Posts from April 3, 2004

Copyfight! Copyfight!

Copyfight! Copyfight!
: Forbes’ Stephen Manes gave Lawrence Lessig’s new book a bad review; Lessig whined back; and now Manes delivers a good slap back to Lessig — all of which is such a great spectator sport. Says Manes, after arguing that Lessig is wrong his tally of public-domain works the devil Disney supposedly exploited:

Apparently 9-for-16 on the facts is good enough in the Emerald City of Palo Alto–hey, it’s a better ratio than the two of nine U.S. Supreme Court justices Lessig managed to win over to his flaccid arguments in the Eldred case. In his bloggy rage after being taken to task by a mere non-lawyer, Lessig demonstrates that he doesn’t really know or care what the public domain really is, apparently blinded by his grand wish that damn near everything be put there. He seems to think that anything that seems old–never mind whether it is or not–must be in the public domain. And if it isn’t, it should be.

Lessig doesn’t care much about protecting intellectual property, but he’s downright monomaniacal about the public domain.

Oh, how I wish Manes would join in the wiki-editing of Lessig’s book.

Ghost town

Ghost town
: Elana, a Russian on a motorcycle, rides into Chernobyl and tells the story with photos. [via Online Journalismus.de]

Contrarian obit

Contrarian obit
: Stephen Pollard doesn’t want to speak ill of the dead, but he can’t stomach all the slathering over the late Peter Ustinov:

In his book, My Russia – a grotesque piece of Soviet sycophancy – he conceded only that Stalin had caused “suffering” to “thousands” – as if the gulags were a nasty outbreak of food poisoning on a busy night in a Solihull balti house. Then there was his television series, Peter Ustinov’s Russia. Noel Malcolm’s review said it all: Ustinov showed “all the investigative inclinations of an Intourist guide with a coach party and a lobotomy”.

As for his friend Gorbachev: “I suppose you can’t blame Gorbachev [for the collapse of the Soviet Union], but it is his fault for making America the only superpower.” Yes, the world would have been so much better if the USSR were still around. What a crime that Sir Peter had to endure the last few years of his life without the comfort blanket of the Soviet Union.

Not that it was only Communists he defended. He opposed the military action against the Taliban in Afghanistan and criticised moves against Osama bin Laden: “You can’t fight terrorism without becoming a terrorist yourself.” Is that right, Sir Peter? What a shame he won’t be around to point that out to al-Qaeda’s next victims.

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Living in Europe

Living in Europe
: Now live: Living in Europe, the latest in the Living on the Planet family of services, is a wonderful group blog by, for, and about Europeans. [via PapaScott]

True obscenity

True obscenity
: Everybody’s fussing over protecting children from breasts on TV. But tonight as we drove to dinner, I had to turn down the radio so as not to subject the children to talk of Americans murdered and mutilated and burned and hung to celebration in Iraq. Have we not lost all sense of pesrspective? What is truly obscene?