intellectual property

A Real Solution to the Piracy Problem

Given that I recently went off on a bit of a rant about Cory Doctorow and his repeated failure to propose a workable solution for the problem of online piracy, I thought I would take a few minutes and suggest a possible solution that I think makes a bit of sense and wouldn't be that hard to institute. It has the benefit of also being a solution that fits with Bono's criticism of piracy that Doctorow used as his jumping off point on Twitter for his usual mindlessly didactic self-repetition.

The fact of the matter is that copyright of certain kinds of intellectual property is complicated. It is particularly complicated for music and with the rise of DVD sales and streaming video on the internet is poised to become much more complicated for visual media as well.

The Facebook Freakout

So people are freaking out about Facebook thanks to this story on The Consumerist.

I'm curious about it because the whole thing just, well, seems ridiculous. For one thing, I continue to find it baffling that people feel as though they can control works of intellectual property uploaded to sites that are indexable by search engines. One of the reasons I'm still a livejournal user is the fact that I can keep posts there locked and off of google.

Up front I should probably say something that Chris Walters, the blogger and chicken little at The Consumerist who apparently started this panic, didn't say in his article. I am not a lawyer and no expert on intellectual property rights. I did however study intellectual property rights and have about as much knowledge of the byzantine nonsense that is US copyright law as any layman can claim to have. I also, apparently, have a greater level of reading comprehension than Mr. Chicken Little Walters and the various other barnyard animals who have been parroting his "OMG DUDES FACEBOOK PWNS ALL YR STUFF NOW" conclusion in the above blog post.

Of particular importance is the part of the Facebook TOS that the sensationalist boobs at The Consumerist failed to read completely. Below you will find the entire relevant section of the TOS quoted in full, emphasis mine: