A very contrarian view of Aaron Swartz that will do me no favors.

Sorry for that.  But I read this New Yorker piece about Aaron Swartz (short version: was being prosecuted by the government for illegally downloading JSTOR archives; recently committed suicide), and this is the narrative that I take from it:

Once upon a time there was a very bright, but easily bored boy who spent his entire life not having to do anything that he didn’t want to do, and being encouraged in this by everybody that knew and loved him.  The boy became a man with no discipline and no unifying principle to his life; he made a lot of money, but did not know what to do with it; or, indeed, anything at all.  So he heedlessly did anything and everything that came to mind, with no thought to completion, or consequences.  Eventually the boy did something that was against the law; and then the government – who did not know and love him, and either did not realize that he was still a boy, or did not care – came down upon the man like a ton of bricks.  And eventually the boy decided that his life was not worth living, so he ended it.



Sounds like this Mumford & Sons band may be a touch too DMCA-friendly.

Just got sent this via email: “Mumford & Sons Warn Against ‘Unauthorized Lending’ of Their CD

…it seems like Mumford & Sons really want people to hear their super-earnest brand of roots rock. They just don’t want anyone to loan their record to you.

Hidden in the fine print on the back of Babel is an odd provision that clearly states: “The copyright in this sound recording and artwork is owned by Mumford & Sons. Warning: all rights reserved. Unauthorized copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.” Most of that all seems legit, but “lending”? Since when can’t people let friends borrow their records?

I’ve heard some people enthuse about this band, and was thinking of picking up Babel if the Amazon haul can justify it (ahem).  But I don’t like giving money to jerks.  Are these people jerks?


Then don’t put your photos on Flickr, Mr. President.

Via Instapundit, comes the latest slap in the face to Libertarians-for-Obama by the Obama administration.  Slashdot:

“US government policy is that photos produced by federal employees as part of their job responsibilities are not subject to copyright in the US. But Kathy Gill writes that after originally putting official White House photos in the public domain, since January the Obama White House has been asserting that no one but ‘news organizations’ can use its Flickr photos taken by the official White House photographer, who is a US government employee…”

You mean, like this?


Original here.  Relevant language on the Flickr account:

This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

A shame whoever wrote that didn’t read this (linked to by the White House Flickr account itself). (more…)

Site by Neil Stevens | Theme by