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Cox Crow

Asking the Stupid Questions Since 1971
 Thursday, August 29, 2002

How does the DMCA apply to this?

3:38:25 PM #
categories: Law


I've had AT&T long-distance service for the longest time. Over the last year they've been consistently attempting to sell their local service as well. Way back in the early part of the last decade, NYNEX offered a flat-rate regional calling plan which Bell Atlantic, then Verizon grandfathered; the prices beat AT&T's local rates. So no deal.

The remaining large chunk of my telephone bill goes not to Verizon, but to AT&T, because we call less than 15 miles away in the next county — outside the regional calling area. Each call is assessed at 10¢ per minute. It's cheaper to call Virginia, or California.

I just switched to Verizon. They're cheaper.

3:15:08 PM # Google It!

The Architect

This started as an unreasonable discussion of copyright and its term.

After David Weinberger oddly echoed my comment on Sifry's post about what length would be appropriate, Dave Winer revealed that he's coming at this topic from a completely different philosophical perspective.

For crying out loud David, it's super simple. If I build a house I can live in it as long as I want. If I want to rent out rooms I can do that too, as long as I want.

The argument is about copyright on the surface, but underneath it's about property. Specifically, are thought and it's expressions property?

It might help to read this. In it, Tom Palmer explores the arguments for and against intellectual property rights, quoting, among others, Ayn Rand:

patents and copyrights are the legal implementation of the base of all property rights: a man's right to the product of his mind.

With that, I think, given his analogy above, Dave will concur.

However, Rand further states

If [intellectual property] were held in perpetuity, it would lead to the opposite of the very principle on which it is based: it would lead, not to the earned reward of achievement, but to the unearned support of parasitism. It would become a cumulative lien on the production of unborn generations, which would immediately paralyze them.

Regardless of whether one agrees with intellectual property being held in perpetuity, it is not the perspective held by the Constitution.

Is the house that Dave built real property, or the expression of his creative mind? Or, both?

12:21:05 PM # Google It!
categories: Law

Delivering Energy

Natural monopolies can be broken down into parts that are not natural monopolies. Or so the thinking goes. The New York Public Service Commission, after discussion of the issues, has opened the State's electricity industry to competition. The energy market has two elements: supply and delivery. Only the latter, the "pipes and wires," is a natural monopoly.

This point is clarified when we open our monthly statement: NYSEG is an energy delivery company.

8:45:23 AM # Google It!
categories: Industry

Beyond Petroleum

BP looked at the world, merged with one oil company, bought another, rethought itself — and re-presented itself as bp, an energy company.

7:49:03 AM # Google It!
categories: Industry