This is Epth Nation

Epth is a state of mind, not a place. Reading this will give you a virtual drivers license in that state, but you'll still need to be 21 to purchase alcohol. And you can't get any there anyway, so stop asking.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

News Today...Better than Yesterday

Today is a new day, or at least that's what I tell myself. Yesterday managed to make me very tired and ornery. The Bucks lost bad, I had to stay late at Papa John's, and I couldn't sleep last night. I'll try to make this post good in spite of that.

EPTH NEWS: I reached my goal of 20 people reading this thing yesterday, and am going for another 20 today. Let's try to get 20 every day this week, shall we? And let's start that count yesterday, because Monday we supposedly had 5. I hate the internet.

NEWS THAT'S QUITE INSIGNIFICANT BUT STILL COOL: Sony has decided to pull all "copy-protected" CD's (you know, the ones that come with viruses that secretly and automatically install on your computer) from the shelves, which is a victory for the consumer. That makes the consumer 1-5,032,675 this year. Sony is also going to allow their customers, whom they hate, to exchange their viral CD's for real Sony CD's in an as-yet-undetermined master plan. And even then, they still have to remove the virus from their machines. Check out this paragraph:
Sony on Tuesday suspended use of this uninstall process and promised to provide a “simplified and secure procedure” for uninstalling XCP. But the company provided no details on what this new procedure might be, or on how customers might exchange their XCP CDs. It also failed to address concerns about a second type of copy-protection software, called MediaMax, that ships with Sony CDs. Computer experts have said that this software suffers from many of the same problems as XCP.
Ok, so it's customers 1/2, evil corporations 5,032,675 1/2 then.

BASEBALL HATES STEROIDS: In a sweeping move designed to keep Congress of their collective-bargaining backs, the baseball players and owners agreed to implement the steroid penalties that commissioner Bud Selig proposed last April. It will be a 50-day suspension for the first offense! Expect to see some seriously shrunken players come spring training. Of course, home run lunatics are mad because they want to see some more 80-homer seasons, and those are now officially a thing of the past. You know, it really bugs me that there are baseball fans out there that think that players taking steroids is ok, and not cheating, and that it adds to the fun and excitement of the game. Maybe I'm making up a class of imaginary men here, but it seems like every time I listen to sports talk on the subject of steroids, some moron calls up and says he doesn't care how they hit the home runs, just that they do. Those are people who either don't have kids or hate the kids they have. You can't have little Sosas and McGwires walking around High Schools carrying bats and having mood swings as violent as any swing they've unleashed at the plate, can you? I mean, that should be reserved for the psycho football players, shouldn't it?*

Also, it must be pointed out that the Sosa-McGwire homer-off that saved baseball in 1998 was almost indisputably fueled by cheating. Baseball wasn't complaining then. The whole subject just bugs me. Let's move on.

Under proposed new legislation, "copyright infringers" may be punished with jail terms instead of just outlandish fines. I say, that's fine, but if any police resources at all are used to find these "copyright infringers" when there's all this terrorism going on, I want the President, the congress, the Attorney General, the head of the FBI, and the offending officer's superiors to be impeached/fired/etc. I want their careers to be done. This is not a game, people. We are wasting valuable resources helping out companies that are doomed anyway, when we could be getting a better handle on the people who want to kill as many Americans as they can. It's about time we got rid of the meaningless term "copyright infringers" anyway, isn't it? In this day and age, the meaning should at least be firmed up into something real like,
"One who makes a copy of a copyrighted work for the express intent of getting it for free." To legally show in court that someone is guilty of this copyright infringement, the state should have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt these things:
1) The defendant himself or herself made the copy using a source that he did not own (it shouldn't be illegal to make, say, 10,000 copies of a CD you own for personal use. Also, it should be illegal for content providers to limit the number of copies you can make. If you buy a CD, you should own it and the media on it).
2) The defendant intended to circumvent the law and never pay for the copyrighted work (it shouldn't be illegal to download or copy a song to see if you'll like it. They could even put a solid time-frame on "intent to steal without paying" -- something like 2 months).

Of course, these steps would effectively end copyright legislation. That's good. The record companies, and now the movie companies, are fighting a battle that they will ultimately lose using the resources of the American public. And if that's not wrong I don't know what is.

* The author retracts this sentence, for fear of pummeling by roided-up amoral "jocks."


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