Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Washington Post Article on the Copyright Term Extension Act

"For most of history, a great character or story or song has passed from its original creator into the public domain. Shakespeare and Charles Dickens and Beethoven are long dead, but Macbeth and Oliver Twist and the Fifth Symphony are part of our shared cultural heritage, free to be used or re-invented by anyone on the planet who is so inclined. But 15 years ago this Sunday, President Clinton signed the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, which retroactively extended copyright protection. As a result, the great creative output of the 20th century, from Superman to "Gone With the Wind" to Gershwin’s "Rhapsody in Blue," were locked down for an extra 20 years."
 An interesting article by Timothy B. Lee in the Washington Post about a terrible law.   Hopefully, the Internet will be better mobilized in 2018.

Quiz: Who Said That?

I got most of them wrong.

"Video Stores Explained To Modern Kids"

Remember video rental stores?  If you have kids too young to remember them, watch this.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Halloween Is Coming Soon

Halloween is coming soon.  And your dog needs this costume.  Or maybe this costume.  If none of those are to your liking, there are lots more choices.

If you're a music fan, there's even a costume for you.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

"50 People On The Most Intellectual Joke I Know"

Someone has collected a list of "the most intellectual jokes."  Some of the best ones:

A Photon checks into a hotel and the bellhop asks him if he has any luggage. The Photon replies “No, I’m traveling light.”

A German walks into a bar and asks for a martini. The bartender asks “dry?”, the German replies “nein, just one.”

The barman says, “We don’t serve time travelers in here.”
A time traveler walks into a bar.

Two women walk into a bar, and talk about the Bechdel test.

Jean-Paul Sartre is sitting at a French cafe, revising his draft of Being and Nothingness. He says to the waitress, “I’d like a cup of coffee, please, with no cream.” The waitress replies, “I’m sorry, Monsieur, but we’re out of cream. How about with no milk?”

An engineer, an economist, and a philosopher are hiking through the hills of Scotland. On the top of a hill they see a black sheep. “What do you know,” the engineer remarks. “The sheep in Scotland are black.” “No, no”, protests the economist. “At least one of the sheep in Scotland is black.” The philosopher considers this a moment. “That’s not quite right. There’s at least one sheep which is black from one side.”

A Buddhist monk approaches a hotdog stand and says “make me one with everything”.
The vendor makes the hot dog and hands it to the Buddhist monk, who pays with a $20 bill. The vendor puts the bill in the cash box and closes it. “Excuse me, but where’s my change?” asks the Buddhist monk. The vendor replied, “Change must come from within.”

My Latest EFF Amicus Brief: Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank

On Friday EFF filed the latest amicus brief I helped write.  This brief supports Alice Corp.'s petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a Federal Circuit decision invalidating Alice Corp.'s patents as impermissibly abstract under 35 U.S.C. 101.  The brief is similar to a previous brief we filed twelve days earlier in WildTangent v. Ultramercial -- see that post for an explanation.

The brief supporting Alice Corp. is somewhat unusual.  We agree with the Federal Circuit that it properly invalidated Alice Corp.'s patents.  However, because the state of the law is such a morass, we agree with Alice Corp. that the Supreme Court should hear the case and provide some guidance to the lower courts (although we ask the Court to affirm that the patents are invalid).  With these two related briefs, we ask that the Court review both Alice Corp.'s case and WildTangent's case.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

How to Celebrate "Thanksgivukkah"

November 28, 2013 is the American Thanksgiving.  It is also the first night of Hanukkah.  This has never happened before in our lifetime, and will never happen again for 70,000 years.

So how to celebrate this double holiday?  Here's the solution: "How To Celebrate Thanksgivukkah, The Best Holiday Of All Time."  Don't miss the recipe for Pecan Pie Rugelah.