clearly more than you are aware of, especially on college campuses, and the workplace. If you took offence and are unhappy, I am sorry, but you as a professional should know that the article we used written by you was in very bad need of editing, and is much better now than was originally. Now it will work well for your portfolio. For that reason, I have a bit of a difficult time with your requests for monetary gain, albeit for such a fine (and very wealthy!) institution. We put some time into rewrites, you should compensate me! I never charge young writers for advice or rewriting poorly written pieces, and have many who write for me... ALWAYS for free!" . . .
(via Ken Lowery)

October 22, 2010

Retiring judge accuses collegaue of promising to never rule against corporations, for twenty years

Retiring Judge Accuses Colleague Of Corruptly Siding With Major Financial Firms Over 20 Years | TPMDC
Is it possible that for nearly 20 years, one of the two administrative judges presiding over investor complaints at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has followed through on a secret vow to rule on the side of financial firms and professionals against individual investors? On his way out the door last month, retiring judge George Painter levied that very charge against his now-former colleague, Bruce Levine. "On Judge Levine's first week on the job, nearly twenty years ago, he came into my office and stated that he had promised Wendy Gramm, then Chairwoman of the Commission, that we would never rule in a complainant's favor," Painter wrote in an order. "A review of his rulings will confirm that he fulfilled his vow."

Feds Worried Xbox Hacker Will Show Mod Chips Are OK

The basic argument is: if I can legally jailbreak an iPhone, why can't I legally mod my X-Box? Feds Worried Xbox Hacker Will Show Mod Chips Are OK
Andrew Huang wrote a book a few years back called Hacking The Xbox. He's an expert on the subject. He's such an expert, in fact, that federal prosecutors are trying to stop him testifying in a mod chip court case. Courtesy of a report on Wired, Matthew Crippen is facing three years in prison if convicted of servicing Xbox 360 consoles and installing mod chips on them, offences which violate the United States' Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Huang is willing to testify on Crippen's behalf, arguing that installing a mod chip does not in itself constitute a violation of copyright. He points towards a recent U.S. Copyright Office decision to allow the "jailbreaking" of Apple's iDevices as precedent for this; if they can be legally modified to allow third-party applications, so too should game consoles. Federal prosecutors, however, have called for Huang to be barred from testifying on the grounds it would be "legally irrelevant".